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Game News Queen's Wish 2: The Tormentor Released

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Tags: Jeff Vogel; Queen's Wish 2: The Tormentor; Spiderweb Software

Queen's Wish 2: The Tormentor, the sequel to the rather unloved Queen's Wish: The Conqueror from Jeff Vogel's Spiderweb Software, was released today. Understandably, there hasn't been a lot of excitement surrounding the game on our forum, but at a distance it does appear to be somewhat more interesting than its predecessor. In the blog post announcing the release, Jeff describes some of the improvements he's made in response to criticisms of the first game and reflects on the game's themes. Plus the usual grumbling about how tough the indie market is and how old he's getting. Here's an excerpt:

Tough Choices

This trilogy is heavily into politics and tough choices. You enter a rebellious land, and you have to whip it into shape. You have many options. Not many of them are good.

I recently got an email from someone who got stuck playing Queen's Wish. They reached a point where they didn't like any of the choices they had, so they quit.

That's their right. It's their leisure time, after all. However, I am standing by this decision. I want this series to engage with politics and power and empire in an honest way. This is a necessary part of it.

Suppose you're some major official in Ancient Rome, and one of your provincial governors dies. You have to pick a replacement.

But here's the thing. You have to choose among the people who are available. You can't open a vat and pull out the perfect leader. You have to choose among existing humans, all of whom, being human, are high flawed.

Yet, you still have to make a choice. Generally, the most important thing is to not make the right choice but to make sure some choice gets made.

That's how life works, and I want the Queen's Wish trilogy to have little reflections of life in it. I hope the realness (to the extent that it is real) makes up for the frustration.

Video games are a big industry. There's room for all sorts of games.

Improvements Over Queen's Wish

Queen's Wish: The Conqueror is a very innovative game. It tries a lot of new things, and it mixes them together in unusual ways. Some people liked it. Some people didn't.

However, I made mistakes. I made a lot of changes in Queen's Wish 2 that I really think improve the game.

There are far more abilities. You get experience more often, providing a more even flow of dopamine hits. You have more customization options for building your empire, some of which affect the story.

Yet, it's still basically the same engine. Of course. The weird new parts of the game engine are all still in there. So if you were mad at me, before, you still be. Whenever you change anything in your games, you inevitably lose people. Your job is then to add new customers to replace them.

The only alternative is writing the same game again and again. If you try to do this for 18 games, you will go mad.

It's Also About Empire

I've always been fascinated with history and politics, and my games reflect that. Perhaps to a fault. I wanted this trilogy to focus on that dominant force in the history of humanity: The building of Empire.

I was a little worried about this, because the Internet is a very politically touchy place, and empire is a bad word. Yet, how can I engage in politics in any real way and avoid this most powerful of political and military techniques.

I live in an Empire, which projects its power in a huge variety of ways. Not just military, but financial, philosophical, cultural. My Empire competes with other Empires.

Empire is not just a white person game. The biggest Empire-building project in the world right now is China in Africa, and white people aren't even involved.

Honestly, when the series is done, I'll probably wish I'd been more bloody-minded and less cowardly about how I touched the topic. Then again, I still have one game to go, and politics in the world of Haven is getting ugly.​

Jeff reiterates that Queen's Wish will probably be his last original RPG series, after which it'll be all remasters all the time. There's one more game left before that happens, though. For now, Queen's Wish 2: The Tormentor is available on Steam and GOG for $25 with a 15% launch discount until next week. Coming up next, the Geneforge 2 remaster.
 

Andhaira

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Why the heck is he STILL apparently not making enough money to justify making new games rather than remakes? So many idie devs are making bucket loads of money on Steam, why not him despite being in the game so long and already having an established player base??
 

zapotec

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He went bankrupt after adding super the long hotkey bar. It actually crossed route 66 and made a super traffic jam
 

ghostdog

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The only alternative is writing the same game again and again. If you try to do this for 18 games, you will go mad.

gif.gif
 

Mortmal

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He's unloved here since his ipad era, avadon was very streamlined compare to exile, no character creation 4 members only , dragon age lite...As far i can remember it sold big, lot more than usual. Since then people here felt betrayed and discarded, classic rpg gamers were his core audience and he throw that away without an afterthough. Our demands were more complex game, his answer : Ipad streamlining.
So whatever he do now ,jeff the betrayer, wont get a warm reception here.

Yet objectively in these times of rpg drought the game is a good classic ultima clone with deep tactical combat. The fort system is the big innovation in queen wish , free mines and wood get more ressources and get more buildings to produce your gear. In queen wish the good gear was exclusively from the stores you built. In queen wish 2 at least you can find good pieces of equipment outside. Now is the fort system really a good innovation? It doesnt hurt gameplay but it doesnt add anything really to the classics dungeon crawl experience. It's another layer of micromanagement with few choices, the layout will always be the same , to get the loot you should just pick up in dungeon. The fort rebuilding should only had a story influence and modify the number of patrols, change some events etc...
As for the story and choices it's ok, mostly non manichean , like the old and burned out tabletop dungeon master who dont like longwinded descriptions and prefer wargaming.
 

Modron

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It's a shame more people didn't give Avadon 2 a chance it was a proper vogel experience unlike its progenitor.
 

Zeriel

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Vogel wringing his hands over "empire" has to be the gayest and most pretentious fucking shit I've ever seen considering about 90% of his catalogue was based around an eponymous Empire and no one cared. Holy fuck I hate the world post 2014.
 

KeighnMcDeath

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Is the paperdoll optimised to be uber? I swore it looked smaller in QW1 compared to Avernum.
 

Rean

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Strap Yourselves In
It's Also About Empire

I've always been fascinated with history and politics, and my games reflect that. Perhaps to a fault. I wanted this trilogy to focus on that dominant force in the history of humanity: The building of Empire.

I was a little worried about this, because the Internet is a very politically touchy place, and empire is a bad word. Yet, how can I engage in politics in any real way and avoid this most powerful of political and military techniques.

I live in an Empire, which projects its power in a huge variety of ways. Not just military, but financial, philosophical, cultural. My Empire competes with other Empires.

Empire is not just a white person game. The biggest Empire-building project in the world right now is China in Africa, and white people aren't even involved.

Honestly, when the series is done, I'll probably wish I'd been more bloody-minded and less cowardly about how I touched the topic. Then again, I still have one game to go, and politics in the world of Haven is getting ugly.

Wtf? :lol:
 
Self-Ejected

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It's Also About Empire

I've always been fascinated with history and politics, and my games reflect that. Perhaps to a fault. I wanted this trilogy to focus on that dominant force in the history of humanity: The building of Empire.

I was a little worried about this, because the Internet is a very politically touchy place, and empire is a bad word. Yet, how can I engage in politics in any real way and avoid this most powerful of political and military techniques.

I live in an Empire, which projects its power in a huge variety of ways. Not just military, but financial, philosophical, cultural. My Empire competes with other Empires.

Empire is not just a white person game. The biggest Empire-building project in the world right now is China in Africa, and white people aren't even involved.

Honestly, when the series is done, I'll probably wish I'd been more bloody-minded and less cowardly about how I touched the topic. Then again, I still have one game to go, and politics in the world of Haven is getting ugly.

Wtf? :lol:
Yeah I don't know. I was expecting advertising blurb about his game. Instead it's just, well, whatever this is.
 

Late Bloomer

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He has been on a kick about being white for a long time now. Almost as long as he has complained about being old.

timestamped so nobody has to sit through more of his drivel than necessary


Was Queen's Wish the first game he swallowed the diversity pill for his characters?

maxresdefault.jpg
 

Alienman

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Vogel wringing his hands over "empire" has to be the gayest and most pretentious fucking shit I've ever seen considering about 90% of his catalogue was based around an eponymous Empire and no one cared. Holy fuck I hate the world post 2014.

Dude. He is brave as hell, using such an infected word as this in his grand RPG. Some might say he is a pioneer.
 

Mortmal

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Vogel wringing his hands over "empire" has to be the gayest and most pretentious fucking shit I've ever seen considering about 90% of his catalogue was based around an eponymous Empire and no one cared. Holy fuck I hate the world post 2014.

Dude. He is brave as hell, using such an infected word as this in his grand RPG. Some might say he is a pioneer.
Maybe he should move to iran or north korea he would have more creative freedom if things have gotten that bad where he lives.
 

PatataFamilia

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So Vogel writes well over a thousand hours of games about Empire, most of which are morally suspect, and it's pretentious to mention that maybe that's a theme of his games? That's literally the opposite of pretentious. He's just listing what he's done over his career. He said the whole thing about China to let the readers know that this wasn't an America Bad! Grrr! vs. God Bless, Murica, and guns, and trucks. This game is a reflection on Empire: the good, the bad, and the ugly. That's all he's saying, and he's absolutely right.

And yes, it is relatively innovative. The tactical innovation is virtually non-existant. But the idea that your character isn't a murderhobo, and is instead a prince who already has the best gear available is less trodden ground. The idea that clearing out a dungeon is valuable because you get to use the dungeon in your economy, not because you find a rusted sword, is relatively unique. Having party progression tied to diplomacy isn't uncommon, but it isn't the norm either.
 

Late Bloomer

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So Vogel writes well over a thousand hours of games about Empire, most of which are morally suspect, and it's pretentious to mention that maybe that's a theme of his games? That's literally the opposite of pretentious. He's just listing what he's done over his career. He said the whole thing about China to let the readers know that this wasn't an America Bad! Grrr! vs. God Bless, Murica, and guns, and trucks. This game is a reflection on Empire: the good, the bad, and the ugly. That's all he's saying, and he's absolutely right.

You should visit the main thread where his blog gets posted. While you are at it watch some of his interviews on youtube. Anything 5 years or newer. He has over a thousand hours of games about Empire you say. Just like that he feels guilty about it. He also feels guilty about being white. About being male. About getting old. He lost part of his audience. He says as much in a recent blog. He also mentions replacing them. If you just read this partiuclar blog and know nothing else I could see how you came to your conclusion. Thats why you should read up a bit more.

You must be a fan if you came out of hiding just to post this. Do you know if his previous games featured the same diversity of Queen's Wish?
 

Zeriel

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So Vogel writes well over a thousand hours of games about Empire, most of which are morally suspect, and it's pretentious to mention that maybe that's a theme of his games? That's literally the opposite of pretentious. He's just listing what he's done over his career. He said the whole thing about China to let the readers know that this wasn't an America Bad! Grrr! vs. God Bless, Murica, and guns, and trucks. This game is a reflection on Empire: the good, the bad, and the ugly. That's all he's saying, and he's absolutely right.

And yes, it is relatively innovative. The tactical innovation is virtually non-existant. But the idea that your character isn't a murderhobo, and is instead a prince who already has the best gear available is less trodden ground. The idea that clearing out a dungeon is valuable because you get to use the dungeon in your economy, not because you find a rusted sword, is relatively unique. Having party progression tied to diplomacy isn't uncommon, but it isn't the norm either.

What makes it pretentious is exactly the fact it's pretense. You know, the root word of pretentious? Pretending. He didn't care for decades, but now that woke culture is here in Seattle he pretends that he's super conflicted and he has put a lot of thought into his made up fantasy bullshit that has empires. If he actually is so brainwashed that he put any thought into it and is guilt-tripped over an organizational structure that has always existed and will always exist, well, that's even worse. Either way my opinion of him has sunk even lower than I previously thought it could. (For the record, it was in the basement, it's now in the Earth's upper crust.)
 

Achiman

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There are too many good games to tolerate such dogshit graphics in year 2022 if the gameplay isn't up to speed.
Besides, this will be bundle filler in 6months if you were desperate to check it out.
 

almondblight

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Vogel wringing his hands over "empire" has to be the gayest and most pretentious fucking shit I've ever seen considering about 90% of his catalogue was based around an eponymous Empire and no one cared. Holy fuck I hate the world post 2014.

Exile/Avernum as a setting always had a somewhat libertarian slant to it. The Empire controlled most of the surface with an iron fist, and the underworld was the last bastion of freedom, populated by pioneers and very loosely governed.

Think he is kinda late on the woke bandwagon, also seems very scared

Not sure about "woke;" Vogel's always been a bit of an oldschool egalitarian (think of a game like BG1). Women and minorities featured quite prominently, even in his early games. The opening splash screen for Exile III (back in 1995) had two humans, one (seemingly) white person who's cloaked and one black woman warrior (you can see it here). He had a couple that got thrown into the underworld for being gay that appeared in the first Avernum, I believe, back in 2000.

He's never been heavy handed about it, but diversity in his games isn't anything new.
 

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