Who actually really played Wasteland?

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by ad1066 » April 4th, 2012, 2:16 pm

Over the last 20 years or so I have probably played and finished Wasteland about a dozen times. I also finished Bard's Tale (twice, I believe, once with CGA, once with EGA), Bard's Tale 2 (once, CGA), Bard's Tale 3 (once, EGA), Ultima 1 (twice), Ultima 2 (once), Ultima 4 (three or four times), Ultima 5 (twice, plus Lazarus once), and Ultima 6 (once).

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Sharkey » April 4th, 2012, 2:25 pm

I was born in '87, never played Wasteland, Fallout 1 or Fallout 2. Heck, I've never played any of Brian Fargo's games really. But I've always heard how phenomenal they are.

I was first introduced to Fallout with Fallout 3 and absolutely loved the world and setting, and absolutely loved New Vegas even more. I just recently picked up the Fallout Collection and working my way through Fallout 1, and just love it.

Hearing about Wasteland 2 and researching into its history and the track record of all the developers involved with Wasteland and Fallout, I was absolutely sold on the concept of what Wasteland 2 will be. Like many have said, this type of RPG genre is dead nowadays due to publisher lack of support. To see something like this, and from someone as passionate about it as Brian Fargo, really makes me yearn for a classic type game made with modern technology. Seeing at the numerous 'legendary' developers that'll be involved with this, especially with guys at Obsidian possibly helping at, this is really a once in a lifetime occurrence of this magnitude of talent collaborating on something that deeply resonates with me as a gamer. I have so much faith in this project that I'm pledging $1k as I just couldn't resist the prospect of being an NPC in a game like this, and I just want it to succeed so bad as I want to play a game like this as they just aren't made anymore.

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by kipper » April 4th, 2012, 3:20 pm

Lanatir wrote:Yes, i see where you are coming from. While i did play Fallout, you could probably count me deep into the hardcore WL crowd. But while i was very much upfront against the including of too many fallout features and also went against the 'falloutians' as i have called them, i came to realize that the only way we all will get what we want is when we accept the wishes of 'the other crowd'.

All im really asking is: make me a game that i can recognize. A game that when i would see it on some computer screen i would say: oh, look, this looks someone made a Wasteland sequel!
I completely agree. I've played through/completed Wasteland many many times since 1988, first on my C=64 and now on an emulator (the last time I played was about a year ago). I am currently playing through Fallout (I had never played it before).

I really hope that Wasteland 2 feels (in game play) like a *Wasteland* sequel, not a Fallout sequel. I don't want to play a Fallout game with a party of characters, I want to play a new Wasteland game.

I suspect in the end the finished game will be closer to Fallout with multiple Player Characters (in game play), with the Wasteland influence being more in the tone of the game. But I would be ecstatic to be wrong, and I am still a backer in any case.

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Lucius » April 4th, 2012, 5:48 pm

If it helps at all, there were just over 500 registered users on these forums the day before the kickstarter went live. I know because I was checking it on a regular basis trying to gauge how successful the kickstarter would be. I was worried it wasn't going to happen with only 500 interested people.

Currently at the time of this posting there are 2870 registered users on this forum. How many of the original 500 had played and how many of the newer folks have played is impossible to judge, but I'd guess about a quarter of the people on here have played the original.

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Gizmo » April 4th, 2012, 6:13 pm

krellen wrote:
Anywhere I can find out what changes that mod actually makes?
There is a dedicated forum. http://www.co8.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7737

Two versions exist (each release), the standard (fix & restore); and the NC ~"New Content", that adds areas to it.

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by MDF_MadDogFargo » April 4th, 2012, 9:13 pm

I've played Wasteland possibly hundreds of times. I am not quite sure how many times it was. Does disk-swapping count as separate games?
wormspeaker wrote:I first played Wasteland on my C64. I still have the "album" style box and one of the 5.25" floppies. (I seem to have lost the others somewhere.) More recently I used to play it through to completion about once every year or two in the IBM version up until about 2005 or so when my old Windows 98 machine finally died and it was too hard to get it to work on my new machine.

That being said, there aren't too many differences between Wasteland updated to newer graphics and interface and Fallout 1 and 2. The main differences are in the aesthetics (Wasteland was very much a product of the 80s and Fallout had it's retro 50s vibe) and the lack of true party based combat in Fallout. (The underlying game mechanics are different, but Wasteland 2 will certainly not have the same game mechanics as Wasteland 1, because those were more or less the result of limitations in technology of the time more than anything else.*)
Okay I just want to say this limitations of technology idea is completly dumb. That is something that defines all computer and console games to some extent at every stage and generation of games. Games fit the technology that's available. That's a given.

But limitations are not a reason for designing a game. You have to put yourself in the position of the developers at the time to know the reasons for their design choices. They could have made a side-scroller. They could have made a shooter. There were a lot of graphical ways to display combat, as the many arcade, computer, and console games of 1988 will testify. They chose to emulate a PnP RPG deliberately. They chose to do that and create an RPG because they were keen on that sort of thing.

The more I examine the two games the more they seem like different operating systems. Wasteland is more like a command line interface, although the choices are laid out in a menu and on a map. Fallout is a graphical interface. Computer gamers who are not familiar with command line interfaces and only know graphical OS's, might not be able to imagine a game without a graphical interface. Wasteland's graphics consisted of a map to show your location and the character portraits in the encounter menus. You navigate Wasteland using keyboard commands (the mouse interface is entirely cosmetic); you navigate Fallout visually. This of course is usually taken for granted and assumed to be superior to the non-graphical interface of older games.

Why would you want to make a game today that has a command-oriented interface rather than a visual-oriented interface? I mean if technology lets you build three-dimensional menus for your games that take up 90% of the storage and 99% of the cpu power, then it must be vastly superior to the olden days of room-sized computers with ticker-tape displays and no monitors right? Well, maybe, but what we've seen in computer game history is (I argue) the development of an industry that hypes new superficial features and makes its money from bloated graphical albatrosses rather than creating unique new stories that might be possible with a simpler, less graphics-oriented interface similar to the first generation of computer RPGs. Those games are still fun to play, even though their interfaces could be improved and updated to something more modern in the same style, like a visual novel.

I don't believe today's visual novels (as a whole) are exactly a modern incarnation of classic CRPG games either, at least not yet. Some of them are more like that than others. There are also apparently some games for the DS and PSP that resemble text adventures and Roguelikes and other old styles of games. I don't think there's any reason to go backward in time to an old style of game precisely, but the command interface plus graphics is a valid approach to gameplay.

The Civilization games do a good job of showing what is possible with a turn-based strategy game. If you gave the battles in Civ a Wasteland-like command interface but expanded, what you might have is something like an updated Wasteland encounter format. But unlike the Civ games, in that kind of game I would drastically reduce the time scale and focus the personalities not on rulers but on individual party members and NPCs. It's another possible evolution of the platform that Wasteland originated, whereas in reality we have seen its influence fork into the more tactics-oriented and narrower of scope game of Fallout 1/2.
wormspeaker wrote:I
No doubt somewhere there is someone who has compiled a list of differences between the two properties, but I think the two that I listed are the only major ones. The rest of the differences are ones of extent rather than kind.
I believe this is a poorly formulated comparison. Besides the general idea of the apocalypse and a few references between the games, there is barely anything left of Wasteland in Fallout. So, a Wasteland 2 that picks up from Fallout 2 with even less to do with Wasteland (the game), wouldn't satisfy me at all. If it was a completely different engine from Wasteland and completely different rules for skill gains and exploration and it abandoned the MSPE influence entirely, I would feel cheated out of a Wasteland sequel.

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Korval » April 5th, 2012, 2:47 am

I played Wasteland with my best friend in junior high. Sometimes he would visit me and other times I would carry my C64 over to his house. It was old-school multiplayer -- we each controlled 2 characters in the game. Before we finished it, I bought a 286 so we repurchased the game and started over. That PC and monitor were a hell of a lot heavier, though, and it was too much of a chore to lug it all over to his house very often so I was eventually just play on my own. Sadly, I didn't finish it on the IBM either. Pretty sure I/we got close to the end both times, but in one game I got stuck in Finster's brain and in the other I got stuck in...was it some kind of bio-dome with dinosaurs? I can't quite recall, but it some kind of high-tech base in the upper left corner of the world map.

I've completed Fallouts 1, 2, and 3. I liked each progressively less and I doubt I'll ever play New Vegas. Each was also easier than the last. I really miss the challenge presented by games of yore. Wasteland is still my favorite game of all time for this and so many other reasons.

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Drool » April 5th, 2012, 2:50 am

New Vegas is vastly better than 3, and the Old World Blues expansion is one of the most enjoyable things I've ever played.
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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Gizmo » April 5th, 2012, 4:36 am

MDF_MadDogFargo wrote:You navigate Wasteland using keyboard commands (the mouse interface is entirely cosmetic); you navigate Fallout visually. This of course is usually taken for granted and assumed to be superior to the non-graphical interface of older games.
Just like the Windows Mouse interface... :D
(Until you need to rename every file in a directory with several dozen (or hundred) files in it :twisted: ).

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Skirge » April 5th, 2012, 7:25 am

Gizmo wrote:
MDF_MadDogFargo wrote:You navigate Wasteland using keyboard commands (the mouse interface is entirely cosmetic); you navigate Fallout visually. This of course is usually taken for granted and assumed to be superior to the non-graphical interface of older games.
Just like the Windows Mouse interface... :D
(Until you need to rename every file in a directory with several dozen (or hundred) files in it :twisted: ).
That's when you use one of these. ;) Much easier than the command line. There's even an "undo" then. :lol:

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Gizmo » April 5th, 2012, 7:59 am

Skirge wrote:That's when you use one of these. ;) Much easier than the command line. There's even an "undo" then. :lol:
Yeah, but it's a dedicated utility apps that replaces one sub-function of the command console that everyone already has. It's easier just to type, "ren *.png *_backup.png" and press ENTER ~done. 8-)

** The point was that the assumption can be false; either overall, or in specific situations.

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Skirge » April 5th, 2012, 8:18 am

Gizmo wrote:** The point was that the assumption can be false; either overall, or in specific situations.
I know, but then my response wouldn't have been as funny. :D

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Gizmo » April 5th, 2012, 8:25 am

Skirge wrote:I know, but then my response wouldn't have been as funny. :D
Touché ;)

** But I really do think that they could assimilate the original WL system into the new design ~with improvements; and not just graphical ones.

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by krellen » April 5th, 2012, 9:48 am

Gizmo wrote:
MDF_MadDogFargo wrote:You navigate Wasteland using keyboard commands (the mouse interface is entirely cosmetic); you navigate Fallout visually. This of course is usually taken for granted and assumed to be superior to the non-graphical interface of older games.
Just like the Windows Mouse interface... :D
(Until you need to rename every file in a directory with several dozen (or hundred) files in it :twisted: ).
Just to chime in, as a system administrator, I will attest there are several functions - not just renaming - that are still done quicker and easier via command line than through the GUI.
in my opinion

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Skirge » April 5th, 2012, 10:01 am

Gizmo wrote:
Skirge wrote:I know, but then my response wouldn't have been as funny. :D
Touché ;)

** But I really do think that they could assimilate the original WL system into the new design ~with improvements; and not just graphical ones.
This is about to derail the topic, but maybe a short segue is ok. It depends what parts of the original system you're talking about. For instance, I don't want to see a list of commands and have to press "U" to use an item. I'd much rather click. I also really don't want to see scrolling text for combat. I assume you're talking about other things, but you never know.

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Rzarkrusz Rowa » April 5th, 2012, 12:40 pm

When I play Fallout I use keyboard shortcuts instead of GUI whenever it's possible. The optimal way of working with computer is to have one hand of keyboard and one on mouse (when not writing, of course).
The problem with the Wasteland's interface is that it's not optimized and introduces unnecessary steps.
For example I want to give someone some item.
I can't just enter character's inventory - I need to get through character screen.
When I want to give someone ammo, I need to get through a question whenever I want to load it or not instead of having a load option contextually added to the item menu.
Also, there's no stacking, so moving 10 identical items needs to be done one by one.
It also lacks ability to select multiple items and move them together.

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Grayth » April 5th, 2012, 12:40 pm

That would have been on my C64 at the time.

My parents still wonder what I did down in the basement on that thing. My plans to take over the world have fallen through since then.

Loved the game, loved the fallout series games as well. FO1 & 2 have a special place on my shelf. Too bad I don't have a copy of WL for my shelf as well.

Definitely backing this game.

Thank you Brian and friends. No pressure, but a successful WL2 will do a lot for the small game developer world.
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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by ffordesoon » April 5th, 2012, 1:01 pm

Answers to the OP's questions:
I'd really like to know...who played it? Did You finish it?
I've played Wasteland, though not to completion. Will probably use a walkthrough to get through it sometime soon, because I would like to be familiar with all its nooks and crannies, but I don't want to spend months on it. That's no slight to the game's quality; I'd certainly like to play through it multiple times with different parties. It's purely an issue of time; I'm trying to write stories, so I don't have the time to get to grips with the interface and solve all the puzzles and blah-de-blah on my own before the beta. I actually like the interface a lot; it's not nearly as cumbersome an interface as that of almost any other RPG from the same time period, and it's even better than some modern RPG interfaces. But I'm just not used to it.
Did you like it?
I was pleasantly surprised, actually. I just recently did my first complete playthrough of Fallout 1, and I thought it was excellent, but there were some interface issues that just hurt. It didn't help that my dumb ass selected Quick Shots as a trait, not understanding that when it said I wasn't going to perform targeted shots, it actually meant I couldn't target anything in VATS. I basically stripped a layer of strategy I loved off of the combat because I was dumb enough not to RTFM. When I realized what I'd done, I was already finished with the game. Then there was the fact that I didn't know you could quicksave until a quarter through the game; that was great. Oh, and I also didn't know what all the keys on the keyboard did until about halfway through, when I broke down and looked it up. And, and, and.

Now, I'm not saying any of those things were the game's fault, because they weren't. They did impact my experience, but they were my fault. But Dogmeat absolutely never staying still ever, and the rest of the party members walking away during the middle of my First Aid animation? That one's on the devs. Also, the inventory. Oh, the inventory. I could write multiple theses on the awfulness of that godforsaken inventory.

Anyway, my point is that I was expecting something more cumbersome and aggravating and crude than Fallout 1, and not relishing the prospect. Based on my time with it so far, though, I actually think Wasteland is a better, more polished game in some respects, the combat in particular. I grew up mainly playing JRPGs, and I love Dragon Quest dearly, so Wasteland's combat was more immediately familiar to me than Fallout's. It's more or less Dragon Quest, which is more or less Wizardry.

I also think the skill system is superior to Fallout's, and I really, really, really dig the surrealist '80s "underground comix" aesthetic far more than Fallout's functional, dusty palette of browns and greys. There's something strikingly punk-rock about it, and it's one of the very few sixteen-color games that still looks good today (sorry, Krellen ;) ). Leonard Boyarsky's concept art for Fallout is some of my personal favorite art, and all the CG talking heads still look fantastic, but the art of the actual isometric gameplay has always made me slightly sad, because it's functional but dull. One of the few things I think Fallout 3 did better than Fallout was the color palette. That washed-out, gamma-green tint to everything was genuinely arresting. YMMV, obviously, and I do think F3 looks worse in a lot of other ways, but that's how I feel.

And, for the record, though I firmly believe graphics are pretty damn unimportant, I must admit that a game with fantastic art direction is much, much, much more likely to get my attention than something like Dragon Age: Origins, which had some of the most painfully generic art I've ever seen in a game. I played and completed it, and even enjoyed it quite a bit, but I had to force my eyes to look at the screen without crying. Whereas I thought Dragon Age 2 was a massively disappointing travesty overall, but I admit that I liked the art pretty well. It's not a make-or-break thing for me - I'm a huge fan of Dwarf Fortress and NetHack, for God's sake! But good art direction (which has nothing at all to do with graphical fidelity; Solium Infernum is a beautiful game, and it's basically a bunch of well-painted images and a map) does make it easier for me to enjoy a game.
And if you didnt play it, why exactly are you backing it? What is your expectation?
The answer to this is slightly more interesting. Or excruciating, depending on whether or not you're interested in watching me get all autobiographical on your ass. But, you know, tough titty. :P

See, I used the link to the abandonware DOS version that was provided on this forum after I joined, and I only joined after I pledged ($250, then upped it to $270 when Avellone's name was dropped). So the actual quality of Wasteland - and, shit, even Fallout, which I happened to complete right before the W2 Kickstarter, er, started - was incidental. It's the same with Double Fine, honestly; I think the only point-and-click adventure game I've ever played to completion was the remake of the first Monkey Island game.

I have fond memories of both genres, and of cRPGs like Baldur's Gate and Torment in particular, but that's as much about my respect for what they represented and for the people involved as it is about my actual experience with the great works of both genres, which is actually pretty limited. That's because I was born in the exact worst year for someone who wants to play the classics legally to have been born in: 1987. I was too young to appreciate the golden days of Black Isle, et al as they happened. I bought all the games PC Gamer told me to buy, so I have stuff like Planescape and Fallout 2 and Baldur's Gate lying around somewhere, but I'm horribly absent-minded and ADD, so I've long since lost the manuals and stuff for those games. And, in many cases, the games.

When they came out, I was old enough to appreciate them (particularly Planescape, which blew my young mind when I played it), and I dimly recall playing those games, but they were also kind of weird and scary, because I was used to JRPGs leading me by the hand. I spent long hours watching my cousin play through the Black Isle stuff, so I knew they were special games, but they always intimidated me with their freedom and maturity and weird (what I wrongly called "ugly") art. By the time I was old enough to actually long for something more freeform and interesting than emo-pretty-boy, chosen-one-who-will-save-the-world JRPGs (which I still love, to be clear), Black Isle was dead and buried, along with most of the other serious RPG shops. Troika, Obsidian, Bethesda and Bioware were still around, but I barely knew who the hell any of them were at that point.

My introduction to Western RPGs as things I could actually play without feeling terrified was probably KOTOR for the original Xbox, which I both loved and had a vast litany of complaints about. Which is actually how I feel about almost all of Bioware's output; that's why you'll see me say I like Bioware's games in one thread and utterly sandbag them in another. I bought KOTOR the day it came out, because Bioware made Baldur's Gate, and Star Wars plus Baldur's Gate sounded like the greatest thing in the world to me when KOTOR came out (never mind that it was mainly my cousin who played Baldur's Gate while I watched). And that's sort of what it was, except every area was really really tiny. And the shot-reverse shot dialogue scenes were so damn uninteresting visually. And I got used to watching each party member's head do its fake little bob over and over and over and over and over and– Uh, and the combat was weirdly janky in a lot of ways. And the graphics looked unimpressive when it came out. And the...

Well, there were a lot of problems, is my point. I could already tell that something had been lost in translation.

Nevertheless, when I heard a different dev team was doing KOTOR II, I was disappointed.

Then, as it got closer to release, I read that some of the devs were responsible for Planescape: Torment. At which point I immediately went from "Aw, Bioware's not doing it!" to "Fuck Bioware!" :lol:

When the game came out, it blew me away. It addressed all my problems with KOTOR. Granted, it had many problems of its own, like its weird (and, I later learned, completely unfinished and rushed) ending, but it's still by far the better of the two games to me. I committed Chris Avellone and Obsidian to memory, and I wanted them to make all the RPGs ever. I still do.

All of that's informative, and hopefully accurate, but it doesn't answer why I pledged. This is why: in the years after KOTOR, I've watched the rise of the mass-market cRPG occur. And as much as I love a lot of the games said rise has spawned, the evolution of the genre (and the industry in general, in some ways) has depressed me overall. Nobody making narrative RPGs learned the right lessons from KOTOR, least of all Bioware, and nobody learned anything from KOTOR II. Well, maybe CD Projekt RED did, but the rest of them have been focused on refining KOTOR's formula (or, in the case of sandbox RPGs, Oblivion's) instead of trying something new. Even Obsidian has been heartbreakingly forced to pay tribute to the Bio/Beth juggernaut over and over again. What does it say about the AAA industry that the most exciting thing currently happening in it is the revival of concepts and properties and genres from ten, fifteen, and twenty years ago? This is not the future I imagined as a wee one firing up Baldur's Gate or Deus Ex or Planescape and wondering how much bigger the game worlds would be and how much more there would be to do and blah-de-blah in the Future. You know what I never wondered? "Gosh, how many bumps will they be able to map in fifteen years?"

But the game worlds have gotten smaller and smaller, there's less to do, everyone has to have some awful voice actor that worked on fucking Naruto, Final Fantasy won't let me actually fight dudes directly anymore or walk around in a field because they need to make some dumb kid's hair blow in the wind, and by God, those damn bumps are getting mapped out the wazoo. And it makes me goddamn sick, because this is not the future I ever wanted for the genre or the medium. It'd be fine if this shit wasn't the only stuff out there, because then I could go and play Planescape 2 or Baldur's Gate 4 or, well, Wasteland 2. But at some point, the shitheads who nearly ruined movies took over and began to ruin games too.

In another thread, now sadly (though rightly) deleted, I compared Bioware to Steven Spielberg. But the fact of the matter is, Steven Spielberg isn't the only dude making the sort of movies he makes, and the people making the other movies don't consciously try to do it the way he does it. They learn from his work, but they're not defined by his work. And whatever you wanna say about Spielberg's body of work, you can't argue that it isn't diverse. Spielberg isn't constantly forced to make sequels to Indiana Jones, Close Encounters, and Jaws. Nor even is George Lucas, who Bioware is closer to in actual style. Bioware, like all of EA's studios, has become an IP farm as much as it is a game studio, and that means they're cranking out iterations on things people liked from them before. They no longer have room for fun experiments like Jade Empire; the recent exodus of employees from the studio to work on - shock of shocks - fun experiments like The Banner Saga proves that.

In short, Bioware is now Steven Spielberg from an alternate universe where the head of Paramount Pictures put an explosive slave collar on his neck after he locked picture on Jaws. And then the slave collar suddenly became an industry standard somehow, and every member of the Academy was forced to wear one, and they were all forced to make Steven Spielberg movies in the same style as Steven Spielberg or be reduced to pink mist.

It's... not the greatest metaphor, but you see what I'm saying.

So I'll tell you why I pledged: because (to beat that awful metaphor completely to death) I want to free the slaves and burn the goddamn slavers' goddamn camp to the goddamn ground. I want everyone who plays games to get what they want, not what Bobby Kotick or John Riccitiello allows them to have. I want to prove the shitheads wrong. I want games like Wasteland 2 to be the rule, not the exception. I want that "literary quality" that Fargo has spoken of, that maturity, to come back and stay back. I want to feel like the medium is advancing, not the industry. I want all genres to exist and to advance together. I want the Mass Effects and the Age Of Decadences, the Fallout 3s and the Wasteland 2s. I want to be spoiled for choice, not hoping against hope that cRPG X will finally break the AAA mold a tad. I want everyone to have something that satisfies them - the grognards and the greenhorns, the core and the casual. I want no genre left behind. I want everyone to have a say. I want a real revolution.

That's why I pledged.

Also, you can totally shoot a dude's nuts off in Fallout! That is worth all of the money. :lol:
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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by DocHott » April 5th, 2012, 1:23 pm

I played it back when it came out. It was always in my mind since then - best game ever ! Want to play it again now ! Where can I find the game and emulator ?

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Re: Who actually really played Wasteland?

Post by Lanatir » April 5th, 2012, 1:29 pm

ffordesoon wrote: ...a very long and detailed answer to my post...
thank you very much. This was more than enlightening.

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