Future Series - What Would You Like?

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AuthorTopic: Future Series - What Would You Like?
Agent
Member # 5814
Profile #0
Vogel has stated that he plans on introducing a whole new series after he squeezes out Geneforge 5 and Avernum 6. Now, we can be pretty sure that the game will be an RPG. But almost everything beyond that is, as far as we know, undecided.

So let's hear your opinion - in which direction would you like the future series to go?

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I used to play Pokemon, and whenever one of them would evolve, I was so excited. I would get all sorts of cool new abilities, and the creature would get tougher. And in KotOR II (based on the d20 system), when my character changed class, it was so cool. All sorts of new powers and feats would open up for my character.

I would love it if characters had classes, and probably more race-based effects. I think that Vogel is afraid to encourage players to play a single type of character because they may find themselves restricted, but I think it really adds to the game. KotOR and Pokemon are two of the most successful games of the genre, and I think the class change plays a big part in that. New abilities, attacks, and classes also act as carrots on the ends of sticks in many MMORPGs, which are known to be highly addictive (but enjoyable!).

I also think that things like armor and attacks (melee and magic) should be more specialized. For example, plate armor should be good against swords but weak against spears. And mages should have weak armor, but should be able to deal a lot of damage (this is already a fact in all Spiderweb games, so kudos).

I also want an essentially transparent engine. If I want to know what affects my character's chance to hit, I should be able to look it up either in the game or in some other easily accessible area. I'd prefer it if hidden stats and calculations were nonexistent, but I know that some feel that a few makes for a better game. I also don't know why so many stats are necessary. While the number of trainable stats in Spiderweb games has tended to shrink (I think), there are still approximately twice as many stats available to us as in most mainstream games. I think that most casual players find the lack of distinction between Magery and Spellcraft, for instance, to be counterintuitive and frivolous.

Essentially, I want combat to focus more on tactics and less on a character's strength. I think it's a bad thing that almost every Spiderweb fight has the same solution: buff yourself, then blast them. Of course, we get little kinks like an overpowered Parry or Daze in the Geneforge games, but apart from that there has been very little deviation. In addition to something like the battle skills of Avernum 5, I would like to see a number of abilities which activate when two or more characters work together. For example, when two characters attack the same enemy, they should get a bonus to damage. Or when an enemy attacks a nearby ally, I can stab it in the back with another character. I also think it would be cool if terrain and height played a role in calculating damage. If I'm knee-deep in sewage, I should get a penalty. If I have the high ground, I should get a bonus.

I also think that not all monsters should attack in the same way. Some should be long-distance snipers which can strike from several times the range of the average mage. Others should not be able to attack at all; they should only be able to heal or bless their allies. I also believe that depending on the character's class, the character should deal a lot or very little damage. A tank/defender/whatever should be weak, but a fast swordsman should be a melee glass cannon. Also, not all monsters and characters should get the same number of movement points. It isn't sensible to give a bear and a bat the same speed, because a bear is limited by its large bulk, whereas a bat is not and probably can, in fact, fly.

I hated the traveling system of A4. Instead of towns being areas which you could explore and leave, towns and the outdoors made one continuous map. To make things worse, stairs and trapdoors were everywhere; you might essentially play through the same area three times before being able to move on. I never bought A4, and I blame it for putting me off the Avernum series.

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"What can you do with an anthropology degree other than study people?"

"...Hunt people?"
Posts: 1115 | Registered: Sunday, May 15 2005 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
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The lack of classes in Spiderweb games is just Jeff's preference, I think; we know that he does play plenty of games with classes so he knows it can work. Jeff just prefers unclassed character development. This has been true of every game since Exile 1, so it doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
BANNED
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I would prefer to explore a unique setting. I don't think classes are the best idea, but even fluid growth should be impressionable by which skills are practiced the most. Also, I would like to see character growth. Virtually every character one sees in Vogel's games are one-dimensional, even if that dimension may be more or less interesting at certain times.
Posts: 134 | Registered: Sunday, February 3 2008 08:00
Guardian
Member # 5360
Profile #3
Nalyd would appreciate a skill tree system. Not dependent on skill points, but on what spells or creations you buy. For example, you must have at least 2 levels of Shape Fyora before you can Shape a Roamer.

[ Thursday, April 10, 2008 15:55: Message edited by: Faint Piping of Two Demoniac Flutes ]

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Fear us, mortals, but never envy, for though we burn with power, our fuel is our sorrows.

Indeed, mortals, we envy you.
Posts: 1636 | Registered: Wednesday, January 5 2005 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #4
I would like to see a rogue vlish searching for the Monastary of Madness so it can learn how to use its mighty tenacle to delivery fiesty slaps of pain.

Seriously a martial arts based world where magic can work.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 7538
Profile Homepage #5
I'm for the idea of practiced skills improving, and perhaps leading to more advanced related skills, as they are used.

And after several hours of Avernum 3 yesterday: there's a lot to be said for a lack of GIFTS, etc. Just sayin'.

EDIT:
For a setting: a genuine futuristic, perhaps spacefaring game would be cool (although not necessarily fluid with my prior suggestion).

[ Thursday, April 10, 2008 17:50: Message edited by: Nemesis. ]

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Posts: 743 | Registered: Friday, September 29 2006 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #6
Keeping in mind that this is Jeff's livelihood, I don't want or expect him to change too much at once, and risk his business on the hope that his first stab at something totally new gets enough new things right to be profitable. So I'd expect to see a new setting and theme, a new graphics engine, and only a few major changes to the game mechanics (though perhaps with mass re-naming of familiar elements).

Further cranking up the variety of combat tactics is a trend Jeff has been pursuing for a while now, so I think we could expect that to continue. I don't see a big advantage in radically overhauling his character development system (meaning classes, levels, skills). It might be nice to change it, but it works, and changing it is not going to be a 'wow' factor for his next game.

Some sort of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" game, with martial arts and magic, would be cool. And with A5 battle disciplines already online, Jeff has the basis of a cool martial arts mechanic.

Sci-fi could also be cool. Some sort of post-holocaust world, with mutants and rare artifacts, would fit the mechanics Jeff already has pretty easily, I think. Might be asking for a lot in the way of new graphics, though. But if A5 and G5 sell well enough, maybe Jeff could just afford to commission a big bunch of stuff.

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Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
...b10010b...
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quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

Sci-fi could also be cool. Some sort of post-holocaust world, with mutants and rare artifacts, would fit the mechanics Jeff already has pretty easily, I think. Might be asking for a lot in the way of new graphics, though. But if A5 and G5 sell well enough, maybe Jeff could just afford to commission a big bunch of stuff.
You probably know this already, but Geneforge was originally intended to be pure sci-fi. Jeff changed it because he didn't think it'd sell.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
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Does anyone else remember the humor-based RPG that Jeff talked about having wanted to do for a while? It sounded pretty cool. (Jeff, any comments on the likelihood of that happening now?)

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 9906
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Aw, heck with it, while we are all having our fantasy, why don't we ask for a blades of geneforge?

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Shaper
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Because it's a stupid idea that we've discussed to death far too many times.

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Posts: 2957 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
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Blades of Avernum's low sales pretty much ruined any chance of another Blades type game. Even a new game will probably stick pretty close to Jeff's current customer base.

Of course if there are high sales for an updated Avernum series then Jeff can be a little more risky in his new game.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
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quote:
Originally written by Disappearer:

Does anyone else remember the humor-based RPG that Jeff talked about having wanted to do for a while? It sounded pretty cool.
I support such an endeavor. Jeff can be pretty darn funny when he tries to be. (His sense of humor can be rather wicked, too, and I'm not sure how that would play with his usual audience, but I think he or the septuagenarian eskimos could adjust.)

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shaper
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It would be nice to be able to use lead pipes as weapons... :P

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Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
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Lunch Money: the RPG.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
"Slartucker is going to have a cow when he hears about this," Synergy said.
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Canned
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Personally, I think Jeff is great at making games.
I'm sure he will think of something good.

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Posts: 1799 | Registered: Sunday, February 4 2007 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #16
Roll-your-own-game engines don't seem to make anyone money unless they're capable of turning out a product that can be resold, because then you can charge a bundle for them. The people willing to pay so they can work hard building free games are the few, the proud, the wait I think we just said 'few'.

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Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Infiltrator
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quote:
Originally written by Randomizer:

Blades of Avernum's low sales pretty much ruined any chance of another Blades type game. Even a new game will probably stick pretty close to Jeff's current customer base.

Of course if there are high sales for an updated Avernum series then Jeff can be a little more risky in his new game.

But BoA was already shot in the foot when it came out because there was only one 'new' story from Jeff. If he'd have created four new stories instead of just porting the BoE three, I, for one,
would have bought it a lot sooner then I did. I mean, why buy a game that I already know the plot to, right? The discussion of the difficulty of the editor didn't hurry my buying decision either.

A blades game could work if the new story content was anything near the volume of, say, E/A3. Especially if he spends ample time making the editor really user friendly. Whether or not Jeff percieves such an investment as cost effective is doubtful though.

Personally, I'd love to see a si-fiandfantasy based game where the eternal objective is to explore the universe with futuristic technology and magic. Let's call it Blades of Tomorrow. He could probably get away with just recycling the BoA engine. Fix any bugs already reported in it, line up some good futuristic and alien graphics, write an epic tale, and create an easy to use editor to make the game with. No limits! Basic default for the beginner, but optional everything for the advanced. (ie. user made sounds, custom spell/technology names, adjustable skill set)

I'll just keep dreaming...

[ Saturday, April 12, 2008 09:58: Message edited by: Jewelz ]

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Posts: 563 | Registered: Tuesday, July 27 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
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Profile #18
I asked Jeff about future games using the BoA engine during Nethergate: Resurrection and he said that was the last one. So all future games will use modifications of the Geneforge/Avernum 5 engine or a new one. I thought after all the work to update Nethergate, that he would keep going with that engine.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
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quote:
Originally written by Jewelz:

I mean, why buy a game that I already know the plot to, right?
Oddly enough, this worked just fine for Avernum. I think people are just more willing to pay for "professional" stories by Jeff that advance the Avernum canon than for free work by scenario designers no matter how talented they may be.

[Edit: [QUOTE]]

—Alorael, who also thinks that the more complicated BoA editor, compared to the much more user-friendly BoE one, turned off a number of buyers.

[ Sunday, April 13, 2008 15:15: Message edited by: Interesting Animals ]
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Agent
Member # 4574
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There's a game. It's called Kingdom of Loathing. None of you have ever heard of it, most likely. I mean, if you had you'd have a clan, and I've checked all sorts of potential names. (The Vogelites, The Spiderwebers, GIFTS, Spiderweb Alliance, etc.)

Anyways, a satirical game like that, filled with all sorts of hidden references, (general and Spidweb-specific) and tons of Vogelite humor would be perfect. I'm sure that, if Jeff put his mind to it, he could make a hilarious game with an epic plot.

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"I'm happy I'm the mentally disturbed person I am." -Nioca
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Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
Guardian
Member # 5360
Profile #21
Nalyd used to play, but it grew repetitive. A game like that would be excellent, but Nalyd doesn't think that Jeff is that well acquainted with Spiderweb lore.

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Fear us, mortals, but never envy, for though we burn with power, our fuel is our sorrows.

Indeed, mortals, we envy you.
Posts: 1636 | Registered: Wednesday, January 5 2005 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
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quote:
Originally written by Kinggolden:

There's a game. It's called Kingdom of Loathing. None of you have ever heard of it, most likely.
A sizable percentage of us actually play it. A quick search reveals at least one reference.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Councilor
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Considering that GoldenKing is in a clan full of people from Spiderweb, Dikiyoba's guess is he was being ironic.

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? Man, ? Amazing
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I would like Jeff to work more closely with his Seattle boy friend, Mr Foglio. Phil has been running a very lucrative web product for a while now, and given the wide fan base for the steam punk theme, I would wager that a rpg loosely based on the existing work would be hugely successful.

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