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Codex Interview RPG Codex Interview: Chris Avellone on Pillars Cut Content, Game Development Hierarchies and More

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    *sounds of Anthony Davis's health insurance documents being shredded in the background*
     
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  2. Maculo Prophet

    Maculo
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    That presumes that every issue was in management or the company's control. To me recollection, Bethesda was not easy to deal with on NV. Furthermore, owning a business is not a cake walk.

    What would be preferable? They just give up and run away? I have grown weary of kickstarter, but I find that preferable to just surrendering at the sign of difficult times.
     
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  3. Blaine Cis-Het Oppressor Patron

    Blaine
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Feel-good stories about Obsidian cupping your balls and whispering into your ear that you're handsome and a good boy are nice, but is MCA lying about getting hosed when he left Obsidian, or isn't he?

    I've read all of the [​IMG] posts in this thread, to my knowledge, but I don't recall seeing an answer that specific charge, only protestations that Obsidian's corporate culture isn't as rotten as Chris lets on.

    Chris getting hosed is actually the main point of contention here, let's not forget. I'm sure it was totally his fault, he brought it on himself, etc., but that too is fairly irrelevant.
     
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  4. polo Liturgist

    polo
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    • Yes Yes x 3
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  5. Anthony Davis Blizzard Entertainment Developer

    Anthony Davis
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    That is not a completely accurate statement.

    We had Southpark, and shortly thereafter Armored Warfare. We were not in great shape, but we weren't in danger of closing.

    What PoE did do, was give us a way to create and own our own IP, and it saved the jobs of a lot people. I am not diminishing what PoE Kickstarter accomplished, it was amazing and it was critical for putting us on a road to successfully being more independent

    The PoE team are heroes (at least to me), their vision and their hardwork has been an inspiration to the rest of us and it inspires the Project Indiana team as well.
     
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  6. Azarkon Arcane

    Azarkon
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    Eric caught Chris at a bad time, is my guess. Read the response that led to Chris's reply. A lot of tension even in the original exchange and now it is obvious they didn't particularly get along after Eric's handling of the writing cuts, with Eric's defensive comments earlier making it worse. Unfortunate, but then again Obsidian seems to have a track record of getting its most talented writers to leave. Avellone, Ziets, Gonzalez, Fenstermaker, and according to Chris, Travis Stout. Now they've just got Sawyer, Carrie Patel, and ? Been noticing that for a while and it's what made me think they're going to have a hard time going forward selling themselves as story people.
     
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  7. Prime Junta Arcane

    Prime Junta
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    Truly broken and hopeless is one thing. The CEO pressuring Chris to sign an NDA and non-competition clause forbidding him from working on cRPGs is another thing altogether. That shit just wack, yo.

    If there's one obvious thing about this whole mess is that it's taken years to fester, and there are going to be as many truths about that process as there are people involved in it. I stand by my conflict-avoidance theory until somebody comes up with a better one. Usual everyday workplace shit happened, then built up as everybody tiptoed around it, eventually leaving Chris was in a corner by himself doing his own thing, and when realities collided things got ugly. That's what really tests your mettle though, and there Feargus faceplanted big time. No doubt some or all of it could have been avoided earlier, but them's the breaks.

    I also do feel that a company as big as Obsidian -- what, 200 and counting? -- does need clear, transparent, and enforced policy about how employees are treated: what are the criteria with which their performance is assessed, what's the expected career progression, what are the perks and expectations, and so on. If it's all down to individual bosses being humane, it'll never be applied equitably, and that leads to all kinds of hidden resentments and other bullshit. How are things there in this respect?
     
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  8. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer

    J_C
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    Anthony, I'm sure you can't divulge details, but just tell us. Is this topic, and Chris' comments are a hot topic right now at Obsidian? Just a yes or no answer will suffice. :) Or a Yes or disagree rating of my post. :D
     
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  9. Anthony Davis Blizzard Entertainment Developer

    Anthony Davis
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    And I'm not going to talk about it. I try to be a positive person, and most of the time I think I succeed.

    I am also not a founder, nor am I privy to founder happenings.


    But culture flows from the top, and this is overall, a very positive place to work. Not perfect, but very positive.
     
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  10. Blaine Cis-Het Oppressor Patron

    Blaine
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    J_C They're not gonna show you the Big Board, dude.
     
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  11. Lycra Suit Arbiter

    Lycra Suit
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    Yeah because they suck.
     
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  12. Kem0sabe Arcane

    Kem0sabe
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    Thats not the doom and gloom image that transpired in the PoE documentary.
     
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  13. Anthony Davis Blizzard Entertainment Developer

    Anthony Davis
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    Honestly, no. At least not at my level (the trenches).
     
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  14. Anthony Davis Blizzard Entertainment Developer

    Anthony Davis
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    That doom and gloom was around the Stormlands team, and that was VERY real. The Stormlands team essentially became the PoE team.

    The rest of the company was working on their projects.

    Not that the other teams weren't worried or concerned.

    The PoE Kickstarter really reinvigorated the company and I credit Adam and Sawyer for that 100%. EDIT: I should be more clear. I credit their VISION for the PoE and the Kickstarter. Obviously the owners signed off on it too.
     
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  15. FreeKaner Prophet of the Dumpsterfire

    FreeKaner
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    A positive environment is not necessarily a successful environment. In fact it does seem that a lack of appropriate negativity regarding the mismanagement and miscommunications led to the situation we are in now. A lot of pent up negativity that's lost by a top down undeserved positive approach that does not acknowledge employee concerns and conflicts.
     
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  16. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    That doesn't contradict rumours of nepotism. You've been there 12 years, so you're part of the family and get treated well?

    And one of the lead heroes thinks that traditional games and working on them sucks.
     
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  17. Blaine Cis-Het Oppressor Patron

    Blaine
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    I believe you, but people's perceptions also change based on circumstances. What feels positive to you might not to someone who is disillusioned for what may (or may not) be completely legitimate reasons.

    The crew of the ship are usually happy when the sailing is smooth, but what happens when it gets rough? I'd say that's the true test of a company's character. Is it a positive place to depart from, for that matter?

    If you all choose to keep mum about the circumstances of Chris' departure (and I have no doubt you have to, otherwise you'll get the rope there at the office), then all we've got to go on is his statement. Personally, I'm still heavily inclined to believe he isn't lying.

    In other words, it's entirely possible to believe both of you.
     
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  18. AwesomeButton Cut a deal with the authorities Patron

    AwesomeButton
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Hold on, hold on! Does this mean what I think it means? Does this mean that Feargus has an answer to the question we've all been after, all these years?

    "What is an RPG?" Chris could have just stared at him with a straight face and asked him.
     
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  19. Outlander Custom Tags Are For Fags. Patron

    Outlander
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    :smug:
     
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  20. Daedalos Arcane The Real Fanboy

    Daedalos
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    Full damage control protocols enabled, I see.

    Misery and happiness is really in the eye of the beholder, isn't it? Yeah, it's great that Obsidian treated you nicely, Anthony, but does that excuse the behaviour and conduct that Chris was put to by the company? (if its true)

    A whole lot of good doesn't make up for one (or several) major fucking mistake(s), you know, at least not in my book.
     
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  21. Mebrilia Scholar

    Mebrilia
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    Is actually interesting how you guys come in this forums to share your version of the story health problem aside (and i hope this kind of problems will be solved to never return again) is clear as the sun something happened is not only Chris that left Obsidian with a bitter taste on his mouth others did. I have to admit i was not expecting obsidian to come here and post that actually surprised me.

    But seems to me instead of telling your version of the story you just went here playing the violin how saint and pure Obsidian is... And sorry i am not falling for it.

    Is terrible when a talent such as Chris Avellone leave a company and then do a coming out like that is a great fail most for Obsidian that could had between the hand a true talent and a legend.

    Something is stinking here and i am more inclined to believe to Avellone. I am not calling you a Liar of course when family is in trouble is always a terrible thing for everyone but i have to admit.. i dislike this sad violin play instead to ear your version of the story guys.

    Stinks like damage control.
     
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  22. Quillon Cipher

    Quillon
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    Obs usually did sail the rough seas tho. It was stormlands up until PoE/having an IP phase :P
     
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  23. Fry Arcane

    Fry
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    Wack, yes. And as I've noted previously, non-competes are unenforceable in California, so also pointless.

    This is the problem with Avellone's tale. It sounds so legally stupid that I have a hard time believing it went down as described.
     
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  24. lukaszek the determinator

    lukaszek
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    So you dont use AI to enhance your Scrum meetings by putting it in a Blockchain?
     
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  25. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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