Obsidian game designer and project director Chris Avellone will be at PAX East and WonderCon this year.
Josh Sawyer has posted a PDF copy of his GDC presentation: Do (Say) The Right Thing: Choice Architecture, Player Expression and Narrative Design in Fallout: New Vegas. It makes for some fascinating reading, and gives some insight into how Sawyer — and Obsidian in general — implement and reward (if that’s the right word) choice in their game narratives.
This is some sad news:
Obsidian Entertainment has just cancelled “a future next gen project” (most likely Project North Carolina), resulting in the layoff of approximately 20-30 employees from both that team and the South Park: The Game team. Adding credence to the tip is a tweet by Obsidian Entertainment animator Andre Nguyen wishing those laid off a speedy recovery at another position elsewhere in the industry:
Fellow Obsidianites who were laid off today…I was lucky, but I’ve been on the other end of that. Your talents will take you far! #keepgoin
This is worse news:
Project North Carolina that was cancelled, and that the devastating news comes after “the owners weren’t paid for 6-7 months” and “401k matching was halted” for employees. Hopefully Obsidian lets us throw our money at a Kickstarter project soon, or I’m going to really start to worry.
And in even worse news (though I can’t find the source for where I read this), it was apparently the case that this Project North Carolina was considered…quite important to the financial viability of the company, so much so that Feargus Urquhart evidently choked up when making the announcement of its cancellation.
Bad news bears, my Dragons and Dragonettes.
…Fallout: New Vegas currently has a Metacritic average of 84, a single point below the average that would’ve earned the company royalties on its product. “[Fallout: New Vegas] was a straight payment, no royalties, only a bonus if we got an 85+ on Metacritic, which we didn’t,” Obsidian creative director and co-owner Chris Avellone told one Twitter user.
I notice that Avellone has since deleted the tweet that revealed this information (or, at least, I can’t find it anymore), but the cat’s out of the bag regardless, and the Internet has made its opinions on the matter known. As far as things that suck go, this ranks up there, to be sure.
The First Age of Update: As it would happen, the source for that whole Feargus Urquhart choking up bit was…the Joystiq article linked immediately above.