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Video Game Sophistry: Chris Avellone Interview

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Video Game Sophistry: Chris Avellone Interview

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Sat 27 April 2013, 16:37:41

Tags: Chris Avellone; Fallout: New Vegas; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity; South Park: The Stick of Truth; Torment: Tides of Numenera; Wasteland 2

The radio show Video Game Sophistry (hi, Andy!) recently conducted a half hour voice interview with Chris Avellone. It's very eclectic, covering everything from the recent Kickstarter titles to South Park to Fallout: New Vegas. Chris also shares some of his insights into character and DLC design. Here's a YouTube version of the interview and some highlights:

On “Torment Tides of Numenera”

Highlights: “My friends don’t even call me by my name any more….just “The Stretch Goal”​

On “Project Eternity” and working with Kickstarter

Highlights: “I LOVE working on Kickstarter Projects, first of all, you get to share a lot of stuff with the fanbase (design documents, how you build levels) some of that stuff when working with a normally publisher model is allowed, with Kickstarter you know take player feedback iterate on it and make them part of the process.​

The other thing is, it gives you 30 days to see if your idea is something that the public wants to buy in the first place. I think that’s a much better funding model rather than building the game for two years and then trying to market it at the end. It lets you know if your idea is good right out of the gate”​

On the downsides of Kickstarter “Only minor drawback is that we have to focus even more on community management- backers portals paypals, media updates and reward tiers just a little more production overhead overall there haven’t been any negatives”​

On “Wasteland 2” and Why People Like Kickstarter?

Highlights: “Developers behind Wasteland 2 wanted to some more socially integrated features and the fanbase did not like the idea of having this feature added. But it allowed the devs to realize, “Hey!” we don’t need to waste precious hours on creating it, since no one was loudly advocating for it. You can actually poll the community to see if they actually want these features in the game….and if they don’t you can save everyone time and grief and not devote any resources too it!“​

On “South Park: The Stick of Truth

Highlight: “Whenever creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone get really excited about a quest or storyline…they start acting out the characters voices right in front of us…I wish we had a recorder turned on for that, because it’s the funniest stuff I've heard in a design meeting”​

On “Fallout New Vegas” and Why are Obsidian's NPCs SO Amazing?

Highlight: “The way we approach characters in Obsidian, is that we try to examine the game mechanic of the title and try to make sure all of the companions you meet in the title complement that - what I mean by that is...We look at things like “Hey New Vegas has a brand new reputation system” Once we know it’s a mechanic - we need to make sure all of the NPCs you interactive with react to that system and complement it in someway.”​

Then on top of that, you want to make sure they have a background and a realistic perspective on all the factions in the game, whether they love or hate Caesars Legion or NCR - it’s important for us that the reason they feel that way are presented to the player and the world”​

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