Thursday, June 3, 2010

Avadon Developer Diary #1 - Where Ideas Come From.

Last week, after six months of hard work, we were finally able to announce Avadon: The Black Fortress to the world. Avadon is our next, all-new, Indie fantasy role-playing game. And, hopefully, trilogy. We're really excited about it. It's the first time in quite a while that we're doing something really new, and these monthly development diaries will say a bit about the new series and the ups and downs of making it.

So, for the first post, I wanted to write about where the idea came from. I am often asked where I get my ideas. So, if you ever wondered, here is one answer.

The First Idea

About three years ago, I saw that the Avernum and Geneforge series were drawing to a close, and I needed to come up with something new. This was, of course, both exciting and terrifying. Coming up with an idea that will determine the course of years of your life (and possibly put you out of business) is a stressful process.

About this time, my wife and I went to see a Hungarian one-act opera called Bluebeard's Castle. I am normally not a fan of opera. Exactly the opposite, in fact. But some friends had cheap tickets, and we had babysitting, so, you know, whatever.

And what was it like? Well, I will quote Wikipedia.

"The basic plot is loosely based on the folk tale of Bluebeard, but is given a heavily psychological reworking—some would say psychoanalytic or psychosexual"

So you know it was a totally fun time. As far as I'm concerned, an evening out is a failure if it doesn't involve the word "psychosexual."

Anyway. The opera is about Bluebeard, this incredibly scary guy who lives in this huge, dark castle. He brings home his new, young, pretty wife and is showing her around. His castle has seven doors, and he unlocks and opens them for her one after the other. Each door looks out onto some cool room or vista. Some open onto treasures. Others onto subterranean realms. Or far-away lands. (So this is already sounding like a Paper Mario game.) When each door is opened, they sing about it. At length.

So then they get to the last door. Bluebeard refuses to open it. His wife begs for him to. He refuses. This goes on for a while. Finally, Bluebeard gives in and opens the door. Bluebeard's other wives (!) walk out silently. They take his new wife and pull her through the door, which closes behind them. Bluebeard sings about how sad he is. Opera ends. Very psychosexual.

So I'm sitting there watching this, and what I'm thinking is this: Who is this Bluebeard guy? He's very powerful. Very rich. Has a castle full of magic doors. He mentions how he has great influence with the court. What's his deal? Where did all that wealth come from? What does he use those portals for? What is his day job?

And here was my idea. He's a warrior. Or an assassin. Or a spy. He can go wherever the king wants, and do whatever needs doing. Something needs to be found out? Some rebel needs to die? That's what Bluebeard does, and he is well paid for it.

Turning a Glimmer Into a Game

These ideas bounce around in my head for a few years, getting massaged into a more video-game-friendly form. And that brings us to Avadon.

In Avadon, the land of Lynauus is split in two. There is the Pact, an uneasy alliance of five nations, banded together for safety. On the other side is the Farlands, the enemies of the Pact, barbarians and monsters and old, crumbling Empires, kept weak and divided. But they long to get their revenge on the Pact. To put together armies and destroy these upstarts.

And the Pact is protected by Avadon. Avadon is a fortress in the wilds, a law unto itself, separate from the government. Its warriors are tasked to find problems when they are small and do whatever it takes to remove them. Avadon is ruled by Keeper Redbeard, the smiling, jolly, utterly ruthless master of the Black Fortress. He has been in charge for sixty years, though he doesn't appear to have aged a day.

As the game begins, you have just arrived at Avadon's gates. And you have found that, after decades of steely, unbroken control, things are going terribly wrong. Redbeard wants to see you. He needs a pair of fresh eyes, and it is a bad idea to disappoint him.

And that is where the new series came from. Over the next few months, I will say more about the world and the gameplay itself.


  1. Heh. I love how the opera got translated into the idea of Avadon.

    You seem to like the idea of 'agents working for a lands-ruling power.' Exile/Avernum, Geneforge, and now Avadon seem to have that theme. Actually, even Nethergate had that theme, at least for the Roman side. Reminds me, I need to go play Nethergate again.

    Rock on, Jeff. Looking forward to the next posts, and the new game.

  2. You know, Richard Burton started in a movie version of Bluebeard. There is an epic, epic I say, review of it over at (fabled bad movie review site).

  3. FINE. FINE. I'll buy it already! Stop mocking me with these teasers!

    (refreshes page to see if new teaser has come up yet.)

  4. Will there be a Linux version? I'm so tired of wrestling with Wine. :(

  5. Is the name "Avadon" chosen on purpose? It means "doom" in Hebrew

  6. @Yuval: I was not aware of that, though it doesn't make me like the name less. :-)

    - Jeff Vogel

  7. You might be interested to know that there was a short freeware indie game called "Judith" a little while ago that was inspired by the same opera. Although it's not really much of a game, more like a story that requires you to push some buttons to continue. Made by Terry Cavanagh and Stephen Lavelle.

    Check it out here if you're interested:

    Avadon sounds pretty cool, I'm looking forward to it.

  8. Sounds more and more awesome, and I'll definitely be there day one.

  9. Ah Blue beard, I remember reading that story (shortened version, with detailed pictures too!) in elementary school.

    I'm liking this idea, and am waiting to see where this will go.

  10. "He needs a pair of fresh eyes, and it is a bad idea to disappoint him."

    After all, you don't want him to get literal.

  11. This sounds quite interesting. It might be the first Spiderweb game I buy.

  12. Taking a setting/character from that opera and running with it reminds me of Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Inspired by a poem he took the setting/character and created an epic story within a "multiverse". This has a similar feel, which is cool.

  13. Three years, hum? AND the months yet to came, programing.
    I am starting a project that will take that much before any results. I can relate to "exciting and terrifying"! I hope your game will sell much more than your best expectations.

  14. I already love the two character portraits shown.

    Please keep it as customisable as possible (so we can choose any face/gender for any class).

  15. 仇恨是一把雙刃劍,傷了別人,也傷了自己............................................................

  16. We offer the farouk chi flat iron. We provide the best price and free shipping for all the
    chi flat iron. As we know, the
    ghd iv styler is the first class and famous brand. So it is the good chance for you. Don't let it pass. If you are looking for the
    babyliss flat iron, you have come to the right place for
    instyler rotating hot iron.

    ghd straighteners was known as
    ghd flat iron, which was authorized online
    ghd seller provides all kinds of hair straighteners,pink ghd,purple ghd,babyliss. By visiting
    ghd iv salon styler , you will find what you want and made yourself more beautiful.If you miss it ,you miss beauty.Buy a piece of ghd for yourself.Come and join us to win the
    ghd iv mini styler.
    ghd uk
    ghd australia
    ghd africa
    ghd southafrica
    t3 hair dryer
    purple ghd straighteners
    ghd spain
    ghd ireland
    ghd denmark
    ghd america
    ghd italy
    ghd germany
    ghd france
    cheap ghd
    purple ghd straighteners

  17. I like the idea. I like the screenshots, the way you guys experiment with the hud and all. But please, please replace the new skimpy A6 minimap with the good-old one from A5. Or similiar. Just screw the tranparency! Details FTW!
    Sorry, i couldn't help it >_>

  18. Every day,you have to be rushing office by bus,by subway with high-heels,do you feel bad when you will be late for work? unsteady and can’t work fast with high-heels.christian louboutin shoes trademark protection of this red sole christian louboutin shoes,louboutin shoes,christian louboutin boots,christian louboutin pumpschristian louboutin shoeschristian louboutin sale,cheap christian louboutin,cheap christian louboutin,
    coach handbags on sale,cheap ugg boots,air max 2010

  19. Um, you've got some sort of Chinese spambots hitting the comment section there....

    That said, this form just asked me to do a word verification. So the problem has already been noted and acted upon? Or can the spambots read warped text and enter passwords now?

  20. 2010 Winter coming , are you going to present Moncler down jackets Sale for your families . Shop for the classic bady Women coats from Moncler , Moncler men jackets are also available

  21. Information abouth the Douduone Moncler :
    Moncler have been thought as one of the most popular jackets brand in the world today.

    Doudoune Moncler Femme serait votre meilleur choix pour cet hiver en résistant au froid si. Maintenant, Moncler doudoune vous permettra de renoncer au tissu épais. En hiver, vous pouvez montre aussi votre silhouette élégante.

  22. The Rank Herve Leger Dress fashion shows are often populated with celebrities and famous actresses dressed in Herve Leger bandage dresses.Famous fans, Lindsay Lohan, Rihanna and Kate Bosworth.

  23. Bid on Power Bracelet now! Find Bracelets. New Colors & Sizes. power balance wholesale Guarantee & Secure
    Ordering.Power balance USA, Canada, UK Free Shipping. Rosetta Stone allows headstones to provide genealogical and
    historical information about the deceased directly to cemetery site visitors.

  24. gulamin chat en kaliteli sohbet chat siteleri ve sohbet odaları olmaya aday canlı sohbet sitesidir. sohbet siteleri arasında lider olmaya devam ediyor.
    Ayrıca ahmet kaya sitemizde sanatçıya ait albümler ve haberler bulunmaktadır. bedava sohbet etmek icin linklere tıklayınız.sohbet siteleri engüzel sohbet burda...
    sohbet odası sohbet odası

  25. As a girl, I don't know what Hermes Birkin I want. In my heart,you will say I know hermes bags very well. She wants flowers,xndszmba beautiful clothes,and fashionable. You can buy hermes birkin when you will participate a party or a ceremony.she also is a fun of hermes belts .up can not have a happy family.You know everyone wants to have a hermes purses . Where you can relax yourself and reflesh yourself.Maybe, you will say hermes birkin bags for sale are too expensive to buy. no one ever knows we want hermes wallets in our deep hearts. If so,Birkin bag is the classical style of hermes birkin handbag and is named after Jane Birkin,She has more than eight hundred hermes ties .of course,Both of Paris Hilton and Caroline Mulberry are her schoolfellow.

  26. Shoe hygiene is also important. Use anti-bacterial and anti-odor powders. Shoe deodorants are available in most stores, as well. If applied overnight, these products will take away the unpleasant shoe smell and will kill the bacteria responsible for it.
    Christian louboutin studded pumps

    Christian louboutin Bianca pumps

    Christian louboutin Rolando pumps

    Christian louboutin greissimo pumps

    Christian louboutin greissimo wedges

    Christian louboutin 140 heels

    Christian louboutin platform pumps

  27. Men and women strategy a different leisure life, producing dsquared2 jeans shoes are considered to be the most used style to follow by modern day people, inside a busy city, two comfortable and stylish Dsquared 2 guys sneakers so that you can in the relaxed and content planet, it releases the machine is installed away from informal style, distinct feeling enables you to be free, all-natural, self. The effect of financial crisis, basic and practical style, and new recommendations for choosing a gift. Dsquared two females sneakers that has a comfortable design notion head into the peoples vision, after that, the pace of the world slowly became relaxed.

    Dsquared2 Clothing

    Dsquared2 men clothing

    Dsquared2 on sale

    Dsquared2 online shop

    Dsquared2 men sneaker

    dsquared2 shoes


    d squared

    dsquared uk

    dsquared shoes

    dsquared online

    dsquared jeans

    dsquared sale

  28. Dear friends,Cheap Sale Louboutin online.All shoes elegant shoes is one of masterpiece from Christian Louboutin Platforms. When you buy yourself a pair of Christian Louboutin Thong Sandals
    shoes you allow yourself to benefit from the vast experience and expertise that this brand has collected over the years.Christian Louboutin Platform Sandals
    shoes is the personification of women,is their direct orgin of racial pride.Christian Louboutin Shoes
    shoes is the personification of women,is their direct orgin of racial pride.andChristian Louboutin Mensis a very distinctive design, its design reflects its style. You put on it, that means you have its style.Welcome to our Louboutin Shoes Sale .

  29. Many thanks for developing the effort to discuss this, I feel strongly about this and like studying a great deal more on this subject. If feasible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your webpage having a great deal much more info? It is very beneficial for me.
    Interlaken hotels

  30. Exceptional - I really should certainly pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no difficulty navigating signifies all the tabs also as associated info ended up being really simple to complete to entry. I lately discovered what I hoped for prior to you understand it in any respect.
    Barcelona Hotels

  31. Christian louboutin shoes disconut are so captivating using the distinctive style and design and stylish appearance.Louboutin Heels is on sale now, why not purchase a pair of Louboutin heels for yourself? They will assist you be additional attractive and comfortable. Louboutin mall are worthy of treasuring.

  32. I was looking for this information, thanks for put in this easy way, I mean in a easy way to understand it jajaja, well until the next time..wait, can you tell me if Indian Pharmacy is gonna be the company in charge of the secuel?

  33. I recognize the content so interesting about this article. For me personally I liked all the information. I would like to know of cases like this more often.

    online pharmacy

  34. Nice information,Ankara escort
    many thanks to the author.Ankara escort
    It is incomprehensible to me nowAnkara escort
    , but in general,Escort ankara bayan
    the usefulness and significance is overwhelming.Ankara escort
    Thanks again and good luck!
    Ankara escort
    became the first designer in Wimbledon's 133-year history to create official uniforms for the tournamentescort bayan ankara
    As part of this year's event, which starts next week.
    will introduces the first ...Escort ankara
    determinationEscort ankara
    to maintain and enhance the values for which our two brands are famous throughout the world.Escort ankara
    The rugby ralph lauren brand brings to Wimbledon the look of timeless elegance,Escort ankara
    drawing on our rich history and traditionsEscort ankara
    expert and i like your blog and the information you have
    mentioned in this post about the Google tools is really great!
    escort bayan
    escort istanbul
    Bayan Escort
    escort bayan ankara
    escort bayan ankara
    escort bayan ankara kızılay
    Escort ankara bayan
    escort bayan ankara çankaya
    Ankara escort bayan
    Ankara escort bayan
    Ankara Escort
    Ankara Escort
    Thanks for sharing. Very impressive

  35. Tiffany is about the world's most renowned designers of first-rate offerings.Dissimilar to other vogue companies,tiffany necklaces deal firmly in products for instance jewelry,designer watches,glass wares,lamps,bags,plus more.
    tiffany jewellery
    tiffany silvers
    tiffany uk
    tiffany jewellery uk
    tiffany jewellery sale
    tiffany rings
    tiffany co rings
    tiffany engagement rings
    tiffany bracelets
    tiffany co bracelets
    tiffany necklaces
    tiffany charms
    replica tiffany jewellery
    replica tiffany
    tiffany co
    tiffany and co

  36. Booking Buddy is the biggest travel search website, you can use to compare travel deals from the big travel booking sites.


  37. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful blog. If you want to enjoy with escort in isatnbul with girl escort, shemale escort &

    gays escort then check out here to get the best type escort model.

    Escort istanbul

    trans escort istanbul

    Istanbul travesti

    Gays istanbul

    Escort girls istanbul

    Escort bayan istanbul

    females escorts istanbul

    Shemale istanbul

    escort male istanbul

    massage istanbul

  38. Free slots and free slots online games selected by professional! Find the best payout casino, free bonus online casino and best real money slots games!

  39. Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you However I am experiencing issue with ur rss. Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting identical rss problem? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx


  40. I am happy with your article, Fajartoto think your website is pretty good. Many articles are very useful for everyone. I am sure your website will grow in the future. Fajartoto will always support your website, hopefully more advanced. keep the spirit... thanks

    togel online
    bandar togel terpercaya
    bandar togel sgp
    situs togel resmi
    togel online terpercaya
    agen togel
    agen togel terpercaya
    prediksi sgp
    syair togel hk

  41. Very nice post, i certainly love this website, keep on it

    Click Here

  42. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

    Click Here

  43. Unlike other companies that offer College Paper Writing Services, we cover a broader scope when receiving orders. We accept orders from varied fields of study such as law, medicine, engineering, hospitality, business, and many more. Our Write My College Essay for Me are the best and most beneficial to students and even lecturers who may require teaching material.

  44. Hello my name is Tugba Senturk Istanbul female escort, I am an independent Istanbul escort. I have a natural and jovial character, with a flexible and open mind. I love my city, Istanbul, where I was born and spent most of my life, my roots are Turkish. I was born in Istanbul, I am a real Turkish girl. l speak Turkish and English. I have long black hair, brown eyes, sexy lips and I am 27 years old. I can describe myself as a cosmopolitan, and cheerful Istanbul female escort

  45. Do you require Annotated Bibliography Powerpoint Presentation from a credible and trusted writing company which guarantees high -quality articles for the client? It can be challenging to acquire secure and confidential Quality Research Papers from a writing company.

  46. After looking into a few of the blog articles on your site, I seriously like your technique of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my web site as well and let me know what you think. 123Movies

  47. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate? FMovies

  48. If you wish for to increase your know-how just keep visiting this web page and be updated with the most recent information posted here. YesMovies

  49. Hello! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates. SolarMovies

  50. Much thanks for your letter which arrived a couple of days back. It was flawless to get notification from you. JavSH

  51. movies123 gleen from her on to the caregiver groups.

  52. 123movies. However, that's not really what I mean. "Fascists"

  53. FaktaBolasepak - Situs Penyedia informasi mengenai seputar Sepak bola, jadwal bola, Prediksi Skor bola aktual dan tertarget di Indonesia. Tentunya juga merekomendasikan Arena Bettingan bola Terpercaya yaitu Via4D di indonesia.
    Berita Bola Fakta Sepak bola
    Fakta Bola Sepak
    Berita Bola
    Jadwal Bola Versi Fakta Bola Sepak
    Prediksi Bola Versi Fakta Bola Sepak
    Agen Judi Bola Versi Fakta Bola Sepak
    Link Daftar Judi Bola Via4D Versi Fakta Bola Sepak