Hashbang Games Goes Out With A Whimper

“It’s been said that independent developers should focus largely on polish…”

No one has ever fucking said that, Adam. It’s been said that indie developers should stop making up bullshit quotes to excuse the fact that they are trying to steal money from people using empty promises. There, that has been said. I just said it.

Oh, sorry, I was just watching the video for Orbital Blaster, the soon-to-be-failed Kickstarter project from Hashbang Games. They need 79,000 to make an iPad game. I guess for some experienced developers making a really ambitious title, that’s somewhat reasonable.

“Over the last 8 months we have been producing our first game called Orbital Blaster…”

Well, so much for experienced. What is it, are you using some expensive engine or something?

“We develop in Unity3D…”

What the fuck, Hashbang, what are you inexperienced asses using this money for?

“Making a game is not a cheap venture.”

It is when you’re using a free engine.

“Everything costs money,  artwork, soundtracks, software, hardware and time.”

I know that saying that time is money, but that’s not literal, guys.

“New software that will enable us to create a better quality product.”

You mean like the free engine you’re using? Does your 3D modeler not already have modeling software? Or do you need to buy the software for the art and music that you’re outsourcing? What software are we talking here?

“New testing hardware that will allow us to test on a wide variety of devices and platforms.”

So you don’t already have iPads, but you want to make an iPad game. And you sure as hell don’t have an Ouya yet, but you’re already promising that the game will be available on it. This is the ultimate hipster move: “we made a game for the Ouya before it even existed.”

“Contracting for sound and artwork to allow us to make a great gaming experience.”

So you don’t have sound or artwork? What do you have? A couple of Unity scripts? After 8 months of development? Yeah, I guess you’re gonna need all the help you can get.

“The more we raise the more we can invest in the product and make it the best it can be.”

Hashbang also has a money-to-quality magic game developing machine! I severely underestimated the rarity of such an item.

“With funding, we’re promising to make Orbital Blaster a better game, by increasing the level variety, adding more weapons, enhancing boss fights, and improving the overall gameplay.”

I realize that that’s what you’re promising, guys. What I don’t quite understand is how the conversion of money-to-better-boss-battles works. Because it sounds like a load of shit. But I guess we’ll never know…

And then, the whimper of a dying Kickstarter.

Okay, so I was doing actual work, and didn’t get there in time to watch it die. Close enough. No free iPads for you, Hashbang. No mysterious expensive software that you’ve been without for the past 8 months of development but suddenly need. And no contractors to hire to make your vision come to life. Better keep those full time jobs, and make this game on your spare time and with your own money just like everybody else who’s not conning gamers around the world to believe in their pipe dreams. Prove that you can actually finish a game. You’re not worth anyone’s donation if you can’t do that.

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3 thoughts on “Hashbang Games Goes Out With A Whimper

  1. While I enjoyed your enthusiasm on bashing our failed Kickstarter. I just noticed this blog several months later, or I would have said something sooner, but I wanted to set some things straight on a few points you’ve made.

    Orbital Blaster was not just an iPad game. We “had” planned to release the game on iPad and Android devices, and to enforce proper comparability you need more devices to test on in order to know for a fact that your game is not going to crash on certain devices.

    Secondly, we never claimed to be experienced game developers. As a matter of fact, we stated in the video that Orbital Blaster is our first game. At the time of doing the Kickstarter, our team was comprised of only programmers that have never created a game before. We are now a bit more diversified and have a larger staff and some have experience and most of us still have no titles under our belt. I guess we all have to start somewhere right?

    Your claim about Unity being free is absolutely FALSE! Unity has a free version, but you can’t build for iOS nor can you build for Android with it. In addition, to build on the iOS you need to own a Mac, which we didn’t at the time. Unity Free also doesn’t have a lot of features that Unity Pro has, so your allegations are just outright false. Slap a $3500 price tag where you claim you can build on the iPad for free. Because that is what we paid per license to get full blown unity.

    I, for sure, am still learning what it takes to develop a game and bring it to completion. It takes a lot of time and a lot of trial and error. You want to talk about where the money is going and make your quirky comedy remarks, about us trying to rip off the people. But you have no foundation for what your saying. So let me share a bit of financial woe’s that I have to deal with to back up my statement, that your blog about our project is just a crock of shit and has no basis what so ever.

    I have 5 guys, working for me.. You want to talk about time is money, and that is just what it is. Even paying my crew a messily $18 /hr and working a 40 hr work week. That is $3600 a week that I have to come up with to develop this project. 6 months of development will cost over $80,000. Part of the money was to bring some people on to our team to help us get the game developed. In addition, those people create the Artwork ( because I’m surely not an artist ), 3D models, soundtracks and everything we stated in the video.

    As for the past 8 months stated in the video, that was myself, my brother and one other guy working part time on the project for 8 months, trying to learn Unity and trying to figure out how to make a game. Trust me when I say the prototype that was up on Kickstarter was not our first, it was actually our 3rd iteration of the project.

    Where we are now, is much farther along, we have many guys working on the project. We have been working hard to bring this project to the community. Yes, we are going to launch on the Ouya, actually we changed direction a bit after our Kickstarter failed, because we figured the Ouya would be the perfect platform to launch on first. So i spent the $700 to be one of the first to get the Dev. Console.

    Feel free to check out our latest prototype, and we still have a long way to go for completion. http://www.youtube.com/hashbanggames

    Anyways, I can go on for days about how wrong you are. But let’s let bygones be bygones, and I hope that when we do release, you can come check out our game and enjoy what we created.

    -Marco Williams
    Hashbang Games, LLC
    http://www.youtube.com/hashbanggames

    • davidgaames says:

      Oh Marco, where to begin? Why don’t we start with the fact that “While I enjoyed your enthusiasm on bashing our failed Kickstarter.” isn’t a sentence? It’s the beginning of a sentence – you’re supposed to follow it up with something. Here, like this: “While I enjoyed your enthusiasm on bashing our failed Kickstarter, I didn’t actually understand half of what you wrote.” See how that’s a complete thought? You should try and have those some time.

      “Orbital Blaster was not just an iPad game.”

      Is it also a toaster? If you’re referring to other platforms, big fucking deal. All that means is that you select a different platform in Unity and hit “Build”. You call it a “mobile 3D shooter”. So it’s on other mobile devices. Oh shit, you got me there – I just called it an “iPad game”. Boy, look how wrong I was.

      “…to enforce proper comparability you need more devices to test on in order to know for a fact that your game is not going to crash on certain devices.”

      What you’re talking about is how the game will communicate with the different operating systems, which is something that you can’t control, because it happens at the engine level. All you’re doing is writing scripts. If your script works on one device, it will work on another. If it doesn’t for some reason, the best you can do is write a bug report to Unity.

      “Secondly, we never claimed to be experienced game developers. As a matter of fact, we stated in the video that Orbital Blaster is our first game.”

      You mean just like I quoted you in my post saying that? I never claimed that you were lying about it – in fact, I used your honesty to show just why people should not be giving you money. I thought you read this post. I don’t understand what you’re setting straight; I said this exact thing in the beginning of my post.

      “We are now a bit more diversified and have a larger staff and some have experience and most of us still have no titles under our belt. I guess we all have to start somewhere right?”

      Yes, but most of us start by at least completing a single little game before asking to be paid for it. But we’ll get to that later.

      “Your claim about Unity being free is absolutely FALSE! Unity has a free version, but you can’t build for iOS nor can you build for Android with it.”

      Okay, you got me there. Unity is only free if you want to release on Windows, Mac, and Linux. But I guess that’s just not good enough for your first title. You have to pay a whole $400 if you want it on iOS, and another $400 for Android. So your Kickstarter should have been for $800, right?

      “In addition, to build on the iOS you need to own a Mac, which we didn’t at the time.”

      You are not helping your case at all. Not only do you not have your target devices, but you don’t have the device you need to build for your target device? This is your first fucking game, at least start with what you have. You’re like a kid who asks his parents to buy him a Ferrari right when he gets his license. The reason your Kickstarter failed is that you gave no one any reason to believe that you’re a worthwhile investment.

      “Unity Free also doesn’t have a lot of features that Unity Pro has, so your allegations are just outright false. Slap a $3500 price tag where you claim you can build on the iPad for free.”

      I would looooooooooove to know what advanced features you want to use in Unity Pro for your mobile game. Please detail them, it will give me so much more to work with.

      “I, for sure, am still learning what it takes to develop a game and bring it to completion.”

      And this is it for me, Marco. This is the exact reason that I bashed your Kickstarter. You don’t know what the fuck you’re doing. You’re not asking to be paid to make a video game; you’re asking to be paid to learn how to make video games. That’s like making a Kickstarter to pay for your grammar lessons so that you can write a book. People get paid to do something when they prove that they can do it. Colleges don’t pay you to go there, it’s the other way around for a reason. Learning doesn’t entitle you to a paycheck. You’ve never completed a game before, but you make all these promises about what your game is going to be, not to mention how much it’s going to cost. That’s your inexperience showing. Make a game first, and then you can talk all you want about how much it costs to make a game, and maybe get a Kickstarter going then.

      “Where we are now, is much farther along, we have many guys working on the project. We have been working hard to bring this project to the community.”

      And here you are, proving yet another one of my points. Your Kickstarter failed. You don’t have the money that you claim was necessary to make your game. And what happened? Here you are, still making it. How are you paying your employees? How are you getting by without any Macs, iPads, or all those fancy Unity Pro features that you need to make your game? Seems like you’re moving along without a dime of that Kickstarter money. One might almost say that it seems like you just didn’t need it after all.

  2. Your right dude, I cannot argue that I am not a great writer. I do not write with the best grammar.

    “Is it also a toaster? If you’re referring to other platforms, big fucking deal. All that means is that you select a different platform in Unity and hit “Build”. You call it a “mobile 3D shooter”. So it’s on other mobile devices. Oh shit, you got me there – I just called it an “iPad game”. Boy, look how wrong I was.”

    This is not true dude. Sure you can build on different operating systems, but you cannot just build the game on one platform and expect it will work across all of them. There is a lot of fine tuning and tweaking and testing that needs to go into every OS that you build for. The UI elements are different, the handling of interaction is different. Shaders need to be changed, performance tuning needs to take place for each OS.

    “What you’re talking about is how the game will communicate with the different operating systems, which is something that you can’t control, because it happens at the engine level. All you’re doing is writing scripts. If your script works on one device, it will work on another. If it doesn’t for some reason, the best you can do is write a bug report to Unity.”

    Again, you need to get your facts straight. While, you seem to know what your talking about you go and put out a statement like this, and it makes me wonder what your experience is. If we did what you suggest, I guarantee that the app or game built would crash for sure on different devices. To prove my point; You can write a custom shader in unity that will work great on the PC and completely crash your GPU on a mobile device. How would you know this if you don’t test your projects on the target device? When you develop do you just guess that it’s working? I can assure you, that is not quality software development.

    Just because I don’t have experience making games, does not mean that I don’t have any experience as a software developer. I have built many applications, for many companies. In total, I have over 15 years of programming and software development experience.

    The strange thing is that your making accusations trying to make us look bad and I don’t know what your purpose is. Is it to discredit our efforts? Our project is legitimate, and our company is real. My team and I are very dedicated to this project and we will release this game as we have been promising.

    “And here you are, proving yet another one of my points. Your Kickstarter failed. You don’t have the money that you claim was necessary to make your game. And what happened? Here you are, still making it. How are you paying your employees? How are you getting by without any Macs, iPads, or all those fancy Unity Pro features that you need to make your game? Seems like you’re moving along without a dime of that Kickstarter money. One might almost say that it seems like you just didn’t need it after all.”

    Again, here your trying to discredit our determination to build this project and start this company. We didn’t get the money via Kickstarter, so we have had to take other avenues to acquire funding for the game. Kickstarter was an option that didn’t work out. Just like venture capital or angel investment. We have now turned to get a standard small business loan.

    “I would looooooooooove to know what advanced features you want to use in Unity Pro for your mobile game. Please detail them, it will give me so much more to work with.”

    The features of Unity Pro do not matter, there are some third party tools that we use that require unity pro and there are some features that we use that require it. Aside from that, there are more reasons to purchase software rather than freeloading off their freeware. For one, supporting the company that makes this amazing software and gives us the ability to build this game. Sure we can use their free version and cut out some features and make work around’s for the things we need to do. But how does that help the company that is providing the ability to support the platform we develop on. We purchased the license because we wanted the features, and we wanted to contribute to the success of Unity. Software was just a small part of what the request on Kickstarter was for. We needed the money to pay our developers (modelers, artists etc..) and keep the project moving forward.

    “Yes, but most of us start by at least completing a single little game before asking to be paid for it. But we’ll get to that later.”

    I agree with you here, we bit off more than we can chew for our first game. We should have started with something more simple and had a few titles under our belt before releasing a Kickstarter asking for money. Which I attribute to it’s utter failure. We all make mistakes, and I think your right that running to Kickstarter to fund our project was a mistake that we have learned from.

    Overall you make some valid points about how we can’t expect people to pay for us to learn to develop a game. However, I do feel that your method is of poor taste. Your over exaggerated allegations and word twisting feels like an attempt to discredit our project and I kind of feel that your trying to make us out to be idiots. While we are all very talented hard working individuals that take pride in what we do.

    I have enjoyed our back and forth debating, there is still much work to do. So I won’t be responding to any more of your posts or comments. However, I value the opinion of all our followers and customers. And if your interested, I am personally inviting you to contact me privately, to include you in our pre-alpha, beta and pre-production releases of Orbital Blaster. I hope that once you get a little hands on and see how hard we have been working on this game that maybe you can post something nice about us 😉

    -Marco Williams
    Hashbang Games, LLC

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