Rock Paper Shotgun has interviewed Iron Tower's Vince D. Weller about his upcoming indie RPG Age of Decadence for their "unknown pleasures" 2009 series.
RPS: What's the key important parts of RPGs for you? Why? And how does Age of Decadence deliver on them?
Vince D. Weller: I'd say that role-playing is probably the most important aspect of role-playing games. I know it sounds crazy, because these days RPGs offer anything but role-playing. What? No. Playing a role is not role-playing, son. Role-playing means freedom to do whatever you want within the boundaries of a storyline. I'm not talking about abandoning the storyline Bethesda style and exploring the world. I'm talking about a game giving you a general goal and letting you complete it in different ways, using different skills and abilities. See this article creatively called What's a role-playing game? for more info.
Why is it important? Take Baldur's Gate 2, for example. It has a lot of great qualities, but it's not really a role-playing game. It's more of an action adventure game with adjustable stats. Yes, I know. I've really done it now. Sir, can you please put the pitchfork down? Thank you. Anyway, if one were to replay BG2 one would have exactly the same experience, give or take few meaningless choices. Games like Fallout and Arcanum, on the other hand, can create very different experiences and let you do things differently when you replay them. That's one of the AoD's main features.