Special Humble Bundle With 30 Games, For Brandon Boyer

You may well remember that last week we mentioned Brandon Boyer’s ongoing fundraiser to pay continuing bills for his cancer treatment, after getting horrendously screwed over by his health insurance. The great news is, he’s crossed the baseline to afford the $110,000 of bills he’s already accrued in an effort to not be dead. But the situation is ongoing, and what would be incredible would be to see this champion of indie games, bossman of the Independent Games Festival, and all-round good egg, have enough in the bank that he doesn’t have to worry about vital further treatment. And anything more he makes than he needs will be going to charities that will do the same for others.

Helping with that is a new mega-bundle from Humble, alongside the already-running Devolver bundle, which packs in an incredible 30 indie games (so far) for $25. And they’re good games. In there are the likes of VVVVVV, Thomas Was Alone, Actual Sunlight, Blocks That Matter, McPixel, Waking Mars, Proteus, Sokobond, Stacking, and World Of Goo. Yeah.

Described as “A Very Special Humble Bundle Of Love For Brandon Boyer”, this is a one-off creation by the Humble guys that sees a huge bunch of indie developers offering their games for free, and Humble passing on their cut too, so that all 25 of those dollars goes into the Brandon Boyer Cancer Relief Treatment Relief.

And what are you getting? Here’s the full list, with more likely to get added:

  • Actual Sunlight
  • AirMech
  • Auralux
  • Bagfull of Wrong
  • BitTrip Beat Soundtrack
  • BitTrip Fate Soundtrack
  • BitTrip Runner Soundtrack
  • Blocks That Matter + Soundtrack
  • Castles in the Sky + Soundtrack
  • Dynamite Jack
  • Ensnare Soundtrack
  • Ethan: Meteor Hunter
  • Fancy Skulls
  • God of Blades + Soundtrack
  • Goscurry + Soundtrack
  • Mazing
  • McPixel + Soundtrack
  • Paragon
  • POP: Methodology Experiment One + Soundtrack
  • Proteus
  • QbQbQb
  • Quixotica Soundtrack
  • Sepulchre Special Edition with eBook + Soundtrack
  • Shipwreck
  • Sokobond
  • Stacking + Soundtrack
  • Thomas Was Alone + Soundtrack
  • VVVVVV + Soundtrack
  • Waking Mars + Soundtrack
  • Warp Juggler
  • Wizorb + Soundtrack
  • World of Goo + Soundtrack

That’s quite the thing.

We of course release that Boyer is one of many, many thousands of people in similar situations, unlucky enough to have gotten sick before the changes in US law prevented health insurers from being prejudiced against those with pre-existing conditions. However, Boyer is central to the indie gaming world, and that’s why this particular case crosses RPS’s radar. If you know of others who are raising funds for similar situations, please do link them in the comments below.


  1. nebnebben says:

    Got all the main indie titles like World of Goo, Waking Mars, Thomas Was Alone and so forth. Does anyone know whether it’s worth buying the bundles on the ones that are left?

    • skorpeyon says:

      In this particular case I have a vast majority of the good games on that list and I’m still probably (once I get paid and if I have enough left over) going to “buy” the bundle anyways. At this point it’s more of a “give Brandon Boyer $25 and we’ll give you some games that you may or may not already have” in my mind. Unless your comment was intended as sarcasm? Sorry, it’s hard to tell when you’ve got a more personal cancer issue (my mother is a breast cancer survivor).

      • pleaseletmecomment says:

        Hey I don’t mean to be callous but the truth is, many many many people simply will not care about this. Why do people pretend not to understand this? Most people are not in the “give Brandon Boyer $25” mindset like you. They do not know the guy or his work or even truly care whether he lives or dies. I’m sorry to say he’s just not that important to their lives to even spend $25. It’s a pretty normal sentiment to have towards strangers you’ve never met or will meet or who’s work has not affected you at all.

        Never heard of the guy.
        Browsed the list of games.
        Nothing that I want.
        Passed on it.
        Will sleep easily tonight.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          A very special Humble Bundle of Love for Brandon Boyer”

          If your looking for a deal, then look around, why look at this one as a chance to save money?

          However, asking for a personal opinion, results in a personal reply. In this case, the games are quite good (IMO) for the $25 asking price. If you have duplicates then it obviously lessens that deal, to which I’d say is less than $25…

          All in all, if your getting the games, great, if your giving to charity, great. If your looking to see if an individual game in that list is worth $25 alone, well… probably not.

          Plus it’s possibly not the best thing to be asking with a specific “donation” based offer. As suppose to actual crafts/objects/services offered by charities which we generally do ask if they are value for money. The bundle/deal/page/purchase is clearly marked as for the charity donation, and not for the “deal” of the games. :/

    • iainl says:

      It’s worth it for the giving money to Brandon, though if you wanted to JUST do that you could buy the Devolver bundle and play with the sliders, if that’s more enticing to you.

      But I’ve just lost an hour to Sokobond, several of the soundtracks are great, and Castles In The Sky is a sweet, sweet little thing. Plenty more to play with, too.

  2. Vesuvius says:

    John- do you know if it’s actually 30 GAMES?

    I support this cause no matter what, but from the description it looks as though many of those 30 items are soundtracks rather than software.

    • Ace Rimmer says:

      At a glance, it looks like 28 games and 18 soundtracks. Which is admittedly not quite 30 games, but close.

      • Vesuvius says:

        I appreciate your counting skill (and your appreciation of Red Dwarf)… I obviously wrote too soon, just seeing the first few soundtrack entries and firing off a question without checking myself.


    • RobF says:

      Here’s a rough breakdown so far, there’s definitely more games to come as well.

      (disclaimer: I’ve got stuff in the bundle)

      Windows Only

      Actual Sunlight (Win DRM free)
      Auralux (Win DRM free)
      AirMech (unlock key)
      Sepulchre – (Win DRM free)
      Shipwreck – (Win DRM free)

      Multiformat (DRM free)

      Bagfull of Wrong (Win DRM free, one Android game)
      Castles in the Sky + Soundtrack Win/Mac DRM free
      Fancy Skulls – Win/Mac/Linux
      God of Blades + Soundtrack – Win/Mac/Linux/Android
      Goscurry + Soundtrack – Win/Mac/Linux
      Mazing – Win/Mac/Linux
      Paragon – Win/Linux
      POP: Methodology Experiment One + Soundtrack – Win/Mac
      QbQbQb – Win/Mac/Linux
      Sokobond – Win/Mac/Linux
      Warp Juggler – Win/Android

      Steam Keys

      Blocks That Matter + Soundtrack Win/Mac/Linux/Steam
      Dynamite Jack – Win/Mac/Linux/Android/Steam
      Ethan: Meteor Hunter – Win/Steam
      McPixel + Soundtrack – Win/Mac/Linux/Steam
      MouseCraft – Steam
      Proteus – Win/Mac/Linux/Steam
      Stacking + Soundtrack – Win/Mac/Linux/Steam
      Thomas Was Alone + Soundtrack Win/Mac/Linux/Steam
      VVVVVV + Soundtrack – Win/Mac/Linux/Steam
      Waking Mars + Soundtrack – Win/Mac/Linux/Android/Steam
      Wizorb + Soundtrack – Win/Mac/Linux/Steam
      World of Goo + Soundtrack Win/Mac/Linux/Android/Steam


      BitTrip Beat Soundtrack
      BitTrip Fate Soundtrack
      BitTrip Runner Soundtrack

  3. X_kot says:

    Games = good
    Cancer + US healthcare = bad

    Get good, fight bad!

  4. araczynski says:

    and yet, the zealots still fight against obamacare, because they’d rather leave it up to the insurance companies as to who/how/if cancer gets treated… off topic, i know, apologies.

    • Bedeage says:

      While in the UK we get NICE and other NHS strategic boards who decide what illnesses are worth treating and in what manner (and what are not).

      The American system is quite clear on the whole. You will receive all the treatments and medications that the hospital can provide you. In return, you will pay a horrendous bill if you don’t make sure your insurance is good enough before getting all these treatments.

      I prefer the NHS way, because I don’t think it’s worth keeping all people alive at all costs, but there is something to be admired in the Americans’ “health at any cost” approach.

      • Mrice says:

        I dont get what you are saying. You can buy private care in the uk. Quite a few people do. Its not really worth it in my opinion, unless you got megabucks. But if you have something that the NHS cannot or will not treat you can in all cases go and have it privately treated.

        • CookPassBabtridge says:

          Yes and no. I am UK based and have private healthcare via my employer, and you still have to go to an NHS doctor for a referral for most things. I have found that the NHS doctor is no more likely to send you for treatment if you say you pay for it than otherwise (in fact they seem mildly offended if you do)- the only thing that changes is the waiting time, which is shorter on private.

          Its becoming harder to get seen by a decent NHS doc however, and I’ve been misdiagnosed more times than I care to mention. Thankfully for me none of them have been life threatening.

          • Cooper says:

            Of course they are offended.

            They make their decisions on whether you need treatments based upon their abilities as diagnisticians. A large number of decisions inform that diagnostic but NOT whether it is ‘cost effective’. That’s not a GP’s job.

            That gets decided by NICE. Basically if a treatment is available on the NHS then a doctor can refer you to it. If it is not, they cannot.

            If a GP has decided you do not need treatment, your ability to pay for it does not change that decision. To suggest otherwise is grossly offensive.

            The only time whether a patient’s ability to pay for treatment should inform a GP’s decision is if there is a treatment the patient wants & the GP believes may be suitable in the patient’s case, but is currently unavailable on the NHS.

            Your ability to pay only comes up AFTER treatment decision making; it determines who the GP refers you to for treatment, but not whether they refer in the first place.

      • TWChristine says:

        Just a minor nitpick, but it doesn’t matter how good you make sure your insurance is before something happens, when they have people whose sole job is to go over your file to see whether or not there is some way they can get out of it.

      • jrodman says:

        This is not true. Not everyone gets all the treatments, because that would be completely impossible.

        However, if you seem like you are likely to be able to pay or likely to have coverage and you live in a location that’s generally not poor overall, you will probably get access to lots of treatments in a relatively orderly way, even without coverage.. for a while.

    • thecommoncold says:

      You’d be surprised to find that many of these “zealots” see the same problems with healthcare like ever inflating prices and issues with pre-existing conditions, but simply think that the obamacare “cure” is just part of the disease.

      Requiring people to choose between buying privately-sold insurance or paying a tax sucks, especially when you are healthy and young and are comfortable owning up to the risk of being uninsured. This also applies to those hit by the law deeming their so-called “substandard” plans as unlawful – they ought to be able to buy or not buy what they want and live with consequences. It’s shocking to me that liberal types will (correctly, IMO) use that line of reasoning for pot legalization, but not apply the same logic to purchasing insurance. “Yeah, smoke whatever you want, just be responsible, don’t hurt other people, and accept the risks and stuff.” “You’re uninsured? What are you, nuts? That’s so risky it should be illegal!” (When I tell my liberal friends I’m uninsured, they freak!)

      And don’t get me started on the “we need everyone to buy in to make it sustainable” line – if the insurance companies can’t sell an attractive enough risk-management product (which is what insurance is) that they can get the healthy but risk-averse to cover for the higher-risk members, maybe they should instead just sell something people actually want. Guaranteeing a market by bringing in the law to penalize people who don’t buy in is the slimy way to get insurance sustainability, and reeks of cronyism.

      So, as I said, issues both ways. I’d like to believe that problems with pre-existing conditions can solved by other means. Sadly, if one objects to the methods of the current law, the only option given the current congress is simply to oppose it without standing for much of anything, since the Republican establishment is increasingly do-nothing and spineless, and they certainly aren’t putting forth ideas of their own. Hence why young conservatives are breaking from the establishment with increasing frequency… God, we need a viable third party.

      On a more positive note, big kudos to the Humble crew for putting this together for Brandon – warms my heart to see generosity like this. More things like this, please.

      • Rizlar says:

        Universal healthcare is a good idea. Of course noone wants to die or suffer horribly from some illness. Of course people will not buy healthcare when they have little money. Of course people earning a reasonable living can afford a small amount to pay for something as vital as the British National Health Service.

        • Rizlar says:

          Bloody mobile client not letting me edit comments… I’m not familiar enough with obamacare to argue the ins and outs, but I imagine a lot of the problems with the US healthcare system in general, where treatment is almong the least cost effective in the world, is down to letting insurance companies operate the whole thing for profit.

          • Uboa Noticed You says:

            Considering fucking prisons are privatized in this country, I’m not surprised we have such a bad rep for everything being for profit.
            Basically, you are taxed for not having healthcare and you can lose your plan if it falls behind required guidelines. The thing people are freaking out about is that we were promised the ability to keep our old healthcare plans even if they didn’t meet the guidelines, and that it would only apply to new patrons, which turned out to be wrong (or a flat-out lie).
            The intention is to expand coverage to more people and protect consumers from abuses from insurance companies. Down where I live (The Bible Belt), it’s hated with a passion.

          • thecommoncold says:

            Yeah, insurance definitely mucks with prices. It even gets worse when the patient thinks “Gosh, this is basically free because I’m insured!” and visits the doctor far more frequently than is necessary. The doctor then prescribes tests and meds which the patient wouldn’t dare object too because (1) we assume the doctor knows best, (2) we sure don’t know any better and (3) it’s free! I mean, I did it too when I still had insurance.

            The catch is, it’s not free. Insurance pays the cost, and since insurance is for-profit, they raise the premiums when people use more services. So you are paying for those services, it’s just sneakier. Then, somewhere between backroom cabals and the laws of supply and demand (and insured people REALLY demand those services), prices get set, and they usually get set higher and higher.

            The twist of logic that said prices would go down because more people got insured, thus creating even higher demand, was astounding. However, I think history will show this wasn’t ever about cost control despite pretenses and rhetoric to the contrary but about trying to help out those that couldn’t afford insurance. Noble intentions, perhaps, but the thing was basically sold on a series of lies, passed in the most blatantly partisan of fashions (arguably both sides’ fault, but who’s counting anymore?), and followed up by an abysmal implementation (and I’m not just talking about the website). It’s unpopular because we don’t give A’s for effort in policy.

          • jrodman says:

            Universal coverage should create a more efficient system, which can thus provide more care per cost.

            That doesn’t means prices will necessarily go down, on its own. You point out that usage could rise ever higher.

            That is why a single-payer universal coverage board is superior than the patchwork, because it can do things like provide a baseline coverage tax for everyone, but then partial coverage with copays or other partial cost systems to ensure that people have a sense of cost for their actions.

            Yes insurance companies could do this too, but ultimately they don’t have a motivation to reduce costs.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        While I agree with a key point of your post – that Obamacare is a symptom of a broken system, not the cure – I think you’re missing a key point, especially when you compare it to legalising pot. You are not paying attention to one key demographic – you talk of choice and the lack of choice that nationalised healthcare represents, and you point out that people apply the opposite logic to the pot issue, but I can’t help to think that you have forgotten people who have no choice in the old system.

        Now if you make the choice to smoke pot, you have made a lifestyle choice. The ability to get stoned is a luxury, not a necessity. I am aware that for a few thousand people worldwide, pot is a medicine but for everyone else, it is no different to the choice to go abseiling or take paragliding lessons. We can all agree that giving people the informed choice as to their lifestyle is a good thing.

        Healthcare should not be a luxury. Having good health should not be a lifestyle choice – and I am defingin good somewhat loosely here, I am well aware plenty of people eat themselves into an early grave, drink themselves into homelessness and smoke themselves into a psychiatric ward. But for a person pulling their weight, eating a balanced, reasonable diet and taking appropriate exercise, good health should be assured – isn’t this why we band together into a society in the first place, our lives are better when we pull together?

        Previously, there were people who could not afford healthcare. It wasn’t a case of them taking the risk, it was a case of them having to choose between feeding themselves properly or paying for the lowest common denominator insurance, which is pretty worthless anyway. In any society, for a whole variety of reasons, you will have these people, so far, this has been a constant fact of life. It is very popular to bash these people, mainly because they tend to be unable to defend themselves but I work with people in this position every day of my life and while some of them have made poor choices, none of them have ended up where they are for any reason that you and your loved ones are immune too. It’s all to easy to tell a heroine addict that his poor choices in life have led to him dropping from the bottom of society, but many heroine addicts started abusing addictive drugs at 14, 15 years old – too young to consent for sex in most societies.

        So we have people in society who do not have access to healthcare and no society has ever, in the history of the world managed to not have them. The question is, not a question about taking choice from the affluent but giving a basic human necessity, a human right to those who it is currently denied. A society is judged solely on how it treats it’s most vulnerable, and right now, no matter what heights we achieve in science, engineering and the arts, we are still the people who told a man with cancer that although a treatment exists, he can’t have it unless he pays a shit load of money to some of the wealthiest entities the world has ever known. We are a species of criminals and extortionists, selfishly kicking others to the ground to scramble over them in the race to gather together as much of this wierd imaginary concept of currency into our pockets.

        Maybe Obamacare is a symptom of this, but if in 100 years time, your grandchildren are conditioned to understanding that they pay a little of their money to give a basic human right to those less fortunate than themselves, then society will have edged one baby step forward.

        • thecommoncold says:

          Thanks for the well-reasoned reply. I completely agree on the shortcomings of the current system – it, like all human enterprises, is driven by pitiless self-interest and how to get the most for oneself from other people (as you say, a species of criminals and extortionists). Maybe because of this, though, I take a more cynical view also of the reasons why we are societal by nature – you attributed it to a desire to improve lives by pulling together, where I would place it as more “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” quid pro quo – we help ourselves (get paid, if you will) by serving others. However, quid pro quo does still have the same tenet of serving others, and it tends to be intention agnostic. So long as both parties feel they are getting a fair deal, the deal still works and both sides are better off regardless of how much either side is driven by self-interest.

          Having said that, the issues on both sides of the healthcare debate become apparent, and they come down to unwillingness within the transactions. As you rightly point out, many people are unwillingly denied health care because it’s a pay-to-play system, and the problems with such a system are self-evident. On the other side of things, the ACA as designed creates a system of unwilling participants within the insurance system, and this removes incentive for the insurance companies to honestly serve others: quid pro quo has been removed. They’re already getting what they want. Of course, Insurance companies weren’t honestly serving others before, either, as the current article illustrates all too tragically.

          In my view, the solution lies in (1) designing a system that actually makes insurance companies accountable to their customers, while (2) putting in place health services and legal protections for those with low income or pre-existing conditions. The ACA’s heart is in the right place on point #2, though the effectiveness of the implementation is arguable, and it may threaten to jeopardize point #1 due to a captive marketplace. (Incidentally, many states already had pre-existing condition protections even before the ACA, and those ought to be national and enforceable.)

          One final thought to solidify my reputation as a cynical bastard, I’d just like to say that humanity has had its entire existence to learn to be more decent people while edging forward one baby step at a time, and frankly, as a species, we’re still on par with Cain and Abel… I don’t expect the next 100 years to change that. Despite my cynicism, though, thanks for the good read.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Heh! You’re almost certainly right! I’m glad the sleep deprived part of my brain provided you entertainment and doubly glad you took it as intended, reading it back after a sleep, it comes across, well a bit…. preachy!

            One thing I will say is that we band together into such societies most likely because a long time ago people had control over other people with weapons and forced society in its current form on us, whether we wanted it or not! I think we just have to make the best with what we have and it’s all well and good imagining a star trek esk utopia, but as that’s not going to happen in our generation, I’m very glad we have enough people in this world willing to put together and buy this bundle and it’s great that everyone can get a little something out of it, this seems to showcase our society working as intended, at it’s best!

      • Geebs says:

        I don’t know whether you have thought this through enough to realise it, but your argument is disingenuous and selfish. The whole point of young people contributing to healthcare through tax despite not needing it right now is to pay for the service that disadvantaged people do need. Then, when you get old and infirm and can’t afford to pay for stuff, the next generation is paying for your healthcare because they’re economically active and contributing taxes.

        I hope you’re just being naive, but expecting to take from any group enterprise when you need it, without putting in when you can, is pretty awful. Ironically that’s pretty much what Brandon here did; he didn’t save up any capital and ended up relying on the generosity of strangers. That’s not a sustainable way to run a healthcare system.

        • thecommoncold says:

          If getting without giving were my goal, then yes, that is selfish. But I’m not expecting to take from a group enterprise without putting in, only asking that I be left out of it (both the give and take) if I so desire. I think that’s different, since on its own it doesn’t necessarily show a lack of generosity, since nothing is stopping me from personally donating to those in need, but simply my distaste for the “coercive generosity” of tax-and-subsidize methods.

          Besides that, certain people stand to benefit more from the ACA than what they contribute. Are then these people selfish for supporting it? I’m not sure this is an argument that can be put to who is being selfish and who is not since that will proceed cyclically ad infinitum. Rather (as I mentioned in my other post), I feel we need a system that is intention-agnostic which more or less works regardless of how big of wankers everyone is being to each other. We certainly weren’t there before the ACA, and I have strong doubts that the ACA takes it in the correct direction.

          • Geebs says:

            Like I said, unfortunately the nature of illness is that the people who suffer are the most economically disadvantaged. That goes both for the risk of illness and the consequences. Call me cynical, but I’m afraid your rhetoric about staying outside the system won’t survive actual adversity.

          • thecommoncold says:

            I can see persuasion isn’t going to happen either way here, so let’s just leave this one at both of us remaining cynical bastards, I for my doubts concerning the virtuousness of the system, and you for your doubts as to whether we can live without it. Such is the broken world we live in, that both are probably true in the long run…

  5. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    Here’s a question, and I apologize if it was addressed in the last post somewhere:

    Has this guy switched over to a new insurance plan? I understand that a substantial number of bills remain from prior to the passing of the ACA, but currently he should be able to get a new plan with a maximum deductible without being turned down. His condition probably means he won’t be able to get an amazing plan, or his current state of residence might be one of the ones whose stubborn, borderline treasonous refusal to cooperate with federal law has inflated the price and ease of access to insurance, but he should still be able to get some level of care going forward.

    • therighttoarmbears says:

      This is a good question that I don’t know the answer to. Also, a corollary question that has occurred to me is: has this unfortunate soul lawyered up yet? I know very little about the legal or economic truths about this, and honestly don’t know many details of his situation other than what was mentioned in Mr Walker’s prior post about this, but from a medical standpoint the idea that “stomach pains” is indicative of an undiagnosed gastric or liver cancer in a man in his thirties, and that this constitutes a preexisting condition is skating on awfully thin ice. Surely that wouldn’t hold up in court? “Stomach aches” is an incredibly common SYMPTOM, is highly non-specific, and hardly a diagnosis, much less a “condition”. And presentation in a young man would hardly be anywhere near the top of anyone’s differential for it, unless they were presenting with an acute bowel obstruction (as it sounds that he did). Any body with legal experience or expertise in this arena know anything about this? And yes, I do realize that suing your insurance company requires boatloads of money, but perhaps less than his medical bills, and just hearing this story makes me really want to stick it to the (frustrating, stupid, greedy) man. Best of luck to this gentleman, and to all others fighting a similar fight here and elsewhere.

      • UppityTeapot says:

        I believe his blog post on the matter said he had checked with Knowledgable People and was told that there wasn’t a great amount he could do.

        Lovely, huh?

    • ender1200 says:

      He adresses it in his charity page on found me. you can find a link in the article. If i got it right his debt is comming from the fact that he was hopitalised before the new plan started.

  6. Big Murray says:

    The first game in the bundle is Actual Sunlight. Which is probably the only game in existence which could go in the bundle which is even more depressing than Brandon Boyer suffering from cancer.

  7. Juan Carlo says:

    This is great, but I feel like the humble bundle money would be best spent buying a TV advertisement that tell’s this guy’s story and names the insurance company by name in 30 seconds. I guarantee you that if someone did that the insurance company would agree to pay his bills for life just to avoid the embarrassment.

    It might even shame them into helping some other people in the same situation.

  8. SuddenSight says:

    My life has come full circle.

    Waaaaaay back in 2010, VVVVVV was the first game I ever bought as a digital only download. Since then I managed to lose the download code, which is sad because VVVVVV is one of my favorite games ever.

    Now I have it again, plus more games and fighting cancer! Huzzah!

  9. stahlwerk says:

    wait… 131,059 bundles sold… 25$ a piece.


    sometimes, people rock.

    Whoops, that’s the mobile bundle counter. Well there’s our target! Gonna get this one for the Stacking soundtrack.