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Tuesday, February 12, 2008
 

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Developers Discuss The Need For Indie RPGs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Tales of the Rampant Coyote recently asked several independent developers of RPGs why gamers enjoy indie titles. Participants included Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel, Basilisk Games' Thomas Riegsecker, Planewalker Games' Jason Compton, and Prairie Games' Josh Engebretson.

Question: Why Indie RPGs?The last eighteen months or so have brought gamers plenty of role-playing games and expansions for computer and console from mainstream developers. And there are tons of Massively Multiplayer Online RPGs (MMORPGs) that are 'scratching the itch' for RPG fans and formerly non-gamers alike. And then there are literally thousands of fan-made modules for the Neverwinter Nights games. In this kind of environment, what does a comparatively low-budget indie computer RPG have to offer the player?

Jeff Vogel, Spiderweb Software ("Avernum V"... amongst many others):
I would certainly dispute that "plenty" of quality single-player RPGs have been released lately. There haven't been many at all. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is almost two years old. Neverwinter Nights 2 is only a few months newer than that. Outside of Mass Effect (XBox 360 only) or the Witcher (PC only), it's really been thin pickings.
As for user-made scenarios, while some of them are of a quality comparable to stand-alone full length RPGs, it's not a large number, and they frequently run on older (and sometimes no longer available) engines.
Or, to put it another way, we are selling more copies of our Indie RPGs now than at any time in the fourteen years we've been in business. So offering quality games still counts for a lot.

Josh Engebretson, Prairie Games ("Minions of Mirth"):
The recent offerings from mainstream developers all have one very frustrating thing in common: the system requirements verge on the ridiculous. These games simply run like crap on anything other than the absolute latest and greatest. Furthermore, these titles don't always get released for Mac OSX or if they do arrive late. The Mac platform accounted for 47% of our sales last year. Indies really need to cover as wide range of hardware and platforms as they possibly can. This is a far larger 'niche' than technophiles with the budget for SLI rigs and an unsatiable thirst for pixel shaders!

To read the rest of the comments click over to the site below.

Tales Of The Rampant Coyote: Indies Roundtable 1


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