Cripes: Humble Voxatron Making A Ton

By John Walker on October 31st, 2011 at 10:46 pm.

He's a rich little man.

The power of the Humble Bundle is extraordinary. Their latest sale is not a bundle at all, in fact. It’s not even an old game. It’s a brand new game, Voxatron, that as Adam mentioned this afternoon will eventually be properly released for $15. Right now, in the manner of the previous Humble releases, you can pay what you want, giving as much of that to the three charities as you choose. But here’s why I’m posting about it again: This deal has been alive, at the time of posting, for five and a half hours. And has already made over $112,000. I was typing $111,000 but it just ticked over another grand. That’s along with the 22,000 tweets, 196,000 likes on Facebook, 18,000 Google Pluses, and it’s currently sitting at 994 upvotes on Reddit, at the number one spot on the Gaming page, and number 4 overall. These people get some attention.

That’s 31,834 purchases to get there. Wait, I mean 31,860 to get it to the $113,000 it’s made so far. 31,913. And what is Voxatron? That’s the craziest thing – most people didn’t really know until five hours ago. We’ve been mentioning the game since January, because it looks tops. And now, now (after I was distracted by a bee) it’s made $115,311 after 32,510 purchases.

It’s also worth noting that when you pay for it, you get all future updates and extras for the game, for free, until the day you die.

$115,827…

And there are fourteen days to go.

$116,412…

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75 Comments »

  1. mwoody says:

    Is that total, to be split between them, the site, and the charities, or is that the takehome for the devs?

    • InternetBatman says:

      On the site it says total payments, so I think that’s just the total amount purchased. Still, 40k (as of this post), with two weeks left is certainly nothing to sneer at.

    • simonh says:

      The default split suggested by the site gives 55% to the devs. Assuming people don’t fiddle with the sliders (which everyone of course does, since they’re so fun) or assuming that people’s fiddling will average out to the same as the default split, 55% of $116,412 is $64,026.

    • Kdansky says:

      I always go for a 100% developer no-split. Because in the end, the developer made the game, and not the charities. I expect there to be more like me.

  2. InternetBatman says:

    I still think they should run more time between Humble Bundles. Let it rest six months to a year, every year and make it a massive event when it happens. I’m sure they’re making more money now, but you have to wonder about buyers getting fatigued with each successive bundle.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      Reminds me to get back to Shadowgrounds…hopefully in the near future.

    • Jimbo says:

      That or make the most of it while it’s still hip. I know i’ll be out this weekend shaking my charity tin and sticking half the money in my back pocket – I’m just that damn humble!

    • Vinraith says:

      Jimbo’s unbelievable cynicism aside he has a point, this kind of thing is only going to work for so long. You’ve already got Indie Royale and a number of other imitators using this kind of model. The Humble Bundle running fewer bundles won’t drive up demand, it’ll just leave more room for clones.

    • pakoito says:

      @jimbo

      You got it just the other way around. Why would I pay charity in exchange for nothing? I’d rather buy a game for 5$ knowing than the guy is donating half of his earnings to charity.

    • InternetBatman says:

      @Vinraith maybe they should take a page from Steam’s book and do a weekly or monthly single game, and much larger biannual bundles.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      A new thing every couple months doesn’t seem terribly frequent to me. As long as they have one or two great games in each bundle, they’ll keep attracting interest. Even then, nobody burns out on Steam sales just because they have some that are full of junk. It’s always something you want to look at, even if you decide to pass.

      Also, I’m strongly in favor of giving more indie devs the spotlight. More bundles with a handful of games each works out really well in that respect.

    • LintMan says:

      While it might seem like the charity/pay what you want thing is a gimmick that might lose popularity after a while, I think that it could be sustainable. Pay what you want will always be attractive, and the charities also keep people interested. Also, IIRC all the games must support Mac and linux, which have relatively less games available, so that’s a big boost. I suspect some people on those platforms donate just to support development on their platform even if they aren’t interested in those particular games.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Plus, this game actually kind of sucks.

      I mean it’s not awful or anything, but it’s very much an alpha in that the controls are wonky and there’s not alot of content.

      I could definitely see people getting fatigued with the Humble brand if this is the sort of product they are going to launch bundles around from now on.

      So I’m a bit confused as to why it has its own humble bundle offer. Are its dev related to the humble bundle guys or something? Why Voxatron as opposed to hundreds of other more deserving games? There are even way better Alpha games out there right now than this.

    • tetracycloide says:

      I don’t know why buyer fatigue would be an issue given that the games tend to vary wildly between bundles. That and the fact that you name your own price, it’s hard to get tired of buying games when you don’t actually have to really pay for them. When you’re not tired of buying games again you can donate extra too because there’s probably another bundle just around the corner :P

    • The Ninja Foodstuff formerly known as ASBO says:

      I wanted to say exactly the same thing. it’s bordering on taking the piss now.

    • briktal says:

      What might happen if they run too many bundles in too short of a time is that they start becoming less special and noteworthy. You don’t get big news stories on every gaming site and a lot of buzz for the daily Steam sale or the weekend sales or even most of the week-long sales.

      Also it seems wrong to officially call yourself humble.

  3. tanith says:

    This is really great. The first time I heard about it it got me very excited.
    And I can play it on Linux!

    woot woot

  4. moondog548 says:

    After reading the first article today I wasn’t gonna, but when they bothered to email me I went ahead and got it for $5 (actually a non-negligible sum for me atm).

    It’s neat and all but 1) the controls are unforgivable and 2) I don’t actually see what the ‘voxels’ are bringing to the table here. The environment being uniformly destructible Styrofoam isn’t actually all that interesting.

    I guess I’m just looking forward to seeing future developments.

    • Calneon says:

      It’s just an appealing graphical style, that’s all. They do however allow for the easy creation and destruction of the environment as you have noted, which could be used in more creative ways, and it makes the editor easy to use.

    • Bremze says:

      Numpad to aim and arrow keys/wasd to move is the best setup atm, but hopefully we’ll get something a bit more dual stick shooter-ish soon.

    • Jaffo says:

      Quite enjoying it now I’ve sorted the controls out (Using Xpadder with a 360 controller)

    • tetracycloide says:

      As with any modable PC game that’s this popular I’m more excited about what the community can do with the voxels anyway. Honestly I thought that potential was the main sell and that a large portion of the enthusiasm was over the fact that not only was it voxel based but that it included an editor to make more voxel based stuff with.

    • blipmusic says:

      @moondog548

      As noted earlier it’s a graphical style. One that greatly appeals to me. Personally, I absolutely hate the military fps games, mostly made in drab/brown, both in style, context and [art] direction. This – as in “Voxatron” – instantly appeals to me, however.

      But hey, I remeber the day the SNES/Megadrive arrived on the scene in exchange for my trusty NES as the fondest gaming memory pf my life, even in non-sentimental terms.

      I think many games feel uninspired when comes to art direction today. To me this all began when Playstation entered the scene. It was all testosterone based (that just the subjective feeling I had at the time), whereas Super Mario World was concentrated fun in a beatiful package. The “cool” games on PS didn’t do jack for me and still rarely do. Although, nowadays the game library of any console and on PC is so large that anyone can find something to play. Yet the feeling still somehow persists, I’m afraid.

      It’s all relative and subjective, of course.

  5. Vagrant says:

    Seconded! It should be seasonal! But I suppose as long as they’re making money why stop? I also don’t care to play an Alpha, even if it is cheaper. I’ll wait for release & pay in full (or wait for the Steam Sale).

    To me, it’s sort of odd that they’d do this. Maybe they were running out of money for development? The game did have plenty of buzz behind it, so it’s not like they needed to drum up interest in the game.

    • passingstranger says:

      I’m kind of in the same boat in terms of worrying about buyer fatigue.

      But at the same time, they’re making a lot of money for a great charity and also helping in the fight to ensure net neutrality. I haven’t bought every bundle, but I do feel really good about every party involved getting my money when I do.

  6. Javier-de-Ass says:

    really enjoyed the short campaign there. it seems like there are some nice level design tricks available in this. so really looking forward to more levels, or campaigns.

    for people having problems with the controls, what are you controlling with? I used wasd for movement and the numpad arrows for shooting. worked perfect.

    • Untitled says:

      The problem comes when you want to jump at the same time as shooting and moving, bloody nightmare. Twister for the fingers!

    • vivlo says:

      i would really like to use qzsd (french wasd, which is ok there for once) + mouse, and that’s not really great. Whats good with mouse is : left click to fire + right to jump, but really it would beneficiate hugely to have a visible target on the screen so that we always know where the mouse is and what’s the shortest way to change direction, a lot of shooting games use that style of controls succeddfully, why not this ? a visible target is the only thing that is really lacking imho.

    • mwoody says:

      EDIT: Holy crap, you can use the numpad to shoot. It DOES have robotron controls. And we’ve been whining all day about how it needs them.

    • vivlo says:

      well i for one am not so upset about numpad controls, because playing on a macbook, i don’t have one.

  7. jatan says:

    interesting comments- i am really please to watch it (literally) do well, its the editor that made me more interested than’ the game’ but i am a nerd … however its been/seems clear the art is popular in a retro/minecraft/etc way… its a good game to me – hard but interesting…way more so than the ‘something of isac or what ever its called. a lot of indies seem to ride the ‘blogosphere’(whatever) marketing aspect rather to well…this seems a little more natural (purely based on a feeling rather than facts)

  8. Lewie Procter says:

    Issues like controls, and lots of other interesting details have been addressed in this blogpost:
    http://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=260

    Under the default split (which I reckon the majority of people will go for) the developer would get 55% of the total, so not bad at all.

  9. Vexing Vision says:

    I have absolutely zero interest in the game. At all. But I threw in 5$ for the trailer.

  10. tomemozok says:

    $126,028.47 as of this moment!
    The numbers are rising fast,so why not do this kind of thing??? :D

  11. Postal76 says:

    Once you get past the mild novelty of voxels, this game is excruciatingly boring.

    • Vandalbarg says:

      This is what I was afraid of. Neat gimmick, but there’s nothing else there to hold interest. There are a ton of games on that level at the moment, all that you can pre order, all with great ideas, but currently lacking the meat to make it worth your while to buy. Games like Kerbal Space Programme, Kenshi, King Arthur’s Gold, Zomboid, etc, etc.

      I’ve already been burned with Cortex Command since I bought it two years and a similar amount of small updates ago. Maybe in a few months, if they prove they can keep up some sort of release schedule.

    • pakoito says:

      It’s a worse SmashTV than Binding of Isaac, but that engine and editor are pure gold and worth the money. Also I hope the guy releases the sourcecode.

      If the editor gets to any point good they could remake and improve a lot of games like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_Dot_Game_Heroes

  12. MythArcana says:

    Purchased. I wish the controls would be a little less wonky, but this is great! I’m so glad someone had what it took to actually release a new game on Halloween. There is a gaming gawd after all.

  13. Eclipse says:

    I was waiting for it but it’s was a big disappoint. The game is not only boring but lacks of content, there are only a bunch of monsters, very similar in behavior and shape, and the adventure mode (the main one) is… well, doable in about 15 minutes in one sitting, and that’s what I did.

    The first boss is also the last one :-(
    Totally not worth $15 at the moment, arcade mode is very boring too

    • pakoito says:

      Unfinished

      A

      L

      P

      H

      A

      of a game that’s supposed to be completely community-created using editor.

    • Eclipse says:

      “community-created ” is just lazyness for me. I’m all for level editors, but the game needs to have a good amount of content of his own. I didn’t know it was an alpha, fair enough then, I’ll wait for more content.

    • pakoito says:

      You didn’t know because you didn’t bother to read the description. Or the name of the game or any place in that website. Seriously, it’s all over the description, there’s even a rollover text explaining what an Alpha is.

      Also, “community is lazy” is a bullshit excuse having games such as Super Meat Boy or Trackmania which are mostly community-driven.

    • mwoody says:

      Community-driven, perhaps, but not entirely community made. They had a lengthy campaign from release.

      That said, while I agree that an entirely community-made game could be described as a bit lackluster, luckily that’s not their intent. Reading the game dev’s blog, it seems his goal is to branch development into a constantly updated and available engine and editor plus a campaign that will remain hidden until done. So, really, the alpha is an editor and a little sample level, with the final release to include the actual game. And the community can use the engine to share maps in the meantime.

  14. vivlo says:

    -rf (reply fail)-

  15. johnpeat says:

    Past $150,000 now – also WAY past the total sales of the Indie Royale bundle…

    That’s weird because IR offered 4 games – at least 3 of which I know to be pretty well respected examples of their genre – wheras this only offers 1.

    I wonder if part of the problem isn’t that IR offered games people likely already owned? I already had ACME and Sanctum – I’m guessing adventure players would already have GR and Nimbus has had a couple of ‘free weekends’ and the benefit of people on Steam playing with their mates for some time now?

    Certainly this proves the power of the ‘Humble’ bundle to market something – although I’m not sure that it – say – Minecraft or Terraria had started-out like this has, they’d have become so popular or at least netted as much cash!?

    • mwoody says:

      For my part, while I bought both, the indie bundle was entirely known genres. There was no tremendous innovation there. Voxetron is something… if not new, at least new enough to be interesting.

      Voxetron is also not released anywhere else. The four games in the royale bundle, unless I’m mistaken, have all been available before.

      And, of course, there’s the charity angle and the brand recognition behind “humble bundle” now that they’ve done a few of these and gotten the press.

    • Spooner says:

      I paid more for this than the Royale bundle, since I was getting the IR on a punt (hoping that one of the games was worth a few quid :D) but Voxeltron is something that really piqued my interest from the videos this year. IR is both very new and not charity-based, so that will mean it won’t have as much popularity, but on the other hand, the devs get about twice as much of the money the bundle generates.

      Big problem with this game is that because the shadow is angled, it is really hard to know exactly there you are when you are jumping. Found it hard to know exactly where things were in relation to each other because of that. Drop-shadows are horrible, but you do need them in this sort of game when you don’t have other cues.

    • tremulant says:

      Had they, the IR guys, offered their games for Linux(presumably made impossible thanks to sanctum’s reliance on UDK and steam), i’d have bought the pack for GR and nimbus alone, and paid considerably more than ~$3 for the thing, as it stands, i wont touch it with a barge pole. Ok, I realise that whiny freetards like myself probably don’t make all that much difference to the success of such an initiative, and IR likely hasn’t fared as well as HB simply as a result of the lack of brand awareness, but it’s still nice to see a single crossplatform, drm free and optionally charitable alpha managing to blow four mature windows only(maybe there’s mac support here and there, don’t know and don’t care) games out of the water.

  16. Urthman says:

    I wonder if some people aren’t throwing money at this as a way of saying, “I want to see more games that use this kind of technology / engine.”

  17. Starky says:

    Going to hold off on this one, have very little interest in that game, and I’d rather not buy it at all then pay a penny or some crap like that just to get it (may as well pirate it if I was going to pay that, and save humble the bandwidth).

    Will keep an eye on it and hopefully they’ll add some more games to make it worth my while.

    Odd thing that, that I’d rather not buy something at all than feel like a cheap bastard by paying almost nothing.

  18. Juan Carlo says:

    woops wrong spot

  19. Roshin says:

    Yes, it has sold a lot and it would sell a lot more, if there was a Steam version.

    • Cim says:

      Well, odds are that it will get a Steam release at some point. It’s just in Alpha at the moment. Don’t think Steam accepts games under development.

      Regardless, according to the Humble Bundle support, if there ever is a Steam release people who bought the bundle will get keys.

    • briktal says:

      I don’t know Cim, Sword of the Stars 2 is on Steam.

  20. ChainsawCharlie says:

    Paid few pounds, but after reading these comments here got no interest to play this anymore.

    Tricked to do free QA, again

  21. Ba5 says:

    I don’t mind that there’s not a lot of content (I only paid $2) but these mouse aim controls are horrible.

  22. funtard says:

    If you complain in any way about a game that you can pay 1 cent for then you are basically everything I hate about entitled video game nerds and I genuinely wish death upon you.

  23. Mattressi says:

    It’s interesting to note how much better Humble Indie Bundles do than the Indie Royale bundle did. I always throw down at least a dollar for HIBs, but I didn’t even buy an Indie Royale bundle. If I REALLY want the games, I’ll pay quite a bit over average for HIB, but otherwise I like to put in a dollar or two (almost all to the developers and a tip to HIB organisers) to support the HIB and in case I ever get very bored and manage to make it through my large list of games.

    Indie Royale actually kind of stressed me out – I saw it at $2.98 and hoped it’d come down (I thought it would decrease in price over time if few people bought it). It ended up going up to around $4.50 to $5 (way out of my price range when I have no intention of playing any of the games within it for at least a year) and stayed there for ages with only a small number of purchases. In fact, I could have sworn that one day it had less than 2000 people buy it. So I waited it out some more, then realised it wouldn’t go back down and just ignored it.

    I think it’d be a bit better a business model if it decreased in value over time if few bought it. Even then, it seems like it’s still a much inferior model to HIB. Right now Voxatron has had 54,272 people buy it, with an average of $3.67 paid per purchase. Looking at the Indie Royal graph, it looks like the average is probably around that (or maybe a little higher), but with only 37,558 sales over 5 days. Certainly HIBs are split between charities too, but Voxatron is one game, while there were four in the Indie Royale bundle.

    I’m not sure what the point of this post is – I have nothing against Indie Royale and I’m interested to see what happens if they continue. I guess I just thought it was interesting to note how much better indie games seem to sell with a “pay what you want” model compared to a “pay above a changing minimum” model”. I’d be interested to see if HIBs sold just as well if they imposed a $1 or $2 limit. I’m thinking they would, but that’s because $1 or 2 is my “shut up and take my money” limit – anything else needs to be something I have truly been looking forward to.

    • Starky says:

      Hey the IndieRoyale one was a first effort experiment with 4 quality games – and it clearly said on the site that the starting price was the best – so buy early for the best prices next time – it was never going to get lower – people were just fighting the tide upwards by paying more.

  24. blipmusic says:

    Purchased.

    To those who can’t [be bothered to] read: If it says “alpha”, chances are that it is an, you know, alpha.

    Control issues aside, I absolutely love this thing. As a “colorful pixels and modern technology is absolutely beautiful together and brown fps games should be burned on a stake” kind of guy, I’ve waited with baited breath to try this out since I first found out about it a few months ago (well, whenever it was first announced if it hasn’t yet been that long).

    Now, we need (me, I’m lazy) someone to do an adventure/rpg addon and turn this into a large/open world shmup rpg with loot, crazy villains and numbers for the sake of numbers. I’d certainly pay $15 for that if ever available.

  25. ZephyrSB says:

    So, I’ve been getting into Realm of the Mad God again, more so than any of my other forays into that game before. Then this pops inot my inbox. Looks interesting, pop down my $5 as usual for a HIB, and give it a quick spin….

    I WANT THE TWO COMBINED – RIGHT NOW!!!

  26. Xaromir says:

    What happened to the “bundle” part of it all?

    • Dominic White says:

      They’re not calling it a bundle. Aside from the URL (which they can’t really change), notice that at no point do they call it one.

      They also call it an alpha all over the page, but a lot of people seem to be angry that they’ve been conned into buying an incomplete game, so I guess the problem is that illiterate people have the ability to buy things on the internet.

  27. purple light says:

    this is so embarassing. stop buying this shit people

    • johnpeat says:

      You’re right that “this” was embarrassing tho I suspect I see a different “this” to you…

  28. Shadrach says:

    Wow, just wow. Up to 230k and rising. This warms my heart.

  29. Dominic White says:

    Welp, they just added The Binding of Isaac and the excellent Blocks That Matter to the bundle, both registerable on Steam.

    So those feeling ripped off because you bought exactly what what advertised? Well, you can shut up.

  30. hjd_uk says:

    I love the sword-powerup ( I want a PC version of DotGameHeroes )
    I expect to see a Zelda homage to come out of the leve ledtiro soon…
    A Fez style rotate world button would be great for the 3D platforming secitions.

    Damn the arcade mode gets tough but its great.

    I might leave it running on the snow-level just to see how deep it gets – yes its a game where the falling snow actually lands and accumulates over things.

    Cant wait for the full release.

  31. CVraden says:

    Anyone else notice Notch’s $2,000 contribution to the bundle?