A lot has happened since my last post: I’ve been busy organising game jams and making games. I suppose it’s better to make games than talk about them, but it does seem like a shame not to have some kind of record. Last weekend we organised a second edition of our association’s game jam “Funky Future”.
Funky Future is a multi-player oriented game jam, the idea being to make playing the game, especially with the other participants, and important part of the experience. I made a strategy game because I like strategy games, and also because it’s the “7 day RTS” over on planet Ludum Dare. Here’s my traditional video montage and post-mortem:
I find that there’s too much positive feedback in RTS games, and so player who aren’t quick so good are quickly rooted out and eliminated from free-for-all matches. I wanted the little guys to still be able to participate, picking away at the big guys.
You can download the game for Windows or Mac and Linux from indiedb and the source code (licenced under LGPL) from github. Make sure you vote for me on the Ludum Dare site too
I’ll try to bring everyone up to speed on what’s been going on in September, when things calm down a little. Till then feedback and suggestions are most welcome]]>
“Yo dawg, herd you liked game jams, so we put your jam in a jam so you can jam while you jam!”
In the last month I’ve attended 3 game jams:
As you can see, two were at the same time!
First off I promised a debriefing of the Lyon Game Dev Party. We had a team of 8, which was very exciting for me – I’ve never done a jam in such a big team! All told it went extremely well:
You can pick up the 48-hour build of the game from indiedb or grab the newest rolling release from github, though you’ll have to wait a bit for a nicely-packaged version of the latter. Code is under LGPL so free to use even for commercial products provided you give credit
Most of the changes involve making the game more “legible”, with a lot more feedback and a clearer interface.
So the jam in Lyon went well and the one before it in Lille was an epic failure. Despite having been to so many jams I’m losing count (it must be about 10 now I think), I still haven’t found the magical formula that makes a jam go well, and the CHI 2013 “Games [4 Design]” game jam was… well if not a failure it was a bit of stagnation as far as my personal progression is concerned:
I suppose I can hardly expect each new jam to feel like a leap forward when I’ve done so many. Still, I feel somewhat unsatisfied with my contribution. Our team made the heart-beat game: a sort of Pong style game where you control the height of your paddle with your heart-rate. We went through a large number of rapid iterations and generally did all the right things, but in retrospect I’d saying trying to use a heart-rate monitor as the control interface for an arcade game was just the wrong path to choose from the very beginning.
It was a fun gimmick, but ultimately wasn’t very playable: the sensors never worked very well and stopped working altogether just before the presentation, which made things a little complicated This is why I don’t work with hardware! Also worth noting that we only had Saturday and Sunday until around 4pm, that we never had a decent internet connection and that most of Sunday we didn’t have any electricity. All things considered we did a decent job.
That said while the other teams thought outside the box (Joust clones or not) we stayed tied to the screen, and people have a lot more fun interacting with each-other than with a computer terminal. The most enjoyable games were those where technology made at best a cameo appearance. There’s a lesson to be learned from this I’m sure…
Back in my home-town I’d helped organise a second Ludum Dare real-world gathering through our association “Baptême du jeu” which now has a blog and a logo. I was off in Paris during the event, but apparently things went really well, so I suppose it’s not all bad I’ll try to mention some of the better projects that came out of the jam, if not here then on the French tumblr blog.
For my part I entered the Processing prototype I wrote for the Paris jam, minus all the Arduino code for the pulse sensor which was either found online or written by the others (or a bit of both). The source-code is available on github – my first ever time using Processing as it happens
That’s all for now – I may write up some thoughts on CHI 2013 when I have some time. For now though I’ll simple say that researchers, especially in Human-Computer Interactions, are rather odd people]]>
This last week, or the week before depending on when you started, was the “7 Day Roguelike” (#7DRL) competition. I was one of those who started right at the beginning, teaming up with Kevin aka ‘Gaeel’ and Hannes Delbeke, an intern artist at The Game Bakers.
We didn’t finish on time for 7DRL, but I’m hoping we’ll finish in time for April “One Game A Month” (#1GAM) deadline (the 4th at midnight GMT-8)…
Before I get into a flame-war about what “Roguelike” games are and aren’t, a quick news bulletin:
Last week I started work as a R&D intern at NaturalPad, a little start-up that makes games for rehabilitation. I’m working with C# / Unity3D on their “Hammer and Planks” pirate shoot’em’up as well as toying around with the Microsoft Kinect (again).
Our “Baptême du Jeu” association has a Tumblr blog now, for those of you who don’t have Facebook. We’ve managed to get hold of a nice big place to hold another real-world gathering for the next Ludum Dare (26-29 of April). We should be able to host about 50 jammers: I’ll point you to the sign-up page when we’re ready (probably next week).
Despite organising the Ludum Dare in Montpellier at the same time, I will actually be in Paris at the “Computer Human Interaction (CHI) 2013” conference at the end of April, doing yet another game jam! No rest for the wicked…
Phew! Now that we’ve got all the out of the way, on with the show…
Yes indeed, this month the 1GAM theme is “Rogue”, in part because of 7DRL but also because well, why not?
You’re probably wondering what a “Roguelike” is. Rogue was the seminal ASCII-art dungeon-crawler, featuring random dungeon generation and permanent death.
“Cardinal Quest”, “Dungeons of Dredmor” and many others abandon the ASCII art-style entirely while maintaining the Roguelike genre’s core mechanics, “Red Rogue” opts for a side view and, although the latter titles in the series have incrementally done away with the overbearing tension and punishing difficulty that are its hallmarks, the original “Diablo” was a fine example of a real-time isometric Roguelike game in my opinion. This is a bit of a controversial claim of course, so feel free to flame me.
Not all Roguelike games are dungeon-crawlers: the same random generation, permadeath and insistence that “losing is fun” can also be found in “Dwarf Fortress”, which is essentially a very punishing city-building game. “FTL: Faster Than Light”, a little game I’ve fallen in love with recently, likewise changes the gameplay and even the settings, from dungeons to outer-space, yet keeps intact the Roguelike “feel”.
Not all dungeon-crawlers are Roguelikes either: it’s controversial to claim that “Diablo” is a Roguelike, so I think we can all agree that “Diablo 3” isn’t.
Interestingly, “Diablo” and “Diablo 3” will, most often, be lumped together under “Action RPG”, despite the absence of any real role-playing in either game. “Extra Credits” said it best, we tend to classify games based on very superficial criteria such as the setting, mechanics and art-style, when we should be classifying them by “feel” or, as they put it, “aesthetics”:
So what are the aesthetics of the “Roguelike” genre? Exploration, first and foremost, and challenge most certainly. There’s also some degree of fantasy and a great deal of self-expression too. The game’s rewards are largely intrinsic (rather than extrinsic) so the fun comes from the moment-to-moment gameplay more than working towards something, otherwise permadeath would be frustrating as hell. All together it’s enjoyable to challenge yourself or each-other to get as far as you can, it’s also fun talk about what you did in these games and what emergent events occurred.
We talked for a long time about doing a multiplayer turn-based squad-based tactical game set in a Cyberpunk world, so basically “Frozen Synapse” only grid-based and with few extra widgets like hacking and cyborg augmentations (see “Blade Runner” and “Ghost in the Shell”). We eventually decided to put the idea aside, not because it wasn’t “Roguelike” enough for 7DRL but rather because our artist, Hannes, didn’t want to draw things from a top-down or isometric perspective.
The new idea was one Kevin had had one the back-burner for some time, inspired by some fascinating parasitic brain-fungi he’d found out about in a documentary:
So basically you’re sent down onto the rogue planet to find out if it will support life, only to discover that it supports it just a little bit too much: all life has been assimilated by a strange alien fungus and turned into mindless pawns. To survive you’ll need to penetrate into the planet’s core to locate a cure before the contaminant gets the better of you. Yay! So basically “Waking Mars” only with more depression. Here’s a screenshot:
Despite being a platform-shooter from a mechanics point-of-view, we want the game to feel like Rogue. It is to be a survival game rather than an action game, and hopefully we’ll have time to add some items and upgrades (though probably not before the beginning of April).
Okay, that’s all for now, time to jam it up in Lyon I’ll see you all on the other side for a debriefing…]]>
Notice I said “finish a game”, not “make a game”. Starting is, after all, a lot more easy than finishing. Hopefully this challenge will serve as impetus for me to finish some of the numerous half-finished projects I’ve got lying around. Here is my #1GAM profile.
So far I’ve managed to January and February… well, the February game still has a few bugs and needs a little polish – shh, don’t tell Christer Kaitila! It’s March now, so a third game is already in the works: a Roguelike
My university years are drawing to a close, but one last mini-project had be messing around with interactive sound and music using FMOD. I came up with a little demo horror game called “Disquiet”: your character needs to escape from an invisible monster whose presence can only be detected through sound.
The game also features my first ever music track, which I’m actually rather proud of
Pace Breaker is an extension of our GGJ game XX13 – a game very similar to Spy Party and Hidden in Plain Sight, especially the latter. Although we managed to build a working real-time server and client architecture using technology we weren’t very familiar with, the gameplay didn’t get a lot of attention. We didn’t really have time!
The idea of the game is for a bunch of hidden hackers to take down as many AI civilians as possible before they are discovered. They do this by interacting with the civilians (hacking them), something civilians also do periodically with each-other. As a result the only way the opposing team can identify the hackers is thanks to their human heart-beat.
This month I changed a number of things to improve on the original, 48-hour, build:
The graphics as a whole were given a considerable overhaul. Here’s the 48-hour version:
And here’s the improved version:
Trying to build on rushed network code is not a pleasant experience, and I’m still struggling to get the game to reset nicely without manually rebooting the server and reconnecting.
That said I think it’s useful to finish what you’ve started, if only because you learn different lessons at the beginning and the end of a project: if you never finish anything you’re missing out on a lot of lessons you might potentially have learnt, even if you’re stopping because “I’ve learnt so much, next time will be better…”
This month I’ll be working on an unconventional Roguelike game with a very talented artist called Hannes and Kevin who I worked with for XX13. I think it’ll be a lot of fun
Anyway, while back a friend offered me a job. I’d be in Paris, surrounded by a thriving game-development community, and involved in setting up student associations, organising events, making connections… this sounded like a pretty swell deal to me. It would have meant sacrificing my half-finished MSc. though and well, it’s one of those sunk cost fallacy type things…
The idea stuck with me anyway, and Epona Schweer’s “Want to be Surrounded By a Thriving Local Games Industry? Grow Yours” made me realise that I needn’t go to Paris or do that particular job to be involved in setting up student associations, organising events and making connections.
With this in mind, I created the “Baptême du jeu“ association! That’s “Baptism of game” by the way: in French “game” rhymes with “fire“, so it sounds a lot cooler.
The first jam we organised with the association was a real-world gathering for the 25th Ludum Dare competition. We’d done one for the Ludum Dare 24 (more information here) as well, but there were only 3 of us that time.
It’s hard to give an exact number of participants we had this time around as some left early or came late and others didn’t hand anything in, but there were about 14 there full-time. We did it at the Informatics department of my university, which is simply called “Montpellier 2″. The head of the department was really cool about it, allowing us to broadcast our live-stream over the university’s web-TV, and even subsidising our food!
I had projects to hand in just after the event, which I’d hoped to have finished well before it started. Unfortunately the organisation took up all my free time: we needed to know who was coming before having access to the room, and we couldn’t really send out invitations until we knew whether we’d have the place or not. We also needed to hire a night-watchman to make sure nobody spontaneously combusted, and couldn’t officially let people sleep on the premises because of insurance issues.
Basically it all made me realise that setting these things up isn’t as straightforward as one might think. In the end I didn’t have time to finish my projects before the jam, so I ended up doing my them over the weekend rather than participating in the competition
Here’s the time-lapse from this first event:
Watching other people make games while I worked was somewhat frustrating, so after my exams we organised a second, private, event at a friend’s house. This time there were 6 of us: we’d have liked to host more but we didn’t have room.
The event was rather informal, but we decided that multiplayer games would be the order of the day. I gave node.js and websocket a spin and made a basic multiplayer strategy game called “Hubris“. Node is fantastic in my opinion, and absurdly easy to use, though forcing the player to install it in order to run the server rather defeats the whole purpose of using HTML 5 in the first place…
Here’s the time-lapse for the 36-hour period:
Last but not least, we helped set up a Global Game Jam gathering in Montpellier, along with Kawenga and some students from the University Montpellier 3 (Arts, as opposed to Science). The latter had done most of the negotiations before we arrived, though we did sort out the sign-up procedure and final list of participants, plus broadcasting the right information to the right people at the right time.
Our game, “XX13“, is rather similar to “Spy Party” in that one team is indistinguishable from a bunch of AI civilians, and thus must be hunted down thanks to their tell-tale heartbeat. In other words it’s Blade Runner… only backwards. Again, this was a multiplayer game, using node.js and, this time, socket.io rather than websocket (well, technically socket.io is just a level of abstract above websocket).
Here’s the time-lapse:
I should mention that we’re not the only ones trying to energise the Montpellier game-development community. The Swing Swing Submarine guys have set up the “Montpellier Unity Users Group” or “MUUG”, which has sort of unofficially become a hub for the more professional side of game development culture in Montpellier, Unity or no.
Things seem to be kicking off – exciting times lie ahead no doubt Till next time folks!]]>
“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover through the detours of art those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.”
Well I have something of a fetish for little men running around on-screen Here’s what I’ve been up to this last few months…
Warcraft blew me away when I first played it – perhaps that’s why.
One of my university projects had me making a serious game about immune cells so I naturally decided to make a grid-based RTS game called “Phage“:
To do so I launched a new project called “Ambition“, another game engine written in Java and implemented by LWJGL or AWT, depending on whether the target system has a graphics card. A third Android implementation is in the works, so within any luck it will soon be… not quite as good as libgdx
This engine code is shared with a second project: a multi-agent simulation called “Teutoburg“:
Last but not least work on the 3D version of my SDL/C++/OpenGL game engine “Arrogance” has continue. This third little demo, “Brainbot“, borrows A* from the first and the unit formations from the second, though obviously both had to be rewritten for C++:
I’ve also helped organise 2 game jams and have participated in a third, but all this will have to wait till next time…]]>
The main reason for not posting much of late is the recent server trouble we’ve been having here (as you may have noticed). Hopefully this will be resolved soon: I’ve got a lot to talk about!
Advertising is the pollution of the mind, and don’t think it doesn’t work!
How do I justify robbing sites of their rightful income? Short answer, I don’t. Long answer, really all I’m doing is filtering out advertising using a computer program rather than filtering it out using my brain. My brain is best kept for other things.
Besides, all these advertisers seem to want to sell me are dating-website subscriptions, web-games and camping gear. Clearly data-mining has a long way to go before we’re offering people the sort of products they’re even remotely likely to pay for…
When sessions expire or tabs are closed by accident (back in the day when there was no “text has been entered” warning) Lazarus is there to bring back your forms from the dead.
For instance, my server is playing up at the moment and crashed when I tried to save this post. Thanks to Lazurus I got it back instantly.
This kind of utility needs no justification: it’s just plain brilliant
Given the choice between a secure connection and an insecure one, I’d take the secure connection any time. If the site doesn’t support encrypted communications… well, that’s too but, but nothing is lost. Sometimes this needs to be turned off though, to connect to public wireless networks for instance. Otherwise it doesn’t bother anyone and makes your communications that little bit safer
This is a very recent addition to my list of obligatory plugins: it basically serves to block adsense and google analytics, plus various other trackers, which is a pain in the asp for anyone trying to figure out how many people visit their site… like me.
That said, I believe that it is our right as internet trolls to go where we please without tabs being kept on us. Tabs will still be kept one way or another (there is nothing private or anonymous about the internet, not really), but a tool that makes it that much harder for companies to spy on you is no bad thing.
Ironically this will contribute to making the ads you see correspond even less to your tastes, but then you block ads so that’s no problem
Those who want a good scare and a good reason to use DNT+ can also check out Collusion
I speak English, French and Italian, but I wouldn’t pretend to have perfect spelling in any of these languages. Thank goodness for spell-checkers: without them I could never hope to appear even remotely clever online
I make a point of removing US-english too: while the spell used in Northern America makes better phonetic sense, it belies a great deal of historical and etymological richness that underlies the illogical British way of spelling words. You’re demolishing our cultural heritage in the hopes of being more efficient, just like China
My apologies to China: you are a great and noble country. When you’ve finished taking of the world I hope you’ll forgive me my occasional good-natured harmless insult]]>
In brief, it was a failure as epic as our success at the previous edition. You’d think I’d know better after all the jams I’ve entered. I should… in theory. Then again as our favourite Mythbuster would say, failure is important
This is not a full post-mortem – I’ve done such post in the past, but here I’ll try to limit myself to an enumeration of what went wrong without going into detail about what the project was exactly. If you’re interested in (re)reading my previous post-mortems in the mean-time, here they are in chronological order:
Note that this is all take-it-or-leave-it advice for game-jams only: for longer projects I’d be inclined to advise the exact opposite in many cases!
By this I mean don’t use it directly: libraries that mask OpenGL calls, such as SFML or Slick2D are fine. I started out using LWJGL though, which meant that all the draw calls were written directly using OpenGL 1.1 (back when glBegin/glEnd were still the first order of business).
Because OpenGL is a global-scope state-machine it can be hard to debug when it goes wrong, because it’s not always immediately apparent where the problem is coming from. More importantly, don’t mix your OpenGL code with somebody else’s! SlickUtils implements text-rendering, but forgets to unbind texture it used. Since all OpenGL calls change the state of the same global object this caused bugs to appear in my own code, seemingly out of nowhere!
I was going to say “48 hours isn’t long enough a kludges to come back to haunt you, so code filthy” but, as my friend Gaeel pointed out, I’ve said this before many times yet persist in coding in an anal-retentive fashion.
That I’m an academic is serious a problem. I’ve been taught to use modularity, encapsulation, genericity, const-correctness other buzz-words, to specify positions and sizes as fractions of the world/window size and to avoid “dangerous” things like global variables and goto statements. Self-taught programmers might write code that makes my eyes bleed, but if it works as well as mine and takes a third of the time then maybe they’re onto something.
In future jams I’ll avoid the private and const keywords altogether I think, and use hordes of global variables rather than worrying about proper scoping. That way I might actually get something done.
This is the kind of advice that makes you want to slap the person who says it, but then doesn’t make it bad advice. Looking up read-eyed from my computer after hours of coding I noticed that one of the other group’s artists’ were playing Farmville. When I looked up again hours later they were still playing Farmville. I told myself that this team must have given up. They won.
Why? They’d taken an interesting idea and gone to the essence of it, while I’d spent 48 hours going around in circles. I say congratulations.
What this jam has in common with the equally disastrous Montpellier in Game 2012 was that I used my own engine (in the former case “Arrogance” in this case “Ambition”). If you do this you may be tempted to add things to it rather than working on a specific solution to a specific problem, and to keep your code clean for posterity…
My engine didn’t have support for drawing textures or playing sounds. These things should have been easy to add… in theory. I already had an OpenGL texture-loader written for another project, so all I needed to do was to copy-paste the code… in theory.
I hadn’t counted on how Slick’s code would interfere with mine. In practice I spent most of the jam debugging engine code, which takes many times longer than gameplay code and isn’t much fun. When all’s said and done I didn’t have fun at this jam at all, and it was nobody’s fault but my own.
At the GGJ 2012 I’d overheard Oliver LeJade (@LeJade) suggested that one group start again with Game Maker when they got stuck. Luckily I thought of this while pulling my hair out at 2am: probably the only thing I did right at this jam was to cut our loses and start again with a different technology (AWT rather than LWJGL).
I hate to say this, but had we used Unity I could have discussed problems with the other developers instead of ending with only bugs for company. I was very lonely, where at the previous AGW I’d had Marc (@corpsmoderne), André and Kevin (@oneliferemains) to bitch about Android to!
Because we programmers are a rare breed at certain kinds of jam (for this reason), and because designers, musicians and artists tend to be united in their lack of mathematical rigour (read: lack of anal-retentiveness), we really need to stick together!
The first thing we should have done was to set up the JRE on all the team’s machines so they could test the game, or even Netbeans so they could make tweaks. Playing the game tends to help one see the bigger picture, when otherwise you might be blinkered by specific art or sound or programming concerns. It also would this have allowed us to avoid a few platform-specific bugs (the game didn’t run on Windows two days after the jam).
Last but not least, it would have helped the designers do their job: game-design without a modifiable prototype (digital or no) in front of you is like painting blind-folded or singing blind-drunk. It’s can fun and fulfilling at the time, and it feels like you’re accomplishing something brilliant, but the result is often not something you’re very proud of.
By this I mean don’t blindly do as you’re told. I don’t mean that you should do the designers’ job for them, but giving them your feedback on their ideas will very likely help them to do it themselves. Think of it as your duty as part of the team: if you plan to wash your hands of the result, you might as well not come. After all, nobody’s paying you.
More than this though, I think the whole idea of seperating people into castes is wrong. We’re all “game-developers” here, and while I may be better at programming than art I can draw, animate, do basic 3D modeling and rigging; I’ve tampered with foley, I’m learning make basic electronic music with Samplitude and Ableton Live and I spend most of my time thinking about or reading up on game design.
There should be an design “department” in a 5-man team any more than there should be a software or art department: everyone should have their fingers in every pie. This is important because…
If you’re too focused on your specific programming problems you may not to realise that there were problems with the art-direction, not to mention the overall design! The same goes for art (from experience) or sound (I’m guessing) problems: it doesn’t pay to keep your head in the sand!
We had a mixture of cartoon and sombre artwork, and were either making a tamagotchi, an interactive desktop or an interactive painting, depending on who you asked. This brings us to…
As a whole, we just didn’t talk enough: each of us had our own idea of what the game was/should be, and we never sat down to sort out what it was that we were making. The result was utterly schizophrenic.
It’s not because you’ve been to a lot of game jams that you can’t make stupid mistakes: look at me I try to be humble, but it’s not very humble to think that you’ve succeeded in being humble. I suppose the only way to be truly humble must be to believe that you’re incapable of humility. That said, if I were to tell you that I am incapable humility, that wouldn’t be very humble of me either…
While I hate to paraphrase The Philosopher’s Stone of all things, it’s easier to stand up to enemies than friends: nobody likes to be the bad guy, but I’m starting to think that trying your hardest to poke holes in every idea (yours and the rest of the team’s) is the best way to ensure that the only ideas that survive are water-tight. The rest of the team will thank you later (or not) provided you’re constructive.
Not so short in the end – oops! The blog will likely continue to be a little quiet, but you can follow the twitter and github feeds on the right-hand side of the page to see what I’m up to]]>
To put this aforementioned $50 million into perspective: the runner-up, film, raised $8 million less during the same period.
While kickstarter’s current quasi-monopoly can’t be a good thing, open-source thrives in this kind of commission-based economy. There is, after all, no excuse to hang onto your source if the project has already been paid for!
One of the first kickstarter games I encountered (but which I now can’t find anywhere) promised to be open-source if funded. Why not? The community pays as one and the community receives as one! If you know the name by the way please let me know: it was a sort of RPG platformer.
There’s a darker side to kickstarter though, and that is stretch-goals: amounts of funding beyond the initial goal corresponding to added features. Take Project Eternity for example. They are asking the Windows community for $1,100,000 to support this platform. How much will the Linux version cost? Let’s check the stretch-goals:
2.2 million, a new Region, a new Faction and another new Companion! And, dare we say it… ? LINUX!
Great news, everyone! For the Tarball Knights of Gzippia out there, we’ll be adding Linux support!
That’s exactly twice as much, being as it is right at the end of the stretch-goals: Linux-support is pretty much the last thing developers have on their mind. So we, the minority, must shell out excessive amounts more money if we want to see the game on our platform!
Maybe that’s the price you pay for being the minority, but it does seem terribly unfair considering that porting a game to Linux, provided you’ve built a decent Hardware Abstract Layer from the beginning (ie. don’t use Win32!), shouldn’t take someone like Ryan C. Gordon more than a month or so, including testing. Ryan may be the boss, but he doesn’t charge that much I’m sure.
On that note I’d like to put a shout out to Planetary Annihilation, who offered to support Linux as soon as it was request, without demanding any more money! You guys are awesome
There’s a new Humble Bundle out this week which you should buy, even if you just put all the money into the EFF (don’t put all your money into the EFF, but do put some of it). There are 6 games truly awesome games, including:
One can’t deny that Humble is a friend of Linux. Thanks to them we have scores of high-quality independent games on our beloved platform. And yet… the “total payments by platform” graphic has always troubled me.
At the time of writing the average Linux user is paying almost twice what Windows-users are paying:
Average Windows: $5.19
Average Mac: $6.92
Average Linux: $9.76
Why? Because we know that our collective contribution will be displayed for all to see, and we know that we are the minority. We know that developers will be looking at Humble’s data to decide whether it’s worth their while to build a Linux version of their game.
We pay twice as much as Windows users not for the bundle itself, but for the future of Linux gaming. That Humble should force us to do so through a competitive, gamified interface… that seems to me to be just a little bit unethical
Just a bit of a tangent here: I should mentioned that I have nothing against the Humble guys. Quite the opposite in fact! Humble broke off from the indie company Wolfire games after the success of the first Humble Indie Bundle. You could say I “grew up” on the Wolfire forums (well, technically I grew up on wc3campaigns but never mind), and this blog has its origins in a series of guest-posts I wrote in 2010 for John, the bearded voice of Humble’s promotions:
In actual fact this blog is very much inspired by their open-development practices. All told I’m a big fan of David, Jeff, Aubrey, Anton, Philip and John. I did end up becoming the voice of dissent on those forums though, so as to compensate for the (in my view) harmful over-abundance of “yes men”. In a way in criticising Wolfire and Humble I’m compensating for how much I like them
I’m sure I’ve boasted about this before, but you can actually see a caricature I drew of John around the 3-minute mark of this video of their Fantastic Fest presentation – William’s one moment of fame]]>