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Chris Avellone interviewed by El Pixel Illustre

Ramallah August 23, 2011 User blog:Ramallah

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, blocks rentals and sell-backs-to-the-store, and be potentially rolled into a larger edition and make more money, so you have more freedom over the narrative, release dates (digital release is sooooo much better than physical copies when it comes to putting out a game, and I’d argue it makes for a better game as well as helping the environment), game titles (there is no way we could ever named a triple A sixty-buck title “Old World Blues” and gotten away with it), themes, and playing around with game mechanics to try out new ideas.

Have you checked out the “Fallout 2 Restoration Project” patch? Are you happy with all the cut content finally seeing the light of day, or maybe you would have preferred it to remain unseen?

I have not, unfortunately, and if Killap was brave enough to try and resurrect any of that content, more power to him – we certainly couldn’t get to all of it, but I don’t think the game suffered from it (and we were still able to put parts of the Fallout 2 stuff in FNV and the DLCs, although it’s mutated quite a bit since when we first imagined it). I am glad that someone was able to make use of the editor we worked hard to get released a long time ago – I was worried no one would do anything with it.

Finally, one of the guilty pleasures I’ve been enjoying since the first Fallout is creating a character based on social and mental skills, and then play the whole game as a ruthless bastard taking advantage of everyone. What’s your favorite play style?

That would be it, although I try to be the nice smooth-talking skilled professional who wanders into town and disarms everyone with witty one-liners. Which is a power fantasy, because my real life is nothing like that.

By the way, Fallout 3 is an embarrassment to the whole series, so thanks for putting it back in its rightful place with New Vegas. No, this is not a question, but we had to say it anyway.

I’d have to disagree, and without breaking down the argument into a treatise, one thing that F3 clearly nails about the Fallout universe is open-world exploration, and I thought they did a great job with that. I’ve already given critiques on F3 previously – ultimately, I believe it was a good game for many reasons, and I learned a lot design-wise from playing it and examining the editor-mechanics they used for constructing an open-world.

Lan

Thanks to El Pixel Illustre for a great Q&A and thanks to NMA for once again providing me with news that for some reason no one else wants to post. :P

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