Apparently, my last post on Fudge, got some people annoyed. Fred Hicks of EvilHat (Fate and “Spirit of the Century”) and Chris Helton of Seraphim Guard etc. both chipped on my blog to say they don’t believe Fudge is dead! (I didn’t know I was so popular). This weekend, on top of that, I got a message back from Brad at Now Playing that he is very interested in publishing Reboot as both a Fudge and Now Playing product. Sounds all good to me. So perhaps the “rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated”.
But I can’t shake that feeling of deja vu. I remember when specky caused a huge storm on the Irish online gaming community, things were shook up, events even happened. And then it seem to go quietly back to the mists it came from. Don’t get me wrong, the community is still there, particularly offline, but there is no cohesive online group. At best it is a distributed announcement list, at worse it’s just a pile of dead forums and mailing lists, still active because no-one has the heart to kill them off.
Is Fudge community going the same way? Fate seems to be super strong in terms of online presence. But it is not Fudge per say. It is a specific brew of Fudge, much like Now Playing and Seraphim Guard. People using Fate don’t come back to Fudge. The whole remaining Fudge community seems centred on the Fudge List which, doesn’t seem healthy as it’s part of a bigger site, the phoenyx which I really know little about. One of the people behind the software, seems to think Fudge is dead or at least the parts not in Fate (that’s certainly not good, no?). There are rumours of a “Fudge Planet” from GreyGhost that would be the place for Fudge publishers and fans… but it must be over a year since I’ve heard anything concrete on that. Why does it take so long to put together such a site? (I’d like to say, I’ll do a site next week! But I’m wouldn’t get the traction. I mean, “who the fuck am I?” to everyone else).
Deja vu. A community that feels like it’s crawling along. It’s still alive, but when you prod it, it kinda grumbles and turns to the other side. Fudge hasn’t changed. It can’t. Everything else has though: software, games, market, community-ethos… etc. I don’t think Fudge can die. From it’s burning embers, many things are still be crafted. That will go on for a long time. Is the community waiting for something or is that all it is now?
But you have to remember, an online community is just an online presence. The Irish online community is just a zombie, but there are still conventions every year, clubs and societies every where, the IGA still occasionally organise events, etc. It continues like it did before anyone claimed it was dead online. I think the same is true for Fudge. It will continue but by it’s nature, it’s buzz and community may not. People will produce Fudge games, re-discover Fudge, use Fudge in their own home brew worlds, etc. Fudge isn’t dead. It may be a bit of a recluse, but it has that “something” that brings people into it’s fold. If you put a positive spin on it, the success of Fate should allow you to recognise that Fudge still has something that appeals to modern-day gamers, not that Fudge is dead. IMHO, etc. etc.