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According to the new Fig update for inXile's Wasteland 3 that brings us up to speed with the current state of Wasteland 3's gameplay systems, content, art and audio design, and backer rewards, at this point over 90% of the game's scenes have first pass scripting and art. And if you disregard the bugs, you'll soon be able to complete the game's critical story path. As such, now comes the time for iteration and revision under the supervision of George Ziets, the game's lead designer best known for his work on the Mask of the Betrayer expansion for Neverwinter Nights 2. A few snippets:
Production Greetings with Stewart Spilkin, Senior Producer
As we roll on into 2018, Wasteland 3 has been in full production for a while and I’m happy to say we’re hitting all our major milestones on design, art, and engineering. Long-time fans of inXile may know our production philosophy puts a heavy emphasis on iteration. Practically speaking, that means we want to have levels and systems in so we can test and improve on our ideas. This allows us to find out sooner rather than later what works and doesn’t work.
At this point, over 90% of the scenes in the game have first pass scripting as well as first pass art. We have Rangers killing stuff, vehicles driving around (and also killing stuff), multiplayer working on consoles and PC, the works! This allows our level and systems designers to experience and polish up their scenes, and for our Design Lead George Ziets to do playthroughs and take (very meticulous) notes. The value of getting this kind of revision time early on can’t be overstated.
We have a few new team members to mention. On the Environment Art side is Yong-Ha Hwang, recently on the Blizzard cinematics team, and Josh Deeb, who is joining us from Daybreak. In our NOLA studio, we've also picked up Germ Revoso as a concept artist, and Greg Roberts is doing some great animation work for us. On the writing team, author Cassandra Khaw has been doing some amazingly twisted dialog work for us, and Nathan Long, the principal writer on Wasteland 2, is cranking out volumes of great material too.
Checking In On: Content Design with George Ziets, Lead Designer
Hello all, Ziets here. The writers and level designers are working hard to get the whole game to a first draft state - especially the critical path. By the end of next month, we should be able to start the game at the tutorial and follow the critical path all the way to the end. It won’t be bug-free, of course, but getting to a solid first draft (as early as possible) is a critical step.
Some of our zones are already at an alpha state, which means that first-pass dialogue and level scripting are done, and combat, missions, and exploration all exist in some form. I’ve been playing through our zones and sending long lists of feedback to the design team. Our current focus is the city of Colorado Springs and Ranger HQ, our main hubs that contain the most reactivity to events that occur elsewhere. We’re also developing the endgame sequence and writing some of the most important characters in the game, like the Patriarch (the ruler of Colorado) and a returning Ranger from Wasteland 2 (who will, for the moment, remain nameless).
Once we're satisfied that all our zones have reached alpha, we’ll shift our emphasis toward playtesting, bug-fixing, and iterating. The iteration phase is the moment when a game really begins to shine, so the more time we can spend in iteration, the better the final product will be.
Final note: When we reach the final installment of our "Building the Everest" series of updates, we'll give you an early look at how our mission system will actually work in game.