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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Obsidian Entertainment - Tim Cain Interview @ GamaSutra

Default Obsidian Entertainment - Tim Cain Interview @ GamaSutra

October 27th, 2011, 01:31
RPG Codex brings news of an interview with newly joined Obsidian employee Tim Cain. Will Ooi from GamaSutra has made the interview which you can read here. They talk about his time at Troika Studios, what he will be doing at Obsidian, what he like to do in his spare time, what he thinks defines an RPG, what he thinks of Fallout: New Vegas and much much more.

A few excerpts, starting with what he will be doing at Obsidian:
Will Ooi: Could you give us some more information about what your title of Senior Programmer will involve, and how you'll fit in to the company's hierarchy?

Tim Cain: As a senior programmer, I have been assigned to work for Dan Spitzley on their New York project. I am working on various coding tasks concerning combat and general gameplay. The group is very open to design suggestions from all of its members, and they hold weekly meetings where the game is played and anyone can suggest changes to gameplay, anything from new abilities to UI to voice over. Everyone at Obsidian is very passionate about their games, and it shows in their development process.
Here's his opinion on what an rpg is:
WO: For you, what are the essential criteria in what really makes an RPG an RPG? What are your thoughts on the real time, action-RPG titles that are becoming more and more popular these days?
TC: I think an RPG should be about creating and playing a "role". First, an RPG should always include some kind of character creation system, to let the player choose what kind of character to play, and I prefer that the game let me name my character, although I can see why some games don't allow that so that they can include voice overs that talk about the character.
Here's how he sees Fallout:New Vegas.
WO: With New Vegas examining humanity in a post-post-apocalyptic world, what are your opinions of what the series should strive for in the long run? And is there perhaps a risk that, the further into the future that it takes place, the less Fallout-like it will be?
TC: I think there are lots of areas in the Fallout IP that are ripe for exploring. And I don't think that people should be afraid that such exploration will make for a lesser Fallout. Expanding the IP is always a good thing, as long as its nature stays true to the original. That nature consists of exploration (both of the exterior world and one's inner self), of examining gray areas (because what important ideas are truly black and white), and of finding humor in the darkest situations.
More information.
Last edited by aries100; October 27th, 2011 at 10:28. Reason: Changed Bethesda to Obsidian+spelling
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October 27th, 2011, 01:31
Bethesda employee should be Obsidian employee, not?
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October 27th, 2011, 02:22
Originally Posted by JuliusMagnus View Post
Bethesda employee should be Obsidian employee, not?
My thoughts exactly.

Although there were some rumors a year ago about Bethesda buying Obsidian, this never amounted to anything AFAIK.
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October 27th, 2011, 02:37
Simple mistake. I think you know he meant Obsidian.

There's been so much Skyrim news it's hard to remember there are any other games and devs out there right now.

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October 27th, 2011, 09:24
Thansk - it should be changed now

Please support http://www.maternityworldwide.org/ - and save a mother giving birth to a child.
Last edited by aries100; October 27th, 2011 at 10:28. Reason: spelling
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October 27th, 2011, 12:28
He replied "anything is possible" to Fallout and Arcanum related questions. The fact that he didn't flat out reject it is good news - I can keep on dreaming.
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October 29th, 2011, 12:15
You remember in Mad Max 2 the bandits he sees in the distance tearing the clothes off that woman? That was very disturbing to me as a young child.

Fallout series never come close to the gritty realism of a REAL post-apoc world with desperate people no better than animals. At the point where they're so starving EVERYONE eats human if they can get it. Where you're struggling to survive on a dying planet making use of whatever stuff you can find. Afraid of EVERYONE. You don't see people in the distance EVER. People that obvious would have died a long time ago. etc etc, believe me i could go on.
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October 29th, 2011, 13:40
You've watched The Road way too much

To me the Post-apocalyptic setting doesn't mean a dying planet. That's just that stupid Road movie that made no sense.

Post-apocalyptic is after civilization is smashed to bits. How would we rebuild it? Sure there would be chaos and suffering in the beginning, but mankind would start to rebuild.

If history has proven anything to me it is that mankind will find a way to survive. Chaos can only last so long with us before order starts to form and take control.

Too bad for the animals though. They'd be better off if we did bite the bullet.

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October 29th, 2011, 22:10
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
You've watched The Road way too much

To me the Post-apocalyptic setting doesn't mean a dying planet. That's just that stupid Road movie that made no sense.

Post-apocalyptic is after civilization is smashed to bits. How would we rebuild it? Sure there would be chaos and suffering in the beginning, but mankind would start to rebuild.

If history has proven anything to me it is that mankind will find a way to survive. Chaos can only last so long with us before order starts to form and take control.

Too bad for the animals though. They'd be better off if we did bite the bullet.
It can come in many forms, nuclear, zombie virus, alien invasion (coincidentally all of those types have received the tv series treatment in recent years), asteroid hit.

It's about the rebuilt part, but is it still post-apocalyptic if civilization recovered? Chronologically it would ofcourse be postapoc. Two thousand years after an apocalyptic event is still "post" Apocalypse, but themetically would the appocalypse still be of any significance?

Sorry, for getting off-topic.
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October 30th, 2011, 03:51
My opinion on this is that a P.A. event in a game is similar to the fall of the Roman Empire.

I know that the fall of the Roman Empire doesn't sound like an apocalyptic event, but in a lot of ways it is.

I could go on and write about how cities were leveled, technology lost and we reverted back to superstition after the fall and then we entered the dark ages which lasted hundreds of years. But it just boils down to that for about six hundred years we were set back hundreds of years and nothing improved during that time……Well not "NOTHING", but pretty much as a civilization we were stagnant. Hell even the most basic invention needed for any growing civilization was lost for a time. I'm talking about that thing we all take for granted, plumbing

That to me is an apocalyptic event. No matter in what form it comes the end result is the same. Technology lost, brute force and superstition win the day. It seems we are headed for another dark age if you take a look around the world. We have become so dependent on electricity and fuel that if you took away one or the other it indeed would cause another dark age as easily as the corruption and "barbarians" caused the first one.

I often wonder just where we would be if the fall did not happen at all. If instead Rome survived. Just look at what we've accomplished these past hundred years. Hell look at what we've done in my lifetime. Where would we be if instead of the dark ages we advanced more as a species?

But I've gone way off topic and into P&R territory, god forbid. Bottom line is that we have had apocalyptic events in the past and survived. We would survive another despite the illusion of how powerful we are. If we bombed the whole planet tomorrow, pockets of us would survive. The Earth would not be destroyed despite the movies/fear mongering politicians predictions that it would be. The arrogance to think that we could destroy Earth with our puny weapons is mind boggling. A nuke to us might seem huge, but to the Earth…LOL, it would shrug it off and heal itself in what would seem to it a blink of an eye, but to us it would last centuries. We are such short-lived fearful little animals that we hardly ever take in the big picture. But we do have a knack at surviving

Agghh, ok how the hell did I end up talking about this in a Tim Cain interview? Alrighty, that's the last I'll say on this since this conversation is more appropriate in a P&R thread, but since you asked that's my answer. That is a P.A. event to me. Despite the four horseman BS I highly doubt we will ever truly die out as a species. Hopefully we'll evolve a bit more, but die out completely like a true apocalypse? Naaahhh, no way. We're too stubborn and devious to die out completely.

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October 30th, 2011, 04:41
I recently discovered the excellent BBC series "Survivors" - a very refreshing take on the PA genre. (it's on Netflix Instant Streaming)

I have always been a fan of PA fiction, films and television programs, but this series seemed to distill this genre to its essence, which is an exploration of humanity and and interpersonal relationships following the demise of all the systems in place for commerce, law enforcement, medical care, distribution of food, water, etc.

As I watched, I found myself thinking up some excellent ideas for FNV or FO4 quest mods involving various interacting factions.
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October 30th, 2011, 10:31
Thanks, never heard of that. Will check it out.

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October 30th, 2011, 18:56
What company do you think he's talking about joining next year?
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October 30th, 2011, 19:06
Doublebear/Iron Tower?

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October 31st, 2011, 02:23
Originally Posted by hishadow View Post
What company do you think he's talking about joining next year?
Zenimax Fallout MMO perhaps?

They certainly seem to be hiring a lot of positions at the moment, although it might not be Fallout related.
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