Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Avadon: The Black Fortress Released.
On Monday, after fifteen months of work, Spiderweb Software released Avadon: The Black Fortress.
I'm writing this on Wednesday, after a week spent in a pretty continuous state of total freaking out. I am always nervous when releasing a new game. But a new game in a new world with a new system? After spending an unusual amount of time on it? I've been going kind of insane.
For those who are interested, early sales are quite strong. I'm starting to suspect that we aren't about to go out of business. And yet, most of the early sales are to die-heard fans. The question is how many new people will play it and like it. I think that it's solid, the world is cool, and the game itself is a lot of fun to play. But I might be wrong. It happens all the time.
Releasing a new game also means that I have to read my forums, which, as I have written before, is painful. Even for a solid game, most of the things that are written will be critical. It's only with time that I can get a read on how good the good parts are.
This is also when I have to take the lumps for unpopular but necessary choices I had to make. The biggest complaint is that the game has no keyboard movement. Our other big series, Avernum, takes place on a fairly simple grid, so keyboard movement is easy to implement. Avadon takes place in a larger world with no simple grid for the characters to stand on, and keyboard movement just doesn't work as well as the mouse, especially for distances that aren't very short. But some people really want keyboard movement, and I can hardly tell them they are wrong. I just have to take the criticism and hope that the game is good enough.
I've also been criticized that the game text is too small, and I'm taking that to heart. I am going to work on using a larger font for dialogue and special encounters, which should help a lot.
But now I'm rambling. Releasing a game is only the beginning of a long process. Maintenance. PR. Sequels. I hope you try it out. I hope you like it. And I hope Spiderweb gets to stay in business.
On to the Windows port (hopefully out at the end of April). And the iPad port (I have no idea when this might be ready).