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Codex Interview RPG Codex Interview: Chris Avellone on Pillars Cut Content, Game Development Hierarchies and More

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Fenix Arcane Vatnik

    Fenix
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Russia atchoum!
    You said that like if win of a being "USA" brings bread and wine and fat wife to your home, and security to your town.

    Then REJOICE.

    Go fuck your momma brainlet because that's how you was born.
     
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  2. Blaine Cis-Het Oppressor Patron

    Blaine
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Shitposts are >95%, surely.

    Chris has 56 posts out of 2,948 (at time of composition), or 1.9%.

    I'd guess that capitalism vs. communism should be higher.
     
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  3. M. AQVILA Arcane

    M. AQVILA
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    3,307
    The cultural and social revolution are products of Marxist thought not capitalism. I don't know what strand of socialism you follow but don't try to shift the blame.
     
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  4. deepfire Literate

    deepfire
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    If we were to entertain that implausible avenue, I would admit it could be a romantic explanation for the profoundly touching portrayal of some of the female characters in the game..
     
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  5. TheSentinel Arcane

    TheSentinel
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  6. Outlander Custom Tags Are For Fags. Patron

    Outlander
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    Location:
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    Divinity: Original Sin Wasteland 2
                :russia:

    Show Spoiler
    :flamesaw:








     
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  7. Kleptocratic debt serf Scholar

    Kleptocratic debt serf
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    So, those resetera forumites are still incredibly triggered by both the codex and MCA DGTOW(developers going their own way).

    While they are a bunch of pansies this following exchange is kind of funny,

    But these last two are great...

    More fun at the source -> https://www.resetera.com/threads/ch...him-to-never-work-on-rpgs-again.40245/page-10

    According to Resetera the Codex is for racist, bigoted, sexist white men who conduct high level cRPG discussions...

    And get inside scoops from MCA, who apparently needs to stop assaulting people... :obviously:
     
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  8. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    This makes me so upset, i was looking forward to pillars of eternity 2, i was even going to buy it on release, but this interview has shocked me to the core, it has radically changed my views on obsidian. Sadly they have lost a very loyal customer today.
     
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  9. 2house2fly Erudite

    2house2fly
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    Assaulting people is bad, dude
     
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  10. Edmund Spenser Educated

    Edmund Spenser
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    It's all so transparent and tiresome. If Avellone was Sawyer, or if Obsidian was EA, everyone would be filled with righteous anger.
     
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  11. HanoverF Arcane Patron

    HanoverF
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    MCA Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Ban Assault Developers
     
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  12. Imoens pet Prospernaut Shitposter

    Imoens pet
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    That's the most funniest thing in all of this. Had the roles been reversed, then major news outlet will be reporting this. People will quite literally be crucifying Obsidian.

    But nah, we need Obsidian to continue making our pseudo watered down Baldur's gate lite games.
     
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  13. Chris Avellone Arcane Developer

    Chris Avellone
    Joined:
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    I want to apologize if I missed any questions, it’s hard to track them all in the thread – if I missed someone, I apologize, it wasn’t personal, there’s just a lot to read (and apparently on Reddit, too, which I didn’t realize).

    I don’t have any issues with Josh, he’s not part of the upper management I mention here (he wasn’t even Design Director until a while after I left, I believe), and I think he’s a good Project Director. I also don’t have any issue with Tim, Leonard, Charlie, Tyson, Rich (Taylor) etc. and they are not part of this either - I like them all and respect their work very much. I am looking forward to Project Indiana.

    Josh did turn in his resignation more than once, and apparently (!) Feargus did threaten to fire him and Adam if PoE1 didn’t come out in March, which I never knew. (Yes, owners didn’t talk amongst themselves when they threatened to fire senior employees, apparently, because why would they – it was symptomatic of the poor communication at the studio. I also was never told when Feargus decided to move PoE1's ship date from Sept to March, he didn't mention that fact, either) I only heard about the firing threat when I read about it in Blood, Sweat, and Pixels (at least in the draft I read). I think threatening to fire Josh and Adam under any circumstances isn't a smart move, especially since Obsidian always struggled with trying to find good leads and good programmers. I don't ever think you should threaten employees like that, either.

    I also support the idea of making financial and resource sacrifices if it will make the end result better (I supported PoE2’s delayed launch), which was also apparently the crux of the threat.

    Special treatment is a much larger issue because all that I observed wasn't consistent, it often made things confusing for other employees (hey, why does so-and-so always get to come at 11?) and bred resentment if not explained, and it can be disruptive to a lead if an owner tells an employee to take the day off or tell them they don't have to make up work afterhours... because they may actually have to and their lead needs them to. My opinion is you don't give special treatment, you showcase it in raises and reviews, and you make the reasons explicit, but be very careful of outward facing special treatment in case it could be mistaken for something else. Inward special treatment can also be bad if discovered (hey, why are Josh and Adam getting royalties on PoE and we aren't? Even if "understood," finding this out can be bad for morale - my opinion is you spread the wealth).
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
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  14. Imoens pet Prospernaut Shitposter

    Imoens pet
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    Fit me, roguey.
     
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  15. CrustyBot Arcane Patron

    CrustyBot
    Joined:
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    Codex 2012
    I'm curious as to whether any of Chris' bigger claims will be addressed by people at the company at some point (namely Obsidian wanting to restrict him from working on RPGs ever again, and the ghost employee embezzlement). The timing of the shitflinging is pretty devastating as it's going to derail the release of PoE 2 to some extent. But even after the release, you don't really want this hanging over your head when you have to make the next crowdfunding campaign or whatever.
     
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  16. Chris Avellone Arcane Developer

    Chris Avellone
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    I don’t like writing romances, but that doesn’t mean I won’t write them when asked and do my best (and have, it’s part of the job).

    You all can burn me at the stake for this, but I also don’t feel they should be excluded from a game, but preferably, you want to keep a range of relationship options, not just romance (friendships, buddy-cop arcs, hate-mances, etc.). It’s something I’ve said for a while, it’s always been part of my design philosophy. We were having lunch with one of the PoE Backers and Feargus brought it up yet again, and I carefully re-explained my position on the subject, but it made me realize that higher-level decisions may be being made for the wrong assumptions (again, poor communication, but you need to hear a decision was made to respond to it).

    I will say relationship arcs can be resource expensive, however, and you have to be careful with scope with them.

    George did help me with the Gann arcs in NX1, and I appreciate it.
     
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  17. Edmund Spenser Educated

    Edmund Spenser
    Joined:
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    Hell, I'm speaking as a Sawyer/Obsidian fan as well. I love the work they've done, with all their bugs and faults.

    But this is now, to me, larger than this relatively isolated incident. Since we can't know for absolute certainty the intricacies of Obsidian's inner workings, we're left with the word of Avellone, and what is the reaction of the people who actually know who Obsidian, Feargus, and Avellone are?

    Blatant bias and character assassination. It's okay to be curious of Avellone's story or outright skeptical, but name-calling and ignoring everything because, "it's Avellone, the prima-donna" or, "he's posted it on RPGCodex, the preferred outlet of Goebbels himself" is absolutely ridiculous and exactly what's wrong with contemporary gaming/developer culture.

    The only 'relevant' criticism of Chris about all this that I've seen is its convenient proximity to Deadfire's release. That being said, if Chris wanted to hurt Deadfire or Obsidian itself, it seems that there are many other ways to do it more effectively than, "I answer questions people ask me."
     
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  18. Fenix Arcane Vatnik

    Fenix
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Russia atchoum!
    Another angry stupid kid that tries to wipe/nuke/derail thread with his stupidity.
    French bourgeois revolution - 1789 - 1799.
    Karl Marx - born 1818.
    :prosper:

    Surely this guy Markss have met Leonardo da Vinci so he made time machine and that Markess guy made bourgeois revolution in France!
    CUNNING MOVE! EVERYBODY DANCE!

    So, here is the deal Infinitron.
    I think someone trying if not derail thread, then harrasing personally me with this fresh accaunts that write exclusively how "you should behead all commie" and they know I will answer, and if this will last long enough this anyway will lead to my posts moved to Retardo Land with some tag for me.
    So can I ask about gag insertion for all these freshy talky-talky accounts, because if posts from both sides will be moved to RL, that mean anyone who can in twinks can manipulate discussions.
    But if not - feel free to move posts from both sides there.
    But this shit must end.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
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  19. Rivmusique Arcane Patron

    Rivmusique
    Joined:
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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Was searching twitter for "Chris Avellone" to see if this is getting much attention and stumbled on to this:



    What game "refuted" kotor 2?

    Chris Avellone Do you see kotor 2 in TLJ? I wondered if it might be similar during the early trailers, but watching the film it seemed to be coming from a different angle. I loved both, though, does anyone else that despises it see Avellone as the cause :lol: .

    We'll have the Codex converted in no time with a quote like this. Thank you, comrade.

    This made me hot.
     
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  20. Kingston Arcane

    Kingston
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    I lack the wit to put something hilarious here
    I'm incredibly drunk right now so i will just say godspeed and god bless mr. Avellone (PST means a lot to me) and holy shit is this a thread för the ages.
     
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  21. Edmund Spenser Educated

    Edmund Spenser
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    I'll repost my older question, Chris, because I feel like your candor is extremely rare in the current climate. It is also very appreciated.
     
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  22. Phanax Novice Patron

    Phanax
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    This thread started so innocently a week ago...
     
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  23. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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    Bingo.

    BINGO
     
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  24. Chris Avellone Arcane Developer

    Chris Avellone
    Joined:
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    Other random answers (some may have been here, some on Reddit – if I’m wrong, I’ll post the right answers on Reddit).

    Ubisoft: So Ubisoft didn’t really cut ties to Obsidian that I know of, nor did Obsidian turn them away because Obsidian had too much work – the conversation, to all accounts, never happened at all, because Ubisoft never spoke to Obsidian about doing the second game. One day the sequel was announced, and it was my understanding it was a surprise to Obsidian that anyone was working on a sequel – Obsidian didn’t proudly defy Ubisoft and tell them to fuck off because they were too busy: Ubisoft didn’t even call.

    Transition from Publisher to Developer, Reversal of Roles: Feargus went through what I feel may have been poor training as a studio lead at Black Isle. In that position, he had more control over the projects, the funding, and more importantly, outside developers – in his role at Interplay, he was very much the publisher, and he was the one who made calls on BG1, BG2, etc. He controlled the funding, could make demands, could withhold payments, and also force capitulations in features and schedules.

    Unfortunately, I believe this set a bad precedent for Feargus dealing with publishers in the future because we became one of the same outside developers he had formerly overseen when he was a publisher - the roles were reversed, and so was the power.

    Suddenly he had to experience it from the other side, and he didn’t take to it well – the control was gone, and suddenly his demands could be ignored and fought, rather than accepted. The leverage was gone.

    Even more importantly, Feargus’s behavior no longer had to be ignored by the person on the other end of the phone or in discussions in the conference room: Where once if Feargus asked a developer or contractor to do something, they would largely have to swallow it or fight to be polite in order to get paid or keep their project going, the reverse was very hard for Feargus to deal with, and led to a lot of shouting matches (which you could hear down the hall), and even hanging up on publishers. We knew about this because he’d come brag to us about when he hung up on a studio head or producer, which made me even more depressed, since it meant we’d likely lose another contract with no back-up plans (he actually did the bragging rounds from owner office to owner office when he shouted at someone in the studio as well, as if he was showcasing the strength of his management style).

    Worse, Feargus didn't learn from this - instead, he passed the behavior along. When Feargus was in charge of outsourcing and other remote contracts, he behaved much like the publishers he railed against, which was depressing as well.

    Overall, the position of having to answer to someone else didn’t often go well, and it’s much the reason I think Obsidian would be better off finding a way to completely self-publish their games because I don’t think any other option is going to work in the long-term.

    Financial Matters and Ethics: I also don’t know where the training for handling and responsibility for finances came from, but we didn’t see eye to eye on that, either, as I've said.

    It went beyond the transparency in finances - the biggest shock came when the matter arose about paying back employees (not the owners, but our employees) who had given up their paychecks to keep Obsidian from going bankrupt. When we did start getting money in the bank again after this bleak period, however, the company's spending began accelerating again.

    This made me uncomfortable, so at that time where our finances became healthy again, I brought up that since we had the means to do so, we should pay back the employees who gave up their paychecks to keep us going.

    My comment was met with silence by all the owners.

    I repeated the concern, but when I brought it up again, Feargus simply said, "we never promised we'd pay the employees back," as if that excused things - but paying the employees back didn’t seem like a technicality to me, this was the right thing to do.

    He then said he wanted the matter dropped.

    Fortunately, another owner did finally admit he agreed with me some time later (mostly because one of the unpaid employees confronted the owner on what was going on with it), he was someone Feargus would listen to, and when he brought it up (this time he asked for my support, even though he had been silent before), we were able to push Feargus into establishing a payback plan and get restitution for the employees who sacrificed for us - and this was well before any owner paychecks resumed (by this point, the owners were resolved to not getting paid back, so it wasn't a huge shift).

    Overall, it seemed a shameful way to treat our employees who had sacrificed for us, and I wasn’t happy we even had to discuss compensating them – it didn’t seem to be something we should discuss, we should simply do it because it was the right thing to do.
     
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  25. Glaucon Prophet

    Glaucon
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    Seize the means of discussion! Thread manipulation has gotten out of hand! Socialize Posting!
     
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