Well-Actually War Trall Spidweb Posted December 9, 2006 Share Posted December 9, 2006 Now that I've had time to take a breath and figure out what my schedule looks like for the next while, I wanted to let the Blades of Avernum community know what's going to happen. I'm actually leaving for one of those vacation things tomorrow, so I won't be able to respond to comments right away. But I did want to get the information out. 1. I will still be maintaining Blades of Avernum so that it provides a reliable gaming experience for people who want to play the scenarios. For Mac fans, I will be releasing a Universal (i.e. Intel Compatible) version. For Windows fans, I will make sure the game runs properly under Vista. For the next few years, I will make sure that the people who registered the game get to play it. 2. We will still be accepting, processing, and providing free hosting for new scenarios. 3. We have no plans to update the game engine or to fix bugs that only affect scenario designers. 4. We have no plans to ever again release a game where users can design scenarios. The current game systems are too complicated for most users to pick up in a reasonable time frame, the games themselves take way too much time to write, and after their release we are generally too busy keeping the business afloat to support them as well as we would like. A bit more information on what's going on here, and why we had to come to these decisions. Blades of Avernum took a LOT of work to develop. Taking the scripting system and turning it into something suitable for general release took far longer than we expected. And Blades of Avernum was not a successful product. It didn't sell nearly as well as it needed to to maintain a healthy business. As a result, for the two years following its release, I had to work like mad to try to catch up, sales-wise. It got to the point where, if Avernum 4 wasn't successful, Spiderweb Software was going to close. Fortunately, Avernum 4 surpassed expectations, so this company is still a going concern. (A portion of the Spiderweb community was disappointed in Avernum 4. Bear in mind, however, when I look at it, I see the game that saved my business.) However, to stay profitable, I need to concentrate more than I did in the past on making sure hours spent in development are not wasted. Which brings us back to Blades of Avernum. To fix the scenario engine bugs (which, I stress, affect only a tiny portion of the people who ever install the game) will take weeks of Mac development and testing, followed by porting the changes to Windows and testing them, followed by the work of a release, followed by making everyone update their copy to be able to play the new changes, plus the work and expense of printing new CDs. I have looked at the scenario bugs list quite a number of times. They are irritating problems, to be sure, but there is nothing there that justifies this level of commitment. For the work to be worth it, these things have to happen. 1. The improvements have to result in new scenarios that would not have existed otherwise. 2. These new scenarios will have to bring new people to purchase Blades of Avernum (a game which people didn't want much in the first place). 3. The benefits have to be better than if I sat down and worked on an all-new game people wanted to play. I just don't see these things as happening. But understand something. I am not happy about this. It really pains me to have a product with bugs in it, and it saddens me to let the community down like this. I am sorry. I apologize to the scenario designers for not providing as good a system for their work as they should have. And I am sorry that the realities of keeping my business functioning are forcing me to be so hard-nosed about what my limited development time is spent on. That's all I have to say, except that I'll do my best to make Avernum 5 kick ass. - Jeff Vogel Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.