That Dragon, Cancer dev defends Ouya

Ryan Green asks the game industry and gaming community to think before throwing stones

Ouya has been through some tough times since its Kickstarter success. There were issues with shipping Ouya units to backers prior to retail, problems with the Free The Games fund, and a commercial that landed with a dull thud. The company has been less than deft at pivoting away from some of these issues.

Ryan Green, developer of the Ouya exclusive That Dragon, Cancer, has stepped out to defend Ouya, a company he says has its heart in the right place. In a post on his personal blog, Green admits there's a conflict of interest in his words, since he and his team have received funding from Ouya to finish their game.

"Frankly, there's really no way around it, Ouya PR has been a field of exploded mines," writes Green. "But that usually happens when you're the first one through the minefield. They've made mistakes, sometimes they haven't fully owned up to them."

"The difference between the folks at Ouya and most everybody else, is that they got to live through their failures in public, while we got to lob stones. Imagine for a moment, how that would feel. You're hitting Julie, and Bob, and Kellee and every person in that 30-odd member Ouya "cooperation" (See what I did there?) who wants to see a dream come true. Who wants to help the industry. Who wants to succeed. Who had the guts to step out on the field."

Green calls the game industry "a community that needs each other," and asks that we all be a bit more understanding before taking to Twitter to criticize.

"We've become an industry that will as quickly elevate someone for disrupting the status quo as we'll fight over the scraps of what's left of them when the mob is through," he writes. "We're an industry of individuals that are starting to speak with our own voices, and not those of the corporation. And so we're exposed; and we've been abused; and we shouldn't have to tolerate such unnecessary suffering, but we're told it's the price of admission; "get a thicker skin." This is because the cost of the opposite, the cost of being fair, of seeing others as valuable, of trading in assumptions that make us feel safe, is in a currency of intimacy."

"I'm choosing to trade in intimacy. Not the kind that exploits, not the kind that takes advantage of, not the kind that abuses, but the kind that invites you to share in my suffering, and share in my comfort. The kind that gives life. If we'll pause, and talk to each other, we'll find beauty in each one of us. And a soul that's worth treasuring."

Latest comments (6)

Ruben Monteiro Engineer 5 years ago
You know you're an indie dev when your game has a silly title with a comma in it.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 5 years ago
Ironic that the first comment on this is just another cheap arrow shot at the developers.

The title sounds just fine to me, even poetic.
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Chris Payne Managing Director & Founder, Quantum Soup Studios5 years ago
Two things, Ruben:
1. I think you need to google "That Dragon, Cancer".
2. You forgot to link to the site where you maintain the industry-standard list of acceptable punctuation and non-silly words. That way other devs can avoid making such a heinous gaffe. Ubisoft must be kicking themselves over the apostrophe in Assassin's Creed...
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Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments5 years ago
I can understand Ryan's point, but this seems dangerously close to placing people above criticism. Constructive criticism within the industry is pretty much essential, even if it's not always fun to be on the receiving end of.
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Ruben Monteiro Engineer 5 years ago
Hi Chris,

1. Did that, got links to the game. Your point being...?
2. The comma is used to split two different subjects in a news heading when you have little room to use the word "and", so when you have it your product, it appears as if it's two products instead. It also doesn't sound good when spoken, due the comma's pause.
An apostrophe is not a comma. It has no impact on sound and doesn't split the title.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 5 years ago
Ruben, you clearly need to read a lot more poetry. That particular usage of the comma is used to indicate a certain rhythm to the line, and it's not at all uncommon.
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