Wasteland 2 Wiki
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The image came with an interesting description:
Here is another portrait piece by another of the very talented concept artists.
These mad little guys wear bandoliers of mini-nuke grenades and if provoked, will charge shouting "To Titan!" before self-detonating.”
GS: Colin, you'd worked on numerous books and adventures for the Planescape setting, you took part in the development of Torment's storyline, and lately you've been involved in the designing of a post-nuclear world of tomorrow. Could you tell us in brief what were your responsibilities on the Torment team and what are you responsible for now as a writer on Wasteland 2?
Colin McComb: In 1996-99, my title was "game designer". Now, that title would probably be adjusted to "narrative designer"; though I was responsible for some mechanical work and some scripting, I was primarily responsible for developing characters, quests, and some items.
My work for Wasteland 2 is very similar to that. Right now I'm working on fleshing out a very polite cannibal cult and making sure there's plenty to do and experience in my particular area. I think there's a good depth of reactivity here, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays when it's implemented. One of the great things about the preproduction lead-time we have is that we'll have time to make necessary changes and get everything working just right.
GS: You've written books, you've written games - which poses the bigger challenge? Do you prefer to create worlds that come to life solely in the reader's imagination or interactive ones offering the support of graphics and sound?
Colin: They're both challenging, but in different ways. Still, I think I'm going to have to give the edge to CRPGs, because in addition to developing compelling characters, an interesting plot, and narrative threads for other supporting actors, you need to develop a game that reacts to the player's choices. Is the protagonist going to make certain choices? You'd better think about those choices, and about how far you're going to allow the player to go down that path. This is one of the questions we had while developing Wasteland 2: how evil do we want to allow the player to be? At some point, the story starts to go sideways. An organization like the Rangers probably doesn't look too kindly on a rampage killer, and we've discussed ways to implement what happens when the player reaches that point.
With fiction writing, you tend to have a lot more freedom. You're not constrained by hardware limitations or difficulty of modeling or scripting specific sequences. You can change your setting in the blink of an eye, and you can explore as far as your imagination can take you without worrying about having to generate art assets to back up the vision in your head. You can plunge from the heights of heaven into the depths of hell and take a rest stop in a place of machines and circuits, or take the viewpoint of an electrical impulse - all in the same story, and you don't have to worry about developing mechanics that support these shifting narrative styles.
On the other hand, fiction writing is a nearly solitary exercise. There's a certain joy in it, but it's also beautiful to work with a team and to see your joint vision come to life for a far greater audience than most writers get on their own. So I can't really pick one. They're two different animals.”
First, here is the list of attributes you can expect to find in Wasteland 2. Attributes are the starting values for your character traits. These are established when you create your character and can be different for each member of your party. Attributes are all passive, meaning that they won't be actively used in the world to solve issues.
You might immediately spot a few differences between this list and the original Wasteland. Perception has been turned into an attribute. We felt that perception tied into many other skills and played such an important role that it earned its position as an attribute. Also, there is this weird skill called Expertise on the list. Where the hell did that come from? Expertise is essentially agility and dexterity combined together into one package. We have defined it as the level of mastery of motions with your body and hands.
The following is the list of skills that can be used by the various party members.
- Alarm Disarm
- Animal Whisperer
- AT Weapons
- Backer Skill
- Bladed Weapons
- Blunt Weapons
- Brute Force
- Bullet Swagging
- Coin Crafting
- Cyborg Tech
- Energy Weapon
- Field Medic
- Pick Lock
- Silent Move
- Sniper Rifle
- Spot Lie
- Toaster Repair
And to close out the update, here is a sweet little portrait to whet your appetite. I'd like to introduce you to one of the Wasteland raiders, a nasty resident of Los Angeles.”
Animation in Wasteland 2 was an unknown for me, never having worked with the Unity engine before. I did know one thing in my mind though when we started: I wanted to hand-key the animations. It’s an ambitious goal of mine and one I hope fans appreciate in the end. It’s my feeling that I can bring more personality and flexibility to the animation, as opposed to using motion capture. Plus, let’s face it; as an Animator I will be more artistically invested in my hand-keyed animations. Even with the best motion capture actors you are many times stuck using what you have recorded. The unique aspects and camera of this game do present some good opportunity and challenge for me as an Animator.
One of the struggles as an animator in games is the animation system. A good system can make or break the look of the animations. The animation is broken into so many different pieces that if you don’t have some decent way of controlling that, the entire flow of the animation can feel off. Animation systems have evolved a LOT in the past few years. Wasteland 2 is not a controller driven game and many of these systems are designed for analogue input. I needed a simpler solution and I think I’ve found one.
Browsing the Unity store for animation solutions I found exactly what I needed. I am familiar with the use of an animation tree to drive in game animation states. Sage: Anim Graph Editor is a tool that allows me to intuitively build animation trees that drive the different states of the characters. This is all accomplished without me writing a single line of script. I have no talent for that, but Sage helps me overcome my inability to write script in Unity. I have built up one heck of an animation tree for our rangers so far, and I love the level of control I have over the flow of the animation. The Rangers have a lot of “states” they can be in, so being able to manage and build those states myself is liberating.”