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Geneforge III


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#1 George the Flea

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 03:08 PM

I think my attitude towards Geneforge III is pretty clear, but here is the first user review:

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This game sucks. Just look at it. This game #1 isn't "with" the current technology. Maybe in '98 this would have been cool as a novelty. I've played the Spiderweb games ... they are nothing special. What this guy REALLY needs to do is learn some OpenGL and code a game that can capture the imaginations of gamers. $25 a "steal?" I think the IMG reviewer gave such a favorable review more out of pity than honest, objective criticism.

The game lacks.

Now go play WoW and wait for Spiderweb to regroup. A lot of good ideas in a history of poor executions.

Worldpeace,
Ben

Do people honestly believe this?  It absolutely blows my mind that people would expect games to be "with" the current technology when they are developed by shareware companies with no budget.  Do people not understand that the graphics alone for the original Baldur's Gate (hardly the current technology now) required more than 20 people? (ref)  And if you really want current technology, Neverwinter Nights took over 40 people (ref), and this is for graphics alone.  Meaning there were a whole heck of a lot more who were working on programming, design, sound, and the list goes on.  And what about World of Warcraft, which Ben appears to like so much?  A quick count on my part gives me around 70 people working on the art (including cinematics).  (ref)

So again, I'm just wondering how on earth Spiderweb is supposed to "regroup."  Because they haven't really grouped in the first place.  Geneforge III's list of artists: head guy Jeff Vogel, one person listed as working on art in general, and one person listed as working on character rendering.  Which puts them 17+ people away from being able to achieve 1998's current technology, 37+ away from 2002's current technology, and 67 or so away from 2005's current technology.

Okay, I'll stop ranting.  Thing is, Geneforge III captured the imagination of this gamer, and I honestly don't understand how its graphics, which are cohesive and do a good job of creating a colorful and interesting game world, can blind people so thoroughly to its amazingly positive aspects.
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#2 bobbob

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 03:40 PM

I loved Exile and Avernum, and I'm also wondering how simple graphics make for a bad game.

#3 Dark_Archon

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 09:34 PM

People are WAY too obsessed with graphics of games, case and point, Half Life 2, yeah, the graphics are good, but the genre has been beaten to death, and the games like it lacked creativity from the beginning. I haven't played much of Geneforge III; but it seems pretty good. It involves a creative and well thought out plot. This was obviously the primary objective. Unlike Blizzard, Spiderweb Software doesn't have the capitol that Blizzard has, which is too bad because the current Blizzard games seem to lack the ingenuity that the creators of the Geneforge series have. Games should be judged by how good the game is, not how good the graphics are. Speaking of dated graphics, I think I'm going to go play a little Fallout.
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#4 Eric5h5

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Posted 18 June 2005 - 10:32 PM

Yeah, that was a senseless user review.  I don't have Geneforge 3 yet, but I did play Geneforge 2 recently, and started KOTOR even more recently, and to be honest, Geneforge is more fun.  It really nails the gameplay, but I'm having some problems getting into KOTOR, even though the budget had to be orders of magnitude greater.

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#5 flargh

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Posted 19 June 2005 - 08:20 AM

Eric5h5, on June 18th 2005, 11:32 PM, said:

Yeah, that was a senseless user review.  I don't have Geneforge 3 yet, but I did play Geneforge 2 recently, and started KOTOR even more recently, and to be honest, Geneforge is more fun.  It really nails the gameplay, but I'm having some problems getting into KOTOR, even though the budget had to be orders of magnitude greater.

--Eric

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I think it's perfectly fair to point out that Geneforge and other Spiderweb Games have a quaint, almost anachronistic interface and graphics that some people might find primitive, especially after playing games like Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights, but making it the focus of one's review -- even a "civilian" review -- to the exclusion of any mention of story and actual gameplay is a disservice to readers.
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#6 Siriusfox

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 05:26 PM

I loved the game, and almost reached the full end of the free part of the game in a few days. (It was kind of an obsession, I had nothing to do once school was out. 1 day ago and counting!)

I think the game-play is well worth the graphics. Hey it isn't HD video, but it's still good graphics.
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#7 George the Flea

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 04:23 AM

Vindication is such a nice feeling.  :D

Seriously, thanks for the comments, folks.  It's nice to hear positive things about Geneforge when usually the negative people are the most vocal.
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#8 Siriusfox

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 02:24 PM

What do we know on their reliability in orders? If i order with Via Credit Card will it be all over the internet? What do we know from people who have bought from them before?

I really want to buy this game but I don't know how safe the order is?
-Luke
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#9 xcman22

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 02:28 PM

Thanks to the reviews and this little debate, I'm going to download and play this game. As a RPG fan, I prefer simple graphics and GREAT plot to amazing graphics and NO plot. Take my favorite game of all time-Final Fantasy II. Simplistic 16-bit graphics, game is wicked old, and is like a pebble compared to the insane massiveness that has become Final Fantasy games of today. Yet Final Fantasy II has a great plot, involves great puzzle solving, both in terms of figuring out how do solve quests AND coming up with ways to beat the boss monsters, and is FUN TO PLAY! Who cares about how bad the graphics are? Hell, I still love Dragon Warrior for the original NES! What about Enchanted Scepters for System 7(or was it System 6)?

Granted, none of this has anything to do with Geneforge III, but it sounds EXACTLY like the type of game I would love. So I'm going out to download it. Right. Now.

#10 Eric5h5

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 03:38 PM

joefox, on June 23rd 2005, 03:24 PM, said:

What do we know on their reliability in orders? If i order with Via Credit Card will it be all over the internet? What do we know from people who have bought from them before?

I really want to buy this game but I don't know how safe the order is?
-Luke

They would never have lasted for the many years that they have if they were unsafe.  I doubt a search on Google would turn up any reports of dissatisfied customers.  In fact their customer service is excellent...for example, some years ago I bought the Exile trilogy on CD-ROM (and played via Mac emulation on my Amiga, heh).  Even though I was supposed to get the key off the disc, Jeff Vogel sent a key via email anyway.  This turned out to be great, since I played Exile so much that I bumped up against the shareware limit quite a lot sooner than I expected, and would have had to wait in an agony of expectation for DAYS for the CD-ROM to arrive, if he hadn't gone out of his way to email me the key.

--Eric

#11 George the Flea

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 07:50 PM

Hey joefox,

I've ordered quite a few games from them and never had a problem.  If you're really worried about the security of ordering online, though, you can call them as well.  This is almost preferable, since you'll get to talk to a real person and they'll give you your keycode then and there (if they're still doing it the way they did when I called in an order a couple of years ago).  Here's the info:

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Call Spiderweb Software, Inc. at (206)789-4438. Have your credit card and registration codes ready. We're open Monday-Friday, 10-6 pm, Pacific time.

Other forms (including PayPal) are discussed here.
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#12 Siriusfox

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 08:17 PM

I just ordered via the Web Site, around 4-ish (My time Same as theirs). I just hope that the registration code comes through soon.

Thanks for the help guys.
-Luke
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#13 Rubel

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 12:18 AM

Enjoy the fun of Geneforge! Have you folks played the first two? They are also of high quality; worth playing in their own rights.
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#14 jibclimmer

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 12:09 PM

Rubel, on June 24th 2005, 01:18 AM, said:

Enjoy the fun of Geneforge! Have you folks played the first two? They are also of high quality; worth playing in their own rights.

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I bought the first one... the second one I didn't get into... and now *hangs head* I'm addicted to WoW. I still love the Spiderweb style though. I'll probably grab G3 one of these days.

#15 George the Flea

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 01:00 PM

Rubel, you have to ask?  Bought 1 and 2 pretty soon after each came out, reviewed number 3.  Geneforge has always been really exciting for me, what with the whole real time engine.

jibclimmer: you should certainly look into Geneforge III if you ever reclaim a little life from WoW; it's better than number 2 in my opinion.
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#16 almondblight

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 04:21 PM

Eh...I've been somewhat undewhelmed by Jeff since he started the remakes of Exile.  There's a certain amount of "oh, this again" feeling when playing his games.  Still, I can't think of much better than his stuff at the moment, and everyone might as well try out the demos to see what they think for themselves.

The graphics don't bother me at all though, and I can think of a number of good games that look worse.

#17 hambone

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 06:11 PM

I'm on a huge 2D/isometric revival right now, and would die of joy if we got a new, big-budget RPG game to redefine the best in 2D graphics. Diablo III, I'm calling you out!!

but since i can only play Final Fantasy (1-5), Chrono Trigger, Fire Emblem, and Baldur's Gate so many times, i'm glad this thread reminded that i havn't played Geneforge III... yet...


*downloading*

#18 George the Flea

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 01:30 PM

hambone: Icewind Dale and Fallout 2 are on sale for dirt cheap at MacPlay (as per this page) if you want further 2D isometric RPGs.  I have no idea how long the sale will last, but they come on and off such sales pretty regularly.

almondblight: one of the reasons that I love the Geneforge series is that it's so different, not only from Vogel's other stuff but also from other RPGs in general.  I'll admit that I was a bit disappointed when I heard that Spiderweb's next game is Avernum 4, but I suppose he's pretty attached to the Exile/Avernum world.  They're good enough games, but I agree that there's a certain element of "meh, been there, done that" to them.  I'm really hoping for a new world (i.e. not Avernum or Geneforge) after Avernum 4.
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#19 Eric5h5

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 09:51 PM

George the Flea, on July 3rd 2005, 02:30 PM, said:

I'll admit that I was a bit disappointed when I heard that Spiderweb's next game is Avernum 4, but I suppose he's pretty attached to the Exile/Avernum world.  They're good enough games, but I agree that there's a certain element of "meh, been there, done that" to them.  I'm really hoping for a new world (i.e. not Avernum or Geneforge) after Avernum 4.

Yeah, me too.  Especially since it's very unlikely I'll ever play Avernum 1-3 (inferior remakes of Exile 1-3 that they are ;) ), so I have to question a bit whether I'll even want Avernum 4.

--Eric

#20 Tesseract

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 02:17 AM

Yeah, they should just carbonize Exile 1.3.1 and Exile II 1.0.3. Best ShareWare Ever.