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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPGWatch Feature: Tales of Torment, Part 2

Default RPGWatch Feature: Tales of Torment, Part 2

August 1st, 2007, 08:05
The second and concluding part of Brother None's excellent interview with Chris Avellone and Colin McComb is now online, offering an insight into the creative process, story and more. This part contains spoilers, so be warned:

RPGWatch: Factions featured strongly in the background of PS:T. Any factions you would have wanted to expand or add?

Chris Avellone: We actually wanted to add all of them, but there just wasn't the resources to do it - the Chaosmen was something I realized could be thrown in quickly, so I went ahead and did it. Also, we did want a Doomguard faction just because of Vhailor's presence, but again, we ran out of resources there as well.
Colin McComb: I would have liked to expand the Godsmen. I donít think I gave them nearly enough credit, nor do I feel I made them interesting enough or involving enough. I think the Harmonium were well represented by Ebb Creakknees. I would have loved to get the Doomguard involved, and the Athar, but the whole no-powers-rule in the game kind of obviated their involvement.
Also included is a short voice sample and the original Vision statement used to pitch the game (conceived as "Last Rites") to management in 1997 (language warning).
Read it all here.
More information.

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August 1st, 2007, 08:05
Faster than I thought, kewl!

Thanks again for publishing, Dhruin. Good work all around.
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August 1st, 2007, 08:10
Thanks for the excellent content - it was a pleasure.

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August 1st, 2007, 09:07
Originally Posted by Chris Avellone
Thomas, this was fun.
And also a great fun to read. Excellent interview, I almost shed some tears. The Vision statement is fascinating.
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August 1st, 2007, 09:46
Hah! The Last Rites vision statement is actually pretty fun to read.
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August 1st, 2007, 16:31
Another very nice one! Really good to get the insights.

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August 1st, 2007, 20:21
They used this document to convince the suits to make the game?

Man, Interplay managment must have been a pretty cool, humorous and relaxed bunch of guys back then.

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August 1st, 2007, 20:33
Oh, and that concept art for the characters seen there are absolutly amazing.

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August 1st, 2007, 20:41
Good interview -> I want more games like PS:T

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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August 1st, 2007, 22:04
Originally Posted by talesfromthecrypt View Post
Man, Interplay managment must have been a pretty cool, humorous and relaxed bunch of guys back then.
That's probably why it folded.
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August 1st, 2007, 22:43
Great article, and well worth the read. Thanks to Brother None, the Watch and especially to the Planescape guys. May everyone's dream of another game in the same setting come true.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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August 2nd, 2007, 02:46
EXCELLENT feature, thanks RPGWatch, I wish gaming sites had more things like that, with game developers telling the truth, backed by the actual design docs… not some bullshit PR talk we're getting served 24/7.
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August 2nd, 2007, 03:35
Ironically, tho', the Last Rites vision statement is exactly the kind of thing you don't want to see in public until long after the game's release. It contains quite a few design goals that never made it into the game, and things that changed drastically.
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August 2nd, 2007, 03:49
An excellent interview that brought back fond memories of the most thought-provoking CRPG ever produced.

The endgame discussion was particularly illuminating, but I can't resist mentioning one unanswered question. The "Lawful Good" ending to the game held out at least a glimmer of hope that the Nameless One's companions might rescue him from his final fate. (Which I thought was interesting in itself, suggesting that the companions had also come to embrace the power of belief.) I'd be interested to know whether Chris and Colin saw the companions as following through.
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August 2nd, 2007, 06:45
Definitely one of the best set of articles I've read in ages. It helps that PS-T is my number 1 game!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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August 2nd, 2007, 10:02
Wow. Let me rephrase that: double wow. The vision statement goes very nicely into my collection of unofficial-out-of-game PS:T related stuff, thanks! I picked up some new ways of swearing also….. I think Chris and Colin should not take credit for something that clearly was written by Morte. Loved the feature, looking forward to seeing more of these "post-mortem" interviews of classic cRPG's. One thing frustrated me out of my bone box though, that being the great ideas for spinnin' off new games with my favorite characters that probably never will happen. It's like fantasizing about new stories by Tolkien that also will never be written. Definitly going to check out the Planescape modules for NWN2 though, anybody got pointers on that?
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August 2nd, 2007, 12:32
I think he means Rogue Dao.

Said personally before, but again: Great interview!

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August 2nd, 2007, 15:25
Well, back then in the 1990's, the suits actually were gamers themselves. Gamers who just happened to be good at PR, or good at crushing numbers etc. etc. Today, however, people are hired to do this. And they look to the market, and see what sells. And what sells seems to be hybrid FPS/RPG games or hybrid RTS/RPG/ games. So they make (often false) sales projections on how much a single unit (a game will sell) after its first release….and invest accordingly. [To compare, books once were published by book editors who loved books, not so anymore, now all publishers want is the next Nadime Gordiner, the next J.K. Rowling or the next
best seller].

The thing is, though, the collective mind of the people is very fickle and changing, this means that you don't know what the public wants, at least not 4-5 years ahead of time. (at least not always).

The other thing to remember is that management at Interplay/Black Isle never actually seemed to discover this game at all, they just had a busier time laying their eyes and hands on Fallout and Baldur's Gate series of games.

And, I agree with you all… Great job, brother none. It was a very good job and some wery interesting questions, too. Sometimes I think developers like to answer the tough questions and some different questions that stands apart from what the main stream gaming media are asking them. The answers from Chris&Chris clearly show that they know what they are doing, and that they are capable of reflecting on their jobs, as well as evaluating their games. Not something every developer is capable off doing….

and, yes, it was a fun read Please read it, too
Last edited by aries100; August 2nd, 2007 at 15:29. Reason: content added
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August 2nd, 2007, 18:24
@Avantenor: thanks for the link, looks really promising. I hadn't thought of checking out NWN2 as possible source for Planescape setting mods. I had followed Planescape: Vengeance for a time, but I lost track of it and I think it has vanished.
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August 3rd, 2007, 08:34
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Good interview -> I want more games like PS:T

Yep.

But the CEO management mentality is so different (in terms of blatant greed) now in 2007 than even 5 years ago, that they won't likely put up funds/resources for the complex and highbrow project delivered by creative genius and their imagination. The indie route seems the only way.

Hopefully there is some change in the conformist corporate model over the next few years.
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