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July 9th, 2007, 14:30
We catch up with Spiderweb's Jeff Vogel to discuss Nethergate: Resurrection, Avernum 5 and some of his comments on the genre:

RPGWatch: Before we talk about your upcoming projects, Iíve got to ask about some of the comments youíve made in your RPG Vault column. Your last Why I Hate Fantasy RPGs piece created quite a bit of debate, with some disagreement over what you really meant. I take it to be a bit tongue-in-cheek but letís clarify some things. Were you seriously railing against any character progression, wanting to see RPGs transformed into action games or were you giving the industry (including yourself) a prod about mundane content design?

Jeff Vogel: Mainly the third one. I think that game developers need to be far, far more respectful of the time of the player. Leisure time is precious. We should not waste it. We shouldnít burn time at the beginning making the player grind out levels before he or she can get into the plot. We shouldnít burn time with faction grinding and trash clearing. We shouldnít pad the game out with tons of B material.

Part of the reason I wrote those articles was to flog myself for my failures in the past. Iíve made mistakes. Iíve padded. Iíve wasted the time of the player. I want to get better.

And my time is much shorter now. I wonít play any game that wastes my time. God of War 2 gave me 13 hours of first rate material, and I was done. If a game doesnít give me something like that, Iíll read a good book instead.
Read it all here.
More information.

-= RPGWatch =-
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July 9th, 2007, 14:30
That is a really cool interview. It does a nice job of tying everything together, especially in the light of Jeff's editorials.

— Mike
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July 9th, 2007, 15:05
Nice look inside Mr. Vogel's upcoming games, and his brain. After his rather cynical comments in the RPGVault columns, it's good to see he still has some serious enthusiasm for the genre, and a desire to improve it. It also looks like he's tried to address some of the "same game,different title" concerns of those who say he is just repeating a formula. As historically-inspired games are one of my own particular tastes, I especially liked the plot description of Nethergate:Resurrection. I wonder if it has got to the demo stage yet?

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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July 9th, 2007, 20:39
Nice interview. Reading it, I found myself thinking about some of the guys I originally played Dungeons & Dragons with and how we all eventually reached a point together where we wondered if we had become jaded. We were true fans of RPG, and I think Jeff Vogel must be one too.

Back then most of us decided that we needed to take a step back, that we had lost something somewhere along the way to becoming "D&D experts." We reminisced about the first time each of us ever made it back to town, the first time we got an elf to level 4, the first time we ever found a magic ring. And we all agreed, those were the days.

I'm glad to hear Jeff Vogel backed off from his earlier comments about hating fantasy RPGs, because fantasy-adventure, and Tolkien in particular, are the inspiration for this genre. Tolkien’s wonderful stories provide a lesson for RPG makers, IMO, the same one Bilbo Baggins learned in the end (and his nephew after that). For the adventurer, it's all about the journey you take.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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July 9th, 2007, 23:52
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
As historically-inspired games are one of my own particular tastes, I especially liked the plot description of Nethergate:Resurrection. I wonder if it has got to the demo stage yet?
It's in beta for the PC, which should run for another month or so. He is looking for a few more testers (especially those running Vista), so head over if you are interested.

Otherwise, a month isn't long. The demo area is quite large and let's you look at a good chunk of both sides.

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July 10th, 2007, 00:27
To me, it was interesting, since I know next to nothing about him - except what I read here.
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July 10th, 2007, 14:34
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
The demo area is quite large and let's you look at a good chunk of both sides.
I have played some of the Mac version and the demo is quite huge. I have had a bit of a rough time with the overall feel of movement and the differences from the more recent Avernum & Geneforge games I've gotten used to. But once past that it looks intriguing.

— Mike
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July 10th, 2007, 21:11
I'd love to see somebody take the Avernum games and put them into a modern engine with the exact same world and role-playing system. I would think that if somebody could make a turn-based RPG with Civ 4 level graphics, it would be a great niche game. I just can't get past the archaic presentation on these games. I agree with the consensus that gameplay>graphics, but I can't enjoy anything below the Fallout or Quake 2 level nowadays.
Last edited by doctor_kaz; July 10th, 2007 at 21:52.
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July 10th, 2007, 21:37
I'd like to think that my crying and chastising people has been key in the increase of sales of Spiderweb's games. Maybe Dhruin's reviews had a tiny bit to do with it, but not really. It was all me.

I'm just kidding for those who think the crap I say is serious.
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July 10th, 2007, 21:49
Originally Posted by roqua View Post
I'm just kidding for those who think the crap I say is serious.
hehe … all yor spiderweb are belong to us!

— Mike
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