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In the meantime, it's worth pointing out that two new Kickstarter updates (17 and 18) have gone live, focusing on the title's ongoing Reddit AMA Q&A, from which I'm going to quote a couple of questions and answers:
What are your opinions on software piracy? Also, of all DnD campaigns or modules, which is your favorite one?
Great question: Because my game was originally published in 1982 for VIC-20 and 1983 for Commodore 64, the copy-protection was very minimal for games of that era. I know that I must have earned about $50K or $60K in royalties back then â€” in that era dollars, so it was pretty good for a 19-y/o. Not sure how many legitimate copies had been sold, but probably close to 100,000 or soâ€¦ But I know for a fact that many more people copied the game than paid for it. If I were to guess, it could easily be 10x more than the paid copies!
My opinion is that it is technically wrong to do, but it is inevitable that will happen, even today. I think there is a "positive" effect that can happen too, even adding to the awareness of your game in certain cases, so in a sense I am neutral about it, as long as it is not done on a mass/institutional scale. Is that an open invitation to copy my games? I hope not! ;-) More just an admission that I know it is part of the business and hard to completely avoid.
Oh, I missed the second part of your question: About D&D, honestly I was playing in the era when it was the "white box" edition of D&D, so no real 'modules' had come out yet. I remember loving when the first Monster Manual came out in 1977. Wow, I realized just now I even remember the new book smell of it!
I get so close to beating this game(on my macbook), but I have never won. Not even once. But I still play it a lot. How did you find such a balance of controller-smashing frustration to addicting replayability?
LOL. Yes, I know the feeling. When you have gone down to the 17th level and you know you are getting closer to getting the Sword, and all of the sudden, a swarm of Centipedes start dropping out of a ceiling trap and your hard-fought character just can't survive the onslaught. Grrrrâ€¦
That's why we added a "Squire" mode in the new versions of the game. In that mode you can still "die," but you will be resurrected at the last temple you visited, and then have to go back to the place you were killed to find all your stuff (if it has not been raided).
But with Hero and Legend mode, it is the infamous "permadeath" that only players of the "golden" and "silver" eras of gaming are used to!
We really spend a lot of time working out how to keep the game fun to play, yet extremely â€” sometimes excruciatingly â€” challenging. Sounds like we accomplished that with you! ;-)
Given the rather different game play, did you see Hack as kind of a competition or as kind of a complement? Did you play Nethack?
To be honest, Hack and NetHack were after my time, which I know is a very bizarre thing that not many people can say!
My development partner, and the game's Project Lead, Madgarden (Paul) loves NetHack, so I know that there have been influences on our game of that great game on the 'openness' and grass-roots expansion that NetHack brought to the genre.
Interestly, many of the people who are actively creating games in this space today know eachother, at least peripherally. Kevin Hill from ChronoSoft, creator of Rogue Touch for iOS, is a big Sword of Fargoal fan, and actually supported us generously on our current Fargoal 2 Kickstarter campaign. So really we all support the genre as a whole!
Here's my questions: what made you want to re release Sword of Fargoal for iOS and why risk adding all the extras like hidden behaviors for the monsters and new artifacts?
Also, do you plan on making a sequel?
Paul Pridham and Elias Pschernig did a 'tribute remake' of the original game back in 2003. I'd already seen a trend of people loving the old C64 games, and their spending the effort to create a very authentic, thoughtful remake made me realize that the game had meant something to people (there were a couple of fan sites that had cropped up too).
We teamed up and formed Fargoal, LLC, and I kept suggesting that we might want to make some sort of smart phone version of the game â€” when Blackberry and Palm were King (and Queen?). And then I heard the news that Apple was going to be coming out with a phone.
"We have to make an iPhone version," I said. And so over the course of the next year or so we did just that, launching it in 2009! The iPhone version was very popular and well-reviewed, and we did an iPad version through Chillingo/EA in 2010.
And starting in 2011 we started working on Sword of Fargoal 2 for over a year now. It will be for iOS, Mac/PC/Linux, plus soon after (we hope) Android, and maybe some of the new Open Source consoles if we can gather the resources to do it.
There's obviously quite a few more questions and answers on Reddit, so head on there if you want to read the full conversation.