Existential Gamer spoke with Brian Fargo about all manner of topics recently, including Wasteland 2, game development in general, as well as some wider topics like his dream post-apoc game.
EG: What’s the relationship between your life experiences and the way you write, design, and create characters, storylines, and games?
BF: I draw almost all of my inspiration from my personal life experiences, reading about others or stories that people share with me personally. Authenticity resonates. I was in Croatia recently and met a local who told me about his grandfather the hunter. He said that he has owned 4 four dogs in his life, each with the name Jackie.
Apparently one day he was out hunting and shot a wild boar, but his bullet only grazed the animal, causing it to enter a frenzy. As the boar was charging to kill the hunter, his trusty dog Jackie jumped out and took the hit, dying in the process.
His Grandfather dropped his rifle and ran to the doctor but was unable to save the dog. According to the hunter’s wife, it was the only time she ever saw the man cry. After that he named every one of his dogs Jackie. These kinds of stories are powerful, and you can bet you’ll find some part of this one in Wasteland 3.
EG: I loved the game for many reasons, but one of my favorite aspects of Wasteland 2 is that certain narrative strands are left unresolved. Do you value non-resolution in video game narratives, and why?
BF: Mystery is a big part of a universe to me and I don’t feel the need or desire to wrap up every loose end. Life doesn’t work that way and I like leaving the player wondering about certain things, it sparks the imagination. And sometimes in a sequel we decide to resolve or explain a few of these nagging mysteries. Wrapping everything up in a bow each time is dull.