Chris Avellone Interview

There's an interesting interview with Obsidian's Chris Avellone over at GameRanx, which mostly covers his opinions on narrative mechanics and RPG design, with a little bit of Project Eternity, Torment: Tides of Numenera and Planescape: Torment on the side. Here's a snip:
[Geraldo] Going more into tech related to the dialogue pipeline, we already saw in the (Project Eternity) session some stuff, diagrams and all those annotations, so the question is just, I'm assuming you guys have a toolset to bring that into Unity, do you actually handle the editor or do you just write and then someone just...?

[Chris] No, all the writers they actually write in the editor. The way it works is, even though we couldn't use the Onyx engine, which is our internal engine, we were able to take the dialogue editor out of Onyx and apply that to the Unity set so all the writing styles that we're used to with Onyx we're actually able to do in Unity now, so having access to that dialogue editor, it's really easy to write in, it's probably the easiest editor to write in of any of the editors that I've worked on which is fantastic. So yeah, we're all responsible for implementing our own writing.

On Wasteland 2 is a little bit different, the designers write the script but the implementers are different, it just depends on the company.

[Geraldo] That's pretty cool that you get to implement the dialogue directly.

[Chris] Yeah, and then you can fix all the issues with it and run through it a few times until it feels right for you. Cause sometimes when you pass it off for someone else to implement, they don't know all the nuances of what you're shooting for, I just think the more familiar that you get with the toolset that implements the content, the better your work's gonna be.

[Geraldo] Yeah, because there's this fear where someone does an asset and then someone else is going to implement it, but with this case it's not like that.

[Chris] Yeah I think whenever you have a system like that there's a danger that there can be some miscommunication, completely unintentionally, that ends up with a totally different result. If you don't have time to go back and play through and understand what you did when you implemented it it's a little bit harder to fix.