Spiderweb Software Are The New Weekly Humble Bundle

By John Walker on July 11th, 2013 at 7:14 pm.

With excellent timing (we were just celebrating this yesterday), on the 20th anniversary of Spiderweb Software, the enormously loved games from RPG guru Jeff Vogel are the subject of this week’s Humble Weekly Bundle. Which is to say, you can get fifteen of the games for any price you like. Woo! You can see indie developer and living legend Vogel explaining this all below.

You get insta-download links, as well as Steam keys, for a purchase. And a good feeling in your tummy.

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63 Comments »

  1. jackthename says:

    Purchased for a goodly sum, and even made it onto the top contributors list for a second! yay!

  2. pakoito says:

    I bought them, and I don’t even know if I’m gonna play. Feels good to own a man’s whole life work.

  3. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Much props to Jeff and the entirety of Spiderweb Software. Much gamer love and admiration. -edit- That also solves a bit of the Steam Sale Problem for me, as I’d rather support Jeff and the HumbleBundle site than Steam.

  4. Berserkben says:

    oops

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Got the Avadon Complete key (the top one)! Thanks a ton, I’ve been looking to play that series for a while now. :)

      • Deano2099 says:

        Yet you won’t spend a dollar on it? Pathetic.

        Bundles can’t be split, so this is basically piracy.

        http://support.humblebundle.com/customer/portal/articles/243192-if-i-already-have-a-game-s-in-the-bundle-do-i-have-the-ability-to-gift-the-extra-copy-in-the-bundle-

        • mouton says:

          or genocide

        • Berserkben says:

          Thanks for the info, didn’t know.

        • FFabian says:

          It’s piracy because you or the Humble folks claim it is? I have serious doubts that this is true – in the EU at least, when you consider a (not so) recent judgment by European Court of Justice.

          • Risingson says:

            Is it piracy? Sorry, but I am going to do the very unethical and piratey thing of giving my extra keys to my sister.

            Please, people, please. Don’t support this kind of license and then complain about the Ubi or xbox one.

            EDIT: sorry, replied to the wrong guy. Friendly Fire! Friendly Fire!

          • FFabian says:

            @risingson: replied to the wrong guy? I’m on your side ;-)

          • Deano2099 says:

            Humble don’t use DRM because they don’t want to restrict what you can do with your software. They go so far as to offer separate keys to make it as convenient as possible for you. All they ask is you don’t split your own bundle. Wouldn’t it be nice if people did that? There’s a bunch of reasons for it, including allowing the devs to track how many copies are actually sold and such. It’s not much to ask.

            If you want to give away free keys, by all means instead of paying $5 for the bundle, buy five copies for $1 each and hand them out.

            The problem is the people giving away keys tend to have bought the bundle for the minimum price (effectively $1) and people reclaiming them are people that won’t even pay $1 for the bundle. Which is ridiculous really.

            It is piracy, a fairly benign form, but it still is. It’s like me going “I’ve finished Theme Hospital, would anyone like me to e-mail them my GOG installer file. I’ll delete it.”

          • Risingson says:

            That reminds me a thread in vogons that was closed because giving a videogame to your brother is piracy. Why cannot we keep this thing civil? I think that some people enjoy enforcing laws, whatever their motivation are.

  5. suibhne says:

    I already own almost everything, but I bought all over again just to get the Nethergate remake. The Humble Bundle makes it tough not to do out-of-economic-whack stuff like that.

  6. ralph_plauren says:

    That video was great. I gave 10 dollars to get the bundle, I already have most on steam but I wanted to try out Escape from the Pit, which I hear is the best.

    The only bad thing about these games in my eyes is that your character sprite remains static. If your characters changed based on what they equipped I would love them forever.

    • rawrty says:

      That little detail bugs me too. The graphics quality did not bother me in the slightest. But something about watching my barbarian walk around bare chested even though he is wearing a full suit of armor just bothered me. Knights of the Chalice was the same too.

      Still no reason not to buy and enjoy these games. Great games at a great price.

  7. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    Bought them all again. One day I might actually get around to completing one of them.

    I do have to agree with Scientific Gamer though: “We realised a long time ago that 3D for 3D’s sake wasn’t necessarily an improvement, so why do outfits like Spiderweb insist on doing a very poor imitation of late 90s isometric RPGs?”

    • InternetBatman says:

      Saying that they should develop an entirely new engine so it looks better in 2D is no better than the old cries that they should spend all their time making new assets that look better in 3D. It’s evolved at this point. It is what it is. I’d rather see more games from them than a new engine.

  8. frenz0rz says:

    I used to play the Exile series as a kid but they’re not compatible with Vista/7/8. Is the Avernum series just Exile with prettier graphics/UI and better compatibility, or something different entirely?

    • Aerothorn says:

      Yeah, pretty much. Some added quests and whatnot but they are very much remakes. Escape from the Pit, meanwhile, is a remake of the remake (again, update engine/ui/some gameplay changes).

      • frenz0rz says:

        Marvelous. Purchased!

      • malkav11 says:

        The story content is largely the same with some additions. The gameplay is, imho, very different and there are changes that I did not agree with when the series became Avernum rather than Exile.

    • InternetBatman says:

      There’s also Phil Foglio drawings.

    • Niko says:

      I’ve managed to run Exile 3 in Windows 7 32-bit compatibility mode just yesterday. Won’t run on 64-bit, though.

      • 2gudtoulouse says:

        It’s because the game is 16-bit, you can get around this by running a virtual 32-bit machine and installing Exile on that. :)

  9. Swanny says:

    I’m actually more excited for this than the Steam sale- I’ve been very good at missing when these games go on sale.

    Never played any of these, any recommendations on where I should start?

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I personally like the Geneforge series the most, but that’s just me. Nethergate has the whole Romans versus Celts(? Could be picts, perhaps) thing going which you might find more interesting. Whereas Avernum is their original. Basically a subterranean dungeoncrawl, if I recall correctly.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Geneforge or Avernum: Escape from the Pit have the kindest UIs and great stories to boot. Avadon is new, but it’s only so-so story wise.

    • Waltorious says:

      The Avernum games are very much classic “party of heroes” RPGs, with great settings and stories. Nethergate: Resurrection is very similar but is set in Britain during the Roman occupation and lets you play as either the Romans or Celts. The Geneforge games are single-character, but let you create groups of monsters to help you, and are focused on difficult moral decisions. Both are great, so it’s up to you which you’re in the mood for.

      The original Avernum series are the oldest and have the oldest engine, so if old-school controls bother you, you might skip to Geneforge or Avadon (I haven’t played Avadon yet so I can’t comment on it), or the new remake Avernum: Escape From the Pit. If you don’t mind old-school design, you’ll have no problem starting with Avernum or Nethergate and then moving on to the more modern entries.

      EDIT: Forgot to mention that Avernum 4-6 are newer and have a newer engine than games 1-3. So you could also skip to number 4 if the first three are too old-school for you.

      • Niko says:

        Exile series are the oldest actually, they aren’t in the bundle because they are available for free on Spiderweb’s site.

        • Michael Anson says:

          Saying that Exile is older than Avernum is, while technically correct, very silly. Avernum is a remake/rebuild of Exile using a newer engine with isometric graphics and other improvements, almost entirely UI-based.

          • rxyz says:

            And quite a bit of changes to the gameplay mechanics with regards to attributes and magic. Especially magic was better in Exile, imo.

          • Niko says:

            Is there a Quickfire spell, which creates a fire that spreads until it fills the whole dungeon, destroying everything in the process, in Avernum?

          • rxyz says:

            No, there is no quickfire spell in Avernum.

          • Niko says:

            That was a rhetorical question, sort of, because I haven’t played all the Avernum games. Point is, some stuff was improved, but some was taken out.

          • 2gudtoulouse says:

            I prefer the top down view of the exile games to the isometric Avernum one. :s

  10. Monkeh says:

    Hm.. calling yourself a living legend feels kinda weird. Even when it is true.

    • Dominic White says:

      He can get away with it in a video so brilliantly self-deprecating

    • Josh W says:

      It’s sort of 360 self depricating praise, this is advanced.

  11. slerbal says:

    Bought. Definite no-brainer on that one. Good luck Spiderweb! I hope the Humble weekly sale does well for you and may you achieve another 20 years of success! My studio achieved 11 years, so I know how impressive 20 years is :)

  12. InternetBatman says:

    I’m interested in the first Avernum Trilogy. How bad is it UI wise? As bad as the remade Nethergate, or relatively passable like Geneforge.

    • Waltorious says:

      The remake of Nethergate is done in the same engine as the original Avernum trilogy. So they’re nearly identical, UI-wise. Avernum 4-6 are newer and have a newer engine that’s closer to Geneforge (although it still has grid-based movement). Having said that, they’re great games, so I hope you’re not dissuaded by the UI!

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      As far as I’m aware, all Spiderweb Software games have lengthy demos. So if you’re hesitating you can always try the demo(s) first.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Can’t really understand the comments about Spiderweb Software early UIs. Have played the full series on many occasions and never felt anything was especially broken, or even wrong, with the UI.

      • InternetBatman says:

        A bunch of things about it are just unintuitive, like using a talk button instead of clicking on people.

  13. neurovx says:

    Here is a Steam key for the Second Avernum Trilogy:

    HW7KG-E2BHW-L654X
    _______
    NeuroVX

  14. PegasusOrgans says:

    Had most of the newer ones but heck, why not get what I’m missing. Hard to say no.

  15. pupsikaso says:

    Wow, so many excellent games at the same time! I don’t even know where to begin?

    RPS, which game should I start with?

    • InternetBatman says:

      Avernum Escape from the Pit

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Escape From the Pit is the most polished, both in terms of graphics and interface. So you might want to start there as it’s a good introduction to Spiderweb’s style.

      Honestly, though, the Geneforge games are the best games in the bunch, so starting with Geneforge 1 wouldn’t be bad either, even though its graphics and interface are a bit rougher. But things get better with each progressive game in the series (with “Geneforge 5″ being, I think, the best game that Spiderweb has ever made and one of my favorite RPGs ever).

      It kind of depends on what kind of RPGs you like, though. As a general rule, the Avernums are basically “Ultima,” the Geneforges are more like “Fallout,” and “Avadon” is alot like a turn based, latter day, Bioware game.

      • LostInDaJungle says:

        You had me at “like fallout”. Always have looked at these a little during Steam sales, and have always shied away because the “where to start?” was too daunting. I’m older, so finding time for 5 epic RPG’s in a row was difficult, but now that were in the “waitin’ for a new console” lull, perfect timing.

        Loved Fallout 1 and 2, so if they’re in that style, I’ll be a happy boy. Thanks for the rec.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I would say that Geneforge is more like Baldur’s Gate and Avernum is more like Fallout. Geneforge has talking companions, an overworld map where you find new areas by going to the edge of the screen, later games gate the content to narrative, and it is thematically a bit closer. Avernum is barren desolate land with a free travel overworld map with its own skills, focuses more heavily on individual skill options, and leans towards freedom over narrative.

        Both are very, very good.

        • rxyz says:

          Geneforge is more like Fallout in the sense that Geneforge games are very open-ended games where you can join any faction etc. but Exile/Avernum are much more linear (in a similar fashion to Bioware games).

  16. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I’m on the fence here – should this be a Staring Eyes tag candidate?

    • jrodman says:

      I feel a bit more like ‘focusing behind me eyes” about this one.

  17. jrodman says:

    By the by, this is the second time I bought these in a week. I’m not sure if that makes me cheap or generous.

  18. Nimdok says:

    The guy hasn’t made a ‘new’ game in years; he just keeps re-hashing the same game over. And over. And over. It’s a wonder people keep throwing their money at him.

    • Niko says:

      Must be something wrong with these people. Luckily there’s you to tell the truth.

    • Michael Anson says:

      Yessir, that Avadon: the Black Fortress sure isn’t a game. Nor it’s sequel, releasing soon and the reason for this Humble Sale. How dare they try to sell these not-games when they could be making real games!

      In a more serious tone, this man’s work is massive. He started off making the Exile series (three games), then started work on the Geneforge series while releasing Nethergate and Blades of Exile. Then he used some of the enhance,nets for the Geneforge engine to do Avernum, which were rewrite/rebuilds of the Exile series, before finishing the five-part Geneforge series. Then he wrote ANOTHER three parts of the Avernum series, before rebuilding the Nethergate game in the new engine. And now he’s releasing the Avadon trilogy, while doing a ground-up rewrite of the original Avernum series, both the engine and the story/world.

      This man has released a total of 14 unique games, with only 5 rewrites in between, in the space of just 20 years. That is a pace that far outstrips most AAA studios, nearing a single release every year. And the amount of work he puts into the writing alone would shame most novel-writers, as the third Exile game had the same amount of raw text as FIVE novels, and the amount of text has simply grown since.

      I’m sorry you can’t appreciate the level of work, skill, and artistry that went into making these games, but it would be patently unfair to allow you to spread such misinformation about this man’s work simply because his games’ art, gameplay, or storytelling style are not to your taste.

      • otyugh says:

        I know I’m late to the party, but Michael Anson has given an excellent overview. Just to support his point, here’s the ordered list of 14 unique games *plus* 6 remakes (20 games total):

        1. Exile: Escape from the Pit (1995)
        – remade as Avernum (1999)
        – remade as Avernum: Escape from the Pit (2012)
        2. Exile II: Crystal Souls (1996)
        – remade as Avernum 2 (2001)
        3. Exile III: Ruined World (1997)
        – remade as Avernum 3 (2002)
        4. Blades of Exile (1997)
        – remade as Blades of Avernum (2004)
        5. Nethergate (1999)
        – remade as Nethergate: Resurrection (2007)
        6. Geneforge (2002)
        7. Geneforge 2 (2003)
        8. Geneforge 3 (2005)
        9. Avernum 4 (2005)
        10. Avernum 5 (2007)
        11. Geneforge 4: Rebellion (2007)
        12. Geneforge 5: Overthrow (2009)
        13. Avernum 6 (2009)
        14. Avadon: The Black Fortress (2011)

        Currently working on Avadon 2: The Corruption

        And here’s everything sorted chronologically by series:

        *Exile Series* [remade later as Avernum: First Trilogy]
        Exile: Escape from the Pit (1995)
        Exile II: Crystal Souls (1996)
        Exile III: Ruined World (1997)
        Blades of Exile (1997)

        Nethergate (1999) [remade later as Nethergate: Resurrection]

        *Avernum: First Trilogy*
        Avernum (1999)
        Avernum 2 (2001)
        Avernum 3 (2002)
        Blades of Avernum (2004)

        *Geneforge Series*
        Geneforge (2002)
        Geneforge 2 (2003)
        Geneforge 3 (2005)
        Geneforge 4: Rebellion (2007)
        Geneforge 5: Overthrow (2009)

        *Avernum: Second Trilogy*
        Avernum 4 (2005)
        Avernum 5 (2007)
        Avernum 6 (2009)

        Nethergate: Resurrection (2007)

        Avadon: The Black Fortress (2011)

        Avernum: Escape from the Pit (2012)

        [Edit: err, or just go here: http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/142277/Spiderweb-Software-Timeline#vars!date=1993-11-05_13:59:19!

  19. mr.black says:

    Bought it. Not particularly because I want to play it now, but cause of all the hours I spent with Geneforge and original Avernum trilogy but with cracked games.. I’m BETTER than that (now)!