Christopher Frederic Avellone
|Known for||Writing and designing role-playing video games|
Chris Avellone is an American video game designer and comic book writer. Avellone worked for Interplay and Obsidian Entertainment before working as a freelancer. He is best known for his work on role-playing video games such as Planescape: Torment and the Fallout series.
Avellone is an alumnus of the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. He studied at the College of William & Mary, graduating with a major in English and a minor in fine arts, focused on architecture.
Working initially as a freelancer in the two years after college, Avellone wrote campaigns for Dungeons & Dragons-inspired fantasy role-playing games. After entering the video game industry through the company Interplay in 1995, he briefly worked on the development of the 1997 title Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. In 1997 he took over the development of Descent to Undermountain, which he later called a disappointment. Avellone contributed to the 1998 game Fallout 2 and continued to work on its franchise.
Interplay acquired the rights to produce a role-playing video game set in the Planescape campaign setting of Dungeons & Dragons with the development led by Avellone. The game, Planescape: Torment was released in 1999 and received critical acclaim for its narrative, where it has been cited as one of the best-written games of all time.
Avellone worked on all the games of the Icewind Dale series, which were released from 2000 to 2002. As a designer, Avellone contributed to the fantasy titles Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (2001), Champions of Norrath (2004) and led the design of the canceled Fallout title Van Buren, after which he resigned from Interplay and co-founded Obsidian Entertainment. For the company, Avellone worked on the role-playing games Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II (2004) and Neverwinter Nights 2 (2006) and on the action role-playing game Alpha Protocol. He also worked as a senior designer on Fallout: New Vegas.
He worked as the project director and lead creative designer on Dead Money, Old World Blues and Lonesome Road Fallout: New Vegas downloadable content. Avellone worked as a narrative designer on Pillars of Eternity prior to leaving Obsidian Entertainment in June 2015. Avellone has since worked as a freelancer on games such as Pillars of Eternity, Torment: Tides of Numenera, Prey, Divinity: Original Sin II, Pathfinder: Kingmaker, and Into the Breach.
In June 2020, Avellone was accused by three people of using his status for sexual misconduct and harassment towards women during industry conventions. Following these allegations, Techland announced that they and Avellone agreed to end his work on Dying Light 2. Gato Studios also removed Avellone from The Waylanders; according to lead writer Emily Grace Buck, Avellone had "very little writing" over that project, having only penned a few quests that they planned to rewrite. Paradox Interactive said that while Avellone had worked on an early version of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, much of his work had since been overwritten.
|1996||Conquest of the New World||Designer|
|1997||Star Trek: Starfleet Academy||Additional mission design|
|1998||Descent to Undermountain|
|2001||Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter||Designer|
|Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance||Senior designer|
|2002||Icewind Dale II||Designer|
|2003||Baldur's Gate III: The Black Hound||Senior designer|
|Van Buren||Lead designer|
|2004||Champions of Norrath|
|Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II|
|2006||Neverwinter Nights 2||Senior designer|
|2007||Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer||Senior designer|
|Fallout: New Vegas|
|2014||FTL: Advanced Edition||Writer|
|Wasteland 2||Level design|
|2015||Pillars of Eternity||Writer|
|2016||Tyranny||Original world and story design|
|2017||Torment: Tides of Numenera||Writer|
|Divinity: Original Sin II||Additional narrative designer|
|2018||Into the Breach||Writer|
|Pathfinder: Kingmaker||Narrative designer|
|2019||Degrees of Separation||Writer|
|Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order||Writer|
|2021||Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms|
|Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous||Narrative designer|
|TBA||Burden of Command||Advisor|
Star Wars comics:
- Unseen, Unheard (2005)
- Heroes on Both Sides (2006)
- Impregnable (2007)
- Old Scores (2007)
- Graduation Day (2007)
- The House of Wael (2016, to Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter backers)
Tabletop role-playing game modules
- The Puzzle Box (2020, to Pathfinder: Kingmaker Kickstarter backers)
- Chmielewski, Dawn C. (August 15, 2000). "The writer Chris Avellone, senior designer, Black Isle Studios". The Orange County Register. p. K7.
- "Chris Avellone: Dark Knight". Edge. April 20, 2009. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
- Hughes, William. "In 1999, video game writing hit a high-water mark". AV Club. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- Park, Andrew. "The Greatest Games of All Time: Planescape: Torment". GameSpot. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- "GameStar.ru Alma Mater — Kickstarter. Chris Avellone: "Project: Eternity is our chance to return to doing the types of titles we did at Black Isle"". Archived from the original on November 4, 2012.
- Sawyer, Josh. "Pillars of Eternity". Forums.obsidian.net. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
- Purchese, Robert (June 9, 2015). "Chris Avellone leaves Obsidian Entertainment". Eurogamer. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
- "Update 13: Update #13: BREAKING NEWS: Chris Avellone to work on D:OS2! · Divinity: Original Sin 2". Kickstarter.com. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
- Hall, Charlie; Polo, Susana (2020-06-25). "The game and comics industries are grappling with widespread allegations of harassment and abuse". Polygon. Retrieved 2020-06-26.
- Winslow, Jeremy (June 23, 2020). "Dying Light, Waylanders, Vampire Bloodlines 2 Devs Issue Statements Amid Chris Avellone Allegations". GameSpot. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
- Kerr, Chris (June 22, 2020). "Dying Light 2 writer Chris Avellone accused of sexual assault and harassment". Gamasutra. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
- Winslow, Jeremy. "Dying Light, Waylanders, Vampire Bloodlines 2 Devs Issue Statements Amid Chris Avellone Allegations". GameSpot. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
- Gach, Ethan (June 28, 2021). "Games Writer Chris Avellone Files Libel Lawsuit, Denies Sexual Misconduct Accusations". Kotaku. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- McAloon, Alissa (June 28, 2021). "Fallout: New Vegas writer Chris Avellone files libel lawsuit over sexual misconduct allegations". Gamasutra. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
- Meer, Alec. "Chris Avellone sheds light on Into The Breach's time-travel mysteries". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- Vitale, Adam. "Pathfinder: Kingmaker Interview with Chris Avellone on storyline, writing, and characters". RPG Site. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- Isaac, Ashish. "Omensight Interview: Developing A Narrative Puzzle". GamingBolt. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
- Brown, Fraser. "Degrees of Separation is a co-op puzzle game written by Chris Avellone". PC Gamer. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- Chalk, Andy. "KOTOR 2 designer Chris Avellone has been working on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order". PC Gamer. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- Skrebels, Joe. "Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms Announced for PC and Consoles". IGN. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- Stone, Tim (November 17, 2017). "The Flare Path: Emotionally Authentic". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
- Frank, Allegra. "System Shock reboot is getting help from Obsidian Entertainment co-founder". Polygon. Retrieved 17 May 2019.