Indie sandbox TUG secures $8.5M in new funding, delays game for engine switch

Indie sandbox TUG has become the beneficiary of a huge windfall.

In a new Kickstarter update sent to backers this afternoon, Nerd Kingdom announced that it has raised an additional $8.5 million to “expand on TUG, move into openGL, and put a lot more emphasis on tools and modding bits.” That means the development team will be expanding too.

The downside is that the process of porting the game engine from DX11 to OpenGL will likely delay the game’s next update for a close to a year. A business model switch is probably imminent as well:

“Additionally, and this is potentially a HUGE change… we are seriously considering making TUG a free game… and I say this knowing FULL well that we already have people who have committed their own earned money to help us. So we are not taking this thinking lightly, and its going to take a lot of dialog and thought into what it will take to make this work. I go into detail of why I personally, and we as a team, think this is important. But the short of it being, we want to get this in the hands of as many people as possible, modders, researchers, players, and builders.”

“The great thing about solid financial support, is we have some freedom to build something great, and not have to worry about “monetization schemes”. To be clear, how we will monetize is unclear, but we have a bit of time, and a few ideas to think through. With this said, any “monetization” we apply to TUG, wont impact any of our backers ability to play. You all believed in us, and have been nothing but supportive… it’s not our intent to drain anyone of all the moneys. Treating TUG as a platform, as its intended, means we have a lot to consider.”

The game is currently on Steam.

We’ve included Nerd Kingdom’s Peter Salinas’ dev vlog on the topic below.

Source: Kickstarter
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inoritewtf
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inoritewtf

Oh snap, I didn’t see this pop up here! I also did a follow up, to clarify some of the thinking… and did an AMA as well. Reading the comments below, I don’t think this is all super clear. Admittedly, its still not… but I at least wanted our intent to be clear. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMPS4XApXNo

mbbrazen
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mbbrazen

I’m not sure how I feel about the news. I am also a KS backer and I play the game whenever the make a major update, just to see how things are developing. It will be a fun little game although I don’t see how the F2P will work without an aggressive cash shop. That would be a shame for the PvE’ers but I can see the survival, multiplayer PvP mode generating some income. My fear a year ago was that the PvP survival mode would eventually consume the game. Guess I will have to wait another year to get the answer to that.

AaronVictoria
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AaronVictoria

@Armsbend I agree man. Honestly I don’t see what the investors are seeing here. I mean the game has a decent following, but 8.5 million dollars worth? Let’s see how this goes, because it seems to have an aggressive enough following to succeed on Kickstarter. Therefore, I figure lots of donors will be looking for their product even more with the extra infusion of cash.

Jacra
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Jacra

I’m a backer and sure hope there won’t be a massive ingame RMT shop coming now …

McSleaz
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McSleaz

Picked this up fro $1 when it debuted on steam. I’ll have to try it out one of these days.

blackcatcrosses
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blackcatcrosses

Polyanna openGL is not a game engine. It’s the low level interface to the graphics hardware, analogous to DX on Windows, except it runs on just about everything.

blackcatcrosses
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blackcatcrosses

Grifter Polyanna It may not be ‘better’ per se, but it’s a hell of a lot more portable.

shadowblender
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shadowblender

It looked interesting enough for me to at least keep my eyes on it and see where it goes.

blackcat7k
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blackcat7k

The deal has changed once again and now this title will walk down a familiar road… There is nothing free, and you’ll have to sacrifice some part of the game for this illusion that’s allowed to be perpetuated in today gaming environment.
You’re going to have continued cost, you need to pay for them. Giving away a large chunk of your product will not do this, and you’ll end up loosing some backers because we’re really not going to support another developer trying to perpetuate the lie that someone can play the title for free while someone else foots the bill for them.

Ceder
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Ceder

I’ve peripherally supported their efforts though I had much skepticism.  With this news though, no longer.