It’s time for another poll, and I have been thinking for a long time to do this one, and we will forward the results of the poll to all indie development teams and publishers. Hopefully, the results will help to restore some order because, let’s face it, ever since Redspotgames entered the publishing scene with Last Hope, they effectively destroyed all hope of uniformity in our video game collection, just look at a photo of all Dreamcast indie games.
Now get ready for a history lesson
In 2003, Cryptic Allusion and Goat Store Publishing released Feet of Fury, not just the first commercial indie game but also the launch title for KallistiOS, the development library that Cryptic Allusion created, and on which almost all indie titles are developed. But more importantly, the game featured an original packaging for Feet of Fury. Which was clearly inspired by SEGA’s American and Japanese region packaging, yet, at the same time, original enough to completely stand apart from any other Dreamcast region.
The uni-formal harmony was permanently disrupted in February 2007 when Last Hope from NG:Dev.Team was published by newcomer Redspotgames. In an effort to capture the Japanese audience, Last Hope was released in a faux Japanese jewel case packaging with the Dreamcast logo substituted for a similar Redspotgames logo. RSG went to great lengths to appease the Japanese audience; the game shipped with Japanese spine cards and a manual that was almost entirely in Japanese . The irony here is that Redspotgames is from Germany, and while the country has a significant multilingual population, Japanese has not been added in their curriculum.
At first, I was blown away by what I perceived as Japanese authenticity and got into an argument with GSP founder Dan Loosen (aka goatdan) over at the DC Emulation forums. I told Dan that he was messing up my Dreamcast collection’s presentation because his games packaging style was not complying with any given region, while RSG’s portfolio perfectly meshed with my Japanese collection.
Dan was not happy with my comments and proceeded to slap me with a knowledge bomb, and I started to see things his way.
I feel that the Japanese design is deliberately misleading consumers about where it comes from. I’ve seen multiple websites state that the game is an actual Japanese release from Sega, and my feeling is that our games are independent and proud, they deserve their own space in any video game collection.
To me, to try to cover up their origins is like trying to say that you don’t trust the product to sell on its own merit. These developers are amazing, let’s celebrate that independent spirit.
Goat Store Publishing
A few years ago, Hucast.Net re-emerged on the scene as Hucast Games. Just like the studio’s name randomly changed, its packaging style seems to be fairly random.
Dux is still being sold in its white case under the Hucast.Net label, where as Dux 1.5 has been released in standard faux Japanese DVD style casing. Randomly, last year, Hucast announced a limited edition of the game with the sound track in a maroon case as well as a jewel case edition, and, just to prove you never know quite what to expect from them, they announced another edition of Dux 1.5 – this time shipping in a double-layer, four-disc jewel case, similar to Rush Rush Rally Racing DX.The preview of the casing appears to follow the Japanese format, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the final game shipped with the classic American white or the modern black label packaging. It is entirely possible Hucast might decide one layer is classic white and the other is modern black. With the history lesson out of the way, we want to hear what you think? What is your favorite packaging style. The results of the poll will be forwarded to WaterMelon Games, hopefully aiding them to make an informed decision with the packaging of Pier Solar HD.
Head on over to DCS to vote.
- Frog Feast and Dream Para Para are not acknowledged in the list of indie games because their print run was too small to be considered commercial.
- Special thanks to Adam Korialik, Forbes Longden and Kopke for help with the picture for all the indie games.