OS Neutral Is Digital Homicide a physical representation of Indie Privilege?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Michael Goff, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

    Jul 5, 2012
    Alright, hear me out on this one.

    Digital Homicide makes bad games. That isn't anything new or exciting, a lot of companies make games that run bad and aren't exciting. They've made five games in a year and half, and threw them onto Steam through green light. None of that is particularly bad, aside from the fact that Steam Green Light isn't something that has any real quality control.

    The problem is the attitude.

    There seems to be this notion, from certain Indies and not all, that seem to believe they're above reproach. Their games are supposedly above reproach on the simple basis that they don't have millions of dollars. Any issue with bugs, or with asset flipping, or anything else is supposed to just be thrown to the wind because they don't have the same funds as EA or Activision or Square Enix.

    And that ignores good games that do come from Indies with low resources.

    What do you guys think? Is this a problem cropping up amongst Indies or is this man just acting entitled on his own?

    For those of you who want to look at some of his works, they're all on Steam (to my knowledge). Look up Medieval Mercs, or Slaughtering Grounds, or Six Nights at Susies, or the other two if you'd like to look at them. Heck, with the refunds you can even get your money back if you don't like them. That's not the topic, though.
  2. Pakaku macrumors 68020


    Aug 29, 2009
    If they're not willing to support their own product, they don't deserve my money.
  3. tomvos macrumors 6502


    Jul 7, 2005
    In the Nexus.
    I don't think that this is a problem cropping up among Indies. From time to time you meet people who don't know about "CITOKATE - Criticism is the Only Known Antidote to Error." They wear a teflon coating against criticism. Only very few of them are right to ignore criticism.
    It's nothing specific to Indies. You meet these people in every aspect of live.
  4. Washac macrumors 68020


    Jul 2, 2006
    Sorry but money grabbing steam is as much to blame here because it is wiling to sell the rubbish to the public for a fast buck or three in the first place.
  5. garnerx macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2012
    On a similar note, I bought an indie game called Kentucky Route Zero. It was an episodic point-and-click adventure in five parts, with the last one scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2013. Sounded interesting, so I gave it a go.

    Two years later they're still only on episode 3, which I think came out last year. The 'episodes delivered through 2013' schedule has long since been deleted from the Steam store page, and now there's no roadmap whatsoever. Steam refuses to issue refunds.

    The forum pages, though, are filled with apologists issuing excuses on behalf of the (silent) developers.
    - This is how long it takes to make art, you can't hurry them.
    - Having an indeterminate delay between episodes is fantastic because it means I can replay them all every year.
    - There are only two guys making this, they're doing an amazing job.
    - Anyone who complains is an anti-artist scumbag who doesn't deserve to have genius games like this.

    It even received a 'game of the year 2013' award from one of the larger PC game sites, which was mentioned prominently on the Steam store page. By that point there were two of five episodes released - a total of about 90 minutes gameplay - which makes the award particularly inexplicable.

    Anyway, re the original post, if EA or anybody else did something like this they'd be slaughtered. The sites that rated Kentucky Route Zero so highly would be publishing stories gloating over the inevitable class action suit. If anybody went on a forum to offer excuses such as those listed above, they'd be ridiculed and called an 'EA shill'.

    Interestingly, Square Enix is launching Hitman based on the same publishing model - pay up front in December, with the remaining episodes launched through 2016. I haven't seen many people talking about what a great idea this is, and you can bet that if they don't deliver by the scheduled date then they're going to get sued.

    In summary, indie developers frequently do get a free pass.
  6. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    I'm an indie developer, was doing it before Steam took on indie games and the mobile app stores.
    It's not always that simple. In 2008-9 I made two small games, sold them on my own site. Years later I tidied them up for a bundle where they'd be sold as "exclusives", a one-time chance to grab them. The bundle operator screwed us over and I took them to Steam. They just about covered development cost, and a few years later people are still asking for content updates despite the game not making any money.
    That's all there is to it really. If you can't afford to support a game then you don't support it.

    On the other side one of my other games was a surprise hit for me and I spent 18 months adding new content to it.

    (to the topic at hand though I've never heard of this developer or this story)
  7. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Maybe because people recognise the difference between large company and a small company. I don't go to a small gig in a pub and expect a Beyonce concert.

    Episodic games are awful and always have been. I suspect they'll grow in popularity as a way to get around the Steam refund policy. But all I can suggest is don't buy them until the episodes are complete. You don't need to buy them early, a future purchase will likely have bug fixes and be discounted anyways.
  8. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Digital Homicide are nothing but a really rubbish (team of?) developers. They won't be getting any of my support until they actually learn to make a decent game that isn't just flipped assets for the Unity Engine.

    If I wrote a book that was made out of clips of other books and it had a plot that didn't make sense to boot, it'd flop and I'd be ridiculed. And rightly so. DH need to actually take the time to make something original and decent rather than opting for the amateurish easy road every time.

    Meanwhile, many other indie developers actually take time in developing their games and put in an extraordinary amount of effort in it. And thus, their games shine and people are actually happy to buy them.
  9. garnerx macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2012
    I like the gig analogy. In the Kentucky Route Zero case it would be as though the pub charged you 60% of the price of the Beyonce concert, and then after two songs they turned up the lights and the bouncers started hustling you towards the exit.

    If somebody sells you something on the promise of it being delivered within a certain timescale, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect them to fulfill their part of the bargain. If nobody bought the episodes up front then presumably they wouldn't have been able to continue with development at all.

    The things that annoy me are the game of the year awards and the fans who seem to be doing a PR job for the developers. When Godus went tits up, the same site that lavished praise on Kentucky Route Zero published an insane ranting interview with Peter Molyneux that began something like 'Do you accept that you're a pathological liar?' I guess Molyneux doesn't count as an indie, or he's used up all his indie goodwill.
  10. Pakaku macrumors 68020


    Aug 29, 2009
    There are points when games are just not worth supporting anymore. But if the dev actively shows that they care about supporting their game while they can currently afford to, that gets good marks from me.

    Apparently the dev in question here is not good at caring about their games.
  11. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    I can't equate Moleneux with the KRZ guys. Molyneux promises the moon and releases something half-assed, and it remains that way. The KRZ guys take forever (there are two of them and it's not their day job), but what they release is gold. I have an insane backlog, they can take as long as they want as far as I care. I'm planning to go back and start over anyway so I actually remember the plot--I never even started Act III for this reason.

    In the future I don't think I'll be buying episodic games till they're done, but that's more due to me having a bad memory than impatience.
  12. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Oh absolutely. That's why you should never buy games that aren't complete, that goes for AAA games that resell "complete" editions. Always wait it out unless you absolutely trust the developer.
    But like you said, if a dev loses money and doesn't continue work on episodes - they'll get marked down for it and customers won't trust them again. It might make them take it back to the drawing board and complete the entire thing as the 2nd episode.

    My current project is being released on Steam Alpha as a complete game, but with additional character packs coming (for free) as they get finished. But it will launch with enough content to justify the price point in case, I dunno, I explode or something.

    All I can say is use common sense when it comes to buying games. If a game is a clone, if it looks poorly made, if the dev's turnaround per game is way too fast... beware!

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11 July 10, 2015