October 29, 2020
Archives  News  Jeff Vogel Discusses Avernum Series, Indie Gaming  

Monday, November 24, 2008
Jeff Vogel Discusses Avernum Series, Indie Gaming
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Reason Magazine has posted a new interview with Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel. The interview covers a variety of topics related to Spiderweb's indie RPG titles including the plot of the Avernum series, and the chances of an online multiplayer title from Spiderweb.

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.

reason: Do you plan to move toward online play?
Vogel: There are a lot of reasons why we’re never, ever going to do that. First off, I’m not a very good programmer. I’m a pretty good game designer, but to create an online sort of game requires a frightening level of resources far beyond what our tiny shop can manage.
On top of that, it’s not really our niche. When you’re a small indie company, generally, to survive, you have to find some small area where you don’t have to be constantly fighting with the big guys and write games to fill that area. You step out of that niche at your peril.
We’ve been writing single-player role-playing games, so I’m competing with practically nobody. There are only one or two decent single-player role-playing games that come out in any given year. If I write a massive multi-player game, I’m competing against people with $50 million budgets, and they will kill me.
Indie game development is a big, growing thing. It’s a chance for people who live in their basements, small people with a dream, to create something, and that’s really catching on. But if you want to do that, you have to know your limits.
Check out the full Q&A at the link provided below.

Reason Magazine: Jeff Vogel Interview
Spiderweb Software

Other Mac Games News for Monday, November 24, 2008

IMG Reviews Jade Empire: Special Edition8:08 AM
Galactic Assault: Prisoner Of Power Available6:00 AM
• Jeff Vogel Discusses Avernum Series, Indie Gaming6:00 AM
Kivi's Underworld Reviewed6:00 AM
Pirates Of The Caribbean Online Q&A6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, November 24, 2008 on one page

Mac Games News for Friday, November 21, 2008

Book Of Legends Now Available For Mac6:24 PM
Geneforge 5: Overthrow Released For Macs6:00 AM
Lugaru Video Contest: Win A Free Copy Of Overgrowth6:00 AM
New Diablo III Screenshots & Artwork Available6:00 AM
Wrath Of The Lich King Sets One Day Sales Record6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, November 21, 2008 on one page

Recent Mac Games News

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008

Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.

Archives  News  Jeff Vogel Discusses Avernum Series, Indie Gaming