Hey everyone! We've all been putting together Humble Indie Bundle 6 for months now, and it’s been awesome that so many people are checking out the games and soundtracks!

The creative, awesome, and incredibly hard-working folks behind Dustforce, Rochard, Shatter, Space Pirates and Zombies, Torchlight, and Vessel are here for the AMA, so ask away!

In attendance:

  • maxschaefer: Max Schaefer, co-founder of Runic Games, creators of Torchlight, and survivor of the Torchlight II launch

  • m4ttbush: Matt Bush, engine programmer at Hitbox Team, creators of Dustforce

  • Lifeformed: Terence Lee of Hitbox Team, music composer on Dustforce, lover of the chiptunes

  • xenit: Jan Achrenius, CEO of Recoil Games, creators of Rochard

  • snlehton: Sampsa Lehtonen, co-owner and lead programmer at Recoil Games, creators of Rochard

  • mariowynands: Mario Wynands, co-founder of Sidhe, creators of Shatter

  • Blorfy: Andrew Hume, co-founder of MinMax Games, part of 2-man Space Pirates and Zombies superteam

  • Narlak: Richard, co-founder of MinMax Games, Space Pirates and Zombies

  • Baddie22: John Krajewski, studio head at Strange Loop Games, Vessel

Proof: https://twitter.com/humble/status/251033828859207680

We’re looking forward to your questions, so ask away!

Thanks for all your questions! Most of us had to get back to work (but a few answers might still be coming through). Thanks for your tremendous support and letting us keep bringing you guys awesome bundles. If you've noticed any bugs, please send an email to [email protected] so we can try and get it sorted out.

Comments: 1412 • Responses: 73  • Date: 

Nerdcubed284 karma

This is for everyone. If you could have any 5 indie games in a Humble Indie Bundle what would you pick?

Thanks for all your work!

parsap256 karma

Hey, I am a huge fan of your channel! I subscribed ever since the Overgrowth video, which has made a huge difference for Wolfire, by the way.

It is hard to pick five games, without revealing Humble Indie Bundle 7. :)

MysticKirby112 karma

Wait, you guys have future bundles scheduled already?

parsap208 karma

Not exactly scheduled, but in the works. It can take a long time to bring games to Linux.

m4ttbush5 karma

  • Cave Story
  • Braid
  • Dear Esther
  • Minecraft
  • Half-life 3

phort99204 karma

Hitbox team: Are you guys actually capable of SSing the insane "difficult" levels you build?

For those not in the know, have a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSe8IxMqK80

m4ttbush309 karma


no :(

louiedog186 karma

HIB games have linux ports and Steam codes. Steam is coming to Linux. Do any of you have plans to bring your Linux ports to Steam?

Blorfy209 karma

Yes indeed we do :)

We will also use the Steamplay option if available, so like with the Mac/PC version, one key to rule them all.

mariowynands95 karma

Yes, we are hassling Valve already.

snlehton87 karma

Definitely. With a Linux build and Steam on Linux, it would be insane not to do it :)

yentlequible153 karma

What are the profits of the Humble Bundle compared to actually selling the games individually at their regular prices?

xenit298 karma

For Rochard, it's volume & visibility. Our game is not very well known and those who know think it's PSN-only game. We had a bad start last year due to PSN breach and bad market timing. Also, bringing the game to the Linux platform has been very exciting.

callcifer61 karma

I've heard about Rochard for the first time with this bundle and I just can't stop playing! Thank you guys for an amazing game and a flawless Linux port!

If you ever release Rochard 2 (I saw the video, there are some nice new mechanics there) you'll have my preorder from day one.

snlehton7 karma

Thanks for the Linux port belong to the awesome Linux team from Unity!

mariowynands142 karma

It's a good boost of cash to game sales, though obviously the unit price is a lot lower than we might get via other channels.

Funnily enough, our Shatter sales are currently up on Steam too, so the increased fan base and visibility on the game is already starting to have a "downstream" effect.

snlehton77 karma

You're not alone :) we're seeing it too. It's subtle, but it's there.

LpSamuelm86 karma

I'll just get this out of the way already.

Would you rather fight 50 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?

m4ttbush199 karma


idlephase72 karma

Answered like a true programmer

5forsilver67 karma


m4ttbush62 karma


snlehton108 karma

Would the 50 duck-sized horses attack me at the same time, or would they be queued like in some rogue-like?

m4ttbush160 karma

The 50 duck-sized horses are taped together to form a horse-sized horse made of duck-sized horses.

lifeformed170 karma

is that even legal

m4ttbush96 karma

It's fine, the duck-sized horses are actually comprised of millions of ant-sized ducks, and the ant-sized ducks are just made of carbon.

Blorfy37 karma

Horses and ducks are both by nature herbivores and non aggressive to meat, which I am made of. So either one should be ok because I don't think they would want to fight me, and I don't want to fight them.

HOWEVER the real question is 50 rat sized Lionesses, or 1 Lioness sized rat. Both options there are bad though.

niiro80 karma

Are any of you worried about profit lost in HIB as far as those that pay <$1?

Is there any significant impact, and what is the percentage of people who purchase just a dollar or less?

parsap148 karma

Since adding the $1 minimum for Steam keys, penny purchases have stopped being a problem. The real issue was people hoarding Steam keys for resale, just to give out for fun, or to use for getting extra coal, like in Valve's Christmas promotion. At a $1 floor, that issue almost completely disappears.

xenit49 karma

Those who pay $1 for the bundle probably wouldn't pay $1 (at 90% off) for a single game on Steam.

mariowynands35 karma

Well, at least something is still going to charity right. The Bundle isn't all about profit.

Disappointing if people pay less than $1 but that is the nature of the beast, and we wouldn't have the high volume of sales and higher payers without the word of mouth the opportunity to pay what you want generates.

cantfindnewname78 karma

Hi, thank you for doing this. I have bought probably every Humble Bundle I know about and I am really glad you are doing this.

How does porting games to Linux usually looks like? Who does that?

If I had a game I created and would like to put it for Humble Bundle, what should I do?

Blorfy171 karma

For us, we luckily were assigned an ace porter for Linux, because here's me with Linux.


Phenominom76 karma

(Possibly) unwanted feedback: These most recent HIB games were among the easier to run on Linux yet, but SPAZ had the unfortunate exception of being one of the few not compiled into both 64 and 32 bit binaries. It's not a huge deal, just necessitates pulling in a load of 32-bit compatible libraries, which is a pain.

Otherwise, I'm super happy to finally have SPAZ on Linux, pat your porter on the back, and thanks a ton!

Blorfy62 karma

All feedback is wanted :) I will pass this info along as well. Maybe it was an oversight.

maxschaefer47 karma

We are with Blorfy.

snlehton53 karma

We used Unity3D engine (which I have a strong love-hate relationship with), and they did all the dirty work for us. What we did is make the actual builds using the editor provided by Unity Linux team, test it out and report back to them.

cantfindnewname18 karma

Thanks for your answer, another question for programmers. There is a lot of young game developers/graduates who are looking for experience. Would it be possible to get internship at Humble Bundle? Do you look for people like this? What type of skills are expected by developers like this?

snlehton26 karma

You need experience and connections, but also burning desire to be in the business. Unfortunately I haven't heard any school that could actually provide you that.

Start small. Best thing you can do to yourself is actually finish a game. There's much more work in it that you might think of.

mariowynands32 karma

The HIB guys hooked us up with a contractor they use to port to Mac and Linux.

Axiol58 karma

Any news about the Mac / Linux versions of Vessel ?

parsap81 karma

We currently have three Linux game developers working on the Mac and Linux builds, but it is still experiencing some pretty big issues and unfortunately is still not ready to go. We were totally sure that it was going to be ready last week, but unexpected issues keep popping up, so it is really hard to get an updated ETA other than "hopefully very soon".

tiger_j53 karma

How did you get your games involved with HIB?

edit: did they come to you, did you go to them? what is the origin story of your relationship.

mariowynands72 karma

We were approached by HIB initially. And after a few beers on multiple occasions, we made it happen (we would have jumped at the opportunity even without the beers). Great team there.

lifeformed105 karma

Hey, they only gave me a coffee!

mariowynands107 karma

You should have held out.

xenit39 karma

The founder of our company met with the Humble Bundle team at Game Connection Lyon some years ago, probably in 2009. They contacted us after PSN release in October 2011. We were supposed to be in the bundle earlier, but we didn't have proper Linux build until 22nd of September.

maxschaefer37 karma

We jumped at the chance when they approached us. We've been a fan of the bundle idea for a while, so it's sort of a no-brainer for us.

myawesomeaccount44 karma

I've known, and had, most of the games in this bundle prior to it but I couldn't resist getting this for Dustforce and Rochard. I love all of the games and applaud you're able to do what you love and making a living out of it. I have a few questions:

Blorfy and Narlak: I read about your journey to actually get SPAZ published, and it showed just how crazy it can be to even get it considered for publication. I'm glad that things have worked out for you two and also the ports you made along with being included in HIB. Was there any point in time where you were circling the eject button with your finger ready to give it all up? What are your upcoming plans? SPAZ 2? Something else? Also, with Torque 3D going open source, do you plan on using it for future games or are you considering switching to something a little more modern like Unity?

This is kind of a broad question, but I guess more for parsap: I love how the sountracks are made available to people, but the versions of the games in the bundle don't include the sountracks with the Steam keys. Has that been considered to be included? Have you also considered adding an option in the Android app to include a sountrack section so people can download them straight to their devices? Also, it would be nice if there was an option to delete downloaded apks after they've been installed. They can add up over time.

I'd like to thank you all for your awesome games and the work you've put into it.

Narlak37 karma

We are currently in pre-production of SPAZ 2, using Unity at the moment (likely what we will end up using).

There was some rough times, but when bad times hit, we never considered ditching the project. We put so much into it, we had to finish it for sanity reasons even if we made no money.

parsap30 karma

That is a good point about the soundtracks in the Steam keys. That may be something we can do in the future, I will look into it.

I would definitely like to improve the Android app. APK removal should be pretty simple to add. Music integration would be a bit trickier but would be awesome.

Blorfy25 karma

For SPAZ 1, I think that we knew that we were even more screwed if we gave up, so we just pushed and pushed. This time, there is a lot less financial pressure, and we also have a fan base and some contacts in the industry. Things "should" be a lot easier this time, I hope. :)

We have committed to Unity for SPAZ2, put down the money last week, so there is no turning back now :)

ezacharyk43 karma

My only question at the moment is "When will my Torchlight characters get faces?" I love that you guys fixed the game crashing portal bug on Linux so fast. I can live with the missing heads, but it is quite disconcerting when viewing my character up close.

parsap46 karma

That's a known issue that should hopefully be fixed soon. Sorry about that one!

Viperid38 karma

When is the Mac version of Torchlight II coming out? Do do you see TLII being in a Humble Bundle anytime soon?

maxschaefer61 karma

That's next on the agenda, but it will take a couple months at least.

maxschaefer76 karma

Oh, and we look forward down the road eventually to having TL2 in a bundle!

mudkip112331 karma

Hi, thanks for doing this. My question is, to nobody in particular, What is the part of your game that you are most proud of?

snlehton68 karma

I made most of the physics based gameplay code in Rochard, and I have to say that's the part I'm most proud of. Originally we had quite little physics gameplay in the game, but it ended up being the most important aspect of the game in the end!

fab1qaz22 karma

I just wanted to say that the physics in Rochard are amazing! Did you come up with any of the puzzles or did you have to make the physics first so that puzzles could be created?

snlehton30 karma

Creating the levels for Rochard was quite liquid and organic process. Originally the character could not affect the world (he was just an observer in point of physics -- engine/PhysX restriction), and level designers were creating puzzle that did not require player interaction, like the fuses, lasers, forcefields and such.

Later on, when I was able to redo the whole character physics system, we we're able to do puzzles with player interacting with the elements in the world. So the designers would go back, tweak the levels and the puzzles and come up with something cool.

We don't have much traditional physics puzzles in the game (such as see-saws and such). There is a lot more that can be done!

zamoose16 karma

Rochard is the physics-based platformer that Trine tried so hard to be. Kudos to you!

snlehton15 karma

Thank you very much!

m4ttbush59 karma

I'm most proud that we actually managed to finish Dustforce and that people got to play it (and that some of them enjoyed it)!

Un-humble answer: I made the tech that let us throw about 11,000 (I think) high res sprites at the game (e.g, here's dustwraith's generated sprite sheet (scaled down)) and use any of them wherever we liked without having to budget x sprites per area, or compress them all ugly, or make them lower res.

Also you can make levels REALLY big, like hundreds of millions of pixels across, but we never used that tech.


snlehton32 karma

Finishing a game is noble achievement, I give you that. After 90% is done, you still have the last 90% to go!

springheeledjak24 karma

Dustforce is one of the most exhilaratingly fun games I have ever played. Although I kind of sometimes hate you guys for making a game that is so singularly, unbelievably frustrating that I sometimes want to launch my gamepad down the hallway :P

On a technical note, though, I'll admit I'm really, really impressed with the tech (and I'm one of those snobby systems-programmer types); it's pretty, fluid, and well-animated, and yet doesn't kill my system. How do you go about generating the sprites, and how do you manage to keep the game's framerate smooth with that much to render?

m4ttbush32 karma

Thanks, that's very kind of you! I don't get many compliments on the tech, only complaints when it doesn't work! But that's just the nature of the work.

Dustforce uses virtual texturing, similar but much less complicated than "MegaTextures" in Rage.

The sprites are packed in to groups (i.e the dustwraith "sprite set" above)(another example) using some basic binary tree bin packing, then those groups are packed in to a single "Virtual Texture" space. Each of those little pink(?) squares represents a page, which are stored compressed (losslessly) in ram. When a sprite needs to be drawn and it isn't already in video memory, its page/s are decompressed and loaded in to free slot/s in the page buffer texture.

Finally sprites are drawn by using pages from the buffer texture. We don't use an indirection texture (though we did for a while), instead I just draw multiple quads for sprites that take up more than one page.

Some optimizations: I made the page size match the tiles exactly, since we draw loooots of tiles. Also I biased the bin packing to use less pages per sprite, rather than using less space overall. This way a tile can only ever use a single page, and the whole page, no wasted space and only ever a single quad to draw per tile.

Hope that makes sense, let me know if you want to know anything else!

maxschaefer34 karma

I'm most proud that we were able to make a game that connected with the heritage of ARPGs, do it with a small, dedicated team, and basically provide a stable foundation for our company. Oh, and only charge $20 for it at release.

baddie2231 karma

I'm probably most proud of how we took what was already an unusual mechanic (liquid physics) and did something completely new with it (creating creatures formed out of it) and then made that the center of the game, growing the visuals, design, story, style, and music all from that unique core.

snlehton18 karma

That reminds me that I really really need to get some time to check out the games in the bundle. Vessel looked really interesting!

mariowynands28 karma

The soundtrack of Shatter is obviously a great success and highlight.

But I like the fact we took the challenge of a "broken" genre head on, something that had known flaws, and were able to overcome them with thoughtful design and usability, bringing "control" to a genre that has none. We purposely set out to do that and happy we succeeded.

Blorfy24 karma

For me all the systems we made were cool for a limited time and them sort of just become part of the background, and I don't think about them much once they work. This may be why we kept adding stuff to SPAZ. We wanted to recapture that cool "shiny new stuff" feeling for a while.

In the end, for me when we get a piece of fan mail from someone who has sunk 50+ hours into SPAZ and then provides suggestions for SPAZ, desire for SPAZ2, that is really cool. To know you touched another gamer with your crazy ideas.

Sanpi30 karma

Hello, apparently, porting games on Linux made ​​specifically for the humble bundle. Will you continue to offer your future games under Linux?

(I understand if Baddie22 not responding :))

mariowynands28 karma

We've had a good response from Linux users, so we'd consider doing it again for future titles. Once Steam for Linux is up and running that will make it an even better proposition.

DarthBo27 karma

Never heard of Rochard when I bought the bundle, then played it, and loved it! Best game in the bundle, imho.

But about that ending.... what? 0_o

Please tell me you're working on a sequel!

edit: also, thanks for the linux version ^_^

xenit28 karma

Here's a Rochard 2 demo/preview we made last year (it uses mostly Rochard assets): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7K8bUD_CSs

Unfortunately, we don't have the funding for the sequel. There's lot of debt to pay before we can continue work on it.

DarthBo10 karma

Aw man, that looks awesome.

Very sorry to hear about the debt/lack of funding, I hope you guys figure something out eventually. Crowdfunding perhaps?

xenit16 karma

Definitely, crowd funding is an option.

pinguino4227 karma

With Steam for Linux imminent, will the Linux versions of current Humble Bundle games be available on Steam? Will future bundles?

Do you think more indie developers will begin to focus on Linux because of Steam and these bundles? What about the larger developers? (I asked a similar question a few years ago, but I think it's worth revisiting.)

mariowynands38 karma

We plan to support Steam for Linux. We've been hassling Valve about it. Keen to be in the first wave.

xenit22 karma

Unity3D on Linux is going to be big. We'll definitely put the Linux version on Steam asap.

Kulgur22 karma

Question to any, has having your game ported to Linux increased the chance of further ports to that platform in the future?

xenit22 karma

Probably. Rochard has been a test bench for Unity3D Linux team, who have done awesome job!

Rockblocked16 karma

@maxschaefer: how did the Torchlight 2 launch go?? @Lifeformed: This isn't a question but I really love your music, your soundtrack has been on repeat since I got the bundle. :D

maxschaefer31 karma

The launch went great! Of course there were some issues, there always are in a big multiplayer game launch, but I think overall it went really well, and people are loving it. Thanks for the compliment on the music! We are really lucky to have Matt Uelmen as a sound guy.

Harest12 karma

If i've to ask one question, it would be : How did you get started?

This question is for everyone, feel free to answer it if you want. And yes i mean your beginning in creation of indie games.

mariowynands23 karma

Started in 1997(eek!) by getting together with a couple of friends and ordering a Net Yaroze from Sony (the home programmable PlayStation). Kind of grew from there.

m4ttbush6 karma

Messing around in Flash MX in high school, tried ActionScript, found it was fun to make stuff.

RemoteSojourner12 karma

This is for HIB. In most bundles, you add some games after a few days of sale. What's the reasoning behind this? Do you experience a surge in sales after doing this? Also, do those new games now get equal share from future sales or those developers don't get as much?

parsap14 karma

It's a way to help rekindle excitement about the promotion. The games are typically from previous bundles that we have run, so it is a good way for people who missed bundle X to catch up.

The new games typically get an equal share going starting when they are added (you can always tweak or see the splits by clicking the triangle next to the developers slider).

nintendo9711 karma


mariowynands19 karma

Hmmm not a racing game per se, but we'd be interested to port GripShift to PC/Mac/Linux and have in a bundle.

fluba9 karma

I want to say thank you to Blorfy and Narlak for S.P.A.Z. - I have played it the most out of all the humble bundle games so far. Not that any of the others are bad, but I wanted to ask you two a question.

What are you thoughts on either adding more content/randomness to the current game vs. creating a sequel - S.P.A.Z. 2? If the latter, being able to play with a friend or two would be amazing. Thanks again and keep up the great work.

Narlak12 karma

Glad you dig the game :) All we can say now is we're working on a sequel. We've only been at it for a few weeks, so it's too early to talk about it in any detail.

As for adding more stuff to the original game, it isn't out of the question, but sequel production is taking a front seat for a little while.

Blorfy10 karma

Yup as Narlak says, SPAZ 2 is now the focus and we are busily grey blocking and prototyping. Most of SPAZ 1's future will not lie in modding, which we plan to expand as time permits. Right now we are trying to learn the Unity engine and C#, which is quiiiite a bit different than what we have used in the past. so far we are really digging it.

Though we can't say yet what the plans are for SPAZ 2, we can guarantee that you will be surprised when you see it :)

cygnice8 karma

To everyone: If you could only play one more game for the rest of your life, what would it be?

lifeformed37 karma

Visual Studio 2010.

m4ttbush29 karma

Visual Studio 2012.

(And somehow get Minecraft to run inside Visual Studio)

lifeformed27 karma

Just make your own version of it.

And once you make it, then you make Visual Studio inside of Minecraft.

xenit24 karma

Probably Civilization IV.. it's frustrating, but I boot it up at least once a year.

Blorfy21 karma

Deus Ex (the original) 7 times and counting.

mariowynands14 karma

Eyetoy Groove. Seriously.

Gedaffa_Mhylon8 karma

Really enjoyed playing through Rochard. I caught a really obscure Ghostbusters quote part way in; "Listen.. you smell something?" and was wondering what other little easter-eggs I might have missed.


xenit8 karma

I haven't noticed that one! There are a lot of references to popular culture in the game. It's not a secret, but I love the fact that the voice of John Rochard is mr. Jon St John, the voice of Duke Nukem. These characters are quite the opposite as protagonists.

snlehton5 karma

I'm not sure where that was?... I can't remember that sentence :O

noahtmusic6 karma

As an aspiring musician, at what point of development do you normally include musicians for score and specifically, at what point did they get involved with your game in HIB?

mariowynands9 karma

For Shatter, we had Module involved from very early in development. It was important to create the score as something that informed the visuals and gameplay and wasn't just bolted on. You don't always have that luxury, but in this case it worked out great.

Tough to get a gig though. With so many other musicians trying to break into games you have to be both good and persistent. Give it a shot and see what happens. Good luck with your efforts!

puthre6 karma

To All: Have you considered going open source with the games (but keeping copyright on the art, so a licence would still be needed to play the games - see quake)? In this way you will get more exposure and your games running (ported by fans) on platforms you haven't even considered or are not yet available at this time.

maxschaefer5 karma

We used an open source game engine (Ogre 3D), and we're giving away our development tools with TL2 just like we did with TL1 in this bundle.

dnoparks6 karma

How do you honestly feel about the people who only donates $0.1 ?

xenit7 karma

I know the transaction costs, servers and bandwidth cost more, so it doesn't feel very good.

Adrianmk5 karma

Favourite game and favourite song in game?

snlehton7 karma

hiyou1025 karma

Do you have any plans on adding your games to Desura?

xenit7 karma

Work in progress.