Wccftech recently conducted an interview with Chris Avellone who has worked as a writer on many major releases such as Fallout New Vegas, Prey, Pillars of Eternity and the highly anticipated upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
The interview was conducted during Reboot Develop Blue 2019 in Dubrovnik and centers around the Avellone’s time working on Fallen Order as well as his personal philosophy towards his writing. Below are some highlights from the interview:
“You’re incredibly well known for fantasy writing. Where do you start when you’re trying to come up with a new story for example, like Alaloth? When you’re trying to come up with something completely original, where do you begin?”
“So for Fallout New Vegas, we will obviously use all the Fallout mechanics that everyone was used to, but hey, in New Vegas we’re going to introduce this faction reputation system. So once you know there’s gotta be a faction reputation system that has suddenly you realize, oh, well, the game story has to have factions, the reputation has to have some sort of reactivity, whether it goes from hostile to super positive and that should influence the story. And sometimes they come from completely other places like Alaloth. Actually, some of the story elements were dictated by the fact a lot of the art had been done. So hey, here’s the image for the main character, here’s the main adversary in the game, well now we’re going to build a story around that art piece.“
“What is it like designing a game which has a linear narrative, versus an open world game with a lot of side quests? Do you approach those two tasks differently?”
“So when we do a game like, like Fallout New Vegas, we do try and create a critical path storyline for the player to follow – I’d argue that’s not always the best approach for doing an open world game. I think if you’re doing an open world game, you should find a way to structure an open world story where the actions cause the story to come to you versus you go to point A to point B to point C, I think there’s been a tendency with people who do open world games, and they feel they need to do like a linear store else, people are going to be comfortable. And I don’t really agree with that.”
“Some designers have said that humor has no place in their games. Would you agree with that?”
“But the other thing is, I think you can still have humor in games, especially games that are really aggressive because sometimes we need that contrast with just a laugh every once in a while, to sort of release the vent. One example I always point to is that if you’ve seen the movie Aliens, that movie is actually pretty funny. Because there are certain elements where a certain character will freak out a certain way. “Oh my God, put her in charge.” Like that’s funny when it happens. But it’s still
“And it’s funny, but it’s appropriate within that genre. And I don’t think it makes Aliens any less of a suspenseful movie or a scary movie. So in those cases, there are ways to put humor like that, even if you don’t even if you’re thinking, oh, well, humor has no place. Sometimes it really does help.“
If you’ve enjoyed what you read, check out the full interview in the link at the top.