This Is Indie: The 300 Game Pirate Kart

Revolution in 1.3GB

Adam’s planning a longer post on the IGF Pirate Kart‘s multifarious and hopefully delightful content, but the download was taking ages and he had to go drinking with Lewie P (thus, the Northern England contingent of RPS represents). Mr Smith will hopefully be your more expansive guide tomorrow, but in the meantime it seems only right and just to at least advise you of this wondrous (and free!) indie compilation’s existence so that you might investigate its 300-game contents for yourself.

Every game The majority of games in it were made in 48 hours or less, with involvement open to anyone, and as part of a noble attempt to restore some of the wildness that perhaps has been lost from the most excellent annual event that is the Independent Game Festival in the wake of indie’s growing mainstream awareness and acceptance.

Oh, and because the $95 entrance fee was something to a barrier to submitting small, weird, experimental stuff as opposed to larger, more polished, more gong-probable games – hence, they plonked everything into one 1.36GB download and shared the fee. It is anarchic and sensible all at the same time. I must admit, I’d really love to see this win something at IGF 2012, and thus demonstrate that ideas are still the true, beating heart of indie gaming. I’d also like it to finish downloading, but that’s just my impatience speaking.

More on the reasoning behind the Pirate Kart and download links may be found here.


  1. ExciteMike says:

    Thanks for the writeup! I can’t actually update the webpage from where I am now, so I’ll address a few common questions here:
    * You’ll want to use the torrent button rather than direct download. At this point it’s faster, more reliable and it saves me money :)
    * These games are legal!
    * The launcher and most of the games are for windows only.
    * Run the exe, not the swf!
    * Some of the games are setting off the Avast virus scanner. I’m pretty sure they are false positives.

    Also a teensy correction: We didn’t split the cost. Rocketcat Games generously provided the $95!

    • Raniz says:

      Torrent’s on it’s way down, will definitely leave it open to help out with the bandwidth.

    • noclip says:

      pretty sure they are false positives”

      The spirit of this is awesome. I saw the tweets at the beginning when you were proud that you’d gotten like 80 games and I’m really glad it’s proven this successful.

      So does this mean there are really 900 games in the IGF this year? If so, whoa.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Couple years ago, AVG falsely detected one of our releases (compressed as an NSIS installer), then refused to take it off even after we’d followed their procedure for reporting a false positive. Wound up switching the compression algorithm, and AVG shut up. Fun times.

      When virus scanners try to do heuristics, they’re generally crap. Look at what they’re reporting – if it’s an actual known virus, then worry. If it’s a heuristic, ignore it. Or send it to VirusTotal, because while all the scanners are broken, they’re typically broken in different ways.

  2. Teddy Leach says:

    Yeah, if your antivirus doesn’t seem to like it, don’t worry. False positives.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Talking of that, I haven’t updated my Anti-virus in 3 months… and yet I’ve yet to run into any trouble.

      This was unheard of in my days of XP (Win7’s Defender is pretty good, I guess).

    • Maltose says:

      “I’ve been drinking 5 shots a day for the last year and I’m still fine.”

      “I’ve driven for the past year without ever using a seat belt and I’m still alive.”

      “It’s been 3 months since I last made a mortgage payment and I’m still in my house.”


    • rei says:

      I haven’t used AV software for 15 years, and I’m still fine!

    • Nova says:

      Me too. Two years without AV and still alive.
      (Cue: “Without AV you don’t now if you are infested!”)

  3. Tyheam says:

    As I understand it the fee wasn’t even shared but rather covered by a certain individual.

  4. Deano2099 says:

    Ooh, it’d be exciting to have something win an IGF award that we can actually play.

  5. Navagon says:

    A free packet of gaming nuggets? Hell yes! Thanks for the heads up, Alec. Downloading.

  6. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Everybody! Use the torrents! It’ll save the devs some money.

    In fact, here’s an idea. Whenever you buy an SP game with UbiDRM or GFWL or Steamworks (for Khemm &c), buy it online, don’t bother downloading from the official source and just torrent the cracked version. It’ll save the publishers money because you’re not using their servers, the devs get what they deserve and you don’t have to deal with DRM. Everybody wins.

    • Wisq says:

      But … why would I want to save the publishers money if they’re harassing me with DRM?

      Ideally we should all download the game over and over again. Preferably in an automated fashion.

    • Maltose says:

      Like we did with Zomboid! In all seriousness, you’d still (probably) be breaking the law. And no one wants a cease and desist from Big Game.

    • rayne117 says:

      Oh no! Breaking the law!

      Why, I never break the law even if the law is absolute stupidity as I’ve already purchased the product.

      I always listen to The Man™.

  7. Taidan says:

    I’ve only played the one game so far, “/Escape\”, and that will probably be all I’m playing until bed-time.

  8. spcd says:

    Lots of hilarious games! Even the music of most of these games make me lol

  9. nihilocrat says:

    I totally didn’t expect this to get so much attention! I hereby apologize for the intentionally-crap quality of my games, each was made in 4 hours or less. I made them with no eye for quality or innovation, just as practice for actually sitting down and making a game.

    • nihilocrat says:

      I was going to say this originally but didn’t want it to get misinterpreted, so I spent more time on it:

      I’d really love to see this win something at IGF 2012, and thus demonstrate that ideas are still the true, beating heart of indie gaming.

      I would like to respectfully take issue with this claim. Whether it was made in 4, 48, or 480 hours, making up the ideas behind them only took a tiny fraction of time. The vast majority of time and effort in any game involves working, failing, learning, and then working more. Most of the time, this involves figuring out your ideas are crap, and finding better, more informed ones you never thought of. It involves programming, artwork, music composition, audio mixing, and realizing the last 10% of the game is going to take 90% of your effort. A game is not an idea, it’s a piece of software, which unfortunately doesn’t spring forth from one’s mind.

      So, reworded, sitting down and making real games that you can play is still the true, beating heart of indie gaming, and the IGF Pirate Kart is definitely proof positive.

    • Alec Meer says:

      Eh, it’s just a thing I said on the internet

    • noom says:

      Fair points nihilocrat, but the analogy still holds true I think. All the time and polish in the world don’t make a bad idea into a good game. Also, the ability to explore truly original ideas does mark indie gaming apart from larger budget gaming, where there is less of a propensity to take risks.

    • nihilocrat says:

      Yeah, I get a bit too foamy-at-the-mouth if people say “ideas == games”, sorry for the kneejerk reaction.

      You’re right about a lot of work into a bad idea not making a game better. Part of the work should be testing your ideas and throwing them out if they’re bad, something that indies are much more prepared to do.

  10. Tams80 says:

    No access to torrents atm. =( Wish the university would just open up the right ports (blocking them apparently helps us do more work *snigger*).

    I suppose I could use a vpn, but that would take too much effort (and money).

    These games shall have to wait then.

  11. caddyB says:

    “Why aren’t you in bed yet?” she asked.
    I laughed. “I’m playing shit snake” I told her.
    She didn’t laugh. In fact, she started to cry. She asked why I valued shit snake more than our relationship.
    I found it odd that she didn’t ask what shit snake was in the first place. “You should ask what shit snake is” I said.
    She didn’t laugh. In fact, she ran out and slammed the door, like in some dramatic fashion or something like that.
    “Shit.” I said.
    The snake was strangely apathetic.

  12. Lewie Procter says:

    And much drinking was had.

    • Spacewalk says:

      And this was before I fixed some things in my games before I submitted them.

  13. Demiath says:

    I’m sure games made in 48 hours or less are absolutely wonderful. Or not…

    • arccos says:

      All of them are wonderful in their own way. So far I haven’t played any that didn’t at least make me smile a bit.

    • Berzee says:

      Some of them are indeed.

    • GiantRaven says:

      ‘Where am I?’ is really good. Easily the best I’ve tried so far.

      10.5 was a blast to play through as well.

      So yeah, games made in 48 hours can be fun and engaging, if a little short.

  14. Sabre_Justice says:

    I skimmed this and thought it was about an indie PC kart racing game with a pirate theme that supported 300 players.

    I’d play it.

    • Berzee says:


      This raises the very startling question as to why there hasn’t been a kart racing open world MMO yet.

      Ha, look at that pirate in his little boat-shaped cart. Adorable. (excepting the way he cut out me gizzard)

  15. Berzee says:

    Ooooo, I can recommend Grave Robbers by Adam Atomic (of canabalt-and-many-other-fames). Obviously made quite quickly, but I love the idea so much. Each keyboard key controls a different trap, and you watch as grave robbers try to steal gold from the center of your dungeon. Timing your traps for maximum efficiency is critical; I failed miserably but felt like a maniacal security guard while doing it.

    (Imagining a game like this, but where instead of seeing the whole screen you get to choose how to set up a variety of security cameras…that’d be great :D)

  16. Frosty says:

    I’m not sure what is happening inside Andrew Gray’s mind but I must see it.

    • Hulk Handsome says:

      Which games are you referring to?

    • Frosty says:

      For some reason I couldn’t get the flash launcher to work so I accessed the games individually through the unzipped folder where they are listed by name of developer. I’m away from the computer now so I can’t say exactly what Gray’s games were called unfortunately.

  17. DeanLearner says:

    I was genuinely expecting a pirate based go karting game :(

  18. MadMatty says:

    I miss the nineties- the smaller teams were much more risk-willing, providing a larger variation in mechanics and game types- giving birth to actual classics.
    Now days theres just a lot of thread-of-the-mill.
    I blame consumers for buying the same old crap year after year.

  19. eryynlhanu says:

    Deserves its own post but since there’s already an indie game thread i’ll just put it here. I bought it purely for Sanctum but the other 3 games have blown away my expectations.
    Gemini Rue: Amazing adventure game in the style and quality level of the old lucas arts games. Sorta like blade runner which is awesome. Having to choose whether to use mouth foot hands or eye on something is sorta annoying but adds to the old school vibe.
    Ares Extinction: Megaman Clone. Not as good but very playable, for such a low price of the bundle a steal.
    Nimbus: Some of the best level design i’ve ever seen in a puzzle game. Nice lively graphics and simple gameplay. Amazingly well made levels that make beating it a breeze, but getting the perfect run a debilitating but rewarding challenge.seo service