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Destructoid's Full Session With Avellone
Interview - posted by Edward_R_Murrow on Thu 6 August 2009, 07:58:09Tags: Alpha Protocol; Chris Avellone; Obsidian Entertainment
The full Alpha Protocol focused interview with Chris Avellone, hinted at in a previous news-posted item, is now up on Destructoid.
Destructoid: Alpha Protocol, from the looks of things, is a dyed-in-the-wool spy game, complete with gadgets, intrigue, and cheeky sexual liaisons. What drove the decision to make a spy-themed RPG, and has it been more challenging to create a roleplaying game around spies rather than aliens or knights, as is the usual case?Kill Bill style? MGS mentioned as a good spy game, but no NOLF? Timers adding immersion? Not so sure I'm with him this time...
Avellone: The idea came from our CEO, Feargus Urquhart, and our tech director, Chris Jones. Both of them wanted to do an espionage shooter-style role-playing game, and the team took those parameters, and then carried the vision into the creation of the Alpha Protocol you're seeing trailers for now. We ended up adding some more visually compelling elements to the initial direction (Alpha Protocol takes place in the real world, but we've embellished the world and its inhabitants to give it more of a Kill Bill style as opposed to "super gritty and realistic"). We also played around with the character and his role in the adventure more, but ultimately, it's not far from the initial proposal.
Destructoid: Considering the wealth of potential that spy games have, there doesn't seem to be that many games out there exploiting the theme. Why do you think the developers have yet to create their own original spy games?
Avellone: It might be blasphemy to praise other titles, but I think Metal Gear and Splinter Cell do a great job with the spy genre, actually. And I really thought the 24 game had some good elements as well.
Destructoid: The game obviously draws many comparisons with Mass Effect. Outside of the genre themes, what are the key differences between the two properties, and where do you aim to improve upon the dialog and choices that Mass Effect presents players?
Avellone: The route through dialogs is different -- there's little to no loops in conversations in the game (much like the real world), and there is a timer present in the conversations to add urgency and immersion in what's taking place -- we felt that this complemented the espionage genre.
Spotted at: Gamebanshee