At the very first session at this year's Rezzed event in Brighton, indie developer The Indie Stone picked the scabs off an old wound: last year's burglary that resulted in the loss of two months of development progress on its upcoming zombie apocalypse game Project Zomboid. Describing the 2011 break-in at its offices as "the incident," The Indie Stone writer Will Porter said that the whole ordeal was demoralizing to the development team and that many of the studios' staffer became depressed.
"We refer to it as The Incident," explained writer Will Porter. "It led to a lot of depression for the team. It's something that we can beg sympathy for if not forgiveness. The team returned late one night after getting a bit drunk and moving to a new flat in the middle of Newcastle. Someone, another tenant in the building, had seen the guys moving in and kicked through the fire door to steal credit cards and laptops."
When the company detailed the burglary online, some on the Internet thought The Indie Stone were trying to perpetrate some sort of scam.
"On Reddit, we were fraudsters and criminals. Then we bit back, but the internet can bite back harder," he said.
Porter went on to detail some unfortunate tweets made by Chris "Lemmy" Simpson – one of the company's key developers – suggesting that the company was "finished" – which began a stretch where it felt like the company had lost the good will of the community. At the end of the day Porter says that some good may have come out of the incident – despite the setbacks for the development team.
"The silver lining is we might have stopped this happening to other people in the future," he said. "It was such a public downfall. There were a few high-profile indie developers tweeting, 'I think we're going to make an off-site back-up.'"
You can read more about the Rezzed session at Eurogamer.