Question Time: Your Chance To Interview Chris Avellone

Question Time is the post where you get to ask the questions. This week, we put acclaimed RPG designer Chris Avellone in the chair. What would you ask him?

Here's how Question Time works: you come up with the questions and a games industry luminary will answer them. Every Wednesday we'll have a new interviewee for you and a new batch of answers.

Today, it's the turn of Chris Avellone from Obsidian Entertainment. Chris has worked on many classic RPGs, including Planescape: Torment, Fallout 2, Knight of the Old Republic 2 and Icewind Dale. He's now hard at work on Alpha Protocol, the espionage RPG to be published by Sega later this year.

Chris spoke about his work at the recent Framework conference in Melbourne, so perhaps you'd like to ask him about some of the ideas he discussed there.

Post your question for Chris in the comments below. I'll choose the best ones for Chris to answer next week. You've got until the end of the day to get your questions in.


    My question for Chris is: What did you think when you heard Bethesda were making Fallout 3? And what did you think of the game when you played it?

    Your talk at Framework focused on everything you HATE about RPGs so I wanna know what it is you LOVE about the genre?

    Will we ever see Obsidian return to it's Planescape roots, as we are seeing with Bioware and Dragon Age?

    My question for Chris:

    All the big games you have worked on have either been licensed properties (Star Wars, D&D) and/or sequels (Fallout 2) where you're working off of someone else's ideas. How did the creative process differ when it came to designing Alpha Protocol, a wholly original IP?

    Simple one from me. What's the best part of your job?

    If you could make a sequel to any game, what would you pick and what would you do with it?

    I want to ask Chris about morality systems in RPGs like Fallout 3, Fable 2, KOTOR, etc. Do you think the way these moral choices are tied to character stats, powers and rewards is somehow taking away from the power such moral choices can have on a game's narrative? For example, I find that I make choices in Fallout 3 because I'm invested in developing my character rather than feeling invested in what actually happens in the world. Do you feel the same way?

    Chris, you've worked on a bunch of games that have been cancelled (Van Buren, Torn) or had lots of content cut out (KOTOR2). How do you handle it when something you've worked on for months or years ends up being released in an imcomplete state or not released at all?

    Since I loved Fallout 2, which got me into the FO Universe, and Planescape: Torment, which is still one of my all-time favourite RPGs to this day..

    I'd love to know if Chris will be returning to his Fallout roots and be playing any part in the development of Fallout: New Vegas?

    Chris, RE: New Vegas. I'm sure you'll be involved with the project. I loved Bethesda's take on the FO universe, but it missed the perfect balance between serious/comical. Fallout 1 & 2 had a wicked sense of humor which was nowhere to be found in FO3. Will this be addressed in New Vegas?

    Also, writing-wise, FO3 suffered - it just didn't have that Black Isle touch. Is this something you feel needs to be addressed?

    Will you leave the game engine as is, or make minor improvements?

    Finally, what are your thoughts on Bethesda acquiring rights for Fallout TV and Film IPs? Can you envision a Fallout film ever being critically and commercially successful?

    Would you ever want to work on an MMORPG? If so, how would you do things differently?

    Hey Chris!

    It says on your Wiki page that you went to college with Todd Howard from Bethesda. Were you guys friends? Did you play D&D together back then?

    Can I ask two questions?

    What's your favourite game ever?

    I was going to ask about MMORPG's too.... do you think someone will ever over-take WOW and have more players? how would you beat blizzard?!

    My question for Kris: When are you going to resume the awesome stick figure show again?

    What about the idea of "persistent worlds" in MMORPGs? Is it possible for a RPG that takes place in a online persistent world to have a storyline that is as immersive as, say, Torment? Will singleplayer RPGs and multiplayer RPGs blend together in the future?

    For years, KOTOR fans were speculating who, or perhaps what the 'True Sith', mentioned by Kreia at the end of "The Sith Lords", were. In 'The Old Republic' MMO, BioWare made them be the survivors of Naga Sadow's Empire from the Great Hyperspace War.

    My question is who/what the 'True Sith' were in your concept? Descendants of King Adas's ancient Sith Empire? A completly unknown and separate gropu of the Dark Side of the Force users? Or perhaps the 'True Sith' was not suppoused to be an organization, but rather an idea?

    Which aspects of RPGs are in need of complete change?

    Many RPGs are not that interested in dialogue anymore and it shows. How do you feel about this?

    First off, congrats to Chris for the remarkable work he's done over the years in the industry! Keep it up. :)

    And the question, which is about Alpha Protocol: To what extent would you say that player choices affect the gameworld and the overarching storyline? Will it be dramatic, with every hub offering a few choices and ultimately the game having an ending a la Fallout? Or is it constrained to a few key choices placed in story choke points like in Mask of the Betrayer?

    I, and another random dude are dying love fans of KotOR II - it's an excellent masterpiece. A LOT better than the 1st game. Anyways, we're daily twisting on details, arguing about certain stuff. Geeky stuff you know ;)

    To the point, we've been playing this game since its release (almost) and have found small details (sometimes tiny) every time we play through it.

    So, if not your K2 (Kotor2) memory is fresh you might have a problem answering these questions. So here we go:

    1. What are the True Sith? If you're free to say anything - anything - please, tell us! Specifically, what makes them different from the "false" Sith in the game.
    2. Again, if you're free to say, what did/have you have in mind for K3?
    3. What was the most difficult character to develop? And why?
    4. What happened to Bao-Dur? We know that he'd have died at some point near the end, possibly - because of the: "make my sacrifice matter" line.
    5. What was with Atris becoming Traya, how would that work with what's in the game now?
    6. How would Nar Shaddaa have worked as the second to last planet? (instead of Telos)
    7. (Subquestion to the 6th question) How would the Sion vs Nihilus subplot be resolved after that?
    8. The whole Visas and Handmaiden thing... (Visas was at one point a dark side only character, Handmaiden light side only), how that would have worked?
    9. What happened to the GenoHaradan that made them change their ways?
    10. Maybe something brief that was going to be on M4-78.

    If just a single question is answered we'll be EXTREMELY happy! That is all.

    Also, "Apathy is death" :P

    Simple question for MCA :

    Will you write for Fallout : New Vegas ?

    ( please say yes )

    Hello Chris.

    I am... an admirer of your work.

    My question(s) is/are...

    If you couldn't work creatively, what job would you have?

    When are you getting a twitter account? I enjoy your fellow obsidianites twitters!

    Can you get hired at Square Enix and kill japanese RPG cliches????

    That is all, much love.

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