Something struck me as I was browsing the indie games at Gencon. The most successful titles, the ones that stick with me for weeks after a quick 15-minute demo, aren’t the games with the epic, engrossing settings. Rather, they’re the games that hinge on one truly unique mechanic, something that’s so innovative that I smack myself on the forehead and say, “ Why didn’t I think of that?”
I think that’s where the future of RPGs might be. Not in voluminous settings that require small armies of writers and editors to produce (although there’s certainly something to be said for deeply engrossing titles like Dark Heresy or Blue Planet) but in stripped-down, minimalist games whose success rests on a single spiffy game mechanic. Web publishing makes these ventures exceedingly easy to create and distribute. Ben and I have been kicking around a game idea for a while, and it would certainly be an interesting exercise to restart the process through this paradigm.