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Interview Chris Avellone Interviewed at GamesIndustry

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Crooked Bee, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Tags: Chris Avellone; InXile Entertainment; Obsidian Entertainment; Planescape: Torment; South Park: The Stick of Truth; Wasteland 2

    GamesIndustry.biz has interviewed Obsidian's Chris Avellone, focusing on the usual list of topics including Wasteland 2, Kickstarter, South Park, and Planescape: Torment. Have some tidbits:

    You've said that you're really enjoying the project, and that you're a big fan of Wasteland and know Brian pretty well - I presume you've got a fairly collaborative ethos when it comes to working?

    Chris Avellone: That's pretty much how it's panned out so far. It's been pretty free-form with the story design, the area division, the flow of the adventure. Everyone's in a very collaborative mood - we just bounce ideas off each other, there's not much "we don't like this."

    Brian knows Wasteland better than anybody, so I do defer to him on direction and feel of things if there ever is any doubt - he knows the product better than I do. I'm a huge fan and I enjoy designing for it, but at the end of the day it's Brian's original vision for Wasteland that made it so well received so I listen.

    It must be odd working on Wasteland 2 after the modern Fallout - how do you keep Fallout ideas from cross-contaminating?

    Chris Avellone: I actually discovered that Fallout was much more limiting than working on Wasteland, for a number of reasons. One is that the production pipeline is much more limiting now, in terms of what you can do, the second is that Fallout comes with a number of genre limitations. It's very important, for example to maintain that '50s sci-fi vibe. You can't lose that or you lose Fallout. In Wasteland, that's one of the parameters that's removed, you can do a fun post-apocalyptic game and have a lot more freedom with what you want to do. Wasteland 1 was full of crazy, fun stuff to do. I don't know if you can do that in Fallout and get away with it.

    One last thing. Tempted by a Planescape Kickstarter?

    Chris Avellone: Yes! Very tempted.

    It seems like a prime target...

    Chris Avellone: Yeah - I think the challenges we've spoken about would all have to be considered and to be honest I don't know if I'd want to do it as a Planescape game - I think a better approach would be to ignore the D&D mechanics and respect what Planescape was trying to do and what the game did and see if you can do what Fallout did when it became the spiritual successor to Wasteland.

    I think if you made a game using some of the concepts of Planescape, the metaphysical ideas and the plane travel, without using the D&D mechanics, you could actually come up with a much better game. With Torment, I'd argue that the D&D base actually, in places, got in the way of the experience. It was a lot harder to make a game with those ideas in it with D&D mechanics. So much that we had to break a lot of them. We had to ignore certain spells, change up the class mechanic so that you can switch at any time you like by remembering abilities.

    That was stuff that D&D didn't allow for, it was to restraining in some respects. If we did do a spiritual successor, then I don't know if we'd use the Planescape licence or attach the mechanics, perhaps something that has a different feel to Torment.​

    For the full share of MCA wisdom, just click here.
     
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  2. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Somebody photoshop Feargus' face onto one of the jewgold (scotgold?) emoticons


    Has MCA been reading my posts?

    :M
     
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  3. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer

    J_C
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    I don't think that's a danger. If the game is good, people who didn't want to fund a project blindly, or just heard about the game will buy it. And every sale will be pure profit, because the development costs were fully funded by the initial kickstarters. I think there are more than 61000 people who want a good cRPG, especially on a lower price point. They just don't like pre-funding a game, or -as I said - haven't heard about it.
     
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  4. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    You know, a turn-based implementation of 4E akin to what TOEE did for 3.5E (but with less bugs) and avellonian writing could be pretty sweet. Say what you will about streamlining the fuck out of spellcasters, 4E DID make combat as a whole more interesting. And if the computer did all the book keeping with the clusterfuck of zones and status effects you might be able to resolve combat in a reasonable time frame too.
     
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  5. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

    VentilatorOfDoom
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    Of course. Planescape could be a much better game by just scrapping the DnD mechanics and replace them with some Obsidian ingenuity, e.g. Alphaturd mechanics. Voila! A much better game.
     
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  6. commie The Last Marxist Patron

    commie
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    Derp. But you are right in scrapping AD&D mechanics. Most of the whining about PS:T on these forums is about the implementation of these mechanics in the game.
     
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  7. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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    :excellent:
     
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  8. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

    VentilatorOfDoom
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    Yes, but *most of the whining* on these forums is fucking retarded. Taking Planescape, removing the DnD and replacing it with whatever dumb shit Obsidian can come up with during development time sure as hell won't result in a better game.
     
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  9. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    It should, yes. If you take your time with the system and design it well, of course. AD&D is kind of shit in my view, anyway, but it was particularly shit in expressing what Torment wanted to do. What do you do with their stat and allegiance system in a game that depends so heavily on belief?

    It seems pretty clear to me a Torment sequel won't have any Planescape in it. For numerous reasons, the least of which is not that you'd still have to deal with a video game publisher to get the license. Avoiding that and making the game with less constrictions in oversight and system are good things. Pretending they would then approach the character system the same way as they did Alpha Protocol is funny, but not exactly a valid point.
     
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  10. Niektory one of some Patron

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    The way I see it, removing DnD from any game would result in a better one.
     
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  11. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Found this comment on Eurogamer: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2...empted-to-do-a-planescape-torment-kickstarter

    Anybody know which site he's talking about?
     
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  12. Morkar illiterate

    Morkar
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    They should take the OGL 3.5 or Pathfinder license and tweak it to their needs. The basic rules are rocksolid and they can be easily changed. AD&D was more restrictive.
     
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  13. Cosmo Arcane

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    This, exactly. ToEE's combat + Planescape ? Who wouldn't want that ?!
     
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  14. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    There should be a moratorium on asking Avellone questions about a Kickstarter-funded game because I'm tired of seeing him just talk about it. World, shape yourself to my beliefs.
     
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  15. almondblight Arcane

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    The reverse happens a lot too. Some overly hyped game like Black & White will get all these 9/10 and 10/10 scores talking about how it's the best game ever. Then when people hate the game and the sequel comes out they talk about how it's fixed all the problems in the original - problems they never mentioned in their review. How many Mass Effect 3 reviews mentioned issues with the ending? But game magazines/sites are shit, I guess that's not news.
     
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  16. commie The Last Marxist Patron

    commie
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    He can talk all he wants...it's not like I can afford to back it at the moment. Let him really come up with something fucking awesome first.
     
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  17. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    It's fun to imagine flying but terrifying to take the leap off a cliff :P
     
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  18. l3loodAngel Proud INTJ Patron Edgy

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    It depends on what are you going to replace it with. I haven't seen any released good RPG systems after the computer D&D era. So maybe it's not that easy to replace?
     
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  19. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    How about S.P.E.C.I.A.L.? :troll:
     
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  20. l3loodAngel Proud INTJ Patron Edgy

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    Games with S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stopped with Fallout 2, but if you are talking about S.P.E.S.H.U.L than yeah you won the argument. After fallout 2 there were still good RPG's released with D&D, while there were no good with other systems. Thing is that D&D is more than just a game system it's the lore, monsters, the locations and the setting. It's easier to create only a story in a built universe, than to built both the story and the universe.
    Also D&D is very good for classes and that's very important for Planescape setting. I would prefer RT with pause in my Planescape, but I am not against new systems or TB combat. However, it usually ends up like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSwlgoK1bmo and I don't want my Planescape to be sodomized. If MCA wants do to stuff like this he should just retire.
     
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  21. Niektory one of some Patron

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    Not sure what you mean by S.P.E.S.H.U.L, but number or age of released games shouldn't be relevant when judging a system.
     
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  22. l3loodAngel Proud INTJ Patron Edgy

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    I mean Beth version of S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Well you see there aren't that many good examples of other good systems, but there are plenty of crappy ones, so I kinda think that numbers do matter.
     
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  23. villain of the story Arcane

    villain of the story
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    LOL he mentions the hypothetical possibility of a Wasteland 3 is W2 gets a good reception. I guess he forgot that Brian is only a licensee and the IP still belongs to EA. If W2 proves profitably, EA would be all over W3.
     
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  24. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

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    Eh? What about the PnP Planescape? All that belief stuff is there.
    And what's the problem with bending the rules like they did in Torment?

    So what's the point then? He previously said TNO's story is done so no direct sequel. If it's not in the Planescape setting either, then what exactly is it? Game Written By Avellone The Kickstarter?
     
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  25. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Even if it's going to be relatively profitable, it doesn't seem to be the kind of profit EA would care for, though, no? (I.e., not comparable to Mass Effect or Skyrim.)
     
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