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To add to the anticipation of next week's release of Lonesome Road, I am pleased to bring you the third and final part of an interview with Chris Avellone. This edition focuses entirely on Fallout, character creation, DLCs, and Ulysses, amongst other topics.
Here are some selected highlights, with the full interview available either at Willooi Blog or Gamasutra:
[On Fallout games taking place outside of America]
Character perspectives aside, the ability to properly give context to that setting is more difficult the more removed the developers are from that location. There's likely a good reason why Bethesda did F3 in Washington DC, for example, and why Obsidian took the West Coast/SoCal region - we know more about the area where we live (or the areas that the Project Director, JE Sawyer, can ride to on his bike) than, say, China. Not having intimate insider knowledge of a location I feel makes the level design for those areas weaker as a result, not to mention the comments you'll likely …
Chris Avellone sure is in a chatty mood as of late (We're in no shortage of Chris Avellone interviews lately) but if your like me and can't get enough of Obsidian's creative director and co-founder. El Pixel Illustre has offered an English translation of a Spanish interview they conducted with him recently, including an unexpected ending. Here's a few Fallout-themed snippets:
You’ve worked in quite a few games now. What project are you most proud of?
Planescape and the Fallout DLCs (Dead Money, Old World Blues, and Lonesome Road) are the titles I’m most proud of – on all four, I was effectively Project Director and had the most freedom, so the fact that you own your mistakes as well as the praise generates a certain amount of pride. Also, almost all of them were under the radar, so they didn’t come under as much scrutiny as other titles going on at the time – Torment because of Baldur’s Gate, and the DLCs because no one gives a shit about DLC as long as it can boost sales of the original…
Following on from a previous interview with Chris Avellone, in part 2 we mainly discussed his thoughts on Alpha Protocol's development and critical reception, casting voice actors for written characters, as well as a bit about himself. Here are some Fallout-related excerpts from the interview revealing some interesting behind-the-scenes info, which is available in whole at either Willooi Blog or Gamasutra:
[On how he writes his characters]
There's a little bit of my take on religion with Kaelyn the Dove in Mask of the Betrayer. I don't generally try to write based on my personal views outside of gaming or based on anyone I know, I feel it muddies the point of the character and doesn't help the narrative. Plus, I'd feel weird about incorporating elements of someone I knew into a character, since I feel it ends up being distracting to your evaluation of the character as you’re implementing it and can sometimes feel "off" to someone who encounters the character in game.
There are a few exce…
Legal war never changes. After Bethesda Softworks' motion for preliminary injunction against Interplay Entertainment was denied again, Bethesda now appeals the court ruling on that again as well. Here's a quote from the latest court filing:
After their previous motion for preliminary injunction was denied, Bethesda first fired their law firm and hired a new one, and then dropped the appeal. Will history repeat itself again in these regards as well?
As a reminder to those who are not well versed in legal terms, a preliminary injunction would prevent Interplay from continuing its work on Fallout Online and its sale of the original Fallout games, including the Fallout Trilogy pack until the final verdict on the Bethesda v. Interplay case is made. Even without preliminary injunction, Bethesda may still prevail in the case as a whole.
Almost all released Fallout games are currently available at discounted prices as part of the current "Steam Summer Camp Sale" (June 30 - July 10). In particular, the prices are:
As part of an ongoing personal blog project of mine, Chris Avellone, still busy with Fallout: New Vegas DLC production, was kind enough to take some time out to discuss his role at Obsidian and in F:NV, his background, character design, as well as the work that goes into RPG creation.
Part 1 of the whole interview can be found either hereor on Gamasutra
Here's a snippet:
[What he's up to at the moment]
Still working hard here at Obsidian, wrapping up the last bits of Fallout New Vegas DLC, Lonesome Road. We had the last narrative tasks and voice-acting session last week (Note: end of May), it went well, and now it's a matter of doing more run-throughs of DLC4 to get a feel for the pacing and polish what we can. It's been a long road from New Vegas to the end of the DLCs, and now when I go home, I'm not sure what to do with myself - on NV and the DLCs, it was easy, I just didn't go home.
[His favourite writing or design achievements in his career]
I like the influence system (although not it…
Good Old Games digital download platform has announced that all Interplay titles on sale there are now 50% off. The sale includes Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics, each of which can now be purchased for as little as $2.99.
Unfortunately, this does not include some of the games originally developed and/or published by Interplay and Black Isle, as for example the Dungeons & Dragons games like Icewind Dale or Planescape: Torment are now owned by Atari.
Recently, No Mutants Allowed acquired two press packets for Fallout and Fallout 2, featuring several previously unavailable screenshots, some concept art and some new renders. However, the best part is propably the pre-release press statement for Fallout 2, mentioning underslung grenade launchers and a much more extensive weapon modification system.
While we all eagerly await more news about the upcoming Fallout: New Vegas add-ons, here's a collection various other Fallout-related bits.
Chris Avellone held a "design a perk" twitter contest recently. You can read the best entries on his blog. Now he has another one for you (inspired by our very own release of the Fallout film treatment):
The Internet Movie Database lists actress Michelle Bonilla credited for Fallout: New Vegas as a character called "White Legs". Sounds like a tribal name to me. Maybe she'll be one of the Ciphers?
If you still don't have Fallout: New Vegas for some reason, you can now buy it for only $19.99 at GameStop for the PC, PS3 and 360 alike.
The first Fallout: New Vegas add-on, Dead Money, is finally available on Steam for the 1C/Cenega edition of the game, available in Czech Republic, Poland, Russia and some other countries.
Fallout is one of the contenders for the title of best video game franchise at G4TV. In the first two rounds, it defeated Civilization and Gears of War …
Here's another episode of our continued coverage of the Bethesda v. Interplay courtroom drama.
During a motion hearing held earlier today, Bethesda's partial motion to dismiss Counts I and II of Interplay's recent amended counterclaim was argued in court and denied by judge Deborah K. Chasanow. As a reminder, Bethesda wanted the court to dismiss Interplay's counterclaim because the agreements that, according to Interplay, Bethesda has breached, are "clear and unambiguous" and that "no cause of action for breach has been stated" as, according to Bethesda, the agreement clearly does not require Bethesda to allow Interplay the use of any Fallout intellectual property assets other than the name Fallout itself for its Fallout Online MMO. The court's denial to dismiss the motion does not necessarily mean that the judge agrees with Interplay's interpretation, simply that Bethesda's interpretation is not as "clear and obvious" enough to dismiss it.
Additionally, however, the court stated that Interpl…