Today I get to make a really exciting announcement that I’ve been wanting to blurt out for a while: IGM and hitbox (stylized with a lowercase “h”) have come to a partnership arrangement to help..
Last year, indie developer Hitbox Team released their first game, Dustforce, on Steam. A little over a year later, Hitbox Team is happily reporting on their financial success and providing valuable feedback to other developers within the indie game scene.
In a blog post, on the official Hitbox Team website, developer Terence Lee went into detail about the specifics of the team’s financial strategy going into developing their first game as a team, and the inspiring outcome of their risky endeavor.
“Now that we’ve finished our own first project, we’d like to contribute our own data about Dustforce to the growing trend of transparency in indie game development,” Lee explains. He goes onto explain that the origins of Dustforce began in the rush to complete the original prototype in the months leading up to the 2010 IndiePub Games Independent Game Developers Competition. In the end, the prototype won the team a $100,000 check, and armed with financial stability, the team was able to completely focus on developing their prototype into the game as it exists today.
Though, Lee pointed out, just like motivation and patience, money will eventually run out, and so the team set a strict deadline: have Dustforce completed by January 2012. An invitation by Valve to release Dustforce on Steam and some positive press following the prototype’s award provided the extra boost to get the project rolling.
Lee goes on to discuss how the four-man team figured out living expenses, and established monetary goals that Dustforce would have to meet, in order to be considered a financial success.
“We had no idea what to expect. We could only speculate, using sparse data points and ballpark figures. Was the past year and a half worth it? Of course it was, —we worked the hardest any of us have ever worked, and we created something we were truly proud of. Yet, there was a lingering uncertainty of financial expectations. Our goal was to just make enough money to be able to do it again. If we could work on our next project independently and without being restricted by a financial cut-off date, then we’d consider Dustforce a financial success.”
Nine days following Dustforce’s January 17th, 2012 release date, the game was a financial success. After the initial surge of post-launch sales, Dustforce was selling 30-50 copies daily. Then, in the first week of May, Hitbox Team got their first taste of a Steam Sale.
“Over the 3 days of the promotion, we sold 17,462 copies of the game, more than the amount we sold during the first 3 days of the January launch. Of course, at 50% off, the revenue was a bit less, but it was still an instant 37% boost in lifetime revenue.”
When the Humble Bundle 6 launched in September of last year, Dustforce was one of the games included. The Humble Bundle promotion not only brought Hitbox Team roughly $153,915, but they also saw an uptick in Steam sales, following the conclusion of the promotion.
“Dustforce was our first finished game, and we went into it without much experience, especially in the business side of things. Through this project, we learned firsthand that time is money, and that sacrifices have to be made when resources are limited…We are really grateful to have a strong start, and are very happy with how the game turned out…We are all humbled and elated by how well Dustforce has been received. The joy from our players is enough to keep us making games, —the financial success is just an incidental blessing.”
In January, following the one-year anniversary of Dustforce’s release, Hitbox Team announced their next title, Spire.
Hitbox Team’s long awaited action platformer Dustforce is finally available for all of us to purchase and play on Steam. Reviewers so far have been showering the game with praise for its polish, and many have been comparing it to indie hit Super Meat Boy in terms of difficulty, frustration, and satisfaction of level/goal completion. The title currently sitting at the 11th spot on Valve’s top 20 sellers list is a pretty solid indication that players are in agreement.
Hitbox Team has finally revealed a release date for their highly anticipated action platformer Dustforce, PC owners will be able to purchase the game January 17th via Steam for $10. Mac owners will have to wait, but only a short bit, before the title is available to them as well through Valve’s distribution service. Great news, right? Hitbox thinks so too, and has let loose a pre-launch trailer to celebrate.
Sometimes I forget about the lovely platforming treat that is Dustforce, and it is at those times that I feel truly lost in this world. We’ve been waiting around a long time for the game, and (according to developer Hitbox) it looks like the wait is coming to an end finally with a Steam launch set for January.
Hitbox Team recently resurfaced with some new photos and an introduction video to its 2010 indiePub $100,000 winner: Dustforce. Players sweep up dust, leaves, trash and slime in this crazy platformer, which has finally been dated for Windows PC and Mac late 2011.
Hitbox states on its blog that the team has been working hard for the last year rebuilding Dustforce from scratch. If the stylish fleshed out cast and retro tunes is any indication in this trailer, gamers’ eyes and ears are in for a treat.
“Expressive movement, acrobatic combat, and simple controls are the cornerstones of this platformer,” says Woodley Nye, designer and artist at Hitbox Team.”We want people to master the movement and be creative with it.”
Hitbox Team is an indie game studio originating from Brisbane, Australia. It consists of four members: Woodley Nye, Lexie Dostal, Matt Bush, and Terence Lee.
If you REALLY want to know what the gameplay was like in the 2010 prototype, here it is. Since the team says it has rebuilt the Dustforce from scratch, things probably look and play much better. Woodley Nye told me that gameplay footage will be available soon, so stay tuned!
Over on IndieGames our review weaver Mike Rose points us to a looker of a platformer by the name of Dustforce. Dubbed an “acrobatic platformer” by its developer Hitbox, the game has you wall running, wall sliding, double jumping and air dashing all over levels in an effort to clean them up. Can you master all the custodial arts?
Give it a go with the just released demo of the game, which packs two complete levels along with a handful of custom levels and even a WIP editor. It’s available on IndiePubGames with a mirror of the file on FileShack as well.
The final version (release date: TBD) will contain a full level editor, added polish and much more content. Check out the trailer below: