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GamesIndustry.biz - Chris Avellone Interview

by Couchpotato, 2013-11-13 04:14:39

GamesIndustry.biz sat down with Chris Avellone and talked about kickstarter.

Few game developers know the Kickstarter experience as well as Chris Avellone. The Obsidian Entertainment co-owner and creative director Chris Avellone has been part of a trio of very successful Kickstarter campaigns in inXile's Wasteland 2, Project Eternity, and Torment: Tides of Numenera. And when he's not busy with those projects, he moonlights as a human stretch goal for other Kickstarter campaigns.

"I don't mind saying that I prostitute myself quite frequently," Avellone said. "It's all in the name of writing, so I'm ok with that."

Avellone was tapped to deliver the keynote address for the final day of the Montreal International Game Summit, and his Tuesday talk was focused on developing old-school RPGs with the new-school funding method of Kickstarter. Starting with Wasteland 2, Avellone explained that using Kickstarter has changed the normal development cycle in some pretty significant ways.

First and foremost, Avellone said it's incredibly unusual to develop a game whilst sharing, not just details on mechanics and interface designs with the community early, but sharing technology between companies with a close working relationship (such as Obsidian and inXile).

"About two years ago, I would have said that trying to pitch an isometric role playing game was a pretty hard sell," Avellone admits. But thinks are changing. Words like "old school," "isometric," and "windows-focused" weren't very sexy for publishers. However, now that Kickstarter has shown there's a market for such titles, Avellone said publishers have been much more open to the idea. They know they won't get the next Call of Duty out of it, but these types of games can still provide a strong return and bolster a portfolio, Avellone promised.

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