Chris Avellone Interview

Lightspeed Magazine interviews Obsidian senior designer Chris Avellone on his "video game author" career, discussing how he got into the industry to begin with, and his work on various titles such as Planescape: Torment, KotOR II and New Vegas.
What were the highlights of the development process of New Vegas?

There were a few things, in no particular order:

Having a chance to play Fallout 3 for research.

The owners brainstorming the (box) for New Vegas in terms of what elements the title should have (Vegas as signature city, start with a reversal from Fallout 3, Fallout elements, etc.).

The first time I saw Dinky the Dinosaur in Fallout: New Vegas and walked into his belly, and then into his mouth to look at the Mojave wasteland.

Getting to meet Felicia Day and getting my Guild DVD signed. And listening to her talk about killing bunnies in Red Dead Redemption.

This is a little random, but marketing support from Bethesda, and how it changed my opinion on game development marketing and how much it can help your title when they are involved early and they understand the title. They didn't just meet us halfway, they did more than I've ever seen a marketing department do in all the companies I've worked with. As an example, one of the first marketing meetings I'd had for the game was very early in the development process, and during the meeting, the head of PR/Marketing said (I'll start playing the builds so I can demo this myself,) which amazed me. Then he did it. You'd be surprised how often marketing doesn't want anything to do with talking about or demoing a title, they leave that to the developers. Bethesda really stepped up in all these aspects.

We also had a marketing plan. This is a rare thing-and even more rare, we had a marketing plan early. This may be a difficult thing for someone outside of game development to realize, but it was a godsend to actually hold it in our hands and know what the future of the product was and how to plan for it.

Getting to write the graphic novel for the game and tell stories about the characters for insights you might not have otherwise seen.and meeting Geof Darrow, the cover artist, and learning that he was going to do the cover for it.

Going to the Goodsprings graveyard at night, looking north, and seeing the lights of New Vegas.

Everything yet to come.