Author Archive

Back on Hiatus

I’m very, very lost with Lone Survivor right now.  The stuff I’ve been adding has just made the game far more complicated, not necessarily better as far as I can tell.  I seem to be heading down a path where there’s almost too much content for one person to create.

I’m not actually sure I can finish it at all at this point, but maybe with some space between me and it, I can figure it out.  Maybe not, and if so, that’s just how it was meant to be.

In the meantime I will be experimenting with a number of small things, nothing in particular.  I may have to get a job too, as I can’t support this kind of procrastination financially!  I was giving some proper thought to returning to the ‘big game’ industry, but then I realised I should probably put some distance between myself and games for a while.  I might try and get a really normal job, one that’s not creative for a change, just to give me some breathing space to think about what I really want to do, indie-games-wise, and life-wise.

Now my plans have changed a lot in the past few years, even from month to month, so it’s hard for me to predict if this hiatus will be short, long or even permanent.  I just wanted to let you guys know, and to say thankyou to you all for all the support for this game and others I’ve made.

I’ll leave you with a final screenshot of the game, a new room I added last week:

So for now at least, it’s goodbye from me, and goodbye from You!

Cold Bloody Murder

I’m going to keep the blog more active, now a few more people have stopped by (thanks as always, indiegames.com, and others who covered the trailer.)  Hello to any new readers who’ve stopped by, welcome to superflat world!

Here is my screenshot saturday, which shows the new exterior area (it’s actually the first location I worked on two years ago, greatly changed.  Feels strange to be back there though!)

You can also see the new lighting stuff going on, the improved grain and contrast etc, which I’ve been spending time on.

For comparison’s sake, here is the same shot from the build alpha 0.2, posted here early in 2010:

It’s times like this you look back and realise some progress has actually been made!

Lone Survivor official trailer debut!

Direct link to youtube…

Warning: contains semi-spoilers!

Having taken a few weeks to really think about it, I’ve decided I’m going to be back at work on this baby full-time until it’s done. I’m risking everything on it financially, but I believe in it enough to do it…

STOPCOCK

My entry into Ludum Dare 48.  It’s a game about my dad, set in Liverpool of the 60’s where he’d recently emigrated to.  Made in under 48 hours. I’m actually pretty happy with how it turned out, although I appreciate it’s fairly personal and may not have the same weight for other people! I certainly giggled a lot while making it, partly from exhaustion though maybe.

It’s written in RPGMaker 2003, so it’s Windows only I’m afraid.  I’ve based the visuals on a ZX Spectrum with a slightly tweaked palette to make it more digestible.

Very happy to have something finished to share with you guys again though!

Click the image to go to the game download page.

LS3D

I forgot to mention this one, it’s a sort of horror-antithesis of Lone Survivor, called LS3D.  Whereas that game is focussed on the psychological aspects, this is a purely visceral thriller, with I suppose something of a back-story to the main game thrown in.

(Click the image to go to the dev log over on the forum)

It began as an entry into the awesome the ‘Justice’ Pageant, over on www.superfriendshipclub.com, a new forum I’m a mod on, and occasional suggester of ideas to. It aims to be a development centric forum, not really focussed on the social aspects so much, pure geekery and artery.  There’s a bunch of people involved in it (Stephen Lavelle runs the Pageants in particular.)

Anyway it wasn’t finished in time, but may be later when I figure out a way to!  I’m back to work on Lone Survivor at the moment, and the Soul Brother soundtrack, as well as other music things and a brief but much-needed holiday, so things have been quite busy all in all

New Light!

Off on holiday today, but I’ll leave you with a screenshot showing the new lighting system (notice the grading across the screen), the redrawn art (I’ve done a second detail pass on all the art) and the new area (in fact the first area I began two years ago.)  Also you can see the item combination system here.  I wonder what irradiated orange + squid stick tastes like?

It’s going well!

Who Am I?

I was asked over on www.superfriendshipclub.org to point out some links to some of my older music as Sonic.  I was and still am a producer and DJ, mainly making drum’n’bass.  So rather than clog up that forum, here’s those links conveniently laid out for your pleasure!

Sonic & Silver, AKA the Accidental Heroes, c.2001

Sonic & Silver, AKA the Accidental Heroes c.2001

So I took half an hour to pick out some random selections. Not the best tunes necessarily, just ones that popped into my head while trawling youtube. I dunno how good the recordings are on some of these as I haven’t checked them all. What I did hear gave me a massive nostalgia rush though though!

I lost my HD with all music pre-around 2004, so don’t have many of these tunes handy, except possibly on old DAT tapes, or the vinyls themselves, where I was sent copies – and not all record labels even get round to this! 🙂

Anyway, here they are, they spread from ’99 to ’11, on a bunch of labels and with different people. All but a couple were produced in my studio though…

My Label
======

Sonic & Silver – Space Cadet (Space Recordings)
Sonic – The Big Blue (Space Recordings)
Sonic – 4 Manchester (Space Recordings) (Space Recordings)
Sonic – Sunday Morning (Space Recordings)
Sonic – Feel The Vibe (Space Recordings)
Sonic – What U Do 2 Me (Space Recordings)
Sonic – Love Came In (Space Recordings)
Sonic – Galaxyflip (Space Recordings)
Sonic – Futureworld (Space Recordings)

Other labels / collaborations
======================

Sonic – Piano Anthem (Hospital Records)
Sonic – All I Wanna Do (Hospital Records)
Sonic & Silver – On The Anson (Metalheadz Records)
Sonic & Silver – Under The Sun (Soul:R Records)
Sonic & Silver – Rocket Launcher (Virus Records
Sonic – Funckstation (Virus Records)
Bad Company – Rush Hour (Sonic & Silver RMX)
Sonic – Even When It Rains [Super Disco Mix] (Infrared Records)
The Accidental Heroes – Precinct 13 (Infrared Records)
The Accidental Heroes – Hydrophonics (Infrared Records)
Matrix & Sonic – Flashlight (Metro Records)
Sonic & Silver – Rise Up (Reinforced Records)
Sonic & Silver – Cool Intentions (Reinforced Records)
Sonic & J Majik – New Generation (Infrared Records) – (uncredited here!)
Sonic – Bounty Hunter (Bingo Records)
Sonic – Dreamscape (Bingo Records)

Earlier Stuff
========
The Accidental Heroes – YOUWITHMENOW (Freeform Records, my first release in ’99)
Sonic – Light Cycles (Formation Records)
MC/R Movement – Make It Bounce (Freeform Records)
Sonic – Searchlights (Formation Records)
The Accidental Heroes – Timecheck (Formation Records)

A couple of playlists I found that people put together…

Sonic
Sonic & Silver

Rainbow Star Prize, And Mirrors

First of all I’d just like to finally give Brian Keong, the Rainbow Star Challenge winner, his prize.  Nearly half a million players have entered Soularis now, and it makes me so happy.  I’m planning to do a bit more of a post-mortem of the game at some point, and I’d also like to share some more press and interview links about it, as it seems to have had a good buzz.

Anyway, he requested a bird character, and here he is, in-game:

Brian, I almost broke the game doing this, so I hope you like him!

Lone Survivor Update

I managed to get a solid build of Lone Survivor into Indiecade this year, one of the main indie game competitions along with IGF.  I worked incredibly hard on it for the two months leading up to the deadline, almost going as insane as the protagonist.  It probably helped the atmosphere in some ways!

Here’s a little teaser trailer I made (it shows almost nothing of the actual gameplay, that will follow in the real trailer, which should be much better than this one!):

Lone Survivor (Indiecade Teaser Trailer)

The music is by myself and Silver (Sonic & Silver), the VIP mix of Rocket Launcher on Virus Records.  It’s not used in-game, for those that hate it (it’s a polarising one.)  There’s already 22 original tracks in Lone Survivor, and it’s going to give me a lot of pleasure to finally share them with you guys.

Since submitting to Indiecade I had a little time off playing Yakuza and so on, but I’ve now started back on full-time work on it.  It’s getting quicker to make as what I want to do with it is getting clearer in my head.

I’ll leave you with a new screenshot, from the dusty cellar, of the new mirror savegame system:

What I’ve been going through getting ready for Indiecade…

HEAVEN
+
HELL

It’s been an exhausting several weeks of crunch on the game, but progress has been tangible, so it’s been a lot of fun too.

And after all that I’ve decided not to enter at this point. Although I’m super excited about the way it’s going, I don’t think I want to reveal plot details yet, and I want the game to be close to completion before submitting it anywhere… So my plan is now to get it finished for IGF instead.  We’ll see if that pans out!

Anyway, this means I’ll finally have a little time to catch up on all the smaller things I’ve been neglecting, like the ongoing saga of the Rainbow Star Prize, the writing of blogs and so on.  I’ll be doing a more detailed report of where it’s going at some point soon, and I still plan on doing a behind-the-scenes tour at some point, showing the tools I’ve used to develop Lone Survivor.

The Great Unknown

So I felt it was time to give you guys an update on what I’ve been up to…

The plan (as I mentioned in the quote-unquote interview) was to work on Legend of the Starmen with an aim to heading for an IGF entry.

Well, just like the last time I went indie, I changed my mind once I actually had the space and time to think about it. I still want to make LotS, and it’s high up on the list… But it’s a big game, as big as Lone Survivor, perhaps.

So I figured, if I’m going to do a big project anyway, it may as well be the one which is most personal and important to me. The one I’ve been trying to make for several years, since making Soundless Mountain II – Lone Survivor. After all, the game is already further along than LotS, so it makes more sense from that perspective. And there’s the thing that it may help get recognised because SMII is still probably the game I’m most known for doing…

It’s coming on really well! I’m planning on entering it into Indiecade, either at the end of this week, or two weeks after that if I miss the deadline. I’m focussing on making the first world really fleshed out and finished, the intro and outro, polish and bugfixes and a total overhaul of the audio. Save games, title screens, some more puzzles and survival elements, a new monster, it’s all happening so fast!

And there’s more…

I’ve started a new (relatively) small game – perhaps the size of Soul Brother when finished. It’s called XOR, and it’s a homage to the games I grew up on, perhaps more so than the other games I’ve made. It’s a randomly generated Atic Atac / Zelda mashup wizard-shooter. It is presented in a warped ZX Spectrum view, complete with filthy screen, ‘off’ colours and flickering glows. It all looks much better in motion, but have a (slightly out-of-date) screenshot all the same:


The names are procedurally generated and this one just happened to come up.

There’s also a background story to it which I won’t reveal yet, suffice to say it’s gonna have more than a nod to a certain other glowing movie, but hopefully turn things on their head a bit. According to Anthony Carboni at least, I like to ‘flip the script’ like that.

Finally…

A massive thanks out to the 270,000 players of Soul Brother, and the many new reviewers and podcasts which have covered it. I really am humbled that so many have enjoyed something so silly of mine. Thanks to Terry for helping me along the way so much, and thanks to all the indies who reside in a certain forum I frequent for all their incredible work helping me test and improve the game. You all know who you are, and I can’t thank you guys enough!

Also to Brian Keong, I’m sorry I haven’t forgotten your sprite, I’m just really swamped getting ready for Indiecade, so expect it next blog post, sorry!