Spiderweb Software Interview

The recent Humble Bundle sale gave the folks at Rock, Paper, Shotgun the perfect excuse to chat with Spiderweb Software's mastermind Jeff Vogel. Aside from the expected questions on the sale, Jeff is also quizzed about graphics, his approach to game development and, in particular, how important feedback is for him, Avadon 2: The Corruption, and more.

Here's a couple of snippets I found particularly interesting:
RPS: Has feedback affected the development of Avadon 2 in a way that previous series woudn't have received? Or do you blank it out and focus on the project you want to create?

Vogel: Oh, I listened to feedback a lot for Avadon 2. People thought Avadon's beginning was too dry and uninteresting, and they were right. They wanted male and female icons for each character class. They wanted the interesting action to start sooner. They wanted better graphics. (And we did spend quite a bit of money putting a lot of new art into Avadon 2.) They wanted more decisions to make and different endings to experience. And I've been trying to answer all of those criticisms, and, honestly, I'm doing pretty good. But then there will be many complaints about Avadon 2. And I'll work those into Avadon 3.

RPS: Talking of Avadon 2, what exciting tidbits of information can you give us about it? What should we most be looking forward to?

Vogel: It's got a really cool story, and the tale is intertwined into the gameplay much more smoothly. I've really tried to make every major quest and dungeon have some hook or unique element or new thing for more variety and strategy and fun. It's taken a lot more time to write Avadon 2 (2 years, a personal record), and there's a lot of fun stuff in it. I'm really proud of it, and I can't wait to see what people think.

Here's the thing about the Avadon games. I know some people think they're too different from what I've done before. But when the more complex fights start, Avadon is the game I've written that I personally enjoy playing most. I honestly find it to be a lot of fun.

RPS: In light of the financial success of the bundle, will that have any effect on the development of future games, perhaps open new opportunities, or simply mean less worry for the next utility bill?

Vogel: I don't think it will make a big difference. I'm getting older and slower and a little burned out, so I'll keep writing games, just not at the frenetic pace I have been since the mid-nineties. All the money will probably go to buying college for my kids. Which is totally awesome, but it won't change my life so much in the day to day.