Chris Avellone Interview on Current Work and Future

The full interview with Chris Avellone from PC Invasion has been released today after having been teased yesterday. The full interview is only available in audio format, though the website was kind enough to provide an abridged transcription.

During the interview, Avellone mentions he's been currently working on wrapping up his work on the Wasteland 2 novel and Torment: Tides of Numenera, and also that he intends to continue his Arcanum Let's Play - the rest of his pending work, including the Eternity novel, has apparently been wrapped up.

I wouldn't try too hard to read into it and attempt to divine details on his future plans, but what is abundantly clear is that he intends to continue writing and designing for videogames in the future, in spite of the fact that he apparently finds writing dialogue to be pretty uncomfortable:

PCI: We're currently experiencing somewhat of a resurgence of isometric RPGs. Where do you think it's going? Where will we see the innovation / iteration if these types of games are to continue?

CA: I think each game should have a certain ambience or feel about it which sets it apart. I think Wasteland 2 and Tides of Numenera, they definitely set a different tone and because of the nature of their worlds they were allowed to explore different system mechanics, which I think is good.

My thought is just that as they're being developed, people will learn more about the intricacies of Unity and the engine. I think there'll still be an evolution in terms of how that RPG experience comes about; if they're going an espionage game or a Planescape-style game. All those things allow you to explore different system mechanics.

I think that if anything Kickstarter proved that there's a large viable market. The fans are out there. It doesn't always have to be on every console to reach the audience any more. It's OK to scale back, just the PC is good for now and let's focus on making a good RPG.

PCI: Are there any areas of game design you find particularly challenging?

CA: Sometimes I get afraid that I undermine my profession, but I actually do have a really hard time writing dialog. I like to do it once I get into it, but when I start I get so scared about the character. It usually requires that there aren't any outside distractions or anyone walking by, because I feel like they're judging me (laughs).

The way that I write is I can hear the character's voice in my head, and if someone's with me then the voice gets really quiet. So sometimes that's a bit of a challenge, and also I feel like I'm just going to fuck up the dialog. I'm like, (I had this image for how I wanted it to be, but I know once I put the words to the paper it's probably not going to be as good as I imagine.) Occasionally I surprise myself, but usually it's never quite the blue sky thrill that I imagined in the first place.