Spiderweb Games - Jeff Vogel Roundup
Three different Jeff Vogel articles today. First, RPG Codex has a lengthy interview covering a wide range of territory. A controversial answer:
6. One gripe of many Spiderweb fans is that combat doesn’t offer enough in the way of interesting tactical choices for non-spellcasters. Battle Disciplines in Avernum 5 partially addressed this. What other changes (if any) are in store for the combat system?
I get a lot of suggestions for how to add “depth” to the battle system. Most of them, frankly, aren’t very good. Stuff like, “Oh, I see the monster is using a power attack. I’d better press the Block Power Attack button. There. Done.”
It’s a turn-based game with small-scale combat. To be honest, there is only so much tactical depth you’re going to get. And, heck, please point me to an RPG that has rich and varied tactical combat, because I’d sure like to play it.
I mean, I loved Fallout 3. It’s a great game. But opening up the targeting window, selecting “Shoot Head” five times, and watching the brains fly everywhere isn’t “tactical”.
As RPGs go, I think the Avernum games have a really good variety of challenging fights and tactical situations. But if you want lots of tactical choices, single-player RPGs, any of them, are really not where you should be going. That isn’t what the genre is about. And, if I had big, epic, chesslike battles where you had to think about your battle plan until sweat poured down your face, a huge portion of my fans wouldn’t like that. At all.
Thanks, Shagnak and Elwro!
Over at RPG Vault, he has a new View From the Bottom editorial on game piracy:
So I do everything I can to keep it from getting to me. I don't like rainy days either, but there's not much point in trying to prevent them. And there aren't yet any good ways to make real money developing single-player games beyond selling licenses. Ads can generate some revenues, but nowhere near enough to keep a business afloat.
So, I am working to adjust to the new reality. People will only pay us for single-player PC games to feel good about themselves, like they are committing a virtuous act. Now that stealing them has gone from just easy to painfully trivial, how do we stay in business in the new reality?
First, be nice. Seriously! Charities need to be likeable, or nobody will give them money. The Red Cross doesn't put up ads saying "You are a jerk and we hate you. Give us money. And we're going to kick your dog." It wouldn't work.
And lastly, a new blog entry explaining why he won't be jumping on the iphone bandwagon:
There's a lesson for young developers. Make sure your game fits the way people will want to play it. PC Games = Longer sessions. iPhone Games = Ping. Zap! Done.