Bard's Tale, Wasteland and Fallout co-creator Brian Fargo already has the story and character design of the planned Wasteland sequel sorted, he has revealed.
Indeed, the former Interplay executive has been trying to make a Wasteland sequel for 20 years, he told No Mutants Allowed.
Fargo plans to launch a funding drive for Wasteland 2 through Kickstarter, the platform that helped Double Fine boss Tim Schafer raise over $2 million for an old school point and click adventure game.
"The whole industry was quite surprised to see Double Fine raise such a substantial amount of money for an indie project and I'm sure every developer in the world started to think about it," Fargo said.
"Before I could even speak to my guys I started to have fans pinging me on doing another Wasteland. I dared to get a little excited and think this game might fit the build for a Kickstarter type project. We had already put quite a bit of effort into the story and character design when Jason Anderson was aboard so I wasn't starting from ground zero."
1988 post-apocalyptic role-playing game Wasteland is considered by many to be one of the greatest Western RPGs ever, and is the precursor to the Fallout series.
IP holder Fargo, now in charge of Hunted developer inXile, founded Interplay Productions, the studio behind Wasteland, A Bard's Tale and Fallout 1 and 2.
Fargo's Wasteland sequel will be a top down game, "which saves tremendously on the art creation which in turn allows us to script out numerous outcomes without the concern of creating graphics for every possible situation".
"We also have the advantage of knowing the base mechanics from the first game which saves trial and error but the real key will be in the pre-production. We need to design out every locale, conversation, item and NPC before we start coding... and I mean EVERY detail.
"This way the game is ensured to be deep and production is kept efficient and focused. We will also use that time to solicit feedback from key hardcore players such as yourself to question us hard on the design decisions. Changes are free at the writing stage so ideas can be changed and incorporated without fear of making the budget become impossible. Also the original Wasteland team was pretty small so efficiency was key then also."
It turns out that Fargo and inXile colleague Anderson were working on a Wastleand project a few years ago, but failed to finds publisher funding.
"I was quite surprised at how little interest there was," Fargo said.
"Here we had the co-creator of Fallout working with the lead designer of Wasteland (Mike Stackpole) and the guy who helped produce them both all on the heels of a massive success with Fallout 3.
"Publishers just had no interest in a party-based RPG and they felt like they would need to go up against the production costs of BioWare which are in the tens of millions of dollars.
"It was frustrating for both of us as we had fans on one side pinging us constantly for a new Wasteland but we just had no way to finance it. Jason did a fantastic job on the design and story material so you can bet we fully plan on using it in this game.
"I'm fortunate to have had Jason spend close to a year on design materials. We really had a great time envisioning what it could be and I'm excited that it might finally become a reality... but of course that is about to be up to the public's support."
Fargo expects Wastleand fans will step "quite comfortably" into the new game world "and feel at home". Expect exploding mutants, and the appearance of some old locales and characters spliced with "totally new concepts".
"It needs the right combination of nostalgia and newness to shine and we have much of that content created," he continued. "I really look forward to creating atmosphere with music and sound on this one. Good audio can set the tone in really powerful ways and Fallout is a great example of mood done well."
Fargo's Wasteland sequel will launch on the PC, with tablet and iPhone versions under consideration based on the money raised.