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Thursday, January 24, 2008
Weaving Spiderweb: Jeff Vogel Discusses RPGs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamebanshee has posted a new interview with Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel, the man behind the popular Geneforge and Avernum role playing game series. The interview covers the company's origins, focus on gameplay rather than graphics, and includes Vogel's advice for other independent developers hoping to find their own niche.

GB: Do you still enjoy making RPGs as much as you did when you started?
Jeff: Heh ... I never really enjoyed it. I thought I would. When I wrote the engine for our first game, all those years ago, I was really looking forward to making the world. That, I thought, would be the fun.

Then, fifteen minutes into designing the first town, I thought, "Wow. This sucks." And it hasn't improved much since then.

It's work. But, fortunately, it's work I have a knack for.

GB: Do you worry about the people who do not play your games due to the graphics or are you not that interested in their market potential?
Jeff: Don't get me wrong. I love nice graphics as much as the next guy. I make our games as pretty as I can. I'm not ideologically attached to low-budget games. It's just all I can do.

But if someone wants a pretty game, I will not be able to please that person. And if I spend a bunch of money and an extra year making a game as pretty as I possibly can, I still will not please that person. The big companies use cutting edge engines and art departments with dozens of talented people, and they spend years working on one title. I will never ever, ever, ever be able to compete with that in the slightest way. So I don't.

There is one thing I can do: Make a cool adventure in a cool world. So I do that.
Read the rest of the Q&A at the link provided below.

Gamebanshee: Jeff Vogel Interview
Spiderweb Software

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