Veteran designer Chris Avellone is rarely out of RPG news coverage for long. GamesIndustry.biz have posted an interview with the talent behind Planescape: Torment, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II and more, covering a wide variety of subjects. Chris always has quite a bit of interest to talk about, and this time around he espouses on his experience with Kickstarter, as well as his more recent work on South Park: The Stick of Truth.
Q: You've said that you're really enjoying the project, and that you're a big fan of Wasteland and know Brian pretty well - I presume you've got a fairly collaborative ethos when it comes to working?
Chris Avellone: That's pretty much how it's panned out so far. It's been pretty free-form with the story design, the area division, the flow of the adventure. Everyone's in a very collaborative mood - we just bounce ideas off each other, there's not much "we don't like this."
Brian knows Wasteland better than anybody, so I do defer to him on direction and feel of things if there ever is any doubt - he knows the product better than I do. I'm a huge fan and I enjoy designing for it, but at the end of the day it's Brian's original vision for Wasteland that made it so well received so I listen.
Q: You obviously experienced it first as a player - you must be able to give Brian an interesting insight into how people perceived it.
Chris Avellone: Yeah, and a lot of the guys are playing it again and charting their experiences, writing walkthroughs and everything. I played the whole game through again as soon as I knew I was getting involved with the project and it's still just as much fun as it was in high school. I was pretty surprised because I thought it might suffer from Last Starfighter syndrome, where I thought it was amazing as a kid then watched it again and thought, "maybe I didn't know what I was talking about!"
Q: It must be odd working on Wasteland 2 after the modern Fallout - how do you keep Fallout ideas from cross-contaminating?
Chris Avellone: I actually discovered that Fallout was much more limiting than working on Wasteland, for a number of reasons. One is that the production pipeline is much more limiting now, in terms of what you can do, the second is that Fallout comes with a number of genre limitations. It's very important, for example to maintain that '50s sci-fi vibe. You can't lose that or you lose Fallout. In Wasteland, that's one of the parameters that's removed, you can do a fun post-apocalyptic game and have a lot more freedom with what you want to do. Wasteland 1 was full of crazy, fun stuff to do. I don't know if you can do that in Fallout and get away with it.
The silver lining has to be the news that Avellone is "very tempted" by the prospect of a Planescape Kickstarter project... RPG fans can dream, right?