Powerhoof! Asking Gabe for permission...

Sending a silly email

After that GIF got some coverage, it occurred to me that my old imaginings that Crawl is so tiny nobody would ever notice or care what I put in there may be naive…


The Ars Technica coverage in which they say “We’ve reached out to Valve Software to ask about its thoughts on Crawl’s new boss” made me panic and think “oh crap, are they gonna be annoyed and make me take him out?” so the obvious right thing is to ask for permission.

Here is the silly email I sent:


Hello Gabe,

My name is Barney Cumming, and I make a little indie game called Crawl which is currently on Early Access.

I am writing to ask permission to use your likeness in my video game.

I recently realized my silly fantasy of animating you as a powerful god in the game.

You can view a GIF here: http://imgur.com/w6HAVEH.gif

This ended up reposted by some games websites, so it seems only proper to ask for your permission.

If you find this low-res incarnation of yourself objectionable, I will of course not put him into the game.

I have a few points for your consideration before making a decision:

1- You will be the most powerful character in the game, effectively building a perception in Crawl players that you would be a formidable opponent in combat. This would surely reduce the desire to battle you among our players, barring edge cases in which the player is incredibly powerful himself and is looking for a worthy opponent.

2- The transformation implies your more recent bearded look is actually your Super Saiyan form (see http://dragonball.wikia.com/wiki/Super_Saiyan) Once again, this inflated perception of your combat abilities (in this case having your power multiplied by 50) should serve as a deterrent to Dragon Ball fans who may also have planned to battle you, but who fear being annihilated by a Super Saiyan energy attack.

3- I will of course supply images of myself to enable your retaliatory usage of my likeness into your own video games.

4- I know the guy who made the art for Crossy Road, and I can ask him to put your favourite animal in the game, even if it’s a wolf!

5- Please.

If you’re still not convinced then of course I will respect your wishes, but please keep in mind any time spent battling your likeness in a game of Crawl, is time not spent making terrible jokes about Half Life 3.

If you see no problem with use of your likeness, do you have any requests for what you’d like him to do for his spawn or death animations? It seems only fair to let you choose 🙂

Thanks for your time

-Barney Cumming

I always got the impression Gabe would be cool with stuff like this, but when a big company is involved who knows what kind of crazy reasons they’ll have, so at least I can say I tried!



    Heh, I’m pretty damn sure Gaben will be chill with it :-3 .

  2. Be sure to keep us updated with the results 😀

  3. SpaceGhostBloq

    Didn’t except him to be in there but I like it! I thought it was just an animation like you did for the last update with santa in the closet. Anyway, even if this shouldn’t work for some reason.

    Having CRAWL mentioned on several gaming sites is great publicity and there is no bad publicity. =)

    • yup, the publicity has been pretty cool, though it is kinda distracting because i end up checking twitter/emails every 5 seconds with people suddenly contacting us haha

  4. Fan-fucking-tastic work Barney.

  5. salyangoz

    I think hes going to give you permission since youve stated the magic word in point 5.

    All jokes aside. This is one of the most fun games weve played as friends since super smash bros. Thanks.

  6. Hahahaha, I’m dying xDD
    The e-mail is hilarious, I don’t see how he will not agree xD

    Hahaha, oh god, this is so good xD

    • thanks 🙂 this stuff is fun and always weird to be reminded doing such stupid stuff like writing this email is actually part of my job now hehe

  7. Jean-Denis Haas

    This might be a cultural thing but I would have opened it with Hello Mr. Newell and not Gabe. 🙂

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  9. I think not only will he approve he will probably love it and get a copy of the game to play!

    • well he gave it the nod, so that’s the first step 🙂 knowing our game was mentioned to him and he might have looked at my gif is pretty funny 🙂


    This animation is glorious. From the initial stomping around, the metamorphosis and the armed pirouettes. It’s too good to disappear if Gabe doesn’t come on board. He will though, surely.

    • cheers dude 🙂 i’ve been dying to work on some bigger guys where i have more pixels to play with, and what better bigger guy than gabe 🙂

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  20. HoboInAShack

    Can you show us the email Valve sent you? I’m curious to know of their response.

    • it’s pretty boring really, just a couple of lines saying Gabe gives his consent, thanks for asking for permission 🙂

  21. BladedTaco

    did he have any requests?
    about crossy road?

  22. Uncommon

    I absolutely love this game! I didnt know it got that much attention on the internet.
    Keep improving your awesome game!

    • thanks so much, that’s great to hear 🙂 I’ve already got a lot of cool fixes and tweaks ready for the next update, so it should be a fun one!

  23. Do you have a date for when we will be able to take on gaben??? I can’t wait to fight what seems as an awesome improvement to crawl!

  24. NecroWolf

    Seriously can’t wait to see this go multi-platform. These last few years have truly been a huge leap forward for indie devs. Thanks for proving that ingenuity is far more important than throwing money at something. Please continue doing what your doing and get keep the updates coming. Woot!

  25. Impatient fan

    Maybe a new update soon…..?

    • yep we’re planning on it- Dave has just had a baby so he took a month off to for that- he is just about to get back to work again this week, and we’ll be able to look at packaging up the stuff I’ve been working on into an update 🙂

    • Still nothing? No responce?

  26. Since Valve has gotten a lot of bad publicity for their new take on PC gaming (“let’s kill the modding scene by making people pay money for mods”) I highly doubted that they would risk additional bad PR by denying you to have Gabe in your game.

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