IndieGameStand Launches Store As Alternative To Steam

By Nathan Grayson on September 25th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

IndieGameStand is done being just another flimsy roadside DealShack, only handing out whatever games it happens to have on-hand at the time. Now it’s hoping to make a giant leap into the big leagues, and it’s planning to blend up elements of Steam, GOG, and its own dev-friendly, pay-what-you-want heritage in order to do so. Steam, especially, is in its crosshairs, given that Greenlight – while improving – is still giving many smaller developers enough trouble that they can barely bite back tears as they lie to their emaciated, gently whimpering piggy banks. “Tomorrow,” they quaver. “I promise.” In an ideal world, IndieGameStand would like to change that.

The basic idea behind IndieGameStand’s new store goes as follows:

“One year ago, IndieGameStand put a new spin on the game bundle paradigm by featuring a new, handpicked indie game for “pay what you want” pricing every 96 hours. Today the indie-focused service takes on Steam, GOG, and other online stores by opening a permanent storefront alongside their rotating 96-hour deals. With quick approval times, a favorable revenue split, and access to a growing audience hungry for quality indie games, the new IndieGameStand Store will greatly lower the barrier to entry for independent developers who have been stymied by Steam and other channels.”

The split is 75/25, which is, admittedly, only five percent off from the industry standard. More potentially impactful, however, is the promise of one-to-two-day approval times for all developers and tools that can easily sync up with Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight campaigns. So basically, IndieGameStand is hoping to be part-alternative, part-complement to existing storefronts.

To celebrate, the all-growed-up sales-0-tron is having – what else? – a sale. Most of the games previously featured in its pay-what-you-want deals will be marked down 15 percent or more until October 1st, including SpaceChem, The Real Texas, Escape Goat, Gnomoria, Proteus, Megabyte Punch, and Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller.

So then, go have a look around the place. See what you think. Maybe even buy something! Or don’t. Far be it from me to tell you how to spend your money. (Spend it on Proteus and The Real Texas or you’ll never see your childhood bicycle again.)

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37 Comments »

  1. Meat Circus says:

    So, Desura then?

    They do seem to be rather shamelessly ripping off Steam’s design. It’s a good job Valve are lovely. Most other companies would already be activating their lawsuit-o-trons.

    • Chelicerate says:

      Having used it: Not at all. No client necessary, and it actually delivers the games you buy.

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        slerbal says:

        I’d agree with that. IndieGameStand is very easy to use and I’ve bought a surprisingly large amount of games there. Desura, much as I love the concept is just so clunky that I barely use it even though I’ve acquired many games through various bundles.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I was thinking that. I love steam, but their layout sucks.

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      stahlwerk says:

      Yeah, that design is heavily inspired by steam. Why? No shame in keeping the layout consistent from one platform to another, but even using the same color theme?

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        LTK says:

        Well, the color theme was already used by the PWYW sales for Indiegamestand, so it’s no surprise that the same colors were used for the storefront. The rest of the layout is rather derivative, though.

    • Alexander says:

      Website/modern interface design and game design principles need to rip each other off all the time. And it’s for the better of everyone.

    • Panda Powered says:

      I like it. It’s functional and minimal clutter. Check out Gamefly’s new design as a comparison, you can’t even get to the links at the bottom of the page because of the auto-loading.

  2. Alexander says:

    Well, they have the same prices as Steam, but the rest of the stuff – their deals, price split with devs and quick approval – seems ok for starters. Now I’ll have to buy Proteus. Can anyone tell me why The Real Texas would be worth it? thanks.

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      LTK says:

      If you want to be persuaded, I’d tell you that the game features a whole town full of interesting and varied characters in a very strange world where you can explore, do quests, collect thingamajigs, blow stuff up and shoot the local wildlife.

      If you want my opinion, the combat is rather tedious and controls a bit finicky, your inventory is extremely limited, and getting anything done involves a lot of traipsing around the place, and you’re inevitably going to forget where you encountered a person or a place earlier. This is made worse by the day/night cycle, and the townsfolk’s strict adherence to routine, which means everyone has quit their job after 8. The quickest way to pass the night is to sleep, but you always sleep a fixed number of hours, so if you were exploring a cave in the evening and come back around midnight, going to bed means you’ll have wasted the entire morning.

      There’s some enjoyment to be had but ultimately I didn’t stick with it.

  3. Erinduck says:

    Why do people keep saying Greenlight is “improving?” It hasn’t improved at all. It’s still as fundamentally terrible as it was at launch.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Because most of the really good games that were stuck there for no reason are off it.

    • lomaxgnome says:

      Because all anyone really cares about is getting the games they want approved onto Steam, and since the recent mass approvals, that has covered the vast majority of stuff people complained about. But you’re right, otherwise, there’s no real improvement at all.

    • Lemming says:

      I actually don’t understand why it’s terrible. If your game is good, and you marshal your public relations skills, you’ll get greenlit.

      The only source I know for it being terrible are indie devs saying ‘oooh it’s terrible!’ , which everyone seems to have picked up and run with, and it’s not exactly bias free, is it?

      • Kitsunin says:

        Yeah, like Paranautical Activity, eh? ‘Guess it got through eventually, but Greenlight has seriously had some massive problems. There were one or two games that went/have gone a year in the top 10 without being let through. And of course there’s the thing that as a developer, needing the time and know-how to make a successful Greenlight campaign is kind of a ridiculous expectation. At the end of the day, it’s a popularity contest, for games that often don’t even exist yet, should that really be what Steam bases their system on?

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        RobF says:

        I don’t understand. Of course it’ll be the indie devs calling Greenlight shit because we’re the ones who have to put up with it, have other approval processes to compare it to etc…

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    LTK says:

    And Proteus is the PWYW deal of the day! GET IT if you like wonderful things.

  5. googoogjoob says:

    Do we really need yet another indie game store? Desura and GamersGate already have no barriers to entry (barriers in the sense of an approval process), and there are already a crop of other independently-run stores on the same scale as this one (like IndieCity, Indievania, or ShinyLoot), along with specialist/niche shops (like The Adventure Shop for adventure games, or Rice Digital’s shop for Japanese indie games), all in addition to the countless bundles and usually the option of simply buying a game straight from the dev/publisher.

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      Gap Gen says:

      I need a meta-store to hold all the bundles I’ve bought and cross-check whether I already bought a certain game in one of the dozens of indie sales I’ve picked up over various sites.

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      RobF says:

      Well, we need better stores than those two, yeah. For a start, we want one that sells copies of games which hopefully IGS can manage. That’d put it up above Desura for one thing. Then we could do with one which just lets you download the stuff you bought without having to mess around with a ridiculous downloader like Gamersgate has, so there’s that…

      I don’t know if it’ll have any traction but for now, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

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    JamesTheNumberless says:

    I read this article half an hour ago, and between then and now I completely forgot the name of the store. They really have got their work cut out for them…. Also a very surprising time to launch, when Valve still have a bunch of high profile announcements lined up.

    Having said that, I really like pay-what-you-want as a model for indie PC games.

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    JamesTheNumberless says:

    I’m going to venture the opinion that it’s actually a good thing they’ve gone for a direct imitation of Steam with the design. it immediately makes me feel safe and enhances the idea that this is like an extension of Steam that’s directly Indie-focused. If this platform takes off it will be increasingly under assault from non-indie studios and publishers who want to get their games on there too – much in the same way that gog.com is no longer only about nostalgia.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Nothing like deliberately misleading customers by cribbing off of someone else’s reputation.

      You should totally buy one of my Jaquzzi hot tubs. There’re very, very safe and the intake jets will definitely not suck your intestines out through your anus.

  8. malkav11 says:

    I don’t really see the point, myself. There are other digital storefronts with much more cred and userbase that are plenty indie-friendly (Desura would be the big one) but the reason getting on Steam is important for indies is that it’s Steam. They can’t replicate that any more than Desura or Gamersgate or GOG or wherever can.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Well, Desura’s problem is that you have to use their launcher to launch games bought from them, not to mention a clunky interface. The DRM free stores I can think of are pretty restrictive and/or have other problems (Gamersgate making speculative sales and selling tons of games you’ll just have to use a Steam key for anyways, for instance) so I would say there IS an unfilled space for IndieGameStand, but I don’t know if that space is one that people care about being filled.

      • cafeine says:

        No you don’t (and thank god because their client is even clunkier than steam’s). Just download the zip/install file from the game page on the website, install/unzip and you’re done.

        • Kitsunin says:

          Oh hey, you don’t. Huh. Well that’s one prejudice down.

  9. Viroso says:

    How are they with DRM and international payments?

  10. Dave Toulouse says:

    Indeed, the reason us indies want to get on Steam is because it’s Steam. It’s fairly easy to get on other stores but in the end if they don’t have the audience then it doesn’t do much good to be able to get there “quickly”. I’m all for a decent competitor to Steam but it will be a long journey to qualify as such.

    By the way, anyone knew about Shiny Loot? … Eh …

    The few who give up direct sales have their games on Steam. The others like me are still making more direct sales than from all the other non-Steam stores combined. It’s better to focus on making sure you’re able to first sell your game directly and then if you have time to waste, maybe, possibly spread it on other stores.

  11. The Random One says:

    Isn’t this just the Humble Store? And will they still be able to provide Steam keys when they are very visibly placing themselves as Steam’s competition?

    • Shuck says:

      I don’t know how much of a competitor they really are when they’re selling Steam/Desura/GOG keys,

  12. RProxyOnly says:

    Who are the names behind this?

    What is their rep?

    What else do they have their fingers in?

    If it’s more venture capitalists I want nothing to do with this service.. you’re just continuing to give money and power to those who already have it. Plus indie sensibilities are the furthest thing from those peoples minds.

    • Philomelle says:

      While there are no major corporate names behind the site, their reputation is pretty poor and unprofessional. These guys have already managed to make some enemies among people who frequent bundle websites, with a lot of people having posted complaints in chatrooms.

      Reportedly back when they were just a “daily deal” website, the admins tended to freak out and delete any mentions of every other bundle website on their forums. Not helped by the fact that half the time, their “daily deal” boils down to offering a single title from the latest Groupees or Indie Royale bundle immediately after that bundle is over.

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      RobF says:

      It’s a chap called Mike who’s responsible for it. He’s been lurking around for a while now but he used to (may still do?) run Indie Game Mag, bizarrely resurrected GameTunnel (not sure why?) and then moved onto setting up IGS.

      From all accounts he’s perfectly amicable to work with and stuff and there’s a lot of indies who’ve been happy with him.

      Not helped by the fact that half the time, their “daily deal” boils down to offering a single title from the latest Groupees or Indie Royale bundle immediately after that bundle is over.

      I don’t really keep track of these things but is that really such a terrible thing? SITE HAS GAME ON SALE THAT’S BEEN ON SALE RECENTLY hardly seems worth fussing over, especially when you can pay what you want.