Spiderweb Software, the respected indie developer behind many fine Western RPGs, announced a "ground-up rewrite" for the first chapter of its epic Avernum series, which originally released in 1995 and was titled Exile: Escape From the Pit (and later remade as Avernum in 1999).

The studio points out that the game released in 1999 shows "its age in many ways", as it doesn't run on OS X Lion and has troubles with Windows 7. It took this opportunity to give the game a major retooling and release it to a new platform: the iPad.

Now titled Avernum: Escape from the Pit, the RPG tells "the tale of desperate exiles and their battle for survival and a land to call their own." It will have the same characters and storyline as the original, but will introduce new dialogue, locations, characters, and much more.

Avernum: Escape from the Pit also updates the skill system (resembling the systems in Avernum 6 and Avadon: The Black Fortress), the user interface, and graphics. There's a whole new town, too, with plenty of added quests.

Spiderweb will release Avernum: Escape from the Pit for Mac by the end of the year, and for Windows and iPad in the first quarter of 2012 ($20 for pc versions). If you previously purchased Exile: Escape From the Pit or Avernum in any form, you'll get the game half off.