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Spiderweb Software is ready to pick up the story of Queen’s Wish: The Conqueror, its old-school RPG from 2019. Like in the first game, your player continues to take the reigns of your family’s empire. But this time, you’re in a pickle, and it appears that everything could fall apart.

That’s the promise behind Queen’s Wish: The Tormentor, the second in Spiderweb’s trilogy. The studio is seeking $40,000 on Kickstarter. For the first game, fans hit the $30,000 goal on the first day, funding the project for $98,992 by the end of its campaign.

Jeff Vogel founded Spiderweb back in 1994, and he’s made 26 games. He focuses on RPGs with deep narratives, story choices, and turn-based tactical gameplay with retro graphics. He’s an indie success story, making games his way now for 27 years.

But tools such as Kickstarter do help get his games made. Spiderweb has run two before, for the first’s Queen’s Wish and for the remake of one of the studio’s classics, Geneforge.

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“We’ve only done two so far, and we’re very happy about how they went, so we aren’t changing too much,” Vogel said over email. “The experiments we did were very successful. We gave people a chance to contribute ideas to the game, and that has been way more interesting and fun than we expected. I’ve been selling the graph paper maps I use to design the game, marked up with individual comments and personalization, and people love those.

We still have some fun things we want to try over the next few years, but the basic idea of ‘Give me money for a game and some extras’ is pretty solid.”

For a number of studios, a Kickstarter campaign is a way to market their games, talk to folks who may buy the game, gather feedback on alphas and betas, and reward loyal customers with fun stretch goals. While these are important to Spiderweb, the increasingly challenging indie game market makes crowdfunding vital for some developers, even those with built-in customer bases such as Spiderweb.

“I have to be brutally honest here. While we love the contact and the ideas and the fun of doing things, the Kickstarters are mainly about the money,” Vogel said. “The indie game business is growing tougher and more competitive every year, and the extra funding from Kickstarter is doing a huge amount to keep us in business. Setting up and fulfilling the Kickstarters is a ton of work. We couldn’t do them if they weren’t so important to our business.”

Where we left off …

Queen’s Wish: The Conqueror has the main character, the youngest child of Queen Sharyn of Haven, out to quell an uprising. But the rebels have you trapped, and you’re stuck in the mountains, with no easy way out. But you’re still grappling with how to take the mantle of leadership that comes with the “family business” — running an empire. And conquering the rebels of Rojak.

“The Queen’s Wish trilogy does have a system where your choices throughout the series can have a big effect on what happens and how it ends. Queen’s Wish 2 takes place in a new land, and the tone, sorts of problems, and ways you have to approach them are very different from the first game. Variety in sequels is a good thing. But this game is very much part of an overall storyline,” Vogel said. “The first game was calm and sedate in a lot of ways. The second game is where things are clearly crumbling.”

Now, the question you face is — should you escape, is it time to put down the rebellion and conquer Rojak? Or should you make another choice?

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