Chris Avellone Interview

The design work he's doing for Wasteland 2, his work on the Fallout: New Vegas DLC expansions, Obsidian's relationship with publishers and more are all subjects touched upon by this Gather Your Party interview with Chris Avellone. As it often happens with the man, there's plenty of good info to read, so I recommend to read the full piece, but here's a couple of excerpts:
Mark: I imagine things have been pretty exciting for you now that you're going to be involved in Wasteland 2. Can you tell us a bit of what you'll be doing and what kind of role you might be playing in its development?

Chris: I'm doing a bunch of things so far, more than I expected. I'm helping with the vision doc, designing opening areas and the area design process, and helping build templates for dialogues and area specs. My contribution isn't nearly as much as Fargo, Findley, Keenan and the rest of the inXile team, however.

When not doing physical design, I offer feedback and critiques and forward any random tidbits and elements I've dug out of my latest Wasteland 1 playthrough ((Remember when there used to be a West Germany?) (Hey, Reagan had a hover tank named after him!) (Needles used carrier pigeons as their communications center?!)).

Overall, I'm at inXile about 1.5-2 days during the week, either in design meetings, checking out Unity, or typing away on my headphones, and I love it.

Mark: Obsidian Entertainment has been really supportive of Kickstarter and you have mentioned it a lot on your twitter, even saying you might go for a Kickstarter project. Is there anything in the works that you can hint at?

Chris: What follows is a crappy answer, and I admit it. The answer: (Not yet.) I hope to have news soon, we'll see, but if hopes were mutants, I'd be the Master and the wasteland would be overrun.


Mark: With your industry experience, how great an impact would you say publishers have on a game's final design?

Chris: Publisher impact on a game design varies. THQ, for example, trusts us to handle the RPG elements in South Park. Bethesda trusted us to handle the Fallout franchise based on our experience. SEGA left the Alpha Protocol story and branching alone (and even agreed to let it be rewritten and re-recorded), but did have requests for the more action-based game mechanics and implementation it's our job to listen, digest, and if we disagree, we raise a critique, and if the critique is ignored or clarified with additional information, then you move forward.