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August 12, 2018 2 min read
I wanted to start this piece with lede touching on how Chris Avellone is a titan of western game development, a man who has put out hit after hit to resounding success and acclaim. As I wrote that droning introduction I realized it was all a big lie. Not the part about him being a success but that I knew who he was. Sure, since I started writing about games I'd heard the name but I never took it the further step to actually see who the man is.
On Wednesday in San Francisco, I had an interview and hands-on session set up for Pathfinder: Kingmaker, the upcoming role-playing game based on the popular tabletop RPG that Avellone is writing. Not being entirely unprofessional, I Googled him the day before my appointment. Prey, Alpha Protocol, Neverwinter Nights 2, Planescape: Torment, Torment: Tides of Numenera; of course I didn't know who he was. I've never played any of his games. As sacrilegious as it must sound to admit I've never played Fallout: New Vegas as I continue to pretend to be a games blogger, the only titles listed in his gameography I've made it through is FTL, but I played it before his involvement was added with the Advanced Edition.
Feel free to mock my incompetence in this area. My life has led me down a road where the types of games he's developed were neither enjoyed nor mentioned in my childhood. Nobody talked about Fallout 2 or Baldur's Gate. If the name Van Burenwas brought up, it meant we were having a discussion about the eighth President, or the gang from that one episode of Seinfeld. The only computer games that mattered to us were Worms Armageddon, Command & Conquer: Red Alert, and Doom II.
I didn't think I was missing anything with the games I skipped in my youth. Had I not gone to this hands-on session I probably would have dismissed something like Icewind Dale as just one of those titles I simply didn't have the time for. But after a half-hour with Pathfinder: Kingmaker, I'm starting to realize I may have missed out on some wonderful work over the past 20 years.
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