Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Indie Gamers and Hipsters… And Name a Frayed Knights 2 Character!

Posted by Rampant Coyote on April 5, 2013

Hey folks!

The sale on Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon continues! 50% off until the 16th. That’s the day after tax day for us U.S. dwellers. If you are trying to figure out what to do with your weekend, this is a great choice!  And guess what? It NEVER requires you to be online to play!

(If you wanna know where that came from – check out this big “up yours, gamers!” controversy that broke just as I was finishing  up this post…)

Yesterday’s free game was won by David W. The game – 3079 – is a little on the weird and rough side, but in a good way. But today,

Today… I just want to share this video from Felicia Day’s “Geek and Sundry” channel. Some indies and gamers have been offended by it. Me? I think it’s hilarious. But then I don’t make the kind of games that are getting teased here. And – from what I understand – the makers of the video are friends with some of the indies they are joking about here, so it’s all in good fun.

Watching this video, I thought a little bit about Andy Schatz’s opening speech at this year’s IGF award ceremony. He noted how indie is slowly becoming mainstream, and the mainstream industry that used to dismiss us now treats us as if they like us. He said, “We’re still punk, but the whole world is a little punk now. Like it or not, we’re not The Clash anymore. We’re Green Day.” Indie has won. This is a good thing, and it’s a healthy development for the medium. But indies have gone from being the little tiny rebels-with-a-cause to… something else. It’s a weird transition.

And we’ve become popular enough that people are starting to make jokes about us.

But meanwhile – while I love innovation and the occasional weird game, I’m also pretty jaded and know dang well that 90% of innovation doesn’t yield good results, and weirdness is not strictly a virtue. I’m a fan of busting outside of the comfort zone and blazing new trails, but I’m also keen on using our roots, our legacy, as a base camp.

So for the weekend — I’m not giving away a free game this time. INSTEAD – I’m going to give someone here the chance to have a character named after them in Frayed Knights 2. Someone from today’s comments gets to pick a name (including their own) for a character in Frayed Knights 2. It’s my little thank-you to the community. Or, if you prefer, my little way of being a lazy bum and outsourcing design work to the community. Either way. You’ll have a choice of one of several options, including whether they’ll be a friendly or enemy character. You can provide the name (within reasonable limits – in other words, don’t be obnoxious about it).

This contest will run the ENTIRE weekend. The winner will be contacted on Monday. Ish. (It’s fun working with an entire world of time-zones).

To participate, just leave a comment for this post. About indie games.  Possibly inspired by the above video. Some suggestions:

#1 – Why indie games are cool.


#2 – Why indie games are becoming annoyingly pretentious


#3 – What is your favorite indie RPG? Or favorite BESIDES Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon, if you prefer, because Frayed Knights is obviously everyone’s favorite, and not just because it is annoyingly pretentious and everybody who plays it totally gets it.


#4 – Now that mainstream games are starting to get friendly with indies, what sort of things would you expect to see? What would be an epic (or an epically STRANGE) mash-up between AAA and indie?

Or whatever else you wanna say. Have at it! And have fun!

(And remember to use a valid email address so I can contact you if you are the winner. I’m the only one who’ll see it, and that’s the only use it will be put to…)


Filed Under: Frayed Knights, Indie Evangelism - Comments: 10 Comments to Read

  • Skyway said,

    “Indie games suck it’s nothing new.

    Many retards here just support them because in their minds liking indie games means opposing mainstream despite them playing every single AAA game that’s coming out.

    But it’s impossible to find as much shit in mainstream as in indie gaming.

    In other words – fuck indies, fuck AAAs, support good developers.”

  • McTeddy said,

    Oh ****… having an epic hero named McTeddy wandering around the world stealing he players kills. One thing though… don’t give max stats. I know it’d be realistic but it wouldn’t be fun for the players 🙂

    1. Indy games are cool because they don’t follow the rules. Modern games “NEED this”… “NEED that… and all come off as desperate clones.
    I will always respect someone who tries their own thing no matter how many times they land on their face.

    2. Indy games annoyingly pretentious because they get too much coverage… to too few games. JUST LIKE AAA.
    And then we have certain indy devs who think that one or two major successes makes them god. I’m sick of hearing lectures that insult AAA for being immoral, using DRM, etc… when MY indy game succeeded without it!
    I’m not one to talk about ego… but if I ever get that bad I’m giving everyone freedom to slap me. I’d deserve it!

    3. Hmmm… I was actually going to say Frayed Knights just because I don’t play many indy RPGs. Instead I will say “The Demo for Din’s Curse”.
    I loved the gameplay customization options. It allowed an FPS friend and I to play the same game with different rules and both have fun.
    My game was stupidly hardcore forcing me to eat, drink, and only gain XP for facing strong monsters. His was stupidly easy where you click and enemies explode.
    Too very different players both enjoyed the same demo. That is something I can’t help but respect.

    4. Tbh, I don’t expect anything.

    I think vet’s are going to leave the industry to go indy. I think current indies and going to grow into the new AA and eventually AAA. I think that a new indy group will have to form because of the terrible unjust AAA masters.

    I could be wrong… but the words “I won’t get fooled again” do come to mind.

  • WhineAboutGames said,

    Felicia Day hates me for non-hipster reasons.

    It’s tough sometimes being someone who isn’t good at being aggressively cool! 🙂

  • Motoki said,

    Oh hipster that ill defined word. You know it when you see it but to explain it to other people?

    Someone on another forum got annoyed with me because I called McPixel hipster. His reply was that I think anything to do with young people is hipster, which made me feel like Statler and Waldorf (and if you’re a hip..err, young person that just went FWOOOM over your head).

    My response that I considered it to be as such because like leg warmers and terry cloth headbands people like it expressly because it’s intentionally ugly and retro.

    On the other hand, I have a weird fascination with oddball German simulator games that simulate the most boring, mundane paint dryingly tedious things ever like Street Sweeper Simulator and Wood Cutting Simulator (yes these are REAL games and some people really do non-ironically buy them and like them) so I guess I have a bit of a gaming hipster in me as well.

    I do think it’s possible to innovate without going too far out there to be different for the sake of being different. One of the best indie game experiences I’ve had lately is playing Waking Mars. What a pleasant surprise. It was so different and yet familiar in some ways. It’s part Metroidvania exploration, part Martian garden simulator, part puzzle game and part science fiction narrative adventure game. It sounds strange but it’s all presented really well and just works without being too out there. The goal is not to kill any thing or win but to explore and create life.

    I feel like the developers of that game really tried to think outside the box but within a framework of what works well for a game and is fun to play. It was originally a mobile game the developers actually admitted they think it works better as a PC game and I do too.

    So I think indie games free of constraints can have something new and interesting to offer and they also can sometimes turn pretentious. Like the Tale of Tales game The Graveyard. That game is about an old lady who walks REALLY slow going to sit on a bench in a graveyard. If you buy the paid version and you get really lucky there’s a random chance she might croak after a while. Otherwise that’s it. That’s the game.

    PS – I own it.

    *hangs head in gaming hipster shame*

    Although in my defense I bought it on sale bundled with other games!

  • Xenovore said,

    It’s not exactly the way I would put it, but I agree 100% with Skyway’s sentiment. I only purchase and play good games, “AAA” or otherwise. Mediocre, forget about it. And in my experience most indie games are nowhere near mediocre, let alone good.

    In my opinion, indie games are pretentious (or more precisely indie game developers) because there seems to be this attitude of “Yeah, I’m super-cool, I’m indie, throw money my way because I’m indie,” even though indie games just tend to suck, period.

    They have crappy UIs, lame art (all those pseudo-retro, pixelly/voxelly-trying-too-hard-to-look-like-Minecraft games: I’m looking at you), stupidly bizarre designs trying to be “innovative”, stale retreaded designs that weren’t that great back in the day, look-at-me designs just trying to make a statement or get attention, and terrible replay value (usually a result of all of the above). (I could go on, but I think you get the idea.)

    As much as I like indie developers (I count myself as one, after all), respect them for doing what they love and getting games to market, and truly wish them all the best, I find it extremely hard to support them monetarily. I’m just not going to pay for something that I consider sub-par, and that I know I’m never going to play. I’d rather spend my cash on something substantial that I will actually enjoy, than just throw it at people as some sort of pat on the head.

    I kinda look forward to indie becoming more mainstream, because as it does, it seems the quality of the games has been improving. Put some good indie games out there, and I’ll definitely buy ’em.

  • Corwin said,

    The problem I see for Indies is that they just might have to re-invent themselves again.A few years ago they were called Shareware and they eventually had to change their marketing model. Now that AAA companies are slowly beginning to notice them and actually copy them (due to their success), Indies are going to have to re-invent what they are as they push new frontiers.

    PS FK1 is still my favourite Indie 🙂

  • McFunkypants said,

    The most typical of indie hipster tropes is the “pixel platformer” and YET I believe that there is STILL room for tons of beautiful creativity in that most common of genres. Perhaps this is because I’m a huge optimist.

    With this in mind, I’m going to stretch the definition of indie RPG and call FROGATTO AND FRIENDS my current favourite indie RPG game. It is fresh. Ultra polished. Stunningly beautiful. Filled with “wonder” and that adventuresome exploration feeling. It is also 100% free.

    Never tried it? Google FROGATTO. You will not be disappointed.

    – McFunkypants

  • Xian said,

    What I think is cool about indie developers is that they are the ones that are taking the chances, reviving older game styles, and making games that the big publishers won’t touch. One of my indie favorites is The Legend of Grimrock. The last commercial PC game I can remember in that style was Eye of the Beholder III from a decade ago.

  • Moldar said,

    My favorite about Indie games is that the developers are real people. Not a faceless amorphous corporate blob. And in the same way, the developers are generally far more accessible. I have had actual chats with the people who have made Frayed Knights, Defender’s Quest, and countless others. It may not mean I have influenced anything, but it has influenced me!

    Real people FTW!

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    The contest is over. And McFunkypants won the roll.

    FWIW – as much as I am a cheerleader of indie, I’m gonna have to admit that Skyway and Xenovore are not wrong. Just because there are no filters, you are gonna get more crap in the indie channel than in mainstream / AAA.

    But for me, it sometimes feels like the difference between actually riding a river with possible whitewater, and riding the log flume at an amusement park. Yeah, the latter is much more guaranteed to be an exciting and entertaining experience. But the former feels more real, and is going to provide for more surprises and has a bigger chance of being meaningful to me.