Man slumped over books and keyboard

In this episode of Dialogue Tree, Eric Brasure talks to Konstantinos Dimopoulos, aka Gnome. They discuss the Bundle in a Box, the diminishing economic returns of indie development and a possible way forward for indie developers.


04:20 “I’m not really comfortable with the category of ‘gamer.’”

08:25 “We’re not living in a world where competence and hard work and artistic vision are a priori appreciated.”

12:45 “It was too easy to game the poll, the voting, if everyone could vote.”

16:55 “The first two bundles were obvious losses. We lost quite a bit of money.”

20:15 “People obviously do not know what goes into a game.”

22:25 “Even the indie developers are playing it as safe as they can.”

29:25 “There was a period where you could build your audience, and I believe that this period is mostly over.”

32:45 “The fact that you can play with literature, they find it amazing.”

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Addendum: Gnome comments that RPS did write about the fourth Bundle in a Box after this interview had been recorded, on the bundle’s final day.


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10 thoughts on “Dialogue Tree 14: Fatigue

  1. I remember when Eric and I were discussing ideas for who could be interviewed, one of my first suggestions was Gnome because I thought his experiences with the Bundle in a Box would be interesting. Except, of course, Eric had already had Gnome on his little list which meant I had to make other suggestions.

    But I think this is a great interview, some of the stories from the less successful and (not by choice) more obscure end of the indie pool are important. I find the bit about RPS’ support being so crucial is simultaneously uplifting and crushing – it must be wonderful to be part of a site that has so much “power” yet also be a terrible burden, knowing that what you don’t cover may flounder without your support. You can’t cover everything, of course, because there are simply so many games being released every week – and new discounts.

    There was plenty of Twitter talk in the wake of the Cavanagh/Porpentine GDC talk about the game journalists’ giant blind spot over the experimental/personal free games. This also extends to many indie startups, too.

    The meritocracy comments might well stir up some debate. The indie space straddles two different worlds as highlighted with all that Greenlight business last year. One is community, fellowship and aspirations to art that might argue the Bundle wasn’t give enough support. The other is sink-or-swim capitalism where the market decides the rightful victors, that might argue the Bundle failed because it wasn’t good enough or marketed itself well enough. The truth is not so binary, of course.

  2. Ah, but you humble me! Both of you fine sirs! Also, wish I were a bit more coherent…

    Must also add that RPS did actually cover the last Bundle In A Box, which was extremely kind and supportive of them. Mind you, I thoroughly believe that RPS are doing the very best, while simultaneously not skipping on writing quality.

    As for experimental games, Indiegames, Indiestatik and coverage aside, this is quite true. Still, many sites try to find such games, but the creators could help by dropping the press a line or two.

  3. gnome, I’ve added a note to the text supporting the interview because I think that’s an important point, considering what was said in the podcast.

    Also, gnome, we often complain that we don’t want sites to simply churn out rewritten press releases – that was my own moan about – but considering the volume of new releases/discounts, I wonder what’s the alternative for a site that wants to be comprehensive?

  4. The note was indeed needed dear HM. Do though keep in mind that I was utterly surprised by RPS as, as I said in the interview, not mentioning each and every bundle does make sense to me.

    Re: The Alternative (a.k.a. the plan) – I do believe the only thing that could be done would be for sites to hire even more writers and, maybe, people specialized in certain niches/genres/styles. This of course would need quite a bit of money.

    Another idea would be for the creative people to directly introduce their games via something like the Gamasutra blogs.

  5. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having trade publications–it’s a necessary vehicle for getting the word out around work in development/work just released. We kind of have that, but kind of not. But even for trade websites, it’s still nearly impossible to cover everything.

  6. Gnome, you sound like an old-style-grumpy-pessimistic-socialist 😉 . I believe this is quite an important point-of-view and I enjoyed the interview a lot. I hope Bundle in a Box gets some more momentum, I think the selection of games there is very good in general (I wish I could “help” it more / more often, but I’ve been really short on the pocket end). Cheers!

  7. @enricllagostera: Yeah, I do sound odd, I know, but am an optimist at heart 🙂 Also, thank you so very much sir!

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