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Kickstarter For Our New Game/Series - Queen's Wish: The Conqueror

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I was pleased to see the nice newsletter today, and it looks like the newsletter gave a nice little bump to the kickstarter, too.  Looks like it needs to average about $2k/day until the end to hit the sound design goal.  

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I really want in the beta but I can't afford to spend $266 of my currency to do it. I wish there was a $100-150 tier that just gets you into the beta without naming anything, that would get me to spend more, (wink wink).

 

I might up my backing at the last minute if we don't make the hundred thousand goal by then. But I don't need any absolution since I've never pirated any of Jeff's games. I suppose if I hung the document on my wall it would make a nice conversation starter. (As my friends already know I can drone on endlessly about Jeff's games).

 

That said I might actually miss the free sounds in Jeff's games, I dunno, it adds a certain charm I can't explain. I would more enjoy some more music. That or more human sprites. The last engine had some fairly dull human sprites that were reused one too many times, (the monsters looked pretty good though, even if many dragons were the wrong colour).

Edited by GiantFriendlyTalkingSpiderman

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I wonder how much of a pain it's going to be for Jeff, working with 20-25 people who get to create something, and another 45-50 still who get to name something on top of that while he's still trying to finish making the game after all.  Might be a good interview question to ask him a year from now or such.

Edited by Rhinestone Jedi

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Only 30 hours to go and there's still a "make your own quest" slot (if you have $1000) and several "add your character" slots. It's so close to that professional sound design goal; I wonder if there's any chance of actually getting there with so little time left? If those limited slots were all filled though it would bring it much closer!

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Kickstarters often have a burst at the end, so it’s not impossible.

 

—Alorael, who wants to know what happens if there final tally is a couple hundred dollars short. A spiteful array of especially terrible sounds? A return of E1’s original “urk” “eek” perhaps?

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It ended at 98,992, so $1008 Ameribucks short of the 100k stretch goal.  If it would let me, I'd bump my pledge from 200 to 208 to make it a cool 99k, but it seems it's already closed.  Still, that's a massively successful kickstarter.  It was also an impressive final push given how nonchalant the last update seemed.  

 

And I wonder if that nearly 99k is close enough to 100k for Jeff to get at least some sound work done, if not full production.  I'm honestly ok with how Spiderweb games sound but maybe that's because I'm so used to them and have been playing them for upwards of two decades.

 

Congratulations SpidWeb! Can't wait to play the game.  

 

 

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I wanted to add something.  I am a bit of a geek.  I can code and worked in finance and options (and music financial business).  I turn off the sound. I am attracted to this game because of its simplicity.  I hope that Jeff can get his hit blockbuster game if that is what he wishes.  But I love these games the way they are.  They are a great way to destress.  The storyline and simplicity encourage the use of imagination over mechanics.  I can pick it up on my Ipad while traveling or at work or waiting for something and I don't need a big fancy computer or involved mouse or controls. I suppose that is susceptible to being criticized as gender bias. 

 

I am looking forward to the new game and will add to the kickstarter or buy or prebuy the game when available.

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3 hours ago, Wendy said:

I suppose that is susceptible to being criticized as gender bias.

... huh?

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18 hours ago, Kelandon said:

... huh?

 

Judging by their username, I would assume that Wendy is a woman, and I assume that the gender bias would be that women (supposedly?) have a higher ratio of casual gamers who only play on smartphones and tablets, as opposed to men and their man-cave gaming rigs. Note that this is just a guess at what Wendy means and not an observation or an attempt to analyze gaming habits by gender.

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I mean women might not be as attracted to the visual effects and sound as men.  I know this from watcing many movies with men.  A large and growing segment of gaming is 40 ish mothers taking a quick break and I can't imagine that many have a gaming computer and controls, although I have done so in the past.  40ish people and their spouses. Many were introduced through silly things like Candy Crunch.  I could go on but I think that is enough.  I am a marketer and of course there are segments to any market.  An attitude was unnecessary and ridiculous and I don't particularly appreciate it, although I am not going to dwell on it for any length of time.  

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I'm also confused.  Wendy, I don't think anyone was trying to be hostile to you.  I mean, I more or less understood what you were getting at, but I also found your last sentence (the one Kelandon quoted) pretty hard to parse.

 

I would like to say though, I think we are all better off for hearing more perspectives on how different people approach games, including groups that are not stereotypically thought of as gamers.

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If you don't add the Bleep Bloop the Galactic Explorer into the game I will be mad, it is not my idea, but I saw it on your kickstarter faq section. 

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I love seeing all the towns and fortresses on the Queen's Wish world map. Reminds me so much of the old Might and Magic and Ultima world maps. The landmass is in a corny shape, though 😊 (Reminds me of this hilarious meme)

 

I've been biding my time replaying Avadon (didn't get all the way through it first time) while watching Let's Play Avernum - Escape from the Pit by Atantuo (Atantuo's Playlist on Youtube).

Seeing Avernum has made me really crave playing the old Exile games. My first Spiderweb Software game was Exile II. I got it on some demo disc and was so hooked on the turn-based strategy and the fascinating mystery of the barrier walls. I'm 37 now, but back then I had to beg my mum to order it through the post Australia to America, which we'd never done before. What I loved about the Exile series was the large party size, the pages and pages of spells, and having to scour the land looking for rare spells. There's something very satisfying about magic spells being lost across the lands and being found again, one by one, by you. There was always a spark of enthusiasm in finding a room with bookshelves, a pedestal or a shrine.

 

I tried installing the old Exile games but they naturally don't work on modern OS' (Windows 10, 64 bit here). I'm wondering if Jeff will ever make the old games open source so us die-hards can update and recompile it?

Edited by FacesOfMu

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18 minutes ago, FacesOfMu said:

 

I tried installing the old Exile games but they naturally don't work on modern OS' (Windows 10, 64 bit here). I'm wondering if Jeff will ever make the old games open source so us die-hards can update and recompile it?

Have you tried the compatibility mode feature or suitable OS emulators? I have classic Nethergate for Mac running on Sheepshaver in Windows 10 (I bought if for Mac on CD way back when).

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2 minutes ago, Minion said:

Have you tried the compatibility mode feature or suitable OS emulators? I have classic Nethergate for Mac running on Sheepshaver in Windows 10 (I bought if for Mac on CD way back when).

Ya, did compatibility mode (Windows XP, service pack 3) but no luck. I looked up what solutions others had done but I wasn't willing to go so far as virtual PCs and such.

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19 hours ago, FacesOfMu said:

Ya, did compatibility mode (Windows XP, service pack 3) but no luck. I looked up what solutions others had done but I wasn't willing to go so far as virtual PCs and such.

Might be worth giving it a try. If you consider the relative computing power of a PC back when Exile was released compared to your average PC today, simulation should seem less daunting.

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The map was probably made with the iPad/iPhone port in mind. It's clean and easy to read (good for smaller screens) and locations are relatively equidistant (good for touchscreens).

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To me it looks like a medieval map made by people who have inexact measurements and inexact cartographic skills. Quite a few of those are oddly blocky and distorted.

 

—Alorael, who at least doesn't see any forking rivers. The world-building powers that be will brook no bifurcations.

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I don't mind the blocky aspects.  What I have a more visceral reaction to is the setup where three regions/countries occupy spiral out from a central region/country, so that they touch nothing else.  In theory that could be OK, but in the context of other releases, it just seems so clear that this is going to be yet another contrived way of explaining linear gameplay.  (Something else which can be OK, but is a lot better when it doesn't feel contrived.)

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Theory 1 on the map: it's Lynaeus a couple millennia after the Avadon games.  North Holklanda and some Tawon fell into the sea, but you've got Wyldrylm stage left, Kellemderiel on the right, the Kva and some reclaimed Titan Peaks down below...  and that underground nation?  Why, it's the Vahnatai.  Turns out the other side of the globe in Avadon was just Empire Lands.  Ahoy!

 

Theory 2: The Vol kind of looks like the Iberian Peninsula.  So it is.  This game is based on the Napoleonic Wars, and Haven is France.  The Vol is Spain and Abriel is the Confederation on the Rhein, both slipping from Napoleon's control. Ukat is the United Kingdom of the time.  The underground nation is an allegory.  

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looked nice on kickstrarter pics but bit too avernumish graphs.

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Newest Update.

 

Quote

Queen's Wish January 2019 Update!

Posted by Spiderweb Software (Creator)
   
Liked
 
 11 likes
 

Another shorter update. Primary design continues. We just finished the third “chunk” of the world, out of about eight chunks. Internal testing is going well. Artists are making art. An August PC/Mac release still seems likely.

Also, we took a week off for the holidays. It was nice.

The earlier parts of designing the world tend to be the hard parts. That is because early on is where the quest hubs are placed. These are sections where someone tries to guide the player through one of the paths of the game. This requires a ton of dialogue, and dialogue is the most time-consuming part of my designs. Also, it requires everything in the plot to be in place. Anything I forgot to address or did a half-hearted job on, I have to return to and come up with a real answer.

With this last big chunk of work, I have finished all of the quest hubs. The whole plot of the game is in place. I have a lot to implement, in lots of cities and dungeons. I know what will be there, though, and that is great.

 

Backer Rewards

All Scrolls of Absolution have been made and sent out. Thank you for your patience! If yours never arrived, please let us know.

If you are contributing names, items, etc. to the game, the final deadline for these is March 31. After that, we can’t guarantee finding a good place to fit your preferred idea into the game. If you haven’t gotten one of our messages about how to contribute ideas, please send us a message.

We should start having more screenshots and other art to show off, as we start getting everything together for our official announcement and Steam page. For now, we have some nice new creature art below ...

Hope you are all off to a good start for the year, and I’ll be getting back to work!

- Jeff Vogel

 

The mirelings are the result of a magical experiment gone horribly wrong. Are they truly intelligent? Or do they just seem intelligent to throw you off guard before they try to eat you?
The mirelings are the result of a magical experiment gone horribly wrong. Are they truly intelligent? Or do they just seem intelligent to throw you off guard before they try to eat you?
 
 
The gigantic scorpions of the Vol Wastes. No special lore here. They just want to eat you.
The gigantic scorpions of the Vol Wastes. No special lore here. They just want to eat you.

 

Edited by Rhinestone Jedi

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11 minutes ago, Outside the Ox said:

I wish the concept "quest hub" was not a thing.  Just in general...

It's the result of Jeff going away from his old open world system where you could go and explore anywhere you could survive. Now you are forced to go along a scripted path where things go in order.

 

I miss the old days even if my parties died a lot.

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I strongly disagree.

 

"Quest hubs" in Spiderweb games predate the scripted-path world by quite a bit.  E3, Nethergate, G1 and G2 all had quest hubs, even though scripted-path didn't replace open-world until G3 and A4.  And even in G3-5, quest hubs weren't quite as formulaic as they became in A5-6 and, especially, in Avadon.  It's part of the same general evolution of SW games -- absolutely.  But it's not the result of scripted-path world design.

 

--

 

It's one thing to have a faction leader or a commander who you collaborate with over the course of the game, an organic part of the game world like Cartumnus or Ellhrah.  It's another thing to have 10 different hubs that you repeatedly check in with, each time the story advances, to get new quests, and who all magically have one new quest per new area.  That becomes mechanical and, worse, transparent.  It kills the suspension of disbelief.  And you can certainly have scripted-path world design without quest hubs: JRPGs did that for a good 15 years.

 

JRPGs did that by having game progress be plot-based.  In early SW games, like most Western CRPGs of the era, progress was more gradual and atmospheric.  Both of those ways of doing things can work out great.  With the focus on quest hubs, though, progress is instead hub-based.  Mechanical.  Perfunctory.  With good stories and good writing, sometimes it's possible to gloss over this.  But that doesn't always work out.

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By your definition "Quest hubs" go back to Exile 1, but the difference was you didn't need the quests to explore the areas because they were already open and available. You just didn't get quest rewards until you got the quests. 

 

Avadon and Avernum 6 were the worst in terms of areas not opening until you got a specific quest to let you access a new area.

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Again I disagree.  In Exile 1, quests were all over the place, and often quite informal.  The bigger quests were interwoven amongst a number of different characters.  Erika tells you about a bunch of stuff you need to do, but most of that info comes from other people as well.  Micah I think is the only person in the game who actually gives you rewards for a sequence of accomplishments -- but again, about 800 people talk about those quests and how great it would be for someone to take out Sss-Thsss, etc.

 

Those are not quest hubs.  Compare to E3: although Anaximander isn't the only person who tells you to go after the plagues (which after all the whole game is about), he nonetheless gives you explicit directions, missions, and rewards, spanning the entire game.  In Nethergate and G1, many quests do require speaking to your faction leader either to hear about them, or to activate them, depending.

 

How exactly are you defining "quest hubs" such that G3 and A4 have them, but Nethergate and G1 (for example) do not?

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I guess the best definition of a quest hub is that you are blocked in major area access without talking to a certain person. 

 

Exile 1 had two main quest hubs: The Castle and Erika. While others provided information there were clear indications that you needed to see those two places to do the game ending quest lines. The difference was you could do most of the quests before finding out about them even without talking to NPCs.

 

Exile 2 was more specific with quest hubs and you couldn't do recovering the crystal souls without dealing with the Vahnatai in Oglai. There you were blocked on entering places until you got permission to move in the quests. So that was a definite quest hub game.

 

Exile 3 had Anaximander as the sole quest hub that restricted areas: Tower of Magi, Murder Cave, Orb of Thralni, .... However you could explore and do the quests over almost all the world without seeing him. However there were definite quest paths where you needed to do things in an order to reach the boss area like Filth Factory and Golem Factory.

 

Nethergate was more restrictive in access to certain dungeons that required seeing the leader for your side. You are right about it there.

 

Geneforge 1 did let you go almost anyplace without joining a faction or even talking to a leader. However doing so would mean not knowing what to do in certain places or that there were rewards for an action. For instance the servant mind in the cave between the Awaken and Obeyer factions that was being used to restrain one faction by the other. Killing or helping the servant mind would decide which faction you were helping, but you could enter there before know about what it was doing or the consequences.

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Personally, it matters more what the quests are than where they are.

On the topic of quest hubs though, I'm a fan of Exile 3's, where you get all the major ones in a spot and all the sidequests are randomly placed. Just as long as it isn't Avadon, I'm happy....unless it's worse than Avadon, which I doubt.

 

 

Also, I got to get a frame for my Scroll of Absolution.

Edited by ArctheLad500

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17 hours ago, Randomizer said:

I guess the best definition of a quest hub is that you are blocked in major area access without talking to a certain person. 

 

I really don't understand how you get that from "quest hub".  Call that a required quest, a gatekeeper, whatever -- that's simply not what the word "hub" means.  I mean, here's what Giant Bomb says it is:

https://www.giantbomb.com/quest-hub/3015-6065/

 

We've been talking about it in terms of people (Bob) rather than locations, but it applies the same way there.  It's a central person with multiple quests.

 

17 hours ago, Randomizer said:

Exile 1 had two main quest hubs...

Exile 2... that was a definite quest hub game.

Exile 3 had Anaximander as the sole quest hub...

Nethergate... You are right about it there.

 

OK, now I'm just confused.  You said before that quest hubs were the "result" of going away from the open world system.  Now you seem to be arguing that these open world games all had quest hubs?

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Am I correct in understanding Slarty's objection to be, not the existence of a significant character / location from which many quests are obtained, but rather the often unnatural, verisimilitude-breaking implementation of quest acquisition?

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Just a thought, but might the use of quest hubs be something of a natural evolution as Jeff has grown as a game developer and become better at planning and streamlining his games and work process, whereas Exile 1 is the child of his formative and chaotic early years when everything was new and magical and he had the boundless energy of a twenty-year-old on caffeine.

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