Spiderweb Games - Interview @ Reason Online
A site called Reason Online has a short interview with Jeff Vogel on why he makes indie single-player CRPGs and using morality in his games. A partial snip on the latter:
reason: The Avernum series doesn’t have simple cookie-cutter outcomes. The adventures carry ethical overtones, both positive and negative, no matter what options you select. Is there something about that ambiguity that appeals to you?
Vogel: Yes. I’m fascinated by politics, and I’m fascinated by the process of how things get done—how ugly and compromised pretty much any dream can become. I have very little patience, in general, with ideas of some people being absolutely good or absolutely bad, or some race of creature being absolutely good or absolutely bad. In The Lord of the Rings, there are these things, and they’re called “orcs,” and they’re all bad, and they’re all evil, and their only purpose is to be killed. I find that to be extremely boring. Whenever I watch The Lord of the Rings, I find myself wondering, “So what are orcs like? Why are they like that?”
Obviously, there are some cases in real life where people are doing things that are all wrong, like the Nazis, or the genocide in Darfur. But most of the time, once you get under the surface, there are a lot of contests between people where either side isn’t absolutely right or absolutely wrong, and I find that a lot more interesting.
So in the Avernum and Geneforge games, I like to give the players choices. No cut-and-dried solutions, but instead situations where they have to go, “What do I want to do here? What side, what faction, do I think really has more of a point?” If I get to the point where the player has to actually stop and think about it, then I think I’ve made an interesting game. [...]