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I didn't just vote indie, I like Esoterrorists too, but they have a nice cartoon so I thought I'd put it up.

I am a summer hero! And you can be too!

Summer Hero!

The 2007 Ennies votes are happening, and the small press games that are up for awards need your help. If you’re a fan of Spirit of the Century, Burning Empires, Lacuna, Dictionary of Mu, Dawning Star: Helios Rising, Faery’s Tale, or Hollow Earth Expedition, this is a chance for you to stand up like me and make a difference. The voting is happening starting July 16th over at the Ennie Awards site and lasts only two weeks. There’s no better time to cast your vote than today!

You find a sample ballot here: Grab a Sample Ballot

And you can place your votes here during the voting period starting on July 16th: The Ennie Awards Voting Site

Together we can be heard. Become a Summer Hero. Cast your vote, and let other people know how to become heroes themselves!

Find out how to put this message in your own blog!


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 24th, 2007 12:29 pm (UTC)
The definition of indie is difficult to understand, being pretty much synonymous with Forge games. Whilst "small press" has some merits, it would cover all but about 4 or 5 companies. I think "New Style" is possibly better, seeking to capture the essential differences in focus, but even then, that's debatable.

I guess we could pitch in with RPGpundit and call them Swine games.

SotC and Esoterrorist are both available in games stores here, although I've not seen SotC so often.

As for "charges of sexism" and "thinned skinned child of privilege", I'm not quite sure to what you are referring, but I've found people are more likely to engage with you if you explain rather than accuse.
Jul. 25th, 2007 02:25 pm (UTC)
To move on beyond the oblique attacks to talk about the whole indie thing...

Indie is a crap term, and I'll be the first to admit it. Still, it has a nice ring to it -- "Small Press Revolution", "Creator Owned Press Revolution", etc just don't have the same rhythm and poetry. :)

Operationally, practically, IPR's definition of "indie" is "anyone who wants to sell their games outside of the traditional three-tier distribution model". IPR's growing catalog is evidence of that perspective (well, that, and me talking to IPR's CEO about it). But on that front, the publishers of Esoterrorists are more interested in getting the product on as many shelves as possible (I know this from talking to Simon at Pelgrane) rather than a smaller number of shelves with a higher revenue percentage.

Others could and do expand that use of the term to include "creator owned, self-published". The creator-owned part is probably the most key thing there. Robin Laws does not own Esoterrorists in any way (beyond his probable comp copies). He was hired to do the job of writing, did it, and the products of that job (the text, the intellectual property associated with that text) are owned by the publisher. So by that definition, Esoterrorists isn't indie.

Others simply use indie as synonymous with "small press". This has the difficulties that you've noted above -- in a niche industry (RPGs) of a niche industry (tabletop games), almost all RPGs could be called small press. Here we could call Esoterrorists indie in that it's a small press RPG, but I don't know that we've added any value to it.

Then there's "story games", the current favored term for what a lot of indie "new style" games are doing. The focus is somewhere else, usually away from simulation elements, instead providing rules that allow players and the GM to directly address and modify the narrative drama of a game's story. Esoterrorists may be on the cusp, here, with its unorthodox ideas of how to handle elements of investigative stories, but I've been told the rest of its mechanics are fairly "traditional" in their approach. Call this one a half point.

Finally, folks looking to dress the whole thing up as a political thing, when they aren't calling it something pejorative, intend indie to mean "developed at the Forge". This definition's hold is slipping (and I'm glad of it, as it doesn't apply to any of the games that Evil Hat produces) much as the Forge is becoming more and more marginalized as folks leave that particular nest. Regardless, Esoterrorists obviously doesn't work for this definition of indie, either.

I guess if we're trying to do some sort of comparison, then, we've got Esoterrorists, qualifying for 1.5 of 5 uses of the term. Spirit of the Century qualifies for 4 of the 5 uses of the term (it wasn't developed at the Forge). That's the basis for the distinction, at least as far as I'm tapped into it.

For what it's worth, the Summer Revolution site (which I help to run) is pretty agnostic on the above uses of the indie term, though being solely small press was left off the "filter" when putting together the ballot suggestions for the aforementioned reasons. That said, we still included Hollow Earth Expedition (the Exile folks are big friends of Spirit of the Century and vice-versa), as well as games like Faery's Tale (which Robin Laws did work on, and gets in the indie gate by dint of having been sold at IPR), etc.

Hope this spiel helps someone. :)
Jul. 25th, 2007 05:50 am (UTC)
Hey, I get I misstepped there on the whole sexism thing, but nobody came out of that dispute clean. Let's leave that whole blow-up in the past, okay?
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