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Chris Avellone Interview

An interview on Gamasutra chats with Chris Avellone of Obsidian Entertainment about their upcoming Project Eternity, as well as some of the old school RPGs that inspired this upcoming release and the successful Kickstarter that got the project underway. He offers the following outlook on what RPGs like this fell out of favor with publishers:

I don't know if I have a good answer for that. I do know that there's one technical limitation: when you're developing an RPG for the consoles -- which most publishers want because it generates the most revenue -- it's often very difficult to control a party of characters, with either the PlayStation controller or the Xbox controller. So that immediately causes you to change the dynamic of how you design the RPG. You can have two party members with you [the player], but you've got to recognize that that consumes a lot of memory right then and there. And you also have to set their AI states -- you're not really controlling them.

A lot of those [Infinity Engine] titles were PC-only, and that's not really an appealing pitch to any publisher. They don't really want a PC-only title, because that's not going to maximize their revenue.

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5. Re: Chris Avellone Interview Dec 2, 2012, 18:06 eRe4s3r
 
But we ended up with lots of niches unfilled, AA RPG's , PROPER 4x games and let's not forget GOD GAMES (Sim Hospital et al). That's what really get's me.. because It makes no damn sense (not even economically)..

Kickstarter is currently soaking up all those niches and their potential and turns the ENTIRE industry around, now games are not made for profit, the "profit" is literally "making the game" because that's the only thing that's gonna get you funded. You don't sell profit expectations, you sell a hope to a game to people who WANT TO PLAY IT. Once the game is made any sale would be EXTRA profit. Can you imagine what an insanely good position this puts (some few) developers in?

Should any crowd funded Kickstarter game ever land a "hit" what would it do the publishing scene? Because I don't think big publishers would ignore that. They would have to fear developers do the entire range of development. And cut the Publisher out the equation.

I hope Kickstarting ends up giving us lots of good unique fun games. I am all for niches, fill them up, polish them up.. Paradox or Matrix Games need competition to start giving a damn about the level of bugs and lack of polish in nearly ALL of their games.

This comment was edited on Dec 2, 2012, 18:32.
 
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