inquiry: name recognition of obscure indie RPGs

edited October 2010 in Story Games
Folks have different ways and venues and advantages over others in promoting their game designs. This is me just looking for some non-scientific insight about where and how it's working. Below, sixteen obscure indie games. Without Googling, tell me for which of these titles you can confidently name the designer. You don't have to prove it by actually naming the designer (and maybe betraying the answers to another participant). Just list which titles you're sure you know the name of the designer.
    A+ Fantasy
    Among the Beautiful Creatures
    Awesome Women Kicking Ass
    Clover
    Crime and Punishment
    Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    Inuma
    Lashings of Ginger Beer
    Mridangam
    The Niche Engine
    Rock of Tahamaat
    Specimen for the Resurrection
    There Is No Spoon
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
    Zenobia
Paul
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Comments

  • Escape from Tentacle City
    The Farm
  • Posted By: Paul CzegeJust list which titles you're sure you know the name of the designer.
    None of them. (In fact, the only game in that list that I recognize the name of is There Is No Spoon, and I know that the designer's name was mentioned back when people used to talk about it, but I don't remember who it was now.)
  • edited October 2010
    I only know 2 for sure...

    - The Farm: because I'm friends with the designer and only know about it because they mentioned it to me a few weeks ago
    - Inuma: because I randomly played with the designer at a convention

    I've heard of these 2 but I can't quite place them...

    - Awesome Women Kicking Ass
    - Crime and Punishment

    So if you discounted games I only know because I met the designer, then I wouldn't know any of these for sure! And I spend a lot of time reading and playing different RPGs with many different people. And I love indie games :-(
  • edited October 2010
    Awesome Women Kicking Ass
    Clover
    Crime and Punishment
    Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    The Niche Engine
    Rock of Tahamaat
    Thy Vernal Chieftains

    I'd also like to mention how awesome the designer of The Niche Engine and Thy Vernal Chieftains is.
  • edited October 2010
    Clover
    Crime and Punishment
    Escape from Tentacle City
    The Farm
    Lashings of Ginger Beer
    Mridingam
    Rock of Tahamaat
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
    Zenobia

    Interesting!

    edit: but I looked them up and I was wrong about Lashings of Ginger Beer.
  • The Farm
    Inuma
    Mridingam
    The Niche Engine
    Rock of Tahamaat
    Specimen for the Resurrection
    Thy Vernal Chieftans

    Additional Data: I feel like I should know Awesome Women Kicking Ass, Clover and Escape from Tentacle City as well, but I don't. At least, not with confidence.
  • Rock of Tahamaat
  • Only Rock of Tahamaat.
  • Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    There Is No Spoon
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
  • Among the Beautiful Creatures
    Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    Thy Vernal Chieftains


    That's about it.
  • Awesome Women Kicking Ass
    Crime and Punishment
    Escape From Tentacle City
    Rock of Tahamaat

    (There Is No Spoon is on the tip of my brain! Dammit!)
  • Rock of Tahamaat
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
    (There is no spoon)
  • Rock of Tahamaat is the only game I even know anything about, and I'm only 90% confident in who the designer is...

    A few others, I've seen the name flash by in subject lines - well maybe even that's just one...

    Frank
  • The Farm
    Rock of Tahamaat
    Zenobia



    ara
  • Crime and Punishment
    Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    Inuma
    Mridingam
    Rock of Tahamaat
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
  • Clover
    Escape from Tentacle City
    Rock of Tahamaat
    Thy Vernal Chieftans

    Games I feel like I SHOULD know, but I'm blanking:

    Awesome Women Kicking Ass
    There Is No Spoon
  • Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    Lashings of Ginger Beer
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
  • Rock of Tahamaat

    I thought I was going to know a lot more...
  • Clover
    Crime and Punishment
    Escape From Tentacle City
    Inuma
    Mridingam
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
    For some reason I feel somewhat dated, now.
  • Rock of Tahamaat
    Thy Vernal Chieftains (maybe; I'm not feeling confident with it.)

    For a control, you might want to run this in parallel against 16 not-obscure indie games. Like, I've heard of Agon, Polaris, carry, 3:16, but I don't think I'd bet my life on getting their designers correct.
  • Clover
    The Farm
    Inuma
    Rock of Tahamaat
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
  • The Farm
    Mridingam

    Because I know the designers.
  • I definitely know who designed Escape from Tentacle City, The Niche Engine, and The Farm.
    I'm pretty sure I know who designed Mridingam (if it's the game I'm thinking of, anyway).
    I used to know who designed Awesome Women Kicking Ass, but the name has since vanished from my mind.
    I've heard of a smattering of the rest of the games, but probably never knew who designed them.
  • Escape from Tentacle City,
    There Is No Spoon,

    ...are the ones whose authors I can identify.

    There are a couple of others whose titles I've heard, but cannot identify authors without invoking the almighty Google.
  • Posted By: Accounting for TasteNone of them.
    Yep, this.
  • edited October 2010
    Escape from Tentacle City
    Lashings of Ginger Beer
    Mridangam
    Rock of Tahamaat
    *Clover


    Paul, what do you see as the importance of knowing who designed a game as opposed to a game getting play and subsequent exposure? Personally, I never forget a game but names often escape me. In this world of Google knowing one is as good as knowing the other it seems to me.
  • edited October 2010
    Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    Rock of Tahamaat
    There Is No Spoon
    Thy Vernal Chieftains

    Because I like interesting oddities.
  • i knew 7 of them. I've heard of two more that i didn't know the authors of.

    I have nothing but faith in your thinking, Paul, but i'm inclined to ask the "so what?" question of all this. That is, i'm very interested to learn what your thinking to do with this anecdotal data.
  • Escape From Tentacle City
    Mridingam
    Rock of Tahamaat
    Thy Vernal Chieftains

    Everyone knows who designed Rock of Tahamaat, even if they don't know they know. I bought Thy Vernal Chieftans and almost certainly wouldn't know otherwise, despite the high esteem in which I hold its designer. Escape from Tentacle City is bordering on nonobscure. Recognizing Mrindigam, and knowing who designed it, is like a probe for academic game-design theory readers.
  • I've heard of Escape from Tentacle City, but I don't know who the designer is. Rock if Tahamaat is the only one I'm sure on.
  • Hey Kevin,
    Posted By: Kevin Allen Jri knew 7 of them.
    Please list them.

    Paul
  • Rock of Tahamaat is the only one.

    I have heard of Thy Vernal Chieftains, but don't know who designed it.
  • Posted By: Paul CzegePlease list them.
    grumble grumble, cut and paste, grumble grumble


    Clover
    Crime and Punishment
    Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    Inuma
    Mridingam
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
  • My list:

    Awesome Women Kicking Ass
    Crime and Punishment
    Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    Inuma
    Lashings of Ginger Beer
    Mridingam
    There Is No Spoon

    It might be somewhat unfair, tho: Inuma was never really promoted, barely even published. I don't think the author ever really even dropped a link to it anywhere, ever. He ran it for a few friends, and generated a little second-hand talk, but I'd perhaps not really group it with the others, which have seen at least a tiny bit of self-promotion by the authors, even if it was "I wrote this game once, here's a PDF on Geocities..."

    -Andy
  • Andy, I think that's kinda the point. "different ways and venues and advantages over others in promoting their game designs". Inuma just happens to be at the "not at all" end of that spectrum.
    Posted By: C. EdwardsPersonally, I never forget a game but names often escape me. In this world of Google knowing one is as good as knowing the other it seems to me.
    Don't be so sure, Chris. Go ask Google who wrote Clover. Whisper me what search you used to finally find out.
  • Awesome Women Kicking Ass
    Clover
    Crime & Punishment
    Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    Inuma
    Mridingam
    Rock of Tahamaat
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
  • Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    Mridingam
    Rock of Tahamaat
    There Is No Spoon
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
  • edited October 2010
    Jamey, as soon as I read your post I spontaneously remembered who designed Clover. Weird. I'll take up the challenge anyway and see if I can find some search parameters that don't include the designer's name. :)


    *If your search term is -clover indie rpg- the second result gives you the game and designer
  • Clover
    Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    Mridingam
    Rock of Tahamaat
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
  • Posted By: Accounting for TastePosted By: Paul CzegeJust list which titles you're sure you know the name of the designer.
    None of them. (In fact, the only game in that list that I recognize the name of is There Is No Spoon.
    This.
  • None of them.
  • I know the name of the designers of Rock of Tahamaat and There Is No Spoon.

    I have heard of Thy Vernal Chieftains and Zenobia.

    I hang around here, anyway blog and RPG.net.
  • None, but the title, "Lashings of Ginger Beer" is hilarious, and I hope it owes at least as much to The Comic Strip as the original source material.
  • None. Though I have heard of a couple.
  • Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    Lashings of Ginger Beer
    There Is No Spoon
  • Clover
    Crime and Punishment
    Escape From Tentacle City
    The Farm
    Inuma
    Lashings of Ginger Beer
    Mridingam
    Rock of Tahamaat
    There Is No Spoon
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
    Zenobia
  • edited October 2010
    I've read or skimmed half of these but know the designer names for only

    Inuma
    The Farm
    Clover

    I'm terrible with names. I know what the designer of Escape From Tentacle City looks like.

    I *really* wanted to play Inuma at GPNW but didn't make it in.
  • The Farm
    Mridingam
    There Is No Spoon
    Thy Vernal Chieftains
    Zenobia
  • Rock of Tahamaat & Thy Vernal Chieftains, I could name the designers now.

    Escape From Tentacle City I used to know, but forgot the name.

    Awesome Women Kicking Ass I've heard before.

    All of the others make me go: "uh?"
  • Crime and Punishment
    The Farm
    Inuma
    Mridingam
    Rock of Tahamaat
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