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Default Spiderweb Software - AMA on Reddit

September 19th, 2016, 19:32
After releasing Avadon 3 Jeff Vogel answered some interesting questions in an Ask-Me-Anything event on Reddit - here are a few:

Huge fan of your games, especially the Geneforge series as I grew up playing it. My questions is slightly greedy: Are there any plans to remaster some of your earlier games? Especially for example the first 3 Geneforge games that don't have HD resolution options. I know it's a big ask for an indie company and that it doesn't really make business sense, but I'm interested nonetheless.

I am a big, BIG fan of remasters, for many reasons. They end up better games. They let me modernize the engine, making new things possible (like iPad ports). Also, the old games stop working on modern systems.

Yes, I will remaster Geneforge. All of them, absolutely. However, it has to get in line. I'll probably start the Geneforge remasters in 3 years. Avernum 3 is far more due.

I still play the Exile series. Exile 3 is one of my favorite titles from when I was a wee boy.
However, I had issues with Avernum and its isometric viewpoint. Out of curiosity, who made the decision for the change from the "topdown" view?


It was me, because I like it better. And now I'm tired of it. Our next all-new series will have a much more dead-on, Exile type perspective.

I change everything all the time. It's how I keep this fresh for me. Every change makes someone happy and someone sad. It's unfortunate, but it's an integral part of the thing.

How are you funded? You seem to have a steady flow of great RPGs but does each one fund the next? What if a game does poorly than the last does that mean less money goes into the next one? As an indie-game developer in Seattle I've always looked up to you guys. I'm not at a point where I could have a studio setup like yours but I am hoping one day I could just stay at my home and write code between noon to 6 PM and from midnight to 4 AM. (Which is when I am most productive usually)
So what would you recommend the first steps are in doing that? Also what time do you wake up usually if you are up to 4 am? Do you ever feel pressure go to bed early?


I am VERY lucky. My games do well enough and I work cheap enough that each game funds the next. (Part of this is the heavy reuse of graphics that many in this AMA have criticized. It may look rough, but it's a fundamental part of what keeps me in business, so I can't feel too bad about it.)
Part of the reason I do this job is that I can keep weird hours. I try to work 4 hours in the afternoon, 2 late at night after everyone is in bed, and sleep from 3 AM to 11 AM. Sweet!

More information.
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September 19th, 2016, 19:32
Hey, if it works for you and your business…




Keep 'er going.
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September 19th, 2016, 19:44
Can't argue with that. The man enjoys what he does, and his customers seem happy and keep coming back. Good luck to him.
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September 19th, 2016, 20:11
You keep making them, I'll be in the que to buy them. Believe that!!!
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September 19th, 2016, 22:08
most of his answers sounded the same as the last q&a; then i again i guess if folks will ask the same questions they should get the same answers.
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September 19th, 2016, 22:14
he has a loyal fanbase (i am one of them) and it helps feed the pets, cant argue with that.
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September 19th, 2016, 23:57
Count me among his loyal fanbase. I grabbed Avadon 3 and the "Hint Book" partially just to support Vogel. (It helps that I am also enjoying the game. )

There's a specific type of mid 30's - early 40's gamer that really, really digs this niche of game. I run into others like me all the time at places like D&D meetups across the nation; people who cut their teeth on Gold Box games, graduated to things like BG2 and Torment and really, really miss that style of game. It's why Pillars of Eternity made as much as it did, it's why Vogel is still around doing his thing, it's why Kickstarter after Kickstarter seems to show that there is a thriving market for this kind of thing.

I think South Park called it "memberberries" …
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September 20th, 2016, 00:00
I love Jeff's games and old-school RPGs, but they don't have nostalgia factor for me. I grew up with consoles (Atari, NES, SNES, Genesis, PS1, PS2, Xbox, etc.). I just adore that style of RPG once I started discovering them many years later.
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September 20th, 2016, 00:08
Consoles were there too in my youth but they never grabbed me like PC games did. The original Nintendo and all that entailed featured prominent places in my elementary school life. (I was one of the oddballs that thought Super Mario 2 was the height of the series. )
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September 20th, 2016, 00:12
I played a few PC games early on, probably around the PS1 days, but didn't really have a capable computer until a few years later. I was playing Asheron's Call when it released, though, and it was chugging on my 26.6k modem, but that game was mind-blowing to me at the time!

A few years later my best friend had a copy of Baldur's Gate. All 8 discs or whatever it was. I had all but forgotten PC gaming at that point. I played it for about 15 minutes and couldn't figure out what the heck to do, gave up and went back to consoles.
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September 20th, 2016, 00:57
One interesting comment I saw from him was that the next game would be a return to the top down perspective. I actually liked that style in the older Exile series more than I do the isometric design he has been using.
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September 20th, 2016, 06:31
Originally Posted by Xian View Post
One interesting comment I saw from him was that the next game would be a return to the top down perspective. I actually liked that style in the older Exile series more than I do the isometric design he has been using.
Top down can be cool. Realmz is considered top down, I think, and that game is neat looking. Speaking of which, someone needs to get in touch with the creator of that game and convince him to do a Kickstarter!
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September 20th, 2016, 06:39
I heard a rumor that his next title will be something new in a scifi setting. Sounds good to me!
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September 20th, 2016, 06:41
Originally Posted by Darkheart View Post
I heard a rumor that his next title will be something new in a scifi setting. Sounds good to me!
Huh. I'd be interested to see his take on a sci-fi setting, for sure.
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September 20th, 2016, 10:15
Originally Posted by ElderGnome View Post
Consoles were there too in my youth but they never grabbed me like PC games did. The original Nintendo and all that entailed featured prominent places in my elementary school life. (I was one of the oddballs that thought Super Mario 2 was the height of the series. )
It was only consoles for me - but this was the late 70s and PCs at home were rare (I had no idea other games existed then!). Atari and Intellivision were the big ones - and then everything else for me was at the arcade. I must have spent 23,510 quarters on Space Invaders, Asteroids and Galaxian!!
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September 20th, 2016, 16:10
If Spiderweb ever did a sci fi game like the old Buck Rogers one, I'd buy it in an instant. Their tactile combat would really be something special in space fiction, with weaponry instead of spells.
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September 20th, 2016, 16:12
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
If Spiderweb ever did a sci fi game like the old Buck Rogers one, I'd buy it in an instant. Their tactile combat would really be something special in space fiction, with weaponry instead of spells.
Oooh, Buck Rogers. Awesome game.
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September 20th, 2016, 16:54
There was actually two of them chaps; Countdown to Doomsday (loved it!) and the Matrix Cubed (which I never finished, much to my chagrin! Maybe one day…Hellooo, GOG! *upvoted*)

The AMA was also a fun read, thanks for posting. Jeff's endurance for the genre is quite mighty indeed.
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September 20th, 2016, 18:33
Originally Posted by Darkheart View Post
I heard a rumor that his next title will be something new in a scifi setting. Sounds good to me!
If you read the Reddit carefully, you will see that he never wants to work with modern or scifi guns, so I'm not sure how he'd go about doing this.
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September 20th, 2016, 18:43
Laser crossbows maybe? I don't know what he'd do with a sci fi setting, I only know I'd be buying it!!!!
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