Remembering John “Totalbiscuit” Bain

Hello everyone,

As most of you likely already know, John “TotalBiscuit” Bain passed away last week after years fighting a courageous and protracted battle with cancer.


John Peter Bain

July 8, 1984 – May 24, 2018


He is survived by his wife Genna and son Orion, whom all our thoughts are with. We hope that they will find strength and support in each other as well as their friends, family and the gaming community at large, in the wake of this immeasurable loss.

Today we wish to share our thoughts and feelings in the wake of a great man’s passing. Like many of you, we have been following his career a long time, and it’s safe to say that his influence has had, and continues to have, a great impact on our lives.

What follows is entirely our own reflection upon an individual who played a key role in the formative years of our company, and to whom we owe a great deal. To us, this is our opportunity to honour his memory as well as a chance for us to give back in the best way we can: by using our game to raise funds to support Genna and Orion.


John and War for the Overworld

When we heard the news in the early hours of Friday morning, we were devastated. A deep sense of loss was felt by many of us on the team, not least those who had the opportunity to meet John in person.


Josh meeting John and Genna at Coxcon 2015


A few of us posted on social media shortly after, to join the many voices offering tributes. But posting our immediate reaction didn’t leave much opportunity to reflect, and identify just why John was such an important figure in the collective memory of our company.

Looking at John’s career, his contributions to the gaming community are well known. He was renowned for always providing his honest opinion on any topic, and reviewing games in a thoroughly structured and thoughtful manner. He never shied away from being blunt about the truth, no matter how much it cost him. He was an unyielding advocate for consumers in an industry that is often anti-consumer – and this is no doubt something that we took to heart ourselves.

But it’s how he used his position to shine a light upon smaller developers and content creators, who were emerging upon the scene, which had the greatest impact on us as a company. His support enabled us and many others to get off the ground, and have a chance in this challenging industry.

All the way back in 2012, when we launched the War for the Overworld Kickstarter, we were a plucky band of unknowns strewn across the world, with nothing but a dream to bring about the return of dungeon management games.



Our campaign was met with a reasonable reception, but the momentum didn’t hold for long, and we soon found ourselves looking at the possibility of a failed Kickstarter. But on the 22nd of December we received a huge influx of backers, and a momentum that drowned out even the start of our campaign, exactly when we needed it. It was all thanks to a single video created by John:

The impact was incredible, with the upswing over the next two days accounting for over a quarter of our funding. The momentum created steadily pushed us past our funding goal, and the rest is history. Without this extra push, it’s unlikely that the Kickstarter would have succeeded, and the project would have most likely failed at the first hurdle. The past five years would have looked very, very different.

The Totalbiscuit effect in action.

Beyond Kickstarter

That wouldn’t be the last time that John’s coverage would change the course of our project either. Shortly after we launched into Early Access, he released a second video, once again resulting in a massive uptick in sales and support, which would prove invaluable for what was to come.

It is safe to say that a lot of things did not go according to plan in the War for the Overworld project, we’d alluded to some of them in early blog posts, and would share much more about them over the coming years. A lack of experience on our part led us to many harsh lessons about how truly difficult developing a game like War for the Overworld could be.

The early access video came at a time when we were struggling to make ends meet, the project had been blown off track and we were working feverishly to recover. But a huge amount of damage was done. Once again John’s timely coverage boosted support enough for us to put together a plan of stability for the coming years, and sustain ourselves until very near the 2015 release.

We would interact with John a few more times after his coverage of us, and each time he was a delight. We were even fortunate enough to be able to use his likeness for “The Cynical Imp” in raising funds for charity, which to date has generated over $40,000 in revenue for GamesAid.


The Cynical Imp has raised over $40,000 in revenue for the GamesAid charity, helping disadvantaged and homeless children throughout the UK.


And all throughout this and the last years, John continued to dedicate himself to the gaming community, inspiring and supporting other developers like us, building communities, and providing his trademark wit and a critical but fair eye towards the games that released.

So to John “TotalBiscuit” Bain, who we owe more than we think he ever knew: May you rest well and forever be remembered for the great things you’ve accomplished, and the incredible, tireless effort you poured into your work.

Fundraiser with

Our thoughts now rest with Genna and Orion, who have suffered most from this loss. To that end, we have partnered with to donate to the John Bain Memorial GoFundMe. We have placed War for the Overworld and The Cynical Imp on sale for the next 24 hours, with 100% of Brightrock Games and proceeds going straight to the fund.

This fund was arranged by David Sievers, to help provide financial support to Genna and Orion and alleviate some of the challenges they now face. It is our sincerest hope that this small contribution will go some way towards helping them through this trying time.

We could never truly repay John for the support he lent to War for the Overworld, and by extension our futures. But we hope that this contribution can help provide some stability to his family’s future, in the way John provided for ours.

Thank you for your support,

– Brightrock Games Team


Click here to visit the Fundraiser Sale Page

Click here to visit the John Bain Memorial GoFundMe