To those not aware, I also make games! And one of my games is featured in these indie bundle a few of us indie devs put together to end 2020 with some positivity.
The game I made is Saudade: a map-making narrative game about coming back to a past that no longer exists and finding comfort in the knowledge that it happened.
It’s a cozy game, with no threats. The goal is to discover what changed and what remains and decide to either be a part of the new or continue journeying through the cosmos.
I’ve recently played on my own (solo-play \o/) on Twitter. I’ll turn it into a post soon, but you can check it out here.
You can buy the bundle on itch.io.
But now let’s talk about the other games! Because they are all amazing!
The bundle has three price tiers with a total of 25 games, most being tabletop rpgs and one a videogame. You get 6 games on the cheapest 10 USD tier, 6 on the middle 25 USD tier and the rest on the final 50 USD tier. Here, I’ll talk about a few of them.
No Glimmer Through the Night
“On the 15th December 1900 the lighthouse keepers at Eilean Mòr made a routine entry into the lighthouse log. Storm ended, sea calm. God is over all”. In No Glimmer through the Night a group of characters have travelled to the island of Eilean Mor to investigate the disappearance of the three Lighthouse keepers. However once there they will find a much darker reality that haunts them with their own past failings.
- Designer: Jack Milton – TeaCrusader (@TeaCrusading)
- About the Designer: Ex-Game Design and Game Art Teacher Jack is now a full time freelance writer and designer for ttrpgs. He created Locus along with Stephanie Williamson as part of CobblePathGames (@CobblePath). Locus will be released in January 2021.
Crisis is a diceless storygame with shared worldbuilding and GMing off published scenarios. Players trade the spotlight and GM for each other as they explore the major problems counting down in the background, negotiating conflicts as they go. The table shares victory or tragedy!
- Designer: Jamie Lindemann / Nerdhaus Games (@jaylinde)
- About the Designer: Jamie’s an American theatre professional/game designer (he/him). He loves storytelling and writes games that focus on characters in high-stakes circumstances that take into account the emotional toll of living a protagonist’s life. Some of his favorite systems are Dread, Fate, and Protocol. More at nerdhausgames.com
Domains Horror Roleplaying System
The Domains Horror Roleplaying System is a genre focused game intended to create a personalised and safe experience for players to tell a horror story in. It revolves around a dice mechanic that is focused on creating a tense and horrific scene and story.
- Designer: Filip Lončar / Ordoalea Publishing (@OrdoaleaP)
- About the Designer: Filip Lončar (He/Him/On) is a Croatian Zagorec game designer that has been playing since 1995. During that time he has been making games and experimenting in most systems trying to emulate the croatian narrativist scene present in folktales and fairytales.
TRAITOR ! is a tabletop roleplaying game inspired by the popular friendship wrecking videogame “Among Us”. Because, you know, if you’re willing to sacrifice a friendship to a game, it might be better if you make it extra memorable and say goodbye to that friendship with a narrative flair! In TRAITOR ! you’ll all be weaving a story of survival together. The players will need each other to survive but someone… someTHING is rooting for their demise. There is a traitor among you and the dice will do their bidding – good luck.
- Designer: Nuno Teixeira @jnunotex
- About the Designer: Nuno (he/him) is a Portuguese TTRPG streamer and designer based in the United Kingdom. Being a big fan of improvisation at the table, he lets that transpire into his games as well, encouraging players to prepare as little as possible and giving them the tools to tell a story on the spot.
Crimes Against Men & Gods
In Crimes Against Men & Gods, you play everyday folks flung into the deep end of the meta-existential pool. You’ve had a small taste of magickal power but lack the discipline to take the time and make the sacrifices necessary to learn the Art. So instead you’re gonna try stealing the Divine Fire from the warlocks and demigods who hoard it. Who’s going to stop you?
- Designer: Aaron Burkett (@apburkett)
- About the Designer: Aaron Burkett is a narrative designer and storyteller from Texas. In addition to the lead writer for Oligarchy, he contributed to Codex, Brindlewood Bay, Errant Deeds, Monster of the Week: Tome of Mysteries, Trophy Dark, Trophy Gold, Trophy Loom, Retropunk, and Savage Rifts. His work focuses on crime, futility, opportunity, & the sins we do for dollars.
The Spider and The City
The Spider and the City is a game where you play a criminal mastermind in a rebel city. Over the course of 3 acts, you’ll tell the story of both your character and the city through a combination of high stakes resource management and prompt-based journaling.
- Designer: Thomas Manuel (@chaibypost)
- About the Designer: Thomas (he/him) is an Indian journalist, playwright and game designer.
Hope is Not a Plan
Your company has entrusted you with millions of dollars of other people’s money. They expect you to please the client and turn a profit at the same time. On paper, it looks pretty straightforward. You know it won’t be that simple. Hope is not a Plan is a solo journaling game in which you will document your attempts to deliver a very complicated engineering project on time and under budget. You hope for success, but you will most likely fail, damage your reputation, and lose your job. So it goes. Your character in this journaling game will never be at risk of physical harm. On the other hand, the game includes themes of stress, disappointment, failure to meet obligations to friends and family, getting blamed for things you have no control over, and job loss.
- Designer: Steve Wright / Deus Ex Minima (@deusexminima)
- About the Designer: Steve (he/him) has been playing TTRPG games for a long time, writing them for far less. For Steve, the most engaging part of tabletop gaming is the spirit of creativity and improvisation between players that makes a truly memorable session. He’s now trying to channel that spirit in his publications to help others reach the same feeling.
We Are Champion
We Are Champion’s a game about minor deities, called Patrons, and their collective, yet unwilling, champion. One day, the Champion, a normal person living a normal life, gets contacted by a god. And then another. And then another. Together, or against each other, the Patrons make the Champion be a pawn in their divine game of cards, having them fullfill their needs and wishes to the best of their ability by performing various rituals, some mundane, and some fantastical. Along the way, Patrons will lose and gain influence over the Champion. If their influence runs out, so does their chance to conquer this world.
- Designer: Asmus Nielsen / Kinas (@KinasTen)
- About the Designer: Asmus is a 17-year-old from Denmark who’s just getting started in the TTRPG development space. He’s been creative for years, making 3d animations when he was nine, writing since he was seven, and so on. He loves anything fantastical in nature, be it sci-fi or fantasy.
The Colors of Magic
The Colors of Magic is a storygame with one player taking a “traditional” GM role. The GM is limited, however: They’re not allowed to create any NPCs, villains, or settings not provided or implied by the players during character creation. Players choose the outcome of risky actions from a menu instead of rolling dice or spending points. The “you just succeed” option tends to be the least popular choice. Originally designed for the Our Little Food Jam, The Colors of Magic can be run with “flavor of the rainbow” fruit candies, but you can use tokens, VTT (game board provided) or a simple menu if you’d rather.
- Designer: Jon Lemich (@runagame)
- About the Designer: Jon (he/him) is a GM blogger at Run a Game who feels that the things the player characters believe and care about should be the center of the story because you’re co-authoring a story about them. The Colors of Magic expresses this idea as a tabletop RPG in neat ways.
The afterlife wasn’t built for us. KATABASIS is a game about spirits trapped in a cold and hostile afterlife coming together in an attempt to escape. You’ll arm yourself with manifestations of your life’s mistakes, throw yourself at impossible odds, die horribly, get back up, and try again. Does escape exist at the end of this dark path? Or are you doomed to surrender and fade away for good?
- Designer: Rathayibacter (@Rathayibacter)
- About the Designer: Rath is a colony of rats that, through vile sorceries, managed to acquire a human soul. They enjoy making tabletop games with offbeat themes and unusual mechanics, and are currently pursuing a degree in psychology, with a focus on therapy. They can be found on itch.io, or under abandoned bridges on nights with a full moon.
- Note: KATABASIS is still in Beta- more spirit types, equipment, monsters, paths and settlements are coming, and anyone with the game gets all future updates for free.
Frost Bite is an atmospheric indie horror video game where the environment is as dangerous as the monsters. Set at night in snowy mountains you see strange lights in the sky and investigate finding a crash site. The ground however is your greatest enemy as it is treacherous, covered in ice, and strong winds blow snow into your face.
- Designer: Gilded Octopus Studios
- About the Designer: Gilded Octopus Studios is a generally solo dev from rural Missouri. She is 99% finished with a bachelors in computer science and originally got into programming because of a race horse.
The Chained Oak
In the village of Alton, in England, sits a tree bound in heavy iron chains. According to local legend, the Earl of Alton was traveling home after a long day, only for his carriage to be stopped by a beggar. The beggar asked for money and the Earl cruelly rebuked them.
In response, the beggar cursed the Earl, saying that whenever a branch fell from the oak tree, one of the Earl’s family would die. The next night, when a storm whipped through the village a branch was ripped from the tree and as the curse foretold, one of the Earl’s family mysteriously died.
The Earl demanded that his servants chain the oak so that no more branches could fall. And now, you have to step into the Earl’s shoes. Can you keep the tree standing? Or will your greed decimate your family?
- Designer: Starshine (@starshinescrib)
- About the Designer: A queer ttrpg desiner and part-time magical girl who specilizes in systems that use odd or unusual mechanics and tell stories from unusual perspectives.
Transmissions from the Black
QUILL.exe: Transmissions from the Black presents an alternative science fiction setting for Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player, wherein the characters are typing up transmissions to send from their deep space exploration/colony vessel. When used with the basic rules from Quill, this supplement provides six new characters, three new skills, and four new scenarios.
Take on the role of a Diplomat, Stowaway, Artificial Intelligence, Colonist, Engineer, or Captain! Plead with a recalcitrant Supply Officer, make First Contact with an alien vessel, negotiate with a Colony that you might call home, and leave a message of warning and hope to future explorers! Boost your signal strength, pick a subroutine to help you write, and start typing so that you can send your transmission across the void between stars.
Hopefully it gets a warm reception.
- Designer: Seamus Conneely (@RGM79Ace)
- About the Designer: Laborer by day, RPG writer by whatever-stretch-of-time-can-be-seized, Seamus has published game material with Raging Swan Press and Beer Star Games, and was a co-designer for Transit: The Spaceship RPG from Fiddleback Productions. An alumnus of the Mad Adventurers Society, Seamus also co-founded Cannibal Halfling Gaming, an ENnie-nominated site for tabletop game reviews, stories, material, and advice.
- QUILL.exe: Transmissions from the Black was written as part of National Game Design Month 2020.
In Yule Army, play a squad of crack commandos with a single mission: Get people the perfect presents! Acquire a target, analyze their needs, and place their present without leaving a trace.
- Designer: Secrets of the Masquerade
- About the Designer: Secrets of the Masquerade (she/they) is a queer AFAB content creator of many hats and degrees (political sociology, international relations, labels and biases…)
There are more games in the bundle than what I’ve talked about here, so don’t forget to check it out!