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Chris Avellone

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Everything posted by Chris Avellone

  1. Knights of the Old Republic II: Sith Lords questions from Joakim... some spoilers follow. 1. K2 pretty much changed on how the force, the galaxy, the Jedi are portrayed. How did that work in terms that you were making a sequel to a very typical Star Wars game? (KotOR1, we have this evil dude who wants to blow up the galaxy just for the hell of it). A lot of it came from deep-rooted feelings and opinions about the Star Wars franchise, both positive and negative, and especially what it would feel like to be a Jedi or Sith in that universe. I've always had an issue with th
  2. Got some general questions from Joakim, and wanted to post them in 2 parts in case folks were interested. If not, that's fine, too. Joakim had some Knights of the Old Republic 2 questions as well, and I'll post those in a few days. 1. If you couldn't be a game designer what would you be, and why? (in the game industry of course) I would either be cartooning (I still do one-shots for the comic "Knights of the Dinner Table" from Kenzer & Co), writing game supplements (Champions/Dark Champions) or scripting comic books. My current job allows me to do a little of all of
  3. New News, Same as the Old News: The fun of prepping for game tradeshows. But the research is fun! [/font]
  4. I recently did an interview regarding morality and games for a student's Master's Thesis, and I wanted to share in case anyone was interested. Or wanted to quote me in or out of context for fun. What is your name and professional title? My name is Chris Avellone, and I'm Creative Director (and Lead Designer on our Alpha Protocol CIA RPG) here at Obsidian Entertainment. For how long have you been working in the computer games industry? Over ten years (yikes) - I got my start in pen-and-paper gaming (Dungeons and Dragons, Champions), but the last dec
  5. I got to join some distinguished colleagues in giving some comments on world, story, and character design - many thanks to Vince for giving us the opportunity. You can find the interviews and the collected thoughts at: Story, Character, World Interview at Iron Tower Forums.
  6. EU Cantina Interview, Part 2. It's the last ten questions, but better late on my part than never, I suppose.
  7. Working on Alpha Protocol is great, although it has caused some... changes around the office. Alpha Protocol work environment. Hope you all are having a more fun and less paranoid week than I'm having.
  8. Thanks to Andrew (Son of Skywalker) and EUCantina.net, part 1 of writing/designing Star Wars comics/games is up at: Star Wars Expanded Universe Interview Part 1 Clone Wars Adventures (Issues 7-10) is also nominated for Best Children's Comic in the 2008 Eisner Awards! I feel incredibly stoked (I contributed stories for issues 7, 8, and 10).
  9. You can read it all here. Not company safe in an abstract respect, I guess.
  10. Fallout Memories, a decade later, over at Vault Network.
  11. I have to confess, I was pretty happy to hear the Writers Guild of America, West was giving awards for video game writing. Award Criteria and Submissions Then the fine print came out, which basically invalidates all the writing work we did at Black Isle and Obsidian for the past ten years, including: "Submitted games MUST have separate credit for writing (i.e. Written By, Story By, Writer, Story Designer, etc.). Writing credits must be verified by their inclusion in the game manual. If writing credits are not printed in the game manual, the publisher must fa
  12. Some fan-based questions I answered recently, posting them to share - it's about Ravel Puzzlewell from Planescape: Torment and some of the thoughts behind her creation. What was the origin of Ravel? We had a number of physically powerful enemies in Torment, and I thought a night hag would be a good adversary, especially if she was a cryptic, deadly puzzle maker. As the game went on, the idea that Ravel was a branching creature whose life resembled a great tree (or bramble) stretching across the planes, was in love with the player and she genuinely tried to help people a
  13. I occasionally get interview questions from students aspiring to be designers. I try to warn them, but... ...anyway, if you're curious, here's some answers. And some questions to go along with them. 1. What is a typical day for you as far as working on a project or projects? I get into work at 9:30, and try to work for an hour without checking email. This work can be writing design documentation, designing a system, doing mock-ups for an editor or toolset, or formatting an Excel sheet. After that, I check email, respond to pending requests, then hit lunch. A
  14. Comic-con redux, and here are some "celebrity" pix from the show. Again, we'll be at Gen Con and PAX, so keep an eye out for Mask of the Betrayer.
  15. Not only am I, in fact, in love with Doctor Doom, but when it comes to romances, I think you
  16. Got back from Comic-con, and here are some pix from the show, in case anyone is interested. Just a heads up that we'll be at Gen Con and PAX in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for Mask of the Betrayer.
  17. So, I generally despise writing companion romances (I think unrequited and/or doomed ones are ultimately more dramatic), but there are some techniques I've accumulated over the years that I try to incorporate into writing and designing romances in RPGs. A lot of these things came out while writing Gannayev-of-Dreams in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, and I suppose it could hold true for other inter-party romances in games. What follows is a summary of some points we kicked around for how to foster romances with the PC. Any suggestions or examples
  18. Off to Comic-Con within a week, although we won't be showing Mask of the Betrayer there, the plan is to show it at Gen-Con Aug 16-19, and PAX Aug 23-25 as it currently stands. This may fluctuate, so don't quote me on this. In honor of convention season, I present some things to look forward to at game conventions. Enjoy and have a good weekend, folks.
  19. There were some concerns floating around about Aliens being an action RPG, so I thought it would best to clarify. While there will be action elements to it, it is still an RPG in every sense of the word. An analysis of the elements, along with diagrams as to what constitutes an action RPG in the aliens universe, is presented for your viewing enjoyment here. Hypothetically, the diagrams may resemble cartoons. And it may not be a serious analysis. All other standard caveats apply. Happy pre-Memorial Day week, everyone. Chris
  20. As part of the discussion involving Aliens interface design, our Systems Lead, Paul Boyle, showed us this supercool lighttable interface. Here's a glimpse of what future keyboards may be like. There's also pretty lights and a cartoon in there as well, for your viewing pleasure.
  21. Technically, this is "Unofficial GDC Report, Part 3." Technically. This is because this topic goes faaaaaar beyond GDC. Regardless, I wanted to take a moment to show you why we love the fans who hate us.
  22. Finally made it back from the Game Developer's Conference, and I'll be blogging the experiences through this coming week and the next. I will say, that parties at GDC can get awkward, depending on the celebrity turnout.
  23. My Obsidian message inbox is full, and it
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