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Yet Another Chris Avellone Interview

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Yet Another Chris Avellone Interview

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Sat 8 February 2014, 22:29:55

Tags: Alpha Protocol; Chris Avellone; Obsidian Entertainment; Planescape: Torment; Torment: Tides of Numenera; Wasteland 2

Instead of drawing the long-promised Codex trolls, Chris Avellone is busy doing interviews left and right. Last time it was a Russian interview, this time it's a Polish one. Thankfully it's also available in English, so here's a snippet on just how many projects Obsidian is currently trying to pitch and what else Chris is doing at the moment (spoiler: anything to avoid drawing the Codex trolls), as well as on Chris' sadness about the lack of italics in video games:

Hi, Chris. We’re glad that you found a moment to answer our questions. Last year you once again became a human stretch goal; you also got involved in another demanding cRPG project. What has been taking up most of your time recently?

Chris Avellone: I got drafted for creative design on the next slate of Obsidian projects, and there’s a lot. We’re pitching several new games at Obsidian now that titles are wrapping up, and I was enlisted into that process. We have about at least nine proposals in the works, some with multiple stories and story arcs, which is challenging, but in a good way, it’s just a lot to juggle. It’s largely Feargus (our CEO) and I doing the initial proposals, and then senior folks get moved on to them as their time frees up. It gives me new respect for what Feargus has to juggle with projects and contracts. Things should settle down once we have the next slate of projects good to go.

In my off-duty time, I’m playing the Wasteland 2 beta and writing the Wasteland novel, doing nation design for the Accursed RPG, both of which are nice changes of pace from my game writing. Working on the FTL Enhanced Edition (which I did for free because I love FTL) was also a fun experience – Tom Jubert and Justin Ma and the devs were really fun and open to work with. I also liked a lot of the new plans they had for the game and the expansion of the lore.

I’m also slated to add narrative muscle to the Legend of Grimrock series by Wayside Creations (they did Fallout: Nuka Break and Red Star), and I’m looking forward to that since I’m a Legend of Grimrock fan.

Games are not literature – you’re bound to work within the limitations of mechanics. Which important elements of modern technology tend to be the most limiting for writers? What kind of devices do you lack the most?

The limitations I see the most are just financial and resource hurdles. Often, game companies can’t afford to hire editors (it’s almost impossible to justify that expense) and editing and proofing are such an important part of the process it shouldn’t be left to chance. I will add, that from a tech standpoint, the amount of games that don’t have the ability to display italicized text is sadness. Italics communicate so much in tone.​

For more MCA wisdom (including his answers to a few Planescape: Torment-related questions), read the full interview here.

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