Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Editorial RPG Codex Report: PAX East 2015, or How Chris Avellone Called the Codex Unprofessional

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Crooked Bee, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    15,021
    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: Aterdux Entertainment; Cat-Shaped Life; Chris Avellone; Craig Stern; J.E. Sawyer; Legends of Eisenwald; Obsidian Entertainment; OtherSide Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity; Quest for Infamy; Quest for Infamy: Roehm to Ruin; Steven Alexander; Telepath Tactics; Tim Cain; Underworld Ascendant; Will Teixeira

    Nothing brings life to the soulless routine of a large gaming convention like an RPG Codex reporter in his search for truth (and something to report on). Known to previously bring the light of the incline to the darkest, most PR-filled of places like Gamescom, PAX East, and even the Tokyo Game Show, we couldn’t stay away from this year’s PAX East either. Luckily, we had just the right person for the job – namely, esteemed community member mindx2, who’d already covered 2014’s PAX East for us – as well as a number of appropriate appointments, of which the main one was meeting Obsidian Entertainment’s Chris Avellone, Josh Sawyer, Tim Cain, Brandon Adler and Adam Brennecke to discuss their upcoming real-time-with-balance RPG Pillars of Eternity. (Read the full interview.)

    I could only imagine [Obsidian's] reaction to a request for an interview by someone from the RPG Codex, something between a polite “No thank you” to “You’ve got to be #@!*#$ kidding me!” And then we received their response via an email from David Martinez, Paradox Interactive's PR guy, which stated, “We can certainly get you set up! Seeing as the Codex has a special spot in the hearts of Obsidian.”

    [...] mindx2: Alright, this next question is near and dear to the Codex’s heart…

    Chris [Avellone]: The heart?

    mindx2: Yes, we have heart.

    Josh [Sawyer]: Ahhh, yeah…

    mindx2: You wound me… What do you think with all these other Kickstarters going turn-based do you think Obsidian might be locked into the RTwP style game?

    Josh: I hope not. I want to make a turn-based game. I really want to make a turn-based game. [...]

    Tim: I love turn-based games. This actually goes back to something Chris was saying, when I worked on South Park… right when I arrived there it was a real-time game and one of the things I was asked was to make it turn-based. It’s easy to turn real-time systems into turn-based ones, so I’m just throwing that out there [as he looks towards the other team members].

    [...] mindx2: Well then I have one more question for you then [to Josh], what do you think in Pillars of Eternity is the “funnest” part?

    Josh: Um, I think it’s really trying to build… finding all the different ways to build your character and parties. That’s something that… well, that runs through a lot of stuff. To be honest a lot of what people say is this isn’t realistic or they don’t like some aspect of it like weapons for example. Like why do daggers do so much damage or a hatchet do so much damage or whatever. It’s done that way so that if you have an idea for a character that’s kind of an oddball or something that character might actually suck or be terrible in D&D but I think it’s important for it to be pretty good in our game. And if people want to make this really oddball collection of characters there’s going to be some things that are hard for them but I think it’s important for players to feel like they have that freedom to develop it. There are going to be trade-offs for it but as much as possible I want them…

    mindx2: So that’s where the balance thing comes into play?

    Josh: Yeah.​

    [​IMG]
    Balance!

    Naturally, mindx2 also asked if people at Obsidian read the Codex:

    Chris: You’re familiar with Anthony Davis, right?

    mindx2: Oh yeah, Anthony is great!

    Brandon [Adler]: Sometimes Anthony writes something and I’m like, “Oh Anthony why…?”

    Josh: We get so many alerts about that… “Anthony just posted on the Codex!”​

    Aside from bugging Obsidian about making a turn-based RPG, making PoE fun, and their stance on the Codex, mindx2 also met with Alex Dergay from Aterdux Entertainment (Legends of Eisenwald)...

    Alex was very clear in stating that Early Access saved Eisenwald. Without it, he doesn’t think that the game would have survived. If he'd had a choice he would have delayed the Early Access release, because he didn’t want people to receive a negative view of the game based on its state at the time. He wishes there had been a little more of the main campaign available, as he wants people to see that the game has many RPG mechanics and that it’s not just a strategy game. Whatever the case, because of those Early Access dollars, the game's development is now in its final stages before release. Alex also credits Early Access for improving the game, due to all the feedback solicited from players. In the meantime, Aterdux have also found another investor to help them with marketing and PR, which is what led them to GDC and PAX this year. I mentioned that Eisenwald doesn’t seem to get as much negative press as other Kickstarter games that have experienced significant delays. Alex attributes that to his team's habit of being brutally honest and open about their stupid mistakes. They are now looking at a mid-May release date, as Alex says they are pretty much done. The release won't be postponed any further, even if one of the localizations misses the deadline. From what I’ve seen of the game (which is admittedly little as I don’t play Early Access games), and just from listening to Alex talk about it, Eisenwald has become one of the titles that I’m most looking forward to in the coming months.​

    ...Steve Alexander from Infamous Quests (Quest for Infamy):

    Many so-called adventure games are nothing more than visual novels today. We both agreed that as far as gameplay is concerned, they often have very little to offer other than pressing X to get to the next animated scene. That was not the game he wanted to make. He wanted to make the kind of game that Sierra would have published back in the day. He’s very proud of his creation, and he can’t wait to get the physical boxed editions finished and printed. He's just as eager as I am to have it on a shelf so he can point it out to his relatives and say, “I made that!” He explained that the boxes should be finished in a few weeks, and that he'd made sure throughout the game's development that he had enough funds to produce everything he had promised. One thing he failed to take into account, and something he thinks far too many Kickstarters fail to take into account as well, is the cost of international shipping. The shipping costs are much higher than than the physical tier prices most Kickstarter projects are offering. Regardless, Steve said that he absolutely loves the interaction between developers and players. He sees this as one of the best things about crowdfunded game development. When I asked him about his future plans, he explained that his team is hard at work on the follow-up to QFI, Quest for Infamy: Roehm to Ruin. Its overall scope will be smaller than QFI's, but it will help flesh out the story of how Roehm found himself fleeing the Baron in the first game. They’re finalizing things now and are confident they can get it out this summer.​

    ...Will Teixeira from OtherSide Entertainment (Underworld Ascendant & Cat-Shaped Life):

    One of those side projects Will wants to explore is his own Kickstarted game called Cat-Shaped Life (currently running here), that he and one other person are developing. It's a kind of CYOA RPG, where you control a cat that has stats for cat-like abilities such as agility. He compared it gameplay-wise to Long Live the Queen and Princess Maker. The premise is that you, the cat, are adopted by a family and have to last a month in their house without your new owners returning you to the pound. Various encounters you experience throughout the house and the surrounding area determine how your new owner views you. Apparently, you might even end up at another house entirely by month’s end. I asked if the cat can die in various unpleasant ways, and he said they haven’t thought about that yet. I joked that if he could come up with many different horrible fates for the feline, he could rake in millions on Kickstarter, like a certain card game. He laughed and replied that they’ll definitely have to put that game mechanic in. I thanked Will for stopping by, and explained that I needed to head over to the Obsidian presentation that would be starting soon. Before I left, I asked him to try to arrange another visit to OtherSide for me when they had something to show off, and to keep Paul as far away as possible from any more MMO-type advice.​

    ...as well as Craig Stern from Sinister Design (Telepath Tactics):

    mindx2: Back when you Kickstarted the game there were no new JRPG or TRPG-style games on PC at all, but now there's a bunch of new ones. What makes your game different than all the others?

    Craig: Mine is better! [laughing] That’s the short version. The long version is the design tack I take with TT is not seen anywhere else even among this new crop of strategy RPGs. My approach here, which as far as I know is unique amongst strategy RPGs, is to have a game with a deterministic core. There are a few things where die rolls come into play but for the most part it is deterministic. Unpredictability is achieved instead by having a difficult and challenging AI and a large possibility space. There are so many different mechanics in the game that intersect in sometimes unpredictable ways that you’re always having to stay on your toes just to be sure you’re not taken by surprise by what the AI might do. It’s not an easy game.​

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Report: PAX East 2015, or How Chris Avellone Called the Codex Unprofessional
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 130
    ^ Top  
  2. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    27,257
    :bravo:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 6
    ^ Top  
  3. Paul_cz Arcane

    Paul_cz
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,293
    Glorious.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  4. Maelflux Arbiter Patron

    Maelflux
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2012
    Messages:
    303
    Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Damn that was a good article/story/interview! Bro!

    :excellent:
     
    ^ Top  
  5. Athelas Arcane

    Athelas
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    Messages:
    4,502
    Excellent article. Will have to respond more in-depth later. Though I couldn't help replying to this:

    [​IMG] :M
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  6. Diablo169 Arcane

    Diablo169
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,264
    Location:
    Grim Midlands
    Great article. Good work. :)
     
    ^ Top  
  7. insukk Savant Patron

    insukk
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Messages:
    322
    Codex 2012
    mindx2
    :love:
    Awesome article, thanks.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. Zdzisiu Arcane

    Zdzisiu
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Messages:
    3,313
    A very good report, both informative and fun to read. It is always a pleasure to see people with passion talk with each other.

    Thank you mindx2 !
     
    ^ Top  
  9. LeJosh Savant

    LeJosh
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    433
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    Well worth the read. I did laugh at Josh's stern reasoning on Might affecting things differently.

    Overall :incline:, thanks!
     
    ^ Top  
  10. himmy Arcane

    himmy
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,123
    Location:
    New Europe
  11. serch Magister Patron

    serch
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,356
    Location:
    Behind mistary, in front of conspirancy
    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    mindx2, come here to be properly brofisted!
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
    ^ Top  
  12. Zep Zepo Titties and Beer Patron Dumbfuck Repressed Homosexual

    Zep Zepo
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    4,704
    Divinity: Original Sin
    I am outraged they tried to extort $100 from you to use a scooter.

    Isn't PAX some kind of charity event?

    Zep--
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. Makabb Arcane Shitposter Bethestard

    Makabb
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Messages:
    8,917
    [​IMG]
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 42
    ^ Top  
  14. Bleed the Man Arcane Patron

    Bleed the Man
    Joined:
    May 30, 2013
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Spain
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    That's a really good read.

    Magnificent work mindx2 :salute:


    Oh, Tim :love:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 14
    ^ Top  
  15. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

    mindx2
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    3,771
    Location:
    Gazing at his now empty game shelves :-(
    Codex 2012 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Reporting (pun intended) as ordered... :salute:

    I had an absolute blast this year. Everyone I had an opportunity to interview were generous with their time and answers. I hope everyone enjoys the article and make sure to check out everyone's project. I'm positive there is enough variety presented to peak even a Codexer's interest! Also, be sure to brofist/thank Aterdux Entertainment's own Alex, for his generosity was the reason I even had the chance to interview all these developers.

    edit: Now let's see if Chris, Tim or Josh have the cojones to, at the very least, pop in to this thread and say hi... :hmmm:
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
    • Brofist Brofist x 225
    ^ Top  
  16. Renfri Savant

    Renfri
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Messages:
    291
    Good stuff:thumbsup:
     
    ^ Top  
  17. Aterdux Entertainment Aterdux Entertainment Developer

    Aterdux Entertainment
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    Messages:
    553
    Location:
    Minsk, Belarus
    It was great to see you there, (your real name here :)) mindx2! I think many developers have quite the amount of extra badges, I was just a lucky one because I managed to give you one. PAX was good for us too, I will write up a report in one of the updates too. Thank you for a great and fun read!
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 121
    ^ Top  
  18. Aenra Guest

    Aenra
    mindx2
    great work and nicely written, was very pleasant to read :)
    +1 more for the hat

    Holding on to this personally: ^^
    "Chris Avellone:
    So, yes we are actually having publishers approaching us to do similar types of games just because of Kickstarter"

    and THIS: !!!
    "Tim: I’m familiar with a lot of these systems in Pillars and how to convert them. Again I’m just saying that…"
    please please, do convert them to TB at some point. Really
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  19. abnaxus Arcane

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    17,894
    Location:
    Khatovar
    Why is Sawyer metamorphosing into J.J. Abrams?
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  20. Rean Codex Grammar Police Patron

    Rean
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,865,384
    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
    Astonishing that people weren't asking for Tim Cain's autograph. Tim Cain, the father of Fallout. Stunning.

    Loved the Obsidian interview by the way. I love those guys.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
    ^ Top  
  21. mastroego Arcane

    mastroego
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Messages:
    6,533
    Location:
    Italy
    No, it's a character to have fun with in a Single Player Game.
    A game where stats still behave in a way that makes sense (if not always in an impactful way) and doesn't break logic AND immersion.
    I did play with a high cha Figther and had lots of fun.

    This guy really is as clueless as much as he's arrogant.
    Hope his game crashes and burns.
    Or the next one at least, when people will know better.

    EDIT: thanks to mindx2 for the interview! forgot to add
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  22. Craig Stern Sinister Design Developer

    Craig Stern
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    260
    Location:
    Chicago
    Frozen Synapse is an RPG?
     
    ^ Top  
  23. mindx2 Codex Roaming East Coast Reporter Patron

    mindx2
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    3,771
    Location:
    Gazing at his now empty game shelves :-(
    Codex 2012 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    I'm still kicking myself for not bringing my Faloout 1 & 2 boxes with me for him to sign... :rage:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 17
    ^ Top  
  24. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

    Jaesun
    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    36,922
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Awesome job mindx2 :salute:

    Josh: I want to make a turn-based game. I really want to make a turn-based game.

    YES PLEASE!

    :bounce:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 23
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)