RPG Legend Chris Avellone involvement in Prey detailed
For its next game, the reboot of the Prey series, Arkane Studios is getting a helping hand from a veteran RPG developer.
For 20 years, Chris Avellone has been designing and writing video games. Role-playing games to be specific. But not any old RPGs, some of the biggest and most influential to ever be released in our industry. Of the 22 games on which he has been involved, you will see names like Fallout, Planescape, Icewind Dale, Baldur’s Gate, Knights of the old Republic, Wasteland, Neverwinter Nights, Divinity and Pillars of Eternity. It’s a resume to die for.
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It was also a resume too good to resist for Arkane Studios, a developer that has always had one foot firmly planted in the RPG space even as it has foraged into stealth, first-person shooter and action-adventure territory. Chris Avellone has been brought on board to help with the upcoming 2017 release of Prey. I recently interviewed Arkane Studios’ co-founder Raphael Colantonio and lead designer Riccardo Bare, and I asked them to detail how Avellone got involved in the project, and what he’s bringing to the experience.
Chris Avellone has been brought on board: how did that come about? And is he mostly involved with the writing, or are you making use of his rich history to improve your RPG mechanics?
Bare: I’m a huge fan of Chris Avellone! Planescape: Torment is one of my favourite games of all time. When I was at PAX I did a panel with him and got to meet him for the first time in person - he was a really cool guy. We have friends in the industry who we respect and look up to and we’ll involve them sometimes and says things like, “hey, come play our game and give us some feedback.” So Chris became one of those people. Then that kind of developed and we asked him if he would be interested in working on some of the sidequests and side characters in the game and taking on their story arcs.
Colantonio: He did start though with a mission of looking at our plot to help us strength it and find any pitfalls. He helped make this general breakthrough on the game, from what it was back then, and then he just naturally offered us feedback on the RPG elements.