DARQ Developer Goes Viral, Rejects 12 Publishers To Make Game His Own Way

It’s hard to properly describe the sheer scale of E3. I’ve been there a handful of times now, and even I am consistently blown away by how the conference manages to grow and morph with each passing year. What previously used to fit into the LA Convetion Center for a tight three days now sprawls through the streets and into an easy seven day stretch. A growing number of companies now host their own conferences, with devs like Bethesda matching major studios like Sony and Microsoft. Devolver has its own parking lot filled with food and beer. EA rents out the Staples center to showcase their new titles. I think Twitch rents out a park or something.

With all of the big names and million dollar budgets, it can be hard to find the little diamonds in the mix. The actual IndieCade space on the floor is mostly taken up by experimental novelty thesis projects and some game where you make a giant bowl of ramen. When Capcom brings an entire haunted house complete with zombie actors to the floor, how on earth are you supposed to get recognized?

Oh, you thought I was kidding about the giant ramen game? Nope. It’s called Ideal Meal, and it DOES take up just as much space as you think.

Luckily, there are a few side events that still focus on what E3 is supposed to be about: showcasing video games. One such event is The MIX. Held every year on the roof of some nearby hotel, The MIX has always been a fantastic source of what’s what in the indie world. It’s how I found out about Narcosis, which turned out to be one of my favorite games of 2017. There are a few games I got to check out (some of which you’ll hear more about as they get closer to release), but one that really caught my eye was DARQ.

Now we all like a good underdog story, and even more so when the game looks good. Luckily, from what I got to play of Darq, I can say that it is indeed good. Very very good. But that’s not why we’re talking about Darq today. No, we’re talking about it because the developer made a little Imgur post that blew up in a big way. And for once, it’s not because of something unspeakably horrible. It’s actually quite positive

In a post rather bluntly titles, “I rejected 12 offers from major publishers to make this game the way I wanted it to be,” developer Wlad Marhulets briefly recounts how he rejected 12 offers from major publishers in order to make the game the way he wanted to. I won’t recap the whole thing here, click on the link and give the creator his deserved views.

Now for those of you coming from the movie side of horror fandom and are unaware of how games work, this is a massive accomplishment. We all know how studio meddling has done damage to all of our favorite franchises, and this is even more so the case for games. Most games are designed by committee, meaning that the singular voice of an auteur developer is far more easily drowned out. If you want to do it all on your own as a game dev, you have to learn to do everything. Code, 3D model, creative direct, art assets, etc. It’s almost impossible.

Which means that when someone does the impossible and makes their own game, it’s all that much more impressive. And judging by how his Imgur post has blown up, I’d say the fans agree. When Wlad emailed me and asked me to help promote his passion project, I was happy to do so. When I saw the amount of buzz his post already had, I was excited. Too often do I fall in love with a little game that never gets the fame it deserves. If in some small way I get to help this guy achieve his dream, then my time has been well-spent. If you get to discover a new awesome game based on my recommendation, then my job is done.

So check out the post, and check out Darq on steam if you haven’t. Slated to release the middle of this year, I’ll be sure to have more for you as the game gets closer to launch. In a post rather bluntly titled

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