Spiderweb Software is one of the oldest independent development studios in existence. Founded in 1994 by Jeff Vogel, Spiderweb has been developing RPG gems for close to 18 years, beginning with the Exile series, and more recently launching the first of its new Avadon trilogy, titled The Black Fortress.
Today the indie industry is regarded as a true form of gaming and art, producing superstars, millionares and rabid fanbases, all within a cool bubble of hipster trendiness. As Vogel tells Joystiq, it didn't start out that way.
"When I started, there was no indie culture," Vogel says. "We were writing what was called 'shareware' and everyone thought that we were losers. The whole thing about indie developers being respectable and able to make real money on Steam and iTunes is a very new development. And it still makes my head spin."
Vogel is lucky -- he found a loyal, niche market in the indie RPG genre -- but he's also displayed a lot of dedication to have survived on his own for almost two decades, longer than many in the latest wave of indie developers have been alive.
"I'm proud of survival," Vogel says. "I've been doing this for seventeen years, working for the same company and making the same genre of game in the same way. The list of people who have done that is very short."