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Default Chris Avellone - Interview @ CGMagazine

January 26th, 2014, 05:13
CG Magazine interviews Chris Avellone about the Kickstarter games he’s involved in.

Comics Gaming Magazine: A lot of these games you’ve made with Kickstarter rely on nostalgia. How are the games going forward going to go beyond that nostalgic desire to recapture old games?

Chris Avellone: I think you’re correct. Nostalgia has been one of the big pillars of a successful Kickstarter. When people remember a certain type of game and a certain type of game experience, that contributes a lot to the funding level and the support you get from backers. In terms of how we’re evolving beyond that: I think that when doing a game like Baldur’s Gate in the Forgotten Realms, in the franchise owned by Hasbro and Wizards, there are certain bookends and limitations in how far you can push the world and push the characters. When you don’t have those limitations and there’s certain cultural elements you want to explore that might otherwise be taboo or “a touchy subject”, that is something we can now explore in game, and have things like “Hey, what would a drug-dealing commerce be like?” If you do have drug-addicted characters, what are the issues with that? Are there other elements like that that we might want to explore on a wider level that we couldn’t normally do with another franchise?

CGM: Do you have any plans for the future beyond this? Where do we go from here?

CA: The Kickstarter push with a lot of games has been really encouraging. I don’t know if Obsidian will do another Kickstarter. I do know that with all the success of the isometric role-playing games that have come out with Wasteland 2 and Eternity and Tides of Numenera, I think that’s caused some publishers to realize that there’s actually a good, solid market for more low-budget games like that that still have a great reactive feel, a lot like Infinity engine games. Seeing publishers suddenly wake up and take notice of that and being willing to talk about games like that in the future I think has been encouraging.
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January 26th, 2014, 05:13
Seems like it might be more interesting to question him about why so many popular franchises were allowed to wither and die while they were at their peak, instead of discussing how nostalgia for those old games, now, is giving developers a chance to revitalize them. It's not like players didn't want more of those games, when they were hot. Of course, you'd never get an honest answer. Instead, you'd get some stuff about how the market is too small and the games cost too much to make. Same as the answer he gave, back in the day. Someday, maybe some of these guys will get honest. In the meantime, I guess maybe the most we can hope for is they learned their lesson and won't make the same mistakes they made in the past. Even though they won't admit to them.
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January 26th, 2014, 16:41
Originally Posted by CraigCWB View Post
Seems like it might be more interesting to question him about why so many popular franchises were allowed to wither and die while they were at their peak…
A massive +1 for this comment sir !
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January 26th, 2014, 18:17
Originally Posted by CraigCWB View Post
Of course, you'd never get an honest answer.
Out of curiosity, what do you think the honest answer is?
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January 27th, 2014, 00:11
Originally Posted by ChaosTheory View Post
Out of curiosity, what do you think the honest answer is?
In most cases, including Interplay's, I think it was a combination of greed and ego. The established and successful franchises that had gotten studios started in the industry weren't blockbusters, so we fans got these stories about "they cost too much to make, and the market is too small". Translation: we're wasting our time on this, we can do better.
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January 27th, 2014, 05:38
I seem to recall that he's attempted to answer that before. A big part of it was the industry's pursuit of higher graphics quality, with a focus on 3D, FPS, and so forth.
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