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The dudes big on discourse.
(Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Troika Games, 2014)

Just what is a Thin-Blood, anyway? According to some in the lore of Bloodlines, they’re fledgling kindred with a tenuous connection to their forebears, earlier generations of the clans aren’t just more powerful but necessarily more in tune with their origins and the primal energy that drives them. Bloodlines has it’s own in-universe equivalent stand in for the apocalypse for all kindred- the belief that the grand ancestors of yore will once again rise from their slumber only to consume their descendants as the blood runs so thin as to be impotent and dry.

Exhaustive repetition of a concept, once-unique traits with diminishing returns, the newest members inducted into invisible, involuntary social pacts with unwritten etiquette that has visible and harsh consequences for failing to correctly guess them, a paranoid fear of the end times, the belief that the most affected fledglings somehow portend such an ever-present, overshadowing threat. Petty politics, presumed loyalty to an unelected prince, anarchs running rampant, violent sabbat overthrowing all around them to establish furious fiefdoms. Is any of this sounding familiar? If not, it should- in a sense, we’re living it right now.

(Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Troika Games, 2014)

It’s funny, some of the earlier successful auteurs often find themselves on the wrong side of a tired argument, one that reeks of attacking the messenger instead of embracing them as the very compatriots they are, the idea that thanks in part to supposedly unsustainable practices of asset flipping, so-called shovelware, and an endless tide of reactive positions that there couldn’t possibly be enough Steam Front Page to go around, that one must wait their turn for the dripping faucet of exposure to overflow and trickle down upon the unestablished.

There is a strangely pervasive and toxic notion that some very large fish cannot possibly co-exist among schools of smaller minnows as they find their banquets shrinking to much more reasonable portions, shrieking that it isn’t fair they should have to share a slice of the larger marketing mince pie.

(Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Troika Games, 2014)

And what of the forebears, anyhow? Titans of genres, who while able to establish the infrastructure to launch such endeavors, seem incapable of maintaining this leaky dreadnought that bleeds into open waters? Weep your tears of vitality for them and their expanding pockets, weighed down by the troublesome responsibility of the “front page feature”, years of holding up the steam window much like Atlas holds up the sky. “Enough!” they cry, the next generation couldn’t possibly have the strength to maintain this burden, they must do it for them, so quit nipping at their ankles with your petty demands for some small sliver of representation and comradery!

If there is an Indie Gehenna, then as Barrett the Scholar warns, it is one self-imposed on those drowning in their own vainglorious bile that they find piling upon their pale forms. Either open the Sarcophagus and satiate your unquenchable curiosity, or find a lifeboat and leave them to their co-consumption.

If they refused to give you responsibility for anything but maintaining their own ill-gotten gains, why would you ever entrust them with predicting the weather, let alone your validity?

Emily Rose is an indie developer who writes for rebind.io and resides in the pacific northwest. She’s often seen in the local VR arcade and developer community participating in pushing the medium’s horizons. You can find her on twitter @caravanmalice