Rob Hale, aka Squid in a Box, was an independent game creator who passed away earlier this month from cancer. Waves 2’s Steam forums were where Hale’s partner, CJ, announced the information. The developer’s titles Waves and Waves 2 are now available for free Steam download as per Hale’s last desires, according to CJ.
CJ said, “I hope this can be considered as a farewell gift to all people out there that haven’t yet played either of these games. This was something Rob was thinking anyway during the last two months as their health went into more significant challenges.”
Waves, Hale’s debut album, was made available in 2011. It’s a chill twin-stick shooter with a unique chiptune and trance-beat soundtrack. More than ten years later, Waves is still worth playing again. It was a remarkable release in the early Steam indie days.
Waves 2: Notorious, Hale’s sequel, will be left unfinished owing to the developer’s tragic death. “Waves 2 will undoubtedly remain unfinished because they constantly set lofty goals and worked tirelessly to build the greatest game they could. CJ continues in their dedication. But that doesn’t lessen my admiration for Rob or the joy I’ve always felt in seeing someone so committed to their work.”
Rob Hale used their background in AAA game production and modding to pursue their love on their own. The developer kindly spoke with PC Gamer in 2012 to share advice for anyone who wants to start producing games.
You can tell from that interview that the person had a passion for what they did and wanted to spread that enthusiasm to others. Rob joked that “the purpose I get up in the afternoon” was because of making games. That passion is still evident in Hale’s collection of work and the heartfelt tribute left by their companion.