Rampant Games - Why Indie CRPGs?
Part playlist, part indie evangelism and part a plea to expand the boundaries, Jay Barnson has posted Why Indie CRPGs? at Tales of the Rampant Coyote. It has a bit of a jRPG bent to it but is an interesting ramble:
When I was in junior high, Dungeons & Dragons was all the rage. Non-geeky-types were even experimenting with it, because they'd heard all this scandalous, controversial rumors about it. You wouldn't have to do much to find yourself in a game run by a stranger. Different DMs (the people who ran the game) all held different ideas and approaches to the game. Some of them admittedly just plain sucked, and I still want a refund on those hours of my life I wasted. But many of them provided us with adventures that were just boatloads of fun. The worlds and adventures we shared are pretty much lost in another decade now; I don't know that their creators would accurately remember them now. But these amateur game designers / storytellers would run us through the paces in their imaginary landscapes made "real" by word and interaction, and we had a hell of a good time.
Indie computer RPGs capture this feeling for me. What they may lack in polish and production values, these games often more than make up for in enthusiasm and creativity. The rawness can be an asset, allowing them to explore areas that their more refined mainstream cousins just can't go. The personalities of their creators shine through, reflecting a level of individuality in imagination that often gets filtered out or only revealed in tiny pieces in larger games designed by committee and corporate decree.