A some don't even have GMs...some have multiple GMs and one Player! *gasp*
Actually, it isn't so much the role is made smaller. The role is just far more focused (like the rest of play), the games usually spell out "Hey GM, your job is to do X, here are your rules too". Now in some cases it is fairly small, but any indie game that has a GM, usually hands them a lot of power and responsibility over key areas.
Can you give examples of indie games who gives a different role for the players? As in "X player helps the DM to come up with problems for the group, Y player is in charge of hitting someone with a chair if they screw with the group and Z player gives the XP he thinks its wise, making W player the only one running around and only playing in the new game Everyone is a DM".
I'm just curious because, like I said, the only games I saw gave me the impression that the DM was more of a small role looking for grave errors just to point them out.
Hm, I have an interesting example from Polaris.
Polaris requires 4 players...
The Heart, the protagonist of the scene.
The Mistaken, who plays the roll of the antagonist, and plays any demons or mistaken characters.
The New Moon, who plays personal relationships and any minor female characters.
The Full Moon, who plays hierarchical relationships and any minor male characters.
Polaris is about Chilvirc Tragedy in the far north. A Heart, is one knight. Each player creates a Knight, so after each scene play switches. Who takes what roll is chosen by seating arrangement. Example, the player across from the Heart is the Mistaken.
The Mistaken is more or less the DM, in the sense they bring the challenge. They play demons, they make things harder on the heart by complicating their life. The moons act as rules arbiters for the scene, they determine experience rolls, and adjudicate any disagreements over the rules.
Let me think of another...
Shock is similar. One player plays the protagonist for a scene, the player next to him the antagonist. The rest of players (from what I remember), play other NPCs, and also are the judge for conflict resolution. They also assign dice effects like damage and such. Like "oh during the struggle, since you rolled poorly, you totally got shot. So write that down on your character sheet.
The Drifters Escape! You have one player, the Drifter. The other players play The Man or the Devil. If the Drifter goes somewhere controlled by the Man, the man sets the scene and stuff. If the drifter goes somewhere beholden to the Devil, the devil sets the scene. Whats cool, is that conflict resolution is done by poker...NOW if the Drifter doesn't like his hand, he can ask for a deal from the Devil or the Man. They simply state what they require, and blamo!
The game feels likes a 70's sleazy thriller, like Taxi Driver or Walking Tall, maybe even First Blood with the right mix of ingredients.
Thats all the comes to mind at the moment. Most GMfull games are very non traditional, so I am unsure about your exact example. I know a few games support rotating GMs as well