Aug 8th, 2014

Remember The Letter? No? It’s understandable if you don’t. It was a one-off release on the Nintendo eShop that barely qualified as a game. From developer Treefall Studios, the game used stock assets and attempted create a horror story for the player to venture their way through, only to fall flat on its face as execution was little more than searching around and waiting for loading screens. The entire game can be completed in less than six minutes.

Now the developer is back on IndieGoGo seeking funding for yet another game for the Wii U. This one is called The Maze. I’ll do you a favor and save you some money. Remember the old screensaver that used to come with Windows 98? The one you could set so it looks like the computer is randomly wandering through a maze in first person view? Yeah, that’s The Maze concept for a game. Check out the video above to see the game.

As of the time of writing, the game has only garnered $8 in support of the current $4,000 being asked. However, it’s a flexible funding campaign, which means it will receive any funds anyone donates toward it when the campaign ends, regardless of whether that $4,000 goal is met or not. The Letter was created by the team on a supposed budget of $377, so one thing you can say is at least the developer does deliver. Whether or not what they deliver can be considered worthy of the cost is another situation entirely.

local_offer    Nintendo  the letter  the maze  treefall studios  wii u  
  • sillybajillies

    This guy must be a giant troll… I want to fund him.

    • sillybajillies

      In all seriousness it doesn’t look as bad as the 98 Maze screensaver, but this guy really ruined his rep as a developer with the Letter and he’s going to need to do better than this to pick himself back up.

  • Oh god no…

  • Lusunup

    What an awful looking game with or without a budget he’ll find an excuse to say he didn’t have enough time to make it. or that he used his own money for the funding.

  • Jeffery02

    Wouldn’t his time be better spent making the Letter better rather than making a new crappy game? Add stuff. Like idk, zombies that act like a slow Slenderman, better detailed maps, better story, and so on. Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us. If he want’s us to justify buying a second game from him, then make the first one worth it beforehand.

    • Merry_Blind

      Well said.

  • 5aga

    I’d like to call this a tech demo but………….

  • Dáibhí wotshissurname

    And why is he on Indiegogo anyway? Everubody knows that you have a better chance on Kickstarter. And I bet Shaq Fu 2 would have reahed morw stretch goals that way too.

    • Through Indiegogo, you can keep any money raised through the campaign if you choose a specific funding model. Seeing how Treefall Studios has had little success on Kickstarter, it only makes sense for them to try Indiegogo again.

      • Dáibhí wotshissurname

        Did they ever go on Kickstarter? The Letter was funded on Indiegogo too. That said, nothing they do ca woo me over. They are treting game development like it is not a commitment, which is super bad for backers.

        • If memory serves, Treefall has had other projects on Kickstarter (not sure if The Letter is one of them), but only 2 of them have been successfully funded. What’s worse, one of those two projects was actually a second Kickstarter from a previous project that got cancelled earlier that year.

  • David Horowitz

    Prove that the Human Race isn’t lazy and deserves to stay in existence through a test in the form of a video game. GENIUS!

    • Michael Samuel Miller Jr

      I agree. I think the PREMISE is VERY worthwhile. I appreciate what he has put together as little as it is, as…well…not very exciting as it is. But I appreciate that even THAT much would take a lot of work. I’m working with a 2D game engine and can only hope that my OWN maze game proves worthwhile. (Yeah, I’m actually working on a maze-based game set in a dimly-lit environment.) What this guy needs – as a few others have pointed out, thankfully – is that he NEEDS a team. People to pour in the best of their skills. This guy might have great ideas but SEEMS to lack the ability to deliver. I would be willing to give him the BENEFIT of the doubt that there’s more to him than what he has been ABLE to show.

      • David Horowitz

        What’re the funds used for in video game making?

        • Dean Lawrence

          Mostly to pay for the team’s salaries, but since Eli Brewer already has a separate job doing that for him, the funds are probably going towards buying software, and assets.

  • Sdudyoy

    I’m surprised they are going to try again after there last game, but I respect that He’s not giving up, but that Screensaver, so much Nostalgia, I would watch that for hours as a child.

    • rp17

      The screensaver was fun to watch, but it doesn’t look fun to play lol. I respect that he keeps practicing, but he should release his games on Game Jolt or something until he’s got a winner. Cuz right now all they are doing are hurting his reputation as a dev.

      • Sdudyoy

        Yeah, after the Letter, he should have gotten more practice instead of trying to make another game.

    • thedeciderU

      no, he needs to work at it and deliver a worthy game.

  • Joel Cruz

    Honestly what do you expect from 2 bucks so it dosent matter.

  • Petri

    I admire his enthusiasm, I understand its just a one dude, and I sure as hell can’t do better…
    but no… just no.

  • Can’t wait. The Letter was better then every 3rd party game out there for the most part.

  • 00EpicGamer00

    That is the most boring game I have ever seen. I don’t like how the “story” being told at the beginning was just like, ordinary slides made in Windows Movie Maker. If this “maze” is what Robotic-machine like beings can come up with to “test” the intelligence and…non-laziness of humans, that’s pretty bad. Also, if it’s 2050, why is the character in a valley? Wouldn’t the character be in a very “high-tech” building? And have to like, jump over deadly lasers, work with moving platforms, solve “complex” puzzles etc. What’s the purpose of the coins? I know, I know it’s just an “early” trailer, but still. First impressions are the most important.

    /End rant.

  • Ducked

    That maze was a wallpaper!?

    • rp17


      • Ducked

        Oh, I read it wrong.

  • Evan Laundrie

    Wii U Daily loves ripping on this guy, don’t they. I don’t see anyone from Wii U daily making a game, however shoddy or unshoddy it may be. At least he’s trying, and it’s not like the cost of entry is high. It’s not a good game, or much of a game, but the Letter is more of one than any of you armchair critics (both in the comments and in the articles themselves) have released. If the guy annoys you that much stop reporting on him.

    • Saul Rivera

      Exactly my thoughts!

    • Guest

      The reason they are reporting on them is because they are making the eShop more like the Wii Shop Channel WiiWare and dare I say iTunes App store with ShovelWare and that is No Good!

    • The reason they are reporting on them is because they are making the eShop more like the Wii Shop Channel WiiWare and dare I say iTunes App store with ShovelWare and that is No Good!

    • Striker

      I program games as a hobby. I recently started dabbling with unity and can tell you that yes the writers of this article know a thing or two about it. If you’d like I can find a way to put up my test area in unity. It has the same assets as the letter(trees, flowing grass and stock textures), mountains, custom textures and shaders, custom bumpmap texture test, rolling ball and even a maze! His “games” look like my practice “games” and I’d be embarrassed to put them on sale.

    • I though the point of a critic was to tell whether it’s good, instead making a crap game.

    • Virus6

      Pity has no place in a review. The Letter was legitimately bad, and deserves to be called out on it. I can guarantee that I could make something better than that, even though I only know a little bit of programming (3 years of various languages).

    • Evan Laundrie

      I can agree with all constructive criticism leveled to my post; I just feel like this guy in particular is getting the bulk of the ‘shovelware awareness’ attention. His game was 2 bucks; I think of Shovelware as a full-price cost of entry for utter garbage. Getting utter garbage for 2 bucks? More of a ‘got what I paid for’ scenario. To each their own I suppose.

  • JK6

    I feel kind of sorry for the guy especially reading how horrible The Letter was. I don’t agree that it made into the eshop, but oh well.

    Anyhow, after reading the descriptions I felt like donating a few bucks honestly. Even though I know he won’t deliver, at least he has more ideas than some of the big third party developers I’ve seen out there trying to support the Wii U. 🙂

    • Zach

      I kind of felt the same. I wanted to help the guy out, but what really sold me on donating was after playing The Letter. I actually did kind of enjoy. The idea of the game was one I had been waiting to appear on the Wii U Eshop for awhile. The game still had problems, but I felt like I got my moneys worth.

  • janco tianno

    Well, The Letter was terrible, but I think he made some money with that.

    So he thinks: “Let’s make another one following the same idea”.

    Another “Walking Simulator” game.

  • Daniel Gonzalez

    I’ll pass.

  • Falcoxcalibur

    Oh, please no. Not again.

  • Gizmo

    Looks like it was made in Microsoft Paint….

  • Michael Rowlands

    if it had Mario in it you would all be buying it …

    • ShortyStock

      Well is Mario in it? … I think not!

    • Shootdatrupee!…

      Ikr *cough cough* Hotel Mario

  • ufg

    am I the only one who thinks this actually looks like pretty good fun

    • K_Locker


  • Ace

    Oh god… This guy has no talent in making video games. Why continue to poison the industry? *Sigh*

    • oontz

      Everyone has to start somewhere.

  • Shootdatrupee!…

    Uh…shouldn’t he be seeking funds to improve the letter?

  • Rinslowe

    Um…. Not really sure what to say, to that video… except… um. Good luck.

  • Antonio DeFrancesco

    The fact that one person can develop a full game alone is impressive. This guy clearly doesn’t have enough support.

  • thedeciderU

    why would nintendo be okay with putting this in the eshop?

  • Milky Bacons

    It has potential. Add side quests, characters, more collectables, better graphics (Cartoonist or not) and more of the like. 🙂
    Hope it’s not a flop like The Letter.

    • Michael Samuel Miller Jr

      Now THAT is a comment. Give HOPE even when there’s honest doubt.

      • Milky Bacons

        Er… ? Sorry I don’t understand your comment. Then again I just woke up and I’m still sleepy…

  • Zach

    I just downloaded the game today, for 0.49 cents.

  • mark kaser

    I gave him his four dollars, it’s the same price as two Red Bulls at the gas station. Although his last game looks….lackluster, he’s still pursuing something that he enjoys which is more than most can say. Respect. If my four bucks helps, why not?

    • Saul Rivera

      It’s what I was thinking…the guy at least is doing what he loves and what most of us would love to do too…yeah…he’s still a novice and has lots to learn…but from The Letter to this….he’s getting there.

  • steveb944

    Reminds me of Minecraft…disgusting.

    If anything even the bad publicity you guys are giving him is helping him get noticed. There’ll be a few pity donations and it’ll show this guy that we’re okay with him releasing crap on our system.

  • Epicstuf

    This guy.


    well, this is nice and all but… why not give attention to indie studio’s that are putting effort into their games? The creators of ReVeN, that kickstarter game that came out back in Jan-Feb released an open beta for a prequel game set in the reven universe. Sad no one is mentioning this as its free and has free DLC.

    • Michael Samuel Miller Jr

      I’ve had the honor to play the prequel in beta (I know the artist). Dude, everything is gonna blow people’s minds when they release it.

  • Kevin Schimes

    Welp, I gave him a shot. I was hoping he’d hold to his claims and fix The Letter with the budget he’d gotten from the sales, but he’s obviously just a douche. Oh well, it’s his failed dream.

  • Jonathan Dogey

    I wouldn’t fund this game for the world. He’s on his own this time. He doesn’t make games. He makes demos. Demos that could be outdone by any student programmer who only had two months of game programming experience.

  • Des

    He should be blacklisted from developing games for Nintendo and the Letter should be pulled from the e-shop, if it hasn’t already.

  • I am Error.

    Yikes. Even at ‘free’ I wouldn’t download this OR The Letter. Makes my skin crawl just typing the title, it’s just an awful ‘game’.