Paul Czege, the designer of MY LIFE WITH MASTER has spent this year looking at the indie scene on itch.io, and the crazy wild energy on it. An important thread on Twitter. If I were his editor, I'd title it "My Life With Itch."
This is the Physical Games section of itch.io today, BTW. Over FOUR THOUSAND tabletop rpg pdfs, about three-quarters created/added THIS YEAR.Have you seen people talking about the tabletop storygame and RPG scene on itchio, but then weren't impressed with any of the games? Then this thread is for you.
It's clear to you that a lot of #ttrpg games published on itchio haven't been playtested? Maybe your unconscious gamer reaction is, "I don't buy ideas."
Or maybe you're not seeing how they're even playable.
I pretty much spent this year diving into the itchio scene, perceiving its energy and trying to figure it out. I designed and published a game a month from May through September. I joined and participated in four game jams.
I've traded games and made friends with other designers.
Here's a resounding endorsement:And here's the big thing I learned: the small games people are making and selling on itcho aren't products in the ways gamers are conditioned to process them.
And they're not just ideas either.
You have to shop for them in a different way than gamers have been trained to shop. And you use them in a different way.
There's a lot more, but here's the wrap-up:I'm convinced the future paradigms of RPGs are being discovered in the itchio scene. Nothing has flowed out powerfully yet, but it will.
(So now feels like the time to figure it out for yourself if that's something you're interested in. Remember the frustrations of folks who wanted to engage with the Forge scene in 2006, only to be confronted with too many years of activity to catch up on?)
The thing is, RPGs have always been incitements. Jorune aims to incite you to play with the fullness of its worldbuilding. Primetime Adventures aims to incite you with its system and procedures. D&D aims to incite with its survival challenge and advancement rewards.
But what makers of small games on itchio are doing is exploring the wider landscape of incitement.
There are games like @bjrecio's Cockamania, which aim to incite with cultural expression.
There are games like @temporalhiccup's The Mermaid Spell, which aim to incite with procedures of ritual and affirmation:
The designers of small games on itchio are yearning and striving to spark your incitement. They believe you are more than a gamer buying products that probably don't work for you.
They believe you bring your whole self and capacities to the table, and that you can trust and achieve things they imagine for you if you just believe it yourself.
To be incited you have to figure out how to believe in yourself as much as their games do. That's how to shop for games on itchio. Shop as if you believe in yourself.