Trigger warning: Harassment.
Note to reader:
This is a mirror for a Steam review I wrote on a game called "Indie Game Battle" where I went into detail about my experiences (and those of some of my friends) with the developer.
The original Steam review can be found at: https://steamcommunity.com/id/Bas-Makes-Games/recommended/407620/
Read this through.
(the evidence is linked at the bottom.)
First of all, I'll start with the fact that I used to work for Blob Games Studio since late 2014 on the team and left in August 2015, and was a third party from 2 May 2016 to 28 May 2016, so I know certain things that have happened behind the scenes. I am also not naming several individuals who I'm told want to be anonymous to avoid harassment by Blob Games Studio.
It began in autumn 2014. This was when I met Felix, at the time I was working on a game of my own (which in hindsight, was not that great) but okay. He gave feedback, some nice words, and we got talking. We agreed on making one project together (just one) called Delivery Boy Tale that later became Adventure Of Sol (which the Sol 1st party is from) but soon we had bigger plans so Blob Games Studio was formed. Another member soon joined (who created the Vanessa 1st party) and things went sort of well. The Legend Of The Artifact Remastered was in development, and I was to beta test his work and help with making some of the level designs. It was there that the darker side of Felix, or FelixBlobDev or Kirbypwnage started to emerge, as I left some honest, blunt but well-intentioned criticism on the mechanics. He got snappish and passive-aggressive and it became apparent how little tolerance he has for criticism and people who think different from him. He later also helped doing some spritework for my game (The Outbreak Story, but at the time it was named differently and had a wildly different concept) but often blackmailed me if I didn't do what he wanted or say what he wanted to hear by threatening to stop working, or postpone his work, put less effort in it and prioritize his own work, all because of criticism at his work and his behavior at the time. He twisted the things I said, he didn't talk to me for days when I said something he didn't like, then to turn it around.
At that time, the big project came. Indie Game Battle. It was to bring Smash Bros. to the indie scene and was to take the step of embracing both big indies such as Shovel Knight, Shantae and Quote as well as small gems like Tess and Clive & Wrench alike, to bring indies together and make everyone happy. That was the promise. A nice story to tell everyone was all it took for me to be sold on it. I was to get Alexia, one of The Outbreak Story's protags, in it as a 1st party. He was uncooperative about it and as he kept buffing his own characters, it made me a bit suspicious. Fearing he was to make my character less and less usable, I asked him to balance the game. Make each character powerful, so no one is OP, which he to this day seems to tell to people was me asking him to make Alexia OP, which isn't the case. I wanted every character to be powerful in their own right. I was working on the stage of Retrolands together with him, doing 8-bit assets for it.
As I grew increasingly weary of Felix's emotional manipulation, it showed. Along came Omar, a new team member and after a month or so, I was more or less forced to leave the team. He then erased my name from his project but kept the assets I mentioned before for Retrolands in.
Time skip to May 2016.
I was in a DM conversation on Twitter with the guy, where we sort of made up. Then I was allowed to join their Skype Group and have Alexia be a Third Party again, and we made a deal. She was to be released alongside a Greenlight for The Outbreak Story where I would also promote Indie Game Battle as a sort of both-sides-helping-each-other thing, but development on her reimplentation was never started, even though she nearly finished, Felix and I still had the 2015 assets so it'd be far easier than any other character that had to be made from scratch. I was suspicious, and asked Felix about it. He also confirmed to have never credited me for my contributions on the Retrolands stage.
I got closer to a member called Starturbo and a member called Bounty, both Third Parties as well (the developer of Superstar Technic and Nexum, two work-in-progress titles respectively) who also had lingering concerns but didn't state them at the time. Also, we found out that a few ex-members (a certain Rockto, and others who I am not sharing names of) were bullied out the server for criticizing IGB in a similar manner to me and Blob Games Studio had actively smeared their reputation using lies, fake accounts and wordplay. It can be said that some of them were harsh, but this is never a justification for such behavior. Also, the team had been asking people to write good reviews, upvote good ones and downvoting bad ones on Steam to keep the rating at Mostly Positive so people buy the game. Starturbo and likely (though I lack confirmation) others had their reviews censored by having to omit mentions of Rockto and other drama that would make them (rightfully) look bad in the customer's eyes.
The immaturity in the chat and Felix and another member (who has since left and has also been harassed and wants to stay out of it) being inconsiderate about their jokes rubbed off on us. We asked them, politely, to stop, only for us to mocked to hell.
This left to me and Starturbo both leaving at the end of May 2016. We were to leave them alone, as long as we were left out of it too.
Not that the calm remained for long. We started a Skype Group, later Discord server called Indie Game Utopia to create a hub for starting indie developers where everyone could have fun and speak their minds. A false, slandering article defaming me, Starturbo and other people was written by the aforementioned member that was at the time being immature and is now gone. I made a Twitter post debunking the article, and Blob Games Studio started to push the narrative that we were haters (which they still push and the Important Update refers to) and tried to essentially get us gone. That failed, as I started to expose more of what I had seen.
Now, at the end of 2016, things hit a boiling point. We were becoming increasingly weary of what was going on, and at the start of 2017, more Third Parties were getting removed for no good reason. Also, features that were promised (a Story Mode & Online mode) were never created and work on a Story Mode was barely even started. All there seemed to be was a final boss and some stages.
Though at the same time, more and more 1st parties were added. The developers got worse over time in their disregard for the community and all forms of feedback they got and it was clear that this wasn't going to last.
And it didn't.
Cue the removal of my dear friend Ryan Silberman for an inexcusably pathetic reason. Add that to Blob Games Studio's morally bankrupt, sociopathic practices becoming more and more apparent and Felix becoming increasingly desperate to defend his spot, resorting to more insidious tactics and forms of manipulation, trying to kill Indie Game Utopia from the inside using a combination of manipulating mods, spam raids and spreading false information.
Now, Bounty has also been removed and his leaving was also spun in their favor. In truth, he was ran out of the server and had no choice, he was going to get kicked, but because he technically left himself that is the narrative.
Now, the project's cancelled, people ask for a refund (they've been scammed).
Lying about Bounty:
Steam Vote Brigading:
Reactions to critics:
As for review censorship:
As you can clearly see, Starturbo, my friend, was pressured to change his review. Judging by the fact that this is the same Felix who kicked Bounty simply for being friends with us, and threw Ryan out for no real reason, it is likely that Starturbo had no choice here but to comply. This team has been known to relentlessly harass the people that call them out as they try to cover their actions up.
Also, here is a further bit of evidence that the slander article from 2016 is real:
Just a thing I should make clear, back when I wrote the original post on Steam, the person who had written the slanderous article (among other things) had left Felix's side and apologised. I had promised to keep his name out of the article at his request. He has since gone back to Felix's side and continued to spread lies about me and some of the people that supported me, as well as harassing other people. Still, I've chosen to keep his name obscured, because unlike Blob Games Studio I don't stab people in the back. I said I would censor his name in the screenshot and I would not call him by name in the review out of respect for his privacy and a deal is a deal. Even if you know who this person is, please, don't go look for him and harass him or whatever. Same goes for Felix and the rest of his group.
Also, should add this other thing.
The developer, Felix, has been going around denying all the things that I and others have proven in the past.
Names that he mentions have been grayed out because I want to protect the privacy of those people.
I saved this review as well in case it gets deleted, as Blob Games Studio censored reviews in the past.
You aren't silencing me. Not anymore.
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I am Bas de Groot, a starting indie developer. This blog consists of me rambling on about game development, stuff I like and issues that I care about, such as LBGTQ+ issues, neurodiversity and the flaws inherent in our capitalist system.