Friday, June 06, 2008

Take a Walk on the Indie Side

Are you all 4ed out already? Ben Robbins has some suggestions for you at his blog, ars ludi:

I’m not saying you should abandon your favorite game or change what you usually play, but trying different systems can open up the way you think about the games you already play. Playing a completely different game can make you _better_ at that game you played for years. Your gamecraft is a muscle: stretch it.

Rockin’, you say, let’s do it! But there’s a catch: gamers play to have fun. You might be fearless and pick up a radical indie game only to discover that it’s so different from what your group is used to that the session is a total disaster, which will just make them (and you) less likely to ever want to experiment again. The world is full of stories of gaming groups who tried a different thing just once, confidently declared it crap, and then retreated to the safe and the known.

Nobody wants that. So in the interest of successful gaming, here are some games I think a group that had only played “traditional” games like D&D could pick up and enjoy right off the bat. You’ll be able to try something new with maximum fun and minimal risk. Consider this your Indie Exploration Kit — it worked for me, it can work for you too.

What follows are links to a pair of indie games, complete with suggestions about how to play them, potential pitfalls that might trip you up, and a brief description about what makes each game an interesting experience to play.

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