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Jeff Vogel of SpiderWeb on being an indie and morality

Jeff Vogel of SpiderWeb on being an indie and morality

Interview - posted by DarkUnderlord on Mon 24 November 2008, 03:16:54

Tags: Jeff Vogel; Spiderweb Software

Reason.com speak about morality and indie games in "The Old-School Individualist: Independent game designer Jeff Vogel on putting morality into play":

reason: What are the advantages of independent game development?

Jeff Vogel: It’s much the same difference as between, say, indie film and mainstream, blockbuster film. The blockbusters—whether you’re talking about blockbuster games or blockbuster movies—are putting a hundred million dollars into the thing, and you aren’t going to see a lot of risks. Usually, you’re going to see the rough edges and the oddball things sort of sanded down and taken away.

Indie game developers tend to be more of a bunch of eccentric loners who have a dream and bring that to reality. Sometimes that dream isn’t that interesting, but in indie games you are far more likely to find something unusual, or small niche-market things that the larger companies have, by and large, abandoned.

reason: The Avernum series doesn’t have simple cookie-cutter outcomes. The adventures carry ethical overtones, both positive and negative, no matter what options you select. Is there something about that ambiguity that appeals to you?

Vogel: Yes. I’m fascinated by politics, and I’m fascinated by the process of how things get done—how ugly and compromised pretty much any dream can become. I have very little patience, in general, with ideas of some people being absolutely good or absolutely bad, or some race of creature being absolutely good or absolutely bad. In The Lord of the Rings, there are these things, and they’re called “orcs,” and they’re all bad, and they’re all evil, and their only purpose is to be killed. I find that to be extremely boring. Whenever I watch The Lord of the Rings, I find myself wondering, “So what are orcs like? Why are they like that?”​
Orcs just need to die. It's their bit in life which we all need to accept.

Spotted @ RPGWatch

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