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People News Chris Avellone + Brian Fargo = ?

Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
7,428
Location
Villainville
MCA
I keep wishing that a reimagination or setting reset would be used for a new Alien game to rebuilt the primitive suspense and the mystery value instead of going through hoops to expand the cannon (which is a clusterfuck of contradictions anyway).

Or a game based on the colonial civilians and hard survival (ie. no stealth bombing) during the initial alien infestation on LV-426. No firearms arsenal or boss monsters bullshit, just using the resources and the environment to survive as long as you can. Maybe you would carry a cryosleep unit to an isolated location away from everything and put yourself to sleep there for or something for endgame.
 

Shannow

Waster of Time
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
6,386
Location
Finnegan's Wake
For example, Dungeon Siege 3, love it or hate, was a technically rock solid game made on a very small budget. Thanks to the leadership of the owners, our goal was to prove that we could deliver a bug-free game experience and control scope. We succeeded. Now, I know it was not well received here, and that's fine - but I would hope even those who hated it for what it was are at least mature enough to recognize what our goal was and that we achieved it. Feargus and the owners, along with the team, deserve credit for that and it shows how the company has learned from the wild west days of NWN2 and AP.
The perfect example of the issues "the Codex" has with Feargus. He gave the decline of RPGs a name: Slamdunk.
He is not considered some great dev (considering the Codex' bromance with Avellone I wouldn't be surprized if they'd let him get away with "slamdunks"), he's the guy who went the slamdunk way. The whore. Making shit games (in many of our opinions) instead of putting himself out there like inXile is trying right now.
DS3 is the perfect example: You point out that it has a solid engine and few bugs. Well, some of the best games had shit engines (eg ToEE, though it wasn't a great game, its systems had the potential to be groundworks for an awesome game) or were riddled with bugs (FO1/2; in some people's opinion Arcanum, Bloodlines). So obviously engine and bugs (at least until a certain level is reached) do not make or break a game.
Now look at what else DS3 offered:
1. Sloppy seconds from GPG. 'Cause sloppy seconds sell better, right?
2. Sloppy seconds of Dungeon Siege, but instead of improving the DS-gameplay by taking hints from the tactical options in Dragon Age, Obsidian goes and makes a (bad) console brawler out of it. 'Cause action games and console games sell better, right?
3. Simple (boring) character systems. 'Cause complex systems don't sell, right?
4. No party of 6+ characters. 'Cause consoles can't handle that too many characters on screen are too confusing for a console brawler, right?
(5. Won't even mention that if you change everything about the originals anyway, you could just as well have changed it to TB tactical...)

We've always been clamoring for devs to diversify and cater to us, the niche crowd, too. Many of us were of the opinion that that's also what the devs would like to do (if they'd get the funding). Fargo shows that that's true at least for him (and so, perhaps also for others). Fargo also shows what many of us also believed, that it's possible to make oldschool TB cRPGs with midling sized teams. And quite frankly, I wouldn't be surprized if Wasteland2 turned out to be more successful than DS3 (but I don't know how well DS3 sold, what it cost or how high the profit was for Obsidian in the end, so that's just a gut feeling). So all those years of not catering to us, all those years of whoring (and let's be honest, if you really want to make an oldschool TB RPG, but make DS3 instead for the money, that's whoring), all for nothing. All based on the stupid notion of "slamdunks".
While I think it's unfair to only blame Feargus and not Obsidian as a whole, I also think that they (you?) made their decisions and probably have no trouble sleeping because of them. But don't whine about being criticised by the people whose interests were ignored because of those decisions. If those critics are so bothersome perhaps the decisions weren't so good in the first place? Just a thought.

(Don't let this little rant put you off. I still like you as a person and a source of inside knowledge :love:)
 

Mozgoëbstvo

Learned
Joined
Nov 23, 2011
Messages
812
Location
Od Vardara pa do Triglava
I keep wishing that a reimagination or setting reset would be used for a new Alien game to rebuilt the primitive suspense and the mystery value instead of going through hoops to expand the cannon (which is a clusterfuck of contradictions anyway).

Or a game based on the colonial civilians and hard survival (ie. no stealth bombing) during the initial alien infestation on LV-426. No firearms arsenal or boss monsters bullshit, just using the resources and the environment to survive as long as you can. Maybe you would carry a cryosleep unit to an isolated location away from everything and put yourself to sleep there for or something for endgame.

Who wouldn't like that? But you know, like our own universe, expanded universes keep... expanding 'till thermic death.
Just look at what Star Wars was in 1977 and what it is now.

Alien can't escape it.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
7,428
Location
Villainville
MCA
Heh, in game industry, no one can hear your IP scream.

The perfect example of the issues "the Codex" has with Feargus. He gave the decline of RPGs a name: Slamdunk.
He is not considered some great dev (considering the Codex' bromance with Avellone I wouldn't be surprized if they'd let him get away with "slamdunks"), he's the guy who went the slamdunk way. The whore. Making shit games (in many of our opinions) instead of putting himself out there like inXile is trying right now.
DS3 is the perfect example: You point out that it has a solid engine and few bugs. Well, some of the best games had shit engines (eg ToEE, though it wasn't a great game, its systems had the potential to be groundworks for an awesome game) or were riddled with bugs (FO1/2; in some people's opinion Arcanum, Bloodlines). So obviously engine and bugs (at least until a certain level is reached) do not make or break a game.
Now look at what else DS3 offered:
1. Sloppy seconds from GPG. 'Cause sloppy seconds sell better, right?
2. Sloppy seconds of Dungeon Siege, but instead of improving the DS-gameplay by taking hints from the tactical options in Dragon Age, Obsidian goes and makes a (bad) console brawler out of it. 'Cause action games and console games sell better, right?
3. Simple (boring) character systems. 'Cause complex systems don't sell, right?
4. No party of 6+ characters. 'Cause consoles can't handle that too many characters on screen are too confusing for a console brawler, right?
(5. Won't even mention that if you change everything about the originals anyway, you could just as well have changed it to TB tactical...)

We've always been clamoring for devs to diversify and cater to us, the niche crowd, too. Many of us were of the opinion that that's also what the devs would like to do (if they'd get the funding). Fargo shows that that's true at least for him (and so, perhaps also for others). Fargo also shows what many of us also believed, that it's possible to make oldschool TB cRPGs with midling sized teams. And quite frankly, I wouldn't be surprized if Wasteland2 turned out to be more successful than DS3 (but I don't know how well DS3 sold, what it cost or how high the profit was for Obsidian in the end, so that's just a gut feeling). So all those years of not catering to us, all those years of whoring (and let's be honest, if you really want to make an oldschool TB RPG, but make DS3 instead for the money, that's whoring), all for nothing. All based on the stupid notion of "slamdunks".
While I think it's unfair to only blame Feargus and not Obsidian as a whole, I also think that they (you?) made their decisions and probably have no trouble sleeping because of them. But don't whine about being criticised by the people whose interests were ignored because of those decisions. If those critics are so bothersome perhaps the decisions weren't so good in the first place? Just a thought.

(Don't let this little rant put you off. I still like you as a person and a source of inside knowledge :love:)

What a pointless diatribe. Troika is DEAD because of buggy broken otherwise magnificent games. Obsidian is still going. And one of the best RPGs (FNV) in a long time is a slamdunk. How about that, now, eh? Then there's also KOTOR2 and MotB, and even sozzy SoZ which tried a few different stuff so... what was your point again?
 

Morkar Left

Guest
The owners would rather go without pay than lay someone off - as they have proven.

I think that is the key people here should remember why Obsidian has problems doing smaller projects. Make the company smaller might be the best economic decision but if you actually care for your employees it's hard to do something like that.


ps. Tim Cain is the bomb. He just sent me a Fallout 1 stimpack pen schwag item. Jealous much?

Pics or it didn't happen :smug: Seriously, I want to see this pen :)
 

Achilles

Arcane
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
3,425
For example, Dungeon Siege 3, love it or hate, was a technically rock solid game made on a very small budget. Thanks to the leadership of the owners, our goal was to prove that we could deliver a bug-free game experience and control scope.

I undestand the business sense of it. Obviously the top heads at Obsidian considered it a top priority to dispel the company's reputation of taking forever to develop and shipping buggy games. Really, I get it. However, as a fan of most of Obsidian's flawed gems, I need to stress that I love them because of their ambition. If they're going to follow this road from now on and come up with uninspired, formulaic, "me too" games, they will get lost in a sea of like-mided developers.
 

hiver

Guest
quote="Anthony Davis, post: 2028304, member: 8589"]
ps. Tim Cain is the bomb. He just sent me a Fallout 1 stimpack pen schwag item. Jealous much?
[/quote]
nah, were fine... aarrggghhggggrrrrhhhh... :foams at the mouth: :rage: - falls over.


Look, I know that Feargus and teh Kodex have had some issues in the past,
broughghhh :coughhhhhh: :coughhh:
Arrgh...ummhh... paaast, yeeeaah suuure! ;P

Well, im not in that part of the hivemind myself, anyway, speaking honestly. I gave up on expecting Obsidian to make a game we all wanted them to make since they started working... a long time ago. So my emotional engagement is much smaller then some who still judge them based on that fantastic ideal.
I was just trying to extrapolate on that codex notion, but i guess it may have looked worse than it is.
The jibe at Sawyer was only because of his work on skills on Van Buren for example, which was dissected, critiqued, interpreted and explained enough for a bunch of Vault tech skynet sytsems to munch over at least a day or two. :) Im sure he will love seeing that still around. I mean - hating the guy for a game that wasnt even released haha :lol:
It all seems rude only if someone takes it seriously.

And yes, looking from spoiled consumer PoV from the outside, its easy to point a finger and say , neh, neh, neh this, this and this was a problem and its all the fault of this one person. Feargus should have done this and never accepted this... (bethesda deal), sort of easy, spoiled hindsight knowledge thing.


For example, Dungeon Siege 3, love it or hate, was a technically rock solid game made on a very small budget. Thanks to the leadership of the owners, our goal was to prove that we could deliver a bug-free game experience and control scope. We succeeded. Now, I know it was not well received here, and that's fine - but I would hope even those who hated it for what it was are at least mature enough to recognize what our goal was and that we achieved it. Feargus and the owners, along with the team, deserve credit for that and it shows how the company has learned from the wild west days of NWN2 and AP.
I didnt play it but i understand it was rather stable, didnt have any bugs worth talking about, and Onyx performed beautifully overall.
Shame they didnt went down the design route more closer to their background and past, despite it being a licensed sequel and all. IF THEY could, at all.

Or should it be said - if the publisher let them. But having Onyx at that good level still seems like a valuable asset for the future.



Feargus and the other owners are also a VERY generous and open at the company. ANYONE there can walk into one of the owner's offices and talk to them. The owners would rather go without pay than lay someone off - as they have proven.
Going without pay in order to keep people from getting layed off is valuable more than a few slam dunks. Actually.
Not in money, sure. Karma points - definitely.[/quote]
 

Brother None

inXile Entertainment
Developer
Joined
Jul 11, 2004
Messages
5,673
Exciting news coming for Wasteland 2 today! I wonder what it'll be about :oops::roll: ;)
 

Anthony Davis

Blizzard Entertainment
Developer
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Messages
2,100
Location
California
For example, Dungeon Siege 3, love it or hate, was a technically rock solid game made on a very small budget. Thanks to the leadership of the owners, our goal was to prove that we could deliver a bug-free game experience and control scope. We succeeded. Now, I know it was not well received here, and that's fine - but I would hope even those who hated it for what it was are at least mature enough to recognize what our goal was and that we achieved it. Feargus and the owners, along with the team, deserve credit for that and it shows how the company has learned from the wild west days of NWN2 and AP.
The perfect example of the issues "the Codex" has with Feargus. He gave the decline of RPGs a name: Slamdunk.
He is not considered some great dev (considering the Codex' bromance with Avellone I wouldn't be surprized if they'd let him get away with "slamdunks"), he's the guy who went the slamdunk way. The whore. Making shit games (in many of our opinions) instead of putting himself out there like inXile is trying right now.
DS3 is the perfect example: You point out that it has a solid engine and few bugs. Well, some of the best games had shit engines (eg ToEE, though it wasn't a great game, its systems had the potential to be groundworks for an awesome game) or were riddled with bugs (FO1/2; in some people's opinion Arcanum, Bloodlines). So obviously engine and bugs (at least until a certain level is reached) do not make or break a game.
Now look at what else DS3 offered:
1. Sloppy seconds from GPG. 'Cause sloppy seconds sell better, right?
2. Sloppy seconds of Dungeon Siege, but instead of improving the DS-gameplay by taking hints from the tactical options in Dragon Age, Obsidian goes and makes a (bad) console brawler out of it. 'Cause action games and console games sell better, right?
3. Simple (boring) character systems. 'Cause complex systems don't sell, right?
4. No party of 6+ characters. 'Cause consoles can't handle that too many characters on screen are too confusing for a console brawler, right?
(5. Won't even mention that if you change everything about the originals anyway, you could just as well have changed it to TB tactical...)

We've always been clamoring for devs to diversify and cater to us, the niche crowd, too. Many of us were of the opinion that that's also what the devs would like to do (if they'd get the funding). Fargo shows that that's true at least for him (and so, perhaps also for others). Fargo also shows what many of us also believed, that it's possible to make oldschool TB cRPGs with midling sized teams. And quite frankly, I wouldn't be surprized if Wasteland2 turned out to be more successful than DS3 (but I don't know how well DS3 sold, what it cost or how high the profit was for Obsidian in the end, so that's just a gut feeling). So all those years of not catering to us, all those years of whoring (and let's be honest, if you really want to make an oldschool TB RPG, but make DS3 instead for the money, that's whoring), all for nothing. All based on the stupid notion of "slamdunks".
While I think it's unfair to only blame Feargus and not Obsidian as a whole, I also think that they (you?) made their decisions and probably have no trouble sleeping because of them. But don't whine about being criticised by the people whose interests were ignored because of those decisions. If those critics are so bothersome perhaps the decisions weren't so good in the first place? Just a thought.

(Don't let this little rant put you off. I still like you as a person and a source of inside knowledge :love:)


You make valid points, and I will try to address them.

Yes, ToEE was an amazing game, as was Arcanum, and VtM:B. Where is Troika now? As heartbreaking as it is, their demise can be pointed to several factors, some of which include buggy games and the inability to get a deal. I am not slamming Troika at all. This is a rough business where the average life span of an independent studio is less than 2 years.

On a personal note, and I am not alone in this, I think calling DS3, "Dungeon Siege 3", was a big mistake. Many of us wanted to call it something like Dungeon Siege Alliance or something that would better convey what the game was versus expectations, aka an interactive screen saver for DS1... and I don't know what you call DS2. Don't get me wrong, I bought and played both of the first two games and they were fine for what they were, but they weren't great games.

1. I'm not sure what you mean by sloppy seconds from GPG, this was a square enix project. It was created with Obsidian's own tech, the Onyx engine.

2. Take hints from Dragon Age... really? I mean I bought and played Dragon Age 1 - but that game was far from any sort of tactical masterpiece. I found the combat to be seriously lacking, and while some story elements and characters were great, the rest was... passable at best.

3. There are a lot of stats for the characters, at least for combat. We could have added more stuff outside of combat, but this is where losing control of scope starts. Adding more stuff, especially on a limited budget and with limited time is a sure fire path to releasing a buggy game which was COUNTER to our goal.

4. You know the reason for this... it was a multiple platform release. While there are somethings consoles do very well, having a need for a lot of controls, or complex controls is not one of them.

5. I love TB tactical games, so does almost everyone at Obsidian. You know who DOESN'T love TB games? Publishers.

Criticisms of DS3 are fair. I think there were things we could have done to improve the game without going out of scope, but we'll never know for sure. Just remember, our goal was to release the best and most solid bug free game we could do within our budget and time constraints, which I believe we accomplished.

Brian Fargo has to crowd source the game. His kickstarter (which I donated to) talks about how publishers as a whole want nothing to do with TB games. Kickstarter wasn't always around and wasn't proven as a viable method of getting funding until Tim Schaeffer cam along, at least for video games. You can call it whoring, but that's really not understanding the situation. Obsidian is an independent studio. Publishers are the ones who call the shots. To make the game you want Obsidian to make, someone has to pay for it.

Yeah, I think you have a right to be upset that no one is making the video games you and I want to play. It isn't Obsidian's fault however, if anything the fault lies with Publishers and the CoD/MW/Halo Brosefs who helped bring video gaming into the main stream. Before Halo, a video game that sold a million copies was ALMOST unheard of - and if it DID sell a million copies, it took a few months to do it. Now you have games like CoD and GTA that sell millions of copies in 24 hours. Publishers look at that and go nuts.

You can goto a publisher with a solid game design, a solid business plan, and a real market - and sometimes they won't talk to you if they don't think it will sell more than 1.5 million copies. That's not a joke or an exaggeration.

Yes, it was our decision to do DS3, but we want to make games, we NEED to get paid. Hookers and Blow ain't cheap my friend.

My suggestion to you and anyone else, put your money where your heart and your mouth are. Fund kickstarters for games YOU want made. I fund games all the time, the most recent two being Wasteland 2 and whatever beautiful creation Double Fine is going make.
 

Anthony Davis

Blizzard Entertainment
Developer
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Messages
2,100
Location
California
For example, Dungeon Siege 3, love it or hate, was a technically rock solid game made on a very small budget. Thanks to the leadership of the owners, our goal was to prove that we could deliver a bug-free game experience and control scope.

I undestand the business sense of it. Obviously the top heads at Obsidian considered it a top priority to dispel the company's reputation of taking forever to develop and shipping buggy games. Really, I get it. However, as a fan of most of Obsidian's flawed gems, I need to stress that I love them because of their ambition. If they're going to follow this road from now on and come up with uninspired, formulaic, "me too" games, they will get lost in a sea of like-mided developers.

That is a valid concern. I don't think in Obsidian's case it will happen though, I mean they WANT to push the boundaries and will continue to do so.
 
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
260
Location
USA, NY
Can someone explain the Headphones meme to me? I feel like I've been missing out on this one for a long time.
 

TwinkieGorilla

does a good job.
Patron
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Messages
5,480
Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pathfinder: Wrath
Variation on the "haters gonna hate" meme. Also represents the quality of unflappable zen and beauty which is MCA. Or at least that's what I've always assumed.

edit: Shit, we're so far away from 2.1 mil though. How is this going to happen? Some people with deep pockets best step up their game!
 

Brother None

inXile Entertainment
Developer
Joined
Jul 11, 2004
Messages
5,673
Can someone explain the Headphones meme to me? I feel like I've been missing out on this one for a long time.

I once posted a still of MCA from an interview where he had that "haters gonna hate" look. Then the Codex geniuses gave him a wagging head, and then of course added headphones, for excellence.
 

Brother None

inXile Entertainment
Developer
Joined
Jul 11, 2004
Messages
5,673
Here's the presser:

inXile to collaborate with Obsidian on the design of Wasteland 2!

Newport Beach, CA - March 30, 2012 - inXile entertainment confirmed today that they have reached an agreement with award-winning RPG developer Obsidian Entertainment to collaborate on the game design and writing for their Wasteland 2 project if the funding level reaches $2,100,000. Obsidian’s Chief Creative Officer Chris Avellone will be working directly with the design team at inXile to help bring the world of Wasteland together. Avellone stated, "Wasteland is one of my favorite RPGs of all time, and when Brian asked if I wanted to work on the sequel, I jumped at the chance. While I've worked on Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas, getting the chance to work on the spiritual successor to the Fallout franchise is a honor." Brian Fargo added, “I have a history with the guys at Obsidian that dates back to the days of Interplay’s Black Isle studios. Together we created some of the greatest RPG’s of all time, from Fallout 1 & 2 to titles like Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment. It is great that we now have a chance to reunite on a project like Wasteland 2.”

In addition to Chris Avellone's help, Obsidian will be lending the experience they have in the development of RPG games and tools to inXile. Fargo believes this collaboration will allow him to focus more energy on the game, “Obsidian has an incredible library of story, dialog and design tools that they have used to create hits like Neverwinter Nights 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, and of course, Fallout: New Vegas. Regardless of the tech we use to develop the game, experience with these tools will help us efficiently design the game without wasting time and resources on the tools needed for development.”

Wasteland still has 17 days remaining until the Kickstarter funding ends. At this time the project has around 33,000 backers and has raised more than $1,650,000. In addition to the PC version, inXile has officially announced Mac OS X and Linux versions of Wasteland 2.

InXile is also announcing a solution for everyone who wants to back the project, but who live in a country where backing it on Kickstarter is just not possible. Fargo reports, “We want to let everyone know that we are now accepting PayPal pledges directly though the Wasteland web portal. Some of our biggest fans come from Germany and Eastern Europe, yet they have been unable to support us through the Kickstarter/Amazon pay system. We now have an alternative PayPal site set up for such gamers at Wasteland.inXile-entertainment.com.”
 

Anthony Davis

Blizzard Entertainment
Developer
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Messages
2,100
Location
California
Here's the presser:

inXile to collaborate with Obsidian on the design of Wasteland 2!

Newport Beach, CA - March 30, 2012 - inXile entertainment confirmed today that they have reached an agreement with award-winning RPG developer Obsidian Entertainment to collaborate on the game design and writing for their Wasteland 2 project if the funding level reaches $2,100,000. Obsidian’s Chief Creative Officer Chris Avellone will be working directly with the design team at inXile to help bring the world of Wasteland together. Avellone stated, "Wasteland is one of my favorite RPGs of all time, and when Brian asked if I wanted to work on the sequel, I jumped at the chance. While I've worked on Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas, getting the chance to work on the spiritual successor to the Fallout franchise is a honor." Brian Fargo added, “I have a history with the guys at Obsidian that dates back to the days of Interplay’s Black Isle studios. Together we created some of the greatest RPG’s of all time, from Fallout 1 & 2 to titles like Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment. It is great that we now have a chance to reunite on a project like Wasteland 2.”

In addition to Chris Avellone's help, Obsidian will be lending the experience they have in the development of RPG games and tools to inXile. Fargo believes this collaboration will allow him to focus more energy on the game, “Obsidian has an incredible library of story, dialog and design tools that they have used to create hits like Neverwinter Nights 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, and of course, Fallout: New Vegas. Regardless of the tech we use to develop the game, experience with these tools will help us efficiently design the game without wasting time and resources on the tools needed for development.”

Wasteland still has 17 days remaining until the Kickstarter funding ends. At this time the project has around 33,000 backers and has raised more than $1,650,000. In addition to the PC version, inXile has officially announced Mac OS X and Linux versions of Wasteland 2.

InXile is also announcing a solution for everyone who wants to back the project, but who live in a country where backing it on Kickstarter is just not possible. Fargo reports, “We want to let everyone know that we are now accepting PayPal pledges directly though the Wasteland web portal. Some of our biggest fans come from Germany and Eastern Europe, yet they have been unable to support us through the Kickstarter/Amazon pay system. We now have an alternative PayPal site set up for such gamers at Wasteland.inXile-entertainment.com.”

Wait, where is the link to this presser? I just checked both the inxile website AND the kickstarter page (since Im a backer) and I can find no sign of this. o_O
 

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