Spiderweb Software launch Kickstarter for new series, Queen’s Wish

Spiderweb Software have been producing huge elaborate RPG series since 1994, and yet there’s still a good chance you’ve not heard of them. Created chiefly by one guy, Jeff Vogel, his series like Avadon, Avernum and Geneforge have incredibly dedicated followings, and we’ve covered them a bunch before. The Avadon series concluded in 2016, and they finished remaking all the Avernums earlier this year, and now, for the first time in seven years, Spiderweb are announcing a new series: Queen’s Wish. And a Kickstarter too.

I’ve played a fair bit of a fair few of the Spiderweb games, and they’re far more accessible than a glance at screenshots might suggest. The very retro style is as much an aesthetic choice as it is a necessity for a tiny team to be able to construct such vast games. (Vogel discussed this at length in an interview I did with him a few years back.) But the games themselves are slick and enjoyable, with their emphasis on story. Yet, whenever I’ve played, I’ve always been daunted by the sheer amount of it.

I see Queen’s Wish as this really hopeful opportunity to get in at the start of a Vogel series, without worrying about the years of prior creation, or the knowledge that two other equally vast chapters of it already exist. And despite the Kickstarter, they’re not looking to suddenly change the nature of the games. “Queen’s Wish will be very much in the Spiderweb Software tradition,” explains Vogel. “Low-budget, but fast-moving, fun, highly open-ended, and with a cool story.”

New in Queen’s Wish: The Conqueror – the opening entry – will be fort building and customisation, which will give players a base, as well as add “significant bonuses depending on your overall strategy”. And the game will apparently have different paths, different approaches, and different endings. In the game you will play the youngest child of Queen Sharyn, the “absolute leader of the Empire of Haven”. You’re ejected from your comfortable life, and sent out into the war-torn lands of Sacramentum. I mean, that’s what it says here.

From here it implies there will be a lot of choice about how you go about things. Do you rebuild your lost colony to win the Queen’s favour? Do you rage your way through Sacramentum to expand Haven? Do you be Mrs Friendly and join the enemies? Or just peg it?

The Kickstarter is obviously to raise some funds – a very specific £22,637 – but also to get players in at the ground level. Also, rather pleasingly, Vogel also suggests it’s an opportunity for those who’ve previously pirated Spiderweb games to give them a bit of cash in return. Or as he puts it, “you can purchase personalised absolution.”

The Kickstarter is here.

(And not to be confused with this impossibly failed Kickstarter, in which somehow people weren’t convinced to raise money for a book about a girl with an enchanted tennis racquet.)


  1. Metalfish says:

    “Do you be Mrs Friendly and join the enemies? Or just peg it?”

    For any confused non-brits, to “peg it” is to run away very fast. This isn’t that sex thing, honest. See also: “squeaky bum time”.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Arnvidr says:

    Also, that oddly specific £ amount is just Kickstarter arbitrality choosing to show you a converted value for the original USD 30,000 goal :)

  3. int says:

    Queen’s Wish is that tonight they’re gonna have themselves a real good time.

  4. Jernau Gurgeh says:

    I played Avadon on my new iPad 2 way back in 2011. An immense and immersive game, with simple but serviceable graphics and sound, a sprawling map, some fun but grindy turn-based tactical combat and some of the best writing and dialogue in an RPG that I’ve experienced. However, I never finished it because it was so immense, and I completely lost track of what the hell was going on after having a break and never picked it up again.

    I have since got hold of both of its sequels on PC for peanuts in sales, plus also the first Avernum (well, the reboot of it, which was apparently its third iteration), but am not sure if I’ll ever finish them, or even start them up, because of their immense immensiveness.

    I would love to see a series of games by them with a similar vibe, with similar quality of writing and similar gameplay, but perhaps more work put into a new audio-visual engine, and a playthrough length that is less epicly life-drainingly immensively immensefull.

    • Jernau Gurgeh says:

      Looking at the Kickstarter video, the aesthetic seem to have changed from the neat isometric style of previous games to a weird flat perspective that I really don’t like. I know visuals aren’t the main concern of Spiderweb’s games, but this really feels like a step backwards!

      • jomurph86 says:

        I hope he will confirm this, But I’m pretty sure those are temporary, pre-alpha images. And the aesthetics will get a lot more development with the funding money.

  5. elvirais says:

    I paid for two shareware games when I was a kid: Exile III and Realmz (another old-school rpg, for Mac). Really nice to see this evolving.

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