|For the Fallout character, see Chris Avellone (Fallout).|
For the Fallout 2 character, see Chris Avellone (Fallout 2).
For the Fallout Tactics character, see Chris Avellone (Fallout Tactics).
Christopher Frederic Avellone (born September 27, 1971) is a video game designer who has worked on Fallout 2, Van Buren (the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios), and Fallout: New Vegas. He also compiled the Fallout Bible.
Avellone is a descendant of Sicilian immigrants. After receiving his high school diploma at the renowned Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, he attended the College of William & Mary in Virginia (with Todd Howard) and completed with a Bachelors in English. During that time, he wrote short stories and scripts for role-playing games, some of which were published in the Dungeons & Dragons magazine Dragon.
Through Bruce Harlick, then an editor with Hero Games, he received the chance to write a book for the role-playing game Dark Champions. After several publications with Hero Games, he decided that game design was a career option.
Black Isle Studios
Steve Peterson, one of the founders of Hero Games, provided Avellone an interview with Interplay, a large game publisher at the time. His knowledge of role-playing games and his ideas impressed Interplay, and he was offered a position as a game designer. Around 1995 or 1996, Avellone moved to Orange County, where Interplay was located.
Avellone got involved with the Fallout series when production was started at Black Isle Studios on Fallout 2. While many feel that his "feel" for the Fallout canon was lacking, the design of New Reno has been praised by just as many and Chris says that other areas (such as the raiders area) were perhaps lesser developed due to the extra emphasis he placed on this area. Following the completion of New Reno, he helped complete Vault City and worked on the special encounters as well While he enjoyed his work on the game he felt that a lot of mistakes were made during development including the lack of overall control over a united feel, mistakes that would go on to become the basis of his game design philosophy.
Later, he became the lead designer of a project codenamed Van Buren, which was canceled in 2003 and revealed to have been Black Isle's attempt at developing Fallout 3. He wrote the Tibbets Prison design document.
Aside from Fallout games, Avellone was also the lead designer of Planescape: Torment.
At Obsidian, Avellone has worked on such titles as, Neverwinter Nights 2 and its expansion, Mask of the Betrayer, and was lead designer on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II and Alpha Protocol. He also wrote All Roads, a prequel to Fallout: New Vegas, and has also written a few Star Wars comics such as "Unseen, Unheard" for the Star Wars Tales series of comics and a few issues of Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures comic series, such as "Heroes on Both Sides" and "Impregnable," all of which have been published by Dark Horse Comics. He was a writer on Fallout: New Vegas and lead designer on New Vegas add-ons. He also co-wrote the lyrics for the song "Begin Again" featured in Dead Money add-on.
Avellone announced on his Twitter account on June 9, 2015, that he had left Obsidian Entertainment in order to use his talents as a freelancer working on titles such as the reboot of Prey and System Shock.
Avellone was also involved in the development of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, Dying Light 2, and The Waylanders, though the developers of these games distanced themselves from him and his work following accusations of sexual harassment in June 2020.
Chris has been referenced directly in many Fallout games. In Fallout players can encounter a mercenary who bears his name, and in Fallout 2, when fighting alongside Marcus, he will yell out "Chris Avellone loves you!!" before attacking. Avellone is also referenced in Fallout Tactics through both an off screen location and as the Mayor of Springfield.
When asked about the Fallout Tactics dialogue, Chris Avellone stated that if he had realized the character was being included he likely would have asked that it be removed due to it breaking the fourth wall.
|January 1995||May 2003||Interplay Entertainment/Black Isle Studios||Lead Designer|
|June 2003||May 2015||Obsidian Entertainment||Creative Director/Chief Creative Officer/Co-Owner|
|2003||Van Buren||Lead Designer|
|2010||Fallout: New Vegas||Senior Designer|
|2011||Dead Money||Project Director|
|2011||Old World Blues||Project Director|
|2011||Lonesome Road||Project Director|
|1997||Star Trek: Starfleet Academy||Additional Mission Design|
|1999||Planescape: Torment||Lead Designer|
|2002||Icewind Dale II||Designer|
|2004||Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords||Lead Designer|
|2006||Neverwinter Nights 2||Creative Director|
|2010||Alpha Protocol||Lead Designer|
|2011||Dungeon Siege III||Chief Creative Officer|
|2014||Wasteland 2||Highpool and Ag Center Design|
|2014||South Park: The Stick of Truth||Chief Creative Officer|
|2015||Pillars of Eternity||Narrative Design|
|2016||Torment: Tides of Numenera||Writing|
|2016||Divinity: Original Sin II||Additional Narrative Design|
|2018||Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire||Additional Writing|
|2019||Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order||Story and Writing Consultant|
|TBA||Dying Light 2||Head Narrative Designer|
- Chris Avellone on Twitter
- Bethesda Blog: Inside the Vault - Chris Avellone
- Fallout Official Site: Developer Diaries - What's Old is New Again
- Chris Avellone at Wikipedia
- Chris Avellone at Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki
- Extrasode Episode 61
- Tweet Chris Avellone on June 9, 2015
- Twee Chris Avellone on August 17, 2016
- "Ex-Obsidian chief creative officer Chris Avellone is working on the new Prey", Polygon, June 13, 2016
- System Shock Kickstarter Page
- Maher, Cian (22). Chris Avellone’s contributions have been removed from Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 (English). VG247. Archived from the original on 06-22-2020.
- Twitter conversation with Agent c