Digital Homicide: Lessons to be learned
Updated: Jul 21
If for whatever reasons you, dear readers were looking through my Hall of Infamy. You would have notice that I declared the entire DH line-up to be some of the worst. I stand by my decision even though I have not played every single one. Fear not however. We will get into the ones I have played later in this rambling thought piece. Because it is important to reflect.
I do not have to play all the games to know the DH line-up is appalling. You can see the poor quality within five minutes of play. We shall use this as a means to reflect on how important it is, for anyone in a creative field to handle criticism. Digital Homicide is a cautionary tale about paranoid and inability to accept reasonability. This is a story about how one's perpetually thin skin can ruin their chances in a creative field. And how it can cement one’s name into history for all the wrong reasons.
Part One : My experience
Personally I never interacted with the Romine brothers on Greenlight or anywhere else, being a visual bystander afterall. I watched the Jim Sterling lawsuit play out and Sidalpha examine the DH line-up. I often stumbled across DH games trying to get onto Greenlight until the fateful day. The day when they swarmed with so much garbage (sequels to games that were not out yet and sequels to those as well).
They all were the same game with slight skin differences . This went along with famous attempt to sue one hundred anonymous steam users for being a “hate and harassment group”. (DH’s words not mine). They wanted a total of $18 million. I cannot find any evidence to suggest that the 100 had to collectively hand over the $18 million or if each individual had to give $18 million ( Personally suspect the latter).
I watched from the sidelines as DH imploded in on themselves. They were convinced that everyone else was out to get them. They thought they were perfect and everyone else was wrong. Whenever I stumbled on a DH game on Greenlight I would down vote it and place a warning in the comments. I could have (however unlikely) been part of 100 the Romine brothers tried to sue, due to my (then) recent joining with Sentinels of the Store. I suppose we will never know.
Part two: The games themselves
I never played any of the Digital Homicide games before the implosion. I simply did not want to support them and I had not even considered a blog at that point (Round about 2016-2017). It was only afterwards, when a friend of mine had stumbled on number of codes in giveaways. ( I got Krog Wars, Withering Kingdom: Arcane War and Wyatt Derp 2: Peacekeeper ) I can sum up the latter two perfectly. They are the same game with the same stand-in-one-place-shoot-left-to-right-until-everything-stops-moving. Krog Wars is the same but it’s discount space invaders (as in really discount, so discount that being free to play would be too expensive.) They are as ugly as sin and have glitches in the same way that Mark Shannon had warts.
The rest I have not personally played:
(Screenshots from now on were supplied by Techrapter writer and Sentinels of the Store head Mellow online (who’s Twitter you can follow here)
The screen shots themselves don’t even cover the sheer amount of games DH discharged onto Greenlight during their active years. A majority of the IPs are simple reskins of another different series, which do not count. This does not cover the number of sequels to games that were not even out yet which were minor reskins of the previous unreleased iterations.
The Slaughtering Grounds: The game that started the DH downward spiral to infamy. Not only does it look as appealing as dog faeces (this will be a reoccurring theme in the DH line-up ). But it’s use of unaltered stock unity assists (another reoccurring theme) thrown into a square box of a map that make no sense or design (another reoccurring theme) make it a terrible game.
When I was writing that paragraph I realised that if I were to continue as I had planned, (Going through each game I had screen shots for) I would be repeating myself far too much. There would be minor differences, such as Temper Tantrum’s camera behaving like a drunk that lost control over everything. I would have talked about how Forsaken Uprisings boxes are defying gravity (not even in a cool way like when the Wicked Witch did it). Or that The Decimation of Olarath’s interesting idea of a planet destroying god, was ruined by the supposedly terrible control scheme and first person camera that refuses to behave itself.
I could talk even talk about the possibility that Dungeons of Kragmor was the best game DH put out. (Which is not saying much but from what I have heard it might have been good with some more polish.) But it would have ended up with me saying the same things with minor additions or changes at best. That is the frustrating problem with DH’s games. The games never change because the creator would always refuse to listen.
Part three: Being creative and handling criticism
Being a creative individual is hard. A creative individual that has to take criticism, is even harder. You have to tell the difference between legitimate, helpful advice and unhelpful advice/ trolling. As a writer I should know. I have been writing a book for a few years now. Any writer can understand the emotional turmoil that comes, when someone pans a creative work you committed months if not years of your finite lifespan to(like me). I have had to go through that process (so .many. times) and it hurts. I can slightly sympathise with the Romine brothers on that front.
I have only done two short stories in my life. This book that I am working on has been redone, rewritten and cut down (so. many. times). I have been working hard to make sure my book is the best it will ever be. I have to wait so patently for feedback and when I do it. Sometimes it was negative. There were times I had to rewrite entire characters due to some big issue that I was not aware of. DH did no such thing.
Their rampant abuse of the stock assets, lazy programming and terrible music that would be played in the circles of hell was constant. Not to mention flooding the store with derivative garbage. All of this tells a different story. The Romine brothers were too delusional to consider that the world was not out to get them. Their perfect baby was in fact an ugly malfunctioning nightmare that would shame Victor Frankenstein’s work. This is a problem that many thin skinned creators face. They are unwilling to change and not see the world in a me vs. Everyone view. Their egos were the real enemy.
Part four: Conclusion
Whenever you start selling a creative work on a platform you have to expect critics. Even if your work is absolutely perfect there will be some people who do not like it as much the rest.
That is the nature of the human opinion and individuality. Even before you get to the selling stage you have get criticised. It’s the only way we will ever learn to get better. Digital Homicide is only one of a few memorable selections. Other examples would be Derek Savage who went after the YouTube channels such as I Hate Everything and Bobsheaux for releasing negative reviews of the movie .
Or Norman Boutin, he threw so many temper tantrums when his terrible book got panned (Here is the wiki documenting his downward spiral ). These three, among hundreds lesser known will only ever be remembered as jokes. They are warnings for future generations to study and learn from. Digital Homicide’s destructive inability to learn and ego make, all of their games to be the worst out there.
2020/03/11: Edit: Over all improvement in gamma.