The latest Humble Weekly Sale may not be the prettiest you'll ever see. It is, however, one of the more strategically interesting selections of variably priced gaming that the bundle wizards have squished together so far. It features Arcen Games, prolific developers of games such as guerilla RTS AI War, Populous like peace-'em-up Skyward Collapse, and side-scrolling city builder A Valley Without Wind. Basically, they're the jazz fusion of genre mixing.
By my count, over 13,400 bundles are running at this moment. And now, just as one Indie Royale ends, another springs up to replace it. Maybe this is it: bundles in perpetuity. A constant stream of cheap indie games being thrown at us for the rest of eternity.
This Arclight bundle does make the idea seem palatable. It's a near-complete collection from developer Arcen Games, including the beta for the upcoming AI War expansion, Vengeance of the Machine.
Earlier this month Chris Park revealed that his company could be bankrupt by November. His company is Arcen Games, the developer of popular space strategy game AI War. Despite that game's excellence, it wasn't a surprise to find he was struggling: most indie games developers do.
Prompted by the tale of trouble on his site, I sent him an email asking for more information. What are the costs involved in independent game development? What are the profits of a game like AI War? Chris was willing to talk numbers - something no developer ever does - and he kindly replied with a breakdown of the profits and costs of AI War and his latest game Tidalis. I'm reprinting his email in full below with permission.
There are a lot of indie gaming success stories, but for every World of Goo, Minecraft, or Garry's Mod, there are a lot of small companies that struggle to make a living from their games. Chris Park, developer of space strategy AI War, is one of them. He's just revealed that Arcen Games will be out of money by November unless things change. Maybe you can help? More info and a trailer about Arcen and their 86% rated (in PC Gamer Issue 205) game below.