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Default Kamyran's Eye 2 - Now Free

July 20th, 2009, 23:43
With the closure of distie Manifesto Games, Kamyran's Eye 2 has gone free. I must admit to not knowing this graphical roguelike but the summary sounds pretty cool:
Avenge your murdered mentor and find the truth behind the starting civil war.

Kamyran's Eye 2 is a graphical fantasy-themed roguelike role-playing game for PC (Windows, Linux).
It features a dynamic world that is never quite the same, armies that fight each other and burn down cities in a branching storyline with multiple endings.
Forge alliances, defend cities, explore dungeons and get to know the diverse inhabitants of Amris - before chaos engulfs them.
Thanks, Getter77!
More information.
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July 20th, 2009, 23:43
mmmm - sad to a see a portal catering to non-casual indies go down.


"So as of today, I'm shutting down Manifesto Games.

We started in September 05 because we thought that a combination of trends made it feasible to create a market for independently developed games outside conventional retail. The spread of broadband makes digital distribution even of quite large games feasible; growing disenchantment on the part of developers with the conditions of the mainstream industry mean many are looking for any possible alternative path to market; and the casual game market had already shown that substantial businesses could be built around selling games online — games with characteristics quite different from those offered by the traditional industry.

Clearly, we haven't succeeded in realizing that vision. There are a host of possible reasons why; perhaps we launched with an excess of nave optimism, through of course a surfeit of optimism is an entrepreneurial necessity. We did not achieve the critical mass of support by independent developers that we had initially envisioned (some of whom, bizarrely, viewed us as a competitor), though we appreciate the strong and enduring support we received from some. We always knew that the essential problem we were trying to solve was a marketing one, but we never figured out how to crack the marketing nut, at least with the minimal financial resources we had available. We failed to raise substantial venture money, despite engaging with many VCs over time. And of course, the recession doesn't help.

In the years since we started the company, there have been hopeful change in the independent games market; Steam has become a profitable and viable channel for some developers, XBLA and WiiWare for others, and the iPhone for still others. In addition, the casual game market has started to experiment with a small handful of titles that break the inordinately restrictive genre mold of that form. Attention paid to independent games by the games media has grown (though why is it that the Independent Film Channel covers the AIAS awards, and not the IGF awards?)

These are all positive signs, but they are dangerous ones, too; Apple, Microsoft, and Nintendo have complete, monopolistic control over distribution through their proprietary channels, and while they may, today, generously grant a high revenue share to developers who sell through them, developers are in the final analysis utterly at their mercy. There's no question in my mind that ultimately the channel owners will someday use their total control to demand an increasingly onerous share of revenues — a pattern we've already seen in the casual game market, and through channels like IPlay/Oberon. The same is true, perhaps to a somewhat lesser degree, of Steam.

In short, if a viable business ecosystem for independent games is to be established, it needs to be established on the basis of open systems and open markets, not proprietary channels. And that, I think, is inevitable; the whole history of the Internet shows that open systems and open channels rule.

Perhaps we didn't figure out the right way to crack this nut; and perhaps we were simply too early. "Being too early" is, in fact, much of the story of my career; I designed the single most successful online game for its time — in 1989; and founded one of the first North American mobile game companies — in 2000. In both cases, four years later would have made a world of difference.

I suspect (and hope) that this will be true of independent games as well — that within four years, it will be a large, fast-growing, and highly successful segment of the game industry. In other words, Manifesto may be dead, but in many ways this is an excellent time to be an independent game developer, and the potential we saw when we founded the company remains.

I am grateful to all of the many people who helped us over the tumultuous years of our existence, but in particular to the people who worked directly with me — Bill Folsom, Nathan Solomon, Eleanor Lang, and Johnny Wilson, each of whom contributed literally thousands of hours, almost all of then unpaid, to the venture. And also to Eric Goldberg and Kathy Schoback, both of whom were generous in sharing contacts and advice; and to our lawyer, Don Karl at Perkins Coie, who took us on knowing we were an unfunded and highly chancy venture and stood by us stalwartly.

To those who cheered for us and shared our vision of a thriving game market that rewards creative vision instead of licensed drivel and repetitive 'franchise' remakes, a place for exploratory design to uncover the true capabilities of the ars ludorum, a commercial channel where imaginative game creators can make a reasonable living on a far smaller scale than the conventional market, a future for more than the handful of genres the major publishers deem worth funding — don't give up the faith. It will happen. One company's loss won't change that. The creative heritage of games will endure."
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July 21st, 2009, 00:28
Reminds me kinda of Excelsior

very ugly, but very cool game.
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July 21st, 2009, 03:14
This is unfortunate, but a sign of the times …

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July 21st, 2009, 04:05
Yep, I had a particular interest in this as, to my limited knowledge, Kamyran's Eye 2 was only available via Manifesto unlike some other games on the site like Kingdom Elemental from Chronic Logic and whatnot that are still available direct and on some other ones. This was the first PC Retail Roguelike I ever got an oppourtunity to purchase back when I discovered it…and thusly did so before the likes of Scallywag were known to me.
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July 21st, 2009, 04:29
It really is too bad about Manifesto. What a rotten time to have started a company, unfortunately. Folsom sounds like someone who knows what he's doing and will definitely be back again though. Better luck next time, guy.

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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July 21st, 2009, 14:10
You cannot go anywhere without marketing, I don't know whatever his game is good or not….. the reason for that is I never heard about it… even if I frequent a lot of RPG and indie game websites. On the other hand if a game is really really good… the word will ussually spread by word of mouth on the internet.. just look at PvZ….. inspite of not being an RPG it spread all over this place… and even in a lot of major game sites……
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July 21st, 2009, 14:58
I never heard of the game but am vagely familiar of the company. I know of many other indie game companies that I have seen marketing for but not this one.

When it comes to non-mainsteam companies that do very well in marketing I've noticed the free mmorpg companies do a very good job in this respect and most don't spend a huge amount of money on marketing.
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July 21st, 2009, 18:42
There's no question in my mind that ultimately the channel owners will someday use their total control to demand an increasingly onerous share of revenues — a pattern we've already seen in the casual game market, and through channels like IPlay/Oberon. The same is true, perhaps to a somewhat lesser degree, of Steam.
Or "OneLive".

They're really trying hard to destroy the complete secondary markets of the future.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 21st, 2009, 19:51
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
I never heard of the game but am vagely familiar of the company. I know of many other indie game companies that I have seen marketing for but not this one.

When it comes to non-mainsteam companies that do very well in marketing I've noticed the free mmorpg companies do a very good job in this respect and most don't spend a huge amount of money on marketing.
Main way anybody tended to hear of/find Manifesto was through the playthisthing blog, which I check multiple times a week and have done so for months now.

http://playthisthing.com/

Not sure exactly how the development company behind Kamyran's Eye, which was only using Manifesto as a distro, generates revenue and such….but they seem to be fit to keep on keeping on.

Marketing is the other great devil of the modern gaming world next to rapidly out of control costs on production and development…for as many that find success on either or both fronts there's a tremendous amount more that don't make it despite good intentions and vanish into the night unawares.
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July 22nd, 2009, 00:30
I had heard that Manifesto's cut of hosted indie games was already "onerous", as he predicts the mainstream distribution avenues will be one day. Might have something to do with developers viewing him as a "competitor", ie. a distributor who failed to compete because he wanted too much of the pie.

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