|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Obsidian Entertainment - MCA Lecture

Default Obsidian Entertainment - MCA Lecture

January 17th, 2012, 19:52
I don't usually cover many geographically limited newsbits but if you're in LA, you might want to check out a lecture from Chris Avellone:
Obsidian's Cheif Creative Officer, Chris Avellone will be speaking at UC San Diego Monday 1/16 at 6 pm at the Comp Sci & Eng Building (EBU-3B) Room 1202. “Everything I can think of that I’ve learned in 20+ years of game design, as fast as I can say it,” he says will be his topic. Bring your questions!
More information.

-= RPGWatch =-
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Watcher
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,964

Default 

January 17th, 2012, 19:52
I've been looking for a video or transcript but haven't found anything yet. Anyone else find anything? I tried searching at the school's site and his lecture doesn't seem to have been announced…

Gamer Granola: RPG-centric Reviews and Discussions
bobisimo is offline

bobisimo

bobisimo's Avatar
Watcher

#2

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 31

Default 

January 18th, 2012, 14:26
If what he's learned is why he's now developing what he's developing, instead of what he used to develop - I wish people wouldn't waste their time listening to him.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#3

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,047

Default 

January 18th, 2012, 16:32
Huh? He has worked on both hits and misses over the years and i certainly wouln't say he once only used to hit bullseyes and these days only misses. Remember Descent to Undermountain?
tolknaz is offline

tolknaz

Sentinel

#4

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Estonia
Posts: 365

Default 

January 18th, 2012, 17:52
Originally Posted by tolknaz View Post
Huh? He has worked on both hits and misses over the years and i certainly wouln't say he once only used to hit bullseyes and these days only misses. Remember Descent to Undermountain?
What was his role with that game?
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#5

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,047

Default 

January 19th, 2012, 10:03
He was the Lead Creative Designer as well as a level designer. I never did beat that game however.

I'd also really like to hear you qualify your statement for why someone shouldn't listen to one of the all time great contributors to cRPG design. Chris has an extensive resume working in the industry which certainly deserves more respect than your flippantly expressed sentiment shows.

Diddledy high,
Diddledy low,
Come brave blood sheep,
You've a goodly way to go.
- Brilhasti Ap Tarj
Pessimeister is offline

Pessimeister

Pessimeister's Avatar
Living Backwards

#6

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 845

Default 

January 19th, 2012, 10:17
Originally Posted by Pessimeister View Post
He was the Lead Creative Designer as well as a level designer. I never did beat that game however.

I'd also really like to hear you qualify your statement for why someone shouldn't listen to one of the all time great contributors to cRPG design. Chris has an extensive resume working in the industry which certainly deserves more respect than your flippantly expressed sentiment shows.
I have no interest in qualifying my statement, but I can try to explain my reasoning.

If people want to listen to him, they should. I'm saying I wish they wouldn't. There's a difference.

If you respect him for working in an industry he enjoys working in, that's your business. I don't respect people I don't actually know - because there's no basis for it. I can respect their work, however.

I'm talking about his work - and the value I personally see in the direction of the games he's been involved with.

Note that I'm not a big fan of Obsidian anymore - and I don't think their recent work is impressive - AT ALL.

Clearly, he's learned the wrong lessons (imo) - and I don't see any value in teaching those lessons to other people. That means more mercenary work and how to release buggy/messy/unfinished games over and over.

It has nothing to do with him not having talent. It has to do with what he's been doing with that talent.

Clear enough?
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#7

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,047

Default 

January 19th, 2012, 11:11
The fact that you don't enjoy his works doesn't mean others don't, so claiming people shouldn't be learning from him is simply arrogant. It's as if your particular taste should dictate the direction of future RPG design.

Personally, I'd rather have more designers like MCA than less, so the more people learn from him, the better. Again, that's based on my personal RPG preferences.

In my opinion, he has created some of the most interesting characters in the entire gaming industry (Ravel, Kreia, TNO and so on). Any top list of characters on most RPG sites is bound to be full of MCA contributions, so claiming he has learned all the wrong lessons is simply not accurate. There are clearly a lot of people who value his work.

I'm well aware that you prefer open world RPGs to games like PST, but for people who prefer well written characters and C&C, MCA is as good as it gets.
Maylander is offline

Maylander

SasqWatch

#8

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,179
Send a message via MSN to Maylander

Default 

January 19th, 2012, 11:13
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
The fact that you don't enjoy his works doesn't mean others don't, so claiming people shouldn't be learning from him is simply arrogant. It's as if your particular taste should dictate the direction of future RPG design.
TWICE now, I've clearly stated that I wish they wouldn't - not that they SHOULDN'T.

There's a very important difference.

I'm well aware that you prefer open world RPGs to games like PST, but for people who prefer well written characters and C&C, MCA is as good as it gets.
Ironic statement, given you just lectured me on subjectivity. You think so, fine. It doesn't mean it's true.
Last edited by DArtagnan; January 19th, 2012 at 11:25.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#9

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,047

Default 

January 19th, 2012, 11:34
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
TWICE now, I've clearly stated that I wish they wouldn't - not that they SHOULDN'T.

There's a very important difference.
No, it's not. It boils down to the fact that you don't want writers and designers like MCA making games, despite the fact that a lot of people around here greatly enjoy such games.

Otherwise, why would you wish upcoming designers didn't listen to MCA?

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Ironic statement, given you just lectured me on subjectivity. You think so, fine. It doesn't mean it's true.
There's a huge difference: I've never said I wanted people to stop listening to the designers of open world RPGs.
Maylander is offline

Maylander

SasqWatch

#10

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,179
Send a message via MSN to Maylander

Default 

January 19th, 2012, 11:39
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
No, it's not. It boils down to the fact that you don't want writers and designers like MCA making games, despite the fact that a lot of people around here greatly enjoy such games.

Otherwise, why would you wish upcoming designers didn't listen to MCA?
Are you seriously telling me I can't have my own personal opinion about what I think is good for the future of the genre, and let that opinion be known?

Because that's an amazingly weak position.

Logically, the difference between using the statement: I wish they wouldn't and they shouldn't - is that one is a personal wish not intended to actually influence others, and the other is letting my own personal opinion dictate what I think others SHOULD do.

I know this is just another Maylander knee-jerk anti DArt reaction, but if you actually bother to read what I say - it would help your understanding.

Like when I said that people SHOULD listen to him if they want to.

Clearly, I think it's UNFORTUNATE that people are salivating over him, when I don't think his "lessons" have been good for the games he's been involved with.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#11

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,047

Default 

January 19th, 2012, 11:43
There's a huge difference: I've never said I wanted people to stop listening to the designers of open world RPGs.
I never said I wanted people to stop listening if they actually want to - as I already clarified. I said I WISH they didn't. Clearly, they do - and as such they should.

I know that's a troublesome logical distinction for you, but it's there all the same.

Also, you just stated he's as good as it gets for characters and C&C - and you stated it as a fact - not an opinion.

Obviously, it's just your opinion - and I'm not irrational enough to be bothered by those who don't agree with me.

It's just a clear demonstration of your own failure to live up to your own standards.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#12

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,047

Default 

January 19th, 2012, 12:32
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I never said I wanted people to stop listening if they actually want to - as I already clarified. I said I WISH they didn't. Clearly, they do - and as such they should.

I know that's a troublesome logical distinction for you, but it's there all the same.
Wish vs want is a formality more than anything else, usually based on the context of the word. Whether you want people to stop listening to him or wish people to stop listening to him makes very little difference: Both terms clearly show what you desire, what you consider the best course of action. Wishing for it is simply more polite, but it's not something to hide behind.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Also, you just stated he's as good as it gets for characters and C&C - and you stated it as a fact - not an opinion.

Obviously, it's just your opinion - and I'm not irrational enough to be bothered by those who don't agree with me.

It's just a clear demonstration of your own failure to live up to your own standards.
He's among the best when it comes to characters and C&C, of that there is very little doubt, just like there's very little doubt both Messi and Ronaldo are among the best football players on the planet. It's subjective to a point, but still a widely known fact because it's hard to find anyone better - at least someone who's so much better you'd have a solid argument.

I can think of people in the same league as MCA, that are also among the best, but someone who's so much better they're not even on the same level? No, I really don't think such a person works in the gaming industry today.

If you happen to know of someone, I'm more than willing to withdraw my statement. Until someone can bring an actual name to the table though, I'll stand by what I said.
Maylander is offline

Maylander

SasqWatch

#13

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,179
Send a message via MSN to Maylander

Default 

January 19th, 2012, 12:40
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Wish vs want is a formality more than anything else, usually based on the context of the word. Whether you want people to stop listening to him or wish people to stop listening to him makes very little difference: Both terms clearly show what you desire, what you consider the best course of action. Wishing for it is simply more polite, but it's not something to hide behind.
So, you're confirming that you don't think it's appropriate for me to have an opinion of what's best for the genre - and I certainly shouldn't speak openly about what I like and don't like - and what I wish would happen. I'm now "hiding" behind a clear logical distinction.

That's impressive stuff, May.

He's among the best when it comes to characters and C&C, of that there is very little doubt, just like there's very little doubt both Messi and Ronaldo are among the best football players on the planet. It's subjective to a point, but still a widely known fact because it's hard to find anyone better - at least someone who's so much better you'd have a solid argument.
Yeah, because there's a "score" to determine who wins when writing or designing, right?

I can think of people in the same league as MCA, that are also among the best, but someone who's so much better they're not even on the same level? No, I really don't think such a person works in the gaming industry today.
Good for you, and I respect your right to hold that opinion.

If you happen to know of someone, I'm more than willing to withdraw my statement. Until someone can bring an actual name to the table though, I'll stand by what I said.
Why would I want to interfere or change your opinion here? You apparently like what he's been involved with lately.

I don't though.

For the record, I have nothing against him as a designer - because I don't actually know exactly what he's done. Just being a designer/writer can mean a hell of a lot of things. I think his work on Torment is the best documented stuff - and I didn't really care for that. Not my style of writing/designing.

I can only see the end result of his involvement - and he's been "lead" on several games.

As I said, originally, if the lessons he's learned are what has brought him to develop what he's developing - I wish people would stop paying attention - because those lessons aren't good for the genre.

That's my own personal subjective opinion that I feel 100% appropriate to speak about.

If you can't handle that, that's your problem.

We're done here.
Last edited by DArtagnan; January 19th, 2012 at 12:52.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#14

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,047

Default 

January 19th, 2012, 13:22
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
So, you're confirming that you don't think it's appropriate for me to have an opinion of what's best for the genre - and I certainly shouldn't speak openly about what I like and don't like - and what I wish would happen. I'm now "hiding" behind a clear logical distinction.

That's impressive stuff, May.
Of course you can have an opinion on what the future of the genre should look like, but that opinion is largely irrelevant when it's not a type of game that you actually play. From what I've seen, Black Isle/Obsidian style games simply don't appealed to you, so why comment on what should or should not happen to such games? That's like me talking about action games, for example:

"I wish everyone would just stop making all these shooters and action games, and make RPGs instead."

If I ever did state that it would be pointless, as I simply don't play such games. I know nothing of what such games should or should not contain, or how people should develop them.

I can make comments on MMOs that I play or have played, open world RPGs and RPGs with a heavy emphasis on story and characters. I can't actually comment other games, because I'm not really interested in them.

Wanting or wishing for a certain type of game to stop being developed just because I don't enjoy them would be selfish. Instead, I make my feelings known regarding games I actually do play, and what direction they should take.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Yeah, because there's a "score" to determine who wins when writing or designing, right?
No more than there are scores to determine whether or not William Shakespeare was a great author. He was though, despite not "winning" or being "scored" as such. The level of his writing is not determined by a grade, but by a general consensus, and that consensus is: He was a great writer.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Why would I want to interfere or change your opinion here? You apparently like what he's been involved with lately.

I don't though.
I don't like what William Shakespeare wrote, I find it boring, but that doesn't mean I have a hard time admitting he was a great author. The level of someone's writing is not related to whether or not you enjoy it, but on their use of language, metaphors, the depth of their characters and so on and so forth.

By the way, I'm not comparing MCA to Shapespeare - there's a fairly massive gap here - but the gaming industry doesn't have a Shakespeare yet, and it probably won't for a long time. My point is simple: Enjoying something is not a requirement for determining someone's skill at writing, dancing, singing and so on and so forth.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
For the record, I have nothing against him as a designer - because I don't actually know exactly what he's done. Just being a designer/writer can mean a hell of a lot of things. I think his work on Torment is the best documented stuff - and I didn't really care for that. Not my style of writing/designing.

I can only see the end result of his involvement - and he's been "lead" on several games.

As I said, originally, if the lessons he's learned are what has brought him to develop what he's developing - I wish people would stop paying attention - because those lesssons aren't good for the genre.
Again, why are you bothering with a type of writing and games that you clearly don't enjoy? I don't enjoy Call of Duty, but that doesn't mean I wish or want them to stop developing such games. I certainly don't want to rob people who enjoy such games of their hobby.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
We're done here.
Nonsense, you'll be replying in this thread for days.
Maylander is offline

Maylander

SasqWatch

#15

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,179
Send a message via MSN to Maylander

Default 

January 19th, 2012, 13:30
I would, but there's no point having a debate with someone who thinks he already knows what I think and what I like.

You want me to be someone I'm not, so I can fit in your image of who I am. You want to be right more than you want to understand.

Hardly worth my time. So, I promise, I'm done here as of this post
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#16

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 13,047
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Obsidian Entertainment - MCA Lecture
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 02:33.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch