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Scavenge. Build. Fight. Survive. Introducing ROAM, an online co-op action game set in a procedurally generated world.
Scavenge. Build. Fight. Survive. Introducing ROAM, an online co-op action game set in a procedurally generated world.
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3,526 backers pledged $102,518 to help bring this project to life.

Regarding Last Last Update

Posted by ROAM (Creator)

So, after this thing has blown up so big it’s been brought to my attention that on a French website "How to Survive" had existed under a different name, "Monster Island". A title being developed in France. 505 games picked up "Monster Island" and renamed it to "How to Survive". I scoured the net to find the development history behind “How to Survive” and I couldn’t find anything of it besides it being announced by 505 out of the blue in May, months after our Kickstarter campaign had ended. I don't speak French, but I did try my best to do my homework before posting a statement.

In my mind during the chain of events: 505games contacted Roam about publishing, Roam declined, 505games went and found someone to make "Roam".

What might’ve actually happened: 505games contacted Roam about publishing, Roam declined, so 505games went to Ekosoft and picked up their "Monster Island". This is fair.

I don’t think anyone else would have reacted any differently about something they are so passionate about given the circumstances. I apologize to 505 and Ekosoft for causing a scene. I've put so much of my life the last year and a half into making this game so it was frustrating to think someone could have just swept in a taken it, but that wasn’t the case. Ekosoft actually had a game in development that had an extremely similar concept to Roam that I had no knowledge of before or even after the Kickstarter, until “How to Survive” was released

This incident is personally the craziest coincidence I have ever experienced.

It was my mistake by making the Kickstarter post not private, and it was my mistake to post something like this on the internet not thinking about the impact of viral media. Hopefully everyone can move on from this.

Max Woodhams, Silver, and 24 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      ddbelyea on

      Now that this has all essentially blown over, I think ROAM's next move should be to browse all of the HtS forums and reviews and make sure that ROAM doesn't suffer the same fate.

      With HtS failing so hard at launch I think ROAM is going to need to prove that it is better in every way so that people will view it is "what HtS could have been if it wasn't awful" instead of "just another HtS"

    2. ResistImpulse on

      Do not feel ashamed! For you bled your heart out for us and waived your banner proudly! Passion, it is a beautiful thing. We value that passion and the passion is what sold us into backing you. Many have skill but the passionate are who illuminate the world.

    3. Jer on

      @Alexander I think that's exactly what this is...duh on me!
      Get some attention... Bluesnews picked it up etc so he's getting his 15mins of media... might be too soon since the game is not even close to done (i think)

    4. Anthony Bonome on

      Just make ROAM kick as much ass as it appears that it will. It will do well on its own merits and it is a great idea. Maybe they had similar. Whoopedee do. I want ROAM.

    5. Missing avatar


      Any publicitiy is good publicity?

    6. Jani on

      How to Survive's metacritic score is 55. Just beat that and you should be happy with your game :P but seriously speaking, I believe ROAM can offer much more than HtS can. ROAM has driving, advanced building and even stealth. Games are always borrowing ideas from different games and this is not new... the only things matters who does it best.

    7. Jer on

      You got your game funded on kickstarter to make a game.
      Stop screwing around and make the best game you can make.
      Or give the money back - I didn't donate for you to post crap about other people's games.

    8. Shane Zehnder on

      Stop all this nonsense about similarities, and "whine whine whine, they stole my game." ROAM doesn't even EXIST yet! Create a game FIRST, then complain! How can ANY of us say, "Wow, yes, I don't blame you for feeling ripped off" when not a SINGLE ONE OF US has played ROAM! GET US A GAME!!! Then those of us who become rabid fans will do the defending FOR you. But for now, PLEASE, just MAKE THE GAME!

    9. George Vosper on

      That's pretty interesting. Thank you for doing research on the matter though and now I don't feel so bad about 505 and what they did. Also, thanks for being so calm with this situation and actually using your head, I'm really impressed and I can't wait for ROAM to come out!

    10. Missing avatar

      Godewijn on

      Good to hear, that means means there's less jerks in the world than it seemed to look like the previous update: everyone wins!

    11. hendrik lesser on

      it is not a coincidence. it is collective mind in the making. the idea of these zombie games with other camera, more crafting etc. is damn obvious. of course you still have to start developing, but think about it? what is unique with this project if you play games regulary, read comics, watch movies? in the end nothing. it is the evolution of things. that doesnt make it bad as a concept, but if you do something "obvious" there is going to be other people doing it too. execute much better and you will be more successful with a little bit of luck and proper marketing :) the best

    12. andrew maitlen on

      So having bought and played How to Survive for an hour or two before I saw the first update on here about it, I feel like I have a pretty unbiased perspective. How To Survive instantly enticed me and has been a very fun game so far. After reading your first post, I did notice all of the similarities and realized that those similarities to Roam were what made me want to play it immediately. I feel like How To Survive has been a great game for the $10 I paid, but while it may have a lot in common with Roam, Roam has many more aspirations and depth. For me, How to Survive should be titled “How to Survive while waiting for Roam to be finished up because it will be amazing!” Keep up the awesome work guys and thanks for owning up to very understandable and honest mistake that I know I would have made as well. I can’t wait to get to play Roam!

    13. Matt Honeyball on

      On a positive note, you hopefully have only lost a little bit of time (and sleep) over this, and not had money swallowed up by legal fees, etc. It could have been ALOT worse. So put it behind you and power on with the game knowing that you're free to proceed unhindered by the cumbersome beast of litigation. Looking forward to it.

    14. Larry Barriere on

      Glad to see things sorted out in the end. This kind of thing happens alot in the animation industry too. A couple years ago, two or three shows were being pitched all at the same time, that were about Nuns that were also Ninjas. One of them is actually being worked on now. Anyways, it was apparently a coincidence too.

    15. Jonathan Rudd on

      We've all been there.


    16. Chong Pak on

      Meh. Honestly the fact that you're addressing and owning up to what your learning and being transparent says more than anything else. Keep up the hard work.

    17. Missing avatar

      Keith on

      You didn’t make any mistakes (no, really). What you did is highlight the passion and drive you have for your software. I think that’s great! In fact that tells me that I’m supporting something worthwhile. There is always more than one way to deliver games to the masses and Indie developers, such as you, fill a gap that larger games don’t. As ddbelyea mentions, multiple discovery happens. Don’t be discouraged, have faith in your supporters. We’re here because we want to be. Keep on developing the game you want to create. That game, that passion, is why I’m here.

      Good luck! ... and maybe consider backer-only updates. :P

    18. Jordan Zammit on

      I think you had every right to feel wronged, hell I had never heard of this 'monster island' before or after ROAM started it's kickstarter. Hopefully nothing like this happens again :L

    19. Missing avatar

      ddbelyea on

      "This incident is personally the craziest coincidence I have ever experienced"

      This is a very common occurrence in most fields. In the science world this happens constantly and is called Multiple discovery.
      Since the creation of ROAM is not exactly on par with the discovery and creation of Calculus (which was independently and nearly simultaneous developed by both Newton and Leibniz, sort of the classical example of multiple discovery) I don't think it is much of a coincidence at all.

      The problem as I see it, is that you didn't stop to think before posting this drama to the internet where it will only be seen as a PR screw up for ROAM.

      The next problem is that none of the "news" sources that took this and ran with it bothered to find out the truth before blowing up the internet with "DID 505 STEAL ROAM!?".

    20. gadam07 on

      Thanks for the updates about this and especially for apologizing after it all. I think your initial reaction was to be expected given the circumstances and lesser people would have left it at that. To apologize publicly for such a thing is under appreciated nowadays, but is appreciated nonetheless.

      All in all, I suspect this will actually work out in Roam's favor. There doesn't seem to be much concern about How to Survive being good competition; it was likely rushed to be released by Halloween as publishers tend to do. It's unfortunate for Ekosoft, but they probably won't get any more money to develop it after this and Roam will go on to make a more polished game and steal back the show. Much the same thing happened to DayZ with The War Z and we already can see how that turned out.

    21. Paulo Campos on

      Dont waste too much time, efford and resources on it anymore. Use them to put ur creation to work. that will be ur best showcase of how ur game is unique.

      I believe no harm will come of it, and to be honest i dont think anyone else really thinks much of these events, they just want ur game to come out already

    22. Richie Bisso

      Roam is such a complex game that, even if someone did try to outright copy you, it's not worth worrying about. It's not gonna feel or play the same... It isn'tisn't a simple game like Farmville or Angry Birds, so no point in getting bent out of shape, or even letting the existence of other, similar games influence your process. Just go for it and be happy that everyone gets to have more games to play while waiting for ROAM. Good luck, buddy!!!! :)

    23. Pedasn on

      the fuck.... so lets keep the game rolling. this might swirl around our heads now, but i haven't seen any publicity on this on my usual goto sites.

      i like the idea of Roam, i wouldn't have backed it if this think doesn't look promising. I hope that Roam focuses more on the survival and building part than other games in that league (because thats what i'm interested in.... i'm not here for the action-rpg grinding element).

    24. Eric Leslie on

      Ironically, depending on how the publicity falls out this could end up having more of a negative impact on ROAM than the association of being sort of similar to a bad game would have.

      It was reasonable to have a negative reaction to a game resembling yours being released after that publisher had tried and failed to get rights to yours, but it wasn't especially reasonable to claim that they had gone and contracted somebody to steal your idea from the ground up in 9 months. As you said, 505 isn't new to this business, and they're presumably not complete idiots. Accusing them of "blatant theft" publicly was probably a poor choice. If you're gonna be sure, also be right.

      But it sounds like you know that, and apologizing cleanly for it is certainly the right thing to do. Good job on that; learn a lesson, move on. :) I'm certainly still looking forward to ROAM; hopefully this will just fade away over time and you can get back to work undisturbed.

    25. Jalister on

      There are a lot of people in the world. The way I see it, when one person comes up with a new idea, there is at least one other person that comes up with the same idea. Then it's a race to see who can get it done first. I've experienced this twice.

    26. Steven Langevin on

      You're reaction is understandable, having been in almost an identical situation myself I can see why you reacted the way you did.

      Best solution: walk on.

      Even though their game is "hurried and unfinished", everyone knows Roam won't be built in a day, and for good reason. It'll kick the imposters @$$.

    27. Ravenmask on

      Just keep the good work, provide a good Game to your backers and future customers and everyone will be happy. Drama in the Game Industry is current but in another hand, your reaction was human. Still, you're a developer, we put our trust into you and your work so keep going cuz you have people behind you to support you :)

    28. Missing avatar

      Pau on

      Please stop wasting time posting and reposting about this and focus on ROAM. That's all about what I want to hear whenever I get an update from this kickstarter. Drama gets us nowhere. I'm sure nobody will steal your thunder as long as your game is great and ROAM has the potential to be just so.

    29. Westy on

      Wow, sorry this has brought you so much grief from the trolls.

      If it makes you feel any better, I think you were entirely justified in your reaction, and I probably would have done the same.

      Hope the grief subsides soon and you can get back to focusing on development.

    30. Missing avatar

      Boomix on

      We could use comment voting system on here I think. but that aside. I am still awaiting your game as are number of my friends who have backed it. Keep on developing and giving us updates. Good games outshine copy-cats.

    31. Ebdac on

      I understand how You feel and why You got so angry about it. I have very high hopes for Your project so make us all proud! :D

    32. Sigd on

      I still think you're justified in feeling ripped off, even if you can't prove it.

    33. Shane Zehnder on

      Just finish your game already and let all of US be the judge! Sheesh!

    34. Martin Tuxen Grandeville

      I completely understand what you feel and why you reacted like you did. I'm pretty sure I would have done the same.
      I actually bought "How to survive" on Steam the other day as the price was only 10€ and I can honestly say that it's nothing more than a mediocre game and feel rushed. It has it's moments and yes it do look like a ROAM ripoff on the surface, but it's much more simple.
      It's trying hard, but fail to be what I'm sure ROAM will end up being.
      So keep up the good work, take your time and I'm sure ROAM will be awesome.

    35. TS42 on

      Lessons Learned.
      Next time if you want to harm someone... sleep over it ;-)

    36. Missing avatar

      William Coles on

      I wouldn't worry about having it private, with so many backers someone would have sent it along to them/gaming sites anyway.

      Hopefully everyone can move on and we get a awesome game!

    37. Missing avatar

      Warstoriez on

      Normal human reaction, no big deal

    38. Missing avatar

      Praudmur on

      Its good that you know your mistakes! We (backers) do no want another victim of FEZ-syndrome so be cool and make cool game! =)