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Chris Avellone tells the Codex about his current work on Pillars of Eternity
People News - posted by Crooked Bee on Sat 17 January 2015, 17:56:18Tags: Chris Avellone; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity
As some may recall, in a recent interview Chris Avellone told PCGamesN that he wrote two companions for Obsidian's upcoming fantasy RPG Pillars of Eternity, but that his original design went too far and had to be scaled down from how he originally imagined these characters:
“I’m not writing for a publisher right now,” he thought. “So I can write about subjects we’re normally not allowed to. What’s interesting about the world of Eternity that I think these two companions could have something to say about?”
In the end, Avellone went too far even for his colleagues at Obsidian - those characters won’t appear in the game as he originally intended.
We were in email correspondence with Chris regarding Codex backer rewards at around the same time the interview was posted, so we decided to ask him about his original companion design and how it changed - to which MCA gave an answer that may be of interest to those who follow Pillars of Eternity's progress:
The final versions that are in the game are the province of other narrative designers, and I would be uncomfortable taking credit for the final implementation of the two characters. "
The Grieving Mother's mental dungeon sounds intriguing, and also Wasteland-ey (remember Finster's brain?), but given Josh Sawyer's recent comment on another forum about "listing as a b-priority" anything that isn't "core gameplay" (requires registration to see, but quoted in full by our dear Roguey here), no wonder it was cut. Could be it didn't fit the game's tone either.
To follow up on that, we asked Chris if the Grieving Monther's dungeon's design was Wasteland-inspired, but turns out that no, it was not:
Sounds like it was firmly rooted in the game's lore, after all.
Aside from that, in response to the question about whether he would describe his involvement with Pillars as "minimal", MCA also elaborated on what his current role on the game is in general:
I also did multiple critiques of the lore and the storyline(s) (including suggesting one framework for the story, along with other designers), but the storyline does not have many of my suggestions or contributions, it is largely the Creative Lead’s voice and direction guiding it, as it should be.
I had no involvement with the systems of the game beyond pushing that we create classes unique/native to the physics of the world (the Cipher), since a number of the classes that had been created up to that point were largely archetypes that could be found in other fantasy games. I felt strongly that if we could make a tie between the systems and lore, the game would be stronger for it.
That’s it. Still plenty to do. More to come when I have a breather. "
In conclusion - for those still waiting with bated breath for the continuation of his exciting adventures in Arcanum - MCA noted that the above "isn’t meant to imply the Arcanum LP won’t be finished, it will just likely be postponed until I’ve done all I can with improving Eternity’s core content." Phew, and here I was getting worried already.