Indie Devs Are Kind of Assholes

Let’s play a game called “In what context would this ever be a good idea for developers to write on internet forums?” First up, Lead Engine developer for a recently Kickstarted 16-bit action-RPG Elysian Shadows:

You know, half of what you said was actually fairly useful, but then the other half went into opinionated, biased, tangential bullshit, and you lost me entirely. Bump mapping? Have you LOOKED at our Kickstarter? Our sprites are CLEARLY bump mapped, and they’re also specularly highlighted. There’s even a section clearly describing that. Our later screenshots are also all billboarded and are entirely aligned to camera-space. Your divine wisdom would have been appreciated considerably more if you had refrained from being a total douche in the end… I was actually going to ask for your email and talk development with you… But instead I think I’ll just head on back to Kickstarter and watch the money roll in for this abomination of an indie RPG coming to a Dreamcast near you! Funny, considering the majority of the backers are coming for the Dreamcast, then OUYA is doubling our funds from $150k to $300k. ;)

The correct answer is: none. I don’t even care that the actual context was a bitter vet dev expressing frustration that his/her own game went nowhere and even went on so far as to say “[…] your entire Kickstarter is everything I hate about “indie retro 16-bit RPGs […].” That basically anonymous poster the dev was responding to? Nobody gives two shits about them thirty seconds after closing the tab. But the dev? I’m walking away from the comment exchange thinking to myself “hey, that Falco Girgis dude is an asshole – I sort of hope his game crashes and fails.”

Maybe that sentiment says more about me than anything else.

Regardless, what the dev gave up here was an opportunity to sell another copy of the game, perhaps demonstrate the competency of the team, and, you know, not be another asshole on the internet. We’re full up, dude, we don’t need any more.

But congrats on the game, or whatever. Maybe I’ll check it out in an Humble Bundle in which I allocate zero dollars to your team.

Posted on August 30, 2014, in Commentary and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. God forbid you ever have to walk a mile in our shoes. Quitting your day job and putting everything on the line for a game that is your blood, sweat, and tears, then going to the internet and seeing people shit all over it.

    If anybody said that to my face on the street, I would be fully justified in telling them to fuck off… But because I’m an indie developer on the internet, I’m expected to adhere to some arbitrary double standard of conduct? Bullshit. It’s not about me or my behavior. It’s about my game and my work, and I will defend it until the bitter end.


    • Oh, please. Do you think you’re the only one with a job that people shit on? The only difference is that if I tried to publicly “defend” my day job work to the haters in the same way as you, I’d get fired.

      You’re living your goddamn dreams, man, and are apparently successful enough to sustain them. What more do you need to prove to anonymous people over the internet? You’ve already won! If you want to put people like that commenter (or me, or whoever) in their place, all you have to do put on your best shit-eating grin and kill them with reasonableness. They’ll either realize how much they look like an asshole in comparison, or they’ll double-down on the crazy. Either way, you win again.

      Defend your work, if you feel it’s even necessary. Just stop being dumb about it.


      • Don’t worry Azuriel, it doesn’t stop with just that comment. The amount of narcissistic bullshit this kid puts out on the internet is astonishing. There’s no sense in attempting to reason with him or tell him that his actions actually DO reflect how people view his finished product. He’s got what he came to the internet for (money) and so he’s not concerned with public perception anymore.


      • “Whoopsies” (how ballsy of you to be anonymous), you clearly weren’t following me before or after the campaign. I never put on any facade. I have always been this “narcissistic,” and clearly our fans respect our sincerity and the passion we put into our work… If we were really that bad, how the hell did we get funded? It’s just the few people like you who expect us to put on a suit and tie and smile when assholes attack us. Ironically, several people told us they backed us because “the amount of passion put into the project is quite apparent,” based on our responses to posts like this.

        You both clearly have great points, since our conduct and personalities have clearly done us a lot of harm on our campaign trail… You are the one posting a BLOG to shit-talk someone who has never done anything to you… Even I am not that audacious. I only do it comments as responses to direct attacks.

        I have also been praised by many developers who are sick of this kind of double standard within the gaming community.

        And now I’m putting on dat “shit-eating grin” and walking away. You did get one thing right. We’ve already won. ;)


  2. Would you make the same comments to Linus Torvalds? I’m not saying that Falco is as smart as Linus, but people often outlash at him for his harsh and arrogant remarks, yet the Linux kernel is still going strong.

    You’re all certainly entitled to your opinion, but he is as well. But don’t make the mistake of thinking because he’s “living his dream” that it isn’t still the most stressful and scary time of his life. I’m sure he knows there’s still the thought in his mind that this might not work out, and the naysayers might be right.

    It’s kind of necessary for him to make such remarks to protect his goal.

    I’m sure he could do it in a “kinder” way, but maybe that’s his personality. If you think he’s a douche, that’s fine. But keep in mind, that’s your opinion of the person, and it only reflects on the product if you let it.

    You can act like a stubborn ass and refuse to buy something because of the dev’s behavior, but that don’t make the mistake of thinking it makes you seem like the bigger person. All you’re doing is passing by on a potentially good product because of the dev behind it.

    Many great people in the world were dicks (e.g. Linus Torvalds, Steve Jobs, etc.) but I’m sure you probably use their products. If not, more power to you. But for your sake, I hope you don’t feel you’re missing out.


    • Wait a sec! I just realized he only posted my responses to most of the comments, not the original disrespectful comments that prompted them…

      Dat integrity!


      • I posted a direct link to the comments.

        But it’s rather telling that A) you believe the context justifies your own manner of response, and B) you just couldn’t help yourself coming back here two hours after saying “And now I’m putting on dat “shit-eating grin” and walking away.”


    • It’s kind of necessary for him to make such remarks to protect his goal.

      Sort of like it is “kind of necessary” for a husband to verbally abuse his wife? It is not necessary at all. And if it somehow were the case that he legitimately cannot help himself, perhaps somebody needs to get him to therapy and/or medication.

      Christ, if he’s like this with random people on the internet, I can only imagine how he handles (or not) criticism in real life.


      • I handle it the exact same way. I defend myself and my work from assholes who fling insults, and tell them to fuck off. Fairly certain that isn’t so ridiculous.

        It would be ridiculous to expect me to JUST STAND THERE AND TAKE IT, though, as you seem to believe I should.

        But you’re right… I can’t help myself. Even after I walked away, I keep coming up with new reasons this blog post is bullshit and you’re being a hypocrite. ;)


      • I defend myself and my work from assholes who fling insults, and tell them to fuck off.

        And the people who “fling” criticism?

        Dude, you don’t even see it, do you? The second half of that quoted paragraph isn’t passion, it’s you being an asshole. It doesn’t drive home a point, it doesn’t forward an argument, it’s just pure childish petulance.

        Nobody here is saying “just stand there and take it.” You clearly refuted xilefian’s points at the top. That’s what caught my attention in the first place. But then you kept going.


  3. Scott Crawford

    As someone who has followed Falco and his project over the past 2 years and as a developer myself I fully back him here as I am sure anyone who works in this industry would. Don’t expect us to try to please everyone, that’s what our product is for and when everything is on the line its the most stressful thing any developer goes through… I would do the same. Call me, Falco or any other indie dev an asshole if you want but at least see the reasoning behind it…

    Let’s play a game called “What makes you think that its less petty to directly insult someone over the internet as apposed to responding to insults?”

    We’re just people and will respond as human beings. If indie devs acted like you expect us to act the there would be a whole lot more examples of Phil Fish and to a lesser extent Notch.


    • It is precisely the fact that we can name people like Phil Fish and Notch as examples that I wrote this post in the first place. Just now, I didn’t even remember what game Phil Fish even produced – I just remembered the controversy and the public meltdowns. These sort of ridiculous responses stick out and stick around.

      If you are asking me to show some sympathy for the stress, you got it. But that ends the moment you press Send and act like the shit Falco just posted is in any way good for his game, his team, or himself. It clearly wasn’t enough to stop the Kickstarter, and who knows, maybe he’ll go on to sell a million copies of his game in spite of it all.

      Nevertheless, it will not change the fact that it was a completely unnecessary risk stemming from a disturbing lack of self-control. He defended his bump mapping in the first five sentences; there is nothing defensible about what came after.

      Let’s play a game called “What makes you think that its less petty to directly insult someone over the internet as apposed to responding to insults?”

      The only winning move in that game is not to play. Which is my entire point.


  4. Who are you to tell a person how to react when they’re being personally attacked by people? You sound just as bitter as the guy who originally insulted Falco. People shouldn’t be so bitter over their failures that they have to resort to trying to tear other people down. Everybody has to fail a few times before they succeed. God only knows that Falco has had his failures and mistakes along the way to where he is right now, but he doesn’t go around the internet insulting people who have succeeded. He has a right to defend himself against the bitter assholish trolls.


    • I’m a dude on the internet who noticed an indie dev freaking the fuck out over some utterly trivial thing for no apparent reason. My credentials include being someone who would have otherwise been interested in whatever game he was selling. Now I’m more interested in this unfolding drama.

      But hey, all you really need to say is that you believe what he wrote was a good idea. If you won’t or can’t, then you actually agree with me.


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