So you made a game. An indie game. A free game. It becomes ridiculously popular. It's covered on sites like Joystiq, Polygon and Kotaku. People you admire are gushing about your work, and that work is spreading like wildfire.
Sounds great, right? There's just one catch...
You hosted your free game on a free host, and the increased demand as your free game caught on means that you exceeded what your free hosting service promised to provide. Exceeded it by a lot, to the point that you wake up one morning and find out that you owe Amazon $640. That's the situation that Michael Lutz found himself in after The Uncle Who Works for Nintendo (which I wrote about last month) took off in a big way. Unlike a lot of more traditional developers who hit on sudden success, Lutz's didn't come with an influx of cash, leaving him to pay out of pocket for all of us who got to enjoy his creation for free.
Now originally this was going to be a post about how to help Lutz, asking readers who enjoyed his creepy little game to consider chipping in and helping him out. But since his initial tweets on the issue, Lutz has announced that enough donations have been made in the space of a few hours to completely cover the hosting bill. So the bad news is that if you missed out on playing The Uncle Who Works for Nintendo you'll have to wait until Lutz can set up a more permanent (and less costly) hosting solution. The good news? Sometimes the internet is actually a pretty okay place, full of some pretty okay people.Tweet
Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart on Twitter, Iris Ophelia in Second Life) has been writing about virtual worlds and video games for nearly a decade, and has had her work featured on Paste, Kotaku, Jezebel and The Mary Sue.