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July 19th, 2013, 11:51
Rock, Paper, Shotgun is the next site to interview Jeff Vogel. Topics include bundles, graphics and of couse the usual pessimism.

RPS: At the time of writing, youíve sold over 33,000 copies of your bundle, raising nearly $155,000, with two days to go. Have you ever had such a profitable week before?

Vogel: Nope. This is the record, by a wide margin. Weíre shocked. I honestly though it would do less than a third of that. I am hugely grateful. It makes us feel liked, and itís always great to feel liked.

RPS: Did you have any hopes in mind before it started, maybe target you were aiming for?

Vogel: Iíve learned over the last two decades to try not to have expectations. Things are so super unpredictable. There are so many factors and so many moving parts that go into how something will be received. That said, I always try to be cynical and pessimistic, and I though the Humble Bundle would be nice and pleasant and a good bonus and not set the world on fire. I canít remember when Iíve been more surprised.

RPS: Spiderweb has been going an for amazing twenty years, and clearly has a large following of dedicated fans. But from my perspective, the last couple of years have seen perceptions change from a quite niche specialist developer, to a broader appeal. Why do you think this is happening now? Is it simply reaching new audiences through online retailers and devices like tablets, or do you think thereís also a new appetite for meaty RPGs out there?

Vogel: I think the demand has always been there, but I just didnít have a big enough microphone. Single player story-driven RPGs are one of the oldest, most beloved, evergreen computer game genres. The biggest frustration for me, over the years, is that Iíve known there are hordes out there who wanted to at least try my games, but I didnít have the PR muscle to reach them. Steam changed everything for everyone. It certainly changed my life. The Humble Bundle is also fantastic, for the way it lets anyone, for a tiny price, try games and genres they would never have otherwise. That alone makes the Humble Bundle great for the industry.

RPS: Youíve resisted changing your game design from the top-down, relatively simple layout to the more detailed environments that appear in most contemporary RPGs. Whatís the reasoning behind that?

Vogel: Itís an interesting question, because it makes an unstated assumption that the qualities of modern RPGs are superior. And they are. To some people. But indie games over the last years has showed us that there is a hunger for all sorts of presentations. Look at the stunning rise in popularity of more simple 8-bit graphic games over the last few years. A lot of those simple-looking games were hits!
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July 19th, 2013, 11:51
I can't say how much I'm pleased to hear they succeeded with their (great) bundle ! Spiderweb is one of the most deserving company and their games are awesome. So cool to see that so many people will be able to grab it almost for nothing and discover those gems.
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July 19th, 2013, 12:12
It is nice to see that every 7 years or so a new generation of gamers rediscovers the beauty of CRPGs (old and new style).
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July 19th, 2013, 16:05
Herein lies one of the problems with Kickstarter:

RPS: How would you say the immediacy of customer feedback has affected your experience releasing games? Presumably twenty years ago, when releasing an epic RPG, it was a very different process.

Vogel: I pay huge attention to player feedback, but for the next game. While I am writing a game, I only listen to feedback from a small, elite cadre of friends, testers, and wife. When you’re in the weeds, I think it is very important to limit the number of voices in your head. But once the game is done, it’s open season!
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July 19th, 2013, 17:34
Jeff really nails one of the dangers that KS can visit on the game developer. Best to have your vision set in stone first, present an overview and just go with it.

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July 19th, 2013, 17:44
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
Jeff really nails one of the dangers that KS can visit on the game developer. Best to have your vision set in stone first, present an overview and just go with it.
Indeed, and that's because he knows exactly what he is good at and what he can honestly deliver - rather than being a jack of all trade.
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