Tag Archives: indie games

Bonus Episode: Harvesting Souls at Dragonmeet 2014

What’s hot in indie story games seminar and a review of 2014

This is the seminar from Dragonmeet on 6th December 2014. “Some of the most passionate story gamers in the country share games you should know about, what’s exciting them most right now, and how to get the game you want. We also cover a review of the trends in 2014 in indie rpg and story games.”

Length: 74 minutes.

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Participants:

Anita Murray is the Contribution to Irish Gaming winner 2013 and the Irish National Game Writer Award winner for 2012. As well as organising design Playstorms for London Indiemeet, she’s also the founder and editor-in-chief of The Gazebo (an Irish and UK-based online RPG ‘zine) and a Twitching Curtain podcaster.

James Torrance is the founder of the Cambridge One-Shot Roleplaying Game group, which he created in February this year and which has grown to nearly a hundred members. He credits low-prep indie games with making the Cambridge group’s informal drop-in play model possible.

Joanna Piancastelli is a regular host on the story gaming podcast The Twitching Curtain, and has GM’d for indie Games on Demand on both sides of the Atlantic. She recently won an award in the first Golden Cobra Challenge for her superpower freeform game Unheroes.

Rob Carnel began reviewing rpgs in 1993 with the zine Carnel and he’s currently the editor of the webzine Thee Rapture in which he reviews many new, experimental games. He’s also one of the most prolific GMs in the London indie scene, all of which has led him to have an extensive knowledge of games and mechanisms.

Stephanie Jackson is co-organiser of London Indie RPG Meetup group and has been avidly devouring indie games for around five years now, with increasing expeditions into the world of freeform larp and game design.

With moderator Epistolary Richard

Schedule

  • Joanna Piancastelli on Always / Never / Now by Will Hindmarch (00:00:23)
  • James Torrance on Intrepid by John Keyworth (00:01:50)
  • Anita Murray talks on Night Witches by Jason Morningstar (00:03:01)
  • Rob Carnel on Kingdom by Ben Robbins and the Protocol game series by Jim Pinto (00:06:03)
  • Stephanie Jackson on Cheat your own Adventure by Shane Mclean (00:08:54)
  • Joanna Piancastelli on the increasing culture of playtesting (00:13:33)
  • Rob Carnel on the impact of Patreon (00:20:04)
  • Anita Murray on collaborative game design (00:29:48)
  • Stephanie Jackson on sharing characters and tweaking games (00:36:16)
  • Getting a game and James Torrance on setting up an indie gaming group (00:42:04)
  • Open Q&A intro (00:52:45)
  • Gaming in Europe (00:53:07)
  • Gaming online (00:55:37)
  • Designing and “the games you haven’t played” (00:59:17)
  • Game reviewing and finding the games you might like (01:07:14)
  • Getting your game playtested and then published (01:10:47)

Games Mentioned

Events and Groups Mentioned

Other Resources

Epistolary Richard also produced these flyers for the day (PDFs):

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Episode Two: The Blue Clothespeg

Welcome to episode two of the Twitching Curtain. This episode mainly focuses on inclusivity. In the aftermath of controversies such as “gamer gate” and “consultant gate”, and recent moves by mainstream publishers to reflect greater diversity in their games, how can we attract under-represented groups into our wonderful hobby? We talk about best practice from a number of conventions, especially the UK’s Nine World’s Geekfest, and explore how we can all make our spaces safer and more welcoming for everyone.

Length: 79 minutes.

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Participants in this episode

  • Alex Gwilt-Cox
  • Anita Murray
  • Cat Tobin (Twitter: @CatTHM)
  • James Graham (Twitter: @JamesGraham)
  • Joanna Piancastelli

Glossary

See episode zero.

Schedule

  • Part One – Catch Up (00:00:00)
  • Part Two – Inclusivity (00:17:35)

Games Mentioned

Events and Groups Mentioned

Other Resources

Free RPG Day 2014

It’s Free RPG Day 2014, when your friendly local gaming shops give away free stuff!

If you’re interested in trying out small press and independently published story games, there are already lots of games out there you can try for free. Below is a list of a number of games that are out there.

The games marked with a [P] are pay-what-you-want. You can of course pay them nothing, but please consider contributing a few pounds or dollars as a sign of appreciation and to encourage designers to keep producing great games for us all to pay. A number of designers have other ways  you can help support them – please consider doing that as well.

But without further ado, here’s our list of games. If a game is marked in bold and italicised, it means that its a game we’ve either already plugged on the podcast or otherwise especially recommend:

If you know of a game that is available for free or on a pay-what-you-like basis online (maybe your game?), feel free to mention it below and we’ll consider adding it to the list.

If you live in London, why not come along to the London Indie RPG Meetup? We meet several times a month in central London and play these sort of games. Find out more on our Meetup page.

And, of course, please subscribe to the Twitching Curtain podcast!

Episode One: A Baptism of Architecture

In retrospect, numbering our first episode “zero” wasn’t the best idea. 🙂

This, then is episode one – our second episode of the Twitching Curtain. In this episode our panels recommend the best games for people new to story gaming, discuss Knutpunkt 2014 and its impact on the UK LARP scene and talk about London Indiemeet’s recent “Playstorm”.

Length: 60 minutes.

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 Participants in this episode

Glossary

See episode zero.

Part One – Catch Up (00:00:00)

Part Two – Games For Newcomers (00:10:30)

F Free

P Pay What You Want

Many of these games can be purchased from the publishers themselves and/or the following places:

Other references:

Part Three – Knutpunkt and Progressive Larp (00:32:40)

Part Four – Playstorm (00:48:40)

We’ll include links to any finished games from the Playstorm as we have them.

Conventions and Events

(last known date included – these are all annual events unless otherwise stated)

Groups and Businesses

The Twitching Curtain Episode Zero: The gender binary pan-galactic bug eyed wall crawling monster.

Welcome to the first of our new podcast, the Twitching Curtain. Over the next few months we plan to tell you all you need to know about the exciting world of story games, roleplaying and freeform.

Length: 56 minutes.

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 Participants in this episode

Glossary

American Freeform: live action roleplaying games, influenced by both Nordic larp and US indie tabletop RPGs. See Lizzie Stark’s introduction to American freeforms.

Bleed: a common phenomenon in both tabletop roleplaying and larps where the thoughts and emotions of a character “bleed” into the real life of a player, or vice versa. There is a big debate about how best to mitigate this, support players who experience it and/or embrace it.

Indie RPGs: literally, a roleplaying game published by an individual or small company (although most roleplaying game companies are small!). It has come to refer to more experimental and avant garde roleplaying games with a focus on narrative.

Lines and Veils: a technique coined by game designer Ron Edwards to deal with problematic content and emotional bleed in roleplaying games. If players are uncomfortable with any content in a game, they are encouraged to either request that a “veil” is drawn over the content (i.e. it happens in the story but is not described in any detail and is brushed over), or draw a “line” in which that content is not introduced at all in the game (this is similar to another technique known as the “X card” where players use a card in the centre of the room to request that something not be introduced).

MC: Master of Ceremonies. A term used in the game Apocalypse World, Monsterhearts and other games based on the system to describe player whose role is to facilitate the game and set the challenges for the other players. Similar to the more common term Game Master (or Dungeon Master, Storyteller, Keeper, etc) used in traditional tabletop RPGs.

Nordic Larp: A type of live action roleplaying which has developed in Nordic countries, with a greater emphasis on immersion, collaboration and artistic vision.

Story game: typically used to describe a tabletop based roleplaying game with a greater emphasis on narrative and simplified mechanics compared to traditional roleplaying games. Often focus on a much wider range of genres and dispense with or significantly alter common techniques such as having a single player take on the role of Game Master. Of course, this is a big topic and precisely what our podcast is about exploring!

Trad: Traditional tabletop roleplaying games. Simply put, tabletop RPGs that are not story games. The most iconic “trad” game is Dungeons and Dragons. Such games tend to have detailed rules systems with a focus on combat and allow players apart from the Game Master very limited narrative control beyond deciding on their own character’s actions.

Games Mentioned

F Free

P Pay What You Want

Many of these games can be purchased from the publishers themselves and/or the following places:

Conventions and Events

(last known date included – these are all annual events unless otherwise stated)

 Groups and Businesses

Other Links