We all know of the Humble Indie Bundle by this time, I’m sure. It’s a pay-what-you-want bundle of indie games with proceeds going to the developers, charity or the organizers of the bundle – Wolfire. However, this time the developer team behind Minecraft and Scrolls – Mojang Specifications – has put up an entirely new kind of pay what you want sale for a game that will be made over the weekend. That is right, you will be paying (whatever you want) for a game called Mojam that will be made right before your eyes (did I tell you that the making of the game will be livestreamed? Yes it will be). The best part? All proceeds from this sale will go to charity and non-profit organizations.
The indie studio Mojang will be livestreaming all the glory and drama of making a brand new game in 60 hours. Based on a poll of more than 100,000 users, Mojang is tackling a real-time strategy shoot ’em up with a steampunk ancient Egypt theme!
The participating organizations for this one-of-a-kind sale are the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Child’s Play Charity, the American Red Cross and for the first time, Charity: Water. This excellent venture has already received about $97,000 plus at the time of writing. It would be fun to see it go past the 500,000 mark as the game starts taking shape.
With great fanfare and much adulation, the Humble Indie Bundle 4 (not exactly the fourth, technically speaking) has been released. It contained the exact games (plus an addition) that we had talked about in our earlier post. Great happiness, since I was looking forward to playing many of the games in that list, beginning with Gratuitous Space Battles and Shank. (The other games in the bundle are Super Meat Boy, BIT.TRIP RUNNER, Jamestown, NightSky HD and Cave Story+)
The bundle is also the first to break the one million dollar mark in a mere twenty four hours. A feat that few mainstream games manage to do. For this, Jeffrey Rosen and his Humble team need to be applauded.
However, it must be known that the average purchase of Windows users, by far the biggest share of the Bundle buyers is abysmally low at $4.70, meaning most of us (yes, you and I both) did not think that these five games are worth even a dollar apiece. Maybe some people buy the bundle at the average rate once, and buy it for pennies to gift to others, or maybe they do not think indie games are worth more than that. Either way, it is rather disheartening to see the abysmal rates from Windows users.
However the makers of the Bundle have made an effort to increase the spending by allowing two bonus games to be unlocked only if the purchase is above the average. The bonus games are Gratuitous Space Battles and Cave Story +. In my humble opinion, this is one of the best Bundles in a long while, and those two bonus games seal this brilliant game. I urge you all to spend more than the average to get your Bundles!
The extremely popular pay-what-you-want Humble Indie Bundle series of indie game sales has been a joyride for many who wish to play the cream of the cool when it comes to indie gaming. Over the past few bundles, great games such as Braid, Machinarium, Defcon, and Frozen Synapse have been part of this excellent platform. It’s so good that many folks anticipate the next bundle with keen interest, looking to know the lineup days or months ahead of time. Whether this is to hold off on purchases of these indie games for their full price or for the mere sating of curiosity is debatable.
Nevertheless, many enterprising gamers on /r/IndieGaming found out the probable lineup of the next Humble Indie Bundle through the Steam Registry keys. The original source of the information is very probably NeoGAF, since the community there has done this sort of thing before with the bundles, with great success.
So what is the probable lineup of the next HIB?
- Shank: Klei Entertainment’s beat em up sports a lovely comic-bookish art style of a man out for revenge. The story is written by God of War co-creator Marianne Krawczyk who really likes revenge stories, apparently. I am personally not sure about this one since the game was published by the behemoth of a non-indie publisher called Electronic Arts, but let’s see.
- BIT.TRIP RUNNER: If you have never played a BIT.TRIP game yet, I sincerely suggest that you start with this. The games are designed to work with the background music in such a way that the obstacles and enemies in your way follow the beats and rhythm in the background. BIT.TRIP RUNNER is a solid game in the series. Mucho fun!
- Jamestown: Mix a top-down shooter, steampunk, Mars colonization and the 17th century with pixelated graphics and you get Jamestown. It’s better than it sounds (and it sounds good!)
- Gratuitous Space Battles: This is one game I personally am looking forward to playing, regardless of the Humble Bundle’s sale. It’s a space battle simulator in which you plan the battles before they happen (predicting the AI’s moves ahead of time) and let the entire thing unfold in front of you.
- Cave Story +: Cave Story is the original indie runaway hit, with ports being developed on every system possible. The innocuous platformer has made thousands of fans and has now been rewritten and upgraded for the PC.
This gorgeous lineup practically makes me scream TAKE MY MONEY!, but we have to wait and see how it turns out!
The Humble Indie Bundle is a darling of the internet community. As usual, it is a sale of five great indie video games at the low (or high!) price of pay-whatever-you-want! The success story of the past two (and a special FrozenByte) bundle is quite well known and is worthy of the Internet Hall of Fame (if there is something of that sort).
The games on offer this time are as varied as before:-
Cogs: A puzzle game in which time and inventiveness are key! Build contraptions from sliding tiles to solve a level.
Crayon Physics Deluxe: Another puzzle game in which you literally draw your keys to complete each level using virtual crayons. Innovative to the core, the game also boasts of a splendid Newtonian physics simulation system.
VVVVVV: A retro 2D platformer that will elicit shrieks of rage from you as its wickedly twisted levels take your patience apart. It’s incredibly addictive and extremely punishing. A must play.
Hammerfight: A steampunk helicopter fighting game. Exactly that.
And Yet It Moves: A beautifully simple platfomer in a world full of ripped paper, this game has gained a lot of acclaim for being a joy to play.
So how much will you pay for these games that you will get DRM-free for Windows, Mac and Linux? Support indie games, readers! You can also donate the money to charity if you wish so. Buy it now!
When I read the report for the first time, I was surprised that it was an entire corporation called Humble Bundle Inc., and not Wolfire Games that actually ran the Humble Indie Bundles. I blame my sudden loss of memory on the jaw-dropping amount of funding that the company has received from investors the incredibly large sum of roundabout four point seven million US dollars.
The Humble Indie Bundle is basically a non-regular deal of a conglomeration of developers (except the latest) selling a bundle of their games together without any Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection at the incredible price of $pay_what_you_want. The model has has tremendous success in all of the iterations, since the indie games on offer are typically very well known and liked and also because the customer can decide where his/her money will be going whether to the developers or any of the participating organizations as charity.
All the games run on the recent versions of the three major operating systems (Windows, Mac OS and Linux) and recently redemption codes for the game on other platforms such as Steam or Desura have also been introduced.
There have been three Humble Indie Bundles so far, with the latest still on offer with Frozenbyte’s well known game Trine being one of the games in the bundle.
Gamasutra says that Sequoia Capital has led this series A funding round. The firm is well known to have backed other video gaming and entertainment startups such as Unity Technologies and GameGround.