Monday, 26 April 2010

CaptainD Interviews Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software

Jeff Vogel is the owner of indie game publishers Spiderweb Software and most recently creator of the excellent  Avernum VI.  I asked him a few questions about game creation and being an indie publisher:

1/ Did you ever imagine when you were young that you'd one day be making a living creating computer games?

Absolutely. All I did during my adolescence was dream about the day when I would design computer games. I spent so much time with my AppleII+, writing games in Basic. No surprises there.

2/ Why the traditional CRPG genre in particular? Was it a love for the game / aptitude for programming that style?

It's hard to say. I have a passion for all sorts of games. But I think it's the RPG's way of lending itself to telling a story that really drew me in.

3/ Out of all the games you've created, which one are you proudest of and why?

Maybe Avernum 5. It just seemed to have the right mix of action, story, and cool setting.

4/ What is the most difficult aspect of making a CRPG?

The day to day grind of making the world, especially after beta testing is also taking up lots of time. It's a slow, painstaking grind.

5/ What do you think the future holds for indie game publishing?

A lot more of it.

6/ What are your favourite games of all time (not including your own!)?

Early on, Ultima IV-VI, Might & Magic, Phantasie. Later, Deus Ex, Planescape: Torment, and Fallout. More recently, KOTOR, Everquest, World of Warcraft, Rock Band and Dragon Age: Origins.

7/ Do you actually spend much time playing computer games these days, or does making them take up too much time for that?

I play lots of games, but I mainly do it on my XBox. I like to be away from my work desk when I have fun.

8/ What would you say are the major influences on the games you make (whether other games / paper-based AD&D / films / books / whatever)?

The most important thing I do is think about what sort of game I feel like playing. Then I write that. That's where all my energy will be.

9/ Which character from Lord of the Rings would you most like to be? (Bet you didn't see that one coming!)

One of those elves who got to hang back in the woods and be safe and eventually get on a boat and go to paradise. They had it all figured out.

10/ What advice would you give anyone who wants to make their own game?

Look at my blog. I write tons of advice for young developers there.

Thanks Jeff for agreeing to the interview!

CaptainD's PC Gaming Blog


Maurice Mitchell said...

He's living the dream. I made a lot of games as a kid, but never went further. Kind of inspiring really. Good interview.

CaptainD said...

Yeah, though I'd have liked him to be at least a little more verbose!! Still, no time with making all these games I guess...

Laptopcomputer said...
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