Home Gaming Indie Zoe: Raider of the Lost News (26 September 2013)

Indie Zoe: Raider of the Lost News (26 September 2013)

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Indie zoe raider of lost news
I’m a bad hipster – sure, I’ve got Mac products, but I don’t have skinny jeans or any ironic eye wear. Maybe I should start wearing my Gunnars to boost my street cred, but I’m not sure my brain can take it. Oh well, at least I’ve still got love for the indies – here’s all the indie news of the week!

First up, a bunch of guys from Klei and TelltaleGames have decided to make a new indie studio, Campo Santo. I must say, I love the intro to their new blog explaining what it’s like to found an indie studio:

Deciding to found and then actually CREATE a video game studio has felt like a mix of buying a winning lottery ticket and taking a brash detour that results in a near miss with a pedestrian. Impulse followed by action followed by sitting in your car hyperventilating. The outcome is thrilling at best and disastrous at worst.

Their first game is being backed and made in collaboration with the Mac utility software/design studio Panic Inc. Should be interesting to see where this goes – always nice to see studios opening rather than closing.

On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got some mismanagement of funds in the indie Kickstarted game, CLANG. Despite surpassing their $500k goal, development has moved into a hobby phase as developers can only work on it during “evenings and weekends” until they get more funding. That’s right, they need more money:

Is the CLANG project dead? At what point do you put a toe tag on an indie game and call it finished? Opinions on that might vary, but in our opinion, the project doesn’t die simply because it runs out of money. Projects run out of money all the time. As a matter of fact, game industry veterans we have talked to take a blithe attitude toward running out of money, and seem to consider it an almost obligatory rite of passage.

You know, I’m sure it’s easy for industry veterans to have a blithe attitude about budgets – they didn’t just falsely take $526 125 from people excited enough to Kickstart a project. In fact, I’m seriously put off by this phrase:

Kickstarter is amazing, but one of the hidden catches is that once you have taken a bunch of people’s money to do a thing, you have to actually do that thing, and not some other thing that you thought up in the meantime.

Really? Um, isn’t that kind of the whole point of game development? These guys are sounding like QCF Design with their Desktop Dungeons game that has been driving local indie supporters insane. I know indie development is really hard, and you want to make the best possible product, but sometimes you just need to release your game and move on – or be honest with people (and yourself) upfront about the time and financial costs involved.

Back to the good news, Sony has announced dates and opened entries for their Developer Open Days. They will be taking place in London and aim to raise awareness about developing and self-publishing on PlayStation platforms. I love the commitment to the indies that we’re seeing from Sony.

But enough about news, let’s get some games! IndieGameStand has launched a new store, and in honor of that launch they are having a sale. Who doesn’t love a sale? Go check out IndieGameStand and get your hands on some cheap indies. Meanwhile, GOG is also having an indie sale (Super 5 Promo) – you can get five games (although technically six because two are combined) for $5. These include Escape Goat and VVVVVV – go have a look at the bundle. Meanwhile, Bundle in a Box which I told you about last week, is still running. Get eight indie RPGs for $2 and an extra five games if you pay more than the average price which is still less than $6. That’s right, 13 games for less than $6 – not a bad deal. I just hope you all got the Humble Bundle – I got ten fantastic indie games for $5.

Last Updated: September 26, 2013

14 Comments

  1. Admiral Chief of Rivia

    September 26, 2013 at 15:33

    Wow, Desktop Dungeons STILL not finished???

    Reply

    • Ben Geldenhuys

      September 27, 2013 at 12:04

      They are releasing in October.

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief of Rivia

        September 27, 2013 at 12:11

        Schweet

        Reply

  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    September 26, 2013 at 15:56

    There’s a new promo @ http://www.indieroyale.com/ as well.

    Reply

  3. Aequitas

    September 27, 2013 at 12:04

    Zoe, I feel like your misrepresenting the situation. We have not stopped working on Desktop Dungeons, nor has it moved to ‘afternoons and weekend’. we’re still working on the game full time, and have been releasing updates on a weekly basis since the beta phase started.

    This is very similar to the model minecraft used.

    If you want to set up an interview, to get more info, let me know.

    Reply

    • Her Highness the Hipster

      September 27, 2013 at 12:10

      If you read the above quote referenced, it’s about the whole “doing what you say you’re going to do” thing, and giving people a clear sense of timelines. I’ve heard from plenty of people (outside the LG office) that they are tired of waiting and not getting updates. People don’t want to have to search for where their money has gone.

      Reply

      • Jonathan Hau-Yoon

        September 27, 2013 at 12:22

        DD’s been releasing weekly updates for yonks. People who want to buy the game can get the beta right now, and play it, and have fun, for hours on end.

        What does this have to do with mismanaging crowd-sourced funds?

        Reply

      • Welsh Pixie

        September 27, 2013 at 12:28

        I’ve only recently discovered DD. I bought into the beta, I don’t really follow progress, I’m not on the forums and I only read about updates on Twitter in passing – and even *I* know that they release weekly updates, work on bug fixes and content all week and talk about what they’re working on with the game fairly openly. I can only imagine that if I were an active member of the DD community this progress reporting and update visibility would be multiplied considerably.

        “I’ve heard from plenty of people (outside the LG office) that they are tired of waiting and not getting updates.”

        Maybe don’t write articles based on heresay. Surely it would be more accurate to describe the situation to LG readers as ‘some impatient and out-of-touch people would liken this situation to DD despite the fact that DD release highly visible weekly updates and talk frequently about continued progress and development with the game’.

        “They didn’t just falsely take $526 125 from people excited enough to Kickstart a project”

        Ooh that’s a bit naughty. If this is an opinion piece I’d consider highlighting that somewhere at the top of the article – otherwise you’re presenting that as fact, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t ‘falsely’ take money from anyone. “Wielding my lasso of truth,” not so much, huh?

        Reply

        • Gavin Mannion

          September 27, 2013 at 13:03

          I applaud you for sticking up for your friends but this is not hearsay from Zoe and a few friends. We literally get asked what’s happening all the time and by a huge array of people.

          The game has been in development for too long now and needs to be released…

          Personally I think they should have released it right after they won the award and then started working on the sequel, I hope they haven’t missed their window.

          Reply

          • Welsh Pixie

            September 27, 2013 at 13:50

            “I applaud you for sticking up for your friends”

            That’s cute. If I’m ‘sticking up for’ anyone here it’s for journalists who write unbiased articles that don’t sweepingly slander entire dev studios.

            “The game has been in development for too long now and needs to be released…”

            Again, that’s opinion, and not fact. When I come to one of South Africa’s largest gaming news sites to read a news piece on indie games, I don’t expect opinion presented as fact.

          • rustybroomhandle

            September 27, 2013 at 13:51

            You seem to be confused. The version of DD that won the IGF award is available right now, and not the same as the one releasing soon at all. Also you seem to be confused about how alpha-funding works. Minecraft has releases every month – has that also been in development “too long”? How long is “too long” in your opinion? Have you ever developed any games? Have you ever developed any games with community feedback being a key part of the process? If they release the game right now, it’ll be the same version that people who bought into the beta can already play, so what benefit does “needs to be released” have at all?

          • David Muller

            September 27, 2013 at 15:55

            So you get asked by people all the time and didn’t think to ask the devs or look at their blog?

          • SaintsRowNigri

            September 27, 2013 at 16:09

            Is this not the problem right there?

            “Yes, we haven’t been sending out e-mails, and for that I’m sorry. The truth is we never made people sign up for a newsletter, so we can’t really send those out without risk of getting our e-mail server blacklisted.”
            Just saying, I have run a couple of Betas in my life. Communication to customer is key.

      • Aequitas

        September 27, 2013 at 12:51

        I’m sorry you feel that we’re not doing what we promised, but I think we’ve gone a fair way to do what we said. Everyone who pre-ordered has beta access, and we’ve kept our sites up-to-date so people can see we’re not inactive.

        Yes, we haven’t been sending out e-mails, and for that I’m sorry. The truth is we never made people sign up for a newsletter, so we can’t really send those out without risk of getting our e-mail server blacklisted.

        The game has also taken far longer to finish than we would have liked. This has been due mostly to the sheer amount of community feedback we’ve gotten. The game has evolved throughout the beta to become a much better, and also much larger, game than the initial prototype.

        Reply

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