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The Humble Indie Bundle #4 (pay what you want and help charity) (humblebundle.com)
238 points by Jach on Dec 13, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 67 comments

For anyone curious why this is here, Humble Inc is funded by YC -- beyond it being a collection of cool games people might care for.

edit: I was wrong, not just YC. They have $4.7m from Sequoia[1] too.

[1] http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/04/22/sequoia-capital-ba...

That's very interesting, as I've always thought it was bootstrapped by Wolfire games. Serious question - why does this need funding?

The first bundle (and possibly second) was bootstrapped, they took funding after the idea was shown to work. That's all I know, not sure why they have funding.

Thanks for the extra info. Seems to me like this is the perfect company that can eschew outside investment; I assume they curate these bundles with no upfront payment, and then everyone gets a cut of digital sales. Not sure where this $4m could be going unless they have big plans beyond the current the current model.

Braid can be bought directly with Paypal, Amazon Payments, and Google Checkout as payment options. Corner of the box says "Humble Store". What they do with that is a unknown, but I find it interesting.


That reminds me: I noticed that humblebundle.com is apparently involved in the purchase transactions for the recently released 'English Country Tune'. So maybe there's more afoot than just the bundles themselves:


I just bought this one but wasn't there another bundle just last week? I wonder if too many too soon will lead to bundle fatigue

I agree. I used to get really excited about the humble bundle. They had a few noteworthy games per bundle (All the games they have are good, but some are less known than others).

Now that it's a monthly affair I get the initial perception that the bundles have less noteworthy games and that I'm getting tired of so many of them. After a bit of thought I realize I /am/ paying just a few bucks for a lot of games and helping charity and I end up buying them, even if I already own al lthe games. but I fear there's a lot of people who won't make that leap and just say "meh, been there done that". It's sad because the bundle is great for devs and great for gamers.

Cave Story+ is an updated-engine version of what is probably the most famous indie game of all time that basically started the modern indie games movement. It would not be unreasonable to say it's one of the best action/platformer games ever made -- a completely indie Metroidvania game that's better than most similar games from major publishers despite being made entirely by one person in his spare time.

Jamestown is a completely awesome arcade-style danmaku shooter inspired by CAVE games and Touhou -- but unlike some recent poor attempts to emulate these styles (e.g. Deathsmiles), it adds loads of creativity of its own, like its so-absurd-it's-hilarious storyline and setting. It was worth every cent on launch, and now you can get it for way less with a half dozen other games included.

This might be the best Humble Bundle yet just because of these two.

uncontrollably clicked purchase when I saw cave story+. I'll buy anything related to cave story. The creator is really missing out with the lack of merchandise.

Plush Balrog? :)

Deathsmiles is a CAVE game.

Jamestown is amazing. I really like that the player maximizes score and effectiveness by using all of the resources available in this game. In a lot of other games, like DoDonPachi or Perfect Cherry Blossom, you ruin your point run if you bomb.

To me, Jamestown alone is worth buying the bundle, but I'll also definitely enjoy Super Meat Boy.

Not to mention Super Meat Boy, which is (in my opinion) one of the best modern platformers.

For my money this is the best bundle so far. Cave Story+, Bit Trip Runner, Super Meat Boy, and Jamestown are all highly regarded games, which I've been wanting to play for some time. The others I don't know much about, but that's part of the reason why these bundles are cool, to experience some games you wouldn't have come across otherwise?

Super Meat Boy is amazing, it is definitely worth the $5. Although Bit Trip Runner seems engaging from the few minutes I've played, the graphics are little blurry and it ends up straining my eyes. The other games definitely look interesting though.

The way I see it, they have smaller (but frequent) company-branded bundles (eg, the FrozenByte bundle) and larger, more exciting numbered bundles (like this one - #4). The numbered ones always seemed to have more games, more hyped/well-known games and also sell a lot more.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I view them. As long as the numbered bundles can continue to include some big well known games, them I think they can avoid "bundle fatigue". But we will see, I guess. Its still too early to know for sure how repeatable it is, though it looks positive so far - I mean, $900k in one day is pretty good!

Humble bundles are now back to back. Indie Royal is every 2 weeks, and 2-3 other copy-cat bundles come out pretty often too.

Also, I don't know how often steam sales happen, but every time I go online there is one going on (~50-90% off kind of sales).

One thing I think separates the Humble Bundle from the Indie Royal bundle is that Humble Bundle games always work on Windows, Mac, and Linux. I primarily use OS X and Linux these days, so that's a big incentive for me, and helps keep my "fatigue" down.

That said, if this turns into a never ending string, the amount I contribute towards each bundle would likely drop since frequency would be going up.

Probably something for the Humble folks to investigate - which performs better - more frequent small bundles or less frequent larger bundles.

"Humble Bundle games always work on Windows, Mac, and Linux"

The experience of the mono-compiled Atom Zombie Smasher (from Bundle 1 or 2 IIRC) was pretty poor on Linux.

Never got to play it myself - I saw it mentioned that it was easier to get it running using wine + the windows installer (including all the faffing about with dotnet under wine) than natively. Might try that this weekend.

All other bundle titles I have played run well, apart from the occasional dual head quirk (though I am more likely to blame nvidia's poor randr support for that)

I played Atom Zombie Smasher on Ubuntu 11.10 and didn't have any issues whatsoever. I didn't even have to mess with the screen resolution after the game ended (which is generally the norm on my Intel GMA card). It was one of the smoothest Linux gaming experiences I've had.

Yeah. And it's weird because with steam sales I get the opposite feeling. It's because I'm so used to them probably.

I think it's the fact that the bundle used to be a rare happening and now there's a new one at the end of the month. I'll get used to it probably, I hope other people do to. It's a really great project.

copy cat bundles? can I get some info on those?

Right now we have the Indie Royale Bundle, run by Desura, an indie-game download store. It's not strictly pay-what-you-want, they instead use a shifting scale where people paying the minimum increases the minimum & people who choose to pay more lower it. It has no charity component, and new bundles are run every 2 weeks.

There's also the Indie Gala. It's a straight-up copy of the Humble Bundle model. Both Royale and Gala are actually running bundles right now.

Tomorrow the littleBIGbunch GamesAid bundle will launch, also with the Humble model.

The copycats generally have lesser-known, less-polished games, but there's some worthy titles in each of them.




i actually liked hacker evolution, so i might get the gala. thanks!

I rather not give them the traffic & page-rank, but there was something that was literally a 1-to-1 rip off of HIB from some Italian developer & a few others (something with horses I think? really odd stuff).

Honestly, this is just making me spend less on Steam, since I know most of the cheaper games I'm interested in will end up as HIBs sooner or later, complete with Steam keys.

I used to pay like $25 for a bundle. But with all the bundles coming out, I don't really feel like paying so much. I want to take advantage of the deals, but know I won't have enough time to play more than %10 of the games I buy. So, I've come to the conclusion I should only pay for the amount of time I'm willing to spend on the game. With so many bundles, that amount of time has gone down significantly. This bundle does have a lot of good games btw.

They do numbered bundles AND special bundles. I mean, special bundles do not count towards the number of bundles. I don't know why they do this; looks confusing.

I actually think their business model is perfect for this: right now they get the "honeymoon effect" -- they're new. So every humble bundle is one-time offer.

As time goes by (or maybe it's happening now), they will have to do more market research, find better games, maybe even change their offer so it doesn't expire. I'd personally like to see them directly competing with steam and desura (if the offer doesn't expire, they're directly competing). I think they need that kind of competition to push them.

In short, don't rest on your first success!

I think that both humble bundle and indie royale are providing high quality games. I think humble bundle is doing a little better, but I still think both companies will succeed. I don't think that they need to directly compete with steam, I prefer getting my games from them. But it would be nice to add accounts to both sites. I've bought enough bundles that I would prefer to have my keys all in one spot.

It was pretty recent, but I think a lot of Indie devs want to get in on these bundles so they won't be going away anytime soon.

The "fatigue" implied by the parent has to do with how much people are willing to pay for subsequent bundles, not how many developers are interested in getting in.


The fact that they won't be going away any time soon is precisely the problem.

I agree that the bundles are run a little bit too often, but supporting indie devs always feels good.

Why did they drop EFF from the charities? :(

I was pretty disappointed to see that, especially at a crucial time for electronic freedom with SOPA and PROTECT-IP looming. I'm sure the boosts from HIB were helpful to EFF, and if anyone needs a boost right now, it's EFF.

Supposedly the HIB people voted, and the Red Cross came out slightly ahead. I'm kinda bummed. I might go donate a couple dollars to the EFF anyway.

They also said that the EFF would be returning as a charity in future bundles.

50% to EFF has always been a reason to buy humble bundles for me. With SOPA I'd have probably paid more this time. I half expect EFF to be added back in, so I'll be waiting on this bundle.

If that's stopping you, you can still donate directly to EFF.

Anyone else experiencing Humble fatigue? When this was a special once a year deal I supported it regardless of the contents of the bundle. Now I feel that there's a Humble Bundle once a week and I've stopped reading their email.

I wasn't planning on buying this bundle either, but not because of the regularity of the bundles, more because of the quality of the content. Some of the previous bundles have contained a little much filler/incomplete games/etc.

They've really stepped up the contents with this pack though, I know myself and a few friends feeling much the same bought it immediately. There's an incredible amount of high quality gaming in this pack.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I investigated several of the games and decided to go ahead and purchase it. I agree that the quality has varied over the past few bundles. The novelty of the Humble Bundle has definitely worn off for me (plus I preferred the original set of charities).

A good friend of mine wrote Jamestown- kick ass game, and way to go!

Wow, send him much thanks. I bought it on Steam when it released (because I'm a sucker for shooters), and it's a marvelous game. One of the finest shooters I've played in a long time. The DLC is awesome, too (Guy Fawkes ship!)

I paid the suggested price for this. I'm only running Linux, so it's well worth supporting it.

It's a shame about the EFF though. They're at the top of my list these days.

I think this might be the best one yet

Agreed, Super Meat Boy alone is worth whatever you may pay, in my opinion :)

I always find it interesting that the Linux people pay the most. Then again, the games are probably most impressive compared to games generally available on Linux, and least impressive compared to those available for windows. Not to say anything about the quality of three games, just commentary on the different gaming markets.

I've always assume it is more about supporting developers who support linux, and a competition with the other platforms.

That's why I usually pay out a minimum of $20 for the bundle with 100% towards developers.

I may sound like an ass saying this but those are popular charities and receive a lot of funding from lots of resources, they can survive without my $5 or $10 while many of these developer groups have only released a couple games. I want to see DRM free indie game development take off so I will contribute to the developers who I feel need it more.

You're paying $20 when you could be paying a penny. I would hope that nobody is putting you in the "sounds like an ass" category.

It's also a possibility that those that pay below average amounts are likely to signal their contribution being made under Windows. Alternatively, high payers have a higher likelihood of marking Linux.

Interesting, but the still spend barely $1 per game. After charity and tip it's probably less than $1 per game.

Are the Humble Bundles always mostly about games? It would be great to see some non-game bundles.

And it's a pretty good spread, too, maybe the best yet - the last few bundles & mini-events have been a bit lackluster, IMO. But that's just IMO.

If you've never played it, Cave Story is one of the best platformers ever, and you must play it if you are a gamer in any sense. The original is available for free (though you might have to English-patch it), but I gather CS+ is a pretty good port.

I don't know; between the last three mini-bundles we've had Frozen Synapse, SpaceChem, Dungeons of Dredmor, The Binding of Isaac, Darwinia, Defcon, Voxatron, and Blocks that Matter.

Four of those are strong candidates for indie GOTY (and the others are still pretty good) so it's not too lackluster yet.

Does anyone know how to turn off the Paypal "Bill Me Later" popup that appears every time I make a purchase?

I have money in my account. I'm tired of opting out of BML.

These games always make me want to make some of my own!

Is anyone else not tipping the Humble team anymore? Are you just splitting payment between devs and charities?

At least I do the opposite. The Humble team are clearly making my life better by e.g. motivating Linux ports of these games. Meanwhile there are much better ways to donate to charity (and "better" charities).

I usually take the default split. I think the devs deserve most of the money, but the Humble Bundle guys need money for bandwidth and their marketing/support efforts. Charity is also worth a little bit.

Can anyone post a list for those of us behind a firewall? Thanks!

Gratuitous Space Battles (if pay more than average)

Gave Story+ (if pay more than average)


Bit.Trip Runner

Super Meat Boy


NightSky HD

Avg currently 4.70 (was 4.64 about 1 minute ago! climbing fast, damn HN!)

If the number of purchases so far were small, it's possible that buying several copies at $.01 would bring the average down by more than the cost in penny purchases (this is a strategy for a purely hypothetical selfish person with time to spend, but not $5). I expect the amount to fluctuate above and below $5.

anyone else bummed that this one didn't include desura keys?

They might appear on desura - just not day one - it was like this with introversion bundle.

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