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Interview MCA Interviewed at Winterwind (Part 1 of 2)

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Sol Invictus, May 29, 2004.

  1. Sol Invictus Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    Tags: Chris Avellone; Obsidian Entertainment

    Chris "MCA" Avellone, lead designer of Planescape: Torment and the upcoming <a href="http://www.swkotor.com/">Knights of the Old Republic II</a> for <a href="http://www.obsidianent.com">Obsidian Entertainment</a> has just been interviewed at <a href="http://www.winterwind-productions.com/">Winterwind Productions</a> in which he discusses his experiences, his present occupation at Obsidian, as well as his future and the game he's working on right now.
    <br>
    <br>
    Here's a snippet of the <a href="http://www.winterwind-productions.com/gaming_industry/avellone.html">interview</a>:
    <br>
    <blockquote>WW: Is there a type of game you’re just itching to work on? Is it a certain type of RPG or maybe a different genre all together?
    <br>
    <br>
    MCA: Yup. I’d love to work on a real world RPG, a high school-based RPG, and a few other crazier ideas that I’m not sure would work, but I’m dying to see if they could. Writing modern dialogue and dealing with real world themes is something I’d love to do. And then there’s times where I just want to do a game where the game world lends itself to allowing you to do anything, and you aren’t constrained by an existing game world’s design physics or genre parameters. </blockquote>
    <br>
    I can picture it now. A Mafia-esque city smack dab in the middle of Tatooine with rampant high school shootings against the local cheerleading squad. All kidding aside, he also discusses the bad experiences he's had with Interplay and the ordeal most of them had to go through under the reign of <a href="http://www.rpgcodex.com/peopledetails.php?id=35">Monsieur Herve Caen</a>. Finally, here's a bit about Fallout fans:
    <br>
    <blockquote>WW: Which is more unnerving, having to meeting Fallout fans expectations, or the wider audience of KOTOR expectations?
    <br>
    <br>
    MCA: Fallout fan expectations. Star Wars fans are tame by comparison and use a lot less profanity. I’d hate to see the two groups of them get into a fight – the Fallout fans would shred the Star Wars fans in seconds. Still, the Fallout fans were always a good conscience. </blockquote>
    <br>
    Damn straight. Check out the <a href="http://www.winterwind-productions.com/gaming_industry/avellone.html">interview</a>, it's long! Thanks to <b>Kumquat</b> for the heads up.
     
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  2. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
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    We'd definitely win in a fight. Pretty good interview. Wonder what they've got hidden in door number 2.
     
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  3. POOPERSCOOPER Prophet

    POOPERSCOOPER
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    We should start a fight, it would be fun.
     
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  4. J.E. Sawyer Obsidian Entertainment Developer

    J.E. Sawyer
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    Fallout fans are more volatile, but at least they usually bitch about things that are relatively important.
     
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  5. Spazmo Erudite

    Spazmo
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    They have Yoda. We have Vaultboy. No contest.
     
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  6. Azael Magister

    Azael
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    Such as handgun calibers? :wink:
     
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  7. Human Shield Augur

    Human Shield
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    You mean setting and atmostsphere consistency? No one cares about that, just look at how everyone enjoyed episode 1 and 2.....
     
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  8. Shevek Arcane

    Shevek
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    I really like MCA's theory of building games around strong themes. Similarly, I really like what he said here with respect to story being secondary to gameplay and making the game "player-centric" and "player-reactive." I am very interested to see how these things play out in KoTOR2.
     
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  9. Azael Magister

    Azael
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    I was just poking fun at J.E. since I gave him a somewhat hard time at the Interplay boards when he announced his intention to have 9 mm and .45 as the most common handgun calibers in Fallout 3.
     
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  10. Spazmo Erudite

    Spazmo
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    Yeah, but then JE was going to toss a lot of silly stuff into Fallout 3. The downside to having developers work with their own IP is that they effectively get carte blanche with regards to making changes which can often leave the dedicated fans (i.e., us) getting hosed.
     
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  11. StraitLacedDeviant Erudite

    StraitLacedDeviant
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    The reason he fears us is because he knows he can never satisfy us. Fallout was the pinnacle and like all peaks everything after is a dissapointment. Whether through a great deal of skill or purely accidental fallout was created, any attempt to emulate that greatness will by its very nature be a dissapointment, it can never recreate only bastardise and lampoon.

    Those who have seen the sunrise after a long night and are then cast back into darkness will never again be satisfied with the moonlight. Despair ye for all of life will be but a pale shadow compared to that which has already been experienced. The curse of perfection is the ruination of all possible futures. We are the enlightened few who pay the price for our elevation through the realisation of what the future truly has to offer.



    p.s. i'm seriously hammered right now,
     
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  12. Saint_Proverbius Arcane Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
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    Yup, I never understood that decision, either. Fallout has it's own pantheon of weapons. Why change that considering the setting is post apocalyptic where not too much new is being developed?

    After all, there's a lot of good reasons to stick with the original Fallout weapons and maybe tossing in a few new, generic ones:

    • Setting consistancy with previous Fallout.
    • No gun nuts arguing that the stats for the M1911 are off.
    • Generic names like "Military Pistol" are more easily digested by people who don't know guns than M1911.
    • Allows artists to make concept weapons that fit within the general theme of the game.

    I'm not sure why any designer would give up those things in favor of a few gun nuts thinking it's cool to run around the game with their favorite pistol of choice.
     
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  13. Sammael Liturgist

    Sammael
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    The point is, of course, moot.
     
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  14. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
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    I never understood that myself. Ah well. And I like strait laced's use of words. He's right you know, we never will ever again see the horizon. Tis a sad thought.
     
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  15. Jed Cipher

    Jed
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    "Moot" means open to debate, not closed to debate.
     
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  16. Transcendent One Liturgist

    Transcendent One
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    Actually I don't see the problem with making a game that would be better than Fallout. Certain games have topped Fallout in individual aspects, someone just has to now put all the great stuff together. Too bad no one seems interested in doing so at the time.
     
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  17. leombruno Novice

    leombruno
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    Personally the push for adherence to canon is kind of mystifiying.

    Why focus on easter egg like story ties with previous games and imbed continuations of various minor histories, this gives rise to useless critiicism like the use of ghouls and supermutants is wrong and the universe is not self consistent on some obscure meta level. Just let these people make the best game they can make as a spiritual sequel and not focus on what their limits should be based on what you know or think of earier games. I would rather see the ideas revisited than see the universe directly continued given all the limits that entails.

    In any event they could have cranked out a stellar game that would some people would snub it just because they want to be able to say FO1 was the best game of the series. Also FO1 was made with out any help from the little cult it gave rise to so why are people convinced their bitching is meaningfull and maybe likely to help make a better game. All that said I had a lot of confidence in JE and crew though the timeline and apparent resource situation looked grim regarding the possible quality of a game they might be able to finish.
     
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  18. J.E. Sawyer Obsidian Entertainment Developer

    J.E. Sawyer
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    In fact, that is more important than what many Star Wars fanatics complain about. See, the thing is, guns are real. We can point to guns in our world, draw parallels, and make arguments back and forth on that subject with a fair amount of relevance to how they are portrayed in the game. Lightsabres, ewoks, and Corellian Corvettes do not exist, and nerdlings that drone on and on about them with 10x the insistence of the worst Fallout fans are annoying the eXtreeeeeeme.

    I consider myself to be a dedicated Fallout fan. I'm certain that if you were to make Fallout 3, there would be things that I and Saint Proverbius and Killzig and Rosh wouldn't like, either. "The Fallout Community" doesn't have a hive mind.

    Because it wasn't going to take place in the same geographic region. 9mm and .45 firearms were in Fallout 2. On our planet, if we were suddently to vaporize, you would find different calibres of firearms in different concentrations in different parts of the world. And although some people really did seem to want Fallout 3 to have absolutely nothing new in it, I don't think it's too presumptuous to think that a fair number of players would like to see at least some things change in the familiar patterns -- especially if the setting is different, geographically.

    Also, I never suggested putting in real-world "name" weapons. All of the weapons had names like 9mm Submachinegun, .44 Revolver, .223 Minigun. In the "full" description, the manufacturer (Rockwell, Rheinmetal AG, 2nd Amendment Firearms, etc.) would sometimes be listed, but it was never a real-world company.

    My reasoning came down to the following:

    * Different regions of the Fallout world allow us a reasonable explanation for different weapons in different amounts.
    * Keeping specific weapon names off but keeping calibre names on avoided extremely nitpicky gun-nut arguments but gave those "in the know" a fair reference point for what the weapon was about. I have noticed that gun fans seem to argue more about minute differences between firearms than between the overall properties of a generic calibre.

    If that seems silly, sorry. But at least we weren't going the Deus Ex route.

    (lolz)
     
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  19. Spazmo Erudite

    Spazmo
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    Yeah, that's why I wouldn't try to make a Fallout 3. But fair enough, change "the dedicated fans (i.e., us)" to "some dedicated fans (i.e., me)." And honestly, the thing I object to (mostly the tinkering you were going to do with the skills and such with the single ranged combat skill) met disagreement from most of the 'ol Hive Mind, I think.

    Oh, well, that pretty much sounds okay. I pretty much know fuckall about how different types of ammunition get distributed over regions--I'm just a simple minded Canadian who knows naught of killing--I'd take your word on the other part. Honestly I don't care if it's 9mm or 10mm so long as there's no real world weapons tossed in just to indulge the Counter Strike fans. And also assuming it's not the same gun using different ammunition. Different types of weapons proliferating in different states is one thing, but a mass rechambering of all sorts of firearms just to be different from California seems iffy.

    And hey, J.E., interesting to see you only come discuss this stuff with us after the game gets canned.
     
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  20. Rosh Erudite

    Rosh
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    For those who have absolutely no clue as to how game series come about.

    Adhering to the setting is hardly an "easter egg". It's called "part of the setting". Guess why most game series fail? Because they do not adhere to the setting because some other developer got ahold of it and did their own shit.

    You post something this unbelievably stupid, AFTER the release of F:POS?

    Wow...I have no words to describe how utterly stupid you just made yourself to be.

    Child, are your familiar enough with a concept called "story and setting continuity" enough to put together the equivalent reason as to why people would hate The Matrix movies if the second and third didn't even bother to stick to the story and setting of the first one? I hope I put that into a large enough media reference that even you could understand it. Evidently, you have no talent in writing, otherwise your hapless mind would understand why you just proverbially buttfucked yourself publicly on this forum.

    Nevermind, I already know the answer.

    It's a good thing you're not in game design. Some real developer would go to trial for murdering you on behalf of the gene pool.

    That I have to thank you for, as little as it means due to Fifi. It was a vital part of the setting, as many aspects of the Fallout universe and our own don't jive on a long-term level. Many of the RL companies wouldn't have been around before any timeline deviation (although I like to believe that Fallout's universe is based upon a completely parallel universe, to support much of Fallout 1). Therefore, generic names add a bit more towards staying with the setting, add a bit more appeal, and add a damn good bit more for setting depth. Second Amendment Firearms is a pretty amusing name to use for a gun manufacturer, and it doesn't have any ties to RL guns so therefore you can do whatever you need to do to balance them within the game, without having to deal with the gun nuts. An important aspect of game design for sure.
     
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  21. Shevek Arcane

    Shevek
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    Though some of what JE and BIS were doing with respect to FO3 didnt sit well with me (chief being a single firearms skill and the akimbo pistol gunplay), I have to admit that I really liked alot of the ideas that were tossed around (Im not sure what ideas were gonna make it in but there were alot of changes to SPECIAL discussed). I liked the combining of First Aid and Doctor. I liked where they were going with NPCs as far as the limited battle commands that I heard mentioned once on those boards (was that gonna make it in?). I liked the whole using Science/Repair to make stuff and upgrade it thing I heard once. I _really_ liked JE's idea of making ammo more scarce. I also liked how dedicated and open to its fans the developers were. While I was sure there would have been setting inconsistencies that I would not have liked (such as the ammo thing discussed), I am willing to bet it would have been a worthy title.
     
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  22. Sol Invictus Erudite

    Sol Invictus
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    Well, I would think that if society managed to rebuild itself to a degree (frontier towns) then caliber would have to be standardized one way or another to promote barter. It's much like how assault guns throughout the real world are chambered for 7.62mm NATO caliber. One might argue that the 5.65mm round is a lot more efficient in terms of individual production cost and penetrating ability, but the fact remains that people would prefer to use a caliber that's more widespread and easier to produce due to the deluge of production materials throughout the market (illegal or otherwise).

    So, just the same, it'd be somewhat likely for Colorado to have had a different standard caliber in use (9mm) compared to California's 8mm due to the availability of production materials and the widespread use of 9mm guns before the war. Then again, maybe the factories in California just didn't have 9mm weapons or the materials (such as the molds, or the stamps) to produce 9mm bulets in large quantities.
     
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  23. DarkUnderlord Bringing that old Raptor magic.

    DarkUnderlord
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    I'll throw my bit in here too and say that similar calibre's are especially important during war. I mean hell, look at the issues soldiers had during WWI and WWII when they ran out of ammo for their gun but had plenty of ammo for another gun. It doesn't save your hide any if you can't fire the bullets you've got.
     
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  24. Sammael Liturgist

    Sammael
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    Really? English is not my native language, so I accept the possibility of making a mistake, but I've never seen "moot" used in that context.
     
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  25. DarkUnderlord Bringing that old Raptor magic.

    DarkUnderlord
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    IE: We can debate it until the cows come home but it doesn't matter, which I'm fairly certain is what Sammael meant.
     
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