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People News ObsidiLeaks: The Chris Avellone May of Rage Archive

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, May 10, 2018.

  1. Tacgnol Shitlord Patron

    Tacgnol
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Grab the Codex by the pussy Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I suspect this will stay dead in the press until either leaked emails/documents emerge or other obsidian employees back the story.

    Who knows, maybe it'll catch on somewhere.
     
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  2. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    He's been there for years.
     
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  3. Lahey Laheyist Patron

    Lahey
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    He's been a little busy this week.
     
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  4. Chris Avellone Arcane Developer

    Chris Avellone
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    The list is still the same, from Colin onwards. I do think Jason and John weren't appreciated enough overall (they did solid work, and a lot of our games wouldn't have gotten done without them, but people in the trenches often got overlooked).

    The only things I'd add:

    - Adam Heine is a great writer, and I think he's better than me - I first saw it in the novella he wrote for Numenera, I was pretty impressed. I wish he'd done writing on the original PST game (although he was invaluable as a coder, so I wouldn't have traded his programming skills, because we really needed them for such a small team).

    - People wore a lot of hats - we certainly didn't have the same size and specialized roles BioWare did (California employees are more expensive than Canadian ones, so they could have a much larger staff for an equivalent budget).

    - I think John (Deiley) may never forgive me for my counter-arguments to the talking deathclaws. It wasn't personal, I just felt the fact they talked made them less scary than the beasts they were at first, but that's just my opinion, not canon. I'm also biased - I kind of get grumpy in zombie movies/shows when the undead suddenly change from threats to "there's real people inside" because it kind of throws the whole set-up in a messy direction (I don't mind if the show starts that way, but I don't think you should introduce it too late in the process after the protagonists have been bashing in every zombie they see, it messes with the tone). Z-Nation and Living Dead did this, and I felt the same way about talking deathclaws - it suddenly made them potentially sympathetic vs. the terrifying creatures they're supposed to be.

    EDIT: I'm only referring to the writing team, but that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate the other departments (I thank a lot of folks in the strategy guide as well).
     
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  5. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    I think you're missing the elephant in the room which is that doing it on the codex isn't exactly helping matters. That, and I think if the goal here is to get the story to the press (which I'm not sure if it actually is, I mean Chris can just pick up a phone and offer someone an exclusive), having all the information spread out in a 5000 comment thread isn't making things easier, either. Neither is that 200 page long "summary" document.

    Fuck me, I don't know how many work hours I have wasted poking around these threads, but I'm pretty sure it would be enough time to write 5 game reviews and 3 editorials, with plenty of time to spare.
     
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  6. Azarkon Arcane

    Azarkon
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    Thanks for the response. It seems I should pay more attention to Adam going forward - his situation with the Codex during Numenera's development struck me as a minor tragedy with all the unfortunate trolling. People did give him too hard of a time.
     
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  7. Junmarko Goomba Patron

    Junmarko
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    Talks a journalist through key points over the phone, links them to thread - journalist sees "kissy-boo" meme on page 1. *hangs up*

    [​IMG]




    .......Chris calls Milo.
     
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  8. Bohr Arcane

    Bohr
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    Agree. Whether this generates much press in the near term or not, the accusations are out there now and are fodder for future questions during interviews, crowdfunding campaigns... or even from prospective publishing partners given what was said about Tyranny (wonder what Paradox are thinking right now). And when someone notable leaves Obsidian in future they could also get asked about it.

    I'd guess more will come out in time.
     
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  9. Chris Avellone Arcane Developer

    Chris Avellone
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    I don't reach out and offer news stories to the press unless asked to (ex: PoE1 press - I'm the reason Josh got on NPR, for example - I was asked to reach out to contacts to promote the game, and NPR was one of them), and I didn't outside of Obsidian, except for Into the Breach once, but it's because Indie developers can have a harder time being heard.

    As for responding here, it was because Fairfax had an interview, he asked questions, I answered them - which led to more questions and people's comments.

    And when one response needed correcting, I did, and it wasn't the first time I'd done it because I noticed that it wasn't clear what happened when I departed - I hadn't signed an NDA, I hadn't gotten any severance, and I wasn't a manager, either. If I see something posted that's incorrect (NWN2 writing), even if it reflects poorly on me to confirm it, I do try to correct it, because that's how misinformation spreads and I was also seeing a lot of "Well, I heard that..." which always makes me swoop in for sources.

    Also, one advantage with responding to the Codex is when I say, "Tim and Leonard," the Codex knows who they are so you don't have to do a lot of additional explaining because you all follow RPGs development more closely than most.

    Adam's a nice, genuine, and talented developer. I've always liked working with him.
     
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  10. 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
    My prediction - at some point there'll be a longform article at Kotaku that takes a "both sides" approach and ends by wistfully remarking on how years-long friendships can fall apart in the cutthroat world of game development.
     
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  11. Aemilian Barely Literate

    Aemilian
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    Corruption sounds a bit harsh.
    I didn't try to suggest their corrupt because developers are trying to leverage their connections. I thought more of them doing a friend favour without a prompt by anybody.
    [Or because they are invested in the story of Obsidian as the underdog developer vs the greedy publishers]
    Yes - but there are other parties involved Paradox, former employees.
    How is it possible that nobody is willing to comment at least anonymously as a current or former employee.
    Okay - so we have two possible stories: either one about Chris the ex-co-owner of Obsidian going utterly mad - which would be pretty newsworthy - or one about the respected writer of classic titles like Prey 2™ and FTL™ talking about his past bad working conditions during his time at Obsidian. Chris is not some unknown quantity in the industry that just starts spilling the beans.
    If they aren't comfortable sharing the allegations of financial tampering for now, they could interview (-> gamestar) him about situations like the disowning process.
    Hell - they could quote the German gamestar interview itself if they cared about sourcing or non-edified conduct. A week full of a complete lack of coverage seems just very unnatural.
     
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  12. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    I remember thinking that Urquhart was significantly more guarded about this than Fargo, so man Fargo certainly backed himself into a corner. Burned his bridges with publishers and core fans, of course he has no choice but to retire soon.

    A bit part of this is that they didn't understand how to place encounters with the toolset so you end up spawning in multiple instances of the same encounter any time you're on a map where you can approach an area from multiple angles.
     
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  13. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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    Yes, but even that is newsworthy in my opinion. The fact that a long time developer/writer and ex-owner of Obsidian is saying these things is p. big. It's not like it's a rumor of him saying this. It's his own words. They don't need to report what he's saying as fact, but just the fact that he's saying it.

    Well for one, game journos truly suck at their jobs as journalists. Articles from even the bigger publications often fail to even mention that they reached out to the related party for comment. Also, many times articles are not an amalgamation of sources as you see with traditional media. Many times it's an interview with some dude or just two or three sources who are spreading what might or might not be rumors.

    So to expect any of these people to start calling up sources and doing actual reporter legwork is a bit farfetched.

    This is the crazy part. MCA seems very open to answering questions right now. And stuff like de-ownership I'm sure has actual documents he could produce to the writer to verify his side of the story.

    My own opinion is that these journos don't want to step on Obsidian's toes in the middle of a launch week for fear of losing access to interviews and review copies, etc.
     
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  14. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
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    What? They made the toolset didn't they? How could they not know how to use it?
     
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  15. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    If they don't want to cover legal issues, I'm not sure if there's much of a story here. The rest of the stuff is just bad management.

    While that is obviously not okay, given the games industry reputation for horrible working conditions, you have to ask a question if what is going on at Obsidian is really that much below the industry standard.

    It's like, people at CD Projekt Red were forced to crunch 70 hours a week to push Witcher 3 through the finish line. And that barely got any coverage. So perhaps simply the bar is set very high in terms of how shitty a company has to be to get the press interested.
     
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  16. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    Feargus is going to be livid.

    I'm seething with rage about it already.
     
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  17. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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    This is still a story.

    FFS, this article doesn't even have quotable sources beyond Markland, and it covers bad management just like at Obsidian:

    https://www.theverge.com/2017/2/14/14612286/apocalypse-now-video-game-kickstarter-killspace-problems
     
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  18. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Waiting for evidence that user=Chris Avellone shares IP with infinitron

    Then we shall open the CODEXGATE
     
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  19. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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    inb4:

     
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  20. throwaway Arbiter

    throwaway
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    Chris (or anyone in the know), care to share at which point the idea of having 3 possible endings (good/bad/neutral it's in the Last Rites vision doc in that RPGWatch interview IIRC) for PS:T get scrapped and what the reasons were?
     
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  21. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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    They did make the toolset.

    Show Spoiler
    Bitmob: What were the most significant challenges that Obsidian encountered when producing the original campaign and the expansions?

    Richard Taylor: In order to produce the original campaign, we had a lot of hurdles to overcome on the technology-development front. We wanted the more cinematic conversation experience introduced by Knights of the Old Republic. We also wanted to improve upon NWN’s exteriors by using height-mapped terrain, which required changing various support systems as well, such as pathfinding. We were completely replacing the User Interface with a XML-driven, customizable system.

    On top of all this, we were rewriting the entire toolset from scratch. All of these factors lead to a challenge of trying to generate campaign content at the same time we were engineering the new technology for NWN2. This lead to conflicts where design or art would be depending on a feature that would break due to work being done on another feature, among other problems.

    None of these problems happened with the expansions. With the expansions we had a mostly finished engine to work with, aside from ongoing maintenance. This meant that we could focus more on the content itself and gameplay-level features such as new classes, epic level content, and more.

    The only challenge with the expansions was figuring how much cool stuff we could pack in during their comparatively shorter development cycles


    Seems it was still a challenge.

    Show Spoiler
    Bitmob: What was the most difficult aspect of designing the toolset?

    FU: The difficulty had a lot to do with the more advanced graphics engine in NWN2, which created a necessity that we rewrite the editor. Plus, the original editor was written in an older development system, and so we couldn’t just take parts of the code over and start working with them.

    On top of that, we needed to support two entirely different terrain systems — tiles and a height-map system. We then started adding new features to make the tools more usable — features that were not in the original NWN editor. Things like multiple windows and tabs, which gives the user the ability to have multiple creatures, maps, dialog, scripts, effects, etc., open all at once, compared to only have one thing open in the NWN editor.

    This was a great feature, but it made building the tools more complicated. And as the tools became more complicated, it began to take longer, and we started to run into problems delivering pieces of the campaign.

    So on top of having the pressure to get the tool done, since it was an important part of the product, there was also a huge amount of pressure to get things working so we could make the game. It was definitely a challenge, but we learned a lot from putting it together. And by we, I mean the principle programmer who developed the toolset, Erik Novales.


    source: https://venturebeat.com/community/2009/08/26/bitmob-debrief-obsidian-and-nevewinter-nights-2/
     
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  22. Whisky The Solution

    Whisky
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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera
    I'm never going to take a break from the Codex again. Holy shit, this is a goldmine!
     
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  23. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    Bioware made the toolset, they just updated it (making it more complex and difficult to use in the process)

    This is observable simply by playing the game and paying attention. Additionally, you can open the levels up in the toolset and see for yourself. Bioware employee Patrick Weekes actually griped about it on his livejournal.
    Additionally, another Amateur Hour problem Obsidian had was that they'd spawn these enemies within the player's viewing distance, while the Professionals at Bioware (and some smart modders) understood that you're supposed to place the spawn point and the polygon you run over that spawns them far away enough from each other that you don't see them fade into view (unless you're intentionally going for an ambush encounter).
     
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  24. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    To be honest, they improved quite a bit with Mask of the Betrayer, which didn't have these issues. They did have treants and ogres fade into view in front of you in the forest area, but I believe this was intentional given that it feels like an appropriate place for it.
     
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  25. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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    In the interview I linked above, Feargus said the experience with NWN2 as well as the fact that MOTB was smaller in general did help with making it more polished. It makes sense, considering that the first game you need to create a lot of new tech and are probably rushing to create the game with tools you've never used before. Probably a shitshow and tons of growing pains in the process of making that game.
     
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