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Game News Avernum 3: Ruined World Released

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
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    Tags: Avernum 3: Ruined World; Jeff Vogel; Spiderweb Software

    Spiderweb Software's Avernum 3: Ruined World came out today. Turns out the release date was January 31st all along. It's the last episode of Jeff Vogel's trilogy of remakes, which started with Avernum: Escape from the Pit way back in 2011. Back in October, Jeff wrote a blog post reflecting on his long career of remaking remakes. We've already seen the new game's trailer and description, so I thought I'd quote an excerpt from that:

    In A Previous Millenium, I Wrote A Hit

    In 1997, I'd been making games full-time for a couple years. I wrote (and still write) retro, turn-based, low-budget indie RPGs with fun systems, interesting stories, and mediocre graphics.

    Happily, I got started at a time when there were very few good RPGs out in the market. I got a nice computer, wanted to play a good RPG, and couldn't find one. So I wrote one. It sold, because no competition. This is a key example of my most important business strategy: Get Very Lucky.

    My first games, Exile: Escape From the Pit and Exile 2: Crystal Souls, were designed on a simple principle: I would go back to all the RPGs I loved as a kid and steal the best idea from each one. I then carefully combined all my quality stolen ideas into a coherent whole. This is called being a game designer.

    For our third game, I had a better idea. I spent months playing all the new RPGs that had come out over the previous 2-3 years. Then I stole the best idea from each one of those. Thus, I transitioned from stealing ideas from old games to stealing ideas from new games. This is how you evolve as a game designer.

    I ended up with Exile 3: Ruined World, which has been our biggest success. It features a gigantic world, that is easy to get lost in. As time passed, the game world evolved. If you didn't fight the monsters off, they would ruin towns and kill the townsfolk. (Though, no matter how slow you play, you can always still win the game.) If you didn't want to follow the story, you could be a bounty hunter or merchant. You could buy a house.

    It Was The Right Title At The Right Time

    In 1997, it was what people wanted. It was a legit shareware hit. Now, having a hit indie game in 1997 (when the world wide web was basically nothing and most of my sales came from AOL) was different from having one in 2017.

    These days, the sales of a hit indie game will buy you a mansion made of yachts. Back then, it bought me a modest house and made my parents slightly less ashamed to say what I did for a living.

    I won awards, to the extent there were game awards back then. I got attention from the traditional games media, which was really worth something then. And it established me in the business for good.

    But even then, I knew that the real prize was not the praise (which I don't care about) or the money (which is nice, but then you spend it and it's gone). What was really valuable was that I owned the game. It was mine. I could do with it whatever I wanted. Forever.

    A Lesson For Young Creators

    Never underestimate the value of owning your work. There hasn't been a day since 1997 that I haven't made money off of Exile 3. The reason is that I own it. It's mine, to alter, remaster, and distribute. All according to my whims, with all the earnings going to me.

    It's a tough market out there. But suppose you release a new game and nobody ever even hears of it. Wait five years, remaster it and it really will be, as far an anyone is concerned, a new game. You can try selling it again!

    And ten years from now, people will be using new consoles, new devices, new sorts of computers. Port your game to them! Each new port is an all new release. A new chance for your game to get noticed and catch on and become a hit!

    "But Your Games Are All The Same And Look Like Crap"

    I have a follow-up post about the reactions when I announced Avernum 3: Ruined World. It's pretty funny, but this is already long so I broke it out into its own post.

    When Avernum 3: Ruined World comes out (hopefully in January for Windows/Mac and March for iPad), I'll have spent over four years of my life on it. It's not a game for everyone. It's mostly the product of one person, and it'll show.

    Even if you don't like my work, I hope you take some satisfaction in this: Vidya games are still a place where one weirdo can make weird things for other weirdos and make a living at it. As long as this is possible, there's hope. Maybe the next weird thing for weirdos will be YOUR perfect game, the Best Game Ever, and it never would have existed in a purely big-budget world.
    Avernum 3: Ruined World is available now on Steam and GOG for $20, with a 10% launch discount until next week. Its release, along with the release of Avadon 3 last year, marks the quiet end of a certain era of indie RPG development. You might remember that Jeff once said he was planning to launch a Kickstarter this year for his next game's engine. We'll see if that happens.
     
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  2. Kem0sabe Arcane

    Kem0sabe
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    Yet another RPG in a long line of sequels that dont allow you do import your saves from the previous games, which are so linear that none of the decisions the player made are ever taken to account. Vogel really is relegated to obscurity.

    Edit: Infinitron, did you actually played any of his games to tag citation needed? There are no save imports, there are no decisions transitioning from one game to the other. He always assumes a world state as being canon at the end of a game, and then the next game starts with that instead of the ending you actually went with (Avadon).
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
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  3. Dayyālu Arcane

    Dayyālu
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    Call me when the Geneforge or the Nethergate remakes are out.

    Worthy of pirating, at least.

    And Vogel, I know you don't read the Codex because feeeeeelings, but if you want me to pay for your games (and don't delude yourself, spike in sales was only thanks to Steam, not quality) try putting some effort in your games. I don't want to replay the same game for the fourth time.
     
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  4. mustawd. Liturgist

    mustawd.
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    Loving the remakes. IIRC Avernum 4-6 were alreadyin the new engine right? If so, then we prolly won't get remakes of those (actually you can never tell with Vogel. Hyuk hyuk hyuk).

    Hopefully he moves on to Geneforge next. Let's see how this KS thingie goes.
     
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  5. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    They're newer. Same engine as Geneforge. But he doesn't seem to be planning on remaking them right now.
     
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  6. the_shadow Arcane

    the_shadow
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    You don't want to play it, but you think it's worthy of pirating and playing? Bit of a contradiction there.
     
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  7. TigerKnee Prophet

    TigerKnee
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    I wouldn't mind "remaking the same games over and over" if the remakes were actually an improvement on Exile gameplay wise instead of :decline:.
     
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  8. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

    Jaesun
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    Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Would be interesting if the new Kickstarter engine would be for a re-make of the Geneforge series.
     
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  9. the_shadow Arcane

    the_shadow
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    Then don't play them. I haven't played the newest remakes, but don't begrudge Jeff for remaking his IP so that he can sell it to a younger audience. He doesn't owe me squat.
     
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  10. mustawd. Liturgist

    mustawd.
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    :bro:

    Leave Jeff Vogel alone. He's the oldest 40 year old on the planet.
     
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  11. soulburner Learned

    soulburner
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    All Vogel's games use 100% of one CPU core, making it impossible to play on my laptop when on battery. Even when I'm connected to a power source, it's still not cool to spin up the fan and stuff. Any workaround for this? Even reducing my CPU's multiplier to the lowest is not a solution, as the battery drain will still be significant...
     
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  12. Twiglard Learned

    Twiglard
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    Is force vsync on not enough?

    How bad is the game?
     
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  13. Van-d-all Learned

    Van-d-all
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    So that's why I suddenly got a -20% Steam coupon for it.
     
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  14. MurkyShadow Glittering gem of hatred Patron

    MurkyShadow
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong BattleTech
    These games are blessed by the god of blandness himself. If they at least had interesting mechanics
    to redeem themselves. I don't even dislike them. It's more an absolute indifference.
    But when they are enough to make a living, well, why put any more effort in it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
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  15. almondblight Arcane

    almondblight
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    Exile III had a pretty great moment for me. I thought I had cured the slime plague and wandered off to explore more of the world. Later I passed back through the same region and found out not only had I not stopped the plague, but the plague had destroyed 1 or 2 towns while I was away (they weren't just wiped off the map; you could go and explore their infested ruins).

    Say what you want about Vogel, but that was a good moment. It's a shame that over 20 years later RPGs are still insanely static for the most part.
     
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  16. Morality Games Arcane Patron

    Morality Games
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    The ease of play to quality of content ratio in Vogel games makes them nice, diverting games. I would compare them to the Shadowrun trilogy.
     
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  17. aratuk Savant

    aratuk
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    Run inside a virtual machine with a low cap on resources. It can pull 100% of the VM if you only give the VM 10% of what's available, & should still run fine :M
     
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  18. dawcio Novice

    dawcio
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    Great news. I'd love to see new Nethergate
     
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  19. Zeriel Arcane

    Zeriel
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    They used to. I can't say they were mindbogglingly complex or anything, but the original Exile games had some interesting stuff going on. Exile 2 had the Quickfire (infinitely propagating fire tiles) and Simulacrum (copy a unit, basically) spells. Exile 3 had the time-based stuff which actually was pretty interesting for the time.

    The guy's games just keep getting worse year by year. It seems like his favorite reply to this is, "But I'm still making money!" or "There's no other way I could support myself", but this seems like a pretty sad commentary if true. Why is it that with a much tinier market, 20 years ago he was able to make much better games? Hell, I'd even argue that the original Exile 2-3 tilesets LOOKED better than what he's got now.

    I've thought about it a bit, and I suppose this is the hard thing about being an artist. People expect new, creative things from you. Someone in the trades can sit by the side of the road and turn piles of wood shavings into the same wood carvings time after time and people will applaud it. Do the same thing with games and they'll just be fucking annoyed. Although the metaphor in Vogel's case would be a woodcarver by the side of the road who keeps making the same carving of a horse. When he started out, it looked like a nice, accurate representation of a horse. 20 years later, its a misshapen block of... whatever. The locals continue to buy the sad little things, out of a sense of obligation.
     
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  20. Metro Arcane Beg Auditor

    Metro
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    Vogel's been producing the same tepid stuff for years now. Dunno why some of you get excited over it.
     
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  21. mustawd. Liturgist

    mustawd.
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    Party Creation, isometric, turn based combat, general fantasy romp, inoffensive writing.

    Das basically it in a nutshell.
     
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  22. luj1 Savant

    luj1
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    Get yourself an i3.
     
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  23. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    *I* stopped the slime plague! What have *you* done today?
     
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  24. Zeriel Arcane

    Zeriel
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    I smashed some slith eggs. :M
     
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  25. tindrli Arcane

    tindrli
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    NO HORSES ANYMORE!!!!


    and by the way Infinitron where is our troll hitting dead horse gif!!!!????
     
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