Author Archive

Humble Indie Bundle V / LONE SURVIVOR for Linux

The title says it all, and you’ve probably heard it from the a million internet streams before this one – Lone Survivor is now a part of Humble Indie Bundle V!  I’m incredibly proud to be a part of this incredible collection of games, and once again in awe of the guys over at Humble, Inc.

I did have a good think about whether to accept the offer, for a couple of reasons… not least of which is that I’m feeling a bit burnt out – I really do need a proper break (after 7dfps, anyway…)   But I realised in the end that I may never get another chance to reach people in a way like this, and I couldn’t pass that up.

So the game will be given to everyone who bought HIB V before today as thanks for early adoption, regardless of what they paid – which means close to 400,000 people will already be guaranteed a copy!  It will also be given to anyone who pays above the average from now until the end of the promotion, so if you’ve held off so far, why not head over to Humble and pick up your tasty bundle?

For those curious about how it’s broken down: Superflat Games will only receive income from the developer’s share of any sales that fall above the average price from today onwards (the developer’s share is determined by the public as you can see on the Humble site.)  The rest of the income the bundle generates goes towards helping a couple of great charities and building awareness of the indie scene in general, supporting indie developers such as myself, via the Humble Store and so on.  And most importantly of all, with this bundle comes the unique opportunity to reach hundreds of thousands of people with my work, and reaching people has always been what drives me.  For that reason alone, it really is a dream come true … and my mind is blown to be in the company of such heavyweight games, and … well … TIM SCHAFER!!!!*

Sorry, Tim...

LONE SURVIVOR for Linux

The other great news is that the game is now available for your favourite Linux distribution (and included in the bundle, of course) – as a rock-solid Flash Projector, which has been re-coded from scratch – so that you get all the bugfixes and improvements of CODENAME: RED but with the Flash saved game system of the original Mac Projector release (which was a patch for the then non-working AIR build, which now works on all Macs with the Snow Leopard or above.)

So to Linux users, although the Projector version should work identically, you won’t be able to transfer saved games between versions, and you should watch for clearing your Flash cookies as it can delete your saved game in some instances.

I wanted to use AIR for the Linux release, but AIR for Linux was abandoned by Adobe a while back.  I do hope they’ll consider getting it back up and running, as there are a lot of successful indie games that are starting to use AIR, and it would be a shame to have to restrict those to Mac and PC only as new AIR features mean Linux becomes harder to back-port.  Perhaps Adobe will take notice of the growing interest in AIR on Linux for game developers? I’d love to see a Linux Captive Runtime with AIR 3.3!

Adobe’s support team have been great all through this, once I got their ear – testing builds of LS I’ve had trouble with, and inviting me onto the AIR beta program and so on… they’re really listening to what developers are saying, so if enough developers make noise about an AIR update for Linux, maybe it’ll reach them?

So, the TL:DR version: a lot of technical stuff has had to happen to make this dream come true, but like magic, it should Just Work TM**

It’ll go up as part of the Humble storefront on my own site, which initially will be the only place to purchase the Linux build, so if you are a new customer, you’ll now get three platforms for the price of one!

It’ll also be available for purchase on Linux from this day forth over on Ubuntu Software Centre, who are handling the redemptions for the Humble Indie Bundle V.

And finally…

Once again a massive thankyou to everyone who’s played the game, and shared their analysis, thoughts, personal feelings, images, music, videos, and general humanity via the update request emails.  I’ve really loved reading them all!

Things will hopefully start getting a bit calmer soon and I might even announce the new secret project I’ve been working on at some stage after 7dfps, which I’ve been (also) secretly getting ready for, making a special ‘virtual console’ and a basic 3D engine – screenshots to follow on Saturday.

And to my 400,000 new friends: thank you for playing Lone Survivor, and don’t forget if you liked it and want to support Superflat Games in some way, why not head on over to Space Recordings on Bandcamp and give the OST a listen?  Either way, I hope you enjoy your adventures with You.  Be sure to write and tell me about them!

- Jasper

*(I’m deeply influenced by the Lucasarts adventures, as you’ll see if you track down Keith’s Quest for the Amiga (please don’t.))

**(not my TM.)

Humbled

Just a quick note to say, the wonderful people at Humble Inc are now providing the shop-front over at:

http://www.lonesurvivor.co.uk/buy.html

This means you’ll get a free CODENAME: RED Steam Key on purchase from now on, or the DRM-version, it’s up to you!  Everyone’s a winner!  All existing customers are getting free keys for the Humble store, and from there they can make their choice.

As I mentioned before, the Humble guys have gone out of their way to make a very smooth transition, and to take on the responsibility of my previous customers just to help me out, making sure everyone has the choice of update format.  I can’t thank them enough for their help with this!

Existing customers are most welcome to send their request at any time (see the previous blog entry for instructions.)  I think most of the Mac users have got their updates now.  We’ve still only done about 15%-20% of the purchases, so I’m trying to find a more automated way of doing it.  But apart from the odd day off, we’ll be getting back to anyone who send a request in within a day, and it’s no trouble at all for the most part…  In fact, it’s great fun reading all your kind, insightful, funny and sometimes even slightly strange messages.

It also means goodbye to the First Aid Edition, which has sold 200 copies, and for which the art cards will be done soon.  I can’t say how long it’s going to take, but I don’t want to rush it.  We already have the stamps, but we need to find the right place to print them…

Thanks to everyone who’s bought the game on my site or Steam, and especially to the First Aid customers, who’ve given me a few months freeware-experimentation-room!

I really am humbled.

- Jasper

The Means of Distribution

Hello again everyone!

Thankyou once again for the kind emails, reviews and messages you’ve sent me.  I really am a bit overwhelmed by it all, in the best way possible.

I’m happy to announce that I now have a system in place to distribute a choice of DRM-free or Steam versions of LONE SURVIVOR v1.1 CODENAME: RED to the customers from my own site.

I’m going to be doing this all by hand with my wife, so it would be helpful to hold out if you possibly can, so we can do it in batches. I’d like to see the Mac Black Screen customers come first if possible, as you guys really are my highest priority.

So, to get your v1.1 update:

	
  • From the email address you used to purchase...
  • Compose an email to support (at) lonesurvivor.co.uk.
  • Make the subject line the order number you received only, eg: SUPxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxxxx.
  • Put anything you like in the message!  
  • It could even be a piece of fanart, or a thought about the game!
  • You'll then receive a code which can be redeemed on the Humble Store...
  • ... where you can pick from a direct download of v1.1 DRM-free, or a Steam key.
  • Enjoy LONE SURVIVOR v1.1 CODENAME: RED!
  • Enjoy updates for life with no worries!
  • Thanks for your patience with this, and I’m also very thankful to the guys over at Humble, Inc. for arranging it for me.  They’ve gone out of their way to accommodate my existing customers at no real benefit to themselves.

    But it would be good to have the emails starting from now, so I can be ready. Preferably Mac BSOD sufferers first (it’s like boarding a plane!)

    Cheers,

    Jasper

    Letting off some…

    Today, LONE SURVIVOR is coming out on Steam, for Mac and PC.

    It’s normally priced at $9.99 / £6.99, but it’s 20% off for the first week!

    So if Steam’s your platform of choice, and you’ve been waiting for news, or just for the first official sale – well, here it is!

    Now, the other thing that’s special about this release of the game, is that it’s NOT LONE SURVIVOR.

    That’s right!

    It’s LONE SURVIVOR v1.1 CODENAME: RED!

    What does this mean???

    It means:

  • Allows ESC to quit from the title screen or game over screen
  • Hunger increases 10% slower
  • Stealth movement 10% faster
  • Thinman patrol pause shortened
  • Red ending ‘officially’ added (although will be extended in LS:YELLOW later in the year)
  • Red ending requirements changed
  • Blue / red path ranks made more difficult
  • A few more contributing factors added
  • A new logo and icon
  • Tweaked art in the basement / ground floor to remove pure black pixels
  • Removed glitchy pixels from the side of the ammo store
  • Tin of pickles now has a description
  • Elevator upstairs gives message if powered
  • Save game is cleaned up: all traces of the old system removed
  • Save game no longer creates a Flash Shared Object except for volume settings
  • Numerous typos corrected
  • ??? won’t trade unless you’ve met him
  • ???’s name only appears once you’ve met him
  • Map hints disabled if not carrying the correct map
  • Some small, secret mechanic changes, mostly fixes
  • Some re-balancing to mental health-dependent descriptions
  • Can opener room door made a tiny bit clearer
  • The cat works

  • And these things are fixed:

  • Mac black screen issue no longer an issue
  • Panic attacks disabled in the boss sequence (which could rarely cause a corrupted save)
  • Fixed bug where it was possible to re-trigger the elevator sequence
  • Fixed bug with text boxes not reverting to interactive mode on game completion
  • Fundamental engine changes in cutscene / dialogue handling:
  • All world and object descriptions now have the player non-interactive
  • Last-resort freeze check & correct for scripts that don’t return control
  • Tweaks to the way sprites allow player interaction when simulating hotspots (solves the freezes related to positioning)
  • Cat / doll / stove / Gamejoy / bucket / hospital door freezes fixed by the above methods
  • Rare slowdown issue fixed (related to AIR system chrome setting, now disabled)

  • First Aid Edition Limited Run

    I’d also like to announce that I’m winding down the First Aid Edition.  It’s coming close to 200 purchases, which after tax, fees and so on gives me a good chunk of time to work on freeware work.

    So I’ve decided to make it a limited edition run of 200.  The game will be removed for sale after that.

    My reason is that it looks as if the game will enter profit now, and I don’t want to be greedy and ask more money than I need to survive.  I really appreciate all the support the First Aid customers have shown, so thankyou to each and every one of you.

    One of the things I plan to do with this time is to flesh out LS3D a bit more, and release it to the public as freeware.

    I’ll print 250 art cards in the next couple of weeks, and sign and mail the 200 out, keeping the others back for special occasions and replacements for lost ones.

    And finally…

    I just wanted to say thankyou to everyone for playing the game and sharing your thoughts.  It’s been so great to hear from you all, in blogs, comments, emails and so on.  I’m so glad people seem to like the game and I keep being surprised at the reviews and things that come in.

    - Jasper

    Oh, what a week!

    I have no idea how to word this post. I’m almost out of words, to be honest. I must have typed two million of the things this week, between support emails, promotional emails, emails of thanks, emails of apology, interviews, comments, texts, tweets and posts.

    But what a week it’s been! The reviews have been remarkably warm about the game (RPS and Destructoid being a couple of my highlights.)  I can’t find one that hated it, anyway!  And the kind emails and comments you’ve all sent me have honestly made me feel like I’m floating for most of the week.

    Sales have gone surprisingly alright – it’s still not recouped its costs, but unlike Soul Brother I keep my IP (intellectual property as opposed to web address.) So if the game continues to sell, it still could!

    The bad news was mainly down to one issue – the Black Screen Of Death which started appearing on random users’ Macs (PC’s were unaffected.) This caused an absolute support nightmare, and I’ve spent most of this week writing support emails to people who’ve suffered the issue. Once again I’d like to apologise to anyone this has affected. It’s a problem with Adobe AIR, and it seems like it’s out of my control to fix right now. The ‘Flash projector’ version, which I’ve been supplying customers with as an alternative, has been fine for all users except one so far – he fell victim of the ‘reset browser killing Flash saved games’ issue which caused me to use Adobe AIR in the first place (it provides a way of directly writing and reading files from the system like a ‘real’ application.)  Anyway, the upshot of this is that I’m still looking into it, and I’m going to do some thorough testing on a machine I know doesn’t work pretty soon (‘unfortunately’ it works on mine so it’s hard to test.)

    Anyway, things have calmed down to the point I was able to assemble the 19-track OST, and make an album sleeve for it especially. And it gives me great pleasure to announce that it’s NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE on Bandcamp for $6.99! Yay!

    Click this pic to go the shop:

    Anyway, once again, thankyou so much for your support, kind emails, help and friendship along the way.  I honestly could never have imagined it would go so well, despite the technical problems.

    I’m really happy to have made something that’s interesting to you guys, and I’ll keep trying to do the same thing in future!

    LONE SURVIVOR

    It’s with great pleasure, exhaustion, joy and relief that I announce the end to this four year chapter of my life.

    LONE SURVIVOR is here.

    It’s done. It’s finished. It’s complete. It’s available to buy.

    It has every drop of my heart and soul in it.

    It’s taken its toll on my health and family life…

    But most importantly it’s here.

    Thanks for supporting me along the way, and I hope you enjoy the game!

    Or visit www.lonesurvivor.co.uk to purchase the game.

    Welcome to www.lonesurvivor.co.uk

    Just a very quick post to say all’s going well for launch.

    The video’s done (but not live yet), www.lonesurvivor.co.uk is done and now live, as the title of this post suggests. You’ll be able to buy the game there next Tuesday.

    The enormous mountain of press and promotion emails is getting smaller slowly.  I just re-submitted to Steam.

    I’m going to start the demo later on, or tomorrow.  I hope I can get it done on time!

    Sort of flying at the moment, I don’t know if it’s excitement or delirium.  I’m glad to mostly done with the promotional material though, it’s not the part of the job I enjoy the most!

    LONE SURVIVOR: 27.3.2012

    It gives me great pleasure to finally announce that LONE SURVIVOR will be debuting on PC & Mac on Tuesday, 27.3.2012 (that’s 3.27.2012 in American or 2012.3.27 in Japanese.)

    The price of this piece of interactive entertainment will be ten American dollars ($10.)  This will be for the Standard Edition (which includes DRM-free updates for life, and access to both Mac & PC versions.)

    There will also be available a ‘First Aid Edition’ which is partly intended to help support future freeware development.  If I could, I’d make all my games for free, but unfortunately my wife, my child and even I need feeding.  Any funds I make from this edition will go into paying myself a survival salary while making these games.  The First Aid Edition will be priced at a ludicrous $50, but will also include the Lone Survivor OST, as well as an exclusive short game to be finished afterwards (LS3D - a side adventure to Lone Survivor,) as well as a couple of mystery gifts, such as scans of designs and artwork from the game, to be decided.

    On the subject of future updates, there are still two more secret endings I’d like to add to the game.  While the game is fine and complete without them, I think it would be fun to have a couple more to explore on a second playthrough, and one of them I actually have something quite silly planned for.

    This does depend on whether the game makes enough money for me to continue my indie career, but if it does, rest assured you’ll get a free Special Endings Edition when the time comes!

    In addition, as thanks for early support, the first 1200 buyers will receive a copy of the Soul Brother OST, normally priced at $5.

    I’m actually assembling the final build of the game tomorrow, fixing the last 15 minor bugs or so, and removing cheat modes I put in for testing.  It feels like I’ve been making this game forever, and I’m still sort of in shock I can’t find much more to add or fix.  It really is finished.  And, I have to say, it’s one of the rare things I’ve made that I’m kind of proud of, in 15 years of making things for a living!

    It will launch initially through my website only (a new site for the game itself, which is under construction at the moment.)  You’ll be able to download or play the demo in your browser, to see if you’d like to purchase it.  There will be a nice new launch trailer (I’ve already 99% finished it, but I’m saving it for just before launch.)

    More than anything, I hope you all get something out of playing it. Heartfelt thanks to you all, for sharing the long journey with me, and supporting a game which tries humbly to do something a little different.

    Jasper

    Need sleep.

    A few weeks from now, I’ll be able to get some, at last.

    A couple of days after IGF, I’ll be announcing the launch date and the price, and more importantly the game will be 100% complete!  The reason I’ve barely written about this last period of development is simply that it’s been bit of a living hell I’d rather not share with you.  I’ve smoked altogether too much, ate bad food, not slept well, seen no-one and done nothing but work from dawn ’till dusk, mostly on the horrible tasks I’d stockpiled for the end of the game.  Things like the map were a very difficult and fiddly challenge to get right (took about two solid weeks to rework following some excellent feedback by Terry Cavanagh.)

    Thankfully all that nastiness is out the way now!  My wife and daughter are back from their time in Japan, where they were visiting family. For the sake of getting Lone Survivor finished, and partly due to dwindling funds, I had to stay behind … which was pretty tough.  But they’re back now, and I’m really glad I’ll have their support over this final hurdle.

    The tiredness is still mounting up with the last few tasks to do: last bits of content to finish, the website to launch, payment systems to figure out, press to contact, demo to make, video to record, soundtrack to prepare.  These are all fairly nice tasks in comparison to the map, though.

    So it won’t be long at all now, and I hope you might be pleasantly surprised by the launch date I’m shooting for!

    It’s in BETA.

    It’s in BETA*.

    * lots of exciting, actual information to come soon.  Watch this space.