What Is Indie?
Posted by Nathan P. on June 10, 2006
For better or for worse, “indie design” has become synonymous with “the Forge.”
It’s the same in music. “Indie rock” has become a label for a particular sound, not for the quality of being released without a deal with a record label. I’m willing to bet that, for most of the people who actually pay attention to such things, saying “I’m an indie game designer” is pretty much saying “I’m a willing participant in the Forge community,” with the heavy implication of “I agree with/follow ‘Forge Theory'”.
My point here is not to say “indie is the new mainsteam” or “the Forge is a bunch of wankers,” or whatever. My point is that, these days, it seems to me that the indie label is a marketing concern. There are people who will buy your games because they identify you as part of the Forge, and there are people who will specificially not buy them for the same reason.
So, if you read my last post, then you will see my concern with calling that rubric the “Indie Designers Guide to Game Design.” Not to mention that lacking creator ownership doesn’t mean that it doesn’t apply to you, or something.
So…whats the most accurate way to express it? The Modern Designers Guide? The Small-Press Designers Guide? One Dude’s Guide? The RPG Design Guide?
Second question. Would there be a point to such a project? Or is there something about going through the design process the way the majority of us have (really liking RPGs, tinkering with mechanics, stumbling across small-press games, designers and competitions on the internet, getting feedback and doing a bunch of reading) that would be lost in it?