Dear Graeme, The Greenlight Troll

This is an open letter to a guy who goes by “Graeme- Coarse Gentleman" on Steam. He has been littering our Greenlight page with all sorts of strange comments. Worth nothing we’re not the only Greenlight page he seems to hold in contempt, but he seems serious enough about his accusations  so… Enjoy.

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@Graeme- Coarse Gentlemen: You’re full of it, dude. I’ll come out and play your game. You are straight out lying, being intentionally disingenious, or at the very least, completely uninformed. 

I’m first going to start off by saying that you don’t actually know me, our internal company finances, or how we run things here at Sandswept. You seem to believe I’m the type to earn some cash and ditch this industry in favor of a yacht.

Well, I’ll have you know I don’t like sailing all that much. 

I’ll try to keep the insults out while sticking to the facts, despite your remarks being extremely insulting to me as a human being, as a leader, a passionate developer, and a friend to the folks who work with me at Sandswept. (Not to mention absolutely insulting to the entire team as well.)

Let’s break it down into your individual comments;

"If this game has been around for so long, it raises the question - What the hell have they been doing?"

Developing. You profess an interest for programming in your Steam profile, but you seem to lack basic understanding of the work and time it requires to create something as elaborate as a full game. You’re also selling substantially short the content and game we actually have currently, therefore I can only assume you haven’t actually touched the game, as you’re woefully unprepared to debate. Your “facts” about us are patently wrong across the board. It’s almost as if you’re looking at the wrong website. You do in fact realize we are Sandswept Studios, correct?

"Why is the quality so low, why are all of these issues being fixed now and not years ago?"

We have only been in full-time development since April 29th, 2012. The “low quality” doesn’t actually exist - the game is just unfinished. I can only assume you haven’t actually ever seen a game in true Alpha stage (not a faux-Alpha to buy the developers some time before Beta testing in full.) The art and gameplay in The Dead Linger is unfinished but by no means poor quality. We do however agree some of our texture quality is lacking, due to the Ogre engine not properly utilizing normal and specular maps. (Hence, the upcoming switch we’ve been working on for about 2-3 months now.)

"A LLC developing a game is almost unheard of."

This is provably false and very strange. It also shows a gaping lack of business understanding. Regardless of whether or not were registered as an LLC, Inc, or Ltd, it would change nothing - least of all the things you’re concerned about.

"Why will the finished version of this game be nearly triple the cost of Indie games today?"

What are you comparing our price to? A pixel-based sidescroller? “Indie games” are not a genre of one specific type of game, and they come in all shapes and sizes.

"Why do they compare themselves to AAA companies on their website?"

Huh? Where is this happening? Are you looking at the right website? We’re not comparing our game to anything.

"and looking at their roadmap, they are comparing themselves to AAA developers"

Again, where? Our roadmap doesn’t mention any other developers or titles, much less a comparison.

"People have shelled out $150,000 for an ALPHA"

I actually felt a hemorrhage while reading this. It seems you believe people pledged to our Kickstarter to buy the Alpha? The Kickstarter was to fund the game into a playable Alpha stage - which it did splendidly. We’re currently supported entirely by pre-order sales at this time.

"If they switch to a higher quality engine, and upgrade the visual quality as well as the mechanics and smoothness of the game, that would be fine."

That’s exactly what we’ve been doing for almost 3 months now. If you followed what we do, it’s basically all we talk about, and you’ll notice a substantial gap since our last update (009c) But you clearly don’t follow us, as you’re lacking basic research about us, our goals, and our studio.

"Please remember that infinite world generation is by no means a difficult task"

Back to the basic understanding of game development and computer science… Creating an infinite world is easy. Creating one that actually looks, plays, and feels correctly is a monumental task. If it’s as easy as you claim, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion - we would have already been kicked out of the market by someone else doing the same exact thing. But here we stand, kicking complete ass with this game we’re bringing to the world. I would invite Richard to come open a can of whoop-ass on you, but he’s way too damn busy doing actual programming work on TDL right now.

"Developers who drop projects quickly"

We do? Where? When? We’ve cancelled two projects; one back in 2008 (Project MAESG, a sidescroller fantasy) in favor of our first title released on Steam, DETOUR, and one project in 2010, which was in minor development on the side (and never announced, for that matter.) If you believe game development studios release every title they begin, you must have never worked long-term at a game development studio.

"Silent developers. Do you see them commenting? They just hit paydirt, being put on Steam after making 150,000, why are they quiet?"

You might actually be a troll at this point. We posted a blog, we’ve been commenting all over Greenlight and our forums, including Twitter, and our Facebook pages.

Trekking further back into your comments, you seem to have been completely unaware we actually had a previous title (DETOUR), and you seem to believe that DETOUR — which did receive poor ratings by journalists, mainly due to starting on XBLIG/XBLA and being forced to port over to PC by Microsoft’s inability to support indie devs — is reflective of our quality and determination on this project, The Dead Linger. The thing you’re missing is - well, basically everything. We made a LOT of mistakes with DETOUR - mistakes we will never repeat. We were also part time during the entire venture, and that was 3 years of my life - thank you very much.

Oh, and shouting “They’re an LLC!” like it’s a bad thing makes you appear completely incompetent in the world of business. Although I admit; some light reading would really hurt your case: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limited_liability_company#Advantages

Linger on, Graeme.