Dwindling: Size Five Put The Swindle On Hold

We’ve written so much about The Swindle that sometimes I forget that it’s not out yet and that I still somehow know very little about it. Stealth, cyberpunk, crime, infiltration. Good things. It’s in the same mould as Gunpoint and perhaps distantly related to Subversion. News from Size Five suggests that there may be a deeper connection to Introversion’s ill-fated infiltrator. Development is proving problematic, although not necessarily for the same reasons:

It’s a great game, but it’s a fucking complicated beast, and I’m simply not sure I can afford to make it the game it deserves to be right now…Nope, after a lot of metaphorical wrestling, it simply can’t be the game I’m going to make next.


There is a backup plan, although Dan doesn’t provide a great deal of information in the blog post:

So right now I’m in limbo. Kind of kicking around, poking at ideas with sticks. I’m prototyping some new stuff. Something that’s a bit more A-to-B than The Swindle, something a bit more story-based.

I’m pleased with the plot and the structure, and there are some really interesting and unique mechanics to it… It’s looking pretty good, and crucially it’s a much more manageable project.

Details soon, hopefully.

As for The Swindle, looking at it after finishing Gun Monkeys, Dan realised that ‘several elements’ didn’t work and that major rewrites were needed. To fix the problems and make the game that the concept deserves would be an expensive risk that could kill Size Five if the game didn’t turn out to be phenomenally successful. Best not to risk that.

Hopefully, with Gun Monkeys out in the wild and another project to fall back on, The Swindle can be allowed to percolate for a while and then attacked with fresh creative vigour. And a larger money net. Otherwise, we might find ourselves writing this headline again in a few months and that would be very sad indeed.


  1. Choca says:

    That’s too bad, I was really looking forward to that.

  2. PopeRatzo says:

    We’ve written so much about The Swindle that sometimes I forget that it’s not out yet and that I still somehow know very little about it.

    When has that ever stopped you?

  3. Terragot says:

    Dan and Ben three it is then. Good call I say, I tried Gun Monkeys at Rezzed and didn’t click with it, but Dan’s a funny bloke on that twitter, so more funny games from him would be playing to his strengths and very welcome indeed.

  4. Jimanzium The King says:

    Well, that’s a shame

  5. trjp says:

    You need to be careful with things like this – putting things to one side until you have more perspective or skill or better tools etc.

    Stephen King did that with “Under the Dome” and that turned-out to be a massive stinker – one of the worst books I’ve ever read – and if the hozillion books he’s written before didn’t help him not give it the shittest ending in the universe, I’m not sure what would have…

    I don’t entirely buy the “I can’t yet make the game I want it to be” thing – make a game, make it as good as you can – if people like it, make a sequel which is a bit better and keep at it!?

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      But it’s a hallmark of Stephen King to write shit endings. Personally I thought under the dome had some good moments

      • Harlander says:

        So much so, that in one book he actually goes into a seperate aside saying “don’t bother reading this ending, it’s terrible. Still reading? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you”

  6. chabuhi says:

    I’m waiting for the first mega-successful Kickstarter game by a big name “indie” to get shelved like this. Or for Chris Roberts to say, “yeah, y’know, $20 million just isn’t enough to make Star Citizen the game we know it can be, so that’s going on hold until we can do a proper job of it.”

    (Please note, I am not in any way trying to slight what Size Five finds themselves forced to do here, or to suggest that RSI would do what I described. Just having fun with what-ifs, not meaning to offend anyone.)

    • foda500 says:

      Was this game funded on kickstarter or am I missing something here?

  7. lowprices says:

    If the new project is Ben and Dan 3 then I won’t complain too much, but that’s still a shame. I just hope “on hold” doesn’t turn into “completely abandoned.”