Brian Fargo has been developing PC games for almost thirty years, and he's still going strong. As founder of Interplay, Fargo launched game franchises like Wasteland, Fallout and Bard's Tale; these days, as CEO of inXile Entertainment, Fargo is still developing games for PC. He recently ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of Wasteland 2, raising almost $3 million in the process.
Fargo recently took a break from his work to talk about the process and explain what role fans are playing in creating this much-anticipated sequel.
Game On: What were your goals heading into Wasteland 2?
Fargo: Our goals are pretty simple: we want to deliver the most important role-playing game that's ever been made before. We have a lot of pressure on us and we love the pressure, but we want to deliver something special.
How are advances in technology impacting the new Wasteland game?
There are some radically different shifts in the way games are being made now versus even, say ten years ago, and one part of it is tools. We can do a lot more in a shorter period of time because of the tools that are available, but also the way that we are communicating with the fans of the game is a big part of how our game is being developed. That's not necessarily a technology, but it's a paradigm shift for how we solicit input from people and integrate that.
How has working with Obsidian Entertainment been with this game?
Early on, most of the Obsidian guys worked with me back in the old Interplay days at Black Isle Studios. We've been circling around ways to work with each other for many years, but there really wasn't an opportunity with the way publishers and developers typically work. But with crowd-sourced funding we can do anything we want. We pick up the phone and make it happen.
So we have a mutual respect, and Obsidian is the primary on this one. There's some technology and information sharing going on about what they've learned in building products and vice versa, but primarily we've been working with Chris Avellone, who was a big Wasteland fan as a kid. He was one of the co-creators of Fallout and so he wanted to be involved [with Wasteland 2.]
We wanted him involved, so we found a way to to solicit his input and get him to create some of the maps for the game.
What role will fans who funded Wasteland 2 play as the game is developed?
Having the fans involved is the most different and important part of the whole project. We have a lot of pressure to deliver more than ever before, and it's important that we make a great game; not just for ourselves, but also for the next round of people who want to do big Kickstarter projects. People are watching and keeping an eye on us, on Tim Schafer and on others. Even though I have more personal pressure than ever before, I feel confident because we're vetting everything with the fans along the way.
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