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September 19, 2017
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Jeff Vogel's Blog   Expert Blogs


Jeff Vogel founded tiny, adorable indie game company Spiderweb Software in 1994. Since then, he has written many fantasy RPGs, including the Exile, Geneforge, Avadon, and Avernum series and Nethergate: Resurrection. Has also done much writing, including the Grumpy Gamer series for Computer Games Magazine, the View From the Bottom series for IGN, and the book The Poo Bomb: True Tales of Parental Terror. He is currently a long-winded blowhard at the Bottom Feeder blog and a terse blowhard on Twitter.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Jeff Vogel on Thu, 14 Sep 2017 10:39:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Console/PC, Indie, VR
Brave game designers are never satisfied with the mere perfection of the game console controller. They're always coming up with new, weird fad controllers to tempt us. This article will describe the lifespan of this process. Spoiler: Nothing ever changes.

Posted by Jeff Vogel on Fri, 04 Aug 2017 09:10:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie
The JRPG Persona 5 is critically acclaimed, selling extremely well for its genre, and is generally loved by the people who play it. Yet, it contains incredibly dark and difficult material by any standards, let alone video games. It still works. Why?

Posted by Jeff Vogel on Fri, 16 Jun 2017 09:40:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Console/PC, Indie
A step-by-step design analysis of the very long, long introduction to a recent popular game. The goal: To show how it could be shortened to make a more effective game and a less grueling experience for the player.

Posted by Jeff Vogel on Fri, 19 May 2017 09:30:00 EDT in Design, Console/PC, Indie
If your game has 100000 words, you could have done the same thing more effectively with 50000. If your game has 500000 words, you could have done better with 150000. If your game has over a million words, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!?

Posted by Jeff Vogel on Thu, 30 Mar 2017 09:54:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Console/PC, Indie
The Indie Bubble happened. And then the Indie Glut. The indie games business has entered its final phase, which will last forever. What is it, and how can we survive in it? If survival is possible. I mean, have you looked out there lately? It's BANANAS!

Posted by Jeff Vogel on Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:31:00 EDT in Design, Programming, Serious, Indie
My advice for young people who want to become creators of video games (or any other craft, really), based on my 20+ years in the wilderness of the industry. It is advice in a blog post and therefore to be considered dubious until proven otherwise.

Jeff Vogel's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 08/04/2017 - 09:10]

Normally, I like making characters ...

Normally, I like making characters more 3-dimensional, but I think that the villains in Persona 5 are handled just fine. I feel that art these days really overuses giving a character some sort of backstory to add depth. Like giving Willy Wonka a past in the recent movie. Ugh. Who ...

Comment In: [Blog - 06/16/2017 - 09:40]

I would love more gritty ...

I would love more gritty step by step analyses of games and what they do right and wrong. If you 're interested, I recommend the excellent indie game Quadrilateral Cowboy. After you win, you unlock a director 's cut playthrough, and the comments are super-informative.

Comment In: [Blog - 03/30/2017 - 09:54]

Use whatever assets you can ...

Use whatever assets you can to actually get your game done and off the launch pad, and don 't feel guilty. Remember, for a gamer to be mad at the assets you used, they have to actually have TRIED YOUR GAME. If that happens, you 're winning r n r ...

Comment In: [Blog - 09/23/2016 - 09:31]

Thank you It 's cool ...

Thank you It 's cool if people don 't read it. It 's looong. Honestly, I just wanted one convenient link to send to people who ask me, How do I write games Sending them this link also shows them Gamasutra, which is a nice bonus.

Comment In: [Blog - 09/08/2016 - 11:18]

Many, many thanks to Gamasutra ...

Many, many thanks to Gamasutra for printing my entirely sincere and perhaps slightly over-caffeinated post. This post has been blowing up on my blog, and I really hope I can share some numbers with Gama. I 'll be dropping in all day and taking on all comers if you want ...

Comment In: [Blog - 04/06/2016 - 01:31]

I agree 100 about the ...

I agree 100 about the lack of civility on the Internet. Though, as someone who joined it in 1988, I promise you that it was NEVER civil. r n r nBut it is possible to have a civil, respectful debate. That is what I don 't see, and I mourn ...