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Interview Chris Avellone Sugarbombed Interview, Part Two

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy 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 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Chris Avellone; Fallout 2; Fallout: New Vegas; Obsidian Entertainment; South Park: The Stick of Truth

    The proprietors of Fallout-centric forum community Sugarbombed have posted the second part of their epic interview with Chris Avellone. This part is less obviously trying to bait Chris into saying something bad about Bethesda, but that doesn't stop him from raining a bit more fire on Obsidian for good measure. I quote:

    SB: Now onto New Vegas. Since you designed New Reno in Fallout 2, how did you and the other developers go about differentiating New Vegas from it? And what influence did you take from it (New Reno)?

    CA: I don't know if there were any conversations on differentiating New Vegas from New Reno, the level designers for the city might know (I don't know if they played Fallout 2). BTW, New Reno wasn't solely mine, I inherited the design from the Troika guys before they left Black Isle, so I had that template to build on (the crime families, the Enclave, jet production, etc.) The worst parts of New Reno you can blame me for, don't blame the Troika guys. ;)

    Looking back the only thing I regret in New Reno is that I should have cut out one of the crime families (four was too many with everything else that was going on) and made Myron more systemically valuable to the party (his combat build and crafting abilities weren't helpful). Cassidy ended up being a better companion for systemic considerations, even with his heart condition. I did a post about companion design based on this learning experience a while back on the Obsidian forums, but I don't know if it's still up there (Obsidian locked me out of my profile after my departure, and they've refused to delete my account). The companion system design principles are not being used in recent Obsidian titles, so it may have been removed.

    SB: Something that most people can agree on is that Bethesda and Godfather Pete Hines are experts at marketing. By using the hype of Fallout 4 and announcing it 6 months before release, they were able to make it one of the most profitable games in history. What were your personal experiences with Bethesda's PR/marketing department like, and how does this compare to other companies you’ve worked with in the past?

    CA: Ah, a Bethesda question, I was waiting for it (Part 1 was filled with them, Monte, almost as if they were LEADING QUESTIONS HMMMM Editor's Note: Lol). I've been wrapped up with Prey for a while now, and I didn't have much interaction with marketing, but I doubt it's changed much - overall, I think Bethesda is one of the few companies that do marketing right. I've said this before, and I'll say it again - I have a lot of respect for Pete Hines - if you see him on the trenches at E3, he takes his job seriously and isn't fucking away on his mobile phone while journalists ask the developers shitty questions that PR should be listening to and monitoring (sorry for the tirade, am channeling past experiences).

    In addition (and I've said this before, too), but he knows how to demo games he's working on, and he was always willing to take over showcasing the game and gameplay for one of the other demo folks if a developer or demo-er needed to be pulled away for an interview, and he did it without a hitch, something a lot of other PR folks I've worked with in the past wouldn't dare do or want to (and most may not even like the games, and feel that demoing is what "the developers are for").

    Another thing which may be hard for non-developers to understand the full importance of, but Bethesda plans their marketing. This is rare in my experience. Bethesda is clear about messaging, they time and focus information releases, schedule demo dates properly (ask any developer, but demo deliveries should never be sprung as a surprise to any development team because demos can derail development by months), and more. Also, if there's any doubts as to how well marketing does their jobs, I'll just say this - you can buy Fallout T-shirts in Target. Target. I still can't believe it. That never would have happened at Black Isle, but Bethesda made Fallout visible to the public, which is no small feat. Even my parents recognize the Fallout logo (and the Vault Boy) when they see it - hell, I wasn't able to do that and I'm their son, and this is my livelihood.

    So, yeah, I think they do a good job with marketing. Other folks I've worked with in the past have the exact opposite opinion, however, but that's up to them to outline their grievances. I don't agree with their opinion, and their opinions were so vague/hyperbolic it was hard to argue them - and I hate hyperbole in any event, it's the equivalent of lying to make your ill-founded point.

    (Oh, and to say it, LucasArts was pretty good to work with, too, they also had their shit together.)
    Beyond the bridge-burning, this part of the interview also has some pretty interesting responses from Chris about his quest design methodology, so be sure to read the whole thing. According to the interviewer, there are still two parts left to go, which will focus primarily on Chris' current work on Prey and the System Shock remake, but will also include a follow-up to his comments about Obsidian in the first part. Looks like the fun isn't over yet.
     
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  2. PlanHex Arcane Patron

    PlanHex
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    edit: context
    This MHD is amazing, don't recall seeing that before:

     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
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  3. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Hey fanboys, your God just said bad things about Obsidian. What are you going to do now?

    :kfc:
     
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  4. thesheeep Arcane Patron

    thesheeep
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    I wonder where that chopped off head is falling to...
     
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  5. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    Seems a bit extreme, to say the least.
     
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  6. raw Arcane Patron

    raw
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
    Oh shit oh shit oh shit here comes the hot secret sauce...

    FUCK. Is he saying that bethesda is actually a functional company, run by professionals, employing professionals, planning and meeting their goals??!?! Incredible! Amazing! Praised be MCA for his keen insight!
     
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  7. undecaf Arcane Patron

    undecaf
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Still waiting for Chris to do something worthwhile again. Moving on is a good thing for him - evidently - sucking up to a rich new employer is probably too, but perhaps it all eventually leads to something... less irrelevant than Prey, System Shock and all that stretchgoal whoring that basically amounted to nothing special.
     
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  8. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy 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 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Would you consider him becoming the creative lead of Fallout worthwhile?
     
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  9. Fairfax Arcane

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    Best of MCA Appreciation Station on the topic:

     
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  10. undecaf Arcane Patron

    undecaf
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Depends on certain factors, but why not if all goes well - i.e. if he'd manage to make the series interesting enough again that I would feel like bothering with Bethesda's gameplay (no small task).
     
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  11. Rake Arcane

    Rake
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    No. Waste of talent
     
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  12. undecaf Arcane Patron

    undecaf
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Agreed, but it's already being wasted so nothing'd be lost.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
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  13. LeStryfe79 President Spartacus Patron

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    I think I got bbq sauce in my hair, but I'm too drunk notice it.
     
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  14. Cool name Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Cool name
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    just goes to show what an unprofessional childish joke of an industry video games are, if this is considered unusual
     
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  15. Rean Instructor Patron

    Rean
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    I know he's always said nice things about Bethesda but I put it down to him wanting to be involved in Fallout again. But the way he sucks up to Pete Hines in this interview is just weird. This is the decline of Chris Avellone. It is sad to see.
     
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  16. Goral Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

    Goral
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    I don't care about Obsidian but him praising Bethesda and kissing Pete's ass is pathetic. Race traitor.
     
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  17. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

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    Pete Hines is a great man.
     
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  18. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    I will repeat this for the millionth time "Your Gods (Avellone, Cain, Fargo, etc.) are either causals, or traitors, or both".
     
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  19. Aenra Guest

    Aenra
    No. They just got older.

    Life .. :)
     
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  20. Morkar Left Guest

    Morkar Left
    Pete Hines is responsible for marketing not for the game. And Bethesdas marketing is great if you look back how far they went compared to 15 years ago.
     
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  21. Fry Arcane

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    He's at the point in life where a publisher that makes his life easier is better than a publisher interested in producing quality work.
     
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  22. Bumvelcrow Bellator Sempervirens Patron

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    Avellone and Fargo, sure, but Timothy 'hammer of the faithless' Cain? You go too far, sir.
     
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  23. Marten Broadcloak Learned

    Marten Broadcloak
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    Editor's note: Lol.
     
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  24. undecaf Arcane Patron

    undecaf
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Marketing (for the gullible) is pretty much Bethesda's only real strong suit, and Pete 'the used car salesman' Hines is perfect for that particular job.
     
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  25. you guys are mean

    next fallout will be awesome
     
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