IntroductionWelcome to Sucia Island. Your stay won't be very long, apprentice. You've stumbled into Barred lands -- a place forbidden to all your people because of the uniquely awful dangers posed by whatever experiment went horrifically awry here.
But let's pretend you survive more than one day, despite your weakness and ignorance. Perhaps you'll even survive your own curiosity to escape this place. Remember: knowledge confers power, and power confers responsibility. The Shapers have not yet granted you knowledge, and you have not yet developed wisdom. Tread lightly.
Geneforge is the first of a five-game series developed by Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software. The games are all turn-based tactical RPGs on isometric-ish maps. They can get quite challenging even on normal difficulty depending on your playstyle; it's very easy to be overwhelmed and you're almost always outmatched. You might know Vogel's games from the recently completed Avadon trilogy, or from the ongoing re-remake of the Exile games - he has an old school vision that punishes rushing into combat.
TooMuchAbstraction recently completed a screenshot LP of Avernum: Escape from the Pit, which is a pretty strong example of the improvements Vogel has made over the years...
But Geneforge hasn't received the remake treatment yet and probably won't for at least a few more years. The graphics and performance show the game's age. Geneforge was originally released on Mac in 2001, with a PC version in Q1 2002. Performance is grindingly slow, the engine is dated to the Jurassic era, and this indie title lacks a lot of the graphical and musical polish players have come to expect. Graphics and audio have never been Vogel's focus, so if you come into the games expecting them, you will be disappointed. His focus is gameplay and storytelling, and the latter is where this series really excels.
Each of the Geneforge games focuses on pursuing alliances or rivalries with political factions, and as such, you have many, many decisions to make over the course of a playthrough. I can't promise that I will be able to show all of the possible outcomes, but I can show each of the basic endings. We will be playing as a Shaper; a mage whose training and abilities allow him or her to create and modify life from drought-tolerant wheat to mind-controlling vlish. Of course, we don't start out with that much power, but I'll let the game speak for itself.
What's your plan?
This will be a screenshot LP with narrative elements, though most of the text will be straight from the game. Geneforge is my first LP, so it might be a little bumpy while I learn to use the tools of the trade. I plan on having at least one update a week, and hopefully more. The most time-consuming bit so far seems to be sorting out the screenshots and uploading them, even with batch processing. I'll also do my best to explain the game's mechanics. If there's interest, I'll open up voting for key in-game decisions.
I'm POOL IS CLOSED, formerly RedTonic. You might know me from such luminous threads as, uh. Welp. Let's get playing!
Spiderweb Software develops demoware, meaning they put out substantial free demos of all their games. You can check out the demo for Geneforge 1 here if you're interested in playing along. The games are available directly through Spiderweb Software's website and on the usual digital retail platforms for Windows and Mac.
Some Sweet-Ass Thread Contributions
The Best Shaper Poem
Whose genes these are I think I know,
They're on another island, though,
They will not see me stuff my brain
With things Man was not meant to know.
GreatEvilKing huffs flames in vain,
We halt with no foes to cause pain,
He aches to find a rogue or thief,
And murder them with might arcane.
Like Clockwork growls and seeks relief,
From their now sudden-silent chief,
The only other sound's the scrape,
Of metal lid on fallen leaf.
The secret doors before me gape,
But I have need to find escape,
And miles to go after I Shape,
And miles to go after I Shape.
A Baller Solution Portrait
Compatibility on Windows
If you're running Geneforge or the early sequels on a 64 bit Windows OS, you may notice serious slowdown at certain points. This compatibility toolkit should help. Thanks to the Spiderweb games megathread for pointing the way!
Ratty on Steam posted:
For all you fans that noticed that these old gems runs horrible on your new fancy machines I got a solution for ya!
The reason the game runs slow is that they are designed for Direct Draw so you need to force it on all the old Spiderweb games.
Download, Run and install the Application Compatibility Toolkit:
The only file you really need:
Run Compatibility Administrator (32-bit)
(Start -> Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit)
Create a new Custom Database under 'Custom Databases', name it to something good like Geneforge.
(Right click, New)
Right click your new database and click 'Create New' followed by 'Application Fix...'.
Put a good name in, then click 'Browse' and go to the .exe file you want to fix.
Layer_ForceDirectDrawEmulation under 'Additional compatibility modes' and check it.
Click next, next, next, finish.
Save your new database anywhere you like, then right click the database and choose "Install".
Enjoy a lag free Spiderweb game!
Repeat on whatever old Spiderweb game you have FPS issues with.
Hope it help you all
Table of Contents
#1. Welcome to Sucia Island
#2. What Is a Servile? A Miserable Pile of Secrets.
#3. Everywhere I Go, I Must Kill! Part 1.
#4. Everywhere I Go, I Must Kill! Part 2.
#5. Obedience Is An Act of Faith
#6. On the Road
#7. An Obeyer Interlude: Your Faithful Servants
#8. An Obeyer Interlude, 2: The Use of Power
#9. A-Hunting We Will Go
#10. The Control Mind and You
#11. Shapeless Days
#12. Which Bridge to Cross and Which to Burn
#13. A Landmine Is an Eternal Sentry
#14. Service, Sacrifice, and Saviours
#15. The Less than Legendary Journeys
#16. Kazg Wheels, Kazg Deals
#17. Kazg Wheels, Kazg Deals Part 2
#18. It Only Gets Worse
#19. Living on the Mercy of Strangers
#20. Just Because It Sounds a Bit Like PIE-lon
#21. There Is No Substitute for Competence
#22. An Alliance with the Follies of Others
#23. Our Share of Miseries
#24. Let's Get Political
#25. Too Many Circles
#26. Everybody Run, It's the
#27. A Certain Nonchalance
#28. Souls Freed From Vice
#29. The Little Things
#30. It's No Nausicaa
#31. All Things Merge Into One
#32. Sixteen Tons
#33. The Only Guarantee of Morality
#34. Paying Tuition
#35. The Secret
#36. Where Death Awaits
#37. Where Death Awaits Pt. 2
#38. Practice Freedom
#39. Practice Freedom Pt. 2
#41. Interlude: Terrible Things
#43. Fear and Love
#44. Dead Ends
#45. As Necessity Demands
#46. Not Burning Bridges Pt. 1
#47. Not Burning Bridges Pt. 2
#48. The Road
#49. Buy Stuff Now or Kick Yourself Later
#50. Victory Conditions
#51. Wander and Ponder
#52. Superfun Superfund
#53. The Haunting of the Holding Cells
#54. You Asked For This
#55. The Fate of the Geneforge
#56. Early Escape
#57. Uncharted Territory
#58. Faction Quests
#59. Trajkov's War & the Three Serviles