Hats Off: Indie Buskers 2 Bundle

Earlier this year, a collection of game developers formed a loose collective called The Indie Buskers. Taking requests from the shouting face of the internet, each of them coded a game in 48 hours and the results were released in a bundle of the ‘pay what you want’ variety. Well, the buskers are back with new games and, as with the last event, the ideas that the crowd yelled in their direction are seventy billion times more imaginative than ‘sequel to your most financially successful project’. Quotes of a Molydeuxbious nature below and a game where you really must talk to the monsters.

Ido Yehieli, creator of Cardinal Quest, wins the best busker prize because he has actually made “Doom, but you can talk to the monsters”. It’s called Diplomatic Doom and has the best plot of anything ever.

“The UAC Space Marine ship has arrived on Mars. Unfortunately the marines are all space-sick from the journey so they sent you, the ship’s counselor, to find a diplomatic solution.”

Sophie Houlden made a game called Phone Phantom, which is all about navigating customer service hotlines, bypassing robots and possessing human beings. The pitch contained this Vonnegutesque brilliance:

“…a world in which all citizens must, by law, display a customer support number at all times, through which other citizens can register their complaints. Naturally no one wants to be bothered by all this, so there’s a bit of an arms race for developing more and more obscurely-designed automated phone systems.”

Friedrich Hanisch of Rat King has made a game that shoots colours directly into your brain. It’s called HATESNAKE3D. The inspiration came from several sources.

“every 5 seconds you explode, you have to avoid killing people while chasing the man with the cure” (by @helscar) and “Beat’em’up in zero-g” (by Eelfroth) and all the others! Thanks!”

Phil Hassey’s DandyDan features “a hedge maze where you control the hedges” but, perhaps more importantly – “The dandy needs his coins!” I’m pretty sure that’s the first title card in 95% of silent movies.

Finally, there’s Sneaky Brats, a “stealth game in which putting your hands over your eyes really does make you invisible”. Instead of guns, the teams of children fight with the power of their imagination.

There is one unfinished project as well, Pekka Kujansuu’s Space Brawl, which has been delayed due to illness. Get well soon!

The bundle is available for a minimum of one Euro.


  1. ritalingamer says:

    Why is that gentleman juggling gametes?

    • LTK says:

      That’s what mice used to look like.

    • AmateurScience says:

      It’s treatise on Mendel.

    • 1Life0Continues says:

      Remember when some peripherals used to be connected via serial port? And 800x600x256 was considered ‘high resolution’?

      All the way back to the Amiga and C-64 and then further down to vacuum tubes and punch-cards.

      All in the space of less then 50 years.

      Ah, technology. :)

  2. Drevyek says:

    You missed Sos’s game!
    edit: it’s Electreus, and it’s absolutely insane. As you’d expect from Sos.

  3. qizarate says:

    Diplomatic Doom is essentially just Shin Megami Tensei, right?

  4. Llewyn says:

    Sophie Houlden’s game reminds me that I really should try to get Zork Grand Inquisitor running again at some point. Ah, nostalgia.

  5. Rich says:

    Possibly the worst looking website ever.

    Well, actually it isn’t even close to the worst, but it’s still bloody hideous.

  6. JiminyJickers says:

    It seems to be over before I even had a chance to look at it.

    • Phantoon says:

      You’re supposed to look at the games. I was confused too until I looked further.

  7. Wulf says:

    I still don’t quite understand why I get so much flack for wanting diplomacy options in games.

    One of the memorable MMORPG experiences I’ve had, for example, is Diplomacy in Vanguard. Instead of running around stabbing people, I could progress through the game as a diplomat, playing a fun little card game as I went. I really enjoyed that. I’ve proposed in the past that having more diplomatic options in games in the place of killing might actually give them some further depth. As we used to have that sort of thing in games, anyway.

    And yes, this includes diplomacy with things which are visually inhuman, that can be classed as monsters. That got dumbed down to ‘talking to the monsters,’ which is where the meme began. All out of a simple desire to have more options than just killing things in games. What I didn’t know was that it was apparently too hipster and/or white collar to even consider such a thing, therefore I must be soundly mocked. I’d rather see if I can reason than kill.

    I’m disappointed by that, I continue to be. And to be honest, for me, it reinforces some of the more negative stereotypes we gamers have. It wouldn’t be so easy to do that if more games had more non-violent solutions to things. It doesn’t mean that you’d need to opt for those, but simply having the chance to do something which doesn’t involve splitting a skull in two would be nice.

    But what do I know? I’m a crazy hipster, who deserves endless mocking. So… carry on.

    • Brun says:

      Games like EVE maintain an element of this in an emergent fashion. It’s probably not best described as “diplomacy” but rather as “intrigue” or “espionage.”

      • eks says:

        EVE absolutely has diplomacy. Our Alliance has dozens of “diplomancers” to keep relations with various other power blocs, most of them assigned to a particular alliance, we even have translators who deal with alliances based on other languages eg: Russian, German etc.

        Diplomacy is the back bone of null sec and those alliances that choose not to participate in politics and diplomacy soon find themselves striped of their space, forced to become irrelevant and slowly die.

    • The Random One says:

      If you think the ‘if only we could talk to the X!’ meme means ‘ha ha, stupid hipsters who don’t want to shoot everything that pops up in front of them!’, you deserve every bit of mockery you imagine yourself to be to the target of. Pro tip: That meme is a case of the fabled self-deprecative humour.

    • Gira says:

      Yo Wulf, based on your posts I’ve seen I’d say you’re off the hook – you’re not a hipster; you’re just a massive nerd.

  8. Crazy Horse says:

    The marines are all space-sick? Good heavens, I do hope they get better.

  9. Josh W says:

    That sounds amazing, although I wish people would put something more like a month into these crazy random games rather than 48 hours; if we could get the hang of making the same really scrappy games without that sense of presentational perfectionism or over-reach, but with more effort put into depth and development, then I think we’d get the best of both worlds.

    Maybe the game would have to be playable in 48 hours, and then you build off of the thing you’ve hacked together?