The ‘Show Me The Games’ Bundle Is Good

By Jim Rossignol on June 3rd, 2011 at 10:39 am.


Show Me The Games, an alliance of independent developers led by Cliff Harris, want you to buy directly from indies. Why? Well, because then they actually get the money, rather than it going to distributors. To promote their direct sales services, they have put out a bundle: this bundle. It contains Gratuitous Space Battles , Castle Vox, Evochron:Mercenary, Fate of The World, and Smugglers IV for $28.50.

That is a good deal.

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42 Comments »

  1. Meat Circus says:

    It’d be an even better deal if the games were on Steam. But I suppose that’s the point Cliffski’s trying to make: mild inconvenience should be a part of the real Indie experience.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Some of those games are on Steam. You can still buy them from there.

      The point Cliff is trying to make is that buying them like that means that a very large slice of your money goes to Valve, rather than the developer.

    • Rich says:

      The next indie step they’ve decided not to take is the “pay what you want” model. Shame, because it always seems to do well.

    • Meat Circus says:

      Do you have to give Valve a cut to have your game register on Steam even if it wasn’t sold through it?

      I bought SpaceChem direct, but it registers through steam. Everyone’s a winner.

    • MD says:

      At least this way we don’t have to have a thread full of “Ha ha I paid one cent” / “Everyone who paid one cent is a terrible person” back and forth!

    • Delusibeta says:

      @Meat Circus: Everything I’ve seen suggests the answer is “no”. Certainly, Arcen Games didn’t pay a cent for Steamworks support, ditto Humble Indie Bundle.

    • 3lbFlax says:

      It’s obviously good to have this as a promoted option, but I don’t buy from Steam to spite developers – I do it for the various conveniences it provides. If a game’s on Steam, that’s where I’ll probably get it from, even if I end up paying a little more – added DRM is the main thing that would make me reconsider.

      If the games in this bundle came with Steam codes, that’d be perfect. It doesn’t say anything about that on the linked page, and I don’t know what the economic factors involved in providing Steam codes for non-Steam purchases might be – I suppose it might make the whole exercise pointless. I bought Frozen Synapse direct from the devs, but it included a Steam code – do they therefore pay a cut and make as much as they would have if I’d bought it on Steam?

      But if this gets the devs more money, excellent. Good luck.

    • cliffski says:

      I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think it costs devs anything if you buy direct but then get given a code for steam, although that’s not something that I do personally with GSB.
      Also, Valves cut of the money isn’t bad, in relation to the old days of retail, and the casual games portals.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      You can’t really deny that steam offers a service to both developers and gamers & so warrents paying for, i think it’s important that indies put out games themselves & that gamers & developers both need to be comfortable with the idea that gamers should absorb some of the cost of the steam build if they choose to buy it on that platform.

      IMO it’s not really acceptable to say “I Want it on steam for the same price”, as the fact you want it on steam specifically means you attribute a higher value to that bundle & this kind of mind set is quite common & comes from the fact that developers all to often absorb the costs distribution costs themselves, this slants the market to better but more expensive distributers (i.e. steam , being more expensive than putting it out yourself)

    • Meat Circus says:

      I’m happier to pay more for it to be on Steam.

    • The Hammer says:

      Huh. Forgive my appalling ignorance, but if you’ve bought a game through a portal other than Steam, and then registered the game on Steam and get all the patches and frills through it, aren’t Valve losing money in bandwidth costs?

      From a financial point of view, what’s the incentive?

      Maybe I’m just missing something obvious here. I suspect I am!

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      The bandwidth costs for indie games a most likely small enough that it pays off to provide this as a service to further bind customers to the platform.

      I remember reading some kind of interview that talked about this, but I can’t find it right now.

    • dysphemism says:

      What MFG said. Basically, it enhances Steam’s image of “I Am Your Games Library,” increasing the likelihood that you’ll buy games from them. The more inclusive a platform is, the more you rely on it — to the point of this:

      I’m happier to pay more for it to be on Steam.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Agreed, it’s the same reason supermarkets choose to lose money on certain products because it gets you in the door and they assume you’ll inevitably buy something else to make up for it. Everytime you load Steam you start with the ‘adverts’ page, there’s no getting away from it.

      I love Steam, don’t get me wrong, the value of their sales more than make up for the slightly in your face promotions, but imagine if itunes or your favourite console started doing it. You’d disconnect it from the web

    • JiminyJickers says:

      I always buy straight from the developer in these cases. I hate Steam but have to put up with it to play a lot of games these days. I always have some issues when installing games with Steam, just in the last few weeks has it finally stopped taking 20 minutes to connect when I have gone offline.

      I am much happier to install patches myself, which means that I can have the latest one ready when I re-install a game long after I first finished it, and I have no problems putting the CD or DVD in the drive to play.

    • Wisq says:

      Everytime you load Steam you start with the ‘adverts’ page, there’s no getting away from it.

      Uhm.

      http://cl.ly/1K062l1j2A0H403V3L23

      Open preferences, go to “Interface”, set your home screen to something other than Store, uncheck the adverts checkbox.

      “No getting away from it” indeed . . . ;)

  2. AndrewC says:

    Commentocalypse!

    • AndrewC says:

      Comments are back for me! I guess I wasn’t one of the chosen ones raptured up into the new messageboards.

  3. playworker says:

    Friday is incomplete without comments :’(

    Edit: And they’re back in all their glory, yay!

  4. Fede says:

    Comments don’t show, but it’s possible to see them looking at the page source. Rather inconvenient, but it means that nothing is lost, it’s just a matter of fixing the page :)

  5. Dawngreeter says:

    Is this a time-limited offer?

  6. PoulWrist says:

    I bought this.

  7. SvDvorak says:

    That is a good bundle but they really should have a look at how Humble Indie Bundle do their bundle-trailers. I guess it doesn’t really matter when it comes to good games at a good price but a five minute reel of what I’m guessing is content ripped from previous trailers with a splashscreen at the end is really boring (compared to the Humble-trailers anyway).

    I’ll probably buy it nonetheless, some pretty sweet games in that pack there (though I’m guessing that GSB does not include all the addons).

  8. Berzee says:

    I like SMTG and I am pleased to hear they’re now selling bundles o’ games, but the only game I might be interested in from that particular one is Fate of the World. I don’t know why, but somehow I can never get excited about spaceship games, or those abstracted-map strategy games. On the other hand, games where you are ON a spaceship (like KotOR) or strategy games where you can see your guys, I like just fine.

    Huh — apparently for me it is important to be able to see/be the little mans running around.

    Except that rule doesn’t apply to Fate of the World, apparently. I am an enigma to my own heart, nooooo.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      I don’t know why, but somehow I can never get excited about spaceship games…

      Spaceships don’t move you? Sir, your heart is as cold as space.

    • Berzee says:

      Spaceships that are merely a *facade* don’t move me. Spaceships with *people* living in them, are rather good. :)

      I think that’s why I don’t like racing games either, but liked Mario Kart. I require characters in order to really have fun with something. (Even with puzzle games, it’s that way).

  9. Carra says:

    I already have Gratuitous Space Battles. Is there something foreseen for people who already have one or more of the games? Gifts for example?

    • Vinraith says:

      This isn’t Steam, you can just give other people the serials you don’t need.

  10. Woodwork says:

    5 games.
    GSB installs and runs fine.
    Evochron installs then won’t run – zip error.
    FotW and S4 need serials which the email from BMTMicro didn’t provide.
    Castle Vox runs in demo mode as the BMTMicro serial is not valid.
    I hope the emails to the relevant supprot staff will produce results.
    Apart from that, 10/10

    • Woodwork says:

      Ok, a few minutes later.
      Evochron seems to insist on the default folder, and you need to put in the serials that BMTMicro said were for Castle Vox.
      Castle Vox likes the Evochron serials.
      Just need the serials for the other 2 now.

    • Tatourmi says:

      I am in exactly the same case and I too lack two keys. If you don’t happen to have a steam like convenience, at least try not to mess up your DRM.
      Well, anyway, seeing as the only games that interested me in the bundle were said Smugglers 4 and Fate of the world this is kind of disappointing.

    • Woodwork says:

      And an hour later, accurate replies with serials for the other two games.
      This is why I like indie games – good support even with a minor mess-up.
      Still 10/10

    • Tatourmi says:

      Aaaaaaaaand, it is a go!

      Wonderful service from the part of the Smuggler team, I am more than happy to have given them my monies.

  11. Vinraith says:

    This is a very nice bundle. I already own 60% of it, and am not particularly interested in the two games I won’t have (Castle Vox looks a bit too basic for my TBS tastes, and I haven’t been doing very well at actually playing space sims lately), but it’s great for folks that haven’t played these. Fate of the World is brilliant, as is Smugglers 4.

  12. Bhazor says:

    So is SMTG a permanent thing now? I thought Cliffski said it would only be a couple months.

    If it is then great, just clicking on the home page brought up a couple cool games I’ve never heard of. That said is there no way to create an order system for the website and still have the money go straight to the developers? Because having to go to the homepage of each game to order or even just to see the price is a little silly.

    • cliffski says:

      SMTG is here to stay but it’s being run as a non-profit sideline by me, so it’s basically something that gets done inbetween me making games, so in terms of features etc, it lags behind stuff like steam etc.
      The alternative is to hire someone to work on it full time, but thats something I personally just don’t have time or attention to do right now, Too busy making games :D
      Of course, that could all change hugely one day. Who knows!

  13. sinister agent says:

    Excellent, excellent deal. I’d already looked at Evochron and decided thirty space pounds was too much for my blood, and was unsure of, but interested in, fate of the world. I’ve already got GSB, but even accounting for that, this is a ridiculously good deal even if I only get a few quick plays out of Smugglers and Vox. Order placed!

    Good work, guys. Hope it goes well for you.

  14. Big Murray says:

    Fate of the World is the only thing that interests me from that bunch, after RPS did a feature on it. Not sure I’m willing to pay that much for games that I don’t want, tbh.

  15. JiminyJickers says:

    I would love to support these guys but none of these games particualry interest me. I have tried the demos of Evochron and Castle Vox and wasn’t excited.

    The only one that had promise for me was Smugglers, but I was hoping for more of a pirates feel, exploring space and so on, but it only looks like it is a menu based game based on that trailer.

  16. Grayvern says:

    Indie games must sell tiny numbers for any to be worth more than £10 each from direct sales, considering thats more than a Developer would retain from a boxed game sale. Up to 30% from a digital distribution site like steam is a perfectly reasonable cost for the developer to incur due to the increased awarneness generated and competences offered by these services.

    Not that the bundle itself does not appeal. But the rest of the non bundle games are often bad value propositions.