Will Ooi has been publishing a fair number of interviews lately, and after talking with Chris Avellone twice, he had the time to have a Q&A session with Bethesda senior producer Jason Bergman, available both on his blog and on Gamasutra. The interview is mostly centered on the last title he's worked on, Fallout: New Vegas, but there's also space for him to talk about his favorite role-playing games and various other assorted subjects like superhero comic books. Here's a sampling:
WillOoi: What are the likes of Todd Howard, JE Sawyer, Chris Avellone, et al like in person?
Jason Bergman: They're all great, in their own unique ways, and all extremely talented. Todd has a very unique ability to get to the core of what makes a game fun and excise out the fat that bogs down a lot of games (particularly RPGs). Josh is particularly skilled at the fine art of weapon balancing. He's also worldly and well educated, and you can see some of that come through in the New Vegas characters he took charge of (like Arcade and Chief Hanlon). I know he hates it when I point this out, but Chris is the greatest writer the gaming industry has ever known. Bar none.
In person they are men of various heights.
WillOoi: What are your favourite games and the moments within them that have stood out for you?
Jason Bergman: That's a pretty hard question, but I'll call out two moments in particular, both of which are probably minor spoilers.
The first would be Chris Avellone's Planescape: Torment, which is my favorite RPG of all time (well, one of three, the other two being the original Fallout and Morrowind). The scene at the end, where you finally get an answer to the question, (what can change the nature of a man?) to me, that's the single greatest scene in any RPG, ever. Ever. I have never been more tied to my keyboard, reading line after line of dialog (and to be clear, there's a ton of freaking dialog in that game). After all I had been through with the Nameless One, I just found that scene to be riveting, profound and just mind-blowing.
Like I said before, Chris Avellone is a genius. He's a snappy dresser, too.
My single favorite quest in any RPG would be the end of the Thieves Guild quest line in Oblivion. That final quest where you have to sneak in and steal an Elder Scroll was just the coolest thing ever. The mechanics of it weren't revolutionary, but as a huge fan of the series, I remember being utterly amazed that I was actually doing it. It just oozed creativity, with the blind monks, jumping through the fireplace and all of that. Great stuff.