Brian Fargo Interview

GamesRadar was able to convince inXile Entertainment's Brian Fargo to spill some information about the game he spearheaded at Interplay, the advent and rise of Kickstarter, the importance of meeting player expectations, the key features of both Torment: Tides of Numenera and Wasteland 2, and more. It's pretty amazing how much respect he has garnered over the past year or so, and it appears to be well-deserved at this point:
So, what can we expect from inXile's current duo of games? Torment has been billed as a spiritual follow-up to Planescape, although Fargo is keen to stress that it isn't a sequel. Try to think of the way the recent crop of BioShock games relate to System Shock. "I think the original Planescape was very different to a lot of games, and it ended in a very neat way," says Fargo. "We've had a lot of people say to us that they just don't want a sequel to that game anyway. We're technically nothing to do with Planescape we don't own the brand, we're not using any copyrighted material, we have nothing to do with it. What we are trying to do is capture the spirit and vibe of Planescape, and make a very philosophical role-playing game. It has a much more literary vibe than most RPGs, it's a game for people who love to read. And that's different to Wasteland 2, which is for people who love to blow things up more. In fairness, there's a lot of writing depth to Wasteland, so I don't want to simplify it in that way.

Despite being very different games, Torment and Wasteland 2 share several unifying themes, the most significant of which is choice. "Player choice--or as we sometimes call it 'Ëśreactivity' - is everything," explains Fargo. "It's what makes our narrative so different because, if you want a simple, linear story-telling device then you'd just read a book. It's your ability to change the story, to say (I wonder what would happen if I did that;) which makes our games so intriguing and exciting. We want players to be excited about going back and replaying our games, thinking (Wow, I wonder what would have happened if I'd done this thing instead of that). For all games that offer choice, I've always found that the journey - what you do along the way - is really the greatest reward.

The original Wasteland, which released back in 1988, is the game that eventually inspired the Fallout series. So it seems fitting that Chris Avellone, from Obsidian - creators of Fallout New Vegas - has been working with inXile on Wasteland 2. "He's great to have as someone to run ideas by, and he's even made some specific levels which we can hold up to other designers and say: (this is the kind of quality and vibe we're expecting from the rest of the game). So, that's how he's worked with us," says Fargo. "He has been living in the trenches of post-nuclear RPGs longer than anyone, so it's great to get his input".