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Chris Avellone

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Chris Avellone last won the day on September 22 2012

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About Chris Avellone

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    Running, Leaping, Shooting, and Danceoffs.

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  1. I think it's fair and a good point - companions shouldn't be (1) more powerful than the player, to the point where they can handle the combats by themselves, (2) upstage the player, and (3) seem to have used the ruleset in ways the player cannot to their advantage (ex: they're allowed to have stat allocations that no normal player could have made). All these things can breed resentment. A lot of the CNPC-initiated companion stuff makes them feel more alive, as long as the execution is handled correctly and it makes sense in the context of the situation. I probably should have mentioned
  2. Character building for games isn’t easy, and it requires a lot of effort, especially when it comes to companions. I’ve had the good fortune to work on a variety of titles with strong support characters over the years, and I enjoy writing them a great deal. I still can’t believe I get paid to do this (don’t cut me off, Feargus). There are a few guidelines I try to follow when designing companions (some of these are dependent on the engine and franchise). - Combat/Challenge-viable. Any companion that can’t hold their weight and help support the home team in some fashion i
  3. It's been a while - aside from Obsidian work, I've been doing quite a bit of talks here at Dragon*Con and across the sea in Spain at Gamelab on a variety of subjects, from advice to getting into the industry, to Kickstarter, and even our approach to designing characters for video games. Even better, I'll be doing the same coming up here in October at Austin GDC's narrative track concerning Obsidian's narrative approach - and going through our design process at the end of the month overseas concerning design as well (more on this as it happens). Still, it's nice to be home and back
  4. So a designer's job is to make jumping through hoops fun, and calibrating the challenge/frustration ratio of jumping through said hoops. This blog post stems from a question from the AMA Brian Fargo and I did on Reddit (long ago) concerning the issues with this in regards to one infamous piece of game design: time limits, and how two different games dealt with the challenge. From a gamemaster/game designer perspective, the idea of time limits is appealing. It creates pressure, and it creates an urgency for the player that's hard to beat. In Fallout 1, the sk
  5. I started playing Wasteland 1 near the end of Kickstarter to get back into the Wasteland mindset. I'm still loving it just as much as I did back in high school. One thing I wanted to vent about concerning old-school RPGs like Eternal Dagger, Wizard
  6. Obsidian gets applicants for internships all the time from schools across the States, and it may be that if you're forming a Kickstarter, you may need a lot of technical, production, and development help for tasks that students and juniors would love to do to contribute to their careers and education. If you're running a Kickstarter and would like to consider a pool of applicants to help you hit your game's mark, let us know - there may be interns/juniors in your area or could assist remotely with your tasks and help your game shine. If this is something you're interested in explor
  7. Recently, I was asked about Wasteland, and the answer became complicated enough that I decided to respond to here. In short, I
  8. Thanks for all the responses, folks - it may take me a while to sort the ones here, Twitter, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun among others, but I want to be thorough. Any more feedback or ideas, keep 'em coming! It's encouraging to see such a strong response.
  9. In the last profile, I ended up giving general advice on seeking out development jobs, here are additional suggestions for narrative designers: - If you have the time or resources, I'd recommend attending the Game Narrative/Writer's Track in Austin GDC, TX in October (I
  10. Was going to blog this week - then a fellow Thomas Jefferson high school alum, Danny Kim, beat me to it and ended up posting an interview I
  11. Some Planescape: Torment questions from Joe Hogle, an undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh, posting the reasons for some design choices. (BTW, if you guys ever have questions you want to answer for research papers or just because you want to know, feel free to email me at CAvellone@obsidian.net, let me know when you need them by, and if it's okay to blog the answers.) In many RPGs, including the Fallout games you
  12. Some Old World Questions from Rocky Justice (thanks, Rocky): 1. What is your official title? I know in the credits it says you're a writer, but I was wondering if there was a more specific title for your job. Also, how'd you get in to your line of work? Did you study writing in college, or was it something you discovered later on? I'm Creative Director here at the studio - I'm involved with the design department, giving advice on best practices, design methodology, and helping to test and select new design candidates. I also set up designer expectations for each tier of
  13. Giantevilhead: To answer the Enclave question, that's unknown. In the 1st iteration of Van Buren, history was the Enclave nuked the hell out of San Francisco, assuming that the destruction of the oil rig was caused by attackers from that city (and also a way to clean the slate there). Heartbreak_Courier: To continuing the franchise and work on it again, we'd love to if the opportunity presented itself - thanks for the kind words, we enjoyed being able to take another shot at the license (and dig up the old Van Buren material as well).
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