The Humble Indie Bundle #4 - Seven more Mac, Linux and Windows games for a price you name!

Bill Loguidice's picture

There's a new Humble Indie Bundle, #4, so of course we couldn't help but mention it. Contribute what you want for a bundle of up to seven awesome DRM-free games on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux: Shank, Super Meat Boy, NightSky, Jamestown, Bit.Trip Runner, Gratuitous Space Battles, and Cave Story+. You can choose your contribution to go to any split of Developers, Charity, and Humble Tip, the latter of which goes to Humble Bundle Inc. itself.

Give the promo video below a watch as well, as it's pretty darn entertaining in its own right:

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Matt Barton
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That is a chuckleworthy

That is a chuckleworthy video! Nice to see them putting some time and energy into marketing this package.

I wonder if the developers have foregone all profits here for the sake of charity.

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Bill Loguidice
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Interesting model
Matt Barton wrote:

I wonder if the developers have foregone all profits here for the sake of charity.

I don't think so, nor do I think it's necessary. "Profits" is a loaded question for a digital product. To my mind, most costs for an indie that goes the digital distribution route are relegated to development time, so there's not really a standard % you can apply to these to say you made a profit or not (and your chat with Jay Barnson alluded to such a reality). If, on the other hand, there was a scenario where you took out a bank loan so you could quit your job and develop full-time, then there would definitely be a type of x number of downloads sold to make y number of dollars in z amount of time type of scenario. I would imagine most of these are created spare time, though, which I think is the best way. There's no reason to bet the proverbial farm on anything if you don't have to. Using myself as an example, I write the books that I do with no illusions of "profit" and have a day job to serve the actual purpose of supporting me and my family. If one were to hit big for whatever reason and start to bring in the dollars, I still wouldn't think of it as profit per se. I think the same scenario applies to the vast majority of these indies.

I really like the concept of having the "donater" set the ratio of dollars going where for these Humble Indie things. I think the default mix is perfectly acceptable. Frankly it gives the devs money they wouldn't otherwise have, while at the same time supporting charity-by-choice. I think it's a wonderful way of operating and it's heartening to see how successful this model has been (and growing).

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Matt Barton
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That's a good way to look at

That's a good way to look at it.

I'm nearing completion of Thrust Lifter and have been giving this a lot of thought. Perhaps I am being totally delusional, but I really do feel like I should try to make some money with it. I've put an ungodly amount of hours into it! The only question is, what's the best way to go about it? I feel like at least some people will be willing to pay a dollar or two.

I'm contemplating releasing a version with the first five levels (there are 15) as a free demo, and then finding some convenient and feasible way to charge people a couple bucks or more to play the full version. I've been thinking this over quite a bit. I figure if I can't expect to make it at least a hundred bucks or so on the sales, it's not worth bothering with and I should just release the whole thing for free.

The easiest thing would just be to ask people to donate if they like it, using the Matt Chat channel. I could perhaps get more money this way, since the amount would be open like the bundle above. No doubt some people would pay nothing or only a buck, but some generous person might make up for them with ten bucks or more, particularly if they know how much work went into it.

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Bill Loguidice
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Some thoughts/suggestions to take or leave

I think five levels is probably too many depending upon difficulty. I'd get a sense of that first before doing so. If 95% of players can't get past the first few levels, then it won't be worth their while to own it. In other words, the standard or demo version could be as few as two or three levels.

Also, if you do decide to charge for the deluxe version, I'd let people hammer away at the standard (limited level) version first, make sure it's as bug-free as possible, and take into account as many comments as possible, so this way whatever people decide to pay for the full version you won't have any headaches or major complaints from this issue or that. Certainly expectations rise when people pay.

Finally, I suggest you get the standard version out on the GameMaker Website in their catalog for further comments/feedback/testing.

Once all that happens, I suggest we start the official AA games page we talked about and making it a permanent menu item. We may as well put that flag in the ground now like we did for the books and documentary. Once there's a sufficient catalog, we should probably remove those Flash games we have now.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
You guys know more about

You guys know more about modern pricing and products then i do, but I would suggest a Donation type system (eliminate alot of red tape, that relates to product that people are BUYING, taxes and such) i would suggest a button with a linke to paypal or something where they can doante $1 or $5 or ??? and when they donate you send a code to unlock in an email (i seem to rember it was fairly easy to code in a simple unlock in gamemaker,of course it was no random code, so one unlocked all). That means they cant play the full veriosn without dotnating something, and if they dont like 3-5 levels. and feel a coupel bucks isnt worht it.. no skin off your nose. Though I will be honest.. its been a cuople weeks since you started this and (please dont take this wrong) you mention "I've put an ungodly amount of hours into it!" I am assuming you have mentioned this idea has been in your mind and you have put some thouhgt into it.. and the last 2 weeks to making it in gamemaker. Now to put that in perspective.. some people have spent years (exclusivly, no other job) on games with teasm of 5-10 + people and in the end released it for free as nobody would publish it ( i must admit this is rare, not the norm). Most gamemaker games are not released with any price and there are some truely excellent ones.

Now that all sound kinda negative, and I dont mean it to be that way.. and its one of the reasons i suggest a donation instead of actual price. I almost feel like i shouldnt say it at all.. I have 100 games in my head.. but you have made 3 happen! that in itself is pretty impressive in my book. I will never say you shouldnt get something for it.. im just saying not many do. But I alos gotta say as an avid game maker (all game makers) follower.. you have made some far more creative games then 99% of them out there that are just straight rips and copies of already made games. THAT in itslef is something praise worthy.. somthing new is hard to do.

Bill Loguidice
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The Humble Indie guys just

The Humble Indie guys just added the complete Humble Indie Bundle #3 to #4 if you pay/paid more than the average. Great stuff again.

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