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Game News Geneforge 2 - Infestation remake now on Kickstarter

Infinitron

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Tags: Geneforge 2 - Infestation; Jeff Vogel; Spiderweb Software

Spiderweb Software's 2021 remake of the original Geneforge was easily the most well-received of their titles in recent years. Despite his attempts to play coy about it, it was always obvious that Jeff Vogel would return to the Geneforge series following the release of Queen's Wish 2 last year. As per Spiderweb Software standard operating procedure, he's launching the development of Geneforge 2 - Infestation with a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Jeff seems more gung-ho about adding new content and features to the game this time, including a weapon-based combat system called "Battle Shaping". In an accompanying post on his Substack blog, he explains that he's learned not to attempt to change the mechanics of his classic titles, but instead to simply add more. The pitch itself has more details:


The Geneforge games have had a cult following for decades, but they are very old.​
Our tiny little company worked on the five parts of the Geneforge Saga from 1999 to 2008. They were truly unique games, with a strange and fascinating world, complex characters, tough moral choices, and a blend of fantasy and science fiction unlike anything that had come before.​
However, they don't run properly on modern computers, and they don't exist on mobile devices at all. These games were huge successes and developed quite a following, and it pains us to see them disappear from the Earth.​
Thus, this remaster. We are going through the Geneforge Saga, one game at a time, and giving each a massive, ground-up remaster. They will always be scrappy, retro indie games, but now they can be that in a bigger, funner, more modern way. We already made Geneforge 1 - Mutagen, and it was a big success. (Playing Geneforge 1 is not at all necessary to enjoy Geneforge 2.)​
It is time to return to Geneforge 2, first released in 2003. We want to create Geneforge 2 - Infestation.​
And we'd like your help.​
The Remaster
Spiderweb Software spends a lot of time remastering our old games. We've learned a lot over the years. When a game gets too old to run, we like to use our new skills to not just get it to work again, but to make it shine.​
With our backers' help, we remade Geneforge into Geneforge 1 - Mutagen, resulting in an expanded, improved game which got a great reception. Now we want to give the same treatment to Geneforge 2. We want to release the new game in early 2024, for Windows, Mac, and the iPad!​
We plan to respect what our fans loved about the series. The world, the characters, the story, the game system, they will be mostly the same. We will also expand the world, adding new characters, storylines, abilities, game mechanics, and other ways to go crazy with your mutant monsters.​
We also have exciting plans to add something the series has always lacked: A fully developed system for melee and missiles. The new art of Battle Shaping will provide an entirely new path through the game, giving longtime fans a fresh way to experience it.​
Spiderweb are looking to raise at least $30,000 to fund the development of Geneforge 2, a goal they've already reached. As with his previous remake, at $40,000 Jeff will add a new creation to the game, and at $60,000 and $80,000 he'll add new quests. A basic copy of Geneforge 2 can be yours for $20, with beta access once again available to superfans at $200. The game is scheduled for release next year in February.
 

OSK

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I'm playing Geneforge 1 - Mutagen right now. I think it's the first remake of his that actually improved the combat.
 

Cool name

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You have to hand it to the guy, he knows how to generate a steady income, no matter how many dead horses he has to beat.

:salute:

beta access once again available to superfans at $200.
But what about onlyfans?
As far as dead horses go, one could do much worse than Geneforge. As Vogel has in the past.

It's a little disappointing that he doesn't seem to have especially grand aspirations, and that what goals he does have generally seem to draw his games away from what I liked about the older ones. However, I can't blame a man for treating his job like a job, especially when it seems to have worked out quite well for him.
 
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Tyranicon

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It's a little disappointing that he doesn't seem to have especially grand aspirations, and that what goals he does have generally seem to draw his games away from what I liked about the older ones. However, I can't blame a man for treating his job like a job, especially when it seems to have worked out quite well for him.

Jeff has indicated many times (and probably outright stated) that he does not go in for super-ambitious, blockbuster-type projects. From reading his blog, I assume it's just another byproduct of his fiscal hyper-conservatism when it comes to gamedev. He doesn't want to spend too much money or time because at heart, he's a quintessential small business owner, carefully nursing his resources to maintain a decent quality of life.

There's a certain charm to that, but I don't agree with it.

The only things that are worth doing in life are things worthy of greatness.

But I still have the retardation of youth.
 
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Is he going to be able to keep remaking Geneforge though? 3 is universally despised.

4 is ok though in my opinion nowhere near as good as 1 or 2.

And 5 has a relatively modern feature set so it is really a game that would gain much at all from a remake?
 

Hobo Elf

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Is he going to be able to keep remaking Geneforge though? 3 is universally despised.

4 is ok though in my opinion nowhere near as good as 1 or 2.

And 5 has a relatively modern feature set so it is really a game that would gain much at all from a remake?
He has expressed plans to remake the entire Geneforge series, yes.
 

commie

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I don't really see a problem with being conservative in gamemaking per se. I'd rather PB for example, make Gothic 1,2 over and over with new locations than try to reinvent the wheel. Archolos showed what you can do when you stick to a winning formula and pushed the ancient Gothic engine to the limit without changing it so far to as lose the formula. Playing through Risen 1 again, I see how closely they tried to go back to the G1 style given the time and that's why it's a far superior game to R2(which really is a pointless entry as R3 is basically the same game expanded) or R3. Elex again tried to hark back to G1, but then Elex 2 again tried to change the formula and sucked. Sometimes it's better to just emulate the best you've made over and over, particularly when you have no talent to diversify and change things.
 

Elwro

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The G1 remake was solid. And we can count on Jeff introducing some new stuff, the way the current Kickstarter is going. Count me in.
 

passerby

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The G1 remake was solid. And we can count on Jeff introducing some new stuff, the way the current Kickstarter is going. Count me in.
G2 is the best in the series imo, I'd rate them in following order G2,G1,G5,G4,G3
 

IHaveHugeNick

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G1 remake was solid, but it will never stop being funny how Vogel avoided doing Kickstarters during era where internet was happily throwing 5 million dollars at everything oldschool and isometric, and only joined the platform when making more than $14,99 is a successful campaign.
 

Jrpgfan

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G1 remake was solid, but it will never stop being funny how Vogel avoided doing Kickstarters during era where internet was happily throwing 5 million dollars at everything oldschool and isometric, and only joined the platform when making more than $14,99 is a successful campaign.

He already made 50k in 1-2 days on a 30k goal campaign of a remaster of a game no one knows, of a genre no one likes.

Maybe he knows better.
 

Serus

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I don't really see a problem with being conservative in gamemaking per se. I'd rather PB for example, make Gothic 1,2 over and over with new locations than try to reinvent the wheel. Archolos showed what you can do when you stick to a winning formula and pushed the ancient Gothic engine to the limit without changing it so far to as lose the formula. Playing through Risen 1 again, I see how closely they tried to go back to the G1 style given the time and that's why it's a far superior game to R2(which really is a pointless entry as R3 is basically the same game expanded) or R3. Elex again tried to hark back to G1, but then Elex 2 again tried to change the formula and sucked. Sometimes it's better to just emulate the best you've made over and over, particularly when you have no talent to diversify and change things.
There is a difference between "emulating the best you've made over and over" and remaking all the thing you did over and over and over... and... This is a difference between using the formula you've mastered but filling it with new content each time and just shuffling existing stuff a bit and call it a day. Vogel tried to do the former as well but supposedly he fails to recreate the "formula" with success - other than maybe financial one. Anyway, the only Vogel's game i liked was Nethergate and he sure as hell won't make anything like it anymore Also I don't care about remakes.

On a side note, what always bothers me is why people care so much about some developers finances? Do you care about the finances of every single shop you visit? It is different if I know the owner personally and like him but i doubt many know Vogel personally on the Dex. Don't get me wrong, I don't wish him bad but saying: "He doesn't make games that i want to play anymore but that's great because he makes a good living for himself" - makes no f*****g sense to me. But many people say it, even in this thread. Weird if you ask me.
 

Elwro

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Why do people care, hm.

Well, I do care because of my memories. I've been playing Spiderweb games since the shareware days. When I met the Shareware Daemon in Avernum 1, I decided, as a student, to buy what was then the whole trilogy on CD. It was a significant investment for a Polish student :) and when the weird plastic cases arrived from Seattle (quite quickly) it felt like a miracle; that was before you bought everything on the net. And the games were just awesome.

I want Jeff to safely reach retirement and to keep making good games. I'm enjoying the remakes, at least. (Haven't bought QW2 because I thought QW1 was garbage design-wise.)
 

Tyranicon

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G1 remake was solid, but it will never stop being funny how Vogel avoided doing Kickstarters during era where internet was happily throwing 5 million dollars at everything oldschool and isometric, and only joined the platform when making more than $14,99 is a successful campaign.

He already made 50k in 1-2 days on a 30k goal campaign of a remaster of a game no one knows, of a genre no one likes.

Maybe he knows better.

Looks like six figures is back on the menu boys!
 

Jrpgfan

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G1 remake was solid, but it will never stop being funny how Vogel avoided doing Kickstarters during era where internet was happily throwing 5 million dollars at everything oldschool and isometric, and only joined the platform when making more than $14,99 is a successful campaign.

He already made 50k in 1-2 days on a 30k goal campaign of a remaster of a game no one knows, of a genre no one likes.

Maybe he knows better.

Looks like six figures is back on the menu boys!

Considering the stretch goals, that's how much it would take for the real upgrade to this game.
 

Beastro

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Can you still break the mold and do stuff you shouldn't be doing in the Geneforge 1 remake?

Like in GF2 I went mage and loved the poison DOT spell. I went to the mines near the beginning that you're clearly supposed to return to later when higher lv and kited the mobs in there killing even the boss dragon. Later, I did the challenge to get that bracer or whatever in the center of that other challenge with escalating mobs where the poison dot was barely able to DPS them down, but still was workable.

I appreciated playing a game with the old school rewarding of unconventional actions like that, not the hard, forced "You're not suppoded to be here yet!" crap.
 

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