Aliens: Crucible Featured Some Kind of Base Building, Chris Avellone Interview

Eurogamer has uploaded an interesting interview with Obsidian's CCO and co-founder Chris Avellone, which touches on various canceled projects such as Dwarves (a Snow White RPG that served apparently both as an origin story and a darker take on the Disney's version of the tale), North Carolina and Aliens: Crucible.

It's for the last one that we probably learn the most interesting things, as Chris lets it slip that the game featured some kind of base building gameplay, and that the gameplay footage that leaked was apparently from an earlier build than their vertical slice:
"It was third-person, obviously over-the-shoulder [perspective], you create your own avatar in the Aliens universe, you guide a squad of - it's not like a Marine squad, it's a whole mix of different individuals who happen to be in this one location at this one time, which allows for a lot more variety," explained Chris Avellone, Obsidian's creative director, speaking to me at Rezzed 2013.

"If you're dealing with a ship repair mechanic who may have no combat experience whatsoever, that obviously would serve a vital function in surviving in this predicament. So it's more of a third-person, two companions with you survival game, but it had a lot of the RPG trappings in terms of you could set up your own stronghold and base and build that up over time, explore more of the environment, figure out how you get all of the resources and stuff to survive."


It may not have been the most up to date video of Aliens: Crucible, either. "There was a vertical slice of it and I don't know if the video that was released was the actual vertical slice that we had," he said. "One of our designers mentioned that it was actually a milestone build from like a month or two before the actual vertical slice.

"There was a lot done with it," Chris Avellone rued, "and man I'm really sorry that I didn't get a chance to do it, but things just didn't work out."

While I invite you to read the full article, there's another bit I'm willing to quote, given that Chris is reiterating that some publishers actually seem to be interested in old-school RPGs again after the success of recent Kickstarters like Wasteland 2, Project Eternity and Torment: Tides of Numenera:
"We've been contacted by more than one publisher about doing that style of game because financially it makes sense for them and they realise the interest level from backers and players also works for them," he said. "I couldn't comment on the specific publishers, but it was just gratifying to see that they actually were interested in that style of game, when previously I thought it wouldn't be a good fit for any publisher.

"But that sort of model did seem interesting to them and it seemed like it would work for them. What's even more gratifying is the publishers we've talked to are ones that aren't afraid of having a very reactive storyline or a deep storyline, or really deep mechanics.

"They're not interested so much in accessibility because they recognise the people [who] support these games like those kind of mechanics and depth, and like worlds set up like that - that's the market that we would like to cater to. And I think that's admirable and that's awesome."

We've already seen some of that with Might & Magic X: Legacy, and I have to say I wouldn't be surprised to see a few other big publishers dust off some unused properties to release some low-budget old-school PC/tablet titles.