Avadon: The Black Fortress

Looks promising. Wonder if a demo will be released at some point?

Spiderweb’s games actually come with huge demos.

Avadon is only available on OSX right now, but you can just download the game and try it out. You’ll eventually hit an invisible barrier asking you to purchase the game (I haven’t gotten to the end of the Avadon demo yet, but the Avernum demos were like that).

All of Spiderweb RPGs have very large demos that unlock into the full game, so the demo is already out.

I got a tiny bit of playtime in last night.

My first impression was that the graphics are a nice upgrade from Avernum 2, the last Spiderweb game I played. Probably not so much over their more recent ones, though. :> The overall look is clean and serviceable.

I like the story hook: The game starts with you showing up for your first day on the job working for an ambiguously-Dark Overlord. Dialogue feels more like the Geneforge games than the early Avernums–you start getting handed significant decisions and moral quandaries right from the start.

You create one character and recruit others along the way. I haven’t made it far enough yet to see if Bioware-style party interactions are part of the mix, but I suspect they will be.

The combat engine is clearly descended from the Avernum one, which is good because I like Avernum’s combat. Real-time movement out of combat, turn-based in combat. Combat turns resolve quickly enough that you don’t spend ages waiting for enemies, but slowly enough that you can see what’s happening. I don’t know why Vogel is the only person making games like these these days, but I’m glad someone is.

Combat mechanics appear to have received a dollop of D&D 4E, or possibly WoW. All classes get a number of abilities to use in combat. Abilities have cooldowns. Aggro management skills are present, although how important they’ll become is not yet clear. I’d complain, but the turn-based combat actually makes these tired mechanics feel…well, a bit less tired.

I won’t know for sure until I’ve dug farther in, but I think I’m going to like this one a lot.

That actually sounds really cool. Somebody remind me about this game in six months or so when I’m caught up with my backlog.

Can’t wait for this to be available for Windows. I will buy. I wish there were more companies doing this sort of thing. Jeff does a good job, and I like both Avernum and Geneforge, but I want MORE oldschool gaming.

There is also Knights of the Chalice if turn-based RPGs interest you. A sequel is in development.

There are indeed - party members will sometimes throw in comments to dialogues or descriptive text. For example, if you have the shaman and the mage with you when you’re on the outskirts of an early dungeon that’s full of wretches, a description box pops up with text that tells you about the layout, and then Jenell will chime in she’s spotted wretch tracks and figured you can avoid patrols by going east, to which Nathalie immediately responds “Us? Sneak past wretches? Fuck no, I’m from Avadon and I have a stick full of fireballs, it’s burninating time.” You can get similar events where you’re walking along and a party member will chat you up, or they’ll add a line to a conversation with an NPC.

When you’re back in Avadon you can talk to your party members directly, and gradually unlock more conversation options as the plot advances. It’s foreshadowed that some party members will drop out later on depending on your moral choices.

I check out his site all the time for news, can’t wait!

As far as Avadon goes, can you buy the Mac version and play it on the PC later or do you have to buy a copy for each platform?

Hot damn, that all sounds cool.

I was planning to check it out come April when the Windows version (may perhaps) come along, just from following it at Jeff’s blog. But just now I got a dose of that looking-forward-to-a-release-why-so-long-dang-I-don’t-wanna-wait adrenaline jolt.

From the Spiderweb Software “promises” page:

Pirates exist. Sad, but true. But we won’t let hatred of people who rip off our games drive us to annoy our paying customers.

When you order from us, you get a number you can enter into the demo to turn it into the full game. And that’s it. No online authentication. No need to keep a disk in the drive.

If your computer dies and you need a new registration key? We’re sorry to hear that, and your replacement is free. Register on the Mac and switch to Windows? A new key is free. Your child wants to play the game on his or her own machine? That’s awesome, and an additional key is free.

Ah thanks. I figured they would have such a policy but I didn’t know for sure and couldn’t find it (obviously I read the “promises” page too quickly).

Spiderweb Software
We need Windows beta testers for Avadon. Please apply if you are interested.
Spiderweb Software’s Old School Beta Tester

21 minutes ago

I hope the decision to do an iPad version works out very well for Mr. Vogel.

I don’t see anything on the webpage or forums about this.

March 8th entry under news and they also just announced it on Facebook this week

Release on next Monday:


Coming to Windows PC May 2nd.

April 28th, 2011 – On May 2nd, 2011 Spiderweb Software (http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com) will bring Avadon: The Black Fortress to the Windows platform. This epic 40 hour RPG will place you in a new setting from the creators of the fantastic worlds of Avernum, Exile, and Geneforge.

As a Hand of Avadon, ruthless and efficient enforcers of peace, your missions will take you to the 5 lands of The Pact and beyond. Battle those who seek to disrupt peace in the land while dealing with spies and assassins who wish to use the power of Avadon for their own gain. As your comrades are picked off one by one it will be up to one stalwart Hand to steady the scales of justice.

Avadon: The Black Fortress features a full 40 hour RPG experience with four unique classes and dozens of skills and spells to develop. Learn the unique history of the five lands of The Pact and make important decisions on your journey that will reveal one of many endings. Discover new quests, secrets dungeons, magical items, and epic battles, everything you would expect from a Spiderweb Software RPG!

Find out more at www.spiderwebsoftware.com/avadon.

ABOUT SPIDERWEB SOFTWARE Spiderweb Software, Inc., an independent game-design company based in Seattle, WA, is fanatically dedicated to creating fun, exciting fantasy role-playing games for Windows, Macintosh, and the iPad. Past titles include the award-winning Exile, Geneforge and Avernum series. More information on the company is available at www.spiderwebsoftware.com.

Yay! Finally!

I’m actually really looking forward to if he can get the iPad port out. I’d love to play a more long form RPG on my iPad at native resolutions!

Dang! Monday is no good for all weekend long playing right now vs all weekend playing with a many day delay! FIGH, say I.

I’m looking forward to this.