Spiderweb Games - Interview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
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, you’ve 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. We’re shocked. I honestly though it would do less than a third of that. I am hugely grateful. It makes us feel liked, and it’s always great to feel liked.
RPS: Did you have any hopes in mind before it started, maybe target you were aiming for?
Vogel: I’ve 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 can’t remember when I’ve 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 there’s also a new appetite for meaty RPGs out there?
Vogel: I think the demand has always been there, but I just didn’t 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 I’ve known there are hordes out there who wanted to at least try my games, but I didn’t 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: You’ve resisted changing your game design from the top-down, relatively simple layout to the more detailed environments that appear in most contemporary RPGs. What’s the reasoning behind that?
Vogel: It’s 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!
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun