Indie Royale, the new indie bundle that allows you to pay anything above a minimum (which changes depending on what other people pay), is launching a "New Year's Bundle" of PC and Mac games, which you can pre-order now at a minimum price of $3.99. The trick is that you won't know what you're pre-ordering. It's a "blind pre-order," with only descriptions of the available games given. The identity of the games will be revealed sometime later this week.

"We first started the blind pre-order for Indie Royale for two reasons," Indie Royale co-founder Simon Carless told Joystiq. "Firstly, we did it because the popularity of Indie Royale was crushing our website when we launched, thanks to the 'ascending price' model - although we've improved our systems a lot since then! And secondly, because the price is variable for the bundle, we found our users were stressed about being in front of a computer when the bundle launched." Also, Carless added, "We find that some people have fun guessing the games in the bundle! More power to them!"

For their faith, pre-orderers (and, later, anyone who pays above the minimum) will be treated to a free copy of George & Jonathan's chiptune album "Beautiful Lifestyle".

Though he wouldn't divulge the identities of the games ahead of time -- you can find clues on the Indie Royale site -- Carless elucidated the process through which games are added to the bundle. "We've been contacted by over 150 developers since we started, and we've also reached out to dozens," he said. "It's particularly cool because we're excited to be able to showcase titles of all genres (a standalone Windows PC version is the minimum that we require, although generally the majority of our titles also have Steam and Desura download keys, and the new bundle has PC and Mac versions of all the games)."

The sole requirement of Windows helps differentiate Indie Royale from other indie bundles like the charity-driven Humble Indie Bundle, as it allows games that wouldn't qualify for others to be part of a Royale bundle. "And we love it when can bring overlooked games to light, such as The Oil Blue," Carless said, "which sold 50 times as many copies in Indie Royale that in its entire lifetime to date."

Other elements Carless identified as unique include this pre-order structure and the pricing, which increases as people buy the bundle, but decreases in proportion to the amount people pay over the minimum. As for competing with Humble Indie Bundle, Carless noted that "in reality, there are enough independent games out there for more than one site to showcase them, in the same way there's more than one Groupon-style deals site out there." The IndieGames.com/Desura co-venture has "tended to sell between 25,000 and 40,000 of each bundle to date," Carless said, "which we're really pleased about." He said that developers get "multiple times" the purchase price of most no-minimum bundles, which he placed at about $1.50.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.