Obsidian Entertainment - Interview MCA @ NightMare Mode
Nightmare Mode has an interview up with MCA, or Chris Avellone. It is an interesting read covering how he got into the business, what his favourite games are, his take on the dialogue wheel, and more. As always, questions about Fallout, Van Buren and Planescape: Torment are also asked. Apparently an action rpg in the Planescape setting were planned:
Recently there has been a lot of commotion over Matt Findley’s (Hunted: The Demon’s Forge–and also hailing from Interplay) comments regarding older fantasy games–typically RPGs–”always wanted to be action games at their heart.” Do you agree with that statement? Would you, as someone who also worked at Interplay, say that some of the games you’ve worked on in the past actually wanted to be action games at heart?
I think Stonekeep definitely wanted to be an action RPG (Ultima Underworld was out around that time). I don’t think Baldur’s Gate could have been and still been Baldur’s Gate (or at least had as many party members), same with Torment and Icewind Dale. That said, however, at points in development at Interplay there were action RPG versions of Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape (not Torment, but an action title like King’s Field in the same universe) all in the works, although only the ARPG BG title came out (Dark Alliance).
Here's view on choices in games:
Do you think choices work when they are put into games that are not fundamentally about choosing the outcome of the story?
As long as the choice is still meaningful in some fashion, either in a game mechanic context or if it causes a change in the immediate area you’re in. Also, can depend on the genre — some genres of games have seen so little of it (what, I can tackle the objectives in any order?), that even a single choice like that can cause a huge reaction, even if it’s giving the player a minor option. This was the basis of a Splinter Cell lecture at GDC many years past – I can’t dig up the exact lecture from GDC, otherwise I’d cite case and context, but a choice presented in the game, while it technically led to the same result, was such a new element for that game genre, that people really latched on to it.