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Game News Avernum 5 overview

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
Tags: Avernum 4; Spiderweb Software

Jeff Vogel has made some posts on the <a href=http://www.ironycentral.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?category=2>official forums</a>, talking about Avernum 5.
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<blockquote>Some more notes on Avernum 5.
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i. Heights are in. I just got the first set of hill graphics.
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ii. The world system (i.e. one seamless world) will, however, remain unchanged. Though Avernum 5's terrain is designed to better take advantage of it. I am, however, going to work on the graphics to try to create a clearer visual distinction between outdoors and dungeons.
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iii. I was very, VERY happy with how death worked in Avernum 4. No changes.
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iv. Dungeons will respawn monsters more. Outdoors, about the same rate.
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v. The plot for Avernum V is very intricate and involved. I think it's quite cool, and I'm kind of looking forward to writing it.
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vi. Work on more PC icons has started. There will be 2 more each of nephil, slith, and human, at least, and we'll work from there.
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vii. Many improvements from Geneforge 4 will be in the game. Nicer fonts. Better AP system. Better graphics and spell effects. I will mercilessly purge all actual Geneforge elements, though. (No spawners. No pylons. Period. I will, however, keep the roamer icon as a clawbug, though, because I think it looks cool.)
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The spell system for Avernum 5 will be pretty much the same.
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First off, I think that 40 spells is a pretty good number. It would be easy to pad it out with 50 (or 500) more junk spells, but it wouldn't add anything to the game except confusion.
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Balancing spells is difficult. My goal is to have a good variety of spells that actually have uses some point in the game. Each individual spell is a delicate balancing act between making it useless on one end and too powerful on the other. I can't do that right with too many spells.
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And, once again, honestly, 40 is quite a few.
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I've put in some hours on Avernum 5. Some more news.
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i. Elevations are completely in the game. They look nice.
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ii. There is now a system of battle disciplines. People with high combat skills will be able to use special abilities. Some of them are cool enough that some mages will be tempted to train in pole weapons.
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iii. I have vastly expanded the keyboard shortcuts. You will now be able to target attacks and spells using only the keyboard. (This includes fireballs.)
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iv. The plot is very elaborate and cool. I tried for a similar level of intricacy as Geneforge 4: Rebellion.
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v. I have also borrowed the much less annoying action point system from Geneforge 4. And a ton of the nice graphical effects too.
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vi. The most irritating thing left to be done engine-wise is boats. There will be a lot of water travel.
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vii. The Anama are back. Solberg has a decently sized role. Rentar-Ihrno is still dead.</blockquote>Battle disciplines sound cool. I enjoyed Avernum 4 and GF4 a lot, so looking forward to another game.
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Spotted at: <A HREF="http://www.insidemacgames.com">Inside Mac Games</A>
 

Fez

Erudite
Joined
May 18, 2004
Messages
7,954
I've enjoyed the Avernum series so far, unless he goes far wrong with it I'll be wanting this one too.
 

Nedrah

Erudite
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
1,693
Location
Germany
I would love to see him droping the engine by now. It has been milked beyond recognition. While I can see how he would decide to keep refining it as long as the $$$ comes in, it is really becoming a negative that has to be outweighed by everything else in the game, to me. Count me cautiously optimistic.
 

Lurkar

Scholar
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Messages
791
"Cautiously optimistic" describes me a bit as well. I couldn't really get into Avernum 4.

I'm assuming their touched up version of Nethergate won't take too much time - they're using a pre-existing engine with a pre-existing story, afterall.

Personally, I'm hoping for two things - more and deeper tunnels to discover (part of what made Avernum 2 so great for me) and, in the places we already know about, some old faces to show back up. Not major players, but you know, the bit players, like Asp, or that lesbian couple.

Edit: I'm going to go out on a limb and assume at least SOME of it takes place in the surface. With the Vahnatai enemies diminished, the Darkside Loyalists would be the main bad guys, I assume.
 

FrancoTAU

Cipher
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Messages
2,507
Location
Brooklyn, NY
As much as i'm annoyed by the recycled engine, I still enjoyed Avernum 4, so I'll still probably end up gettting A5.
 

Mr Happy

Scholar
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
574
Unfortunately, my experience with Spiderweb games is limited to a Geneforge 4 demo (which I liked), but I will probably add this to my growing list of things to keep an eye on. So anyway, how different are Geneforge and Avernum? Is the list of things "borrowed from Geneforge" or visa versa that big?
 

Slylandro

Scholar
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
705
Avernum 4 is the most similar to the GF series, Avernum 1-3 and Blades aren't really that close in terms of mechanics, style, setting aside from some borrowed graphics and spells.

I'm not really looking forward to Avernum 5, I'm sad to say. I really want Jeff to do another series. Avernum was cool, but it's time for him to move on. I think he's built up a reasonable following but I can't imagine it increasing, just the opposite. He said in an old interview that he was interested in sci-fi, I think now would be a good time for that.
 

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