More Indie Discounts: Show Me The Sales

By Adam Smith on November 14th, 2011 at 12:52 pm.

A developer sells indie games direct, 2003

Just when you thought full price may be an option, here’s another gathering of discounted titles over at Show Me The Games. It’s called Show Me The Sales and includes well-known games such as Frozen Synapse but also some that I’ve never heard of, such as the delightfully titled Magical Diary: Horse Hall. It’s not a bundle, instead offering discounts on single titles and it lasts for almost two weeks. All money goes direct to the developers so if you feel ambivalence or blind rage toward middlemen and charities, these are the discounts for you.

It’s probably a fact that it’s impossible to pay the full amount for indie games anymore. I haven’t checked but with all the discounted bundles flying around the place (the internet is an aviary for the purpose of this sentence), it seems like the sort of thing that would be a fact.

This is a little different to most, being a collection of games that are all on sale rather than a collection of games for sale. If this isn’t just a one off, it shall also be known as the one where money goes directly to the developers. The whole thing is the thoughtspawn of just such a developer, Cliffski of Positech Games, and he has this to say about it.

This is my little side project, and is a way to encourage indie pc devs to sell direct, and for gamers to remember what it’s like to buy direct. It’s really no hassle at all, and you get the satisfaction of ALL of the money going to the developer.

Anyone who is suspicious and thinks I must be making money from it somehow, I’m not. I see it as being in my long term indirect self-interest to maintain a healthy direct sales channel for indie developers. That’s all.

Sounds good to me. See if there’s anything of interest in the digital discount aisle.

Also worth noting is the addition of Bullet Candy Perfect and Irukandji to the current Indie Royale Bundle. As of writing, that’s six games for £2.54.

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49 Comments »

  1. olemars says:

    They might always be discounted, but somehow I end up buying all these games several times so it sorta evens out in the end.

  2. diamond-mx3 says:

    As much as I’m sure I shouldn’t admit this – I’ve played the Magical Diary game, and it’s charming – it’s quite short for a visual novel game (5-10 hours at most in the first playthrough). Not worth $25 in my opinion, but definitely worth the sale price if you like a story/romance game with a wizard school plot and a fair bit of room for player choice. Does suffer a bit from “That’s not what I meant to say!” problems at times.

  3. Hodge says:

    Ooh, the Show Me The Games site is slowing to a crawl already. And I must admit that there’s a bunch of games there that I don’t recognise from their screenshots.

  4. Juan Carlo says:

    Anyone played “Frayed Knights”? If so, is it any good?

    That’s the only one that looks interesting to me, but it’s a bit expensive (15% off of 23 dollars isn’t much of a discount).

    • TheGameSquid says:

      From what i’ve played from the demo so far, it’s a bit slow to start, but fun. It’s obviously a niche game, but if you like the genre I’d check out the demo.

      There’s one feature I strongly dislike though: the battles are random. You walk around in the dungeon and suddenly you encounter some beasts and they pop up in the field. So it’s quite unlike, say, the amazing Wizardry 8 in that regard. They’re also a bit too frequent.

      But the demo is pretty big. Go enjoy it!

  5. Cooper says:

    Evochron Mercenary…?

    X3 is too slow, and the UI too cumbersome, and too spreadsheet-orientated for me. But I WANT to love it, so much.

    So, given this, should I get the evochron take on space exploration?

    • InternetBatman says:

      That stood out to me as well, but I haven’t played it either.

    • Professor Paul1290 says:

      You can download and try the demo if you like.

      I bought it at full price ($30) and I really like it. It’s kind of like a Freelancer except with the flight physics and tougher combat of I-War 2 (expect to die a lot at first).

  6. Gnarl says:

    I can’t believe that you, as a new writer for RPS, haven’t read and memorised every previous post.

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/07/01/my-secret-magical-diary-diary/

    And it is quite good yes, but not worth the full price. Also, I wouldn’t go for it if you don’t like anime, as I would say it’s not just a visual style with this one.

  7. vivlo says:

    i might be some kind of devil’s advocate, but i somehow feel this will be less successful than any bundle-like indie sale, because there is the huge difference that you have to buy individual games, and the main interest in buying indie bundles is that you’ve never heard of some of the things in the bundles. That way you get to know new things, and support developpers at the same time.

    And in the humble bundles, you can choose exactly how you give your monye, and i think you can choose to give nothing to charity nor Humble inc. And beeing offering a sale for so many titles i’ve never heard of, though the web page is well done, makes me feel lost ; maybe it lacks some instant visual appeal for each of the titles, but i don’t feel as compelled to buy individual games there’s a chance i won’t like – because indeed, in an indie bundle, most of the time you don’t like everything, so if you had to buy the games separately you would be maybe deceived – as much as buying a pack of games i don’t know, in which maybe i will discover just 2 or 3 intersting things which will have made it worth a buy anyway.

    So this thing is maybe, yes, better than a Steam sale, in which some money goes to Steam who does not really need so much of it. But i still prefer by far, and i feel indie developpers will still by far earn more money from, the indie bundles system.

    • v21 says:

      Whereas with this offer, 100% of the money goes to the devs.

      And yeah, maybe the bundles will make more money for devs. But here’s a range of interesting indie games without much exposure, offered at a sale price. I wish this offer godspeed.

    • Professor Paul1290 says:

      The thing is a couple of these I have played don’t seem like games that would do well in a bundle.

      I have a hard time seeing Evochron Mercenary working in a pay-what-you-want bundle. I paid full price for it and after playing it (and enjoying it) for a while I feel it’s too niche and “feels too expensive” (for lack of a better way to describe it) to bring the price too low without severely undervaluing it.

      I feel the same way about AI War: Fleet Command. For a short Steam sale or a sale like this maybe, but a pay-what-you-want bundle seems like a bit of a stretch.

      I’d like to be wrong though. Geneforge is on Steam now so I guess remarkable things can happen.

  8. cptgone says:

    was tempted by TV Manager 2, until i saw the price (almost €20 incl. VAT)
    :shrug:

    • Juan Carlo says:

      Some of the games do seem a bit “optimistically” priced. Charging 30 dollars for “Laxius Force,” a game made in RPG maker, for example, seems a bit on the unrealistic side. “To the Moon” was made in RPG maker and is only 11 dollars, despite the fact that it actually has original music and graphics so they could probably get away with charging more for it. But there are tons of crap RPG maker games out there for free (and a few good ones), so for 30 dollars your RPG Maker game better be the best one ever. But from what I’ve read about Laxius it doesn’t seem to be anything special.

      But even with the discounts, I don’t think any of these are particularly good deals. Maybe we’ve just been spoiled by steam sales and “pay what you want” schemes.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I thought that about Laxius too. There are a some decent RPG maker games out there for free, like Exit Fate. Thirty bucks is optimistic at best considering that you can get Breath of Death for a tenth of that.

    • Big Murray says:

      I think it’s the price which is putting me off some of these titles … even with the discounts.

      We’re bastards, aren’t we.

    • MattM says:

      I know I have been spoiled. For about $18 dollars i got 10 games good games in the past few weeks.

  9. Revisor says:

    So, Frayed Knights and Planet Stronghold – are they good in the story, character and dialogue departments?

    • emichan says:

      Frayed Knights is largely about the dialogue. If you’re a tabletop geek and the idea of a comedy RPG interests you at all, it’s worth checking out. (The discount isn’t huge, so there’s no rush, you could try the demo first.)

  10. Kaira- says:

    Everyone should buy Solium Infernum. Everyone.

    Okay, so, anyone got any comments on the few games I looked at (they’re pretty much all neverheard to me, but seem rather interesting):
    Evochron Mercenary
    Planet Stronghold
    Smugglers IV
    Project Aftermath

    • caddyB says:

      Bought Solium Infernum. And will make my friends buy it so we can end our friendship forever.
      Evochron Mercenary looks interesting, I just wish someone in here would man up and try it so we can know if it’s worth it.

      X3 felt a bit too slow for my tastes.

    • Llewyn says:

      Evochron Mercenary appears to have a free trial from the main Starwraith site. Give it a go and you can let the rest of us know!

    • winterwolves says:

      Planet Stronghold is my game so don’t want to post about how awesome is and everyone should play it, just to get the romance endings final images which are quite… interesting :D
      Jokes apart check this review:
      http://www.rpgamer.com/games/other/pc/planstrong/reviews/planstrongstrev1.html

      the difficulty thing was fixed since that review came out. Just pick Super Easy mode and you’ll be fine, though I recommend people to play at normal level and learn how the the Aggro system works!

    • Kaira- says:

      Okay, gave a quick shot at Evechron, and I have to say, I enjoy flying in space. When it came to combat and actually controlling your ship, I sucked. HARD. And this was just the tutorial (I guess some of the confusion was because the tooltips showed American/British(?) QWERTY-layout whereas I use Nordic QWERTY). But I guess if you enjoy flight sims/space sims with combat, this is right up your alley.

      Okay, Planet Stronghold seems pretty neat-o, though I don’t usually like visual novels. Gotta think about it for a while, but I *just* might pick it up.

    • caddyB says:

      Okay bought Evochron Mercenary. Will be playing it as soon as I’m finished uniting Skyrim under Imperial control.

  11. Carra says:

    There’s a bit of an overkill going on. I just bought the new humble and indie royale bundle last week. Those alone should keep my indie happiness meter up for a few weeks. Plus, this also means that I already have games like Scoregasm, VVVVVV and revenge of the titans through a bundle.

    With too many promotions I’m afraid their sales will go down.

    • MattM says:

      Since deep discount sales were popularized by steam, humble, and Amazon (for console games) I have spent more per year on games and gotten an absolute ton of games. I think the developers/publishers have come out ahead so far, but this might be changing soon. My backlog is now so large (~400) that I could play new games for years and years. I will probably still buy some new games, but fewer than I did before and only at lower prices. I only get games now if they are VERY cheap or if I plan to play them right away. The AAA-AA publishers habit of publish then patch (or publish never patch) and chopping DLC out of the game only serves to make me buy even fewer games at full price.

      That said, kudos to games like borderlands where DLC is used to make genuine additions to a game that are worth coming back to a game for even if you haven’t played in a while.

    • princec says:

      It has to be said if we’re going to keep kicking out games at these sorts of prices, and let’s be honest, you’ve now probably got so many of them now you only play each of them for maybe 45 minutes before moving on to the next one, they’re just going to have to get smaller.

      We don’t want to spend 3 years writing our next one that’s for sure, when 99% of players only see the first 20 levels.

  12. Saarlaender39 says:

    Hmm, I never trust an salesman, who isn`t able to do his Maths correctly:

    Mr.Robot = €13,95 —–> I enter Promo-Code (50%-discount) —Mr.Robot = €10,95

    So, 50% of €13,95 is €3,- ???

    Not in my world.

    I`ll pass!

    • princec says:

      You forgot to add VAT to the first price.

    • Saarlaender39 says:

      Thank you for your attention.
      Well then…:
      If I click the buy now button for Mr.Robot it shows me the price tag €13,95
      In the right down corner of the order field the ORDER TOTAL (including(!) VAT) is €13,95 (!)

      Now, I type in the promo-code (we remember: 50% off)

      Now the price tag is €10,95 —> ORDER TOTAL (including(!) VAT) is €10,95 (!)

      So, €3,- is the new 50% of €13,95 ???

      In my world this is a discount of 21.5% (which may be your local VAT – I don`t know)
      Whatever: you don`t give me (or anybody else) a 50% discount, like you pretend.
      A REAL 50% off would be: €6,98

      To make that clear, I wont buy from your site, so don`t bother to answer my comment.

      But do yourself (and your possible customers) a favour and correct the amount of your discount.

    • emichan says:

      puppygames doesnt make mr robot, youre scolding the wrong person. he’s that titans game.

      does sound like an error in whoever made the code though.

    • Jomskylark says:

      Yup, the three games by Moonpod (Mr. Robot, Word Pirate, and Starscape) all have incorrect discount pricing in USD as well.

      Each game is $9.98, and the discount is 50% off. So what *should* happen is each game be $4.98 or so.

      However, what *actually* happens is each game is $5.98.

      Granted, it’s only a dollar difference, but you’d think that would’ve been fixed before the games went into the sale.

  13. Vice says:

    Kaira, that keyboard difference has me curious. Can you send me a quick e-mail with a brief summary of the input challenges you ran into using that Nordic keyboard layout (starwraith.com > contact)? If desired, you can also remap any key control to whatever you prefer in the Options > Configure Controls menu. Also, there are some video tutorials available that a lot of players say they enjoy which helps learning the various controls and systems: http://www.starwraith.com/evochronmercenary/universe.htm

  14. icarussc says:

    I would be VERY interested in knowing if Steam keys for any of these games are available through the site / directly from the developer.

    And yes, I am aware that non-Steam games can be launched through Steam. Thanks in advance for pointing that out ;-)

  15. Jomskylark says:

    Layout could be improved.

    - No prices until you actually click Buy Now
    - Doesn’t list compatibility (I use a Mac)

    Additionally, there doesn’t appear to be a way to contact them in case something goes wrong…?

    edit: couple of corrections

    • winterwolves says:

      Since games are from many authors you need to contact the game author itself. Being indies, you’ll get a reply, differently from the AAA companies ;)

    • Jomskylark says:

      That’s fine, but I was hoping to contact the website itself about which games were Mac compatible… eh, guess I’ll just have to manually go through and pick out the ones that are Mac. I don’t mind the work, but it seems like they should be on top of that already. :/

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