Obsidian Entertainment - MCA Interview
AVC has an interview with Chris Avellone from GDC on his background and work. I enjoyed this snip:
AVC: How did you break into the gaming industry?
CA: I actually wasn’t sure I’d be able to. I spent a year after college just writing pen and paper games. Midway through college, I got my break with Champions. Because they needed to fill a character book for the Dark Champions line—which was sort of like their Batman line—and they’re like, “Hey, you know what, you’ve been applying for about the last five years. We have to do a book; why don’t you go ahead and give it a shot?”
So I wrote a book for that called Underworld Enemies. And then I got more work, just writing more modules and more adventures. Some of them I had already used in campaigns that I had run. The pay was terrible. It was $50 every two months. And you can’t live on that. (Laughs) So finally I talked to my editor and said, “If you ever hear of a real job in the game industry, or even in the computer game industry, I’d be curious to hear it.”
At that time as luck would have it, Interplay was forming their D & D division. It was called Dragonplay, and they were looking for junior designers.
I [interviewed with] Mark O’Green, who was the division director at that time. He said, “Hey, if you wanted to do a Planescape game, how would you start it?” They had the Planescape license, and they actually hadn’t done anything with it yet. And I’m like, “Oh, I’d have it start with a character who wakes up from the dead, maybe right after the death screen he gets right back up and suddenly he finds himself in the mortuary, and he has to figure out what’s going on.” And he said, “All right. That could work.” (Laughs)
And then I went back, and he offered me a job for like $22,000 or something. I was like, “Oh man, this is fantastic!”