I should be very pleased for now ex-PC Gamer writer and fine fellow Tom Francis, whose lovely debut Gunpoint, made in his spare time over the last three years, has proven wildly successful enough for him to “quit jobs, as a concept” and grant him total creative freedom for whatever he wants to do next and for the foreseeable future. Instead, I feel physically ill with envy and crippled by self-loathing at my own failure to work on a game as yet, all compounded by worry that feeling that way is a sign that I am a bad person. I am attempting to purge all these unpleasant emotions by posting about Tom’s amazing news.
He’s fairly open (and witty) about what happened in a long post-release write-up here. “There’s really no pressure for my next thing to make a particular amount of money, so I can do whatever I think will be most exciting,” he claims, and the good news for all of us is that he’s now even more determined to keep on treating his players/customers right.
For instance, despite encountering of a lot of industry ‘wisdom’ which claimed putting out a demo before the full game was available means lost sales, from his point of view it meant people could check the game worked on their PC before committing and he didn’t depend on making eager fans pay blindly. Other nice things he’s done include happily providing refunds to anyone who’s had problems running the game.
In other words: despise and envy Tom Francis for his vast riches and total freedom from the system, but love him for being the sort of game developer we wish all game developers could be. Congratulations, sir.
Meantime, Gupoint is now up to its third patch, there’s plans for more updates later, and Tom’s looking for a spot of dev help to iron out the last few issues and come up with Mac and Linux versions.
Right, do I feel any better for writing this? Um. I’m going to go and see if there’s anything I want in the discounted damaged goods in Tesco, put it that way.