Professionalism and Indies

Updated Thoughts: The following was written in the heat of the moment.

There are three types of indie studios. There’s the independent studios, who are only really indie in-so-far as indie is sort of short for “independent”. But when you’re making a game for Sony or equivalent, it’s not quite the same line of business.

Then there’s indie indies. Of these there are two. There’s the type of studio that really, if they were honest, they’d like to be the first type of indie – everything they do is onwards an upwards to this goal. Legitimacy. A proper company. And then there’s the other type.

This type of indie never pretends to be professional. The “company” is probably just a name. It technically exists, but really what it boils down to is a guy in his underpants making a daft game. Sometimes that guy has a day-job, sometimes he’s taken a whoppping gamble and is working full-time from home.

The point is, if you’re going to throw your money at one of these indies, it’s important to know who you’re throwing money at and why. You can’t necessarily have your cake and eat it too.

If, unsatisfied with the tendency of commercial games to repackage the same basic game in shinier packaging, you decide that actually the shit looking 2D game with blocky graphics and dreadful production values is actually more worth $10 support than the latest bland corridor shooter is worth $40 then that’s great. But know who you’re supporting. Don’t throw that guy your money and then be shocked when he or she throws a hissy fit on Twitter. You’re dealing with real people – not a PR guy sat behind a wall of publisher validation.

Since I’ve had my blog, I’ve said pretty mean things about Oblivion and Skyrim. No doubt, there’s some poor sod sat there at Bethesda who would love to repudiate those sorts of statements. Either to justify why things are as they are, or to lament why they’re not. But he/she can’t. They have to sit there in silence and suck it up. It’s a horrible situation to be in but as sympathetic as I am, the feelings of an individual artist / animator / coder / designer / etc are not a terribly good reason not to say things how they are.

And neither should be the case with our game, Project Zomboid. The difference being, that with this there is no publisher wall to deal with. You hate our game? We’ll find that post on a Google alert and if we disagree we’ll either register and post or tweet a whinge or two. Why not? Why shouldn’t we? We might even call you a twat in the meantime. So what? We’re people, and we’re as entitled to get angry, upset, or annoyed by something on the internet as you are.

Oh no wait, but we’re selling you a game therefore we must be professional. Who says? Why? If we wanted to be professionals we’d never have left our jobs in the first place. What we actually want to do is make a game which we’re proud of and not be pre-occupied by maintaining a decorum on the internet. Don’t want to read our actual personal thoughts on shit? Don’t read our personal thoughts on shit using Twitter.

Don’t feel comfortable throwing money at an indie dev who replies to insults with insults back? Don’t throw money at that sort of indie dev. It’s really terribly simple.

Edit: For some reason, some people have written of this post that I’m somehow saying all indies are unprofessional. What I thought I’d made clear is that all indies are different. Know your indie, that is all.

127 Replies to “Professionalism and Indies”

  1. I’ve never understood why people pay 5-7 dollars for this game and get SO freakin’ pissed off when something bad happens (stating that they are entitled and what not), but then games like Madden come out every year with only minor upgrades at $60 and I know a few people that buy it every year for that price and are happy to do so.

    1. It’s the way of the indie developer. A curse for being in possession of the all powerful Indie Stone.

      The same thing happened with Notch and Minecraft. Everyone got their panties in a bunch over the smallest things and it was annoying for ME just as another forum poster. I can’t imagine how he felt and I’m surprised he didn’t lash back like lemmy did.

      Personally, I like that these guys are open about what they’re feeling as it reveals the difficulties in being an indie developer, and I think that if you’re an asshole to someone you shouldn’t be surprised when they start being an asshole back.

      Not that I’m saying what they’re doing is “right,” but I find it hard to be against them after seeing what some people have said. It’s just crazy to me that an indie developer of just a few people get criticized more than a huge team of professional AAA developers because they’re not professional AAA developers and occasionally make mistakes.

      1. Because AAA devs never make mistakes *cough cough* Other than that I totally agree with your post have a nice day 😛

      2. No, I think that’s a pretty good way to think about it. Indie is short for inpedendent , so to be indie should mean a good deal of independence. I think it’s still okay if an inpedendent studio gets a publishing deal for one of it’s games, to still say the studio is indie (Team Meat, Johnathan Blow, etc). There is a size component though, no one really considered Infinity Ward an indie but they clearly believed they were inpedendent from Activision.No, I don’t have a definition here that solves the Infinity Ward example =p

    2. I don’t know why they are so upset, however if I had to guess it isn’t because of the money factor, but of the “hopes and dreams” factor – these are temporarily (or forever) crushed in the upset persons’s mind thus the reaction.

  2. I really hope you guys get sorted out. Sorry about what happened to you. If you do decide to close up shop, best of luck, but if not I look forward to seeing the game that I personally have wanted to see made for a long time become real. Oh and don’t feed the trolls, its just makes a mess.

  3. I’ve supported you guys from the beginning announcement and all through the PayPal and Google Checkout woes, but I just can’t condone either your behavior, or Chris’ behavior tonight, Andy.

    Your rant here may seem like a logical excuse to internet beratement, but regardless of what you consider indie, and indie indie, you need to remember that as a company with a product that is being produced, you need to maintain some level of processionalism, no matter how much the Internet can hurt with their name calling and stick throwing.

    Ultimately, the amount of faith people put in you and your product is based purely on the impression you give the public. When you say indie indie, I think of Notch before he created Team Mojang, when Minecraft was just a project he worked on in his spare time. There were a lot of entitled assholes who berated him when he stopped his Secret Friday updates, but he never broke down in public and threatened his customer base.

    You need to realize that while your entire team is a core group of people who have values and feelings that are affected by what other people say, there always needs to exist a wall between your feelings and those customers, otherwise you run the risk of crashing and burning. You absolutely cannot do what you and Chris did tonight on Twitter and Reddit and expect anyone who is not familiar with the situation to look upon you favorably.

    I love you guys and I offer you this advice as someone who is used to dealing with PR. In fact, I contacted Chris on Twitter mentioning that you guys should find someone who is interested in the indie scene and would be the buffer between you and the community, but he said you guys didn’t want a buffer. This is what happens when things spiral out of control.

    I’m not saying the customer base is remotely right in calling you con-artists, scammers, worthless faggots.. any number of things that were slurred around the Internet. But please remember that your integrity and quality as a person relies on how you present yourself, even in crisis times. Even if you do decide to give up on the indie scene and get a job, at the rate employer’s Google and find usernames related to real names, do you really want a potential employer to see the way either of you conducted yourself on the Internet tonight?

    As I stated, I wish you all the best, but if you decide to continue with Project Zomboid, please consider reaching out to someone who is familiar with PR and is willing to work with you. You absolutely cannot run any business in this manner, whether it is indie indie or not.

    – Ashley

    1. Valid points. I accept all of them. Am I ashamed by how I reacted? Not at all. It happened because I care, and I would do it again. I had many an argument at my time in the commercial industry, cloaked behind the wall of the company I was working for. Sure, it pissed my bosses off on occassion but they understood that that rage was fuelled from passion. Is it better to have the passion without the rage? Of course. But it’s not better to lose the rage at the expense of the passion.

      Long may the outbursts continue, I say. It shows we still care. I’ve encountered a frighteningly large lack of that, In my experience.

      1. Honestly, while I fully understand and can’t say it was wrong,sadly your outburst only feeds the trolls :/

        You got to get things out of your system though or they tend to choke you. My approach in every thing is “do what you feel like” because otherwise you’re not being honest to yourself.

        So in fact I actually like you more now.

    2. All of this. I can only add that the impression people get from you will be stronger in times of crisis rather than in a situation that doesn’t really matter. True colors, et cetera.

    3. “, you need to remember that as a company with a product that is being produced, you need to maintain some level of processionalism”
      I don’t see why that would be some kind of law of nature. It’s certainly not a law of society.

      “You absolutely cannot run any business in this manner, whether it is indie indie or not.”
      Sure you can. Apparently. They’re doing it, and they’re not even close to being the only ones.

      I found this game through Notch’s twitter a week or two ago. I downloaded the tech demo from the site and tried it out, and had some fun with it. I didn’t buy it, though, since I wanted to sit back and see where it was heading first.

      In light of this event, however, I will reconsider and go buy a copy as soon as I’ve finished writing this post. If nothing else, then just to spite the people yelling “CON!” and “UNPROFESSIONAL!”. Good on you guys for being human! That just won you one customer, at least. Give yourselves a hug from me.

  4. I believe it’s sort of a global understanding to act somewhat courteous to others when offering a product or service. Also don’t complain about people bitching to you, then proceed to bitch back. It’s rather hypocritical. I bought the game, yes I love you guys, Yes I love the potential that this game can be. Which is why I lovingly suggest you all at IndieStone stop self-sabotaging yourselves, keep quiet, and handle a PR person who can handle the troll-infested, ungrateful souls on the internet. PLEASE…JUST…STOP..RESPONDING. I do really love you guys though, seriously.

  5. I’m trying to be understanding because I appreciate your ambition and dedication to your game. I would never leave a job to chase a dream as hard to achieve as making a successful indie game. I’m not brave enough. I can understand that you are frustrated and angry at the people hurling insults left and right, not even trying to imagine what it would be like to lose months of work. I CAN’T imagine what losing that much work would feel like. It would be terrible, and I am sorry.

    I haven’t purchased it. I hadn’t really heard about it until today, except for seeing the occassional headline on r/gaming. But it’s the type of game I would purchase. A cheap zombie RPG with continual updates that I can run on my laptop? Sounds perfect. If I had heard about it before tonight, I would own it. I even considered buying it tonight just because I have a few extra bucks and feel like killing some zombies and showing you support.

    But when you say things like “Don’t throw that guy your money and then be shocked when he or she throws a hissy fit on Twitter,” it gives me a reason to keep my $8 and spend it on a game where the developers are dedicated to “professionalism.”

    You’re right, once you’ve admitted that you don’t believe you have to act professionally, I have no reason to be angry if I buy from you, complain, and get barked at by the developers. Because you have made it clear that is how you are willing to treat the people who are funding your game. Whatever. I can bring my money elsewhere. But the people who had already bought from you did NOT know that. They thought they were supporting a developer who wanted to build a respectful community where the developers and the players give each other feedback on where to improve and how to improve. The people who called you incompetent and insulted you were wrong. Insulting them back is even worse. They have paid money for a product which promised continual updates. Insulting them for being angry that their expectations (that came with their money) are not met is unfair. By not sufficiently backing up your code, people feel you have not upheld your end of the bargain. But the people who bought the game are all-in. They can’t get their money back. They have no say in it anymore. You can pull out and stop supporting the game whenever you want. They’re trapped because they trusted you to make good on your word that you would continually work on the game. And if you are able to continue doing that despite this setback, they will not be angry anymore. But they will be angry as long as you act like this has derailed what they expected to be a long-living game.

    Be angry at the people who don’t sympathize with you. Be angry at the people who put all of the blame on you. But saying they had no reason to expect professionalism is disingenuous. They paid you money. They played your game. Most of them liked your game. Those are all things to be happy about. Hell, be happy you have people with enough at stake with your game to BE angry, and then do what you can to make them happy again. That’s the only way to make this better.

    People expect professionalism when their money is involved. It doesn’t matter whether it’s justified or not, somebody purchasing the game who hasn’t read your blog will assume some level of professionalism and support. If you don’t give that to them, word will spread, and people won’t buy the game. Without people buying, Project Zomboid is dead, and I hope that’s the last thing you want to come out of this unfortunate situation.

    1. You haven’t even bought the game, you haven’t played the full version, what does your opinion matter? Why do you even think your opinion should matter, anon? Honestly. I’m fed up with this bitching coming from people who have never even played it. I bought it back in June and I have never felt slighted or attacked. I understood when I paid for the game [as EVERYONE should have] that it’s a work in progress, that updates will come but they shouldn’t be expected to be on a regular schedule.

      The game is great. It’s exactly what I wanted. It’s what I paid for. I didn’t pay 8 bucks so that I could go read some guy’s twitter and feel like they gave a shit about my input. I paid 8 bucks for a game I wanted to play. A game that would look at the forums and take suggestions into consideration. They’ve done that. You’re bitching because they got fed up with people harassing them after they got >fucking robbed<. They have not ripped anybody off, they haven't said "Hey fuck you guys we're done here thanks for the money". I haven't ever felt like I'm not getting what I paid for. It was 8 fucking dollars, honestly, I expected less than what I have.

      Their behavior and their demeanor is irrelevant. What is relevant is the game that they produce. I don't know what people don't get about that.

    2. While you do have a point and while I also disagree with some of the OP’s comments “They thought they were supporting a developer who wanted to build a respectful community where the developers and the players give each other feedback on where to improve and how to improve.”

      …you have to know how much that is a pipedream. Apart from a very small minority, all the player base of ANY game does is complain continually about every little thing. Said minority and the devs can have some actual meaningful dialog, but the rest of them are simply childish 90% of the time. If they don’t want to be snapped by the equivalent of a parent who’s had just enough to push them over the edge then they should stop acting like little babies about every little thing.

      That and the fact that they [the devs] just lost some serious work. Being a programmer myself I know exactly how much you invest into your code and it’s more that just time. To lose it just like that is pretty devastating and what do they get? Insults. Beautiful. I can’t blame (some of) them for lashing out to be honest.

  6. You just don’t get it do you? People aren’t mad at you and your cohorts because you got robbed. People are mad because your development process has been one mistake and unfortunate occurrence after another. You think you deserve special treatment because you’re an independent developer? Bullshit. What about the people who gave you money to preview an “alpha” version of Project Zomboid? Whether you like it or not you have a responsibility to uphold regarding those users. When you get robbed and lose your computers (which also happen to be the only computers that have had any of the work you’ve been doing for the last few months backed up on them) you should expect your “shareholders” to be a little frustrated with the way you’re doing business. Then when people point it out to you your response is to have a hissy-fit and throw fuck-you’s at anyone who isn’t tonguing your asshole like a deranged sycophant while having the audacity to demand special treatment? Activision or any other one of the big companies and corporations that you detest so much doesn’t get away with treating people like shit and neither should you. Do you want people to take you seriously or do you want to have tantrums? You can’t do both.

    1. “Activision or any other one of the big companies and corporations that you detest so much doesn’t get away with treating people like shit”

      ……are you fucking high

      1. Give me one of Activision telling their stockholders to “fuck off and die”. Give me one example or shut up and go back to sucking Binky’s dick you sycophant.

        1. Well now by your logic I shouldn’t even respond, seeing as you’re using curse words :<

          Just because Bobby Kotick doesn't have a personal twitter where he can let out his frustrations doesn't mean he gives a fuck about games or gamers.

          "The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games."

          on peripherals:
          "If it was left to me, I would raise prices even further"

          Activision doesn't give a shit about the gamers and if you think they do, you're fucking naive. Buying MW2 for 60$ and beating it in 5 hours was more of a slap in the face to me, as a consumer, than ANYTHING that has happened with PZ. I don't care what they say on twitter. They could call me out specifically for being an outlandish cunt. I don't give a fuck. That's not what matters. What matters is the game they produce and whether or not I feel that it was worth my money and yes, I feel that this game has been WELL worth my 8 fucking dollars.

          1. Indie Stone is hardly a step up from Activision. Everybody hates Activision because they don’t give a shit about their customers. Neither does Indie Stone. Only difference is Activision makes million dollar games and Indie Stone doesn’t back up their code.

            What’s the difference between Indie Stone and an aborted fetus?

            Fetuses know to back up their fucking code.

          2. Indie Stone is hardly a step up from Activision. Everybody hates Activision because they don’t give a shit about their customers. Neither does Indie Stone. Only difference is Activision makes million dollar games and Indie Stone doesn’t back up their code.

            What’s the difference between Indie Stone and an aborted fetus?

            Fetuses know to back up their fucking code. Jesus christ.

  7. I love what you guys are doing, but please do what you can to keep this company (group of guys, whatever) alive. Now that you’ve made clear what your beliefs are, people no longer have the right to complain when you act unprofessionally after they buy your game. You don’t believe you need to act professionally. Fine. But that standard will drive people away. And those who bought your game did not know those were your beliefs. They believed, as many do, that with an economic transaction comes some expectation of professionalism. Their expectations were not met. Saying they should have known better, after-the-fact, is disingenuous. They respected you and wanted you to respect them and their money. They were wrong to disrespect and insult you, but you were equally wrong in disrespecting them back.

    Do everything you can to make them happy again. Bring in more buyers. Without more buyers, Project Zomboid is dead.

  8. I don’t see how anyone can complain about the PZ guys responses.

    Some scummers broke into their home FFS

    If that wasnt bad enough they stole the the tools these guys use to create something very precious to them.

    I looked at the reddit article this morning and it made me feel bloody horrible.

    The reaction from joe public has been disgusting.

    Really hope karma kicks in

    1. “The reaction from joe public has been disgusting.”

      ^This. The Indie Stone is made up of a team of human beings. Who have been burgled. Their home has been violated.

      If you’re shocked that they’re being angry, lashing out and being “unprofessional” then you’re naive. And I hope you never have to experience what they’re going through.

    2. (Looks like this didn’t go through before, apologies if it ends up being a double post)

      “The reaction from joe public has been disgusting.”

      This. The Indie Stone is made up of a team of human beings. Who have just been burgled. Their home has been violated.

      If you’re shocked at them getting angry, lashing out and being “unprofessional” (especially in response to the shit people are throwing at them while they’re in this state) then you’re naive. And I hope you never have to go through what they’re going through.

    3. You and me both, chief.

      I think the only difference between us is that I want karma to assume the form of a titanium pool cue to the head for some of the arseholes slandering the PZ crew.

  9. Fuck you

    ^That was the message you spammed 8 times on reddit to your critics.

    Oh also you threatened many people in the thread. So I hope next time you are home when they rob your ass.

  10. “Eat your cake and have it too” is a phrase this incident reminds me of, as well. Independent developers are all too happy to take their customer’s money like any other developer or publisher, but when worse comes to worse and they experience some hardship they don’t expect to be held to the same level of “professionalism” as a major brand player. I don’t mind laconic insults when warranted, either. Verbal/written sparring can be healthy to defend oneself and one’s brand from unwarranted or misguided attack. In this case, however, there’s no wit or humour to it – only Derek Smart-esque tantrums. An appropriate response would have been to own up to it as your bad, and then sign off from Twitter ignoring the trolls who would still bait you regardless of how the situation played out. Instead, you’ve not only brought yourself down to their level by engaging in the same profanity as them, but you have also dragged the names of your fellow teammates through the mud. People who would’ve otherwise been sympathetic to your plight are now associating the Indie Stone with infantile, unprofessional antics like the team are comprised of angsty teens squabbling over Myspace.

    Peace out, and I hope the police are able to track the scumbags who stole the laptops.

  11. These guys aren’t con artists, they’re just not very good workers. They whine about how they shouldn’t have to act responsibly when dealing with a mistake caused by their own incompetence, and binky says he doesn’t care about big-company stuff like PR, that he just wants to make a good game, yet I have not heard anyone from this team commit to working harder or longer or doing any work at all to restore what was paid for by others and lost by themselves. This is not an elaborate con; it’s a run-of-the-mill case of unremarkable workers who are incapable of producing anything worth anyone’s serious time or money.

  12. Don’t feel comfortable throwing money at an indie dev who replies to insults with insults back? Don’t throw money at that sort of indie dev. It’s really terribly simple.

    Thanks for the heads up today as opposed to the pre-orders you took 6 months ago.

    Next time don’t act so smug that you’re “that kind of developer” after you rake in a bunch of money from people that tried to support a team that seemed very friendly in their begging for money.

  13. I bought a license for Project Zomboid fairly early on. I had read an article about how you had suffered a setback after the piracy issue and wanted to support you. Shortly thereafter, you entered what appeared to be a very frustrating development cycle as you tried to release an update in time to satisfy an increasingly restless fan base. At this point, I was sympathetic for you guys as you clearly appeared to be an honest grass roots development group who were trying to hold themselves accountable.

    Recently though, it’s completely regressed from that. I followed most of you on Twitter and had an invested interest in the progress of the game. It seemed to me that you all constantly voiced how often you had bad luck and how that was delaying progress. Again, that’s fine as you are just a group of guys producing a humble production and I could sympathise with how frustrated you all were. I have critiqued this on the PZ forums in the past but have never been abusive. I was simply frustrated that you had run into another foreseeable delay that continually emphasised that the money consumers were paying was not being effectively invested.

    My problem with this most recent tirade is that you are again using completely incompatible excuses as a way of justifying your behaviour. You’re claiming professional behaviour was never a consideration, but your Twitter is not a collection of personal thoughts. Both you and Lemmy have used it as a platform to address your fan base and customers. I had not participated in the related Reddit topic during the aftershock of the robbery and it was just shocking to see Lemmy declare ‘fuck you and everyone else and I mean that sincerely’. This isn’t a matter of professionalism, I would not take that language from anybody. It’s completely disrespectful especially when addressing people who have paid you for a product.

    Openly welcoming transactions on your website does infer a degree of professional conduct as you are initiating contract law. I have sent an email to your accounts website requesting a refund because of my dissatisfaction with the Indie Stone’s conduct. “Don’t feel comfortable throwing money at an indie dev who replies to insults with insults back?” I never insulted you, Binky. You’ve taken my money and then said ‘fuck you’ multiple times. No one wants to be subjected to that and pretending like you believe otherwise is pure ignorance.

    This kind of behaviour will continue to alienate you from a consumer base that you previously worked very hard to establish. I understand that you are frustrated with the more vocal and negative online presence, but there are a lot of us who were trying to support you who no longer see any motivation to do so. We’re looking at an incomplete game constantly hindered due to bizarre delays (if you didn’t have code being backed up offsite, what was our money even being invested in?) and our only source of explanation is a constant tirade of insults.

    I hope you all get closure on this latest robbery fiasco. It is a terrible thing to have happened and I would not wish it upon anyone, but how about taking this on board as a lesson for the future rather than using it against anyone who previously respected you? You’re digging Indie Stone a roomy grave.

  14. I can’t help but make it clear how incredibly bad this publicity seems from a general consumer’s end. I had never heard of your project or been interested in it before tonight – I now know about it, and what I know is much more about the people behind the project than the actual product itself.

    This event should never have been more than one tightly controlled blog-post about the loss of data and tools, backups or not. You guys seem to think that being “genuine” and direct makes your team more real or better than other small team products. But from the perspective of a potential buyer (someone who has interest in spending the small amount of cash it takes to find out about a fun new independent game) your team looks like a bunch of college kids with no direction, leadership, or organization.

    Your company, or in this case your product, is more than just your code. You lost dignity as a group and as individuals, and claiming that it’s just your style is not helpful when people want clear, calm, and non-emotional dialogue about the status of a product that they’ve paid for. It doesn’t matter that you’re just some guy who has the right to say whatever you want to – the moment people gave you money in good faith for a full product, you should treat that as a binding agreement to be fully professional in the hopes that you are building a customer base.

    You’ve gotten enough vitriol tonight, I’m sure – but just be sure you don’t ignore why people are rightfully mad at your team. Not because you lost data, but because your team (whether individually or not, each person represents all of you) decided to let their emotions go in response to mistakes that you all made. The people who gave you money should have only heard one message, from all of you at once – something bad happened, but we are still committed to bringing you a great product.

    1. The people who gave them money did not give them money so they could witness professional behavior. They gave them money to play a fucking zombie game. End of story. I don’t know what everyone is bitching about here. I paid money, I got the game, I love the game, as long as they keep working on it I’ll be happy. I couldn’t care less how they act on twitter, and neither should anyone else.

  15. I love how everyone thinks that people need to be professional or get a good PR aka BS representative. Personally, I’ll take real emotion and real facts over the lies and drivel that PR people spew every day.

    Good luck guys and I’m still happy with my purchase. I’ve spent hours and hours on this little alpha of yours which is more than I can say about some AAA games.

  16. People who whine about professionalism and PR buffers really don’t see the point in being independent. Being indie entails deep community involvement by the creators, and having that interaction be as honest as possible.

    While it’s not good when the creators act like asses, it’s part of the risk of mixing with indies. Instead of speaking from some faceless podium pedestal, Binky and the guys speak to us as equals and as human beings.

    Is it wrong of them to expose their customers to their problems in such a toxic way? Sure.

    Is it wrong of us to be angry at them for voicing that displeasure? Most definitely!

    If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. If you can’t take their un-professionalism just buy the game and get the fuck out of here.

    (Now for a little anecdote.) Two years ago, a friend of mine went through huge emotional turmoil after her grandmother died.

    The grandmother was always referred to as “Nan”.

    Since she was already an orphan, Nan had been her sole guardian for as long as she could remember.

    For months, my friend would get drunk and act like no one else in the world had it as bad as her, and she’d talk about suicide a lot. Despite her terrible attitude, our duty as friends was just to take it.

    Over time she recovered, but not without losing some of her friends. Even people who would have taken bullets for her ran away from her constant negativity. When something tragic happens to someone, never back down. Never tell them to “get over it” or “be a professional”, because at the time of impact your buddy may not be themselves.

    This is a minor tragedy for the Project Zomboid guys, and frankly there’s probably a special pit in hell for the folks who criticize their handling of the situation. Fuck you!

    1. Yep, I’m going to hell because I criticized people that threw my money down the shitter. HERE I COME DEVIL! Stick to writing to oprah you fucking drama whore.

      1. You’re not just going to hell, you’re going to “a special pit in hell for the folks who criticize their handling of the situation”

        Man, that is a *very* specific pit.

        Martinthew has very strange spiritual beliefs 😉

    2. People who paid for the game are not the developer’s friends. They are customers. So they couldn’t care less about their personal shit, they just want the game. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is.

  17. hi so can everyone realize indie games blow dick now

    you all just got robbed by some hipsters with some dumb flash game they were promising

  18. Oh fuck almighty reading these comments pisses ME off, I can’t imagine how you guys feel.

    Your “outbursts” are normal reactions. I don’t give a shit what anyone says. I completely understand where you’re coming from. Your game is fantastic, it is the exact thing I have always wanted in a zombie game. As long as you keep on working on it and don’t just give up on it altogether, I don’t care what the fuck you write on twitter. You could call all gamers stupid cunts. I don’t care. I didn’t pay 8 bucks to read your twitter or have you act professional. I paid 8 dollars for a good fucking zombie game, and I got that. So thank you. And good luck. And fuck all these dumbasses crying about your behavior.

  19. hey binky, You guys know I support you all the way. Me realizing you guys are “real people” with “real emotions” only makes me like you guys more. Hang in there, and do what you think needs to be done.

  20. If you guys want to get your money back then go ahead (even though that’s like kicking them and spitting on them while they are on fire rolling on the floor), after this however I feel anymore complaints aimed at these guys again are unfound if you have a problem with how they re-acted then get your money and get out, if you have a problem and stay well then you have nothing to complain about you know what you have gotten into and know what to expect from them in the future. I feel people should understand what set these guys off, they got burglared which is no walk in the park (I know happened to me ironically when I was making my second game) the internet should not have been the first place but when your pissed and want to vent, you vent! I also don’t like the fact how people having been slinging insults behind a screen names like cowards.

  21. Just because you’re indie doesn’t mean you have a free pass to

    a) Act like you’re clueless (no backups? Welcome to software development 101)

    b) React like jackasses when paying customers are (rightly) angry

    Cheers for giving us other independent devs a bad name (you know – the other devs in the world who ARE prepared to act professional when shit hits the fan).

    1. Hey bro what’s the name of your game, what’s your personal blog? Just wanted to know so I can follow it and you and berate every decision you make

      1. I think the word ‘fuckhead’ is a good one for you and a few others in this thread. Just kind of fucked in the head, refusing or unable to comprehend the shittiness of this situation and the depth of the immaturity displayed by Binky and co.

    2. I’ve got to agree with David here.

      Unfortunately, in the business world it is not just the end product that counts. Plenty of “good products” flop due to a lack of attention to other important parts of the business – after sales service, marketing, community management, etc.

      You guys have a great idea and scored some pretty lucky breaks with marketing. Don’t let the other factors fall by the wayside – you really can’t afford to if you want to make this work.

  22. Now all we need is a system to tell us what kind of developer you are before we pay you.

    See, if I could show my past self this blog post, I’d know you were a person I don’t want to give money to. Zomboid’s a great game, with great potential, but there are too many great games already out there for me to put up with a developer who acts like this.

    Yes, game development is hard. Yes, sometimes we say things we regret. You guys don’t regret acting like twats to the people who gave you money. Indeed, you defend it vigorously. We’ve seen the amazing things that independing, crowd-funded development can do. Thanks to you, we’ve now seen the ugly side.

  23. Okay, so you’re a dickhead to your customers and you’re proud of it. Now we know. Thanks for the memo.

    Perhaps it was one of your own team members that broke into your flat and stole your laptops. Judging from your tweets, you guys seem ghetto enough for that to be a possibility 😉

    It’s only a matter of time before these trailer park trash developers self-destruct completely. I don’t wish that on anyone, but its hard to feel sympathy for assholes that write blog posts to brag about being assholes.

    If you’re going to earn a living by selling directly to customers, you are *probably* going to have to be nice to people. But okay, you’re indie, so you have the freedom to practice business however you like. Good luck with that 😉

  24. Holley and Acex222 both of you really need to stop kissing ass. Yes we paid for the game and not behavior. DO you know what it’s called? Common courtesy. If I buy something from you and you treat me nicely I will most likely come back for not just your food or your games or w/e but for the great service I get. I’m sad to see such a young generation forgetting that. so both of you can go fuck off and learn some manners. P.S. Acex222 no need to fucking put your usual “fuck off” or “eat dick” you fucking child.

    1. “so both of you can go fuck off and learn some manners. P.S. Acex222 no need to fucking put your usual “fuck off” or “eat dick” you fucking child.”

      lol hypocrisy

      Whose ass am I kissing? I don’t know these people and I’m not saying “OMG STOP BEIN SO MEEN U GUISE” I just think it’s fucking retarded that so many people are crying about this. The game is what matters, not their behavior, and you even accept that in your response. Everything else [like your little bitch fit right here] is irrelevant.

  25. Thank you for helping me choose what the money that comes out of my wallet will do. I choose not to support devs as yourself.

    The only thing you do not seem to grasp is that you are affecting what money goes directly into your pocket in more ways than one by the way you are acting. Not only are you alienating the people that would support your project. You mentioned elsewhere “I could get a job as a fucking technical artist”. Guess what? No you can’t. The game dev field is way to small. Everyone knows everyone even in the AAA space and run into each other all over the world. So the people that would be hiring you are reading what you say and how you act. And if you think you are god’s gift to TAs there are hundreds if not thousands of people going for the same jobs as you who don’t have a history of melting down on public forums. Guess who might have to make fries in a chip shop if the indy game thing doesn’t work out?

  26. This entire post is a disgrace to the entire indie development scene.

    If you invite me to give you my hard-earned cash for a product, then falter in delivering said product, I have every right to moan, and if you know what’s good for your game’s continued success, you should sit down, shut up and listen.

    The moment money enters the equation, you become obliged to a certain standard of conduct, a standard that you have obviously failed to live up to. ‘The “company” is probably just a name’ only until the “company” starts taking in money. At that point, you have people invested in you- and should act accordingly.

    Regardless, being openly abrasive with people is a poor way to run a studio, regardless of what ‘type’ of indie you are. At the end of the day – through the entire spectrum of indie development – developers want people to play their games, and getting ‘angry, upset, or annoyed by something on the internet’ can only detract from that goal.

    If you’re aware that your personal Twitter/blog/whatever is going to be inflammatory, maybe you should keep it personal.

  27. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves, for throwing out excuses like this for your piss poor behaviour.

    This isnt about “being yourselves” it’s about showing some integrity towards your customers.

    You guys have some serious growing up to do. As it stands right now, this shitstorm of bad PR bullshit has turned you guys into the laughing stock of the gaming community at a point when you guys were reaching a level plenty of “indie gamers” don’t even reach.

    For the love of god, invest in some PR and pull your heads out of your asses.

  28. I’m pretty sure I paid toward this game some time ago. I can’t remember exactly, but I htink I did. At any rate, I don’t care. Not a big deal.

    However, if you’re going to hide behind “we’re indie, man! we’re so raw punk!” as an excuse to respond with volatility toward volatile comments, then except to have your volatile responses to volatile responses be met with more volatility and judgement.

    You’re some dudes in a basement making a cool game and striking out on your own. You’re not Johnny Rotten, getting street cred for being hard core and telling people off.

    You should have stated the situation – failure to backup and loss due to theft and all – and gone away for a few days. A bunch of drunk rants angrily responding to followers (especially things like “fuck ALL of you!”) is not the way to respond. Whether you’re professional or indie or anything in-between.

    But like you say, you’re totally indie, man. You’re so righteous and hard core. Enjoy thinking that about yourselves when nobody takes you seriously anymore. Including gamers/customers/fans, who are the only thing that keep an indie developer in business.

    I’m a developer. I’ve lost data. It was my own fault. I’ve run a business. I’ve had a lot of conflict. How I responded with that was up to me. I’ve suffered a home invasion. Losing tens of thousands of stuff and personal information and papers and everything I own to some meth head completely sucks. But . . . you guys should have responded in a less douchey manner. Especially when you knew the criticism was coming. That’s what separates successful people from angry failures, bitching over their coffee and smokes about how it’s everyone else’s fault, because they just don’t understand.

  29. So what you’re saying is that if people feel conned that’s their own fault because they should have known you were gonna con them?

  30. I hadn’t even heard of this game and “studio” until this whole incident, and frankly my impressions of the latter is that they are a bunch of immature Gen Y kids who have thin skins and terrible PR skills.

    After seeing how big of drama queens you guys are its pretty clear …………. People are complaining because of the complete lack of professionalism. How are people supposed to be excited about a game when at every set back you have you flip out and act like a 3 year old toddler that just lost his toy?

  31. I dont think you quite get it, you took peoples money and entered into an agreement with them. They have every right to be pissed off, your outburst was the equivalent to them of getting called a cunt by a pizza man trying to find your house after they have taken their tip off your credit card.

    Thats what you need professionalism for, to let people know that you can be trusted and cause people to be confident in your service. This is going to harm that image. The fact that you just followed it up with something actually worse is just shocking, not even an apology?

    Well good luck but I dont think this post is going to solve your problems.

  32. Oh, come on. Why do we have to argue? Let’s just find a few things we can, for the most part, agree upon:

    -Ignoring the behavior of the developers, Project Zomboid is at least a pretty decent game, with a great deal of potential. It’s worth the $8 cost to a lot of people.

    -The recent behavior of the developers is disagreeable at best. This, however, is not their normal behavior, as we have seen in the past, and they have good reason to act this way as humans.

    -Despite the reasons and/or excuses explained and/or fabricated to the community, we hope the Project Zomboid team will learn from this crisis, though it is ultimately their decision how they conduct their business. Perhaps they could stop drinking alcohol, maybe? I don’t know, it might be worth a try.

    Okay, so perhaps I deviated from the original purpose of this post a bit. But still, this argument makes me sick. Do we not all care about the same thing here, at least marginally? So we have our differences in opinion. Maybe we don’t like the way the Indie Stone conducts themselves in times of crisis. Maybe Indie stone doesn’t like the way we conduct ourselves. They probably have their reasons for what they’re doing, and if you don’t agree with those reasons, well, it’s only $8. My family just spent over $400 on Halloween costumes. And why do we care about the way they conduct themselves, as long as we enjoy the game they make? As corrupt as we may think them to be, they’re still giving us a game. It’s still pretty good.

    Yes, I know, I’ll say it myself so you don’t have to. “FUCK OFF.” If you’d like to elaborate on that, feel free to. I don’t want to, because I feel uncomfortable cursing.

  33. The laptops weren’t even stolen, they were just trying to get more cash from you retards who will pre order something because it has zombies and its indie!

  34. Literally the first thing I have ever heard about “project zomboid” is that you had a tantrum on twitter. Great PR, champ.

  35. I get what you are trying to say, but you come off sounding melodramatic and annoying.

    Not the best way to market your game.

  36. You cannot seriously believe that starting a company and selling a product means you are not attempting to be professionals. If you’re not professionals, then you’re amateurs, and amateurs do not derive financial benefit from their amateur activities.

  37. I have known very little of the game up until yesterday (Seems alright), and have not given you any money.

    I have to be honest, if I did pay for the game and read your blog and twitter feeds I wouldn’t be happy at all. I think it’s really unfair to tell people they should be more grateful, or understanding – when afterall they are paying customers. ‘Just a fiver’ really isn’t something you can say. Without these ‘fivers’ where would you be.

    Anyways, the fact is I didn’t give you guys any money, so I am just dumbfounded by the whole incident.

    I wish you more luck in the future.

  38. Binky and Lemmy were both colleagues of mine once upon a time.

    I totally understand their anger and frustration. I know it comes across as threats and aggression but honestly it’s just passion. In the professional industry fights are very common and nasty things are said all the time because we are passionate about what we do. So we argue and shout and call each other names, then we apologise to each other and get on with making the game.

    Binky is passionate about making indie games and will consider all of you guys who are part of the Zomboid community as part of the team and probably even friends. He might shout at you but he doesn’t mean anything by it. He’s just angry at life in general at the moment and who here hasn’t snapped at a friend some time when they didn’t deserve it.

    Afterwards He’ll apologise and he’ll mean it, then he’ll get up, put on his Fluffy Captain hat and get on with making the game as good as he possibly can. I’m hoping most of you will be able to understand that and let go of any grudges you might hold right now.

    I know some people might not see it but professionalism in the games industry isn’t all about maintaining composure. It’s about getting back up when you get knocked down and persevering when the shit hits the fan.

    1. I hope you understand why it is that so many people are turned off by these events, including this post. It may well be that screaming and hand waving is the norm in the games industry, although I think you’re confusing a colleague-colleague relationship with a seller-customer one, but this talk about being “indie indie” and doing whatever he wants because of it is nonsense.

      Whatever sympathy that was gained from being a victim of theft is being burnt up at an incredible rate by a complete lack of responsibility.

    2. “professionalism in the games industry” is backing up your game off site. If these guys don’t want to deal with PR they don’t have to, it loses them sales and alienates them from the community on which they are relaying on to make a living but that is up to them.

      Taking money for an unfinished product and failing to protect the work done on that product are a whole other matter that the community has the right to be upset about. That the team seem to utterly fail to understand this is the reason this has turned in the PR nightmare that it is.

      Step back, take a breath, calm down and then address the issue… that’s not PR that simple civility and common sense. Things this team is lacking in spades.

      What’s funny is that the whole reason pay pal locked down the account for these guys is they where afraid that something like this would happen. Who knew that pay pal would turn out to be right?

    3. I think this was a really good arcltie. I recently had a similar conversation on plus, about John Carmack.There is the technical definition of the Indie developer; someone who develops games independent of any publishing companies.That aside, I feel Indie is a sort of lifestyle, or mindset. I agree fully with Gerald’s conditions for qualifying as indie. But i would put forward that not meeting all of them disqualifies you, so long as you have the right outlook going.Its about the games, its about the fun, the innovation, the experience. Being indie is about everything other than money.Money is a great incentive and a great reward. But it should never be the goal of an indie developer.

  39. Just heard about your game yesterday, I didn’t bought it. The fact is even if the game looks actually good, after reading this, I can assure you I won’t EVER give you a single dollar. You’re a disgrace to the indie community.

  40. So, is being “indie indie” a license to not deliver on your product, shoddy PR and absolutely no self-control when a catastrophe happens?
    You sir, are a major scumbag. If you’re taking people’s money, a MODICUM of what you call “professionalism” is needed. As in, get fucking real and be a grown up for once, the cash may be coming from faceless people but they are still there, existing.
    Instead of throwing a huge hissy fit over this whole thing, you could have just said “we’ve had some setbacks with the release of PZ” instead of waging an all-out campaign against the very people who have supported you.
    Instead of going into every possible soapbox you have available yelling “FUCK YOU AND FUCK GAMES”, you could have, say, NOT GONE ONLINE until you calmed the fuck down.
    You guys are fucking terrible. Fuck me? Well FUCK YOU! And good luck on your “game” and every future endeavor, this will stay in your record and no one will let you forget. All you have brought upon yourselves is terrible, terrible PR. Sadly, not all publicity is good publicity.
    Now, I’m gonna go throw my money over at faceless corporations and their robotic PR, because they’re delivering some pretty good games this year and are keeping their stuff together. 🙂

  41. You people saying you can be mad at getting ripped off are fools. None of you (or me) is entitled to a full game. Alphafunding (and crowdfunding) in no way guarantees you a finished game. You’re even told, at least on Desura, that you are paying for a game that isn’t finished, and might never be. It’s a GAMBLE, and you have no right to be mad when you lose. Besides, the version they’ve released already is more than worth $8.

    As far as their response, yes it was hostile, and waiting till they weren’t drunk to post probably would have been a good idea. However, I agree, and empathize, with the desire to say what you want. They own their own company – they don’t have to have nice PR. They can tell us all to fuck off (And since it’s alphafunding, they can tell us to fuck off AND not give us a game) and we have to sit their and take it, cause we’re the ones that fucked up. Not that they’re conning us, of course.

  42. I was thinking about buying this game, but your unprofessionalism, excuses, and justification for it are reason enough not to support you.

    From Reddit:

    “–CaptainBinky: Fuck you. And I mean that sincerely.
    -Nocorras: It would help if you would stop making yourself look like an idiot every time you post. Maybe it comes natural though.
    –CaptainBinky: Fuck you.
    -Nocorras: There we go again. I can’t believe people actually gave you money and you don’t have the presence of mind to back up your code multiple times. At this point it’s hilarious, keep it up.
    –CaptainBinky: Fuck you.
    -Nocorras: Good god you’re a moron. I hope this will teach you an important lesson, but you STILL haven’t seemed to understand.
    Any hopes you had are now gone. No one is going to give a rat’s ass about you after you insult the main people giving you money.
    Good luck with the crash and burn, you need help, seriously.”

    Screw it, I’m not buying your shitty game. I’m investing somewhere else like Minecraft where the devs don’t insult your customers. You’re right, I will be spending my money elsewhere. And while I’m at it, I will be giving your company poor reviews on every site I can find so that everyone knows what you guys think about your own community.

  43. phew im very glad i never went and pre ordered this game I mean come on if you know anything at all what does common sense tell you :

    gee idk backup?

    correct and while were at it WHY WOULD U BACKUP UR DATA ONTO A NOTEBOOK

    common-sense again says to back it up on an offsite server……………….

  44. I thought about buying this game, but now I’m just glad I pirated it. Your attitude makes me mad and I do not at all feel like supporting your causes. Let me exploit you for the enjoyment and run off, jackasses.

  45. If you give a street musician has a sign that says please something along the lines of “Please Support my Dream” and you give him $5. If he doesn’t become a pro what does it matter to you. Indie Stone I still do and always will support you. Shit Happens. Also people… You were warned when you donated… Lastly, people are people. If you had all your shit stolen, and fucked everything up, there is a good chance that you would want to vent…

  46. It’s so true what you’ve written there! I think it’s a shame that due to the hostile reaction of a few people (which you reacted to in a hostile way, too – understandable!) the overall way of dealing with the community has to change. It has always been one of the special things about Indie Stone and Project Zomboid: That the devs are human beings getting in touch with people who like what they are doing.
    I’m sure you’ll find a good way to deal with this stuff in the future and at the same time not making PZ a “job” as any other. Don’t let some idiots drag you down. There are many more people believing in what you’re doing. Keep your passion! 🙂

  47. If you want to piss people off feel free, it’s your lost sale. It’s a stupid loss sale, that you didn’t need to lose and shouldn’t have lost by the simple effort of not being dicks. But your choice all the same. PR exists for a reason and that reasons is to help keep putting money in your pocket and to sell your game it’s not how ever the same thing as being “professional”.

    You took money from people to make a game. You did not back that game up off site. For the cost of less than one sale a month this could have been avoided. It’s simple common sense. Not doing that is why you are being unprofessional not your reactions or you distaste for PR which is meant to keep you fed.

    Like it or not you livelihood is bound up in this game. You left you jobs, that was your choice and now you are beholden to the community for your continued existence. But ya, fuck the community, why should you have to act all nice if you don’t want to?

    Feel free to shoot your self in the foot. Don’t feel free to do stupid shit that could lead to the product you are selling from never being finished.


  48. Linked here from Total Buiscuit’s October 17:th mailbox – I just had to see this for myself.

    What a bunch of unprofessional crybabies you devs are! Thank God I didn’t throw away any money to some diaper-wrapped amateurs like this bunch who aren’t even smart enough to make proper backups of their work. And then have the audacity to lash out at your own supporters because of your own stupidity.

    You should really give this up, immediately! You are clearly not cut out for having anything to do with PR, fans, supporters or customers! Let this project rest in its grave and be done with it!

    And when you’re done with spewing your misery on everybody else, have a look at Total Biscuit’s mailbox and PERHAPS LEARN SOMETHING FROM IT!

    Let me end this perfectly by quoting “Shame on you”‘s perfect response;

    “I can assure you I won’t EVER give you a single dollar. You’re a disgrace to the indie community.”

    1. +1 defiantly look at the mailbox, you guys need to learn some manners and a concept of professionalism, as soon as money comes into the equation you owe your fans something more than some crap about what it is to be Indi, sort it out lads.

      1. Meh, everyone has a right to defend themselves. Considering the brown being smeared all over this mess by the community, this is a tame response.

        They didn’t fold, they’re still at it, even though a shitheap was piled on their face and then a few hundred internet chumps plopped their asses on it. Let them work, let’s see where it goes before more bullshit gets laid at their feet by the community.

  49. Well if nothing else, it’s obvious to me why you guys are an indie developer.

    Incompetence like this would have never held up under any respectable publisher.


  50. I purchased your game after hearing about the burglary on the and playing the demo. This whole mess has been a shit storm after national taco day imo.

    I like the game, and I like where you guys will somehow go with it, and I disliked that a game like this may not make it to a final stage, so I supported it.

    Good luck, and come out with a quick, solid, non-comprehensive update/series of updates to get the ball rolling again. After bad events, routine saves sanity.

  51. Ha! Good for you Binky. I’ve never seen a larger bunch of whinging crying little babies as you managed to get together and allow to post on your forums.

    The only thing you did wrong in my book is not swinging the ban hammer a little sooner.

    Fuck em I say. I wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire.

  52. 1. Be a total dickhole and embarrassment in front of all the people who purchased your game.

    2. Give a self-important, pretentious lecture about what it means to be an indie and explain how that justifies lashing out at your fans who have supported you by purchasing your game.

    3. ????

    4. Barely profit in the future!

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