It all started in the year 2000. The world was different back then. A small group of people were modding a game called Half-Life to create a multiplayer frag-fest inspired by a specific theme. That project was called Wasteland Half-Life. It was once as popular as Counter-Strike, some say, gaining over 100,000 downloads on FilePlanet alone.
The project went on to be renamed The Wastes. It was released in 2003. The team split a few years later, with some trying to continue it as a Half-Life 2 mod, others tried doing a more open-world approach using the Battlefield 1942 engine, calling it Dead Cities.
However, due to all sorts of limitations, neither projects were fully completed.
We could talk for hours about how The Wastes and Wasteland Half-Life affected us and other players alike, but we couldn't possibly do the original team justice.
Fast-forward to 2015. When Vera Visions was put together by two people, Marco 'eukara' Hladik and Megan 'Suparsonik' Baslock. Both of them came out of the modding scene and were fully aware of The Wastes. They got in contact with the original team and got access to some never-before-seen stuff. That moment started it all. This is where we begin.
We were experienced with the Quake engine and GoldSrc, which is part of the Quake family. The first thought was to continue The Wastes as just a mod - but the amount of original content was astounding. There was no reason to keep it a simple modification... and because we wanted full control of the project we went with Quake III Arena technology instead of Half-Life's engine. After all, if you're going to revive a game like that, you want it to visually fit into a specific era - and that's our main goal. Create a game that could have come out in the early 2000s, while still giving you a "Wow!" factor.
We also developed a new model format, based on IQM. It features support for hit-meshes, sub-models and events. This allowed us to bring our vision of a dismemberment system to life and allows for some awesome head-shots.
We went in and re-created a lot of the environments from the original mod. Sometimes giving a new spin on something that we felt needed a bit more energy.
We also re-modeled a lot of weapons, character pieces and designed new, misc content to go with the rest of the game. There is not a single model that has not been edited in some way.
The overall charm and character of the textures and environments should remain similar to the original project - that was extremely important to us. That's why we went back and even got the approval from authors whose textures were also used in the mod back in the day in case we want to use those. Amazingly, everyone was on-board with the idea or had always intended their textures to be used in such a way. Without creative talents like 'Graphtallica' and 'unDuLe', this all would have taken much longer and would not have fully captured the style that we were going for.
All of the original cast from the mod will be returning in this game, like Mena the mechanic that keeps the Vagrants' engines running, Ezekial the Ronin Nomad with a filthy love of fire, and Seal Bob (formerly Gustavo) the dishonorably discharged USMC Raider. But they're not the only ones! We've made a few contributions of our own to add to the ranks, like Reese the gun slinging Regulator, Red the Killshot disco-man that may or may not be the long lost brother of Vincent, Maddigan the dirty cop that lived through the fallout of society, and much more!
Also their existence only known to the public eye via rendered images posted on the official website eons ago, the vehicles that hadn't made the cut will also be returning in this game to traverse these wasted lands as well as a myriad of new vehicles to scratch that itch that we know you have!
Overall, talking and working with the team about their original vision and what we want to bring to the table has been a lot of fun the past couple of years. It's incredible to find out what went on behind the scenes of such a project that we grew up playing. They are truly amazing people.
How about the game-play?
Well, it's not just the usual Deathmatch package. While you can select your weapon load-out beforehand, we do have very special weaponry spread around the maps. This, along with ammo and other items, makes for a fun scavenging hunt in this otherwise fast-paced game. Team Deathmatch plays very much like Action Quake II TDM, which is a favorite of ours. There's of course CTF as well, we've even got a Twisted Metal-esque Vehicular Combat mode!
And what about skins?
We've got quite a lot of customization options! From skins to 4 different HUD designs - even spray-logos. And you don't even have to worry about how you pay for them, because they are built right into the base game. No micro-transactions to speak of!
When and where can we get it?
This is meant to be our doorstep into the industry, so we want to publish it on Steam and GOG.com. It's coming in 2018.
All in all, we've worked really hard on making this happen. Hopefully you'll look forward to playing it, because after all, it took us a few years to get here!