Posted by Rampant Coyote on September 17, 2013
Since before computer games even existed as an industry, the computer role-playing game genre has been heavily influenced by the “indies.” We didn’t know them as indies back then – we didn’t even refer to the games as “role-playing games” at that point – but there were individuals and small teams working on their own with whatever resources they could provide themselves to translate the experience of the role-playing game hobby to the computer. In many cases, these unauthorized projects on university computers were erased as soon as they were discovered by the administration. But they labored on.
The early, iconic RPGs of the 1980s were made before there was a major video game industry to be independent of. Even as the publishing titans began dominating the field in the mid-to-late 80s, there were small teams of independent developers throwing together their little Ultima-likes, roguelikes, and scaled-down adventures.
In the last few years, the field has exploded with the results of indie labor. While the mainstream productions have gotten increasingly stale and hard to distinguish from action games, indies have delved the concepts of the past, and melded them with new ideas and in some cases some truly bizarre concepts. The results aren’t always pretty. They are never as polished as their mainstream cousins. Sometimes they aren’t even all that interesting or original.
But a lot of them are pretty amazing. A lot of them are just plain fun, full of the raw personality and weird ideas of their creators. There are great experiences to be had, and great adventures to be enjoyed.
And for a few days, there’s a pretty awesome indie RPG bundle available to jump-start your collection of indie RPGs in a big hurry. There are a baker’s dozen RPGs available in total, plus some extrasn (soundtracks, etc.) to be unlocked. IMO, the bundle is worth it (and then some) for just for Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon. . But there are plenty of cool games (and a few that I have never played!) included. All-in-all, we’re talking about about a hundred bucks’ worth of indie RPGs from a pretty wide spectrum of styles and approaches. There’s the massive 3D epic Frayed Knights, to the tiny but fun Inaria with its roots in Ultima III, to the tactics-heavy Telepath RPG: Servants of God, to the boardgame like Empires & Dungeons II, to the blend of Lovecraftian Horror, classic RPGs, and tactical strategy Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land, to the “Choose Your Own Adventure”-like interactive books The Siege of the Necromancer, and The Wizard from Tarnath Tor, to the fast-pased Roguelike Dungeon Fray, to the “RPG Card Game” Northmark: Hour of the Wolf, to a 16-bit JRPG-style fable about modern youth unable to cope with today’s frustrating economy in Unemployment Quest, and several others – this is a grab-bag with a wide frickin’ variety of games.
On top of everything else, not only will your purchase help the crop of indie RPG developers (like me!) represented in this bundle, but a portion of your payments go to charity, and to an indie developer grant awarded to a developer of choice voted on by customers.
So… while I don’t think it’ll make anybody even relatively rich (unlike certain bundles…), it’s a pretty awesome opportunity to support indies and charity and REALLY beef up your indie RPG collection. Even if you already have a couple of the games from the bundle already, it’s well worth checking out.
I’ll quit talking now and just give you the link:
Filed Under: Deals, Frayed Knights, Indie Evangelism - Comments: 9 Comments to Read