Good Robot #44: Coming April 5

By Shamus
on Mar 15, 2016
Filed under:
Good Robot

The date is set. We’re now committed to launch on April 5, or embarrass ourselves forever. Here’s the announcement trailer:


Link (YouTube)

Allow me to anticipate your questions:

I’m forgetful. Why can’t I pre-order the game now?

Pre-ordering is good for huge AAA outfits where sales are driven by marketing, but they’re actually really bad for indies. Steam seems to give you space on the front page based on your initial surge of sales. If your first day or so of sales are high, then Steam concludes you’re a winner and you get to stay on the front page. But if your day-1 sales are smeared all over the preceding month, then Steam looks at your tiny day 1 sales, pegs you for a loser, and replaces it with Five Nights at Freddie’s #127.

Go good sales = better sales and bad sales = worse sales. You can see how that reinforces the need for a big push on day 1.

That sounds scary. So how does Steam determine which games get listed on the front page and which ones vanish into obscurity?

It’s a secret. By which I mean we don’t know either. It’s possible nobody knows. Maybe your time on the front page is just a random number. Maybe it’s controlled by a monkey hammering on two buttons labeled “Hit” and “Dud”, and nobody can remember exactly what either button does and they’re too embarrassed to ask the monkey if he remembers. Maybe Gabe Newell plays your game before launch, and if he nails a really sweet high score on the leaderboards then he hides your game so nobody else will buy it and threaten his score.

I hate having all this money. How much am I allowed to give you in exchange for Good Robot?

At launch, the game will go for $9.99 AMERICA BUX. Actually, there might be a launch-day sale on top of that, but I don’t know the discount or timeframe. (Although 10% off seems to be customary.)

We don’t plan to change different prices in different regions, so any fluctuations are the fault of Steam / local regulations.

I don’t like Steam. Will it be on GoG?

We tried. They declined. This is heartbreaking, since GoG is my #1 super-favorite platform. Our plan is to become the best selling indie game in history so that they come crawling back and beg us to be on their platform.

Addendum: It would really help this plan along if each and every one of you bought 10,000 copies of the game. Thanks!

Will Good Robot be available on the Windows 10 Store?

You just failed the Voight-Kampff test. Robot.

I am a Linux user. Can I play?

This was always one of my goals, but as we leave the realm of the ideal and draw inexorably closer to the cruel reality of launch day, it looks like it’s not going to happen. At least, not at launch.

We have a Linux build that works. It’s a good bit slower than it should be, but still acceptable on a modern system. This isn’t a technology problem. It’s a practical one. Arvind released Unrest on Linux, and discovered that:

  1. A majority of your technical support problems and headaches will come from Linux people. There are hundreds of distros, your game might work on some but not others, and you can’t test them all.
  2. If your game doesn’t play well with some popular Linux distro, then you can get lots of negative feedback on the store. “They claim this game works on Linux but I’m running the latest release candidate of Persimmon LinuxAn offshoot of Mungo Linux, which is an offshoot of Ubuntu circa 2010, mixed with bits of FreeBSD and E/OS, and which includes bits of the now-GPL DOOM source code. with AMD’s drivers from 2012, and this game doesn’t work and they said they couldn’t solve my package manager problems for me.”

    Yes, maybe that guy is being unreasonable. But if you’ve ever read reviews on Steam you already know that “unreasonable” doesn’t mean “unusual”. More importantly, his negative review will drag our rating down, which will hurt sales on the PC side.

  3. Linux sales are such a tiny faction of a percent of sales that it’s just not worth the expense and risk of #1 and #2. Linux can end up being less than %1 of sales, but it can account for a much larger portion of your technical support load.

I really want to encourage gaming on alternate platforms as a way to defend against Windows hegemony, and as a way to hopefully keep Steam hegemony from getting much worse.

It would be easier to do the right thing if we knew the game was going to be successful. If the game sells well and is reviewed well then a couple of bad reviews and the odd lost sale are no big deal and we’ll be in a position to do a Linux release. But what we don’t want is a situation where we’re providing time-sucking technical support for the Linux build of a dud game.

You make me sad and confused with your operating system talk. Can you cheer me up?

We could have another go at that trailer. That was kind of cute:


Link (YouTube)

Enjoyed this post? Please share!

Footnotes:

[1] An offshoot of Mungo Linux, which is an offshoot of Ubuntu circa 2010, mixed with bits of FreeBSD and E/OS, and which includes bits of the now-GPL DOOM source code.



A Hundred!20There are 120 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. somebodys_kid says:

    I’m buying four copies since I have three brothers who play video games.
    Can’t wait to play this.

  2. Jake says:

    So… it’s an exploration game? I’m still a little unclear on the theme.

  3. Humanoid says:

    Will Humble Bundle (with direct download) or itch.io available?

    That weird capitalisation of GoG never stops bothering me, which is totally hypocritical since I’m guilty of doing it myself at times.

    • We’re working on both of those. Due to the landscape right now though, it would be much better for us if people bought the game on Steam day one, just because getting on that “popular new releases” list (or even better, the top seller list) is make or break.

      • matthewhoffman says:

        Huh. I like buying things on GoG when available to support a non-steam platform. I had never considered that it would possibly hurt the creator. This is quite the issue to stew on. Thanks for the insight.

    • chiefnewo says:

      Do you mean the actual Humble Bundle or the Humble Store? Because bundles are where games go to die. Putting a game in a bundle before it has a chance to be sold elsewhere is admitting that you didn’t think it was going to succeed anyway.

      • Humanoid says:

        Humble Store. I gather they’re not curated like GOG is so I assume there’s no barrier to selling there. However I’m still a little confused by it because Will Fight for Food on the Humble Store is sold as a Steam key only and no DRM-free direct download is provided. Does Humble perhaps semi-curate its store and not always allow developers to upload DRM-free builds for direct download? I bought it on itch.io (thanks for pointing me to it by the way Arvind) and it was a DRM-free build, so it obviously exists, which leaves me wondering why it’s exclusive to them. (Unrest on the Humble Store comes with the DRM-free build)

        At any rate, if the Humble Store version is Steam key only, then obviously buying from there is pointless. I know Humble takes a smaller cut, so you could argue for helping out the devs in that way, but Arvind’s comment above seems to suggest that the exposure from buying from Steam directly is worth more than the reduced cut that Humble takes from its sales.

        It’s unfortunate for me because I really don’t like giving Valve money (not directly anyway), but this is probably a case where helping you guys out outweighs any personal objections. What I’ll probably end up doing is buying a giftable copy on Steam (assuming it helps out on the sales charts like a normal sale would) and giving it away while buying a DRM-free copy for myself when it becomes available.

    • Eric says:

      I believe officially it is now GOG.com (yes, with the .com).

    • psivamp says:

      I did my part!

    • Scampi says:

      A very good idea indeed as I, under threat of death, would not have to do with Steam…
      I hope GOG will eventually accept offer Good Robot for sale.
      Just curiosity: Are there any reasons why they declined? Is there some cost to them offering a game?
      Anyhow-maybe I can get my GF to buy a copy over Steam-though I doubt it. Really sorry.

      • Sagretti says:

        I’m curious what feedback they gave for Good Robot, but GoG is notoriously capricious about what indie games it accepts. For example, Cook, Serve, Delicious! was rejected for being “too casual,” even though it’s apparently a rather difficult, full featured game. Thomas Was Alone is not available because GoG refused to price it at an amount the creator would accept. In general, they seem to be focused on releasing a select amount of games with maximum profitability.

        This thread on the GOG forums seems to have a lot of good discussion about the issue and examples.

      • Zak McKracken says:

        What strikes me as particularly weird is that Will Fight For Food and Unrest did not seem to have had such problems, and just from the superficial looks of things, Good Robot looks a lot less niche-y.
        Me very sad because Steam doesn’t do for me (but me also added to the wishlist, it’s at 136 now)

        • Humanoid says:

          WFFF was turned down by GOG as well. Unfortunate for Pyrodactyl and I assume it has to do with projected sales and perhaps how Unrest did, though I have to say I’m in favour of the curation policy in general.

          • Zak McKracken says:

            oops, you’re right, WFFF was not on GOG… I guess I can’t be too angry at GOG since they do seem to put some work in on their own side (Custom installers and whatnot), rather than merely providing shelf space for others to put their wares on. (or is that a false impression? At least Shadowrun and a few other games have their own GOG installers, and they have a bunch of games for Linux that are otherwise only available for Windows — or is that only for old games?

    • Will says:

      On the subject of GoG, is there any chance of getting GoG… keys… or whatever from Steam keys when its massive success causes it to roll into the front page of every online gaming store? I dunno if that relationship ever works in that direction.

      • Raygereio says:

        There’s this: https://www.gog.com/reclaim
        It’s supposed to be only work with keys from boxed copies (and not Steam keys). But for the Stalker games it works on GameSpy keys, which the Steam version also provides for multiplayer.
        So if you own the Stalker games on Steam, you can get a free extra copy on GoG.

        TL:DR It’s technically possible. But it’s not something GoG actually supports.

      • Nentuaby says:

        Alas, Steam is a one-way door that way. Other retailers can give you Steam keys, but Steam doesn’t offer external platform keys.

        • Humanoid says:

          You can sort of do it by stealth, but it requires the effort to be made on the part of the developer. The customer would have to provide the internal Steam key or some other sort of proof of purchase to the developer, who would then issue a GOG key manually.

          (This may or may not cost them anything to do: I’ve heard from a Kickstarter dev, not sure who, that they can freely generate as many GOG keys as they like to give to their backers but no idea if that’s a universal thing).

    • Charnel Mouse says:

      Voted, fingers crossed.

  4. Nidokoenig says:

    The thought of being able to burn money on in-game hats to create a low percentage run sounds fun, but I assume it’s just a joke.

    Gonna buy this ASAP, then worry about getting something that can play it. Is it toaster compatible? Behaves well with integrated graphics?

  5. Just to be clear: we’ve got builds that are working on both OS X and Linux, but we don’t know if we’ll be able to do a simultaneous launch on April 5. There’s a lot of other stuff that goes in between “it runs on my machine” and “ready for distribution”, and that’s where we are at right now.

    I will try my best, but if we don’t launch on Mac and Linux on April 5 then I will try my best to get those builds sorted within the next few weeks. Wish us luck!

    • psivamp says:

      I run several linux boxes including armhf and arm64 SBCs and would love to volunteer to test/tweak/tinker to get Good Robot running smoothly on *nix.

    • Mephane says:

      Would it be possible to include the Linux and OSX builds in the download, without advertising and selling as such? Basically as an unsupported extra?

      • Fists says:

        +1 Wouldn’t mind giving it a whirl on Linux too, more data points would help get it there properly in the long run right? or even if Good Robot doesn’t get a stable release on other platforms it might just help get extra info on what does/doesn’t work for future games.

    • John says:

      I’m sorry to hear about the Linux situation, as that’s my preferred OS these days. But if the system requirements are as low as you suggest, then enterprising Linux users should (in principle) probably be able run the game quite nicely via WINE. I note that the Linux version of the Steam client won’t let you install Windows-only games, but the in-this-case-surprisingly-helpful WINE AppDB suggests that the Windows client will mostly function under WINE.

      • John says:

        An update: Installing and running the Windows client for Steam on a Linux machine using WINE is a thoroughly non-trivial exercise. I successfully installed the client, but it doesn’t run properly. This is a apparently a known issue, but if I’m reading the WINE AppDB correctly, the preferred fix seems to involve recompiling . . . things. (I’m using the version of WINE that I got from my package manager, which is probably not the most recent version. The most recent version may incorporate the fix.) And even if you do get it running Big Picture mode doesn’t work properly because WINE doesn’t fully support DirectX 10 yet.

        • Echo Tango says:

          I’ve learned not to mess around with Wine myself. I just use PlayOnLinux, which is a wrapper / abstraction over top of Wine. It’s how I play all my Windows-only Steam games. Spread the word!

          It keeps sandboxed virtual drives for each install of Wine / a Windows program, and it has a big list of recipes that auto-grab the correct Wine for whatever windows program you want to install. It’s available under the Ubuntu Software Centre, and apt-get if you’re comfortable with the command line. Their website has instructions for how to get it. Once it’s installed, you just load it up and look for the installer thingy inside it, that’s for Steam.

    • Zak McKracken says:

      I’ve got both Windows and Linux machines and would be happy to get the Linux build without warranty — provided I can get the game at all (no Steam here…)

    • Florian the Mediocre says:

      For what it’s worth, Good Robot on Linux would help this one random person here since I don’t really have a Windows Pc right now.

      No sweat though, you do what you think is best – I’ll probably try the Wine way if it doesn’t work out.

  6. Drew says:

    A lot of the enemies seem fairly sluggish or even static in the trailer. Especially the “walking” ones. I know you did a lengthy post on making the walking robots have good movement, but it doesn’t seem like they’re moving around much in the trailer, mostly standing still like turrets. Are enemies generally fairly slow-moving? If so, is that because playtesting found that fast enemies are impossible? I’m miserable at this kind of game anyway, so I’m sure it would help me out if the enemies didn’t move around much, but it just seemed like some of the earlier gifs and such were more dynamic.

    Anyway, here’s hoping Good Robot drastically outsells your expectations.

    • Shamus says:

      That’s a really good point. The first trailer shows a lot of moving robots, and this one doesn’t. I don’t think we made any deliberate decision to slow them down. Maybe I was lazy when choosing where to capture my footage?

      EDIT: Actually, I guess it’s just the spider robots that don’t move. And… yeah.

      Spiders sort of barely work. The trick with them is that they’re easy to fight because they can only move in one dimension. So we compensate by having them shoot more. But then they spend more time in shooting animation and even less time moving. They’ve also been a pain in the ass to render and their AI is a source of constant headaches.

      The only reason they’re still in the game is because they look cool and add a little variety to things.

      • Zoe M. says:

        Move and shoot simultaneously?

      • Tetracyclic says:

        Is it a limitation of the engine that means you can’t combine the walking and shooting for them? Or is that related to the rendering/AI issues?

        It seems like given the limitation to only move in one dimension, being able to move (perhaps at a slowed rate) would make them less like static turrets. Obviously having never played the game I haven’t got a clue how it would balance.

  7. Lee says:

    But what do they eat?!

    Humor aside, I’m disappointed in your lack of a Linux release. I was looking forward to the game, but the only Windows machine I use belongs to my employer. Hopefully you will sell enough copies that releasing the Linux version later becomes a worthwhile idea.

    • 4th Dimension says:

      Robots, they eat other robots.

    • Khizan says:

      Honestly, I don’t feel like it’s ever really worth it to release a Linux edition of games, outside of computer nerd solidarity. I don’t really ever see a Linux version selling enough units to make it worth going back and working on a Linux version of a released product instead of working on supporting the existing game or something new.

      Linux support is more of a nerd merit badge than a worthwhile goal in and of itself, imo. It just absorbs too many resources for the return that it gets.

      • hemebond says:

        Well it certainly saves me money if they don’t release a GNU/Linux version.

      • Exasperation says:

        Some people in the industry would disagree with you.

        From the linked post: “To conclude, if you’re not supporting Linux and Mac OS X from a philosophical standpoint or for the fans, at least do it for the money. If you don’t support non-Windows platforms, you’re leaving a lot of cash on the table. I don’t know about you, but I’m not in a position to just say f— it to a large community of people who want to support us.”

        • Supah Ewok says:

          Those people probably use Linux themselves.

          The crux of the argument is that Arvind has released two games, and thus has their sale figures and post release reception data. They were tangentially related to this community, which has a larger than average amount of Linux users. And yet Linux sales remained tiny, bad reviews from Linux users had a noticeable impact on reviews, and a disproportionate amount of post-release support was dedicated to fixing Linux issues. I’m inclined to take Arvind’s word that it isn’t worth it for release. He is saying in this thread that he still intends on a Linux release later.

          • Exasperation says:

            I’m not saying it always works out, or that it would work out in the specific case of Good Robot, but if you look at the post I was replying to they said “I don’t feel like it’s ever really worth it to release a Linux edition of games”. The post I linked to is from a company that released a game (and thus has their sale figures and post release reception data), and for whom it was worth it to do so. I’m refuting the blanket statement that Linux support is never worthwhile, not making the blanket statement that Linux support is always worthwhile.

            As for “Those people probably use Linux themselves”, the game in question was actually originally written on and for a Mac, then later ported to Windows and Linux.

        • Khizan says:

          Do it for the money?

          The problem is that the Linux is a market segment that absorbs resources out of proportion to its size. The entire reason they avoid Linux is because of the money, because developing for Linux just is not cost-effective. Too many distros with too much variance and too few dedicated users. And after the game’s released they continue to absorb support resources that are out of proportion to their size.

      • Fists says:

        There are devs which make their money solely from porting to Linux/Mac, probably ends up being a fairly small cut for the original devs on those sales but they’re still making money.

        Having an in-house port team probably wouldn’t be worthwhile though, and some games are just going to be too un-wieldly like Bethesda stuff that’s barely functional on it’s native systems.

    • RCN says:

      This is actually a question I really, really hope that Shamus answers.

      Even a joke answer would be okay by me, but it always, ALWAYS, bugs me when a story doesn’t even make a token effort to explain where all that energy is coming from.

    • Echo Tango says:

      Look at my above post about PlayOnLinux! It’s how I’m going to (fingers crossed) run Good Robot! :)

  8. Akri says:

    I want “be good, kill robots” on a t-shirt.

  9. Jonathan MacAlpine says:

    I suspect given how the Steam Controller works that it will “just work”, but does the Steam Controller work with Good Robot?

    (I just got a Steam Controller and am very excited for Good Robot. :) Congrats on being close to shipping!!)

    • Lazlo says:

      Like this, but a more general question, how well does it manage to play on different sorts of controllers? From the *looks* of it, it seems like it’d be good on a console-style controller, but I can’t figure out how you’d play it comfortably with mouse+keyboard. It might be pretty awesome with the controls from Centipede, and fairly confusing with a flight stick or driving wheel. (and, of course, as with all games that aren’t guitar hero, playing with a guitar hero controller is an indication that you are A) insane, and B) not a mere mortal gamer.) I don’t remember seeing you talk too much about controllers, but that could be as much my faulty memory as anything.

  10. Ilseroth says:

    Any chance we could get a solid minute or two of uncut gameplay? Longest cut I’ve seen is like, 3-4 seconds.

  11. blue painted says:

    I shall be in the USA for release day, about to go home, with my Surface Pro (Yay, Windows 10!) and my Steam account .. so hopefully I can be sitting in the departures lounge in JFK playing Good Robot — that word-of-mouth marketing thing.

    I know that the next question I get will be “Can I get that on my iPad?”

  12. Content Consumer says:

    At what point does “kill robots” override “kill bad robots” in your good robot’s AI and it decides to self-terminate?

  13. Raion says:

    I feel like the text flashes in the latter third of the trailer are redundant. I understand you’re trying to set the tone, but why interrupt the gameplay demonstration with flashes of text that describe what’s going to be shown happening in gameplay anyway?

  14. Piflik says:

    I am really happy this will be released before Dark Souls 3….

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So what you are saying is that you want us all to buy it on launch day from steam?

  16. Narida says:

    Don’t know if you mentioned this in previous post, but who did the music?

  17. Mephane says:

    Wow, I didn’t know steam doesn’t consider preorders as day-1-purchases. It’s a bit silly in my opinion.

    Anyway: don’t ever shut up and take my money on April 5. :)

  18. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    So, I’m sold. But I’m curious: Is that the ingame music, or something special for the trailer? ‘Cause I’m really digging it.

  19. Eric says:

    Good stuff guys. Congrats on the date!

    (And yes, it’s a shame about Linux, but the practical reality is that for 1% or less of sales, you are usually spending much more than 1% of the effort… maybe in a few years if SteamOS ever takes off, it’ll be more worthwhile.)

    • Shamus says:

      I’m REALLY hoping SteamOS can be a proper target platform for developers. If a distro cares about gaming, they can try to make their distro do what SteamOS does.

      Shame that Steam boxes cost $LOL. But I don’t know how you could price one competitively.

      • psivamp says:

        It draws from the same base distribution as Ubuntu ( Debian ) which puts it in what approximates a good baseline for linux on x86. That doesn’t say a thing about the hardware support though. That’s still crazy — although not nearly as bad as the early 2000’s graphics nonsense.

        Debian is everywhere and Steam is strictly x86 with the actual Steam client being built i686. That’s cool for people still running a 32-bit linux system, but causes me to infer that Valve isn’t really committed to linux as strongly as they like to say.

        I’m also kind of touchy about hardware because I’m running armhf and arm64 both at work and at home and just purchased a Raspberry Pi 3 which despite being arm64 hardware doesn’t yet run Debian’s arm64 port. Hardware nerds may remember x86 being fragmented and having tons of levels of optimizations available and x86_64 coming out with more registers, wider SIMD and generally being a more cohesive spec with more capabilities. That same thing is happening for ARM processors. The ARMv8 ( 64-bit ) systems have twice as many registers, all have a hardware FPU ( ARMv7 devices are split on this ) and have a SIMD that’s twice as wide. Moving an ARMv8 system running an OS compiled for ARMv7 to one compiled specifically for it shows significant performance improvements ( 25% for things that were extremely well honed for ARM, up to 3x speed-up for C/C++ code coming out of the compiler — I don’t have the source for these numbers, I recall Phoronix doing a comparison of the ODROID-C2 and the Raspberry Pi 3 though ).

      • Eric says:

        I feel like SteamOS has potential, but yeah, gamers haven’t shown they are especially enthusiastic about switching over to Linux, and when they do the experience often isn’t as good. PC gamers tend to be very focused on a few questions:

        1. Will it run my programs/games properly?
        2. Will it run them *best*?
        3. Is there a good reason to switch?

        Increasingly, slowly, the answer is “maybe, if you’re adventurous and don’t mind being different for the sake of it”. But that isn’t good enough right now for most people. And Linux can’t just be “good enough” for people to switch – it has to be *better*.

        I think Valve expected Steam boxes to take off more than they did, and the Steam Controller was also not well received, so that’s 0/2. Hopefully Valve are committed to the long game.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          The “has to be better” argument is what Shamus has been saying in regards to other online stores competing with Steam. I do find the whole Steambox situation rather interesting though, I think it shows how Valve overestimated (my personal theory is that they bought into their own hype) how invested their customers are in Steam as a platform as opposed to just a store.

  20. Joe says:

    Controller support or primarily WASD+mouse?

    • Peter says:

      YES. (It plays well with both keyboard and mouse and with controller. With keyboard and mouse you move with WASD and aim with mouse, clicking to fire. With controller one stick is movement and the other is aiming, constantly firing while the stick is aimed in a direction.)

    • Shamus says:

      Both control systems work. I actually like controller a little better, but I did 90% of my testing using WASD just because when I hit “run”, my hands are already on the keyboard.

  21. Varil says:

    Anyone else have a sudden urge to KILL ROBOTS?

    …I feel like we might be the villain in this game.

    Can you disclose why GoG declined? Do they prefer to only include more “sure bets”? I don’t really remember seeing a lot of small, obscure games on their site so I guess that wouldn’t be weird.

    • NoneCallMeTim says:

      I also had the feeling that the interpretation of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ might just be a little flexible…

      • Tever says:

        I was thinking that, too. This trailer has me waiting on the endgame twist where you find out you were the bad one all along.

        • Lachlan the Mad says:

          I’m personally in favour of the ending where the game goes something like this:

          Menacing music, dark lighting
          SINISTER VOICE: Do you know what you have done!?
          Sudden bright lights, fireworks, mariachi music
          SINISTER VOICE: You’ve stopped all the bad robots! And we made you a cake! You are a robot, so you cannot eat cake, but please enjoy this cake anyway! Yaaaay!

  22. Raygereio says:

    [GoG] declined.

    I’m curious: Did they give you a reason? One that you’re willing & able to share that is.

  23. Sad to hear GoG declined, but have you tried getting your game on the Humble Store?

  24. Warclam says:

    It’s… only on Steam? Oh. Um. I don’t use Steam, ever. Well, crap.

  25. matthewhoffman says:

    Good timing on the release date. I’ll have something to occupy myself with between “your vive has shipped” and “your vive is at your door”.

  26. Stratoshred says:

    Well, that’s one more thing I have to do on my birthday.

  27. Galad says:

    Will there be any brutally difficult and/or exceedingly grindy achievements?

    I’ll buy 3+ copies regardless

  28. Hermocrates says:

    I guess not even Indies can escape releasing on Tuesdays, huh. That’s alright, I’ll still buy it on day one even if I can’t play it until the weekend. I’ve not played very many twin-stick shooters, but I’m excited to try out Good Robot!

  29. Draklaw says:

    I know game developers don’t usually do this, but did you think about opening the source code ? I don’t necessarily mean going GPL or similar. You can have a license that basically require to buy the game to get the code and restrict how to share it. Or something like Unreal Engine 4, with a private repository on github or some other site (however I don’t think it’s free). (Well, I’m pretty sure that you don’t want to deal with optional legal stuff like writing a custom license that close from the release, but it might be worth to consider on future games.)

    You can also only open parts of the code using a common license – the engine typically – so that people can fix bugs and improve performances. Of course, this require to have the engine and the game logic in two separate executables (typically, one need to be a dll) and from what I understand this is not really the case on Good Robot.

    Sure, it would still require some work on your side to manage the project. But probably much less than fixing the bugs yourself. And if the engine executable/dll is made a free software, people will be able to release fixed version for esoteric distribution without requiring you to merge them in the official branch.

    Still, I will try to remember the date and buy it day one. I don’t do this usually. Well, I never do this, and I find this whole “games have value only near release” ridiculous. But I guess I can make an exception for you guys.

    • Peter says:

      I love this idea. You could also do it the Uplink way. Basically there was a (semi-sorta-kinda-free) developer cd that had all kinds of goodies, among which the source. It wasn’t open source per se (as in, libre, license stuff), but it had the source code on it for personal use. Hell, this is one type of DLC I’d love to buy.

  30. What I take away from this is that
    GOG actually curate all stuff unlike some other stores *cough*steam*cough*.
    GOG is really selective about what they want in their store (diversity, an overall “feel” ?) even if it means turning down potential money.
    Linux still has a long way to go compared to Windows.
    Maybe Shamus and Co. will release a Linux port as a “long tail” thing after Good Robot has been out for a while and had a few patches under it’s belt (you know it’s gonna have at least one patch/update).

    Here’s hoping that some of he bigger Youtubers take a shining to Good Robot (Jim Sterling or Total Biscuit, I think a game like this might even “fit” with the style of youtuber like Markiplier or Jack Septiceye).

    • Eric says:

      GOG is curated, yes, and does have some good standards for quality. However, I’m not sure the motives are 100% altruistic to gamers. GOG is not a huge company, and the systems that handle its distribution (store pages, servers, updates) are not automated to nearly the extent Steam’s are.

      Again, that can be a good thing because it means that stuff gets checked, tested and approved. But I suspect GOG also does not have the resources to sustain a massive and constant influx of new games. We’ll see what happens in the next few years, now that Galaxy is out there.

  31. Blastinburn says:

    Sweet, I can get myself an awesome little present with all that birthday money from 2 days earlier, really looking forward to this!

    Shame on you GoG though, I wonder why they rejected Good Robot after Unrest. I might get it on GoG as well when they change their minds, more games to play on Galaxy.

    Honestly, it sorta seems unreal after this long that it’s finally coming out. Congrats Shamus, good luck to you and Pyrodactyl.

  32. Fists says:

    What if we have a crisis of conscience and start to wonder if killing an arbitrarily large number of evil robots is still defensible in saving the life of just one Good Robot?

  33. Time to clear my schedual for that day then =)

  34. Neko says:

    Aww =( Well, I understand if it’s being problematic.

    There are hundreds of distros, your game might work on some but not others

    I’m a little surprised at this, though. Steam only officially runs on Ubuntu, and isn’t the point of the whole “Steam Runtime” platform to smooth over any cracks between distros? Specifically, the ~/.steam/bin32/steam-runtime/ directory has all the libraries for the “platform”, so in theory targeting that should be all you need?

    Although I suppose then we get into GPU drivers and messes like that.

  35. Jokerman says:

    Ill spread the word to other non-gaming sites i visit, most of them usually have a gamining related thread going.

  36. WWWebb says:

    Before I thought the asymmetric eyes were cute, but after watching that trailer, I’m worried that Good Robot might be a little … unhinged.

  37. Mike C says:

    I’m not a Steam user, but would buy it in a heartbeat from the Windows 10 Store. (I’m guessing though that it would be too much development effort to port it to a Universal Windows Platform app so that it could also run on the XBox One, HoloLens, and other devices.)

  38. kdansky says:

    While I’m generally not a huge proponent of screen shake and other effects, the trailer makes the game look very floaty. Maybe experiment with a hit-stop or better explosions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=216_5nu4aVQ

  39. Tony Kebell says:

    I wouldn’t even be mad if this blog turned into a ticker that says:

    X days till good robot, please buy it on launch day.

  40. Cuthalion says:

    Persimmon Linux (An offshoot of Mungo Linux, which is an offshoot of Ubuntu circa 2010, mixed with bits of FreeBSD and E/OS, and which includes bits of the now-GPL DOOM source code.)

    I genuinely can’t tell if any of that is a joke. I don’t know if that says more about me or Linux.

  41. Joshua says:

    “At launch, the game will go for $9.99 AMERICA BUX. Actually, there might be a launch-day sale on top of that, but I don’t know the discount or timeframe. (Although 10% off seems to be customary.)”

    Well, it’s now 4-5, and the game is selling for $29.99. That’s quite a bit different than $9.99.

    • Crystalgate says:

      It’s a package deal. There’s no non package deal however. I hope this is fixed before I go to bed, else it will be to late for me to buy it on launch day.

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