Update: 1:28 p.m. with Fargo comment.
Kickstarter may be bringing giving a jolt of life to another classic PC genre ignored by modern publishers, the turn-based tactical RPG. 24 years after Wasteland's release, some of the gang behind the classic post-apocalyptic RPG and the series it inspired, Fallout, have reunited at inXile Entertainment to make a sequel. To fund Wasteland 2 for PC, they're turning to the fans, launching a crowd-funding campaign seeking $900,000.
"This is probably the last chance for a Wasteland sequel," inXile explains on its Kickstarter page. "We have tried to pitch this game multiple times to game publishers, but they've balked. They don't think there's any interest in a solid, old school type of game. This is our shot at proving them wrong. And more importantly this could help bring back an entire genre of RPGs."
Double Fine had similar hopes for its own hugely successful Kickstarter campaign for a new adventure game, which has scored over $3,000,000 in pledges--ten times the amount it'd sought.
"We're going back to the original and building from there" for Wasteland 2, inXile says. Expect top-down, turn-based tactical combat, "gritty, grim and satirical writing," moral dilemmas, and all that jazz. Check Shacknews sibling-sister MobyGames for more on the original Wasteland.
Brian Fargo, inXile's founder and executive producer on Wasteland and Fallout, is heading the team, which includes Wasteland's primary designers Alan Pavlish and Mike Stackpole, Fallout co-creator Jason Anderson to pen the story, and Fallout 1 & 2 composer Mike Morgan providing music.
Pledging $15 to the Kickstarter will get you a DRM-free download of the game once it's done, while for $50 you can have a boxed copy complete with a cloth map and "old school" manual. The perks escalate as you pay more, all the way up to being an NPC yourself, having an in-game shrine devoted to you, or a special party with the inXile gang.
inXile is budgeting for $1 million, but is only after $900k on Kickstarter as Fargo himself will chip in an extra $100k if it doesn't quite reach that. It estimates six months of pre-production then 12 months of development, so if all goes well, we could be playing Wasteland 2 in late 2013.
As of noon PST, and with 34 days left to go, the Kickstarter has already raised more than $220,000. Should it pass $1 million, the scope of the game will be expanded, with more areas, characters, release platforms, and the like.
About an hour later, Fargo posted this update on the page:
"WOW!!! You guys are amazing! The fans are really stepping up here with donations and spreading the word. I haven't been more excited to make a game in over a decade. It is a dream to focus all my attention on making a wonderful experience without distraction from outside forces. We will not let you down!"