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Place Your Bets in Avernum 4
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Forcing the player to start as the Anama would be a horrible error. It's a cool option (and yes, you can become Anama), but slashing out half of the magic system by default would be bad.

I feel that the player's starting position in the game has to be something they can get their heads around very quickly. You can add lots of complexity later, but the basic "Who am I?" thing has to be pretty simple.

That is why the "lost tourist" idea, as hilarious as it is, wouldn't be something I'd do. Same for the Anama. Soldier/adventurer and "explorer of the underworld" is already enough information for someone who is trying to figure out how to play the game to process.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Blades of Exile Source Code Released in Blades of Exile
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OK, I messed up with compressing the files. I forgot what .zip format does to resource forks.

If you go to the source code page now there is a Macintosh download in StuffIt format. If you download that you can find the proper resource files.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Quick Item Use Slot secret.. in Avernum 4
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This got found in Geneforge 4 beta, but I forgot to fix it in Avernum 4. Oh, well. There are far worse exploits.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Place Your Bets in Avernum 4
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"Since Jeff posted there's no point in posting odds for starting out as a surface tourist cut off from the touring group."

Although it won't ever happen, I have to say that this idea is particularly awesome.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Blades of Exile Source Code Released in Blades of Exile
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Profile Homepage #4
Try redownloading the source from a different site and see if the resource files work.

What program are you trying to use to open them?

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Place Your Bets in Avernum 4
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It is something on that list. People will know for sure as soon as one of the websites I've been giving interviews to lately gets around to posting it.

- Jeff Vogel

(Edit: Actually, one thing on that list and two more depending on choices made in the game.)

[ Friday, May 11, 2007 10:43: Message edited by: Spidweb ]

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Blades of Exile Source Code Released in Blades of Exile
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The source code is now available here.

http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/blades/opensource.html

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Exile 2 spontaneously quitting in Tech Support
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This sort of thing is almost always a file corruption. Completely trash your Exile 2. (Keep the saved games.) Redownload and reinstall.

If that doesn't help (which would surprise me), just bypass that encounter. It's not necessary to win or anything.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Spiderweb, the business in General
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Don't lose sleep worrying about us. Both Avernum 4 and Geneforge 4: Rebellion are performing very strongly.

Blades of Avernum and Geneforge 3 were shaky, though the latter still does all right.

I think the biggest surprise for me was the relatively poor performance of Geneforge 3. There is some really cool design in that game, but it was apparently either too late in the game or not as cool as I thought it was. After that, I made a concerted effort to add improvements for Geneforge 4. Apparently, it worked.

But, again, we're fine.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Avernum 5, April Update in Avernum 4
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"Thanks for reducing the boring parts. You don't have to place all those spoons and other things that can't be sold. Us obsessive compulsives get tired of hauling them back to be sold or placed in pretty piles."

Placing them is a psychological need on my part. You won't be able to sell trivial items anymore, though. So now you have less of a motive to haul around spoons.

"Still like to see how it works for singleton characters. The experience penalty at the end was a pain. You might be surprised at the difficulty level that we can do."

The Hard and Torment difficulties will be noticably harder in Avernum 5 than Avernum 4. I'm not going to say they'll be impossible for a singleton, but it'll hurt. The singleton experience bonus will remain, though.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Avernum 5, April Update in Avernum 4
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The lumbering beast has finally begun to move. I have completed the first section/town/adventure/tutorial. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get it out much before Christmas, but it's certainly moving.

The tutorial section is much more of an adventure than before, with scripted events, actual fights, and it gets you involved in the plot. The plot, as promised, is very intricate, and the political intrigue begins pretty much immediately.

I'm having a bit more fun writing the dialogue, because the setup for this Avernum game is very different from the previous games. Your starting position is, it's safe to say, completely opposite from what it was before.

There are secret doors. But they work differently than they did before. (They'd really have to.) You will never have to find one to complete the game.

I am concentrating to cut down on the trash and have a smaller number of bigger fights. This will make the game more interesting for groups, but more punishing for single characters. I will do my best to make sure a singleton can still complete the game on the lower difficulty levels. One change ... smaller parties will get experience from creatures at higher levels than 4 person parties do.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Blades of Exile Source Code in Blades of Exile
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"What are the conditions going to be for the BoE data files? Specifically, will people be able to redistribute the art and sounds which come with Blades?"

Yes. And, on top of that, you'll be able to distribute all of my scenarios (Small Rebellion, etc). Go nuts.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Blades of Exile Source Code in Blades of Exile
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Carbonizing is not that difficult, as long as you stick with the existing code base, don't do anything wild and crazy like porting it to Cocoa, and you live with the risk of using the quickdraw deprecated functions.

Switching it to Universal mainly involves adjusting the byte order for short ints read from or written to the hard drive. There are a few other tweaks. If someone with actual programming skill takes the lead in adapting the games, I can provide some one-on-one advice for how to go about it.

At least XCode is decent and free. This helps a lot.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Blades of Exile Source Code in Blades of Exile
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We have decided to release the source code of Blades of Exile under the Common Public License. (The same license the Blades of Avernum editor is under.) It should be available in the next few weeks.

I am really hoping people are able to whip it into something usable and create a way for games to run all of the old, cool Blades of Exile scenarios. This will take a bit of work. The code is old and will take some polishing, especially on the Mac side (since it needs to be both Carbonized and Universalized).

Should the code be improved, we would happily take it and host it so others can improve on the work.

It will be available pretty soon. In the meantime, here are some questions and answers from the readme file ...

Q: What am I allowed to do with this code?

A: Just about anything you want. Read the Common Public License.

(If you can't wait to read it, download the Blades of Avernum editor.)

Q: I have questions about the code. Can you help me?

A: Probably not. We're very busy, and we really don't have much time to talk people through programming issues. You should check the Blades of Exile section of our forums or the Blades of Exile Scenario Workshop on our website. If people put together web pages on this stuff, we'll link to them.

Q: I found a problem or missing piece of data. Or I made a web page about Blades of Exile. Or I've improved the code and I have a new, better version available for download. Do you want to know about it?

A: Yes!!! Tell us at spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com. If a community comes up around this source code, we'll help people find you.

Q: Does this mean that you will be releasing the source code for other old games?

A: Not likely. For most of our games, when they get very old, we'll just rewrite and rerelease them. We're only doing this with Blades of Exile (and probably someday Blades of Avernum) because so many people have made scenarios for it.

Q: Why did it take so long to do this?

A: Partially because we were distracted by the thousands of things we have to do all the time. And partially because, up until very recently, we didn't know where the Windows Blades of Exile code was. (Please rest assured that this is very embarrassing to me.) A decent copy of it only turned up when we were searching through old computers for files for Nethergate: Resurrection.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Learn how it's done. in General
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Profile Homepage #30
"Clearly Marlenny wins at polling, if only because of Jeff's participation."

I'm not going to make a habit of it. I was watching a toddler and very, very bored. Toddlers are boring.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Learn how it's done. in General
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Profile Homepage #24
(1) What's your main goal in life?
Retire early. Backpack around the world.

(2) If you won a million dollars, what would be your first thought?
"I will never again have to spend a sunny afternoon placing spoons on tables in some imaginary town."

(3) When you are mad; do you usually stay angry or do you yell to release the anger?
Both.

(4) Tell us an anecdote of anything that happened to you today.
I woke up after a good sleep and realized that I had not been prematurely awoke by either of my children.

(5) What's your current Philosophy on life?
Stay out of arguments.

(6) If you created a deadly disease, what would you call it?
Leaping, Face-Eating Ebola

(7) What should you be doing right now?
Working in the yard.

(8) If this were Southpark, what character do you think you'd be?
Dr. Mephisto

(9) What occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid ?
Computer game designer.

(10) What happened to those dreams?
They came true.

(11) Describe the last dream you can remember.
I had just bought a condo in New York City. I have this dream surprisingly often.

(12) If you were a supermodel, which supermodel would you be?
Oh, please.

(13) If you had to live in a hole, what kind of creature would you be?
A supermodel.

(14) If you could have one thing right now, what would it be and why?
A nicer house with a big yard for the kids.

(15) Name one thing about you that embarrasses you.
Releasing a game with a bug I could have fixed but didn't because of forgetfulness.

(16) Do you usually walk around your house with sandals or barefoot?
Barefoot.

(17) Have you ever gotten something you really wanted but thought you wouldn't get?
Yes.

(18) Name one thing you are presently excited about or fascinated by.
Everything in my daily New York Times but the sports section.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Having a good time, but one annoyance. in Avernum 4
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I feel there has to be some sort of death penalty. Otherwise, there is no risk. Having to return dead people to the city gates is, I admit, an annoyance, but I can't think of a better solution at this point. And it is far better than the previous system where dead characters were a serious pain in the butt.

"Jeff has said, however, that this is more or less the reason that PCs can no longer summon demons, as they could in Exile."

Part of it is not wanting to borrow trouble. But I could easily slip demon summoning into a late game spell without advertising it. But I won't, because of the other reason demon summoning is out. Demons are too powerful. As they currently stand (or as I try to make them be), being able to summon demons would be unbalancing.

One of my current rules, btw, is that I do not let players summon anything that summons.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
The Chosen Ending - Geneforge 5 in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
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The beginning of Geneforge 5 will involve spectacular devasation. The end of the series will be up to you. There will be a large selection of possibilities. Including, of course, even more spectacular devastation.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Slowdown problem with Geneforge 1 in Tech Support
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This problem does get reported from time to time. It is rare, and it can happen with any game. Everything I've seen about it before makes me strongly believe that it is not a bug in my code. (If it was my bug, it would happen much more often, because everyone would have it, and it would probably happen a lot more in one program than others.)

It could be caused by many things. A bug in someone else's driver. A 3rd party application. An operating system glitch or corrupted file that keeps old graphics resources from being properly dropped from memory. I have no idea at this point, and all i can suggest is to stick with the games that are working on your system.

Oh, and someone mentioned that more people with Avernum 4 seem to have this problem. As I have said in the past, the reason there are more people with problems with Avernum 4 is that more people play Avernum 4.

Sorry I can't be of more help, and I hope Avernum 4 works out for you. :-)

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
The Chosen Ending - Geneforge 5 in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
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"First off, which ending do you think will be chosen?"

Well, that will be up to the player, won't it?

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
When ordering a game? in General
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A note from the author.

Sometimes, a friend asks me which of my games they should play to see what I do. Before, I hemmed and hawed and suggest Geneforge or Avernum.

Now I say, without question, Geneforge 4: Rebellion. I feel that, all things considered, it's my best game.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
GF4 not displaying in Tech Support
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Also, try running the game directly. Go into the My Programs folder, open the Spiderweb Software/Geneforge 4 folder, and double click on Geneforge 4 itself to run it.

If some glitch in your operating system is keeping the game from finding the graphics files, this might help.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Really anticipated ideas for A5?? in Avernum 4
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"I don't know if this has already been said, but I'm gonna say it anyway. Don't make movement in A5 like Geneforge and A4! Let us use the Numeric Keypad to move."

Is this joke? You can use the keypad to move for both Windows and Mac Avernum 4. And, of course, I have no plan to change this.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Nethergate: Resurrection in Nethergate
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"Why is the crone fluorescent green?! This is worse than pink Garzahd."

That's not a crone. Crones are still gray.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00

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