What is Amagi Games? It appears to be the new online home of game-explorer ('cause that's what he really is, a guy who is exploring and expireminting and just having a grand old time with games) Levi Kornelsen. Mr. Kornelsen and I have this tradition of not understanding one another at times, and talking in circles around each other. This, I think, stems from the fact that we both think faster than we talk/type. That said, I have a lot of respect for him, and the sort of things he does for gaming. And that went up a few notches as I poked around Amagi Games.
What's so special about the site?
THE TEXT OF AMAGI GAMES IS PUBLIC DOMAIN
What does that mean? It means that everyone has the right to use the material in any way they like. Period. No credits are required, you don’t need to ask, you don’t need to follow a license. These things belong to everyone. You could mirror almost everything on the site (there are pieces of not-public art here and there), share it, publish it for free or for money, splice it into a game you’re working on, whatever you like (and so can Amagi). You could make a brand-new plug-in with the Amagi name on it, and release it as if it came from here. It’s free, all the way. Free as in air.
Is Mr. Kornelsen crazy? Maybe. Or maybe, crazy like a fox:
For quite some time, webcomics have been giving away the products of their imaginations. There are no (or, at least, very few) concerns with people sharing the material; you never hear about people “stealing a subscription” or “committing webcomic piracy”, because those ideas don’t make any sense.
Their business model is already totally in tune with online environment; they sell advertising, printed books, and the like, instead of the easily-shared digital information. So, why couldn’t a tabletop roleplaying game designer, tinkerer, article-writer, do that?
A few have, but don’t think of themselves as game companies. Why not? And, if the ideas are being given away… Why not really give them away? Not just the ideas, but all of it; let people use the text however they like, let go of copyright anywhere that it’s possible to do it. Free and full gifting of ideas means that others can take something written, and show you something entirely new that it’s good for.
Now, it may not be a solid route. It may be an insane, stupid, implosive idea; certainly, it’s not the right way to go for everyone, or for every project. But, even so, it’s awesome. And someone should totally give it a try, and find out if it could work…
Honestly, to me, this could be the single most exciting thing to happen in the RPG blogosphere this year. I'll certainly be keeping an eye on it. And you should check out some of the stuff that's already up there. Temptation Dice, for instance, looks like a very cool mechanic, and one I may be adding to my games.
And special thanks to the Gnome Rodeo for pointing this page out.