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Obsidian's creative direaction


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BioWare only released two (unremarkable) original games before being bought out by EA, so it's not like their strategy worked out much better. As for ambition, I suppose the effort is there, it's just that their employees have always been largely untalented. Still, I give them a bit of credit for creating a somewhat interesting fantasy world with Dragon Age: Origins.

 

 

Right, so you're founding a new RPG development studio in California in 2003. Whose example are you going to follow? A Swedish horror game developer that didn't exist yet, that made its fortune using an indie digital distribution model that didn't exist yet? A Polish videogame publisher best known for translating Baldur's Gate to Polish, that took 5 years to develop their first game which could easily have ended up as a horrible piece of Euro-shovelware? Or are you going to follow the example of the world's RPG industry leader at the time? I think you're placing an unreasonable demand on Obsidian's strategic foresight here.

Edited by Infinitron
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*sigh* At what age did you move onto Fantasy Island? In what world can the newly formed company take their pitch for MotB to some other publisher with "some" mystical IP that you can't even name as an example that would fit it and that would have the same recognition that D&D has when they have a publisher ready to put it out under D&D and as an expansion for NWN2 using some of the same art assets from that same game? While you are at it, look into that glass ball of yours and tell me the lottery numbers for next week.

Obsidian got an offer to work on an original IP for Sega in 2006 after all. Also, Obsidian would have be able to do something like that if it wasn't for Feargus's insistence back then on working on only AAA projects. They could've snatched a deal with a smaller publisher extremely easily.

 

 

Both games are cRPG's so it that much of surprise for you that a well made AAA cRPG will get better reviews, recognition and sales than a Kickstarter game? I wouldn't call Pillars of Eternity a game for the "hardcore" cRPG gamers either. While it has some mechanics made for such gamers, it's still a realtime with pause type of game that tries to capture the spirit of Baldur's Gate (which was in no way a hardcore cRPG) and not a turn based cRPG that most would rather put under the label "hardcore".

Considering the hype for PoE among the hardcore audience and Obsidian's past of making complex RPGs, I think it's pretty obvious what people were expecting from it. It wasn't just a Baldur's Gate successor either, it was supposed to be a successor to all the IE games, including Planescape and Icewind Dale.
 

 

 

Imagine that... people actually change their jobs once in a while. Must be really depressing to be able to choose from multiple companies and different kind of games to work on, instead of just working for the same company for decades and doing nothing but cRPGs. 
There are several designers that left for somewhat suspicious reasons. Brian Mitsoda is one of the biggest examples, as I already said, not to mention Avellone, who was a co-founder and owner. I get the impression that the environment over at Obsidian is/was a bit hostile to its writers and designers, to be honest. But generally, writers don't just leave a company like Obsidian just because they want a change of scenery.
 

 

 
BioWare only released two (unremarkable) original games before being bought out by EA, so it's not like their strategy worked out much better. As for ambition, I suppose the effort is there, it's just that their employees have always been largely untalented. Still, I give them a bit of credit for creating a somewhat interesting fantasy world with Dragon Age: Origins.

 

 

Right, so you're founding a new RPG development studio in California in 2003. Whose example are you going to follow? A Swedish horror developer that didn't exist yet, that made its fortune using an indie digital distribution model that didn't exist yet? A Polish videogame publisher best known for translating Baldur's Gate to Polish, that took 5 years to develop their first game which could easily have ended up as a horrible piece of Euro-shovelware? Or are you going to follow the example of the world's RPG industry leader at the time? I think you're placing an unreasonable demand on Obsidian's strategic foresight here.

 

I'm not really criticizing Obsidian's original plan for the company. What I'm generally talking about is how the company was managed as time moved on. They have always taken too long to adapt to changes in the industry. This applies even now: These days, unlike ten years ago, fresh and experimental games are all the rage, which Obsidian isn't doing. Look at the reactions to the Tyranny announcement: a lot of people complained about how they're playing it safe and only working on high fantasy.

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Sooo... are you gonna name that mystical IP or not? Probably not. Building a completely new IP to fit Mask of the Betrayer would have taken some of the power from that punch for sure. For a D&D/FR fan (or even if you know the IP) it is a lot bigger deal to be talking to Myrkul than some god they just created for a new IP that no one has even heard of. Case in point PoE. The conversation with the gods was in no way bad, but it still missed that sense of familiarity with the gods in question. Conversations with Myrkul and Kelemvor on the other hand worked pretty much to perfection because some/most players know those gods from either other games, the rpg or from books.

 

And guess what, they created Alpha Protocol with Sega. They took the deal with Sega but created something different with it. How is that a bad thing?

And no, they could not snatch a smaller publisher easily. Smaller publishers like Paradox didn't have the capital to publish Obsidian's game nor was Obsidian making games with 20 people at that time. And why should they, when they had 2x AAA games funded pretty much all of the time.

 

The only hardcore thing about Planescape was the amount of dialogue and writing, and they never said they would include as much dialogue in the game as in Planescape. Icewind Dale had the tactical fights and I think PoE managed to capture that with the more difficult settings just fine. You are just sidetracking from the point I was making at this point...

 

Have you ever worked in your life in a company with multiple people in it? Not everyone will superhappy with the company, co-workers, their bosses, salary, location etc. all the time. People leave companies for lots of various reasons, just because talented people sometimes rather go work somewhere else it doesn't mean they were mistreated, life happens. Family member back home might get sick, so you move nearer to them. Your career ambitions might change in time. There are only a number of Lead positions available at one company, so you move again if you can get a better position somewhere else. Writers also leave Obsidian because Obsidian is highly praised for it's writing, so bigger companies will poach some of that talent no matter what Obsidian does. I could go on forever for list of reasons people leave...

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I'm not really criticizing Obsidian's original plan for the company. What I'm generally talking about is how the company was managed as time moved on. They have always taken too long to adapt to changes in the industry. This applies even now: These days, unlike ten years ago, fresh and experimental games are all the rage, which Obsidian isn't doing. Look at the reactions to the Tyranny announcement: a lot of people complained about how they're playing it safe and only working on high fantasy.

 

 

You're probably exaggerating the degree to which "fresh and experimental games" are popular. Even among the new generation of oldschool RPGs, whose audience which you'd think would be most receptive to interesting settings, high fantasy rules the roost. In fact, I suspect Tyranny may end up being less popular than Pillars of Eternity due to being too experimental rather than not enough. Just look at Steamspy, the data is all there.

 

But anyway, once you've decided it's in your DNA to become a big company, it's kind of hard to step back from that. Right now, I imagine Feargus feels something like this. "We made Fallout: New Vegas, one of the most successful single player RPGs of all time. We can do that again someday, with our own IP this time. And we need to be a big company for that."

Edited by Infinitron
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Sooo... are you gonna name that mystical IP or not? Probably not. Building a completely new IP to fit Mask of the Betrayer would have taken some of the power from that punch for sure. For a D&D/FR fan (or even if you know the IP) it is a lot bigger deal to be talking to Myrkul than some god they just created for a new IP that no one has even heard of. Case in point PoE. The conversation with the gods was in no way bad, but it still missed that sense of familiarity with the gods in question. Conversations with Myrkul and Kelemvor on the other hand worked pretty much to perfection because some/most players know those gods from either other games, the rpg or from books.

On the contrary, I think making the base NWN2 game mandatory to buy for you to get MotB was probably about the worst thing they could've done. I also imagine a lot of people played MotB without knowing anything about D&D (particularly the people who got into RPGs in this decade), and what you're saying is pretty much restricted to D&D fans. I myself played MotB without any prior knowledge of that IP and still thought the conversation with Myrkul was amazing. The gods in PoE were just written badly, there's no need to make any excuses for it.

 

And guess what, they created Alpha Protocol with Sega. They took the deal with Sega but created something different with it. How is that a bad thing?

And no, they could not snatch a smaller publisher easily. Smaller publishers like Paradox didn't have the capital to publish Obsidian's game nor was Obsidian making games with 20 people at that time. And why should they, when they had 2x AAA games funded pretty much all of the time.

Didn't say it was a bad thing, Alpha Protocol is one of my all-time favorite games. As for why they would want to work with smaller pubs? To make games that are closer to their creative vision. Thought that was pretty obvious.

 

The only hardcore thing about Planescape was the amount of dialogue and writing, and they never said they would include as much dialogue in the game as in Planescape. Icewind Dale had the tactical fights and I think PoE managed to capture that with the more difficult settings just fine. You are just sidetracking from the point I was making at this point...

Not really. From the Kickstarter campaign: "Project Eternity will take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment."

 

None of this happened. The writing was average at best, the gameplay was overbalanced and simply not fun (not to mention the trash mobs), and besides Avellone's characters and maybe Eder hardly anyone cared about the companions. The exploration was ruined by the loading screens.

 

Have you ever worked in your life in a company with multiple people in it? Not everyone will superhappy with the company, co-workers, their bosses, salary, location etc. all the time. People leave companies for lots of various reasons, just because talented people sometimes rather go work somewhere else it doesn't mean they were mistreated, life happens. Family member back home might get sick, so you move nearer to them. Your career ambitions might change in time. There are only a number of Lead positions available at one company, so you move again if you can get a better position somewhere else. Writers also leave Obsidian because Obsidian is highly praised for it's writing, so bigger companies will poach some of that talent no matter what Obsidian does. I could go on forever for list of reasons people leave...

This doesn't explain the cases of Mitsoda and Avellone leaving. Avellone recently said on Twitter that he was the creative lead on Tyranny during pre-production, and for him to leave before finishing it is strange. Similarly, Mitsoda left during the middle of being the creative lead on their first original IP. As for what he thinks about Obsidian, you just need to look at the comments he and Annie made over the years about Alpha Protocol. There was one writer that they seemed to really like, Travis Stout, but he also later left in 2011.

 

In fact, I suspect Tyranny may end up being less popular than Pillars of Eternity due to being too experimental rather than not enough. Just look at Steamspy, the data is all there.

 

While I agree that Tyranny will probably sell less than Pillars, I think another big reason for that would be Obsidian fantasy fatigue. Obsidian has picked up a reputation for working with a varied number of game settings, from post-apocalyptic to sci-fi to Planescape-type fantasy to modern-day-espionage. Recently, Obsidian has been mostly making fantasy or fantasy-type games (DS3, TSoT, PoE, Tyranny), and IMO people are starting to catch on.

Edited by RingMachine
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I really don't think the South Park RPG is perceived as a "fantasy-type game"...

It's mostly modern day, but fantasy is obviously still a major element. IIRC, Parker and Stone basically wanted the game to be Skyrim-style, but in the South Park universe.

 

I couldn't finish it anyway. The writing was funny, but there was only so many boring one-ending quests I could bear.

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Unless I'm completely mistaken, the same guy wrote Myrkul and the gods in PoE. So either Ziets has gotten worse, or just the fact that he had source material to base Myrkul and Kelemvor (and the setting overall) made it so much better. Though I think the PoE gods were just fine.

Why should Obsidian worry about people getting into cRPGs in the 10's during 2006? There were no clear signs that D&D wasn't going to go down the toilet and good games using that license would cease to exist. Most people that played NWN were fans of Baldur's Gate, so yes I imagine those same people knew D&D at least to some degree when they got NWN2.

 

Their creative vision was to create AAA games with their own brand of mechanism and good narrative design. How does working for a small publishers exactly accomplish that?

 

So because it failed to deliver it's promise of IWD's dungeon crawling and the emotional writing of Planescape (for you and some otheres), it's hardcore cRPG all of a sudden? Like I said, you are sidetracking here...

 

So 2 out of what 350 employees they've had since the beginning have left under some "mystery". Clearly they are worst thing since Nazis baking Jews in ovens. You are grasping straws here, desperately.
It didn't work out for Mitsoda, it happens sometimes in life. And really, who the **** knows what happened with Avellone. He has said he wanted different things, maybe he didn't want to own a company any longer? Maybe he just wanted to be one of working class men in the company instead of carrying the torch for the whole creative department of Obsidian? Now he can pick and choose which projects to work on by signing onto work with different companies. He has earned that liberty and status with his previous work, so why not use the opportunity?

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Unless I'm completely mistaken, the same guy wrote Myrkul and the gods in PoE. So either Ziets has gotten worse, or just the fact that he had source material to base Myrkul and Kelemvor (and the setting overall) made it so much better. Though I think the PoE gods were just fine.

Why should Obsidian worry about people getting into cRPGs in the 10's during 2006? There were no clear signs that D&D wasn't going to go down the toilet and good games using that license would cease to exist. Most people that played NWN were fans of Baldur's Gate, so yes I imagine those same people knew D&D at least to some degree when they got NWN2.

Don't know about the exact specifics, but I'm pretty sure Ziets just did a bit of concepts for the gods early on in development while Carrie Patel did the writing. And when did I say they should worry about that?

 

 

So because it failed to deliver it's promise of IWD's dungeon crawling and the emotional writing of Planescape (for you and some otheres), it's hardcore cRPG all of a sudden? Like I said, you are sidetracking here...

What? I'm having trouble following you here. You said the writing in Planescape was the thing that's hardcore about that game, and Obsidian themselves marketed PoE as having the exact type of writing. Therefore, people expected it to be "hardcore"-style (according to your definition) and were disappointed.

 

And I'm not sidetracking.

 

So 2 out of what 350 employees they've had since the beginning have left under some "mystery". Clearly they are worst thing since Nazis baking Jews in ovens. You are grasping straws here, desperately.

It didn't work out for Mitsoda, it happens sometimes in life. And really, who the **** knows what happened with Avellone. He has said he wanted different things, maybe he didn't want to own a company any longer? Maybe he just wanted to be one of working class men in the company instead of carrying the torch for the whole creative department of Obsidian? Now he can pick and choose which projects to work on by signing onto work with different companies. He has earned that liberty and status with his previous work, so why not use the opportunity?

Looks like I have to repeat it again.

 

Obsidian's design team is completely different than what it used to be.

 

Ergo, the people who made the story and quests that fans loved from pre-PoE Obsidian are pretty much all gone. This isn't a case of just three or four noteworthy designers leaving. I guess that Sawyer, Fenstermaker, and Matt MacLean are still there, but those are pretty much the only noticeable ones.

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I don't entirely disagree, but it's simply unrealistic to argue that Obsidian actively chose not to make the kind of games that they began the studio in order to make, as if they would really prefer to work on South Park and Armoured Warfare. You make it sound like they could have made a new IP full-blown MOTB with a publisher any time they wanted, and they chose to make it a NWN2 sequel because... it... uh, I don't know? I mean, I basically agree the individual points, but the way you put the pieces together seems to stretch unnecessarily towards some kind of "Feargus lost his heart" script.

 

Ultimately, though, however much of it was outside Obsidian's hands or was down to their choices, Obsidian certainly misstepped in the Onyx era - as I said last post - and failed to produce solid foundations, e.g. their own IP that appeals to publishers as a profitable venture and establishes Obsidian as reliable in that aspect while showing fans there's something great there too. Hopefully POE will kick on, but we all know that's different. 

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I don't know why NWN2 didn't take off in terms of the modules. I felt the toolset was able to make much better areas than NWN, and NWN2 had a better campaign

 

I think pretty much because it was derailed by Atari over DRM issues. Mysteries of Westgate was a decent enough module at a $10, but it was completed in 2007 and then only released in 2009. I think that heel dragging by Atari may have scared off other potential commercial mod builders. The fact that the fan-built Baldur's Gate Reloaded module has been downloaded (uniquely) 25,000 times and IWD 9,000 times shows there's still a market, albeit a small one.

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Honestly, if Obsidian were to make one change, I'd like to see more of them active on the forums. Its the one thing I miss from the Black Isle days when Sawyer, Feargus, and a bunch of others were all active on the forums. Its one of the reasons I ended up migrating here in the first place.

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Obsidian's design team is completely different than what it used to be.

 

Ergo, the people who made the story and quests that fans loved from pre-PoE Obsidian are pretty much all goneThis isn't a case of just three or four noteworthy designers leaving.

 

Can you make a list of these greater than three to four story and quest designers? Also, how many of them had an important role on Fallout: New Vegas? (which as I said earlier, is the critical game in Obsidian's history despite the greater fan nostalgia for the earlier AvelloneGames such as KOTOR2)

 

Personally, my tentative opinion is that the only person at Obsidian who really had a noticeable "signature style" whose loss will be felt was Chris Avellone. George Ziets, for example, is seen by some as a kind of "Avellone Jr.", when in reality his talents are rather different (he doesn't even like writing dialogue). And Brian Mitsoda...uh, let's not go there.

 

But anyway, you seem pretty convinced that Obsidian are irrevocably ****ed, so what else is there to say.

Edited by Infinitron
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Obsidian's design team is completely different than what it used to be.

 

Ergo, the people who made the story and quests that fans loved from pre-PoE Obsidian are pretty much all gone. This isn't a case of just three or four noteworthy designers leaving. I guess that Sawyer, Fenstermaker, and Matt MacLean are still there, but those are pretty much the only noticeable ones.

 

 

First it was about their design team changing, then you switched to specific two people leaving the company because they are mistreated (when I made valid point about how people do not tend to work forever for one company) and now you are back to the design people changing and how everything is ruined. 

 

Avellone, Ziets etc. started from somewhere, just as the new breed of Obsidian writers are starting up now. If you look at the people who have left Gonzales and Stout for example, both got a lead writer position from a good company. There aren't 10 Lead Writer positions at Obsidian, so they can't keep these people and it's pointless to expect them to keep all of their writers. Both Stout and Gonzales got a great opportunity from Obsidian, used it and moved onto other things. It's pretty much pointless to go cry after them and predict doom for the company due to that. Pretty much no one knew anything about a guy called Fenstermaker before he did some kickass designing and writing on F:NV. Since I'm pretty you don't own a time machine you can't predict just how good these new writers at Obsidian will turn out to be.

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Can you make a list of these greater than three to four story and quest designers? Also, how many of them had an important role on Fallout: New Vegas? (which as I said earlier, is the critical game in Obsidian's history despite the greater fan nostalgia for the earlier AvelloneGames such as KOTOR2)

 

Personally, my tentative opinion is that the only person at Obsidian who really had a noticeable "signature style" whose loss will be felt was Chris Avellone. George Ziets, for example, is seen by some as a kind of "Avellone Jr.", when in reality his talents are rather different (he doesn't even like writing dialogue). And Brian Mitsoda...uh, let's not go there.

 

But anyway, you seem pretty convinced that Obsidian are irrevocably ****ed, so what else is there to say.

I'll go over the four main NV writers:

 

- John Gonzalez (lead) - left.

- Chris Avellone - left.

- Eric Fenstermaker - still there, but after Pillars I don't have much faith in his writing ability.

- Travis Stout - left.

 

Now onto the people credited for additional writing who worked at Obsidian:

 

- Tess Treadwell - left.

- George Ziets - left.

 

The area designers are mostly still working there though, including the lead. As for the Alpha Protocol writing team:

 

- Chris Avellone

- Travis Stout

- Matt MacLean

- Brian Mitsoda

 

All aren't there anymore except for MacLean, who also contributed the least.

 

You're seriously downplaying the amount of talent Obsidian lost. You saying Avellone is the only noticeable loss is pretty much not true. For example, Steven Heck, the character who's universally loved for being hilarious? Created by Mitsoda and mostly written by Stout. Mr. House? Written by Gonzalez. Okku the Bear God? Created by Ziets.

 

And I'm not sure what you have against Mitsoda by the way.

 

 

 

First it was about their design team changing, then you switched to specific two people leaving the company because they are mistreated (when I made valid point about how people do not tend to work forever for one company) and now you are back to the design people changing and how everything is ruined. 

So?

 

Avellone, Ziets etc. started from somewhere, just as the new breed of Obsidian writers are starting up now. If you look at the people who have left Gonzales and Stout for example, both got a lead writer position from a good company. There aren't 10 Lead Writer positions at Obsidian, so they can't keep these people and it's pointless to expect them to keep all of their writers. Both Stout and Gonzales got a great opportunity from Obsidian, used it and moved onto other things. It's pretty much pointless to go cry after them and predict doom for the company due to that. Pretty much no one knew anything about a guy called Fenstermaker before he did some kickass designing and writing on F:NV. Since I'm pretty you don't own a time machine you can't predict just how good these new writers at Obsidian will turn out to be.

You're not getting it. Here's what I'm saying: If a fan has been following Obsidian because of their great writing and storytelling, there's no point in doing that anymore except if: (1) one of the older employees (like MacLean) prove to be good lead writers [extremely unlikely], or (2) if the new batch of writers at Obsidian prove to be as talented as the ones they lost [also extremely unlikely].

 

Obsidian have lost so many great writers over the years to the point of it being astonishing.

 

In conclusion, the reason Obsidian is still seen as having great writers is only because of the company's name. Most all of the people who wrote on games like KotOR2, MotB, AP, and F:NV aren't there anymore. But here's the problem: most people think that with the exception of Avellone, a lot of the writers who worked on those four games are still in the company, which isn't true. If people found out that the Alpha Protocol team is pretty much gone, would they still want a sequel or spiritual successor from Obsidian? If they found out that literally only one writer from New Vegas is left (who also went on to lead the writing on PoE), would they still want another Fallout from Obsidian?

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Tess was a producer, not a writer.

 

Fenstermaker was working fulltime on South Park as well as writing for PoE. Not that easy jumping from one project to an another.

 

Which parts of F:NV did Travis Stout write? Other than AP's Steven Heck I have no idea what else he created while at Obsidian.

 

They just had Ziets back over to work on PoE, what makes you think they won't do it again on some other project? Does Ziets even want to work fulltime at company, rather than freelancing and taking projects he finds interesting?

 

Brian Mitsoda's writing was pretty much scrapped from what I recall, cba to check from rpgcodex what he and/or Annie said about it back in the day. Yes, he did come up with some of the characters but how I remember is that MCA and few others ended up rewriting most of it and since Project New Jersey (which I believe Brian was working on) was cancelled most of what Mitsoda ever wrote for Obsidian was never seen by the public. So why exactly should Obsidian fans care about Mitsoda? Bloodlines was over 10 years ago or was the writing in Dead State so good that people should still worship him? Since that's pretty much what he has done since Bloodlines, Dead State.

 

And, no. You are not getting it. Just because they lost Gonzalez etc. doesn't mean there isn't a new "Gonzalez" working for the company. The company hasn't changed how they make games. Story and writing still matter in their games and therefore when ever they are recruiting new writers they are still looking for the same quality as previously. Some dev even commented here that they are looking for their writers to be even more talented (cba to find exact the quote for you from these forums) than previously. But, hey this conversation is pretty much pointless when you've already decided that no one can replace Stout, Gonzalez, Ziets, Avellone etc. So why ****ing even bother.

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"Tess was a producer, not a writer."

 

But she's credited for adding writing and I was listing writers.

 

"Fenstermaker was working fulltime on South Park as well as writing for PoE. Not that easy jumping from one project to an another."

 

Avellone did Fallout 2 and Planescape at the same time. Just sayin'.

 

"Which parts of F:NV did Travis Stout write? Other than AP's Steven Heck I have no idea what else he created while at Obsidian."

 

According to Sawyer:

 

 

Travis Stout - Lily, Raul, the Misfits, some Goodsprings, Follows-Chalk, Waking Cloud, some Happy Trails folks, and a bunch of stuff on Old World Blues

 

He also did the majority of the Taiwan hub in AP.

 

"They just had Ziets back over to work on PoE, what makes you think they won't do it again on some other project? Does Ziets even want to work fulltime at company, rather than freelancing and taking projects he finds interesting?"

 

Ziets is working full-time at inXile. Him and McComb are pretty much the only reasons I care about that company.

 

"Brian Mitsoda's writing was pretty much scrapped from what I recall, cba to check from rpgcodex what he and/or Annie said about it back in the day. Yes, he did come up with some of the characters but how I remember is that MCA and few others ended up rewriting most of it and since Project New Jersey (which I believe Brian was working on) was cancelled most of what Mitsoda ever wrote for Obsidian was never seen by the public. So why exactly should Obsidian fans care about Mitsoda? Bloodlines was over 10 years ago or was the writing in Dead State so good that people should still worship him? Since that's pretty much what he has done since Bloodlines, Dead State."

 

Mitsoda created a lot of the characters in AP. And Bloodlines is one of the best-written games of all time, so it's understandable why people love him so much. And former/current Obsidian fans care about him since Troika is pretty much Obsidian's dead sibling.

 

"And, no. You are not getting it. Just because they lost Gonzalez etc. doesn't mean there isn't a new "Gonzalez" working for the company. The company hasn't changed how they make games. Story and writing still matter in their games and therefore when ever they are recruiting new writers they are still looking for the same quality as previously. Some dev even commented here that they are looking for their writers to be even more talented (cba to find exact the quote for you from these forums) than previously. But, hey this conversation is pretty much pointless when you've already decided that no one can replace Stout, Gonzalez, Ziets, Avellone etc. So why ****ing even bother."

 

Mind sharing examples of great studios who completely changed over the years and are still good?

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Yes Tess might have added some writing as producers sometime do when needed. Still she was a producer, not writer for Obsidian.

 

Avellone nearly killed himself working on those two games at the same time. Not to mention he wasn't Lead on Fallout 2. Wasn't Eric Lead on both games.

 

So basically Stout did most of the comedic stuff in both AP and F:NV. Comedic themes, characters do fit in some games, but not every game. Either way Stout is someone I miss for Heck alone, but he had other plans for his career and is now the Lead writer on Assassin's Creeds.

 

Ziets, ah so he finally settled in. Good for him and for InXile. Their games (judging by Wasteland 2) could use some better writing.

 

I agree about Bloodlines, but I think you need to have multiple good games (or bad) from a writer to see if he is really that good or bad. The setting, project director etc. have a huge influence on how things might end up. While Mitsoda created the initial characters, names etc. their dialogues and tones were mostly rewritten when Mitsoda stepped down / was fired. From what I remember the game was supposed to be more serious before Avellone took over.

 

Why? Obsidian is still Obsidian even though they have lost some of their writing staff. If it was a complete overhaul and Obsidian in name only, that would mean most of the owners would have left and company was bought by some Evil Corporation. Since Chris Avellone is still the only owner who has left and Feargus and rest of owners still decide which way to steer the ship, it's not a completely changed studio.

Edited by Flouride

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I don't see what the problem with PoE's writing was. I thought it was at the same level as their previous games.

The area between the balls and the butt is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

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Humor/comedy should always be included (to some degree) in every video game. Humorless games tend to be boring and bland, similarly to a certain game we all know. *cough*
 
"While Mitsoda created the initial characters, names etc. their dialogues and tones were mostly rewritten when Mitsoda stepped down / was fired. From what I remember the game was supposed to be more serious before Avellone took over."
 
Doesn't mean you have to downplay his contributions, Mitsoda still had a big hand in creating the game. He's the one who designed its innovative dialogue wheel after all.
 
"Why? Obsidian is still Obsidian even though they have lost some of their writing staff. If it was a complete overhaul and Obsidian in name only, that would mean most of the owners would have left and company was bought by some Evil Corporation. Since Chris Avellone is still the only owner who has left and Feargus and rest of owners still decide which way to steer the ship, it's not a completely changed studio."
 
Don't kid yourself, Avellone was the only owner people cared about besides Feargus. Anyway, Feargus and the other owners seem to be past their glory years considering the direction they've taken with the studio recently. Even before that, Parker already proved that he doesn't have any idea what he's doing if we're judging by the way he directed Alpha Protocol.
 

I don't see what the problem with PoE's writing was. I thought it was at the same level as their previous games.

This is factually wrong. Source: comments from the majority of people who actually played both Obsidian's other games and PoE. But hey, you're free to think that.

Edited by RingMachine
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Why don't you indulge us all with your inside knowledge about Parker and Alpha Protocol since you seem to know everything about it.

 

So basically your rant is over Avellone leaving. I never said people care about Parker, Monahan etc. And guess what, the company already had Armored Warfare and Pathfinder in development well before Avellone left.  I can't be bothered explaining to you why they might want to work on such games as AW.

Hate the living, love the dead.

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Why don't you indulge us all with your inside knowledge about Parker and Alpha Protocol since you seem to know everything about it.

Not sure what you're saying here. I just thought it was obvious the project was in a state of complete disaster before Avellone, with help from Stout and MacLean, swooped in to save it.

 

So basically your rant is over Avellone leaving.

How did you reach that conclusion? I was talking about the owners in general and the public perception of them.
 
I never said people care about Parker, Monahan etc. And guess what, the company already had Armored Warfare and Pathfinder in development well before Avellone left.  I can't be bothered explaining to you why they might want to work on such games as AW.
I know. But it wouldn't surprise me if those projects are among the reasons he left. Apparently, Avellone's title as 'chief creative officer' didn't mean much in the grand scheme of things over at Obsidian.
Edited by RingMachine
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So you don't have any insight on Parker's follies considering Alpha Protocol and it's all just things you've made up in your head.

 

And why are you bringing the name recognition of the owners in the first place? When the whole point was that they aren't going to change how they view games just because bunch of writers left.

 

Again, just pure ****ing bs. Unless you are Chris Avellone or the very few people he has told why he left you are just making up stuff that would fit your agenda/view of things. I could counter that by telling you maybe he just left because he got too tanned in California and wants to live in a cooler environment. That's as valid point as yours when there's no actual facts for either case. Clearly throwing few people to work on Pathfinder game was what broke that camels back.

 

Hate the living, love the dead.

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