TBF: Your re-make of Avernum is rebuilding a lot of major aspects of the original game, such as the skill/trait advancement system. Why is that?
Jeff: I redid everything. Every element of the game, every line of text, everything was redone. I put as much work in Avernum: Escape From the Pit as in a new game. I used everything I learned in the years since I wrote it to make it entirely modern, accessible, and fun.
TBF: What makes games like Avernum (which is heavily text-based, played from an isometric view, and requires some serious micromanagement) relevant amongst games like The Elder Scrolls V, Kingdoms of Amalur, and the Mass Effect series? What do you offer that they don’t?
Jeff: You seem to assume that there is no longer a demand for an in-depth, tactical role-playing game with a rich world and storyline. Luckily for me, this is not the case. As the big AAA publishers have decided to only make RPGs that are action games with stat-building stuck on, I have continued to cater to the old-school role-playing game fan. Those people totally still exist, even if the big publishers have forgotten about them.
I mean, isn’t that what everyone says they love about indie developers, that they make the sorts of games that people want but publishers neglect? And, happily, I’m not alone. There are a lot of developers out there now making great indie turn-based RPGs. It’s awesome!