Wolfire Games develops innovative, independent games for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. It was started by David Rosen in 2003 to organize his open source video game contest entries. After graduating college in 2008, he was joined by his twin brother and three friends and Wolfire Games officially dove into the independent game industry!
We are answering questions from the Reddit community today on r/games, so if you have any unanswered questions please ask us there!
Here is the new Overgrowth alpha video!
Don't forget that you can help support us, try out our alphas (such as the one in the video), and chat with other preorderers in the Secret Preorder Forum by preordering Overgrowth. If you'd like to see real-time news about Overgrowth, you can follow me on Twitter at @wolfire.
Be sure to watch it in HD!
The features highlighted in the above video are as follows (as well as some that didn't make it into the video):
- New settings screen
- Can change any graphics options without restart
- New fullscreen system based on native desktop resolution
- New system for vertical bounce during run animations
- Key remapping UI
- New game icon
If you liked this video, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Also, feel free to support us by preordering Overgrowth!
There is a new Overgrowth comic that you can read here!
I have been trying all sorts of things to improve my skills as an artist in the last 6 months. Part of that was learning a lot of new tools, but another aspect was to reevaluate the skills I was already good at, like painting, and to continue to work on things I have been trying to learn for several years now, like storytelling. In the course of my studying, I realized I could do a new comic that was a lot better than the last one I did, and so I set to work on this:
Trying to improve existing skills is always a struggle, and I had my fair share of pitfalls on this project. I ended up trying out several art styles, and doing a lot of research. I came to understand and respect the work of existing comic artists a lot more by realizing why comic art is the way it is. It was a lot more work than I intended, but I'm happy with the final result. Don't forget to check out the new Overgrowth comic, The Monk!
I am still looking for ways to improve, so feel free to say how it compares to my previous comics in the comments!
YouTube Copyright Crackdown
Recently, many prominent YouTubers were hit by a flurry of copyright notices from YouTube's automated copyright enforcement system (called "Content ID"), which prevented their videos from being monetized . YouTube issued a response saying that they have increased the scope of Contend ID to even include affiliate partners, and announced no plans to change it .
This kind of system is perfectly fine in theory, but it has proven to be problematic in practice, as it has a tendency to flag perfectly legitimate content. For example, indie developers like Jonathan Blow and Terry Cavanagh have received copyright flags for footage of their own games! YouTubers are even receiving copyright claims from companies like Valve that actually have blanket policies to allow videos. When contacted, Valve claims that they did not issue any such claims; it was either an imposter, or just a glitch in the YouTube system.
Why Developers Need YouTubers
Clearly this is bad for YouTubers, because when their videos are being flagged, they can no longer collect revenue from them. If they can no longer collect revenue from them, they can no longer afford to make new ones full-time, and that is bad for their fans as well. It doesn't end there, however, this is also really bad for gamers and game developers Here is a very concrete example. Check out this graph of our Overgrowth preorders before and after NerdCubed's Overgrowth Let's Play video.
The numbers are night and day: even after the initial spike fell away, daily sales were still several times what they were before. That video has been viewed more than 2.3 million times, which is ten times more than our own most popular videos. NerdCubed has many similar videos, but now his career is threatened by this new crackdown, as he describes in this Reddit AMA. It's entirely possible that new breakthrough videos would have been made for other indie developers in the last two weeks, but because of this content ID fiasco, they were not made, and those developers will continue to struggle to find their audience.
Raw sales are certainly not the only reason why game developers rely on YouTubers, they fill other vital roles as well. What if you want to see what an Overgrowth mod is like before taking the time to install it and figure it out? You can find more than 150 mod videos on iDubbbzTV's channel. What if a player is stuck on the "three wolves" level in Lugaru, and can't figure out how to beat it? There are all sorts of video strategy guides, like this short demonstration. YouTube playthroughs also work as a sort of "pre-demo" -- it's much less investment to watch a playthrough of the beginning of a game than to download a demo and figure out how to play, and many games don't even have demos anymore. In that situation, Let's Plays are the only ways for players to try before they buy.
YouTube videos are also a valuable tool for game criticism. Someone once said that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture", and I often feel the same way about games writing. It's much easier to just visually demonstrate what you're talking about. A few years ago I did a series of "Design Tour" videos demonstrating what I liked about some of my favorite games, and more recently I've just been streaming them, like this Marathon 1 playthrough. Full walkthroughs of other games are also really useful when I want to share a specific moment. If I want to talk about the scene in God of War 3 where a man begs for help as he escapes a burning building, and when you press 'o' to help him, you smash his face into the wall and throw him to his death, I can just link here.
Anyway, those are some of the reasons why we like YouTube playthroughs, and will never upload any footage to the Content ID system. For whatever help it might be, we would like to post our official policy: in short, you are free to create and monetize any video using footage of our games, unless it is being used to commit fraud or something like that.
We also have a longer version for the lawyers, which you can find here, including an automatic generator if you need a letter that specifically includes your name. Here is the text we used, in case you would like to use similar language for your own game:
Wolfire Games LLC Video Policy
Wolfire Games LLC, hereafter referred to as “the Developer,” grants the following rights to the community, hereafter referred to as "the Players":
The Developer grants permission for the Players to make videos (including, but not limited to: walkthroughs, tutorials, mod demonstrations, and reviews) of the Developer's game content and/or game soundtracks, and to publish them to YouTube, Twitch.TV, or any other such distribution service.
The Players are free to monetize videos via partner programs whereby a website may compensate them with revenue from advertisements or other means.
The Developer retains all ownership and rights of its produced content, and may terminate or change the terms of this agreement at its sole discretion, or make exceptions for videos or Players that the Developer finds objectionable for any reason.
Please email the Developer at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this policy.
Overgrowth is now available on Steam, at a temporary sale price of $24.99! Check it out here.
Be sure to watch it in HD!
If you have already preordered the game, you can redeem the Steam version on the Overgrowth Humble Store page. Conversely, if you purchase on Steam directly, you can optionally right click the game and choose "View CD Key". This will let you go to a URL like https://www.humblebundle.com/s?key=[your CD key here] which will grant you access to our secret preorder forum, and let you download the DRM-free version as well!