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Wasteland 2 “fat” trimming exercises are cutting out two decade-old gaming problems


Brian Fargo, director of InXile and head of Wasteland 2’s development, and his team have put turn-based games on their surgeon’s table. They’ve poked around, measured and weighed, compared and contrasted, had a taste when no one’s looking, and they’ve come away with indigestion. Rather than have a lie down after chewing a Rennie or two, they’ve sat down at their desks to see if they can improve the recipe for turn-based games.

As part of their continuing efforts to “kick ass”, they’ve begun talking about some of these alterations, as you can read below.

VG247 have posted a couple of snippets from an interview running later this week, and while there’s a lot there of interest, these stood out:

“We love the strategy of turn-based games but sometimes, they can be monotonous in combat. We’ve played and studied many of the popular turn-based games from the last 20 years including Fallout Tactics, Temple of Elemental Evil, X-com, Final Fantasy Tactics, Jagged Alliance, and many others.”

“One example of some “fat” we’re attempting to trim is the wait time you have during the enemy turn. If multiple enemies are in the rotation to act before a players character is, they will all move and attack together. We also hate being forced into a fight with enemies that you can mop the floor with.”

It may seem small but that change to viewing enemy terms is extremely welcome in my house. I’ve been playing the new XCOM all weekend and, whilst an excellent game, viewing each enemy move in turn, when there may be five or six assaulting my position, seems unnecessary. I’d always considered it a hangover from days when computers had to run each entity’s scripts in sequence; that we nowhave computers powerful enough, what with all that tea and crumpets Intel have managed to compress into a processor, it makes sense to trim that wait between player turns.

Do read that VG247 piece, it sounds as if the interview later this week will be a good’un.