jazz-style sleeve notes
Archive for the ‘ games ’ Category
i hope you’re having a great 2015 so far.
today marks the release of my “HOTLINE MIAMI 2 EP”. it contains two tracks featured in the forthcoming game from the inimitable Dennaton Games, Hotline Miami 2, and two exclusive tracks.
“Decade Dance” is a different mix from both the game version and the forthcoming 12″ vinyl album compilation version.
“Voyager” is a rework of the bonus track originally seen on the first HM EP, and is the same as the vinyl version, but different from the game version.
“Kill Streak” is exclusive to the EP, and finally “Miami” is a totally new rework of the track from the original HM EP.
i also have an album ready that is nearly complete, containing ten original tracks, that i’ve been working on over the last couple of years, which is very nearly complete. i’m excited to finally get out there, and hope to release it in the next few months on my bandcamp.
there are also some other musical projects i’ve been working on that i’d like to release at some point, so it’ll be good to get the release schedule moving (and i really should get round to uploading the digital re-releases of my Space Recordings d’n’b vinyl back catalogue one day as the distributor, ST Holdings recently folded, sadly…)
i’m sorry i haven’t been around on social media much recently, and that i don’t have much to announce on the game front… but it does feel nice to begin the new year by sharing something i have been working on.
i hope you all have a great year, and thankyou all as always for all the words of support over the last few years.
i’d like to also say a big thankyou to my amazing daughter, Aila, who provided the artwork (then aged 4, now aged 5!)
i’ve decided to release The Director’s Cut of Lone Survivor slightly earlier than planned so that the fans who own the Mac and PC versions can play The Director’s Cut together with the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita fans on Halloween.
despite taking ten months (and at times being a challenging project), i am really happy to give away The Director’s Cut as a 100% FREE update to anyone who has previously purchased the game on Mac or PC previously, in any form, including the Humble Bundle. it’s my way of saying thankyou for enabling me to make games long into the future by supporting the original release.
it really is a huge update, with a great deal of new content, new areas, complete remastering of visuals and lighting, new music, a new enemy, two new endings etc. i very much look forward to hearing your thoughts about the new edition, and interpretations of the new content… especially the secret endings!
also, the Mac and PC versions of the game will now include access to both the Original and the Director’s Cut versions of the game. you can continue your game from The Original Cut in the new version (*see IMPORTANT NOTE at the bottom of this post.)
anyway, to all the players who have supported the game and myself over this last year and a half, to the journalists whose kind words have helped the game reach new people, to the hardworking folk behind the scenes at Valve, Curve and Sony, to the many testers and supporters and of course to my family who’ve supported me all the way, i’d like to say what may be a final thankyou for your help with this game.
it’s been very long journey to reach this point, but i guess i could almost say i’m proud of the final result, and look forward to what the future may hold!
anyway i hope you enjoy the game, and…
today Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut is available for:
Lone Survivor’s Website (DRM-free)
Good Old Games (DRM-Free)
A Pumpkin (actually can’t buy Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut here)
Just a quick word of warning regarding moving from one version of the game to another. I wanted to include access to both versions of the game for purists. However, please be aware of the following when playing The Original Cut:
To get hold of The Original Cut:
wordpress informs me this is my 100th post! and with it comes exciting news…
i have quietly been beavering away over the last few months to bring this enormous update back to the format it began life on. it was originally going to be a very slightly updated version of the original game, but turned into a ten-month odyssey. i was able to add all the little details which i wasn’t able to squeeze in the first time round, so that i could bring my original vision to you with no compromises, and with them a whole load of new ideas that emerged as i worked on it.
almost without fail, business-minded friends and colleagues, as well as the players themselves, expected i would release the game as a brand new version, requiring the players of the original game to purchase it again, or at the very least to release the update as paid DLC. i gave it a huge amount of thought, and eventually i realised i would rather just give the update away for FREE to all 800,000+ customers, to say thank you for your support… and that’s exactly what i’m going to do!
yep, you heard it right: Lone Survivor – The Director’s Cut is going to be 100% FREE to anyone who has bought the game so far (even for $0.01 in the Humble Bundle!)
to offset some of the (quite large) costs of making it, i will be having a small price increase on release, although i’ll be running a sale for the first couple of days so that it’ll still be possible to purchase at the original price before the increase. exact pricing TBA on release day, as i am still talking to the various vendors. on the subject of which, i am very happy to announce that the game will also be coming to Good Old Games, a fantastic site doing great work to preserve the classics of yesteryear, as well as releasing the greatest of the latest.
what’s really cool is that your saved game from the original version will still be compatible with The Director’s Cut (but not the other way round.)
the response to the PlayStation versions has been wonderful, with the game earning not-too-shabby 84% on Metacritic. i am so happy to see a new generation of console players discover the game, which marks the end of a massively important chapter of my life. thanks so much to Curve studios for their fantastic ports, and especially to all the players who have supported the game.
i really hope all my PC and Mac owning brethren enjoy The Director’s Cut,
love and peace to you all!
ps if any journalists, bloggers or streamers would like to get an advance review copy of the game, please hit me up!
pps if you’d like to see the full list of changes in The Director’s Cut, please see my previous blog post.
it gives me great pleasure to present to you the new and extended version of Lone Survivor which is now entitled:
‘The Director’s Cut’
first, allow me to let the launch trailer* speak for itself:
*(trailer by childhood friend and collaborator Caspar Newbolt of Version Industries)
so what is The Director’s Cut, exactly?
i won’t try to describe the original game again, much has already been written and said about it, and i prefer to leave the interpretations up to the players. especially with interactive media, everyone’s perception of a story is different and, to me, equally valid.
Lone Survivor has been lucky enough to have found a following, all of whom have their own interpretation of the game. and for those fans especially, i have made The Director’s Cut. it contains some elements which didn’t quite make it to the original game because they seemed too elaborate and i needed to get the game out, it contains a lot of new ideas which i’ve had since releasing the last update a year and a half ago (and having since had time to think more about my own interpretation), and it has a sort of meta-narrative which ties it all together which emerged as i began to work on it.
on top of this, the game has been polished, fixed, tweaked and honed in hundreds of different ways. i spent weeks improving the look of the lighting, and even found and fixed bugs that the 800,000+ people who own the game had hadn’t yet reported!
the PC + Mac release, on Steam and the game’s website, won’t be far behind. in other words, it will be out as soon as i can physically do it. it will take time as it’s not a simple port, but it is my next priority and i will have more news about this soon.
i originally planned to do a fairly straight port of the original game, but when Sony said they’d be interested in new content, i started to think about whether i could implement some of these ideas. and i got a bit carried away with it. i thought it would take about six weeks, but it ended up taking around nine months!
i’ve been working tirelessly alongside Curve Studios for the whole period, not just creating the new content, but making sure the ports and all their related marketing materials are up to my (i now realise) stupidly fussy standards: drawing PS3 background images and store images myself, searching 7 years of old hard drives to re-source all the audio so that we didn’t convert from the .mp3 format the original game uses to the .ogg format that the PlayStation uses, rather, from the original .wav masters – for a marginal improvement in audio quality that only musos will hear. i’ve spent many a night uploading endlessly tweaked Photoshop marketing images to the Curve servers at 3am, or rewriting the cloud-save interface to look more ‘Lone Survivor’, repeatedly redrawing the PlayStation button images until i found the most beautiful ‘6/7/8/9 pixel circle’, playing the different paths through the game time after time alongside the QA department. i have had endless email debates with the production team and Sony on how to make the trophies as cool-yet-unobtrusive as possible, i have designed the competition prizes by hand, the list goes on and on… and that’s to say nothing of the hard work Curve put in on their side!
to my knowledge, anything that could be done to make the experience better has been done, and Curve totally got that these kinds of details were important to me, and humoured me time and time again when i asked for things to be tweaked. Sony were amazing to work with (and i must send special love out to Shahid Kamal who helped make it happen in the first place), listening to my outlandish requests, and even allowing me to be one of the first ever third-party games to mess with the Trophy format, certainly the first predominantly made by one person… yes, it’s been an almighty task, but we got there in the end.
Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut is out today on PSN in USA + EU
(priced $12.99 / €12.99 / £9.99)
i hope you enjoy the game
i knew the fans would be the most sensitive to changes in the game, so to me the challenge was to go back and improve the original game without in any way changing or spoiling the original vision. for this reason, i decided to make the majority of the new content, including the two new endings, only accessible in New Game+. so when you play the game for the first time, it should feel as before, only far more polished and nicer to look at and listen to. but when explore it for the second time, you may discover an entire extra layer to it…
it’s been really hard to keep the details to myself for so long, but the game’s secrets are no doubt being discovered right at this very moment by the fans. i greatly look forward to hearing what you think of the new content, so be sure to share your thoughts here (or via email, see address at top-right, if you’d prefer) if you do get a chance to play it.
anyway, here’s a rundown of the new features of Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut (without spoiling the specifics of its content):
specific to New Game+:
specific to PlayStation:
specific to PS Vita:
specific to PS3:
(new titlescreen on PC, to show it is actually in the works!)
Competitions! Competitions! Competitions!
we are also going to be giving out prizes that i designed myself, to the press to run competitions and so on. i spent a long time on them to hopefully make them really exclusive and unique:
5 super-limited ‘First Aid Edition’ art-card prints, signed and individually numbered by myself
(now only 5 more exist and i’ll be keeping them for posterity!)
super limited edition physical prints of the game soundtrack in vintage PS2 survival horror style (i had fun making these and they look really cool in the flesh)
actual Sleepy Cat plushies (from my original sketch on the right) made by sukisuki.co.uk
(… yes, Sleepy Cat is real!)
for more information about the competitions and prizes, or to request a press kit / review code, please contact:
Lone Survivor: The Director’s Cut is coming out on PlayStation 3 & PlayStation Vita on
Tuesday, 24th September (USA / EU)
As things have been winding up on The Director’s Cut, I’ve been able to do a certain amount of work on New Game+ finally! Over the last 9 months while I’ve been working on the PlayStation ports, I’ve literally only had the time and energy to work on New Game+’s soundtrack (which has a lot of tunes now) but none for the game itself.
But I’ve managed to do some work on it, including an art pass, quite recently as things have been quieter while Curve wrap up the ports. I converted all the art to a new, simpler 32 colour palette (to match the Amiga, the game machine which I grew up on). This means the look is more coherent, if less ‘detailed’, and another good thing is that it makes the rest of the art a lot quicker to do. There is a lot of art to do for this game, so that’s a good thing.
Here’s a comparison between the NEW EXTERIOR:
… and an OLD EXTERIOR:
(I was trying to get closer to the original mockup:)
Here’s a NEW INTERIOR:
… and an OLD INTERIOR:
So, although it’s a subtle change, it’s hopefully going to make things look better, while being quicker to produce! Let me know what you think of the new look!
(Also, this is a thing I bought recently…)
There is more news on the horizon about NG+… I can’t announce it quite yet, but something pretty wonderful is about to happen!
After months of back and forth, and what ended up being one of the largest internal discussions at Sony on a game’s requirements for such things in the history of such things, I am now allowed to reveal What I’m doing About Trophies.
Achievements. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re here to stay. They don’t motivate me personally as a player – I prefer to play entirely within the ‘world’ of the game – but I completely respect and empathise with those who enjoy them.
For this reason, I wanted to ensure that Lone Survivor’s trophies were as unobtrusive as possible, but also a very deep additional challenge, free of grind, for those that wished to explore the game beyond the surface.
It is especially important in a game such as this where immersion is critical to the experience, that I don’t let them get in the way of that: the last thing you want is to be taken out of the adventure by a system message.
1. Trophies Will Be As Unobtrusive As Possible
For this reason, after many months of discussion, I have persuaded Sony to allow me to:
a) … not show any trophies during gameplay. They will be displayed only when the player goes to sleep, or on the completion of the game.
b) … display the following message at the start of the game (I’m very glad that Sony have recently allowed players to disable Trophy notifications via the System Settings in the latest firmwares, I also recommend disabling Friend Notifications, although I would still lobby for developers to be allowed to change this setting from in-game, on a per-game basis… hopefully Sony are listening and at least considering this in future as it isn’t currently possible.):
c) … let all but a few trophies remain secret to ensure the first playthrough of the game is not coloured by trophy hunting.
2. Yes, there will be a Platinum Trophy.
(… but it will be hidden, deep.)
I worked hard on the Trophy designs, so that it would be a rewarding additional layer to the game, if you choose to explore it. Particularly so that your repeat playthroughs are interesting and varied. The idea is that the player will be rewarded for exploring the light and dark corners of the game, not for simply making progress or for repeatedly doing the same thing. There is a huge amount to see in this game, especially in The Director’s Cut, and the Platinum Trophy takes you on the widest possible tour of that content.
Not only will Lone Survivor will have a Platinum Trophy, but this Trophy, if pursued, will be rewarding and open up new aspects of the game. It will not be an easy one, but it’ll hopefully be an interesting one!
However, I still hope that players who are new to Lone Survivor will disable trophy notifications on their first playthrough so that they experience the game as deeply as possible.
I contributed a chapter to EXPERIMENT 12, a collaboration with 11 other designers, started by good friend, Terry Cavanagh. We each made a single chapter in a specific time period over several weeks, my chapter is the final experiment, #12 in fact. May not be what you expect.
I hope you enjoy the game!
(Mac + PC.)