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Bad news from Mad Minute Games

October 16th, 2006 by Troy Goodfellow · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

I’m a big fan of the Take Command games, and the developers at Mad Minute should be very happy with what their tiny operation has accomplished.

So the news that sales have been poor and there are significant barriers to staying in business as a going concern is very disappointing. In a post on the company forums, Norb Timpko has outline what he thinks are the things holding back their games.

Here’s what’s holding us back (as far as the industry is concerned):
1. sprites
2. no multiplayer
3. very poor terrain engine (need to be prettier)
4. poor battle choices
5. lack of a way to edit maps
6. no campaign game

I think the sprites and terrain are fine, and I don’t know what he means by “battle choices”. Even a campaign can pushed aside, since many wargames don’t have them. But multiplayer and a map editor are things that everyone would recognize as sine qua non for the next version of the game, and at this point the lack of sales means lack of incentive for publishers to finance these changes.

The news that Adam Bryant is fighting cancer makes the outlook for a quick turnaround in the game even bleaker.

Such are the injustices of the gaming world. Norb and Adam always took my criticisms (what few they were) in the spirit in which they were intended. These are two of the good guys with immense skill who made a really good and challenging war game. The first one was good enough to attract the attention of Paradox, and both are compelling simulations of Civil War combat.

Let’s hope that someone sees what these gentlemen have to offer the wargaming community and steps up to help them keep going. Yeah, development houses shut down all the time, and indie game making on the scale of the Take Command games is a long shot. I thought they could do it. And I still think they can.

Good luck, guys.


One Comment so far ↓

  • Michael A.

    This is sad news indeed; MadMinute Games has been one of the more interesting independent ventures in recent years.

    I too am puzzled by his reasons 1 and 3; I can see how it might affect some buyers, but have difficulty believing it is really a crucial factor in the series success. 4, 5, and 6 seem much more relevant – they are certainly important reasons why I haven’t yet made time to play the games.

    Hopefully they’ll be back.