Today I read this fine post on Your Business Sucks. It talks a bit about RPG piracy which has been a hot topic for the last couple of years, but that’s not what’s on my mind right now. It’s a great post, read it.
Some of you might have noticed that I’ve recently toured different game forums, getting the word out about LotN. I just don’t spam those forums, I actually read them, too. I try to avoid spamming, since it’s kinda annoying for someone to just shill their product by hit and run posting. I like to talk about the game I’m making anyway.
What I’ve noticed is that the RPG scene is amazingly stagnant. People are still talking about Red Box D&D, AD&D, Rifts and games like that. You know, games that were released in the eighties. And it seems like a significant number of the new games are just the same old things, rehashed and repackaged. Take Lamentations of the Flame Princess (don’t click the link at work, please), for example. It’s a relatively new game, but it seems to be aimed toward the “old school gamer” audience. Now, it might be a bit unfair to say this but I have no idea why that game has been made. If I want something like a night of old school gaming, I would just run the original Dungeons and Dragons or something. I certainly wouldn’t buy a new game book for that. LotFP seems to have some sort of focus on horror or something, but I don’t really see it as innovative. You could do horror in D&D, no problem. There’s Ravenloft and stuff like that for it.
Why aren’t people innovative? I’d actually point the finger towards Dungeons & Dragons. Dungeons & Dragons has been the big fish in the small pond since the seventies, and there’s lots of gamers out there who never play anything else. For some reason, these people don’t really appreciate the fact that there’s all kinds of games out there. I myself always liked the multitude of choices available, I’ve played all kinds of games and enjoyed them.
Frankly, Your Business Sucks said this better than I could ever do. Stop making fantasy games. I know, I know, many people like them, but really, do we need more of them? Nope.
Innovation opens doors to a wider audience. Do you know who I really want to sell my own game to? I want people who have never played a tabletop RPG to buy my game and enjoy it. I want parents to buy it so they can houserule in talking cats and mice so they’ll run adventures for their kids. That’s my personal modest goal.
Thanks for reading this, next post will be about the game again, I promise.