Rezzed: Chris Avellone & Ragnar Tørnquist In Session

As if there weren’t already enough reasons to visit this year’s Rezzed (in only a week’s time!), I’m really thrilled about two developer sessions I’ll be hosting. And even more thrilled about who will be on those panels. With game-creating gurus Chris Avellone and Ragnar Tørnquist appearing on both, you’d be a fruitcake not to come along.

Saturday’s 12pm panel kicks off the developer sessions in style. Rather unenigmatically titled How Can New Business Models Improve PC Gaming?, this will be a lively discussion of all the matters that get PC gamers most hot under the collar. Kickstarter, DLC, DRM, indie bundles, free-to-play… Coo, imagine all the DEBATE. Which of these are beneficially to games, gamers, and indeed developers? And we couldn’t have a better list of names to discuss it. On the panel will be Introversion’s Mark Morris and Chris Delay, who have been extremely successfully exploring the world of alpha-funding and bundles. There’s Mode 7’s Paul Taylor, who has also both experienced the rush of a Humble Bundle, and sold beta versions of Frozen Synapse. Then there’s Ragnar Tørnquist, who as well as being Mr The Longest Journey has both worked for a multinational developer creating big budget MMOs, and recently launched a very small indie developer funded by Kickstarter and dreams. Finally there’s Chris “Planescape: Torment” Avellone, who too has made the transition from mammoth publisher-funded projects to Kickstarter-supported epics.

Sunday’s 12pm session is my passion made sentient discussion. Is Storytelling In Games Getting Any Better? Having recently explored these ideas in my own one-man dialectic debate, I’m going to sit back and keep my mouth shut as the pros make their opinions known. It’s hard to imagine a better panel for such a topic. We’ve Splash Damage’s Ed Stern – a genuinely brilliant mind, a man with a crazy passion for getting good story into games that usually just grunt. We’ve Project Zomboid writer and former PC Zone editor Will Porter, who is a man almost too lovely with whom to share a stage. And once again we’ve two of my all-time games writing heroes, The Longest Journey/Dreamfall Chapter’s Ragnar Tørnquist, and Planescape: Torment/Mask Of The Betrayer’s Chris Avellone. It’s the dream line-up for this always fascinating discussion, and I cannot wait.

Rezzed of course also has a massive show floor with hands on access to a ton of unreleased games, such as Space Hulk, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Company Of Heroes 2, Tengami, The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot, Redshirt, Total War: Rome II, Wildstarand Ghost Recon Online. And loads more beside. There are developer sessions on Chris Avellone’s Project Eternity, Hotline Miami 2, Dean Hall on DayZ Standalone, Creative Assembly on Rome II, Big Robot on Sir, You Are Being Hunted, and loads of others.

It’s £12 for a day, or £20 for both, taking place in the centralist of all central locations, Birmingham’s NEC. We’re actually in the NEC! RPS – our silly little website is somehow taking over the NEC. My head shakes in disbelief. But it’s real! So you should come. I’m so excited for both sessions I’m running, and just as excited to explore the show floor. And to meet people!

RPS will be there for hugs and high fives, and even the gorgeously haired Nathan will be flying over! So you really ought to be too.


  1. Meat Circus says:

    I do hope “in session” means “making passionate love”.

    • abandonhope says:

      That would be succession.

      • Meat Circus says:

        I just want to stare in rapt silence as Tornquist and Avellone beget the Kwisatz Haderach of games.

        • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

          “I hold at your neck the gom jabbar,” she said. “It kills only console gamers.”
          Pride overcame Paul’s fear. “You dare suggest a dev’s son is a filthy peasant?” he demanded.
          “Let us say I suggest you may be of the Master Race,” she said. “Keep your hand in the box and live. Withdraw it and die.”
          “What’s in the box?”
          “Games for Windows Live.”
          “It burns,” he whispered.
          GfWL started, then closed his game, restarted, and patched. The cycle repeated over and over again, continually demanding he re-enter his password and the sixteen character game key.
          The burning! The burning! He thought he could feel skin curling black on that agonized hand.
          “Enough,” the old woman muttered. “No one ever withstood that much. I must’ve wanted you to fail.”

          • Lars Westergren says:

            > “Games for Windows Live.”
            > “It burns,” he whispered.

            It’s funny because it’s true! Also because it is Lord Custard Smingleigh.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            How much do you want for a full time job taking all my off-hand comments to a beautiful and magnificent conclusion?

            I will pay anything

          • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            The aptness of Dune is increased still further by the fact that Muad’Dib means the Mouse.

          • weedrk says:

            Registered on the site to say thank you. Best thing I’ve read all night.

    • lowprices says:

      If it doesn’t then a) I’m not going to Rezzed, and b) I’ve been using the term incorrectly for years.

  2. lowprices says:

    Stop tormenting me! I really want to come, but nobody I know is free to go with me, and the day I go to a gaming expo on my own is… well, next Saturday, at this rate. Especially if Space Hulk is playable.

  3. dahools says:

    Would want to go sat to hear chris talk project eternity but i’m busy :( . 12 pound is pretty reasonable tho for the day. Maybe next year.

  4. Noviere says:

    Are these sessions going to be filmed? I’d love to see them in person, but a plane ticket would be about $1700 :P

  5. RakeShark says:

    I will continue to shout at the top of my lungs “I hugged Chris Avellone after watching Japanese torture porn!”

  6. Dunbine says:

    I am guessing calling someone a fruitcake in the UK has different connotations than in North America.

    • DiamondDog says:

      We mean it very literally over here. John is saying the only excuse for not going to Rezzed is if you are in fact an inanimate cake.

      • Dunbine says:

        That would be a pretty legitimate reason for not going. I see the logic.

      • felisc says:

        is fruitcake a polite way of calling us spotted dicks ?

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        Also it would be dangerous for even a sentient/self-mobile fruitcake. It must be a horrible life, knowing you are but one snacktacular impulse away from death.

    • Nick says:

      it means mad/insane/crazy.

  7. altum videtur says:


  8. zachforrest says:

    So did the prize tickets find a home yet?

  9. Cross says:

    I’d like to say, as much as i’d love to be there in person, it does seem to me that the business model panel is more than a little skewed in favour of the pro-player models that players (and RPS particularly) loves so much. I’m sure that there’ll be plenty of legitimate arguments going on, but if it’s supposed to be a *debate* with the purpose of making us all a little more *educated* why not get someone to represent the traditional publisher’s point of view? I fear this will turn into a big session of demonising an important branch of the video game business, without giving that branch a means to fend for itself. In short, i fear it’ll be one-sided at best, propaganda at worst.

  10. Vercinger says:

    Too bad I can’t get there :(

  11. SamfisherAnD says:

    I’d pay for a proper recording VoD like Blizzcon :D