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Thomas Was Alone dev on console 'credibility' power of curation

Thomas Was Alone was released for PC in 2012, but it wasn't until it was announced for PlayStation devices that the game saw "a ridiculous sales boost," developer Mike Bithell told Gamasutra. The independent developer attributes that phenomenon to the way some players perceive consoles. "It's really interesting, the credibility consoles still have," Bithell said. "It's actually a badge of honor to those people. I know Thomas Was Alone gained an incredible amount of 'mindspace,' or whatever pretentious bullshit term a marketer would use, because it was out on console. And I saw a ridiculous sales boost just because, the second people saw it was coming to PlayStation, it became a 'real game' for a lot of people." To Bithell, that means that a combination of curation and appearing...

News
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YouTube star Northernlion gives advice on how indie devs can succeed on video

Letourneau started by noting that YouTube stars have become "some of the biggest influencers and biggest personalities out there" in the world of gaming and yet simultaneously "a niche that's still untapped." To prove his point, Letourneau put up logos for major gaming publications like IGN, GameSpot and Kotaku. "You probably all recognize these," he said. Then he put up logos for three of the top gaming video creators on YouTube: TotalBiscuit, OfficialNerdCubed and TheRPGMinx. He pointed out that together these three reach millions of viewers, but they aren't as instantly recognizable — and as such not as frequently contacted by developers. "These three YouTubers can single-handedly get your game greenlit and drive sales if they like it," he said. To further demonstrate this,...

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Tomb Raider, Thomas Was Alone feature in free PS Plus offerings for March

Six games across PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita will become free downloads for PlayStation Plus subscribers during the month of March, Sony announced today. PS4 users with a PS Plus membership can download Dead Nation: Apocalypse Edition, previously announced. The top down shoot 'em up is coming to PlayStation 4 on March 4 through the PlayStation Store for $14.99 The three PS3 titles that will be available free to PS Plus members in March include Mike Bithell's puzzle platformer Thomas Was Alone, Superflat Games' psychological survival adventure game Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut and Crystal Dynamics' action-adventure title Tomb Raider.  Free PS Vita titles for subscribers include Capcom's action role-playing game Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite and Zipper...

News
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Despite Volume's male hero, it still aims to challenge the notion of masculinity and heroism

But for former Bossa Studios lead, there are other ways of challenging the masculine heroism that makes up the lion's share of video game narratives. There are still stories starring men worth exploring, he says, despite what he calls "the boringness of the standard chiseled beefcake with the big gun." Bithell's plans changed substantially in pre-production of the game, he said. Initially, he intended to release a new heroine-led title following the launch and later success of his first independent release, Thomas Was Alone. This, he said, would be a way to experiment with writing for a new gender after developing Thomas' titular character. "When I sat down to come up with the story of Volume, and who would be its characters, I of course had to decide on which gender the...

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PS Vita Indie Mega Pack hits Europe in February (correction)

A new PlayStation Vita Indie Mega Pack featuring 10 games will launch in February, Sony announced today, outlining that the pack will be available from retail on an 4GB memory card for  €24.99 or bundled with a PS Vita for €199.99. The following 10 titles included in the Indie Mega Pack are: Alien Breed, Thomas Was Alone, Velocity Ultra, Men’s Room Mayhem, Coconut Dodge Revitalised, LIMBO, Hotline Miami, Total Recoil, Superfrog HD, Floating Cloud and God Saves the Pilgrims in HD. Correction: The article above originally listed an older bundle and has been updated to reflect the correction.

33 Comments

Meet the music companies behind many of those YouTube copyright claims

Indmusic and TuneCore seem to be two of the most active claimants against video makers, filing multiple claims and, in doing so, diverting revenues away from the game makers and towards themselves and their partners. The two companies are being cited by multiple video makers including Terry Cavanagh, developer of VVVVVV, who had a copyright infringement flagged against one of his trailers. Rami Ismail of Vlambeer also called out Indmusic and TuneCore. "Basically, if you make music for games, @indmusic and @TuneCore might be "services" you want to avoid," he posted on Twitter. Mike Bithell, maker of Thomas Was Alone tweeted that he is "pissed off at @indmusic, they are currently systematically copyright claiming all footage of my game, and monetizing. Daylight robbery." TuneCore...

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Volume to retell Robin Hood, star Thomas Was Alone narrator

Thomas Was Alone designer Mike Bithell's upcoming Volume will retell the story of Robin Hood in a modern setting and star a Thomas Was Alone veteran, according to a trailer released today. Volume tells the story of Robert Locksley, a thief who finds the titular volume and hatches a plot to tip the scales against the rich and in favor of the poor. Press play above to hear Thomas Was Alone narrator Danny Wallace, who plays the protagonist's AI companion, and YouTube personality Charlie McDonnell, who plays the Locksley. For more on Volume, check out our interview with Bithell. You can read Polygon's Thomas Was Alone review learn more about his last, life-affirming game.

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Thomas Was Alone doesn't need a sequel now, says dev

Thomas Was Alone developer Mike Bithell knows he could probably crank out a sequel to the hit platformer and it would be successful, but it's not something he's interested in right now, he said in an interview with Joystiq. "I've got lots of people who would actually now buy that game at launch, and I would make a lot of money. But it's boring. And it's a decision and promise I made myself. I'm not going to use this opportunity I've been given to do that. I don't think Thomas needs a sequel right now," said Bithell. As of mid-August, Bithell had sold more than 700,000 copies of Thomas Was Alone, which launched in July 2012 on Windows PC and Mac, and this past spring on PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Linux. At this point, he's not dismissing the idea of ever doing a sequel, but...

Culture
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Tomb Raider, Thomas Was Alone and Lego City Undercover nominated for 2013 Writers' Guild Award

Tomb Raider, Thomas Was Alone and Lego City Undercover have been shortlisted for the 2013 Writers' Guild Awards video game category, according to the Writers' Guild of Great Britian website. Writers Rhianna Pratchett for Tomb Raider and Graham Goring for Lego City Undercover are in the running to win the video game writing award from the Guild, along with Mike Bithell for Thomas Was Alone. The Thomas Was Alone writer is currently working on his second game, a modder-friendly crime-simulator called Volume. We previously spoke to Pratchett about her work on the Tomb Raider reboot, where she discusses how Lara Croft's backstory "finds a middle ground between strict adherence to canon and poetic liberty." The video game award is one of 13 categories for writing across various...

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Mike Bithell announced as speaker at Bradford Animation Festival

Mike Bithell, developer of Thomas Was Alone (pictured) has been named as one of the key speakers at this year's Bradford Animation Festival. He'll be talking about new project Volume. Other speakers at BAF 2013, due to take place at Britain's National Media Museum on Nov. 12 and the University of Bradford on Nov. 13, include Warren Spector (Deus Ex), Brian Horton (Tomb Raider), Viktor Antonov, (Dishonored) and Phil Gray (Lego Marvel Super Heroes). The Bradford Animation Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and will be handing out a lifetime achievement award to puppet and animation house Mackinnon & Saunders, responsible for work in films and shows like Frankenweenie, Fantastic Mr.Fox and Bob the Builder. Tickets and passes are on sale today. Polygon will be...

Thomas Was Alone Releases
North America
  • Windows
    • Released 07/24/2012
    • Publisher Mike Bithell
    • Developer Mike Bithell
  • Mac
    • Released 07/24/2012
    • Publisher Mike Bithell
    • Developer Mike Bithell
  • PlayStation Network
    • Released 04/23/2013
    • Publisher Curve Studios
    • Developer Mike Bithell
    • Score 8.5
  • Linux
    • Publisher Mike Bithell
    • Developer Mike Bithell
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