Whatever Brian Fargo meant by “social” features in connection to Wasteland 2, it’s not what you were imagining.
In the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter’s most recent update, the inXile boss and Wasteland designer made mention of the upcoming RPG’s “social” features.
Apparently envisioning something along the lines of Farmville and Mafia Wars, a vocal minority of the project’s backers and followers exploded with wrath, but Fargo said he didn’t mean the word in the sense these flamers find so abhorrent.
“What I have discovered is that there are some four-letter words with extra letters like ‘Social’ which get very emotional responses. Social means casual to some people and Wasteland 2 is NOT a casual game,” Fargo said in a post on the project’s blog.
“I will certainly be careful in my word selection as I want new ideas to be discussed without being railroaded for bad word choice. I clearly made a mistake in throwing out an idea before I communicated a cohesive vision document on the overall game.”
Fargo did explain with a little more clarity what kind of “fringe feature” he was referring to with the word “social”.
“I do like sharing my experience with my friends when I play a game – be it conversation or leaderboards. I would be curious to see my friend’s stats when playing: how many kills he had, ammo used, his level and other various non-spoiling information,” he said, reiterating that Wasteland 2 will be an “old-school” RPG in every way.
“Nothing is going to make us deviate from that experience but there could be some options to consider that make it more fun. In fact, the reason we are not doing multi-player is because it would have affected the narrative,” he said.
The developer also confirmed that any extra funding Wasteland 2 attracts will not be sued to add unnecessary bells and whistles which detract from the core design – although some much-requested features are still looking dicey.
“At two million in funding we will be doing the top things everyone wants anyway: a larger world and more content, more character dialog, more graphics across the board, and more audio,” he said.
“The mod-kit is a whole other beast which I have let people know we are considering, but it would not make launch as I want to keep our development focus on the content we plan to ship.”
Wasteland 2 is the sequel to a classic 1989 RPG which has been knocked back repeatedly by publishers. Inspired by Double Fine’s success, inXile launched a Kickstarter which has pulled in over $1.5 million.