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Codex Interview RPG Codex Interview: Obsidian's Carrie Patel on Pillars of Eternity

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Crooked Bee, Apr 26, 2014.

  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: Carrie Patel; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity

    You might be surprised to hear that Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity has other people besides Josh Sawyer, Chris Avellone or Eric Fenstermaker working on it. One of these people is the narrative designer Carrie Patel. She is also a writer, and is publishing her first book, "The Buried Life," in July.

    Esteemed community member Hormalakh has reached out to Carrie to ask her some questions about Pillars of Eternity, RPGs, as well as various narrative design and writing-related things. Have a snippet from the resulting interview:

    What are some of your literary influences and your favorite games?

    It's hard for me to pinpoint who I actually emulate, but I'll tell you who I'd love to follow. I love Neal Stephenson -- his books are funny, smart, and thrilling all at the same time, and I'm convinced that the first two pages of Snow Crash would hook anyone. I loved Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose for the way it bound a fascinating mystery, two surprisingly lovable characters, and interesting theological questions. And I'd also have to mention Dune. I liked the story, and beyond that, I loved the way it fleshed out an entire universe of political and economic conflicts.

    On the games front, my big formative experiences were with the old Sierra adventure game series -- King's Quest, Quest for Glory, the Colonel's Bequest. I loved playing through stories that were also puzzles, and it was always satisfying to explore, explore, and explore again and finally find the thing (an old boot, a soup bone) your character inexplicably needed. It was fun even though it was way too easy to play yourself into an unwinnable corner without realizing it.

    I've also loved Morrowind -- it was the perfect blend of sandbox and story in a nontraditional world, and it just goes to show that you don't need to play a plumber to travel a world with giant mushrooms. I had tons of fun with both the combat and the storyline of the Mass Effect series, and I loved stealthing my way through Deus Ex: Human Revolution. For something a little different, Braid and The Stanley Parable did amazing things with experimental storytelling while unfolding their narratives with unique but fitting gameplay. The Stanley Parable is one of the funniest games I've ever played, and even though it's brief, I was as engrossed in it as I've ever been in bigger, more produced games. And the end of Braid is one of my favorite "aha" moments in any game. And, of course, Planescape Torment is a great example of a unique and immersive narrative -- even though character customization is limited, the choices presented to the player make the experience every bit as personal as if you'd built the character from scratch.

    What do you find the most difficult aspect of writing for a video game like Pillars of Eternity?

    Accounting for all of the extremes of player agency is challenging. One of our goals is to create a story that people can play however they want, but that means that when you're writing and scripting, you have to consider all of the secondary ways someone could try to complete the game. What if the player kills this NPC? Would exploring this area too early break the story? You don't want players to feel shackled, but you don't want to create situations where they might end up with an unplayable mess. So you set up failsafes to guide them through the key moments so that they can ultimately play however they want and still enjoy the full game.‚Äč​

    Read the full interview: RPG Codex Interview: Obsidian's Carrie Patel on Pillars of Eternity
     
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  2. Diablo169 Arcane

    Diablo169
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    Edgy Codex reply time. A former fanfiction writer who liked the Mass Effect series, is writing dialogue for the end of the game. This shits gonna be awesome.
    :thumbsup:
     
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  3. Hormalakh Magister

    Hormalakh
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    She did also like Planescape: Torment, so there's that. We'll have to see. I think the mod she made would be an interesting thing to look at.
     
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  4. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Codex 2014 Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    Well they also have someone who worked on BG2 NPC Romance Mods and BG2:EE as well doing some writing for the game :troll:

    Good interview, she seems to have a good grip on things. I look forward to her companion writing to be honest.

    From the looks of things, Josh is doing Eder and Pallegina (definitely doing Pallegina, not 100% sure on Eder).

    I would say that it's probably two companions a piece then between Eric, Josh, Chris and Carrie.
     
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  5. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    It sucks. Little girl is ze demon. The end.
     
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  6. garren Arcane

    garren
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    Tim Cain? :rpgcodex:
     
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  7. kenup Learned

    kenup
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    Codex 2014
    Oh, boy! Here comes the rage. Don't disappoint me codex.
    :avatard:
     
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  8. Jedi Exile Arcane Patron

    Jedi Exile
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    Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I am sure she mentioned Torment because she heard that those weird RPG Codex people like this game very much :troll:

    Her NWN mod sounds interesting though. Too bad I hate this game.
     
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  9. 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
    Should have asked her if she knows how to play Arcanum. :troll:
     
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  10. Duraframe300 Arcane

    Duraframe300
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    As well as Morrowind and Quest for Glory.

    Remember what Bethesda Games other Obsidian employees like.

    Good interview and answers btw :)
     
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  11. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    The second half of The Diamond Age is trash. Stephenson also lost a lot of credibility by attaching himself to that joke of a Kickstarter project.

    I like what I see about player freedom. I wish someone would definitively compare how linear/-non-linear it is to other RPGs like BG/BG2/Fallout.

    I guess I was being too optimistic thinking they'd hit alpha by the end of the month. Even if they don't beat inXile by the end of next month, they'll still be feature and content complete in a shorter period of time.
     
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  12. circ Arcane

    circ
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    Never read Stephenson. Always seemed like Gibson for casuals to me. Maybe there's some truth to that.
     
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  13. Hormalakh Magister

    Hormalakh
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    Tim Cain is a bro. However, he is more of a game designer/programmer than a narrative designer, which is why I didn't mention him.
     
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  14. Zed Codex Staff Patron

    Zed
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    Codex USB, 2014
  15. Abu Antar Tweet, tweet Patron

    Abu Antar
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Good interview. Never actually heard of her before. Will be interesting to see what she comes up with.
     
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  16. Rean Codex Grammar Police Patron

    Rean
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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    She sounds like a true sis. Her head is in the right place, bodes well for Pillars.
     
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  17. abnaxus Arcane

    abnaxus
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    Patel? Does she have Indian roots?
     
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  18. Morality Games Arcane Patron

    Morality Games
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Could be a lot worse. Mass Effect entailed a lot of quality world building, although over reliance on the Bioware canon and comic book logic damaged the narrative.
     
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  19. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Codex 2014 Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    There were a few of those to be honest.
     
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  20. Hormalakh Magister

    Hormalakh
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    I don't think so: there are pictures of her on the internet. If I'm not mistaken, she is married. Could be that she took her husband's last name. Who knows.
     
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  21. Duraframe300 Arcane

    Duraframe300
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    She did.

    His name is Hiren Patel.
     
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  22. Outlander Custom Tags Are For Fags. Patron

    Outlander
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    The architect or the professional poker player? :lol:
     
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  23. clemens Arbiter Patron

    clemens
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    Codex 2014 Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Just stepped in because I can't let it be said that Stephenson is any more casual than Gibson. Both are equally entertaining. There's not only Snow Crash & Diamond Age. Read Cryptonomicon and Anathem.

    Also, Stephenson, Mass Effect, Name of the Rose and Dune. Yeah, that's some really challenging litterary references right there. Now to wonder why writing in video games is always so unoriginal. (I mean, I liked those too, but I don't write professionnally. Couldn't someone who does this as a job have some more varied sources of inspiration ?)
     
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  24. Ganymede Learned

    Ganymede
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    You missed the biggest indication of shit taste by far.

     
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  25. tindrli Arcane

    tindrli
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    or even better, Does she enjoy ANAL!!!
     
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