But Greg's all about video games these days, right? What am I doing talking about this here? Well, those of us who have spent time at The Forge in the past few years ought to appreciate what he's trying to do. He wants to build a strong indie scene for video games.
From 'Designer X's' Scratchware Manifesto:
The machinery of gaming has run amok.
Instead of serving creative vision, it suppresses it. Instead of encouraging innovation, it represses it. Instead of taking its cue from our most imaginative minds, it takes its cue from the latest month's PC Data list. Instead of rewarding those who succeed, it penalizes them with development budgets so high and royalties so low that there can be no reward for creators. Instead of ascribing credit to those who deserve it, it seeks to associate success with the corporate machine.
It is time for revolution.
And from Greg's Gaming Needs an Indy Label:
But we need more. We need a company committed to publishing truly original, offbeat, cool product and building the channel for its distribution--instead of shoveling the same old crap to the same old stores.
Gaming needs an indy label. For the sake of its own health, to act as basic R&D for the entire field, to find new gaming styles that can attract a large audience. Because development costs continue to spiral upward faster than unit sales and we have to find a way to break that iron cycle. But most important, because I'm tired of the same old same old and want to play something really cool and new.
These ideas, I think, mirror what many of us who have participated at The Forge or worked on the games discussed there feel about table-top, pen-and-paper role-playing games. Perhaps attracting a large audience is not at the fore of our thinking (though I doubt we would turn up our noses at one), but the spirit rings true.
Clearly it's possible for us to do all of these things better. And maybe there are other things we haven't even begun to address yet. So that's the purpose of this post, to ask the questions: what's next for us as a movement of people that are trying to create and innovate and as people running our own businesses? What do we need to do to improve? How do we market better? How do we distribute our product better?
This is just a brainstorm. Any and all ideas are welcome.