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Avadon Is Out On Steam!

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As many have noticed, Avadon: The Black Fortress just became available on Steam.

 

If you came to these forums via a link from Steam, welcome! We're Spiderweb Software. We make really cool, old school RPGs for Windows and Mac. If you like Avadon, be sure to check out our other games.

 

If you were already a fan and are interested to know some things about the move the Steam, included how the price was decided, I've written on my blog about it ...

 

http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/2011/08/avadon-is-out-on-steam.html

 

Avadon on Steam is unusually cheap for one of our games, and I know from past experience that some people will be irked by this. If the explanation in the blog post doesn't satisfy you, bear in mind that our next game is going to be cheaper, so these developments will be saving our customers money in the future.

 

- Jeff Vogel

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I'm actually here via Steam, on the in-game browser whilst having just booted up Avadon. smile I bought the game on day one because of the 10% discount and because I'd heard of you guys, always wanted to get into your games, and wanted to support you.

 

Due to the awesome sales Steam has, I do pretty much 100% of my PC gaming on Steam. I am also incredibly cheap. (There are lots of other reasons, too, like Steam's convenience, lack of physical clutter, but yeah, mostly I'm just cheap and never buy at full price. I think it was a good idea for you guys to launch at a lower price. I don't mean to say that the game doesn't have value, because I think it does; I think a small studio deserves a bit more money for their game, frankly, especially when it's something of a "niche" title that we're darn lucky to be receiving at all. If it were up to the big developers, we wouldn't even have games like Avadon, and that would be incredibly sad.

 

However, I reiterate how cheap I am. This price, and my desire to be supportive on day one, and hopefully KEEP you guys on Steam (how about a Spiderweb Classics Compilation on Steam?), and keep and encourage games like this on Steam, were the common meeting ground to cause my purchase.

 

Congratulations on being here. I'm really excited about it, and I'm going to go play your game now! laugh

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OK, you got me. I'm probably the only gamer left in Seattle who has never played any of your games; I kept meaning to check out one of the demos, but there was always so much stuff in the queue, and so little extra time. But you finally put yourself on Steam, and I couldn't procrastinate any longer. You are now officially #762 in my Steam library (#761 was Bastion grin).

 

The forum link on Steam's store page brought me here. Steam will give you a game forum in their own space if you ask for it. I mention this only because Steam culture is such that, rightly or wrongly, some customers will complain if you don't give them a place to post messages on Steam itself. Of course I recognize the advantages of giving new players a peek at other games available here. A sticky thread in your Steam forum with a link back to here is always a good idea.

 

One other thing about Steam culture: Do not, under any circumstances, every say anything to anyone offering even the remotest hint you are possibly considering the creation of a Spiderweb TF2 hat. Rabid dogs will camp out at your doorstep if you do, and we all know you have to be at pretty high level to deal with those beasties.

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Here's hoping for good download numbers. Bastion's currently winning, but Bastion is also much newer to PC.

 

—Alorael, who now demands Avadon DLC. How about more hairstyles for your character?

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Wow, it's great to finally see you guys on Steam!

 

I played the shareware / demo versions of a few of the Avernum and Geneforge games years ago and loved them, though I couldn't afford them at the time. When I saw Avadon on Steam, I thought "hey this looks kinda like that game I played back then" and wha'da'ya'know, there I see Spiderweb Software. shocked

 

I couldn't resist. I've already bought it. I'm hoping to see some type of compilation packs for your older games on steam too.

 

Best of luck in the sales. wink

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Originally Posted By: And man grew proudly
Here's hoping for good download numbers. Bastion's currently winning, but Bastion is also much newer to PC.

—Alorael, who now demands Avadon DLC. How about more hairstyles for your character?

Hmm. Jeff, what if for your next game, you take the superbosses and challenge zones and package them as DLC or addons? That way, you won't get frustrated players going where the aren't supposed to and ragequitting, and also scoop a $3 to $5 premium off all your hardcore fans, enabling you to lower the base price, maintain current profits off your main fanbase, and avoid unhappy new adapters? It's a win/win!

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Originally Posted By: Dantius
... Jeff, what if for your next game, you take the superbosses and challenge zones and package them as DLC or addons? ...


And this is how the game gets corrupted, and Jeff ends up losing his PC customer base. I'm willing to put up with "Achievements" because I can just ignore them, but this...

Maybe I am TOO old school.

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You could do it that you only get the add ons free by buying directly from this site. Then there would be a real reason for the price difference.

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Notes about having a Steam Avadon Forum: someon would have to maintain it, and I doubt Jeff would want to: he probably would be more interested in developing games than moderating forums.

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They wrote Avadon works for Mac 10.5 or later, it is wrong, it perfectly works with my 10.4 OSX. Maybe you should tell them to correct the line, because there is still a lot of people using 10.4 and some of them could buy the game.

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Originally Posted By: Dantius
Originally Posted By: And man grew proudly
Here's hoping for good download numbers. Bastion's currently winning, but Bastion is also much newer to PC.

—Alorael, who now demands Avadon DLC. How about more hairstyles for your character?

Hmm. Jeff, what if for your next game, you take the superbosses and challenge zones and package them as DLC or addons? That way, you won't get frustrated players going where the aren't supposed to and ragequitting, and also scoop a $3 to $5 premium off all your hardcore fans, enabling you to lower the base price, maintain current profits off your main fanbase, and avoid unhappy new adapters? It's a win/win!


Hairstyles is fine, thank you very much.

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Originally Posted By: Shizuku
Hairstyles is fine, thank you very much.


Did you see the flak Valve got when they tried to use optional hats as DLC content for Portal II? I think Jeff's more than learned his lesson from them- cosmetic fashion DLC is out.

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Well Jeff, if your new games are going to be cheaper I might have to buy 2 copies. I don't mind paying twice for 1 game because they are worth it.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

-Mike

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Originally Posted By: Dantius
Originally Posted By: Shizuku
Hairstyles is fine, thank you very much.


Did you see the flak Valve got when they tried to use optional hats as DLC content for Portal II? I think Jeff's more than learned his lesson from them- cosmetic fashion DLC is out.


Gamers today suck. I was happy completing the game (and maybe making a high score list).

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Gamers today are awesome. Without 'em there would be no games.

 

—Alorael, who is willing to entertain debate on the relative merits of the gamers of today, yesterday, and tomorrow. That said, he's pretty sure gamers, like everything else, have been going steadily downhill since an arbitrary point that differs in every account.

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yeah, yeah, yeah,

and in my grumpiest grampa imitation

 

"when i was a boy......""....uphill both ways....."".......90 degrees and in two feet of snow....""....every day.' yadda yadda yadda

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Hey All. When I saw that game on Steam I

thought: this looks amazingly like Spiderweb

Software's games. Then I clicked on the

'visit forums' section & was brought here.

Never thought I'd see one of these games

on Steam. And the price is right. smile

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I think one of the more interesting effects releasing his games on Steam will have is drastically changing the demographic makeup of the forms here. If we get a thousand new users in the next month, even if only 10% stay on permanently, that ought to really shake things up here.

 

Wait and see, I guess.

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A thousand new forum members in a month is a pretty high estimate, especially considering that only a fraction of players join the forums (I'm pretty sure 10% staying on permanently is high as well). I can't say for sure without hard stats, though; if only Arancaytar-man was here!

 

If we do see those numbers, then the Steam experiment was a huge success.

 

On an unrelated note: who made the Avadon trailer? Was it Spiderweb, or do the Steam people do that sort of marketing?

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The forum makeup has already been shifting since the App Store release. Well, the entire makeup hasn't shifted but the new users, especially the people who make a few posts and then don't return, have been a very different crowd from the usual.

 

But I agree with Dikiyoba: this is a good thing. The forums have become pretty homogeneous in a lot of ways. New blood will be good. I hope people stick around.

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Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
That would be awesome, actually.

Dikiyoba.


Forsooth. It's been the same crowd (give or take a handful) on here for years. We need some new blood, even if it's just eager newbies confused by archaic mechanics.

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Wow. Talk about a blast from the past.

 

I'm ashamed to say I didn't even realize Spiderweb was still cranking out games. I haven't been to the website or seen any news since I bought Blades of Exile waaaay back in the day. I, like Centisteed, just saw Avadon on Steam and thought "(minor outrage) Wow, this dev is completely ripping off the Exile series from when I first got into PC gaming!" Little did I know...

 

 

I just bought my copy of Avadon for Steam, for old-time's sake if nothing else. I also just registered on the forums to give a meek but hearty 'thanks' to Spiderweb Software; The *gigantic* Exile 3 shareware and the B.o.E. toolset/game both remain fond memories of my personal early PC days.

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If you haven't played Blades of Exile in a while, it's now open sourced (free) and thanks to the efforts of the fanatics been updated to run on newer computers.

 

Welcome back to Spiderweb Software. Please leave any sanity you've acquired from your last visit at the door. You will be tested.

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Wow, without being rude, I didn't know you guys were still around.

 

When I was a kid (about 15 years ago I guess) I played all the exile games, as they were pretty much the only RPG's for macs out there (Realmz aside). The games were fantastic. Today I return only because steam has a sale.

 

Purchase made, I'm looking forward to this.

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I just bought Avadon off Steam. I was hoping one day Spiderweb games would be on there. Tried the demo and in about 10 minutes I knew I would enjoy it.

 

I bought it for the price as a impulse buy. For STEAM I believe that is the right price. It may be lower but you should sell more copies.

 

I puchased the Eschalon games for $9.99 off STEAM when they were on sale too. That was the price point that I took the plunge as well. Just trying to give you some feedback on the pricing.

 

Good luck with STEAM and I hope more games go up on it. The sweet spot for me is between 10 and 15 bucks. But that is due to all the competition and sales. When a price hits 20 bucks I have to stop and think about it first.

 

Thanks for a great game!

Paul

 

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I bought the Eschalons for $3 a pop during the summer sale. You'll have to generate some serious volume to make any money at that rate.

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Originally Posted By: Stearlo
Wow, without being rude, I didn't know you guys were still around.

When I was a kid (about 15 years ago I guess) I played all the exile games, as they were pretty much the only RPG's for macs out there (Realmz aside). The games were fantastic. Today I return only because steam has a sale.

Purchase made, I'm looking forward to this.


Yeah I hear you on that.

A little while back I was telling a gaming buddy at work about Avadon and he was surprised Spiderweb was still in business, he hadn't heard anything about them for a long time he said.
He buys almost all his games on Steam these days so the exposure Avadon will be given for folks like him will be huge. It's a bit like getting free advertizing while you are selling your game, win/win.

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I would love to know how Steam sales are the first week. I have purchased this game on Steam but also other Indie titles like "Dungeons of Dredmor" and "Cthulu Saves the World" and they are both indie titles that sold roughly 20,000 titles in the first week.

 

I sincerely hope Jeff attains similar sales...my hope is close to 30k and lifetime of 50k to 75k...those would be good numbers imo.

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I mean, it's currently #13 on the best sellers list. I'm not sure if that's a good indicator of the number of sales, but at least it's selling.

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Originally Posted By: Enraged Slith
I mean, it's currently #13 on the best sellers list. I'm not sure if that's a good indicator of the number of sales, but at least it's selling.


Well it was, it is already out of top 20. Something a little sad. Particularly when you compare with Bastion, twice the price and something like 6 hours of gameplay plus probably a kiddish approach, and it is still in top 5. but yeah fancy graphics and nice voice acting.

Ok but is there any conclusion to take like young generation are just hypocritical, they complain for deeper gameplay but are just moved by fancy graphics and pretty voice acting?

Well there's one very important point, Avadon isn't a fresh new release. Some players could have already decided not be interested and there's no appeal of novelty. I was chatting with one of those young not that young (about 30), he was very curious about a game in Steam he couldn't buy in his country and that I had buy few days before. When he heard the game wasn't a new release but one released in May his interest drop down close to zero.

I'd say it's the elitist syndrome, younger often fail into such erroneous approach. A new stuff increase interest because there's a chance to be among those that have recognize a gem and among the first fans. When it's two month old, it's over, the game didn't get fame so is a crap.

Second point I'm surprised Steam lead you into releasing Avadon at a such low price. I feel it's not a good idea. It's sales that are working on Steam, mainly 50% sales and if possible 66% and even 75% sales. So a release at 15$ or 19$ was a good idea and later make a 50% sale or possible a higher sale.

Having a such low tag price put in players mind the game is a very minor game. 15$ to 19$ was a better approach with multiplying sales later. That's a little cynical but that's how it is working particularly for a game which isn't a new fresh release. Ask most players using a lot Steam it's not cheap game they buy, it's sales at cheap price and 75% sales tend be irresistible.

EDIT: In fact even better is release the game at a descent tag price like 15$ to 19$ but make a strong sale for first fans, like 33% or even 50% cheaper during first week.

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It's just the way with indie games nowadays. To stay competitive you need to bend to the set price points. I don't think steam will be fruitful enough at a price higher than $10, the gameplay and graphics (as much as I love them!) just wont convince new users to take a second look at it compared to the other flashier titles out there. When I first saw the banner I thought eww what's this dated thing must be some no-name euro group trying to make an rpg. I clicked on it out of boredom and saw a familiar iso setup and then saw the words spiderweb software and began drooling smile

 

But that's because I've played exile/avernum, so I know already that this game will satisfy my gaming NEEDS. But charging $20 or more, most people will just skim over it if they don't recognise it, and go for a $30 ageing AAA title that has a decent multiplayer base for their replayability.

 

Is this a good thing for indie developers? Well it gets them more exposure, so I'd say yes.

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Originally Posted By: Vent
Well there's one very important point, Avadon isn't a fresh new release. Some players could have already decided not be interested and there's no appeal of novelty.

And the vast majority of Jeff's fanbase already bought the game. Most of us aren't going to buy the game again. Steam is advertising, but it's probably long tail advertising. It might be a very, very long tail, but it's probably not going to match the sales of something that really much newer.

—Alorael, who doesn't think there's a bottomless well of aging AAA titles. That's true of novels. Great games just don't go back far enough and aren't common enough. One can reasonably get through all the greats and still be left wanting more.

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Originally Posted By: Uberwiggett
It's just the way with indie games nowadays. To stay competitive you need to bend to the set price points. I don't think steam will be fruitful enough at a price higher than $10, the gameplay and graphics (as much as I love them!) just wont convince new users to take a second look at it compared to the other flashier titles out there.


Jeff disagrees for exactly the opposite reason. He believes that safe is better than sorry, and he was being safe by pricing his games high enough to sustain himself. It was his idea that he was serving a niche market, which justified it.

Now that he's achieved more pop appeal, though, he can afford to let his games drop in price more. In a sense, he's expanded the niche enough so that the games are more flashy than they were, and that the consumers don't have to pay as much anymore. All of this while he still gets what he needs at the end of the day. Seems like a good deal to me!

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On the other hand, all this gushing about how the games will drop in price and increase in quality must also be tempered with a dose of the serious and sober reality that there is now a very real danger that everyone on the forums could become Spiderweb hipsters. How long until we're all complaining that JV's sold out and flaunting that we were fans when he was still underground?

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haha dantius I agree, steam has been good to promoting independent developers, but now we're seeing them become the desired option.

 

Goldking I wasn't really disagreeing with Jeff's niche market plans, just saying that to compete in the general market, you need to have low prices and flashy games. I think it's just one of the negative effects of expanding a consumer base.

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Originally Posted By: Dantius
How long until we're all complaining that JV's sold out

We've already been doing that for years. If anything, we're doing it less now than we used to.

Dikiyoba.

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Originally Posted By: Dantius
On the other hand, all this gushing about how the games will drop in price and increase in quality must also be tempered with a dose of the serious and sober reality that there is now a very real danger that everyone on the forums could become Spiderweb hipsters. How long until we're all complaining that JV's sold out and flaunting that we were fans when he was still underground?


"You like Avadon 6? Yeah, I guess. Spiderweb Software's older stuff is better - they really sold out after Nethergate 2, when Jeff hired more professional designers...

Now idea, I play Richard White's games. You've probably never heard of him."

Of course, with the implants, we'll all have heard of the yesterday.

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I liked Spiderweb when it was underground. Yeah, before E3 brought everything to the surface.

 

—Alorael, who thought it was going to be cool again when A4-6 came out. But no, Avadon's gotta go all sunlight and grass again.

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Originally Posted By: Self-Deletion Fan Fiction

—Alorael, who thought it was going to be cool again when A4-6 came out. But no, Avadon's gotta go all sunlight and grass again.


HAHA yeah avernum 3 with its above ground activities *sneer*

I loved the caves but I also liked the sparse adventures the above ground offered. It's really not much more different than brightness and a colour palette tongue

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