Avadon: The Black Fortress

I just started playing Jeff’s games last year with Avernum 6 and loved it, playing it over all the tripleA game’s I had at the time.

Reading about Avadon here and the main Spiderweb site, it looks even better.

So once I read about Peacedog’s comment on BG2 style banter, enough said…game purchased and downloading now.

You might want to try Geneforge, too, Warren. Different from Avernum, but a great setting, and I quite enjoy being able to choose which faction I want to work with. Making genetic monsters to serve in your party is great, too. I have played Geneforge 1-4 and had a really fun time. Still need to play 5 and finish it!

When I first decided to try a Spiderweb game last year I tried a few of the demo’s and A6 grabbed me the quickest, although you don’t play Jeff’s game for the graphics, A6 just looked the best on my 22" widescreen.
That and it being party based made it my first pick.

Avernum 6 took me forever to finish…definite bang for your buck here, so I’ll probably be playing Avadon for a while now but will try out the Geneforge series when finished.

Avadon is the first spideweb game I’ve checked out. I had planned to take a quick look at the demo before bed last night and ended up playing for 2 hours. It’s definitely rough and unabashedly old school, but it’s hitting exactly the right spot for me.

FWIW Geneforge 5 shares the same parts of the engine that make it look better at higher resolutions. A welcome change.

Ummm… so why is Avadon using the sound effects from Bioware’s Infinity Engine for inventory objects? I don’t mean that it has similar sounds, I mean it is the same sounds. I was so surprised by it that I fired up Icewind Dale to confirm it, and yup… definitely the exact same sounds.

WTF? Is this a deal he made, or did he do something illegal?

Probably sounds from a free sound library.

Starcraft for example used many free sound effects too, so many of the sounds you would associate with Starcraft are actually older. They just got “famous” with Starcraft.

The last parts for my new gaming machine arrived earlier today, we are talking triple monitor gaming here, and what am I playing? Avadon. I can just hear the SLI setup muttering indignantly while the sandy bridge CPU idly twiddles it’s thumbs.

Very glad I started on hard, because I keep checking the difficulty level to make sure it didn’t fall back down to normal.

Not a big fan of the character conversations if only because they don’t seem to interact with each other realistically. Two characters that should be at each others throats, especially considering the one’s personality, are instead just meekly submitting when the other is talking. The game even mentions this. I can only guess that Jeff hates writing confrontations or the engine didn’t have an easy way to handle back and forth between two NPCs.

Otherwise it’s been an addictive, old school, party based RPG.

If I had one wish that involved Vogel’s game development, it’s that he would spend the time and design/license/conjure a kick ass combat system with more interesting tactical decisions and upgrade it from game to game. As it is now he just moves laterally from game to game; two steps forward, two steps back. Past interviews/blogs though indicate this is unlikely to happen.

He also just posted a blog update saying sales are better than expected, raising his moral enough to venture over to RPG Codex:

I started on normal as that was fine in Avernum 6, but wasn’t even breaking a sweat with the mini-bosses here so cranked it up to hard.

I also had to check to see if the hard setting took till I was exploring around the Dragon’s lair and got smoked in his library, complete wipe lol.

So I think hard is just right.

A while ago he mentioned this on his blog, in the context of giving advice to indie developers:

I don’t care about the Cartoon Network, but Bioware stealing from indie developers? This has gone too far! :)

A very brief post on Spiderweb’s forae seems to indicate Valve rejected Avadon for release on steam.

I’ve been playing this for the past few days and I’m really enjoying it – more than I thought that I would, actually. There are some interface niggles, but they’re pretty minor. I bought it for my MBP from the App Store for $20. This one would do well on Steam. It’s too bad they rejected it.

why would they do this?

Good question since they DID accept the Eschalon series which is of similar quality.

Finished this last week, really enjoyed it. I couldn’t finish the game the way I wanted to; the final fight is just too hard (by design), but I appreciate the reasons why.

I think steam employs a mythical cool quotient for games they allow, but I think they also have a rather large randomized modifier in there too. I for one enjoy Spiderweb software games more than the Eschalon series but single vs party plays a large part in that.

Is there a way to assign something other than the arrow keys to scroll the map? I’d really like that on WASD…

I’m digging this game right now, old-school RPG flavor and the combat is pretty fun. Lots of little polish things that make it feel not quite, well, polished, but it’s still entertaining and worth the download to check out.

So uh I guess this was also released for the iPad…

I really had no freaking idea this was coming to the iPad but it’s awesome! I am going to download it now and try it out for a bit before bed.

Whoa, that’s pretty cool. Definitely post some impressions tomorrow.