An Indie Bundle Before Dying

By Alec Meer on December 12th, 2011 at 4:59 pm.

Boogaboogaboogaflibblraaargh

The pay-what-you-want indie bundles are out there. They can’t be bargained with. They can’t be reasoned with. They don’t feel pity for your bank account, or remorse, or fear that gaming sites will stop posting about them. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you can’t read any more news.

So, Indie Royale 4, the Xmas Bundle: The Blackwell Trilogy: Remastered (now with brand new voice acting, which is a pretty good reason to be interested in this bundle), Eets, Dino D-Day, The Oil Blue.

You know how all this works by now. I am so very tired.

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74 Comments »

  1. Jams O'Donnell says:

    Go away indie bundles, I cannot keep up. And Indie Royale can shove it — at least Humble Bundle helps charities.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      As opposed to Indie Royale, which just has awesome games?

    • Mike says:

      Why is that a problem? The Humble Bundle is great, but I don’t see why charity should be a necessity. I’m just as happy to give money towards the developers.

      It’s great to see Blackwell here. I think Royale know they can lead with that and draw in a bunch of sales on that alone.

    • DevinH says:

      I really don’t understand this mentality. Why not give the developers a fair price, and then donate some money to a charity of your choice?

    • yutt says:

      @DevinH

      For the same reason people go to Walmart now rather than the shoe store, the grocery store, and the automotive store. Even if *I* (charitable and socially aware as I am) were to do that, most would not. The HumbleBundle not only causes awareness that would otherwise not exist – donation is the default! It isn’t, “Hey, do you want to donate $1 to Charity X?” It is, “Here is the default price, which includes donating a percentage to charity, do you want to opt-out?”

      People can quibble over the methodology, but it has worked so far. Humble Bundle has raise !!millions of dollars!! for charities they would not have otherwise seen.

      How could you possibly not understand this mentality? It raises more money for these charities than would otherwise be raised. It doesn’t need to get much more complicated than that.

    • Tams80 says:

      I don’t even give money to charities through the Humble Bundle. I just deduct the amount I would have paid to the charities and reserve it for other charities that I feel like supporting. Thus it doesn’t matter that the Indie Royale bundles don’t ‘support’ charities.

    • Trillby says:

      Actually…..no.

      I give to charities, I like charities, all well, all good. I hate, with a passion, products that inform me “for every one bought, we donate x £/$ to charity”. I read: we could have given you this product for a certain price, but as an “added service”, we will raise the price by amount x. Let me as the consumer decide when, where and how much I want to give. It should have nothing to do with my purchasing of products. I provide demand, producers provide the supply, and capitalism does its thing. The indie bundle should have NO obligation to provide charity.

      I realise that the humble bundle is different….it is allows me to choose what cash goes where. And yes, I realise we are talking about minute amounts of money. But the principle is the same. It is NOT added value to be forced to give to charity. It is an added expensive of totally subjective value, and I don’t believe it is a good thing.

      Rant over. Sorry.

    • mouton says:

      I dislike Child’s Play as I have no real love for children. As for the EFF, I am glad to support them, yes

    • Avish says:

      So. You only buy stuff if there is charity involved?

    • Jams O'Donnell says:

      Sigh. Also jeez.

      I picked up the charity thing in HIB because it is a noteworthy feature and, to my mind at least, makes it stand out from the pack.

    • Carra says:

      I prefer giving my money to the creators. I don’t see why I should support Childs Play as a European. Giving my money to US hospitals? No thanks, the US has money enough to pay for their own hospitals.

  2. oceanclub says:

    I’m hoping to God there’s a Minecraft Xmas sale as I have at least three nephews/nieces wanting a copy….

    P>

    • Chucrute says:

      Share your account. See if they get bored quickly (i know i did), might save you a few bucks.

  3. Nathan says:

    And we complain about EA releasing FIFA every year…

  4. Zeewolf says:

    It’s worth it for the Blackwell Trilogy alone.

    • Dzamir says:

      But I don’t have time to play so much games!!

    • Vexing Vision says:

      That’s the only reason I’ll get it. I also have a perverse curiousity about Dino D-Day which I know I will regret.

    • yutt says:

      My previous Dino D-Day RPS comments review:

      “Conceptually this game is amazing. Unfortunately the execution is trash. It is DoD 1.0 with dinosaur models for a guy-with-a-knife class. Playing a dinosaur is not fun. How the fuck do you make playing a raptor boring? Somehow they managed.

      I like virtually all games I play, in one way or another, but this game was simply bad. I spent 2 hours playing in desperate denial, trying to convince my friends and myself it was fun.

      It was not fun.”

    • Museli says:

      I was going to skip this one, as the backlog keeps getting bigger, but then I took a closer look and thought ‘Oh! That’s the series that nice Cobbett chap was talking about. Guess I’m buying another bundle…’.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      I was (am) contemplating getting the bundle for the Blackwell trilogy as I’m not interested in the other games. But like others, I’m a bit tired of bundles. I mean, it’s a fine idea to get some additional attention and revenue, but it’s all a bit much.

      So, I’m not entirely sure why but I’ll probably either get the Blackwell Trilogy later on, for the full price or I won’t get it. It’s indeed a fatigue of some sort, I felt it when I started reading the post.

  5. rustybroomhandle says:

    Tend to stick with HiB meself, mainly due to their tri-platform support requirement.

    • Windward says:

      I don’t really understand this mentality, of course not buying games that you can’t play on your platform of choice is sensible, but people (not necessarily you, this post just reminded me of it) seem to make out that having only multiplatform games in a bundle is a point of principle, but surely this just massively limits what games can ever be included? I’m really happy that indie royale doesn’t insist on multiplatformality, because that means they get to offer games that the humble bundle never will, which means they don’t overlap, which means more games!

      (completely off topic) Also, the ‘they aren’t a charity!’ outrage is mad, do people also think this when buying Skyrim?!

    • malkien says:

      @Windward
      the number of games they bundled since they started shows that the multiplatform limitation is irrelevant, it’s just part of the selection criteria.

      what they did was stimulate the unix/linux porting of windows games, showing that not being tied to one particular platform is easy enough and developing a multiplatform game from the ground up is actually convenient.

      that’s why they deserve extra support.

    • Kaira- says:

      Yeah, I’m with you there rustybroomhandle. The support for Linux would be the thing that would tip the scale and open my wallet for them.

    • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

      You know, actually, supporting the Indie Royale bundle is doing a LOT for linux gaming.

      That’s because the chaps behing it are in part the same as digital distributors Desura, who just released a full linux client, unlike everyone’s other favourite DDs, and are distributing a HELL of a lot of linux capable indie games.

      And well, Macs have their iPhones, their own sole little corner.

  6. Unaco says:

    I was discussing this earlier today… I dunno if these bundles are still that great for the developers of the games, how much they’re making etc. But I don’t think I’ll ever pay full price for an Indie game, ever again. Doubtless, within a week of me getting interested in any Indie game, it’ll be in a bundle where I can get it for 20p.

    • Protome says:

      I think it’s generally considered that these bundles have a similar effect to piracy.
      As we all know, not every pirated copy of a game is a lost sale, and similarly not every copy of a game sold in a bundle is a full-price sale lost. Many of the people buying these bundles would never have even heard about the games in it before, nevermind bought it at its full price (even if that is only a pound or two more than they spent on the bundle.)

      At least, that’s my view of it. Basically, if someone pays 20p for your game, it’s better than them not paying for it at all.

    • Wulf says:

      I don’t know whether I’m a unique case, but sometimes if a game really gets me, I’ll actually go back and buy it again at a higher price. If, for example, To the Moon had been in a bundle, I’d have gone and bought that again anyway. Some games are just worth it, and money is a great way to express to developers that you love what they’re doing.

      I’m not sure whether I’m typical or atypical, though. However, going by some past discussions about this, and people yelling at me for guilt tripping them (when I really wasn’t), I’d have to guess that I’m quite atypical. That’s the shame of it, right there.

      What might be good for bundles, however, is if they started selling time-limited versions for a cheap price. So, you get all of these games for a month, then it times out. If you want to play them in the future then you can purchase them properly. But I have absolutely no idea if that would work, even at all.

    • Tams80 says:

      That’s me. Well not for the first few Humble Bundles, but now I just buy them. Hell, I don’t even know what I just bought, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have bought them otherwise.

    • Just Endless says:

      @wulf

      I do something sort of similar: I’ll go buy something else that dev has done, @ full price. For instance, after playing Atom Zombie Smasher, I went and payed $10 for Flotilla, to show him some support.

    • mouton says:

      @Wulf

      Of course, if a game proves to be brilliant, I have no issues with buying it for a full price after trying a demo or playing another game of that developer.

  7. Crimsoneer says:

    Also, random fact, Really Big Sky has been one of my surprises of the year. Great catch by Indie Royale.

  8. Aaarrrggghhh says:

    Mh, I think that might be the second bundle I’m not buying.
    The Blackwell Trilogy: Remastered is the only title looking interesting. But I will then simply get it when I have played all those other (Indie) games I haven’t even touched yet.
    Dino-D-Day is fun by concept, played it on the FreeWeekend on Steam but it’s horribly unbalanced.
    The rest looks rather “meh” to me.

  9. TomxJ says:

    I don’t have ANY off these! woo!

  10. Creeping Death says:

    I was so close to blindly preordering this last night, now I’m very glad I didnt. Not a single one of these games interested me :/

    Not to mention (look out, incoming opinion!) that the first bundle had the best lineup. They’ve just been getting progressively worse to me

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      Only bought the first one myself. Gemini Rue was absolutely marvellous. Sacred was pretty nice too. The rest I simply couldn’t care about. I might have paid a dollar just for the sake of having the games in my Steam library, just in case that some friend of mine wants to play one of them some day (yet to happen to me), but at this price it would be throwing away money for something I absolutely couldn’t care about. Buying every HIB for obvious reasons though. If I don’t like the games, I can at least support the EFF.

    • Barnaby says:

      And to think you might have wasted FOUR whole dollars on a pack of 3 games. I honestly just shit myself at the horror of the thought.

    • Avish says:

      @Barnaby: Why pay for something you are not interested in, just because it’s cheap?
      I rather save my 4 dollars for something on my wishlist, instead of adding 4 more games to a very long list of unplayed games, I bought in previous bundles.

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      @Barnaby:
      Why should I waste FOUR dollars though, when there are so many other things I could spend it on? And, please, for goodness’ sake, don’t give me this “well, it’s just a cup of coffee” crap. I could buy a different game as someone suggested above, I could give it to a younger relative and make them smile or, last but not least, I could give it to MSS so they can buy antibiotics and anti-malaria medicine for some poor blokes, who weren’t fortunate enough to be born in a first world country.
      The fact that it’s cheap and doesn’t put money into the pockets of the fat cats is barely a reason to support it.

  11. iLag says:

    you know there is a really easy way to show your disapproval with all those bundles – just don’t buy them. no need for the open hostility, though.

  12. Suits says:

    Didn’t find this one interesting at all.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Same. A lot of the other recent bundles are kinda duds for me also.

  13. Juan Carlo says:

    This is the best bundle ever just because of Blackwell. All the other games in the bundle are a bit crap, but Blackwell alone is enough to make it awesome.

  14. Fox89 says:

    I know these bundles are old news by now but… GOOD old news. Kind of like if you got a tax rebate every week. After a little while it wouldn’t be surprising any more, but you’re still getting a good deal!

  15. Zeewolf says:

    It’d be fun to see what people make of The Oil Blue.

    • Matzerath says:

      That’s actually the one I’m most curious about.

    • Gnoupi says:

      It’s actually a great game, mostly about multitasking.

      It really deserves more attention, great to see it in this bundle.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, it’s a really well-produced action/puzzle/management hybrid. Very stressful, but strangely classy, like spinning plates while rubbing your tummy on a moonlight night to a smooth jazz soundtrack

  16. lordfrikk says:

    Ugh, the new voice acting isn’t so hot. The main actress lost its charm I’d say, she had a lovely indifferent lazy voice but I guess that’s professionalism for you!

    • Hodge says:

      Yeah, I’ve really liked the voices in all of the Blackwell games, so I’m surprised that he’s decided to re-do them.

      Maybe it bothered him that the actors kept changing between games and he’s decided to put the current cast on everything to make it consistent?

    • jacobvandy says:

      I came in to remark on that, too… I might have been interested in playing it based on the series’ reputation, but the awful voice-overs have dissuaded me.

  17. Dizzard says:

    I must have this…….but my wallet is EMPTY. ;_;

    I loved Gemini Rue so I really want to try out the blackwell legacy. You get all three of the blackwell games in this?

  18. Zyrocz says:

    Is there anyway to switch between the old and new voices? I’ve never played the Blackwell trilogy before, but I loved Gemini Rue so figured I’d give those games a try too. If it is possible to switch between voices, would you recommend the original voices?

  19. povu says:

    I loved Gemini Rue, I suppose this is a good opportunity to see what other adventure games its publisher has to offer.

    • tremulant says:

      Well, yes i suppose this is an opportunity for such, but do bear in mind that you can also go to http://www.wadjeteyegames.com/ , look at the list of games, click on one, then click the download demo button, and, you know, “see what other adventure games its publisher has to offer”, all without paying a penny, you’ve got 13 days to do so before the bundle ends.
      I’m not sure that rewarding a poor bundle with a sale, but only at the minimum price because only one game’s worth having, is necessarily a great thing for the indie bundle economy(or ibunonomy as it shall henceforth be known), just go buy the game that interests you(having made sure that it really does), if you can afford it.
      Is it just me or are these bundles starting to feel like some kind of bargain-flashing supermarket style manipulation to get you to buy more than you want of something you don’t need?

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I dunno, I have only bought the bundles which include games I actually want but have so far been too cheap to buy at full price. And I usually throw more money at it than the minimum – although this month I am particularly poor BUT I have had an eye on the blackwell games for ages.

  20. mendel says:

    This is a Desura promo sale, pure and simple. And the only way to pay is via Paypal. Who want my permission to access the local credit ratings bureau. Ain’t gonna happen, I dont trust PayPal.

    Besides, the Blackwell Trilogy remastered is advertised on Desura as “free” right now. Is that just an advertising gimmick? [Edit: Yes, it is, apparently "free" means "demo versions only". I've no idea in what way they're limited.]

    • Camerooni says:

      I don’t know what you’re smoking, but I’d like some.. You can pay for the bundle with Visa or Mastercard directly as well as via Paypal… Definitely more than one option there!

    • mendel says:

      Camerooni, I actually researched what I wrote. Maybe different payment options are offerent in different countries, but for me, credit card payment on the indieroyale bundle go through the Paypal company only: Paypal takes my credit card number and manages the payment, even if I choose not to create an account with them. There is no other option.

      Which bank or payment service is the one managing your credit card payments for this bundle?

  21. Muzman says:

    Will indie bundles become the CDOs of gaming: so successful they accidentally create demand for shonky shooters and platformers to pad them out?
    Will we see sad guys on the news after the bottom falls out “For yeas I tried tuh be a game desahnuh but they always sed no. Then suddenly I wus walkin past this new game design and IT school that jus opened up and this guy basicly draegme inside! Di’unt have to fill out no forms or nothin! I almus cried.
    Well I shaw cryin now.”

  22. maktacular says:

    I was well into the Humble Bundles due to the fact that they were available for Linux. No messing about with wine, see.

  23. Xaromir says:

    It’s a bit more greedy. You have to pay the minimum and there are no charities. I somewhat approve of the first as this is a clever idea, but i find the later a little sad.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      I don’t think ‘greedy’ is the appropriate word here, at least not if seeing things from the developers’ point of view. You are paying less than a euro per game (even if there are some games that are not that good), so you can imagine how much every contributor earns from these bundles. ‘Pay what you want’ is cheaper of course (for some), but really, there won’t be any profit left if you go below an average price comparable to this one offered here.

    • Llewyn says:

      @Squirrel: Agreed. ‘Greedy’ and ‘lazy’ are words that I see far too often in RPS comments for my liking.

    • Xaromir says:

      Maybe i picked my words wrong. Let’s make that: “More profit oriented.” I’m not saying anything about that, as i said: I approve. But i noticed.

  24. remover says:

    The lack of crossplatform games in the indie royale bundles is disappointing, unbecoming and goes against the spirit of the whole indie thang.

    This is why humble bundles will always be king and I know that over time they will cover a good broad scope of good games.