Brian Fargo Interview

PC Games N is offering an interview with inXile CEO and crowdfunding enthusiast Brian Fargo, centering mostly on Wasteland 2 and most-funded title on Kickstarter Torment: Tides of Numenera. Here's a snip:
PCGN: When you reboot these old IPs, fans often have diametrically opposed ideas about what they want the game to be. Is it a problem making sure most of your backers are satisified?

BF: Ahh, no problem at all. None! Well yeah, I mean, it's sort of a yes and a no. You're right, not only are you trying to build a product, you're trying to build a product that's often based upon their memory of what it was, and not even what it actually was. We all get fonder of things as time passes, so I recognise that we are competing with people's memories of those games also. Not what they actually were.

The reason I have confidence is because our communication is much tighter than it's ever been before. Back in the days when we worked on Wasteland or Fallout of Planescape: Torment, we would work on these games in a vaccum and then hope we nailed it. We'd realease it and keep our fingers crossed. Kickstarter is anything but that, we're in this constant communication, showing them things and reacting and modifying and dialling it in. We have our own sensibilities too, we know what pillars we're going to hit and those aren't going to change, but they know what those are and we know what those are. It allows us a greater confidence that we're delivering against a vision.

The other part of it is that we have an amazing writing staff on this team. It's unbelievable, you know, we've got Colin McComb, Pat Rothfuss, Chris Avellone. It's an amazing team of writers, so if anybody can do it it's these guys.


PCGN: Putting Torment to one side, what stage are you at now in Wasteland's development?

BF: We had a really important milestone in February when we took a snapshot of us playing the actual game. We didn't create a demo for a trade show, we waited until it was organically ready and correct. We captured about 15 minutes of gameplay and backers could see some of the interface, they could read the text and get a sense of the style, the graphics, the combat systems the nuances, the use of skills and so on. People loved it, they absolutely loved it. In fact, I wouldn't have launched the Torment Kickstarter if they didn't love that, but they did.

So that was a good sign for us because from this point on I just need to do more of that. There are no more technological hurdles left, it's just a matter of implementing all of the grand depth of design that we have. And so everything's coming along very nicely. Our next internal milestone is that, by the end of April, all the levels will be in and playable in a rough blockout form, so we can have people come in and play the game and start iterating and iterating and iterating. As we march towards summer we'll start sneaking out areas for people to play to prepare ourselves for a full beta test. It's coming along very nicely.