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Avadon 3: The Warborn Released
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 14 September 2016, 19:11:48Tags: Avadon 3: The Warborn; Jeff Vogel; Spiderweb Software
Today sees the release of Avadon 3: The Warborn, the final chapter of Jeff Vogel's Avadon trilogy. The first two Avadon games were not very well-received on the Codex. The series as a whole is regarded as an ill-considered attempt to pander to the "BioWare audience", a serious decline in quality after the imaginative Geneforge series. When Jeff officially announced Avadon 3 back in May, he also took the time to post his thoughts about the Avadon series as a whole. Since we've already seen the game's trailer and description, I thought I'd quote some of that here:
If you want the basic facts of the story, they are on the main game page, and I'm tired of rewriting it. (This is the sort of disciplined approach to PR that has enable me to maintain decades of consistent anonymity.)
I'm more interested in talking about the process.
In the 20+ years I've been doing this, I've always had one main habit: I write the sort of game I enjoy playing. They are always RPGs, because I am obsessed with that genre. It's a genre that allows for great variety. (And the basic, addictive elements of which have infected just about every other genre.)
Whenever I'm not sure what to do with a game, I always make the choice I would prefer if I was a player. It's a compass that has almost never steered me wrong.
When I decided to write Avadon, I'd just played Dragon Age: Origins, which is still, for my money, one of the finest RRPGs every made. It made me want to write a similar game: An epic story, full of intrigue, dark fantasy, and touch choices, set in a huge and complex world. I wanted the battles to have their own flavor, with lots of different tactical options and unexpected events, and in which movement and positioning are really important.
I think I succeeded. Kind of. I will say that I enjoy playing Avadon games more than I enjoy playing any of my other games. A lot of my fans don't care for Avadon as much, but that's ok. We write a lot of different sorts of RPGs.
But I'm Ready To Move On and Feel Bad About What Has Come Before
Like many creators, I hate looking at the work I've done. Even if it's good, it still pales in comparison to the beautiful image I had in my mind when I began. Looking at the final work can be a painful process.
A painful process, but a helpful one. When you fail to do what you wanted to do, well, failure can be very educational. You just need to look hard and honest at you failures and see what you can do to correct them.
So, some things I'm unhappy with about the Avadon series.
When I was designing Avadon, I was very ambitious. Lynaeus, the continent on which the series takes place, has 5 friendly nations and six hostile nations, each of which has its own politics, history, and so on. I wanted to make a whole world.
In the end, however, I was just one designer.
There are so many factions, wings of government, conflicts, controversies ... Too much for me to keep track of, too much to fully develop. I wrote so much lore I could never find a place to fit into the game. There were so many locations I just wasn't able to give enough time to.
My eyes were bigger than my stomach on this one.
Also, i didn't put as much polish in these games as I should. Avadon 3 will have a lot of careful rebalancing and useful interface improvements. However, these changes should have been in Avadon 2. Honestly, a lot of these things should have been in Avadon 1 so I didn't have to fix them in the first place.
I have a good excuse for some of this. I'm only one person, and I'm getting older and slower. Still, a problem is a problem, and, if I'm asking people for money, I'm still responsible for flaws.
Finally, I've stuck with this particular engine, graphics style, and world style for too long. After I remaster Avernum 3 (our most popular game over the years), I'm going to do something way different. It's well past time.