Again With The Indie Bundles

By Alec Meer on December 7th, 2011 at 9:12 am.

InMomentumInABundle
That scene in Brazil where Robert De Niro gets crushed by paperwork? That’s me right now, except with press releases about pay-what-you-want indie game bundles. I can see why, as it’s a way of getting gamers’ attention without having to go anywhere near a publisher, but I worry about buyer fatigue (and blogger fatigue too). Anyway! That’s probably my hangover and resultant grumpiness talking. I shall instead attempt to celebrate the latest bundle, The Indie Gala.

Included: the lovely InMomentum, the agreeably stupid Zombie Shooter 2, puzzle platformer Saira, scribbly puzzler Your Doodles Are Bugged and the Uplinky Hacker Evolution: Duality.

It appears to work much like the Humble Indie Bundle, in that you dictate how much of your pay-what-you-like monies go to the devs, the bundle organisers and a couple of charities – in this case Child’s Play and Save The Children Italia.

Once paid, you get sent Steam codes for all the games in question, so no DRM-free, Mac or Linux versions here. 23,000 people have gone for the deal already, so while not at Humble levels it’s a pretty decent start.

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56 Comments »

  1. CaspianRoach says:

    Steam codes? Does that mean Valve takes their share of the money? Ouch.

    • AbsoluteDestiny says:

      Steam get no money from codes given away. I assume the rationale from Valve’s pov is that it further solidifies Steam as the de-facto digital platform, especially if it manages to get players that haven’t yet used it.

    • Nosgoroth says:

      @AbsoluteDestiny Well, I think it’s working beautifully.

    • Gnoupi says:

      @Absolute, I doubt it. From what I read from indies giving keys for people who preordered, it costed them money. Probably not a lot, but still.

    • Simon Hawthorne says:

      It would be useful to know this definitively, and to know how much exactly Steam takes (if anything) so that those of us who buy these bundles for a small amount (knowing that we’ll never actually play the games) can make sure we’ve more than covered the Steam fees…

    • Delusibeta says:

      @Gnoupi:

      from what I’ve read about other indies giving keys for pre-orders and getting thousands of keys for Indie Royale purposes, Steam seems to have not charged them.

    • Gnoupi says:

      @Delusibeta – Good to know.

      Although it’s hard to know for sure, in general. It’s the kind of details that usually Valve doesn’t want to let go to the public.

    • InternetBatman says:

      From what I gather Steam takes about 30%, which seems like a lot but I think traditional sales take about 50% and the other DD people used to charge more before they brought their prices in line with Steam.

  2. Gnoupi says:

    Bought this for inMomentum. After half an hour of frustration, I hopefully enjoyed Hacker Evolution instead.

    inMomentum annoyed me repeatedly.

    First with a tutorial forcing me to stay still (ironical, I guess) until the voice finishes talking. Then, with a general gameplay which makes me feel more like a sweepy stone than a gracious flying object.

    I understand that this is a matter of skill, but the repeated level design annoyances are getting to me and preventing my fun.

    Typically, the checkpoints. Apparently there was an agreement to place most of them just before the edge. You know, so you can fall directly after respawning. Or so that you have to come back to an earlier place, just to gain enough momentum to pass the area after the checkpoint.
    Checkpoint design 101: place them where I can come back to the action directly, starting from them. (Same issue with most Trackmania custom tracks, people make checkpoints just before a jump needing a full speed momentum, meaning that you’re stuck if you fail and have to respawn there…)

    So after 20 minutes of falling repeatedly (most of the time right after checkpoints), I gave up, frustrated. I guess it’s not a game for me. Pity, because I thought I would actually love it, as I quite enjoy jumping around, keeping momentum, in games like Q3.

    • haydens says:

      Actually, I really enjoyed InMomentum once I got past the tutorial and the first five minutes of gameplay. There’s multiple ways to go forward and sometimes taking less obvious ways to get higher makes it much easier, so look for walls (especially places where you can jump from wall to wall or where there’s pillars – those pillars are really easy to use to get really high). Yes, sometimes you die, but you’ll learn to avoid it next time. Trackmania, which I also love, is similar. You’ll learn from your mistakes quickly and then you get the great zen feel while jumping and running forward. I love it.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Trackmania’s official tracks feel good, thanks to correct checkpoints. You can actually restart from them directly and get back in the action. I tried 3 levels of inMomentum, and in all of them I have seen checkpoints just in front of a pit, or just before a place needing some momentum to cross.

    • Muzman says:

      The maps aren’t easy enough, it’s true. Stick with Blue Forest for a while. It can teach you better than the others because it functions like a normal platform game sort of map. All the others require complex wall jumping and so on to get through properly.
      It’s a typical sort of learning curve problem a lot of games have (yes Mirror’s Edge too), Do something once in the tutorial and they assume you ‘get it’ now.

      edit: For added demotivation you can always watch this sort of thing too

      and then ponder how your drunken stumblings could ever come close.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Actually, I spent more time with the “freestyle” map, and it felt much more fun. I think that improvising and not caring about the “given objectives” is much better for me.

      When simply enjoying jumping around, without having to touch specific locations, it was much more pleasant

  3. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    Paypal only? Not cool, I really try to avoid those cowboys…

    • Dan Forever says:

      Yeah Paypal aren’t in my good books either. I sent them an email asking about alternative payment methods, here’s hoping they take it seriously

    • Grimm says:

      Well, they plan to implement direct credit card support. No chance for Google Checkout or Amazon Payments, however.

    • Shandrakor says:

      I tried to give them THE MONEYS. Sadly, Paypal did not care for this. :(

      EDIT: Ooo, when that goes live I might give it a whirl. Those hacker games seem vaguely interesting.

  4. Gnoupi says:

    Bundles, bundles, bundles all around, Eurogamer is launching one next week too! http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-12-06-pay-what-you-like-for-get-games-littlebigbunch-gamesaid-bundle

    • Hoaxfish says:

      As far as I’m aware that bundle has nothing to do with Eurogamer, other than that they’ve run that announcement

    • Gnoupi says:

      Get Games was made by the same people as Eurogamer, sorry for the shortcut.

      (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2010-12-14-get-games-12-days-of-christmas : “Get Games is the digital download service by the people behind Eurogamer, stocking games from the likes of SEGA, Square Enix, 2K and Ubisoft at bargain prices. Whenever they have an offer we reckon is too good to refuse, we try to bring it to your attention.”)

    • phlebas says:

      The bundle’s from Get Games, which is (iirc) run by Eurogamer.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Thanks, that makes it a bit clearer

  5. Raniz says:

    Only PayPal?

    I’ll be holding on to my money for now…

  6. Zulthar says:

    I was in the inMomentum beta, great game if you love strafejumping and bunny hopping. Saira and Zombie Shooter looks fun as well.

  7. Lambchops says:

    Haven’t bought an indie bundle since the first one (which was just to get a copy of Aquaria, my old install file of which was on a broken PC).

    Either I’ve got most of the games i want already or there’s only one game I really want, in whichc case I’ll just buy that game, as I’d rather he people who are devoloping the sort of game I like gets my not so hard earned pennies rather than 4 other devs whose games I’m not particularly fussed about. Call me selfish but I’m picky like that.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      You do realize that, at least for the Humble Indie Bundle, you can set payment individually for each game developer? This means if you want to give everything to ONE dev, you can do so. You don’t even have to give to charity.

      Then, if you liked one of the games you picked for “free”, you can come back and change the ratios. It’s impossible not to like those bundles.

  8. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I’d rather have a demo than a way to get a game cheap(ly?). Better to get fewer, less cheap games of which I have a solid impression I’ll be liking what I’m getting than more, cheaper games and less knowledge of what the games actually will be like.

  9. Chaz says:

    I don’t remember Robert De Niro getting “crushed” by the paperwork, rather the driffting paper stuck to him totally enveloping his body, and when Jonathan Pryce scrabbled to unwrap him, he had dissapeared into nothingness.

    There, that’s my pendantic grizzle for the day done with.

  10. Prime says:

    I dunno, it takes me back to the days of good old Compilations, when you could buy several games in a box to take home. But that’s me showing my age: I started buying Compilations when they were on TAPE.

    MOAR Indie bundles, please! Not just great value – they’re inherently Retro!

    • Llewyn says:

      I hadn’t thought of it that way before, but you’re right. And it seems that the support for charity in this and the Humbles is completing the circle for me – the first compilation I ever bought was the Soft Aid tape supporting Band Aid/Live Aid.

  11. jacobvandy says:

    How is it possible to get “buyer fatigue” when you set your own price? You could literally pay one cent for $85 worth of games here, which I’m sure plenty of people do.

    Though I don’t think these Indie Gala guys are going to be around much longer if they can’t figure out how to properly run one of these… There is no incentive to pay more than the average, which is why it’s sitting at around $1.40 right now (and that’s only because of the handful of relatively generous people paying around half-price for these games). Humble Bundle showing the stats split across platforms to have those pompous Linux users pay more than everyone else was a stroke of genius.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I’m not sure buyer fatigue is the right phrase, but I think it’s not about price, but buying things which you’ve already got from a different bundle, or that you feel the need to wait for a more “attractive” bundle (i.e. one that has a lot of games you want, rather than 1 that you do, and some duds you have no interest in)… probably the only time price comes into it, is when people simply wont buy a game at full price because it’s bound to come up on sale or as part of a bundle.

      ShowMeTheSales from a couple of weeks ago was nice, in that it was just a bunch of discounts on individual games, with all money going direct to the individual dev… but that was really just a sale, much like Steam, etc.

      The Humble Indie Bundle sort of saturated the market, not too hard when you just give away a lot of good games at low price and for charity… The subsequent “bundles” from other groups seem a bit confused as to how to differentiate themselves.

      I’m not sure Linux users “overpaying” is entirely due to pomp… maybe they’re just really happy they’re included.

    • ibloat says:

      What makes the linux types pompous in your mind?
      They probably pay a bit more to show their appreciation but they also don’t have as many people paying $0.01 weighing them down in the stats.
      I for one am in strong support of Desura coming to Linux and hope it works out for them. Having to interrupt the session and reboot to play a game is a PITA.

      I bought this bundle for YDAB

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I always assumed the linux average was higher because you had people like Notch throwing 10 grand into the pile.

    • Kaira- says:

      @Jason Moyer

      I don’t know about that, I’ve always seen Notch more as a Mac/Windows-user than Linux-user. I usually pay around ~10€ for the humble bundles and mark it for Linux, since that’s the platform I’ll be mostly playing those games.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I imagine the higher Mac and Linux averages stem from those platforms having fewer total users.

  12. rei says:

    I found out about this bundle yesterday and decided not to buy it, but now that you posted about it I just sort of automatically went ahead and got it. There must be some interesting psychology behind that.

  13. merc-ai says:

    Too many bundles, too soon.
    Apart from profits these early developers get, I think this is not good in the long run.

  14. HexagonalBolts says:

    Brazil is amazing. Robert De Niro is astonishingly amazing. A plumber who likes to ‘travel light, get in, get out – I’m in it for the thrill’.

  15. michal.lewtak says:

    Saira was made by Nifflas, the guy behind Knytt / Knytt Stories. Get it, get it now.

    • Petethegoat says:

      I got Saira ages ago, though I forget where, how, or why I got it.

      I don’t think I actually finished it, but what I played was absolutely delightful.

    • johnpeat says:

      I hated Saira with a vengence….

      I didn’t mind the platforming until it introduced NAILS-HARD timed sections which spoiled the entire exploration aspect of the game

      I didn’t mind the puzzles until they got astonishingly fiddly and hard too

      If you read his forums they’re both common complaints – even people who like tough/challenging platformers are driven away by the puzzles and vice versa.

      When I suggested he could – perhaps – include a difficulty slider to allow people to ‘enjoy’ the game, he said that wasn’t something he was interested in doing…

      Hey ho

    • Just Endless says:

      Amazing ambience, wonderful music, a GREAT feel.

      Oh, and difficulty that completely ruins the game. It’s not even platforming difficulty, the puzzles are SOOO opaque. Oh, to figure that switch I just had to take a picture at the one specific point on that other planet and count the number of statues without being told to and…. AGFH.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I got it pretty much just for that game. It’s amazing. Like Knytt with multiple worlds to explore and multiple endings.

      I agree with Endless about the difficulty. The timed tests are the worst, but the ice crystal planet didn’t make sense.

  16. Suits says:

    Yup, tired of them, not even playing most of them because there is just no way

    EDIT: GamesAid just announced another one for December 14th (LittleBigBunch):includes Frozen Synapse, Explodemon, Serious Sam Double D, Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee and New Star Soccer 5.

  17. Vorrin says:

    Yep one more for “Saira is great”, I really didnt expect it
    ,but I fell into it for some 3 or 4 hours after an unhopeful “let’s check it out”

  18. Carados says:

    Purchased when this first launched, never got codes. This article reminds me I paid for it, so I ask them for the codes. They sent me a ton of completely already activated codes.

    • Just Endless says:

      Mine worked, but it defaulted to my junk folder for no good reason. And they’ve apparently got that problem worked out, or so says their twitter.

  19. Just Endless says:

    These guys are having some problems. When you purchase, they send you an email with the codes; ie, you do not get your own page Royale/Humble style. Which is unfortunate, as they’ve added a soundtrack for those who paid over the average (including myself), that myself and others have no real way of getting.

    Some thoughts:
    Zombie Shooter is surprisingly competent.
    Your Doodles are Bugged is unsurprisingly incompetent (mechanics don’t really work, as if I needed a reason besides the style to stop playing).
    Saira is a mix of really good, and really hard, to the extent that I will not be playing it anymore. So close to greatness.

  20. InternetBatman says:

    I got it for Saira, which is an amazing game and now I’m looking forward to Hacker. I do wish they would let you use Amazon checkout.

  21. Bhazor says:

    Twilight Sparkle:
    I can’t believe we’re finally here.
    With all that we’ve imagined, the reality of this night is sure to make this…
    The Best Night Ever!
    At the gala

    Choir: At the gala

    Fluttershy:
    At the gala, in the garden,
    I’m going to see them all!
    All the creatures, I’ll befriend them at the gala~

    Choir: At the gala!

    Fluttershy:
    All the birdies and the critters
    They will love me, big and small.
    We’ll become good friends forever,
    Right here at the Gala~

    Choir:
    All our dreams will come true
    Right here at the Gala!
    At the Gala!

    Applejack: At the gala,

    Choir: It’s amazing!

    Applejack: I will sell them–

    Choir: That you heard of

    Applejack: All my appletastic treats!

    Choir: Yummy, yummy

    Applejack: Hungry ponies,

    Choir: Give us samples

    Applejack: They will buy them:

    Choir: We will buy them!

    Applejack: Caramel apples, apple sweets!

    Choir: Gimme some!

    Applejack:
    And I’ll earn a lot of money
    for the Apple family~

    Choir:
    All our dreams and our hopes
    From now, until here after…
    All that we’ve been wishing for
    Will happen at the Gala.
    At the Gala!

    Rarity:
    At the gala, all the royals…
    They will meet fair Rarity!
    They will see I’m just as regal at the Gala~

    Choir: At the Gala!

    Rarity: I will find him, my prince charming,
    And how gallant he will be!
    And he’ll treat me like a lady
    Tonight at the Gala~

    Choir: This is what we’ve been waiting for,
    To have the best night ever.
    Each of us will live our dreams
    Tonight at the Gala.
    At the Gala!

    Rainbow Dash:
    Been dreaming, I’ve been waiting
    To fly with those great ponies–
    The Wonderbolts, their daring tricks:
    Spinning ’round and having kicks.
    Perform for crowds of thousands,
    They’ll shower us with diamonds!
    Find More lyrics at http://www.sweetslyrics.com
    The Wonderbolts will see me right here at the Gala!

    Choir:
    All we’ve longed for,
    All we’ve dreamed,
    Our happy ever-after…
    Finally will all come true
    Right here at the Grand Gala.
    At the Gala!

    Pinkie Pie:
    I’m here at the Grand Gala,
    For it is the best party
    But the one thing it was missing was a pony named Pinkie!
    For I am the best at parties, all the ponies will agree…
    Ponies playing, ponies dancing
    With me at the Grand Gala~

    Choir:
    Happiness and laughter at the Gala.
    At the Gala!

    Twilight Sparkle: At the Gala,

    Choir: At the Gala

    Twilight Sparkle: With the princess,

    Choir: With the princess

    Twilight Sparkle: Is where I’m going to be!

    Choir: She will be

    Twilight Sparkle:
    We will talk all about magic,
    And what I’ve learned and seen.

    Choir: She will see

    Twilight Sparkle:
    It is going to be so special,
    as she takes time just for me~

    Choir: This will be the best night EVER!

    Twilight and choir:
    Into the Gala, we must go;
    We’re ready now, we’re all aglow.
    Into the Gala, let’s go in
    And have the best night ever!
    Into the Gala, now’s the time–
    We’re ready and we look divine!

    Fluttershy: Into the Gala, meet new friends!

    Applejack: Into the Gala, sell some apples!

    Rarity: Into the Gala, find my prince!

    Rainbow Dash: Prove I’m great as a Wonderbolt is!

    Fluttershy: To meet

    Applejack: To sell

    Rarity: To find

    Dash: To prove

    Pinkie: To woo

    Twilight: To talk

    All:
    Into the Gala,
    Into the Gala
    And we’ll have the BEST NIGHT EVER…
    At the Gala!