GameCritics' Brad Gallaway has conjured up an article-style interview he conducted with writer Travis Stout during this year's PAX Prime event, and it's certainly worth your time since Travis worked on Fallout: New Vegas and Alpha Protocol at Obsidian Entertainment before joining Undead Labs to contribute to their open-world, zombie-infested action RPG State of Decay (previously known as Class3). Here we go:
@FinalMacstorm asked: What were the inspirations for the characters you worked on in New Vegas and Alpha Protocol?
Travis: Itâ€™s hard to answer that one, since I drew from a lot of sources. However, the voice actors were cast before we were done writing, so their presence definitely influenced the scripts. Having them around and hearing their deliveries had an effect on the writing, for sure.
My final question on the subject was whether or not Travis was disappointed about the critical reception and success of the game itself.
Travis: Thatâ€™s hard to answer. Honestly, I thought it turned out pretty well for a game that Obsidian built by themselves from the ground up, and it ended up selling all right. There were some challenges there, though.
On State of Decay Travis is the sole writer, and is handling all of the characterizations and dialogue for around 50 different personalities in the game. He states that he works with a great team, and that he never feels alone in this task thanks to a lot of constant feedback and input from his coworkers at Undead Labs â€“ he describes it as a community approach to his work.
When asked about the size of his task, he stated that Decay (at the current time) has around 15,000 lines of dialogue. By comparison, he estimates that New Vegas has somewhere in the neighborhood of 65,000 lines, or so.
Itâ€™s also worth noting that because Decay is a different sort of game and not a traditional RPG, his focus as a writer has been making the characters in the game broadly appealing, but not as in-depth as a regular role-playerâ€¦ He stated that although there wonâ€™t be a dialog wheel with an hourâ€™s worth of conversation for each character, his goal is that players will be able to easily recall which character has which traits, and what quirks are in their personalities.