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Avernum: Escape From the Pit - All News

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Thursday - June 28, 2012
Thursday - May 31, 2012
Wednesday - May 30, 2012
Monday - May 21, 2012
Wednesday - May 09, 2012
Friday - May 04, 2012
Saturday - April 28, 2012
Wednesday - April 18, 2012
Thursday - April 12, 2012
Wednesday - April 11, 2012
Monday - April 09, 2012
Wednesday - April 04, 2012
Sunday - April 01, 2012
Wednesday - February 01, 2012
Tuesday - January 24, 2012
Wednesday - January 11, 2012
Wednesday - January 04, 2012
Monday - January 02, 2012
Friday - December 16, 2011
Tuesday - December 13, 2011
Wednesday - December 07, 2011
Monday - December 05, 2011
Friday - November 18, 2011
Thursday - October 13, 2011
Saturday - September 17, 2011
Wednesday - August 03, 2011
Box Art

Thursday - June 28, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Steam 1 Day Sale: $3.39

by Dhruin, 08:51

Avernum: Escape from the Pit is available on Steam for another 10 hours for a ludicrous $3.39...

Thursday - May 31, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Mac Update

by Dhruin, 22:44

Mac players of Avernum: Escape from the Pit will want to update to v1.02:

We have finally released the v1.0.2 update of Avernum: Escape From the Pit for the Macintosh. This upgrade contains a wide variety of bug fixes and balance improvements, and upgrading is highly recommended. You can get the newest version here. Just download and install it. Your saved games and registration won't be affected.             

Wednesday - May 30, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Review @ The Indie Mine

by Dhruin, 00:28

The Indie Mine has reviewed Avernum: Escape from the Pit, with the author primarily finding immersion difficult because of the repetitive graphics and the tilesets' inability to represent the setting in detail. The score is 3/5 and here is the summary:

It might sound like I didn’t get much pleasure from Avernum: Escape from the Pit, but that’s not the case at all. I’ve enjoyed my time with it, and found that it grows into a more involving adventure with time. If I were to summarise it in one word, though, that word would be ‘dry’. I was drawn into the game because I had made a decision to play it and nothing discouraged me enough to stop. If I had just seen it in passing or heard its name and decided to give it a try, though, I think the experience would be an unappealing one. From the grim grey-brown graphics and samey town design to the walls of text and blank slate characters, Avernum is a type of role playing game that will be very appealing to a certain type of audience, and about as enticing as dry toast and gruel to everyone else. Personally I found its somewhat tactical combat, faintly Morrowind­ian tone and steady stream of optional side-quests engrossing enough to press on with. Maybe that’s enough. Maybe Avernum doesn’t need to appeal to anyone beyond dyed-in-the-wool veteran roleplayers. If you’re curious and want to give it a try, be forewarned that it might need a conscious decision to persist. If you do persist, you might find the challenge and freedom of wandering the caverns of Avernum quite enjoyable in spite of all its efforts to the contrary.

Source: Blues News

Monday - May 21, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Review @ Impulse Gamer

by Dhruin, 22:23

A site called Impulse Gamer has review of Avernum: Escape from the Pit that carries a score of 8/10:

Ah, 90's PC gaming. A golden age of video game development where the only limits were technical in nature, and new shareware releases by budding developers were the advertising lifeblood of the industry.  If you feel nostalgic when you read the term "boss key", then you may just be familiar with Spiderweb Software, creator of the "Exile" series. This now classic indie franchise took the PC RPG template of the time and ran with it, allowing players to control multiple party members and customize their growth, exploring a vast underground world with a surprisingly intricate story. Avernum: Escape From the Pit is essentially a remake of the original Exile game of the same name. Escape From the Pit has been given a graphical overhaul, utilizing the isometric view used in the Avernum games released most recently by Spiderweb Software. The remake changes more than just the graphics, however, and the result is a game that is both the same and quite different from the original. 

...and let's toss in an audio interview with Jeff Vogel at Core Elements.

Wednesday - May 09, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Review @ Game Chonicles

by Dhruin, 22:30

Game Chronicles has a very short review of Avernum: Escape from the Pit with a score of 9/10:

Though there’s a more-or-less functional society deep underground that (of course) doesn’t mean your problems are over. The Avernite society is beset by cat- and lizard-men, goblins, and stranger monsters. And, of course, the game’s three main quests, finding escape, revenge, or safety, will keep you occupied for a while. As you explore the caverns and learn about the people and things that live there, the writing is consistently interesting, and the characters that you meet have strong personalities, even relatively inconsequential NPCs. Even the first characters you meet, cunning bandits, desperate refugees, and despairing quartermasters alike are practically dripping with character.

Friday - May 04, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Review @ Dealspwn

by Dhruin, 00:02

Dealspwn has a review of Avernum: Escape from the Pit with a score of 8/10:

With no voice acting to fall back on, Vogel and co are forced to rely on the written word to deliver interesting characters, and do so with a degree of mastery that we rarely see from even the biggest and most skilled triple-A companies. The humble text box becomes our doorway into an entirely new world, with incredibly strong character and environment descriptions allowing us to conjure up vivid mental images of Avernum in our mind's eye. Dialogue flows naturally, and item descriptions crackle with subtle, playful humour. Most importantly, the story itself is remarkable, presenting a rebellious tale of survival against the odds and the pursuit of justice in an unjust, desperate place. The longer you spend reading, digesting and understanding the text, the greater your appreciation of the world will be; Avernum feels as visceral and real as any Unreal-powered title even though most of it exists in your own imagination.

Saturday - April 28, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Review @ GameBanshee

by Aries100, 23:13

Eric Schwarz from Gamebanshee has written a 4-page review of the new iPad version of this game.

A quote on the exploration in the game:

If there's one thing that Avernum completely gets right, it's open-world exploration and a sense of progression. While not entirely free-roaming, you'll work your way from one corner of the world to another, following more or less whatever path you want. With the single goal of escaping Avernum, there's a lot of room to take your time and figure things out. As you explore the world, so too will you grow in power, learn more about Avernum, its people and history, and so on, until you're finally both tough enough and well-traveled enough to leave it behind. Trekking deeper and deeper, the distance from civilization growing as the land becomes more and more desolate, Avernum is able to create a feeling of scale and, later, isolation, that few other games can.

A quote on some of the quirks in the game:

This new version of Avernum has some additional quirks; the transition to the new engine, as well as cross-platform play on the iPad, has brought with it a share of compromises. For one, the ability to close doors manually has been removed, which means that now stealing items can be very difficult without being caught. Additionally, changes to the non-combat skills mean that searching for secrets is now done by clicking hidden switches on walls, with the emphasis not on finding secrets but on whether your party is smart enough to press these buttons - a little silly, in my opinion. The auto-regenerating health from Avadon is thankfully gone, but now your party fully heals whenever it enters a town, and there's no hunger system in place like some of the other Avernum titles, which makes eating food or staying at inns completely useless. It's simply hard not to feel like you're playing an old game with a fresh coat of paint, and like the simpler story and gameplay mentioned above, these more modern design choices don't always fit, or simply weren't necessary.

A quote on the leveling system:

Leveling up is fairly frequent, although different from the 1999 version of the game. Aside from a single attribute point per level (along with some "natural" bonuses as you go), you'll also get two skill points and, sometimes, a trait. Skills cover everything from passive bonuses, to the aforementioned non-combat skills, to defensive abilities like parrying, to more general bonuses that allow you to learn spells and battle disciplines (activated combat abilities). Traits, meanwhile, are now passive benefits earned every two level-ups, and they either take the form of health bonuses, attribute bonuses (strength, intelligence, dexterity, etc.), or skill bonuses.

A quote from the conclusion:

Overall, I can recommend Avernum: Escape from the Pit to just about any fan of old-school isometric RPGs. For your $10 USD (on Steam, anyway), you're looking at about 40-50 hours of gameplay, which is phenomenal value no matter how you slice things...... Fans looking to get into the Avernum series will do very well with Escape from the Pit, and while the improvements beyond the game engine and visuals are relatively modest, there's still a lot to enjoy even if you've played through the game once before already.

Source: RPG Codex

Wednesday - April 18, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Review @ RPS

by Dhruin, 23:03

John Walker has reviewed Avernum: Escape from the Pit at Rock, Paper, Shotgun. He expresses some frustration with the interface and engine but praises the actual content:

And then you can go where you like. Which is an extraordinary feeling. It’s not that you can complete the game’s sections in any order you wish – there are no sections. There’s just you, a flipping great big cave, and places to go. The game does throw out some hints. Villagers will suggest places you could head to for work, support, or to do them favours. And if you head South early on, it will throw up a warning saying you might find it too difficult down there just now. But you can still go there if you fancy your chances.

And your chances are slight. This is a tough game on Normal, at least at first. Before you’ve got your party well equipped and started levelling them up, pretty much any encounter is going to be a challenge. I admit I dropped things to Casual at the game’s insistence that I’d have “more fun”, just to leap that first hurdle. Then a while later put it back up to Normal once I was more experienced. Character deaths aren’t so serious, however. So long as one of your party survives, you can head back to the nearest friendly town and all will be revived. And there are various spells to bring characters back mid-battle/dungeon if necessary.

Thursday - April 12, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Released on PC

by Dhruin, 00:25

Avernum: Escape from the Pit is now available for PC for $20 direct from Spiderweb or Steam on special for $7.99 and, of course, there is a sizeable demo to try. The feature list as a reminder:

  • Epic fantasy adventure in an enormous underworld.
  • Huge outdoors and eighty towns and dungeons.
  • Three separate game-winning quests. Seek safety, escape or revenge. Do just one of them or all three!
  • Unique races and settings make Avernum different from any adventure out there.
  • Dozens of side quests and hundreds of magical artifacts.
  • Rich game system with over 50 spells and battle disciplines and a multitude of beneficial character traits to choose from. 

Wednesday - April 11, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Interview, iPad Blog

by Dhruin, 01:53

Jeff Vogel has been interviewed at The Bit Fix about his background and Avernum: Escape from the Pit. Since the topic has come up on our forums, a response on Kickstarter:

TBF: Have you ever thought about turning to Kickstarter to fund a game? Why or why not?

Jeff: I decided a long time ago that I enjoy being small and low-budget, so I didn’t seek outside funding. It makes me happier. Remember, Kickstarter is only one of many sorts of funding available to me (including old standbys like bank loans). I’ve avoided all of them. It’s probably not wise, but it’s how I work.

Probably more interesting is his blog entry on the iPad and the way the market is changing. As usual, Jeff says some things that will upset some people but here's a bit on the stampede to Freemium:

Third, free-to-play is where the money is.

I just looked at the RPG section of iTunes. As of 3:56 PM, Pacific time, April 9, 2012, the #1, #2, and #3 games on the Paid Apps list are at #25, #27, and #6 on the Grossing list. (The #3 game is $6.99, which is why its grosses are so high.) The #18 sales rank for Avernum HD nets it #46 most grossing. Freemium games kick ass.
This is a relatively recent change. In June, when Avadon HD was #1 or #2 on Paid Apps, this resulted in #3-4 on Top Grossing. I never made #1 Grossing, but I came close. Now DragonVale rules the world.
This makes me feel obsolete. I should write a freemium RPG where you can pay real money to get a +5 Paladin Sword of Awesomeness or whatever. But I just can't bring myself to do it. It's ironic. When I started, I was one of the young turks challenging the old order with shareware by giving part of my game away for free. Now I am one of the old, cranky reptiles being pushed aside by an awesome marketing angle I'm just too old and inflexible to take advantage of.

Monday - April 09, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Review @ RPGamer

by Dhruin, 22:44

Avernum: Escape From the Pit has been reviewed at RPGamer, with a score of 3.5/5. Here's a bit on a criticisim, which might be viewed as a positive by some readers:

The game's balance can be rather peculiar at times. For the most part, it provides an excellent level of challenge, assuming the party is at the appropriate level for a fight. In such cases, fights are fun without being either punishingly hard or disappointingly easy. Many encounters against major foes have a variety of tricks or gimmicks to them in order to spice things up. A major problem, though, is that it can be hard to find enemies who are of the appropriate level for the party to fight, especially early on. There are far more mid-to-high level enemies than low-level enemies in the game, so players will stumble into unwinnable battles quite often. This issue is aggravated a bit by the strange design of many dungeons, in which a player may be able to easily dispatch the enemies in the early part of a dungeon and yet find the bosses of the dungeon to be nearly impossible foes. This balance improves significantly by the second half of the game, but it can be frustratingly slow progress until then unless players know the best route beforehand.

Wednesday - April 04, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - iPad Version Released

by Dhruin, 00:23

The iPad release of Avernum: Escape from the Pit is now available from iTunes for $9.99. The PC version should be along very soon.

Sunday - April 01, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Preview @ TheBitFix

by Dhruin, 10:19

A site called TheBitFix has a hands-on preview of Avernum: Escape the Pit, although it probably won't tell experienced RPGers anything new:

There’s a remake of the original Avernum in the works called Avernum: Escape from the Pit, featuring an overhaul of graphics, gameplay, and compatibility. I got lucky enough to check it out about a month early. And, if you’re reading this, you got lucky enough to stumble on this preview. Unfortunately, I haven’t played the original Avernum, so I can’t compare the two. But I will be able to give you a nice little play-by-play description of my experience with Avernum. Maybe it will help you decide whether or not you want to pick it up yourself, if you’re into an RPG with these kind of mechanics. It’s certainly gonna be cheap enough.

Wednesday - February 01, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Review @ IMG

by Dhruin, 22:17

There's a review of Avernum: Escape from the Pit over at Inside Mac Games, with a score of 8/10:

With the above in mind, it's hard to imagine how a good player would find the game difficult on normal settings. Well, before the difficulty was patched to be easier, things were very difficult. So difficult in fact, that many dungeons easily accessed from the beginning can destroy your party in a single round. That even applied to my well-developed party. However, I didn't really have any trouble going through and wiping them out after a little leveling up, and at this point my party hasn't found a single zone in the world of even slight difficulty. Now that the patch has been applied, those zones are likely much easier, but there's no way to tell.

Tuesday - January 24, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Windows Beta Testers

by Dhruin, 22:20

Spiderweb is looking for beta testers for the upcoming Windows version of Avernum: Escape from the Pit. As always, only apply if you genuinely have the time and patience for beta testing.

Wednesday - January 11, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - v1.01 Update for Mac

by Dhruin, 21:17

Avernum: Escape from the Pit has been updated for the Mac:

We have released the v1.0.1 update of Avernum: Escape From the Pit for the Macintosh. This upgrade contains a wide variety of bug fixes and balance changes and is highly recommended. You can get the newest version here. Just download and install it. Your saved games and registration won't be affected.             

Wednesday - January 04, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - iPad Testing

by Dhruin, 22:54

Spiderweb needs testers for the iPad version of Avernum: Escape from the Pit - as always, only apply if you genuinely have the time for testing:

We need some beta testers for the iPad version of Avernum: Escape From the Pit. To test, you will need a working iPad (1 or 2), the ability to follow directions and download frequent updates, and plenty of time to test between now and an April release. Apply if you are interested.

Monday - January 02, 2012

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Review @ Appletell

by Dhruin, 21:55

Appletell has reviewed Avernum: Escape from the Pit - on Mac, of course. The score is 5/5 and here's a snip, though the article doesn't have much depth:

Avernum: Escape From the Pit is an amazing game which will provide hours of fun because it has everything an adventure game should have; a riveting story, interesting characters, exciting combat, and lots of exploring. I would even go so far as to say it’s a nearly perfect example of a role-playing game.

Friday - December 16, 2011

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Blog Post

by Dhruin, 23:20

Jeff Vogel has blogged about the release of Avernum: Escape from the Pit saying - as always - things that will annoy some people. He explains his tastes are changing with age but Avernum is a (temporary) return to more "old school" values:

I am constantly accused of never innovating, and this vexes me. I have worked hard to try new things in my RPGs and stretch the genre, and I've been doing this from day one.

Example: Avernum doesn't have one storyline. It has three. The game has three long, arcing, game-winning quests, each of them almost entirely separate from each other. It is possible to achieve one of them, say escaping the underworld, be told you have won, pat yourself on the back, and never realize that the game still has two epic storylines remaining.

They aren't three different endings. They are three different games.

I did two games this way, and I've never seen another RPG that does the same thing. I eventually let it go to focus on more detailed single stories, but I still think it was a really cool idea.

Tuesday - December 13, 2011

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Released on Mac

by Dhruin, 22:39

Spiderweb announces Avernum: Escape from the Pit has been released for Mac:

Avernum: Escape From the Pit has just been released for the Macintosh! Spiderweb Software returns to its greatest creation to tell of a struggle for survival in an enormous prison far below the surface world. As a new prisoner of the pit, you will struggle for survival, look for a way to escape, and even dream of revenge on the tyrants who cast you there. As always, we offer a huge, free demo

Windows and iPad versions are due in April.

Wednesday - December 07, 2011

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Trailer, Mac release next week

by Dhruin, 22:31

Spiderweb has released a trailer for Avernum: Escape from the Pit to promote the Mac release next week (Windows/iPad in April).

Monday - December 05, 2011

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Preview @ Appletell

by Dhruin, 20:44

Appletell has a preview of Avernum: Escape from the Pit. While it doesn't provide much insight into the game, it's the only preview I've seen:

Two main features set Avernum: Escape From the Pit apart from other role-playing games. One is the new character creation system which is a lot less overwhelming than many other role-playing games. Instead of being given a bunch of skill points to distribute at character creation and other choices to make, you simply pick traits and increase stats as you level up. This lets you play the game while deciding what kind of character you’re going to become, instead of doing it before you even set foot in the game.

The second is that you’re given a lot of freedom to go where you want to go and to complete quests in almost any order. While some quests and areas are easier than others, there’s little to stop you from wandering freely and exploring as you see fit. You’re given pointers about where to go and what to do, but you’re not forced to do anything in any particular order. This kind of freedom is refreshing and is what an adventure game should be.

More important is the the Spiderweb site confirms this should be out for the Mac "in the next few weeks", so everything is on schedule.

Friday - November 18, 2011

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Two Screens

by Dhruin, 11:15

Jeff Vogel has kicked up another two screens for Avernum: Escape from the Pit. Word is, it should be available for Mac before Christmas and, of course, the PC is usually some 3-4 months after.

Thursday - October 13, 2011

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Two Screens

Saturday - September 17, 2011

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Mac Beta Testing

by Dhruin, 01:09

Spiderweb is asking for Mac beta testers for Avernum: Escape from the Pit, which means the game is on-track and we can probably expect the PC version early next year.

Wednesday - August 03, 2011

Avernum: Escape From the Pit - Blog Post

by Dhruin, 23:30

Jeff Vogel has posted a blog entry titled Don't Ask Questions Until the Player Can Answer. Essentially, he explains his previous character development systems were too "front loaded" and he has changed the system in Escape From the Pit to allow players to adapt characters over time - basically, a perk every two levels is the key item. On the old system:

You start out with a ton of skill points, so that you can majorly customize your character from the beginning. You can use skill points to increase base attributes or regular skills, but the base attributes are expensive. However, it could break the system if a player put a huge amount of skill points in certain skills. To limit this, I made increasing a skill cost more skill points the higher you trained it. At high levels, you might have to save up for two or three levels to get enough skill points to raise a major skill one point.

Think about this. It's a system where the more you play and learn about the challenges facing you, the less you can do to customize your characters. You have to make most of the big changes at low level, when skills are cheap. Worse, it was necessary to increase the base attributes to survive (especially Endurance, which increases health), but they were so expensive that doing so required careful planning. As a result of this mess, many players had problems with getting halfway through the game and finding that they were not strong enough to proceed. These players got angry at me, and justifiably so.

Information about

Avernum: Escape From the Pit

Developer: Spiderweb Games

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Combat: Turn-based
Play-time: Unknown
Voice-acting: None

Regions & platforms
Internet
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2012-04-13
· Publisher: Spiderweb Games