Chris Avellone - Interview @ RPGamer
RPGamer interviews Chris Avellone with a few questions about his career as a game designer, past projects, and what games he would love to make.
Johnathan Stringer: Why did Obsidian decide to use Kickstarter to fund Project Eternity?
Chris Avellone: Pitching an isometric, old-school RPG has two adjectives, no three adjectives associated with it when you add PC only, or Windows-focused, to the front of RPG that publishers don't want to hear. They don't see a lot of profit to be made in a game like that, nor is it worth investing the resources to create a game like that. So, we recognized there was probably an audience for a game like that out there, and Kickstarter just provided the means to contact that audience, and ask them directly for support. The backers came back with an insane level of support, which made us all very, very happy.
Johnathan Stringer: Would you say this is the future for these old-school style, PC RPGs, and the only way to get them developed?
Chris Avellone: I used to think yes, but, recently I think publishers have seen how well these games are attracting an audience on Kickstarter and how much financial support they are getting. Now, I think publishers in the future would be more willing on having a conversation about making these types of games.
Johnathan Stringer: In your opinion, why has the Western RPG been gaining in popularity while that of the Japanese RPG has seemingly been descending?
Chris Avellone: You know, I have thought about this, and have no idea. I have a bunch of guesses. I think maybe, there are some elements about western RPGs that offer more freedom, in terms of how you build your character, and in terms of how you experience the storyline, as that is true in a lot of Bethesda's games. But, then there are some other games that seem to be mimicking more of the Japanese RPG model, that are some ways more constrained than a Bethesda game, and those seem to be doing well. So, maybe just the super linear path, without much deviation, gamers are having a backlash against that. And ultimately, they just want to play their own hero that they have customized, they have developed, and they don't have to worry about seeing in a cutscene necessarily. They just want to be the fantasy character they imagined, and I just think Western RPGs allow for that a lot more than Japanese RPGs.
Read the full interview for more good questions as I can' list them all.