Chris Avellone Interview

PC Authority is offering an article-style interview with Obsidian's chief creative officer Chris Avellone, who's currently busy wrapping up his work on Wasteland 2 and working on Project Eternity.

Here's a snip:
(I far prefer how Journey handled the storytelling,) Avellone confesses. (I think that games don't need a lot of words, or face-to-face interaction, to communicate a story at all, which is kind of strange for a dialogue writer to say,) he adds with a laugh. (But like, if someone's standing on a ridge in Journey, and they're almost in a panic pounding their sound-bubble button you know what that person wants. They want you to follow them. If there's some sort of much more visual or iconic representation of how characters can interact, that can tell an equally great story without a crapload of words.)

Where New Vegas differs, of course, is that its players' companions aren't real people online; you'll never see the hard-drinking, dirtymouthed Cass leaping for joy and singing sweetly to you in the harshness of the desert. This is where masses of dialogue comes in handy, says Avellone; it's funnelled into creating a highly believable backstory for the entire New Vegas world.

(Some of the most fun sequences to write in New Vegas were for the companion characters,) he explains. (You can actually have a conversation with a companion about the different factions, and eventually even reverse their stances on certain organisations. That's something that can only happen with your encouragement or input.)

(Companions are also a great means for acting like sounding boards for the player, sort of questioning the player and his actions. Like, '˜Why did you do that?' or '˜What do you think of this?' And having a conversation like that, you couldn't so it solely through visuals or iconography.)