Money Tips: How To Afford Indie Games

By John Walker on January 28th, 2010 at 9:32 pm.

Maybe don't have Dominos Pizza this week?

As all readers of RPS know, I love them very much. (Especially the subscribers who just received three awesome secret offers today.) But as in all relationships, sometimes there’s friction. Like when people complain that $15 is too much for an indie game. Michael Lee (I thinkhe could maybe put his name/business on his website) of Ludoko Studios and the incredibly bold One Week/Game project, has written a handy guide for how to be able to afford to spend such riches on a game on his blog, GameDrinkCode. You can read it here. (Via @MituK)

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172 Comments »

  1. Psychopomp says:

    Psychopomp approves +5

  2. Vinraith says:

    Indeed, well played Mr. Lee, and well played Mr. Walker for the timely linkage. A good game is a good game, and quite a lot of indies are worth well more than $15.

    • Mister Yuck says:

      Look, the whole point of capitalism is that we get to buy things for a whole lot less than they’re worth to us. It pisses me off when people imply I have some sort of moral obligation to monetize the value I get out of an experience and that the producer is somehow doing me a favor by letting me pay any price less than that. And it really pisses me off when producers make fun of me for not spending money on their product.

    • Psychopomp says:

      All I got out of that is “I have a massive sense of entitlement.”

    • Mister Yuck says:

      Entitlement is exactly what I am objecting to.

    • MD says:

      @ Psychopomp

      Surely you could level the same charge at the comic, which basically argues that ‘indie developers are entitled to your $15′?

      (And yeah, I get that they’re using humour to point out a double standard, etc. But regardless of whether they have a valid point, ultimately the message seems to be ‘your purchasing priorities are wrong; indie developers deserve more of your money’.)

      I won’t start on the old coffee/burger/pint chestnut.

    • Psychopomp says:

      There’s “sense of entitlement,” then there’s trying to make a god damned living.

      By all means, if you want a future of endless corridor shooters, go ahead and balk. When good, innovative, games made with love and ambition are all gone, and everything is designed by committee, I know which people I’m going to blame.

    • Mister Yuck says:

      I think you’re misunderstanding me. I’m saying that folks make more money and more people get to play games when price decisions are based on what the developer thinks it can afford to sell the game at. When the developer tries to price the game based on how much their audience can afford to pay, or how much they think they’re game is worth to play, they make less money and fewer people play. That’s why I think this comic author’s opinion is, frankly, poisonous.

      Is that more clear?

    • Kamos says:

      @ Mister Yuck

      I’ve been thinking about making a game in the future, and I honestly don’t know what the price for a game should be.

      You have said the developer should decide the price based on “what he thinks he can afford to sell the game at”. But what price is that? It depends on how many copies you’re going to sell, and you probably don’t know that.

      I.e., if you’re going to sell 100,000 copies, sure, you can sell for $1 (or even less). But how do you know how many copies you’re going to sell?

  3. Tei says:

    Humm.., it seems for steam, the magic number for indie games is 10. Steam can’t be wrong!.

    Or this is that Tosser would say?

  4. FhnuZoag says:

    This argument is really kinda a waste of time. The thing is, people who say that they can’t afford $15 don’t mean they can’t afford $15. They mean: I am not really specifically looking to buy a game of your type, and $15 is beyond the amount of price that I would impulse spend on a piece of entertainment for coolness’s sake. It’s not really a matter of logic. You might as well turn it around and ask why developers are selling at 15 dollars, when they’d usually get a lot more than a 50% increase in sales at $10.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      No, actually, I’m sure in many cases they CAN’T. For starters take into account exchange rates.

      The extremely condescending Mr Lee (who has no ensured that I will never buy anything he is associated with) seems to assume that people have other “luxuries” they can give up to afford to buy indie games. I always love the way the cup of coffee is always touted as something one can “give up” when I’ve not drunk coffee in over a decade.

      I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I don’t eat out. In the last year my rent has gone up $200 while my income has stayed the same. Throw in the increasing cost of living with gas ($150 a month), electricity, water ($150 a month combined) etc… Not to mention food prices spiraling out of control… (Loaf of bread now costs damn near $2)…

      Perhaps Mr Lee’s comments can apply to those who still live at home, or are single, or have no kids, but in the real world some of us have responsibilities.

      Not to mention I can pick up many used AAA titles a few months after release for LESS than the price of most indie games, and with AAA titles I can guarantee a longer playtime, decent support, large community etc…

      I love the indie scene, but stuff like this just makes me not want to support them at all.

    • skalpadda says:

      @Bonedwarf:
      Agreed, I always find it slightly insulting when people just assume that everyone has reserve cash or habits and impulses they can skip to magic up money.

      There have been times in my life, when I was studying for example, where (the equivalent of) 5$ would have made the difference between eating and not eating for the last two days of the month. I’d love to see him put “Two home cooked cheap dinners” on that list.

      I guess the point being that sometimes when people say something is too expensive it’s because they don’t actually have the money to spend.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Bonedwarf and skalpadda

      The targets of this piece are people that regularly pay full price for AAA games but balk at being asked for an extra $5 for an indie title. No one is bashing you, no one is remotely suggesting that people on a tight budget should buy luxury items they can’t afford, indeed people in that situation aren’t even being discussed here. Mr. Lee undoubtedly thought it would be obvious that people with no money to spare were not the targets of this rant, I mean what kind of lunatic would suggest buying games over food?

    • Noc says:

      The issue, though, isn’t whether or not you can afford to buy a $15 video game. It’s when you can apparently afford to buy a $10 videogame, but $15 is just way too much.

      Are you honestly in a financial position where you end up sitting down and saying, “Okay. I’ve just barely gotten through all of my expenses this month, scrimping wherever I could, and I’m left with ten dollars. I can totally justify blowing this on a videogame but . . . shit, the only game I want to play is $15!

      “Man, I wish I could afford this.

      The point is, if you’re blowing money on (cheap) videogames in the first place, you’ve got money to blow on videogames. The difference between a $10 game and a $15 game is quite a bit less significant than the difference between a free game and a $10 one.

      . . .

      The point you make later on – about preferring to buy a cheap used AAA game rather than an equally cheap indie game – is reasonable. That’s just a cost/value thing: you think that these indie games don’t provide enough content or polish for their price, so you instead spend your finite quantity of game-money on different games. That’s an entirely reasonable thing to say.

      But the claim that you’d have no problem buying a $10 game but literally cannot afford to buy a $15 is quite a bit more questionable.

      Now, obviously that does happen sometimes! But I think it’s relatively safe to say that this relatively specific sort of instance is fairly unlikely to apply to the greater majority of comment-thread and message-board whining whenever an indie game comes out priced above $10.

    • skalpadda says:

      @Vinraith, Noc:

      My point was that making a giant sweeping generalization like this doesn’t exactly make a good argument. To me it comes off as more than a little condescending and it appears ignorant to the fact that there are plenty of people for whom 5$ represents far more important things than XBLA avatars and coffee (although coffee is a necessity of life).

      Just to be clear, I don’t mind or care if developers want to charge 10, 15 or 25$ for a game. I’ll happily pay whatever I think the experience will be worth to me. It was just the tone of arrogance of this that irked me.

  5. SmallGods says:

    On the other hand, some of the comments on the site are right – attempting to guilt trip potential customers into feeling bad to buy your game by pointing out how happily they spend their money on other things (and for the record, did any sane individual actually buy Army of Two..?) is not really the greatest tactic.

    People who wouldn’t pay anyway will take great offence and not buy still. People who already happily pay at least $15 (myself included in that category, happily coughed up for World of Goo and Darwinia the first time around) will either nod in self righteous agreement, or (personally) be mildly offended at the far too wide reaching blanket accusation of wasting money on “derivitive sequels” and frivolous coffees. Those who may have been on the fence, are unlikely to be made to feed bad enough by this to actually buy anything, especially since how many people do you know who would buy something after a publisher told them off for not spending enough? Doesn’t matter if its $15 or $50, the basic psychology is the same.

    I plan to acquire both Mass Effect 2, and Assassins Creed 2 soon. I also just bought Pyschonauts for a £1 to supplement the boxed US import copy I have on the shelf behind me. If I want to drink a $5 coffee whilst playing these gems, I will do so. Apparently, this puts me in the “you should be ashamed for not supporting Indie Games that charge more” category.

    I understand where the article is coming from, but I can’t help but feel that it was written at 2am when the author re-checked the sales records, read some snarky comments posts from people, then cursed all who refuse to pay up to the “little men” of the indie dev crowd..

    • Jeremy says:

      Do you wear tinfoil?

    • Kakksakkamaddafakka says:

      Did you even read his post?

    • Jeremy says:

      Often, I will randomly write above statement on random posts.

      This time I did not.

    • SmallGods says:

      I did yes, from top to bottom, and I still stand by my opinion that it comes off as a wee bit whiney, and not particuarly the kind of message that a developer really wants to broadcast out to potential customers, especially a smaller scale developer who can’t rely upon mass marketing to create sales, but instead relies to a large part of word of mouth.

      I get what he’s trying to say, that that extra $5 stretch from the percieved “acceptable” amount of $10 to the apparently “fetch your pitchforks” amount of $15 for an indie game is, when put into the perspective of day to day purchases and bigger budget glossy titles, marginal.

      However, I still think that berating peoples choice of game purchase / habit of frequenting Starbucks is going to achieve nothing productive. At the end of the day, some people just don’t want to spend $15 on an “indie” game. Those that do, will. Those that don’t, are not going to be swayed by this. If anything, they will be LESS likely to buy after reading this.

      And my tinfoil hat is in the wash currently thankyou ^_^

    • SmallGods says:

      @Kakksakkamaddafakka

      I assumed your reply was aimed at me. My follow up post feels mildly redundant now. A perfectly good mildly indignant response wasted, wasted I say! ^_^

    • Jeremy says:

      Dang it, I hate when I am a douche, and then someone is nice about it. Makes me feel like a jerk.

    • skalpadda says:

      @ Small Gods
      I agree, in the sense that it’s just silly to say “you should not buy these things so that you can give your money to us instead. I’ll spend my money however I please, none of your business thank you! It’s also quite dumb to assume that his game would be worth more to me than the things he lists.

      On the other hand, if the idea is to just provide a counterpoint to people who whine that indie games are too expensive and should be cheaper, then I agree with him. Indie devs are free to charge however much they want.

    • Army of None says:

      Well put! These are basically my sentiments exactly. So, in short, this is a heart agreement to smallgods’ comment!

  6. pkt-zer0 says:

    World of Goo was 20$. FAILED.

    • Niels Walta says:

      And I remember happily plopping down full-price for World of Goo in pre-order. Because I liked the game! I’d gladly pay $15 for a game that I like. I won’t pay $10 for a game I don’t like, and especially not $15.

  7. Ricc says:

    That was more dickish than clever… He is right, though.

  8. Larington says:

    I link this only because I stumbled upon it during dissertation research and think it rather appropriate:
    http://www.gameproducer.net/2008/02/11/every-game-purchase-is-based-on-emotions/

  9. Skree says:

    But what about *$25* indie games, eh? (Oh yeah, I totally went there…)

  10. the wiseass says:

    This is indeed very polemical and I do not approve. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of indie games. World of Goo, Braid, Spelunky, Cave Story, Blueberry Garden, Minecraft are all great games I gladly paid the price for, but many other indies simply do not have the production value to justify a 15 or 20 dollar price tag. If people prefer to invest their money into a venti mint mocha chip soy latte frappuccino rather than your indie game, then something might as well be wrong with your game and not the potential customer. On the other hand I’ve seen many people gladly shelling out 15$ for the now and then excellent indie game that comes in between the undistinguishable crap. You know, value is subjective and it seems rather dickish to impose your sense of value as the only right one.

    The one game a week thingie seems interesting but I wonder how many of these games will actually be good?

    Oh boy look at me, I sound like Dave Tosser. What have you done to me? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MEEEEEEEEE?!

    • PleasingFungus says:

      Spelunky and Cave Story are free.

      So with that on top of all your other myriad sins, yes, it is clearly time for you to grow a long curly mustache and take up smoking cigars. The transformation must be completed! THE METAMORPHOSIS CANNOT BE HALTED*!

      *possibly.

  11. Colthor says:

    He made that coffee up, right? Actually, does it even have any coffee in it? I keep interpreting the faux-Italian as cold, minty coffee with chips and soy sauce. Yummy.

  12. Jeremy says:

    I think at the heart of the issue is that, in the end, most gamers just like to complain about something (I am not barred from this blanket statement). So, we complain that full retail games are $50 when they provide only 8 hours of gaming of questionable value. Then, we also complain that indie games are $20 – $30 when they provide countless hours of excellent value (most recently Solium Infernum was argued about).

    Then again, maybe it’s pride, because how dare a developer think their game is worth a specific price? Recently, Vic Davis said his game was worth a certain amount of money, and this essentially created 2 camps. Those that agreed and those that disagreed, except more often than not, those disagreeing were doing so based on the psychology of Vic Davis rather than the actual value of the game, or in other words, on principle.

    This isn’t an argument of indie hipster gamers feeling self-righteous about their impeccable taste, it’s about supporting a side of development that isn’t constrained by the chains of mega-corporations and bottom lines, and supporting good games regardless of how indie the developer seems.

    • dadioflex says:

      It’s either gamer’s pride or their desire to complain?

      No chance the developer is at fault?

      Indie developers all want to become EA, by supporting them you’re just making them evil. Let them starve and keep their souls intact.

      I look at a game, weigh it up, and if I think it’s worth the money I’ll buy it, if I don’t I won’t. It’s not about me needing to save money in order to buy it. I have the money. I just don’t feel like it’s a fair exchange. Since it’s a question of my perception versus their perception of value, it’s not like I’m the only one to blame. We’re equally to blame for having different perceptions but at the end of the day THEY want me to spend the money so really it’s THEM that need to move. IMO.

    • Jeremy says:

      No, I wasn’t meaning that the developer is never to blame for a below par game, or over valuing it, far from that, but that’s not the point I was making. The reality is, most people don’t follow your example given in the last paragraph. I completely agree that if I don’t want a game, or think its too highly priced, I’ll simply not shell out the money for it. If its a game I want to buy, I will put some cash down and be done with it. Pride comes in when we think a developer should charge lower because then *I* would buy it, even if the game is being sold at a reasonable price. In the end, if a game isn’t any good, people aren’t going to buy it… but nobody complains about the price of a “triple A” piece of crap. They complain that it’s a piece of crap. If an indie developer makes a great game that everyone wants to play and then charges, on average, 40 – 50% less than everyone else, I would say that it makes it really hard to point the finger at the developer.

      I would argue that indie developers don’t want to be the next EA, otherwise they would probably be using their incredible talents at a company like EA. Many of them have stated the exact opposite, that they prefer having artistic and directional control on a level that they could never have at a huge company.

    • RobF says:

      “Indie developers all want to become EA, by supporting them you’re just making them evil. Let them starve and keep their souls intact.”

      Sometimes I’m not sure where reality ends and satire begins. This is one of those times.

      “I look at a game, weigh it up, and if I think it’s worth the money I’ll buy it, if I don’t I won’t. It’s not about me needing to save money in order to buy it. I have the money. I just don’t feel like it’s a fair exchange”

      No, that’s cool. We all do that to a degree. If I don’t want something, I sort of don’t buy it. If I think something is too expensive, I sort of don’t buy it. It’s a simple system but one that’s worked really well for me and got me through life with erm, not much money frankly but hey – at least I’m happy!

      But…

      “We’re equally to blame for having different perceptions but at the end of the day THEY want me to spend the money so really it’s THEM that need to move. IMO.”

      No to this. Most of the time.

      Often it just ends up in people not making enough money to eat to bend in this way, and if you can’t afford to eat then it makes making games a little less pleasurable or viable.

      Say you start at $15. People say “pfft, $15? I’d pay $10″. So next time, you start at ten. People say “pfft. $10? I’d pay $5″ because until you actually give the game away, you simply cannot satisfy everyone and there’s always going to be a proportion of people who will not pay a certain amount right the way until you get to nothing and huzzah, everyone is happy except the person who can’t afford to make games anymore.

      If you don’t want to pay the amount of money I ask for one of my games (ok, mine are “choose what you want to pay” or $1 if you’re an Xbox’er so the point is really a bit of a mnng on my personal behalf but should I wish to charge $15 for one…) then that’s fine. Really, it is.

      I’d like you to spend some money on me, sure – I don’t want or expect you to do so against your will and most of us don’t expect that. It’s your choice and I respect your decision to not want to pay whatever amount for whatever reason in this universe you have.

      All I’d ask is in return, you respect the choice of a developer to charge a certain amount because often, a price point isn’t chosen arbitrarily, it’s chosen because that’s the price which means we can eat for and/or continue to make the next game.

      Yes, there’s some exceptions and there’s always the nobbers who price things “because that’s the price” but to be honest, that’s life isn’t it?

      And y’know, if it turns out the price is too high then fair do’s, that’s the devs mistake and their problem to deal with not yours.

    • Tom Davidson says:

      In my case, the camp I wound up in was, “Vic Davis is certainly welcome to say his game is worth $25 to the customers he cares about, but I and many other people I know would be interested in becoming his customers if it only cost $15.”

    • RobF says:

      And the reason that doesn’t work business-wise (as lovely as it’d be) is as I said, then there’s the camp of “I and many other people would be interested in becoming his customers if it cost $10″ and so on and so forth.

      Which sounds lovely until you realise there’s a finite amount of people who would be interested in your game and there isn’t enough of the $10/$15 whatever mob to support you making games or in a lot of cases, putting food on t’table. That’s the problem with niche titles, they’re (generally) not cheap to make, generally cost a lot of time and effort to put together (especially good strategy stuff) and for a limited audience.

      It’s complex and messy whatever price you come in at and there’s just no way to please everyone so sometimes you have to make the judgment call and risk losing some customers down the line (or having them wait till said title is in a sale or drops in price or whatever). Sometimes it’s just the lesser of two evils. Or economics.

      It’s not that they don’t want your business, it’s just that sometimes it’s messy like that.

  13. Calabi says:

    The irony is indie devs dont get more money if they sold it for cheaper. If they sell it for cheaper people just think it must be rubbish. The amount sales scale doesnt scale equal to the ratio of the price, meaning if they reduce the price by a quarter they dont get an extra quarter amount of sales.

    The best prices for indie games are £20 to £25.

    No wonder Indie devs arent taking off,(and they arent), they cant win, to cheap, it must be shit, too expensive, its too much for shit.

    Its even more funny when their happy that the money goes to publishers(the developers see almost none just a bog standard salary), but when it goes to the actual guy that makes it how dare they charge that much.

    I know what it is though, jealous and envy, and because its one single person, people think they are in a position to influence them, make them feel guilty for charging so much.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      You do realise 25 quid is about what full premium AAA titles go for on the other side of the Atlantic, right?

    • ascagnel says:

      Games in the US of A are $50, which comes out to about 31 GBP (sorry, but the US keyboard lacks a GBP symbol).

  14. Taillefer says:

    Stop buying unnecessary luxury items and buy computer games instead!

    • bill says:

      you win.
      why did i bother writing that long post instead of just saying that…..?

  15. Matt says:

    Wow, what a petulant little rant. I feel pity for the guy, because what he’s trying to rebut (is that a word?) is a silly argument, but that just makes him look really immature.

  16. Larington says:

    The comments at the article are, umm, rather fierce, though I suppose that doesn’t surprise me.

    The problem is, that a lot of people place a lot of emotional value in production values, I look at VVVVVV for example (Sorry to the creator but…) and I see visuals that don’t inspire me emotionally and gameplay of a type that doesn’t really appeal to me and in that sort of situation well, really need I say more?

    The thing is, we need to stop seeing gamers as one collective bunch of people who presumably all want the same set of things and can be enticed with some clever reasoning. People are varied and different and indie gamers will achieve far more appealing to the people who can look past certain limitations on a developers budget. Theres nothing wrong with the article in itself, except that its what is known as scattershot marketing, where people who won’t appreciate the message will see it and then have a moan which damages the marketing in the process.

    • Jeremy says:

      Well that’s just it, we all have different standards, I think everyone is cool with that. However, the difference is that when I don’t want to purchase a game, or think it’s too expensive, I don’t buy it and leave it at that. Patiently waiting. Others have a more pro-active approach… for instance, getting on a forum and trashing a developer because they don’t drop a game down to their ideal price-point. If it was really just about people having different sets of values, then this comic would never have been made.

    • Larington says:

      And like a muppet, only now does it occur to me I could’ve made that point without mentioning a specific game. So now I feel like a bit of a shithead. (EDIT: and I can’t edit it because I wasn’t logged in at the time)

  17. Donkeydeathtasticelastic says:

    I’d rather have my crate of Coke than an indie game.

    I really need to cut down. :(

  18. A-Scale says:

    If only we had some sort of government run games distribution system so that indie developers would finally get their fair share!

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      Hear, hear!
      We should SO regulate the games market, taxing the big publishers and subsidizing the indies.

  19. invisiblejesus says:

    I think a lot of folks, mostly over in this guy’s comment thread, took this a bit more seriously than they really needed to. That’s cool though, the comments are more funny than the post itself. :)

  20. Carra says:

    I’m not thinking that “$15 is too much for an indie game”. I’m thinking “I’ll just wait three months and pick it up in the bargain bucket for $5″.

    • Zerotime says:

      Exactly. I’d rather spend fourteen of those fifteen dollars on a six-pack of Little Creatures Pale Ale and wait until the game’s on sale for a dollar.

  21. KBKarma says:

    *generalised approval*

    As an aside, I’ve never not found the money to buy indie games. I’ve only bought two non-indie games this year: Borderlands (as a present) and Planescape Torment. Yet I’ve got Aquaria, Braid, World of Goo, Plants vs Zombies and Machinarium now lined up in my Steam profile. And they’re damn fine.

  22. Frosty says:

    Although people are arguing as to whether the advert is in the right it worked for me. I had been meaning to pick up Darwinia for some time. This reminded me of that.

    £6 for Darwinia and Uplink on steam? Done deal.

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      Alternatively you could get the whole Introversion pack for £20. Multiwinia and Defcon are amazing games too.
      And it all comes in a nice metallic box and even has a big toy thing. Well worth it imho.

  23. Magnus says:

    Hmm… well, I paid $48(~£30?) for Grim Dawn… and it isn’t even finished yet!

    If I really want a game, the price is generally not much of an issue, I’d happily pay the equivalent to a AAA release on a good indie. It’s those games which you regard as being a brief distraction that I would prefer lower price points.

  24. CdrJameson says:

    Something I’ve recently learned – It doesn’t matter how cheap a pinball game is, if there’s only one table people will complain.

    I also don’t buy the pounds-per-hour-of-entertainment argument. It’s certainly not how I think about games, where I’m looking for something novel and compelling, not just something lengthy. I’d pay £20 for an afternoon’s entertainment, if it was a good afternoon (Portal, for example).

  25. Jimbo says:

    And Indie Game Developers continue to do everything in their power to put me off buying Indie games. Good job.

    Stop acting like downtrodden, misunderstood, beret-wearing, fleet-foxes-listening, goddamn communists and make something that isn’t a glorified Flash game.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Jimbo

      Mr. Tosser? You’re alive!

    • cliffski says:

      I’ll do my best

    • Jimbo says:

      I’ll have you know I do not wear glasses.

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      cliffski, I don’t really think his comment includes you.
      GSB is awesome and could not have been done in Flash. (P.S. Keep up the good work, I want that Campaign mode, and will gladly pay $15 for it).

      Oh, and Jimbo, not all Flash games are glorified, only VVVVVV is. (This is a troll, btw)

    • Psychopomp says:

      “goddamn communists”

      It’s like I’m really in the 50′s!

  26. TheSombreroKid says:

    i’m indie, buy me for £8!

  27. Lambchops says:

    Reading this I’ve come to a bit of a realisation. Namely that I think it’s time that people (my own good self included) actually man up and admit that they just don’t actually like a game.

    most people have no problem if they play a demo of a big bydget game and think it’s rather sub standard of completelty slating that game. Would you buy that game at any price? Of course you wouldn’t. For example despite Mirror’s Edge costing a mere £3 or whatever it was during the Steam sale over Christmas I didn’t buy it because I thought the demo was utter tosh and I knew fine well i’d hardly ever play it.

    However, if it comes to an indie game that I don’t like; say, to throw out an example, Hammerfight – i don’t really want to sit there and slag things off. I know they made the game because they thought they had a great idea and a great game to share and despite the fact my dislike of it is merely a personal opinion and one i could well share i’ll hide behind phrases like “it was alright but i’m not sure it’s worth £X . . . .sorry guys” because I don’t feel it’s quite as sour as – I thought the difficutly was pitched to hard and my mouse hand got intensley cramped from all that tiresome rotating round really quickly in a circle ad infinitum. Whereas with something like Mirror’s Edge I’d just go right out and say why i didn’t like it.

    Hiding behind price as an excuse for not buying it just out of some desire to not be nasty to the little guy is a pointless attitude when it has never stopped me from buying the games that do impress me (Braid, Aquaria, World of Goo, Darwinia, VVVVVV, Machinarium and the like). So from now on I’m going to endeavour to man up and admit when I think somethings not up to scratch at any price; even if it means hurting someone’s feelings – i’m sure they can take it.

    Though I do understand the argument of people who say they know it’s just going to be in the sales on a few months. Untill I bought my new laptop I used to play PC games 3 years behind release; which meant I never had to pay more than a tenner for most games. It is nice to get things for cheap!

    • TheSombreroKid says:

      i agree sometimes i do this, but i can honestly say that if Armageddon Empires was about the price of a positech game, then i would buy it, but i jst don’t see how AE has more work in it than GSB, which i consider to be a fairly priced game.

  28. Heliocentric says:

    I find AAA games in offers for smaller prices than most indies.

    Hence me giving a $30 indie a dirty look.

    • Vinraith says:

      Audience size matters enormously. A game that, when dropped to $10, will draw then attention of hundreds of thousands of buyers can afford to take the cut to their profits on an individual sale. A game that only 3000 people are even aware of can’t afford to take a serious cut to its profits just to sell to a few more of that 3000.

  29. Hideous says:

    Hey, a subscribe option! I didn’t know about this. Should’ve told me earlier.

  30. Dain says:

    *vaguely wonders if he’s the only one who measures all purchases in pints*

    • Lambchops says:

      Nope. I’m pretty sure that as a Scot it’s a requirment for me to do so.

      Of course it makes a bit of a difference whether the pint is a shitty lager or a fine ale!

    • TheSombreroKid says:

      we’ll have nne o’ that fine ale here, tennents all the way!

  31. Tim Ward says:

    Personally, I’m incensed when I’m expected to pay the same price for underground and indie music that I do for a CD released on major label, and that a ticket to an art film costs the same as Hollywood blockbuster.

    Don’t these people know that high production values = quality!!!??

    • TheSombreroKid says:

      higher production values do increase the likelyhood of quality to a point that’s why companies deem it apropriate to invest more in productions, besides are you saying that 2 weeks work by 1 person deserves the same reward as 3 years work from 100 people?

    • Tim Ward says:

      Companies invest a lot in production because it creates the *perception* of quality.

      Personally, I am not of the opinion that animated logos make the slightest bit of difference to how much fun you get out of a game, but they do seem to make people feel though they’ve brought something significant for their money.

    • Kakksakkamaddafakka says:

      Investment in production has nothing to do with actual production value.

      … and when I say nothing, I mean that you can’t get by on absolutely no investment in production, but the diminishing returns potentially starts at the very bottom. This is the same for absolutely all art.

    • skalpadda says:

      “Investment in production has nothing to do with actual production value.”

      That’s simply not true. Talent and focus goes a long way, but in many high budget games there are plenty of elements (tech, writing, art assets etc) that simply take a lot of people a lot of time to produce, meaning a need for larger investments. The time to polish and perfect something especially has costs attached. I doubt you could produce something like Half Life 2 on the budget of, say, World of Goo (which I think has excellent production values for what it is).

      I’m not however saying that production values automatically means quality or enjoyment. There are plenty of examples of games with excellent production values that fall short of actually being fun to play.

    • Pace says:

      Or try making Dragon Age on a small budget. The more money you have the more you can do.

    • Psychopomp says:

      “besides are you saying that 2 weeks work by 1 person deserves the same reward as 3 years work from 100 people?”

      Is the output of the same/better quality? Yes.

  32. malkav11 says:

    As a rule of thumb, I generally would like to pay 30 or more percent less for a game than is being charged for it.

  33. Lack_26 says:

    Hmmm, could have done with a sad clown at the bit about sad indie developers.

  34. TheSombreroKid says:

    now if you’ll excuse me i’ve got some mass effect 2ing to be doing!

  35. TooNu says:

    Because I fail at general internet useage I want to subscribe but I need an internet account to transfer money into from my real account, like some internet bag man.

  36. St4ud3 says:

    If I think a game is worth 15 bucks, I’ll spend the money, but anything over 5€ is not in my impulse-buy-zone.

    The more pressing issue here is, that I still cant subscribe to RPS without a credit card. I would like to give you all my weird europe moneys, but since I dont own a credit card, thats not really an option :(

  37. Sinnerman says:

    Damn those indie game developers with their stupid mouths and stomachs demanding to be fed. Taking the food from the tables of poor, impoverished hedge fund managers and company directors. They should be ashamed. Don’t they know that these are hard times where some people have to make do with only three cars with one of them being a low status make like BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

  38. Redd says:

    Ahh, this applies to people who buy stuff, allowing me to glibly observe this point and move on.

  39. Wulf says:

    What it all comes down to in my eyes is perceived value versus funds.

    I have:

    1.) A small pile of moneys set aside for leisure.
    2.) A list of games I would like to play.

    Haggling comes in here, because of perceived value, I need to be convinced that I will actually appreciate what I got out of the sale and not regret it. Now it’s down to the developer to either convince me of their good intentions via a low price or a demo, otherwise piracy is an option to at least test something to find out if it’s worth it.

    Then one’s own value of a game is determined, is this game worth a certain amount when that amount could go to a developer more deserving? Therefore, lower prices will always be more attractive, and frankly, the lower the better. That’s why Steam tends to clean house with their holiday sales.

    Eventually I will decide which developers are worthy of a chunk of my wad of leisure cash. However, I will be less inclined toward that payout if it’s a particularly big chunk, and there are other developers out there more deserving, so that purchase might get delayed, and delayed, and eventually forgotten about.

    The lower a price is, the more likely an ‘impulse’ purchase is, as the chunk taken from one’s wad of cash isn’t quite as immediately noticeable.

    So whatever you charge for a game, you have to really feel your game is worth $15, because if you don’t believe it, then punters certainly won’t, and as others have pointed out, guilt-tripping articles definitely won’t change that.

    • Wulf says:

      I will also further note at this point that I can’t really recall any indie purchases I’ve made, and I’ve made plenty, I’ve plugged ludicrous amounts of money into indie developers by now. But I have felt sorely disappointed and utterly ripped off by a huge number of mainstream titles, and the price had a lot to do with that. Mostly because I don’t feel as though I’d be getting the enjoyment I deserve out of £30-40.

      Especially when an indie game is so much cheaper and often actually so much more enjoyable, this is probably why the mainstream PC market is sinking like a rock at the moment.

    • Wulf says:

      Err… I meant I can’t really recall any indie titles that I’ve regretted purchasing.

      I can’t believe I missed that slip of half a sentence.

      Quoth Mr. Walker: I’m tired, and stupid, and… well, I don’t really hate any of you. :p

      So that was more of a paraphrase.

      I really need to go to bed.

  40. vagabond says:

    The fundamental problem with that argument is that $5 might only be a fancy coffee, but it is a full 50% extra on top of the perceived value of the game, which is why convincing people to pay it is such a hard ask. Anyway, the obvious outcome of the $5 = a fancy coffee argument is to forgo the indie game, have three fancy coffees and then go and try to play spelunky while you’re buzzing.

    • edosan says:

      I agree. The issue isn’t “come on, man, fork over another five bucks!” but rather “wouldn’t you rather pay 150% of what you’d like to spend?”

      It’s that whole supply and demand thing. I’m cheap, see? I think it’s generally reasonable to pay $20 for a game at the store with discs and a manual. I think the last game I paid “full retail price” for was Civ 4, because I wanted the really fancy edition so there’s your benchmark. Downloading a game over the Internet with no paper manual and no backup (beside the one I make myself) lowers the price I am willing to pay.

      I also, as a consumer that’s been around the block, knows that software always goes on sale.

    • malkav11 says:

      Indie games that are not sold through a major portal like Steam don’t go on sale often, if ever. And if they do? You may save $5 here (on a $30 game) or 10% there, but don’t expect miracles.

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      “The fundamental problem with that argument is that $5 might only be a fancy coffee, but it is a full 50% extra on top of the perceived value of the game, which is why convincing people to pay it is such a hard ask. ”

      Sure, but the whole point is why the perceived value is only two fancy coffees. It’s one thing if we’re talking about simple games that are over in a couple of hours. But do you remember the uproar over Braid’s pricing? That game was more fun than 95% of £40 games and people were spitting mad at it’s cost, without even having tried it. The question is why as soon as people hear indie the perceived value of a game goes down regardless of its quality or length.

  41. Matzerath says:

    The beauty about indy games is that they can price themselves however they deem fit. I imagine that if Solium Infernum was 60-100 dollars, there would be those that would shell out for it, because for those people it’s exactly the game they want to play. Thirty bucks isn’t overpriced, but it probably goes a long way towards making the community dedicated adults.
    The Steam sales and ‘pay what you want’ offers have been glorious, of course, but they’ve formed a mindset of ‘well I’ll wait for the sale’. I think it was in the Bob Came in Pieces forum on Steam that some guy was stating (Steam people often seem to need to make a public announcement about NOT buying something) that he was going to wait for it to be on sale, to which someone replied ‘It IS on sale’.
    I don’t think Solium Infernum is going to have a ‘pay what you want’ offer EVER (when Hell freezes over?), but there are those that are waiting patiently for such a thing, I’m sure.
    Actually, I finally purchased Blood Bowl because I REALLY wanted to play it and finally decided they weren’t gonna have a super-sale anytime soon, and I was kind of a dick for waiting for such a thing.

    • yns88 says:

      @Matzerath: Sure, they can price it however they deem fit, but in almost every case that’s not going to happen. There’s a decent amount of competition in the market for indie games, so in order to keep the profits rolling in they have to follow the market price. If you price the product too high then your potential consumers will just buy someone else’s product.

      The outburst over VVVVVVV is that consumers see it as in the same market as the quick-play flash games on Kongregate, and then they write angry posts on the internet about the differences in price.

      $15 is the “ideal” price for many indie developers because that happens to be where the demand curve usually gives them the most money. If you can sell 10,000 copies at $15, or 13,000 copies at $10 then you sell at $15. But then those 3,000 people who wanted to support you (just not that much) get very angry on the internet about it and either buy it anyway, wait for a sale, or (gasp) pirate it.

      These angry internet men are being juvenile, but then again so is Mr. Lee.

  42. Nathan says:

    Sorry, but I don’t care that a game is indie.

    I purchase a game depending on whether I know I will get at least £x of value and enjoyment out of it. If I don’t know I will get my money’s worth out of buying a game, then it’s not worth spending money on, especially when I have such a large collection of games that still need playing. And this is true regardless of whether a game is “indie” or published by EA. If Introversion were releasing Subversion tomorrow I’d likely buy it for £40, but if EA were releasing a new Golf game I’d be uninterested at £10.

  43. nakke says:

    I’ll wait for Starbucks’ response to this. “Think about how many delicious frappuccinos you could buy with all that money you spend on buggy vidya games by unknown developers!”

  44. Mister Yuck says:

    Look, the whole point of capitalism is that we get to buy things for a whole lot less than they’re worth to us. It pisses me off when people tell me I have some sort of moral obligation to pay more money for things. It really pisses me off when people make fun of me for not spending.

    • Mister Yuck says:

      Argh, this is supposed to be a reply to Vinraith.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Mister Yuck

      Tough shit. There are a lot of game developers I like. I have a vested interest in keeping them in business. As such, I don’t mind helping to fund them, and make sure they can keep making games. People that want to reap the fruits of the indie community without doing the same are obviously free to do so, and I’m free to give them grief about it.

    • Mister Yuck says:

      Look man, you’re doing it wrong and this artist is really doing it wrong. You should release your product for as little money as you can while still making a profit. That way, you maximise your profit by selling many, many products AND AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE GET TO ENJOY YOUR WORK. It’s good for everybody. When you raise your price to what your product is actually worth to people, fewer people get to experience your game, they get less value out of it, and you make less money. It’s worse for everyone.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Mister Yuck

      See my response to Heliocentric above. “Cheaper games sell enough to compensate for less profits” falls apart when the target audience is small enough, the marketing budget is non-existent, or the title is sufficiently niche.

    • Mister Yuck says:

      Certainly. The smaller the audience, the fewer buyers you have to defray the costs of development, therefore the more expensive you are forced to price your game. That does not contradict my point, which is that the lowest price that is profitable is best for everyone, and it certainly doesn’t excuse the comic author’s attitude that I have some sort of moral duty to pay as much as I can afford towards independant games.

    • Hattered says:

      @Mister Yuck:

      The point of capitalism is that they get to sell at whatever price they see fit. It also isn’t “the lowest price that is profitable is best for everyone,” but rather the price that is most profitable is best for the company (with many methods for determining profitability). With regard to indie developers, I would think there is also a drive to recoup the investment as quickly as possible so as to facilitate the development of the next game. Lowering the price may increase the number of sales, but any increased profit could be distributed over a longer period. Additionally, there’s the consideration that a one- or two-man developer is more akin to an artist-type than a larger developer and might simply be unwilling to devalue their work, regardless of profit.

      Pricing complaints are a valid response from consumers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean appeasement is the proper response from indie developers (even assuming appeasing a complainer turns them into a purchaser). Pricing for profit requires data to which the average consumer just doesn’t have access. (It would be interesting to see an exhaustive study of the matter, perhaps including comparisons to alternative models, such as donation-supported development.) Even with proper data, the capriciousness of the market means there is still risk in altering price. Finally, what the consumer sees as the optimal price is heavily influenced by the forced depreciation of large-production titles and the perception of indie developers as amateurs. If indie developers concede en masse, it could damage the position of indies in the future. For this reason alone, I think it best that indie developers resist the call to underprice their product and continue to price as they see fit.

  45. Tom Camfield says:

    @ Most people, for instance Bonedwarf and skalpadda, but countless others too.

    Michael Lee is just saying that, for people with plenty of money to spend on new $60 games, cussing out a $15 indie is a bit pointless. (If you have the money to spend on a pointlessly expensive coffee, then you have the five bucks to spend on an equally irrelevant entertainment item.)

    I don’t think M. Lee is saying that poor people should buy games rather than food. (That’s why he didn’t write: “2 meels or my game!! The Choice IS Obvius”)

    Also, if you’re like me and tend to wait for a game price to drop before you buy, well, indie games drop in price much in the same way other games drop in price… so just wait for them all to drop in price, as I will do.

    Don’t take unnecessary umbridge dude, he loves you, yeah, and he told me you’re a snappy dresser.

    • malkav11 says:

      Again, indie games do not drop in price on the same schedule as AAA big studio games. I can name a fair few indie games that I have never seen drop in price at all, and some that have dropped in price only over geological epochs or as part of a bundle that came along after two or three sequels (i.e., several years). For that matter, I suspect the big studio games wouldn’t drop nearly as fast if they weren’t sold in retail, as there it’s the retail store trying to recoup their investment and clear limited shelf space rather than the people making the game setting a price point.

    • skalpadda says:

      @ Tom Camfield:

      Except that’s not really how it came across though. At least to me it seems more like arguing that 5$ is such an insignificant amount that suggesting it might be too expensive or more than the game is worth somehow makes you an idiot who’d be happy to spend his money on fancy coffee and XBLA avatars rather than these fine indie titles. It just seems arrogant rather than clever, and claiming that 5$ is insignificant when you compare it to 10 is just silly.

      I’m definitely not saying that I personally think that 15$ or whatever is too much for an indie game. I’ve happily paid that and more for games and I bought a second copy of World of Goo for my mom for 10$ on the “pay whatever you want” sale. I’m very positive to the idea of directly rewarding things you appreciate and help fund more of it.

  46. vagabond says:

    @Calabi
    The thing is, under the big publisher system everyone involved but the people that made the thing took the lion’s share of the profit and passed on a few measly percent (or so I’ve been led to believe) and the creators still did okay. If I’m now handing over the cash directly to the creators, why shouldn’t I expect a significant reduction in what I’m paying to them.
    I object to financing someone’s third sports car, just because they happen to produce something that technology can replicate for practically zero cost, whilst I’m stuck earning what I earn because the benefits of what I do can only be realised by the one organisation.

    I think one of the most interesting things from the comments thread over on the other site was a link to Amanda Palmer’s blogpost about dealing directly with artists money-wise (http://blog.amandapalmer.net/post/200582690/why-i-am-not-afraid-to-take-your-money-by-amanda)
    The gist of it is that in this brave new publisher-less world, artists will need to deal directly with the consumers of their art to obtain their revenue, and that consumers need to get used to this and not make artist feel bad about asking for money.
    I think the flip side of this is that, previously if consumers felt that a product was not worth the asking price that the faceless corporation wanted, they could:
    a) suck it up and pony up the cash even if they felt ripped off,
    b) go without the product in question,
    c) wait for it to be on sale,
    d) steal/pirate it.
    Now that they actually have the possibility of a two way dialog with the people responsible for setting the price, there’s going to be a hell of a lot of “I don’t think your product is worth x, but I’d pay y” going on.
    Maybe to some artists that feels insulting, but I think that the majority of those statements are genuine rather than some sort of bizarre attempt to get something 5 or 10 dollars cheaper. Price signals are an important part of the market, and if people can use the flat out efficient method of telling you what they’re prepared to pay, rather than the much more blunt instrument of not buying it/pirating it, I fail to see how this is a bad thing.

  47. Zwebbie says:

    A problem is that you tend to take production costs into the decision, even if only in the back of your mind. A (regular) toothbrush doesn’t cost very much at all, but it keeps your teeth from rotting. That’s *far* more useful than a game will ever be, but would you spend $40 on it? Hell no, it’s just a plastic stick with some hairs coming out.
    An indie game, even if it’s tons of fun, is still usually made by one or two guys over the course of a year. It might be more fun than Marine of War III: the Dark Gateway (or whatever the brown next-gen game of the hour is), but the production costs are still way lower, like the toothbrush. Maybe it’s because fun, at the end of the day, is still subjective, whereas money poured in isn’t.

    For what it’s worth, I never drink frappuccinos and always carry a bottle of ice tea at €0,45 per 1,5L, so dehydrating myself isn’t going to fill the wallet ;) .

    • Psychopomp says:

      What you people completely fail to realize is that he is going to sell nowhere near as many copies as Marine of War, and he needs food in his fucking belly. Selling it for 10$ may get more sales, yes, but not necessarily more profit.

      Say someone puts their game up for $30, and they sell 2000 copies. He would net about 60K before taxes.

      Say he drops it to an oft suggested $15. He would have to sell twice as many copies to net that much money. Twice as many copies of his largely unknown, niche game. Yeah.

      And this is completely ignoring the thought that budget should have any place in the pricing. Let’s look at Avatar, the most expensive movie ever made. A ticket is 9$. Let’s look at, say, B movies like Evil Dead. If it was to come out in this day and age, it would still be *nine god damn dollars a ticket.* The same goes for music, and, to an extent, books.

      I swear to god, with people like this it won’t be long until indie games are the realm of freeware, and nothing else.

    • Mister Yuck says:

      Games like World of Goo and Braid are by no means niche any more. Your attitude sells the genre very short.

    • Psychopomp says:

      I heard all indie games were platformers, or get massive pushes from the media and nintendo.

    • invisiblejesus says:

      @Psychopomp:

      “What you people completely fail to realize is that he is going to sell nowhere near as many copies as Marine of War, and he needs food in his fucking belly. Selling it for 10$ may get more sales, yes, but not necessarily more profit.”

      I think you’re failing to realize that we don’t owe indie developers a living. I would agree that a lot of the excuses people concoct to avoid paying $15 for an indie game are lame, but the fact is it’s the job of the game developer to sell us on the game. We don’t owe it to them to pay $15 for a game we don’t want badly enough to spend $15. I’ve spent that much or more for indie games, but it wasn’t because I owed some dude a sale simply because he exists. It was because I saw a kickass game that was worth the asking price. If an indie developer can’t offer me a kickass game that’s worth the asking price, I’m not going to buy it just because he’s indie, and if that actually does mean indie games will die or all go freeware (hint: they won’t), then that’s just too bad for them. Offer me something that I want badly enough to part with my money, or fuck off. Simple as that.

    • RobF says:

      @invisiblejesus and some others really.

      No-one is suggesting that you do owe indie devs a living are they?

      I know I’ve come across the odd dev with that sort of attitude and I find it pretty repugnant also, but I’ve not read anything on here that even suggests that.

      There’s a difference between “if we don’t make enough money to live then we can’t make more games because we’ve got no bloody money to live on and we’ll have to do something else instead” and what you’re inferring. In trying to force devs (which is what this comic sprung from) to drop their prices to an arbitrarily decided figure of worth, then yes, that scenario will play out because folks won’t be able to afford to make games for all the reasons I mentioned earlier. The breakout hits like WoG and Braid are exceptions with massive marketing push that most of us will never see.*

      Although yes, you shouldn’t buy an indie game just to support indie because that’s very silly indeed (for a start, there’s no gestalt indie because of what indie is by nature, you’d be supporting one indie although there’s a good chance that like me the money may go back into supporting other indies) but because you like something and want to support that sort of thing.

      If you don’t want to buy it, fair do’s. I think someone would have to be a mental to have issues with that. No-one’s saying for a second that you have to buy these things though which is why I find a lot of these discussions incredibly confusing. Of course no-one has to.

      *it’s also why there’s a marked difference between being on Steam and being able to charge a lower price than if you’re going direct sales only. There’s more eyeballs on Steam (from a certain self selecting group, admittedly, but still lots of eyeballs) but again, the amount of indie games on Steam is vastly lower than the amount of good indie games that get made. Probably also true for mainstream stuff also.

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      Just a little aside: Does it really matter if indie becomes freeware?
      Some of the best indie games are freeware. In fact, I’d go as far as saying something like Cave Story is better than any recent indie game. Cactus games are pretty fun too.

      Even if a couple of developers starve to death good games will still be made.

    • RobF says:

      Well, yeah, it would matter because it’d limit what could be made and the gaming landscape would suffer as a whole. I write freeware as well as other stuff I do, I pay out a stupid amount of money each month I don’t have to support a community of freeware developers and have done for a number of years now and I can tell you straight that we need both kinds of developers.

      Writing games takes time. Cave Story took 5 years. It’s an anomaly in freeware. The vast majority are sketches because either people can’t afford the time to take things further and/or can’t afford full stop to take things any further. We’d end up with so much poorer a gaming landscape if folks couldn’t afford to dedicate themselves full time to making games.

    • woppin says:

      The freeware argument is far from being just an aside, games that are free are generally made by people who just enjoy coding games outside their day job, which can produce some really great stuff (Dwarf Fortress, Wesnoth). I find it very difficult to justify why there is often little difference in quality between these free games and the ones sold by indie devs for $5 – $20. That’s not to dismiss the indie scene, Braid and World of Goo are great games, I had some fun with AI War and I’m just getting into Hinterland now, but I think indie developers might benefit from seeing titles like these as a standard for quality, rather than an exception.

    • Psychopomp says:

      “I think you’re failing to realize that we don’t owe indie developers a living.”

      No one ever suggested that. At all.

    • Hattered says:

      @woppin:

      I think Dwarf Fortress is supported through donations and Wesnoth seems to be something of an open-source, distributed-development project (and possibly supported by donations to some degree, I know a friend donates to them each year). It would definitely help individual indie studios to set high standards for themselves, but on the whole there will always be a glut of worse-than-freeware executions. Perhaps “quality” indie studios would benefit from banding together under a common umbrella, as is sometimes done with webcomics (another place where low barrier-to-entry leads to an excess of garbage). This may already be practiced and I just haven’t noticed.

    • woppin says:

      Hattered you are correct of course, both Wesnoth and DF are supported through donations, but this really only serves to underline the issue that quality indie games are supported without requiring a $15 price point.

    • RobF says:

      “Hattered you are correct of course, both Wesnoth and DF are supported through donations, but this really only serves to underline the issue that quality indie games are supported without requiring a $15 price point.”

      To a degree, definitely and to an equal degree, nay. I can hand on heart say that more often than not, folks are generous and kind in their support and I’m not just thankful for that personally, I’m incredibly grateful and honoured (on a personal level, I can’t speak for other devs) that folks value what I do.

      But it takes a certain kind of game to sustain the donation model to a degree where you can live off it and those that can are very special cases. They’re usually either relatively complex games or games that can have a degree of ongoing development to them. So y’know, Dwarf Fortress can keep having these layers and layers added to it to make it a richer experience but say, AaaaaAAaaa etc… or one of Minter’s games they emerge about as fully formed as they can be so it doesn’t really work in those cases.

      I’m greedy. Not for cashmoneys but for games. What I want is this sort of world where there’s room for Dwarf Fortress, there’s room for sketchy freeware, there’s room for the lovely remakes all my pals do, there’s room for complex obscure simulation games, strategy games, RPG’s etc… and the thing is, there’s no across the board financial model that can support all that so different things have to have these different ways of being supported by the people who want to see their respective favourites (or just enjoyed games) thrive.

      In some cases just downloading the game can be enough, in others chucking over a few quid in donations can be an encouragement, in some cases chucking over a few quid in donations can make a massive difference to whether the next game from someone appears and in a lot of cases, forking out a value that’s needed by the dev to survive is the only sensible way.

      There’s no right nor wrong about all this, just different things and different people need different things to get by.

    • Vinraith says:

      @RobF

      Eloquently put, and entirely right IMO.

  48. MD says:

    Whoops, beaten to it. But I used more words, so I guess that’s okay.

    • MD says:

      Friggin’ reply button etc. etc. etc.

      (Although to be fair, perhaps I shouldn’t have forgotten to press it.)

  49. Cooper says:

    I rarely buy games near release. I have a £10 limit on game prices – I’ll only buy above that if it’s a game I really, really want – indie or no.

    The problem is, indie games generally do not drop down in price at anywhere near the speed games at retail do.

  50. Zeus says:

    I’m so sick of everyone suggesting we drop these daily cups of $5 coffee from our lives. It’s true that $5 coffees are a useless luxury item, but you have so many people scrambling for the same mythical $5–charities, financial advice shows, independent gamers–that there’s no chance anyone who still blows $5 on coffee hasn’t already heard this, and either decided 1) No, Sir, I enjoy my $5 coffee, thank you. or 2) Already switched to Tasters Choice and spent the $5 elsewhere.

    • bookwormat says:

      It’s true that $5 coffees are a useless luxury item

      I’m not something counts as useless luxury when my body needs it to function.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Pro-tip:If you need it to function, you can get coffee a lot cheaper than 5$ a cup.