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Spiderweb's Jeff Vogel on shareware game development

Alan Rose

If you enjoy classic role-playing adventures that provide hours of addictive and virtually bug-free entertainment, you should check out shareware titles Geneforge and Avernum from Spiderweb Software. For the past decade, the Seattle-based developer has been providing Mac and PC gamers with inexpensive, quality alternatives to mainstream RPG releases. The engaging storytelling and character development that was introduced in earlier Spiderweb releases Exile and Nethergate have remained a formula for success through eight iterations of the Avernum and Geneforge franchises.

As Geneforge 4: Rebellion nears completion, RPG Watch caught up with company founder and head Spider Jeff Vogel to learn more about his creative process and how Spiderweb's games are evolving. He had this to say about adding incremental graphic enhancements to the latest Geneforge: "I don't have a religious opposition to decent graphics. I never have. I always put in the best graphics my limited budget and programming skills allow. It's all about fun, and about creating an engrossing experience for the player. And if I have a way to improve the atmosphere of the game and pull the player in more, I'll do that. I can never match the big boys, but I do what I can."

After reading the interview, head over to Spiderweb's home to learn more about Jeff and the life of a shareware developer.

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