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Matt Chat 442: Annie VanderMeer on Storm of Zehir and Aliens: Crucible

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Matt Chat 442: Annie VanderMeer on Storm of Zehir and Aliens: Crucible

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Wed 4 March 2020, 00:17:53

Tags: Aliens: Crucible; Annie VanderMeer; Matt Barton; Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir; Obsidian Entertainment

Matt Barton's ongoing interview with ex-Obsidian developer and Codex poster Annie VanderMeer continues. This week's episode begins with a few questions about Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir, Annie's last major project at Obsidian. As we know, Storm of Zehir made the most of its small budget by attempting to emulate the spirit of a classic tabletop D&D adventure. Originally the expansion wasn't going to include any companion NPCs, but Annie was able to get cohorts in. Designing the party conversation system and making it feel reactive in an interesting way was a challenge. Another Obsidian game that Annie very briefly worked on was the cancelled Alien RPG, Aliens: Crucible. It turns it was actually one of the inspirations for Dead State.

The second half of the episode is about Annie's time in the MMO industry, where she worked on Guild Wars 2 (also her current job) and briefly on Destiny as well. Guild Wars 2 aims to be a more narrative & roleplaying-centric game than many MMORPGs and Annie has some interesting lessons to relate on that. I actually found this part of the episode to be more interesting than the first half, where she didn't say much that we didn't already know. Matt probably could have asked more questions there. Anyway, it sounds like the final episode of the interview next week will be going into further detail on Dead State.

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