Would saying "I came" be in bad taste?
it. It sounds weird, but I think this video and the accompanying update text actually ratcheted my excitement for the game up more
notches than the seventeen minutes of alpha footage did. Which is impressive, because that footage exceeded all my expectations and made me very excited indeed.
Thing is, I expected
the "game" part of the game to look at least moderately cool. I've played plenty of games that demoed well and only fell down over extended periods of play. Diablo III springs to mind. In fairness, it's not a bad
game, and even if you disagree with that statement, you have to admit that the UI is excellent. It's the example I thought of first, not the one that best supports my argument. That
game would probably be vanilla Skyrim, which I love to death despite its UI being janky (or the pain box from Dune, depending on your choice of input device).
But the inventory screen is something that even the AAA RPG devs who spend eighty mil on their games never seem to do passably. Diablolikes and JRPGs are the only games that do it even moderately well. Oh, and Kingdoms Of Amalur's was pretty alright. But by and large, inventory screens somehow manage to, in the immortal words of one Bartholomew J. Simpson, "both suck and
blow." It's often so dreadfully clear that no thought whatsoever went into them beyond getting what needed to be there up on the screen.
experience!? Pfahaha!" says the bloated Dickensian grotesque who I have quite unfairly chosen to represent AAA publisher dudes in my imagination. Oh, and he's got like a cigar and practically inhales bags of Cheetos. "'Usability' doesn't ship by Q3," says this globe-shaped creature, puffing out an acrid haze of tobacco-smothered flavor crystals that sting the downcast eyes of the innocent, naïve QA tester brave enough to report that the inventory system is a bit crap. And then that dude gets thrown in the wolf pit that's next to the QA department for some reason, and he is torn apart as a lesson for the others. And the bossman goes back to his game of Farmville and wonders what all that microtransaction money could buy him. Perhaps another Ferrari? The lifelong servitude of a Thai ladyboy? An opportunity to hunt the most dangerous game? Only time - and Real Racing 3 - will tell.
And it will tell him what he wants to hear. Oh yes. He has seen to it. His enemies will die with his name on their lips. And as blood pours from their slit throats, the hideous slime-coated face of Shub-Niggurath will open wide her infinite maw and consume their shuddering souls. Yes. She will feast well tonight. Yes.
Wait, what was I talking about? Oh, right, the inventory.
Anyway, a few random gibberings to wrap this up:
I'll second the complaints about the animation of the screen flipping up. It's cool, but anything that gets between me and doing what I need to do on the inventory screen for any length of time whatsoever is pointless and will get extermely aggravating over the course of a full playthrough. No animations besides that one bother me, though I confess the electricity coursing through the thingy does seem a little out of place - without a backstory, anyway.
I kinda like the exaggerated Looney Tunes "huge sniper rifle out of the character's pocket" animation, actually. It fits with the Wasteland sensibility, IMHO.
This game better be sans Comic Sans when it comes out. That font is just the worst
In re double-click to equip: THANK YOU.
In re mouse-over stats: THANK YOU.
In re mariachi Rangers: THANK YOU.
In re item descriptions: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
I am very pleased, ladies and gentlemen of inXile. Very pleased indeed. Any tweaks should be easy, because you've got the functionality down pat. If other systems are similarly mindful of the user's experience in their design, and the writing is as good as it seems to be, Wasteland 2 will exceed the original and the Interplay Fallout games in every way that matters. I can't wait.