'Wasteland 2's' first screenshot is promising

More than three months after wrapping up a Wasteland 2 Kickstarter that pulled in nearly $3 million in pledges, developers Inxile Entertainment have released the first in-game screenshot for the game.

More than three months after wrapping up a Wasteland 2 Kickstarter that pulled in nearly $3 million in pledges, developers Inxile Entertainment have released the first in-game screenshot for the game.

The image, captured in the Unity-engine-powered game, shows a red-tinged wasteland specked with the clutter of a post-apocalyptic world. Standing in a rough circle, five diminutive characters seem to be drawing their sights on a massive scorpion posed across a glowing green ravine from them. In the backdrop of the shot looms a gas station in tatters, a worn American flag draped over the corner of the roof, a sign reading "keep out" hung in the center.

"Releasing a screen shot this early in the process is a new concept for me as we typically want to hone in every element before we show it," developer Brian Fargo wrote in an update to the Kickstarter. "But based on the requests and our desire for fan input, we are doing so to solicit feedback on the basic look. Please keep in mind that we have not put in the particle effects and post-processing which will have a dramatic effect on the scene, and this represents just one of the various environments for Wasteland 2 so expect to see other quite different locales. Also, this particular camera angle is on the low end of a range that the player can adjust upwards to a much more top-down view, for those who prefer that style during game play."

Fargo went on to say that the team has been spending much of their time getting up to speed with Unity and discussing the look and feel of the game.

Art director Koy Vanoteghem said the team sifted through a "variety of media types available on the market for inspiration. Among all of the similarly natured games, CG film shorts, and various documentaries, it became increasingly clear that the modern day conception of a post-apocalyptic world has diversified."

One of the key new additions incorporated into the philosophy behind Wasteland 2's design aesthetic is the notion of nature's reclamation of vacated places, he wrote.

"This new conception gives us the opportunity to generate a variety of environment types while staying true to the narrative," Vanoteghem wrote. "It also allows the location and geology to dictate the flora and fauna, as well as the manner and state of decay. From the dry deserts and icy mountaintops of Arizona to the coastal conditions of LA and larger southern California region, each region generates its own flavor. You saw a bit of this in our early concept pieces we had commissioned. Because the early part of the game, where our development is currently focused, takes place in Arizona, this first screen shot depicts (surprise) a desert scene."

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