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

Jezal_k23

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Just for one day.
 

Blaine

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Grab the Codex by the pussy
Which should I be more inclined to believe:

The calm, measured words of a man whose story mirrors countless other credible testimonies of the dark side of the game development industry?

Or the angry, indignant words of a man who is only here to offer a retort, as many who don't wish to burn bridges with the industry always do whenever someone lets the cat out of the bag?

Hmmm... hmmmm. Man, this is a hard decision. HMMMM.

nro0rmasizr01.png
 

IHaveHugeNick

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Come on m8. Even if there is any sort of malicious intent behind Avellone's timing, it won't affect Obsidian in the least. No one outside the Codex cares about this. On the Obsidian forums for example, Obsidiots are, surprise surprise, defending Obsidian. No major publication will pick up this story. Avellone has a lot of weight among the dedicated fanbases of RPGs but in the wider field no one knows who he is. He's no Todd Howard. Even if anyone picks up the story Obsidian won't start losing big sales because of it.

I know it will not affect much, which is exactly why I call this course of action petty. Shit hits the fan and everybody gets stained and nothing is really accomplished for either side.
 

MF

The Boar Studio
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The physical work of cutting the dialogue down in the tool, refactoring all the scripting, and everything else meant that even with the companions brought down to proper length, their implementation time was still far beyond that of any other companions.

What does 'everything else' entail? Was this really the gist of the problem or just a minor hassle? If cutting dialogue and refactoring some code means anything more than a couple of hours of busywork, it seems there's something seriously wrong with Obsidian's tools. I believe I read somewhere that you hooked up your dialogue tool for New Vegas to Unity... how arcane that environment must be for this to be an issue.

I can hardly believe it. I've only been working with Unity for about a year and a half, but if I delete a line in my dialogue system, all dependent scripts are automatically adjusted or throw warnings if they have co-dependencies, which I can then systematically adjust. Even complicated, long entries with deep consequences in multiple scripts are relatively easy and quick to fix. And yes, that includes audio references for VO. I don't have lip-sync tools, but PoE didn't have that either -but maybe a relic from New Vegas complicating things?- and I don't even think that would be hard to add. Were you exaggerating? I have no horse in this race, I'm just curious because this does not compute for me.

Damn. If it's really that bad, I'm going to seriously consider licensing out my Unity-adjacent development utilities.

On another note, what happened to Chris sounds terrible one way or the other. Dealing with financial/employment issues is the last thing you want to be doing when your mom is battling cancer. My sympathies.
 

Mebrilia the Viera Queen

Guest
Well i think i will gladly avoid to spend my money to get poe deadfire not that i was so interested on poe2 to start with... I side with Chris... fuck off obsidian.
 

mondblut

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Ah, I see some people have suddenly sprouted business suits and briefcases since the topic of legal issues came up.

Three out of the four members of my immediate family (that's everyone but me) are lawyers, so armchair lawyers are especially entertaining to me.
I'm a lawyer, Blaine. Granted, I'm a Russian, and my specialty isn't labor law, so in your mind it probably disqualifies me, but still. Also 'kwa legal system is a fucking disaster and a nightmare.

Russia has a legal system?

Well, someone has to arrest the losing side's buddy FSB officers for corruption charges. Or sign the paperwork necessary to bury the losing side's gangster patrons. If you can tell those buddy FSB officers and those gangster patrons apart, that is, which is highly unlikely.
 

Blaine

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Grab the Codex by the pussy
We need Josh Sawyer to create an RPG Codex account and explain his side here. Only way to make this day better.

That's not gonna happen. Josh prefers Something Awful and the late NeoFAG, where incorrect opinions and wrongthink are instantly sent down the memory hole.

I seem to dimly recall that he does have an account here and stopped using it ages ago, but I may be thinking of another developer.
 

a cut of domestic sheep prime

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Josh prefers Something Awful and the late NeoFAG
Maybe if the Codex started talking about social justice, charging subscriptions, sending minors to sleep with webmasters for blackmail (allegedly), and/or pressuring random wymyn into sex (allegedly), Josh would feel more comfortable here. :M
 

mondblut

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Josh prefers Something Awful and the late NeoFAG
Maybe if the Codex started talking about social justice, charging subscriptions, sending minors to sleep with webmasters for blackmail (allegedly), and/or pressuring random wymyn into sex (allegedly), Josh would feel more comfortable here. :M

Anything but social justice is fair game. Allegedly.
 

a cut of domestic sheep prime

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Anything but social justice is fair game. Allegedly.
Social Justice is a plague that seeks to co-opt and/or encompass everything though. Video games, kids toys, your dick. So it's not that social justice is off limits, it's that certain opinions are off limits.
 

Rivmusique

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Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Cool thread you have here.

I didn’t get anything when I left Obsidian. There were no share payouts, no equity, and this was in addition to the other logistical problems around the departure – the sudden cancellation of my health insurance, problems with my 401K, errors in Obsidian’s accounting, and several existing independent contracts they refused to uphold.

Realizing my family issues and the debts therein, however, they did make an attempt to leverage that into a far more confining separation agreement that would remove my right to work on RPGs, and my silence on all issues that could pertain to Obsidian or any other company they were involved with or the CEO had a % in (Fig, Zero Radius, Dark Rock Industries, etc.). This included an inability to critique games I’d worked on – much of my critiques on my own games tend to be blunt, and not being able to speak to them felt unnatural to me.

The worst.
 

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