A few days back, Coyote posted the second “Indie Roundtable”, where he asked a question of several independent designers. This month’s query was about the future of indie RPGs.

On the whole, the responses were positive. Most considered that indie games have the edge in terms of innovation and creativity. That designers are more likely to try something different, where the A-game developers try more for prettier graphics, while content stagnates.

Steven Peeler of Soldak Entertainment (Depths Of Peril) expects that indie games will blur the lines between genres even more (not that I’m really thrilled with such a thought). Mix and match could bring some refreshing changes to genres that might be a little stale by now.

One interesting comment came from Thomas Riegsecker of Basilisk Games (Eschalon: Book I). He remarked that much of his audience are older gamers, who played games such as Ultima way back when. So they’re more accepting of his type of game, where younger players aren’t.

The younger gamers are more familiar with the fast action RPGs and MMOGs. And such games usually have better visuals than the typical indie product. I don’t know if something like Eschalon would appeal to that group; would they have the patience?

Then again, we have Jeff Vogel and Spiderweb, who have been putting out turn-based, classic-style games for years. So there’s certainly a market, youth or no youth.

As it is, Jeff isn’t looking to compete in the graphics area. He believes that, at least as far as his products are concerned, his strength lies in the developement of story and open choices for players.

And Georgina Bensley, of Hanako Games (Cute Knight Deluxe): brought up a good point the lack of modding for independent games, especially RPGs. We’ve seen with, for instance, Neverwinter Nights, how the mod community has extended the life of the game well beyond the average, and with quality material. Providing tools for gamers to make their own add-ins for a game could keep an indie product viable for some time.

Anyway, that’s a brief recap of the post. Read it for yourself and see what you think.

Future Of Indie RPGs on Coyote’s blog