Spiderweb Games - 20th Anniversary Interview
Pixlbit interviews Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Games about the company's 20th Anniversary.
PB: First of all, what games got you into gaming, and when did it hit you that you could do this yourselves?
JV : I am very old. The first computer role-playing game I tried was Eamon, in 1980 or so. The first game I really, really got into was Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord in 1983. Playing that was the point my destiny was assured. I wrote games all through childhood, but I only made a real effort to write a real game when I was in grad school at age 24.
PB: Your games hearken back to a previous, more innocent era in game development, and they seem to still carry that promise that the medium can take us away to wondrous but dangerous worlds where anything can happen. What are some of the keys to your design philosophy, and how do you manage to retain this magic today?
JV: I always write the sort of game I want to play. I play a lot of games, and, when one compels me in some way, I break down the qualities that really appeal and try to incorporate that myself. However, it is a very, very personal process. I’m just lucky that the things I like other people like too. I always like to put in lots of detail. I think lots of different things should happen. I think the player should have choices and be able to shift the ending. In a big game, there should be both tragedy and humor. Those are some big principles for my design.
PB: You’ve been operating for twenty years now. What would you like to accomplish in the next 20 years, and what kind of games do you want to make that you haven’t yet made?
JV: I like story-heavy single-player turn-based role-playing games. It’s a niche that I’m good at filling. It’s also an evergreen sort of game. There will always be a demand for it, but most developers don’t seem to be interested. So, for the next 20 years, I’ll write more of the same. But slower. I’m getting older and more burned out.
PB: What would you like gamers who haven’t heard about you before to know about you, and is there anything you would like to say to them?
JV: We write really good role-playing games. The graphics are simple, but the stories and gameplay are excellent. We care about the customer. And, if you’re curious, there is a big, free demo of each of our games on our web site.