Top 50 Chris Avellone Quotes
We picked fifty quotes of the legendary video game designer and writer who worked on numerous RPG titles including Fallout 2, New Vegas, Planescape: Torment, KotOR 2 and Pathfinder: Kingmaker
''The most important thing in games isn't the designer's narrative, but the story the player creates through his experiences.''
''We've pitched and even begun development on a number of fantasy worlds that have never seen the light of day. All of those worlds... It's soul-crushing to see them sputter out, one by one. Lost. Like tears. In rain.''
''While I'm confident in Obsidian being able to deliver a quality title, it only takes one other Kickstarter developer to ruin things for everyone else and cast doubt on the donation process going forward.''
[on The Outer Worlds moving to Epic Games Store]
''Obsidian management, you had ONE job.''
''I absolutely knew that I wanted to play role-playing games when I saw a friend of mine playing Bard's Tale 2 on his Commodore 64.''
[when discussing whether it is Obsidian of Epic Games to blame for The Outer Worlds exclusiveness]
Someone: As many others have said — both. The fact Epic is unwilling to compete to offer a better service, and instead just throw money around to create artificial restrictions and conflict yeah, shame on the companies that accept that
Chris: For the third time, I stare in the morality mirror and see no reflection. I concur.
''I think, actually, any morality system that rewards only the extremes is a flawed system. Players don't approach life that way, they don't approach games that way, and they shouldn't be trained to approach games that way. They shouldn't be in the 'Star Wars' mode where, 'I've got to choose every good option.' They should just play the game. And they should get equal consequences or rewards for that, that are different from the extremes.''
''In Alpha Protocol, right from the outset, the parameters of the game explain to you that the mission needs to get done. How you approach that is your decision. The rewards and penalties for either path, those are going to balance out into different consequences.''
[on Brian Fargo and Wasteland]
''He's paying Obsidian for my time, even though I'd do it for free.''
''I think publishers are basically rolling the dice a bit when they start projects, they develop them in a vacuum for a year or so before they can say anything to the public, before any direction is shared. They don't know if it's going to be profitable or popular so I think that's why they often play it safe with the sequels and the franchises etc.''
''I think if you made a game using some of the concepts of Planescape, the metaphysical ideas and the plane travel, without using the D&D mechanics, you could actually come up with a much better game.''
[on leaving Obsidian]
''When that happened, I realized I was free of the situation – completely free, for the first time. Feargus and the owners had no hold on my voice, my time, and my creativity any longer. And it was great.''
''If you can make a player pause at a series of dialogue options or quest solutions and weigh each one for a while, then you’ve done it right.''
''If games can challenge you to think in new ways, introduce interesting themes or just give you something to think about when you've stopped playing, it's absolutely time well spent.''
''Batman, at its core, is a stupid idea. Rich kid dresses up like a bat and fights crime and his arch-enemy is a clown. But, in the right hands, it can become so much more with context, presentation, character design, and psychology.''
[on his love for words in a cartoon he drew]
Cartoonish Chris: I mostly wake up in the morning and the words have had sex with me, usually in thematic ways. But I love words and themes, so it’s not weird.
Chris’ consience: Weird — and you just made it weird.
''From a tech standpoint, the amount of games that don’t have the ability to display italicized text is sadness. Italics communicate so much in tone.''
''I can't say 100% b/c of NDAs, but the ones I can say: I just finished up work with Jedi: The Fallen Order — and beyond that, there's another big bomb dropping in a month! Er, I mean, maybe. Ahem.''
Someone: Wink if it's Vampire: The Masquerade.
Chris Avellone: Shhhhhhh — also, the undead don’t wink.
‘’Got an email tonight from a student asking how I decided to become a game writer. I said I didn't decide — I didn't have a choice. If you love something, you can't NOT do it — and nothing will stop you from pursuing it in some way, shape, or form.’’
''I don’t bear them any ill will, it’s just that I don’t think their management style is healthy.''
''Endure. In enduring, grow strong.''
''On my long list of hates about RPGs, one of them was, I always felt it was an unnecessary chore to make you care about a world when, in fact, what most players care about is their own personal experience.''
[on Clone Wars]
''It's okay to do a big monster Godzilla story in Clone Wars. Because having big monsters is part of the Star Wars universe — there's always a moment where they have to confront some huge beast or alien, that's part of the franchise. However, when you suddenly find a huge space station in the middle of nowhere, where time doesn't seem to pass, and it's more of a Star Trek homage, suddenly you realise, 'Hey, that doesn't fit. Star Wars isn't about time travel.' So it's a matter of knowing your franchise and its strengths, rather than just adding elements in you haven't seen before. You've got to be careful.''
[about not having an Empire Strikes Back ending in KotOR 2]
''There is no revelation, no great secret. There is only you.''
''What I like about Kickstarter is it helps games that people want to play still get made, even if you don't pump $20 million dollars into it to try and meet all the stupid bells and whistles that publishers feel must be in games nowadays.''
[on Clone Wars]
‘'You recognise what those archetypes, those protagonists and what that power fantasies of Star Wars are, and you work out how to embrace that so the player is feeling that in the gameplay, the narrative and the systems. But also you want to put a new wrinkle or a new spin on it, so they're like, 'Well, I didn't really consider it that way before. I'm still having the power fantasy, but I'm thinking about it in a different way that makes it interesting.' And hopefully when they leave the game they're still thinking about it, and that's when you know you've done something really special.''
‘’The devs are SO RARELY (if ever) to blame. They're just trying to make a great game... it's senior management and backdoor deals that leave you as a dev out to dry. :( Seen it too many times, I'm sick and done with it.’’
''I am never going to do an Empire Strikes Back ending again in a game, even if they put branding irons to my feet.''
[on Outer Worlds going to EGS]
‘’It's not Epic's ''fault''. Which should you blame — the one who offers cash, or the one who accepts it?’’
[after reading arguments in the comments] ‘’Actually, **** it, very correct comments changed my mind.’’
''A lot of the strength of an RPG world lies in its foundation: its systems, lore, and when appropriate, its magic systems. While there are elements tied to Project: Eternity that at first glance seem to be classic fantasy, that's intentional — we do want to recreate some elements of a High Fantasy experience.''
''Working with franchises can be challenging, but at the same time I really did enjoy working on 'Star Wars,' for example, and I have done a lot of Dungeons & Dragons games, but I still enjoy it very much.''
''If there's anything I can't stand, it's the cliche of the female handler who's always talking through the radio with your player, telling you where to go and what to do with a sexy voice. It's such a horrible, horrible cliche. You just get so tired of it. It's like, is this all she's ever going to be?''
''Working in video games is a lot like being a virtual gamemaster. So many of those techniques for making sure the player is entertained are much the same as being a tabletop gamemaster.''
[on Tolkien finishing projects]
‘'Well... I guess Giant Eagles show up, wrap things up, smartly, well-ly. As Giant Eagles do. Where's my beer.''
''When the injustice is great enough, justice will lend me the strength needed to correct it. None may stand against it. It will shatter every barrier, sunder any shield, tear through any enchantment, and lend its servant the power to pass sentence. Know this: There is nothing on all the Planes that can stay the hand of justice when it is brought against them. It may unmake armies. It may sunder the thrones of gods. Know that for all who betray justice, I am their fate. And fate carries an executioner's axe.''
[on Polygon’s article in regards to game developers fearing of losing a job]
‘’There’s a lot of wisdom in this article.
Your fellow devs come first. It sounds obvious, but company loyalty is not always anywhere near as ''rewarding'' as the bonds of friendship, personal loyalty, and professional respect.
And once the faceless entity lets you down, you’ll discover it’s the individuals who fought with you in the trenches who are the ones who are there to help when you make a difficult transition – and a better transition.
Respect the company, but value those you work with first, and do not assume that ''following the company line'' will be rewarded – personal relationships and valued relationships are the true rewards.
Your co-devs often will go on to better things (even if not at first) and when you support each other, that’s what will keep you going should the company entity let you down.
To this day, it’s the people I worked with, that I enjoyed working with, that I respected, and more importantly, I respected *beyond* the company line that I work with this to this day — and I consider my life (work and personal) better because of their presence. ‘’
''The moment you start dictating content/themes/story vs. allowing the player to be a participant in the story and carve their own path, you're doing the player a disservice.''
‘’I want the narrator in Darkest Dungeon to be my psychiatrist.’’
''If there is anything I have learned in my travels across the Planes, it is that many things may change the nature of a man. Whether regret, or love, or revenge or fear — whatever you believe can change the nature of a man, can. I've seen belief move cities, make men stave off death, and turn an evil hag's heart half-circle. This entire Fortress has been constructed from belief. Belief damned a woman, whose heart clung to the hope that another loved her when he did not. Once, it made a man seek immortality and achieve it. And it has made a posturing spirit think it is something more than a part of me.''
[when playing Kingdom Hearts 3]
Kingdom Hearts 3: Is this who you are? (Yes/No)
Chris: 5 min in and already I’ve faced the most existential crisis decision point in any video game ever.
''I've got to be honest, I absolutely don't like designing romances. I think that you get a lot more drama and impact from failed romances, or unrequited relationships that occur in games. I think that creates more player tension.''
[on applying for a game dev job]
‘’If employers ask for X yrs of experience/Y shipped titles for a position, don’t let that dissuade you from applying if you think you can do the job.
In my experience, a good cover letter and a resume that reflects experience which equals or is greater than the X years of exp. requested (ex: modding, and your mods are well-received... and possibly even known to the developers) works, so give it a shot anyway. ’’
''I don't think I could ever stop being a game designer, that's just where my brain is going to be at until I'm in the coffin.''
''Time is not your enemy, forever is.''
''Women were the reason I became a monk – and, ah, the reason I switched back.''
''The biggest lesson [learned from Fallout 2] was if you give the player the ability to create a certain type of character, make sure that you honour the player's character build. What I mean by that is if you give a character to option to dump 500 points into speech, make sure they have an experience that’s very cool and is appropriate for a speech based character. The same thing is true if you're a stupid combat monster, if you're a sneaky thief who no one ever sees... If you're allowing the players to build a character like that with the rule set, then make sure your content supports that experience.''
[in a reference to Into the Breach]
‘’Warning: Romance plotlines not involving giant insects are all largely doomed.’’
''The biggest influence was The Empire Strikes Back, and it was mostly a personal preference. The movie had a lot of surprises — it had a dark edge to it where not everything ended happily ever after, and I think the struggles of the characters ended up being stronger for it.''
‘’Thanks, Darkest Dungeon. I love trying to explain to the other adventurers left back in town how we ‘’accidentally’’ got syphilis from ‘’fighting’’ the Necromancer.’’