Good news and…

Hello everyone!  It’s been a while since I last wrote, mainly because I’ve had to be absolutely sure I was going to post what I’m about to post.

There are two things I’d like to share with you…  Some good news and some not so good news.  If you’d prefer the good news first, skip to the later section!

The Bad News

NEW GAME+, the dungeon crawler I’ve been working away on for the last six months (I realise I never officially announced the name), is no more.

I have decided to abandon the project.  It’s been a very tough decision to make, quite heartbreaking really, but it IS the right thing to do.  It was too big for a single person to make.  This is the root of the problem.  It wasn’t that I fell out of love with the idea, just that I can’t physically do it.

The good thing about being a self-funded, one-man team is that I can drop a project without hurting any co-workers, without feeling pressure to complete something that isn’t working, and without being somehow responsible to investors.  It’s one of the reasons I prefer to remain a solo game creator, so that I feel less pressure to try and force something that doesn’t want to be forced, to remain agile so that I don’t need to flog an already dead horse.

I reached a point where it was getting very frustrating: the game demanded a lot of animation, very detailed level design, and a huge amount of gameplay code, all of which were taking so long that it felt excruciating.

I’d like to say sorry to any fans who were looking forward to it – it’s still a game I’d love to play, and should I ever have a team to work with in future, it’s definitely an idea I’d like to come back to.  I had an incredibly detailed story worked out (it’s not what it appeared!), which I won’t share in case the idea ever resurfaces.

For now, let’s take a minute’s silence and look through the work in progress shots, leading up to the first build that I shared with a few friends a week ago…

Initial mockup

First engine tests

First bits of level creation, writing the editor, figuring out the perspective etc…

Working out what sprites might look like…

Adding gameplay, weapons and AI…

So this is as far as I got with it.  It still had a long way to go before it was going to be fully playable, and yet it had taken so many months to reach this point. I realised, not for the first time, that I’d been too ambitious.  If you’ve followed Lone Survivor’s creation, you’ll see that there were quite a few failed versions of it in its wake.

So that is the story of NEW GAME+.  When considering my decision, I received this excellent piece advice from Stephen ‘The Catamites’, something it really helped to hear…

there’s no such thing as a trashed project, it always just gets subsumed into something else where you least expect it, so i won’t mourn new game +, even though it looked really cool. i am eagerly anticipating when the idea / images behind it suddenly appear in an unrelated dating sim or something some months hence…”

… and I think he’s absolutely right.

The Good News

That’s right, something wonderful has also happened in this time period.  I have something I’m very excited to announce:

LONE SURVIVOR is coming to PS3 and PS Vita!

It’ll be re-coded from scratch by Curve Studios in London, creators of a number of great PS3 games like Fluidity, Hydroventure and Explodemon.  It’ll be super-smooth running, and better yet (for my European cousins, at least) the plan is to include translations into French and German.

I’m greatly looking forward to this, as it’s been a dream of mine since childhood to release a game on console, and especially the Sony ones as I love what they do most of all.  Anyone who follows my twitter will know that I don’t tend to play games on PC, I really am a couch gamer, most happy on my PS3!  Lone Survivor was designed as a console game (in my head, anwyay.)  In fact, all the games I work on I really imagine being on console, or fantasise about, anyway!

So there is is…  With one door closing, another opens.

I’ll be sure to let you guys know when I figure out what my own next project will be.  Who knows, it might end up being the dating sim The Catamites suggests…

… For now there’s just a glorious blank sheet of white paper in front of me.

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  • Comments (18)
  1. avatar
    • GreenPyreBrigand
    • November 16th, 2012

    Edit (fixed horrible grammar)

    You should really consider a 3DS port. The 3D and second screen would be perfect for Lone Survivor since it’s focused on 2 dimensional depth a lot. I think it’d be easier to see parallel doors in the hallways too. But congrats on the PSN spot! +can’t wait for your next project!

  2. avatar
    • GreenPyreBrigand
    • November 16th, 2012

    You should really consider a 3DS port. The 3D and seconds screen would be perfect for this game since it focused on 2 dimensional depth a lot. I think it’d be easier to see parallel doors in hallway too. But congrats on the PSN spot!

  3. avatar
    • Grewon 77
    • November 14th, 2012

    Lone Survivor only for ps3 and ps vita??? Nothing for xbox 360? 🙁 NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…

  4. avatar
    • Numbers
    • November 14th, 2012

    Is there any chance that we could also get a PSP port of Lone Survivor?

  5. avatar
    • Cloudiest Nights
    • November 14th, 2012

    Menashe :
    Is there any chance you can bring over Lone Survivor to the 3DS eShop? Nintendo fans are already familiar with Curve Studios, as we are fans of Fluidity.

    Yes please! Yes yes please!

    VVVVVV, Mutant Mudds, Fractured Soul, and other indie games are out on the eShop. I would eagerly buy Lone Survivor ago to play on the go on my 3DS!

  6. avatar
    • Otto
    • November 13th, 2012

    Man, this game sounded perfect- I love the aesthetic, and the gameplay sounded like it was exactly my ballpark. Please do consider kickstarter, I promise to fund if you do.

  7. avatar
    • karu
    • November 13th, 2012

    Please, translate LONE SURVIVOR (PS3) in spanish too. The spanish community will thank you.

  8. avatar
    • RunningMan
    • November 13th, 2012

    Lone Survivor is a really good fit for vita. Hopefully it’s sell a lot. Best of luck with the next project.

  9. avatar
    • BlueVoiec
    • November 13th, 2012

    NEW GAME+ looked amazing! But Lone Survivor on PS3!? AHHH so excited!! 😀 I will buy it as soon as it comes out!

  10. avatar
    • TradeApocalypse
    • November 13th, 2012

    I love your work and am a big fan of the Lone Survivor game. I am pretty dismayed over you giving up on such a good looking project, It looked like a good design and engine that could (or would) be molded towards a very decent Role playing game or Real time strategy. I was excited on the first images, but I will say I’m not to dishearted and I congratulate you over the idea that Lone survivor is going to Play Station 3 and Psp! I couldn’t tell you how hard it was to play that game without a control 😛

    Keep up your good work! I’ll follow your awesome projects till the end! Your really a big inspiration to me and hopefully to other game designs who want to make games just like you 😀

  11. avatar

    Is there any chance you can bring over Lone Survivor to the 3DS eShop? Nintendo fans are already familiar with Curve Studios, as we are fans of Fluidity.

  12. avatar
    • Quazzy
    • November 12th, 2012

    This is bullshit. I don’t give a fuck about lone survivor. This awesome dungeon crawler should have come to light. The visuals alone, looked groundbreaking..

  13. avatar

    Hey just wanted to add, when I say “sounds like the right thing to do” I don’t mean in my own judgement, I just mean it sounds like you’ve thought a lot about it. Obv I’m not trying to make a judgement on it directly 🙂

  14. avatar

    Hey Jasper sorry to hear that you’ve had to abandon it, but it sounds like the right thing to do for now at least. But awesome about LS coming to PS3 and Vita. I’d love it if Sony incorporated getting a bunch of high-quality indie titles on Vita as part of their strategy, since I think it’s such a great handheld and I want to see it do well. Well anyways!

    Just another indie who has abandoned a lot of projects himself (some even almost finished but unreleased) that Catamites is definitely right, I think. Everything just gets recycled endlessly 🙂

    Maybe you can take some of the engine work you’ve done and just knock out something arcadey and cute? *wishful thinking* 🙂

  15. avatar

    Yes, trashed projects are barely wasted. I’m still sometimes copying code from a project I started in 2009 and trashed a year later. Good code never dies!

    Another thought, why not put the code into public, always a nice reference in your resumé.

    Or, if you by any happy coincidence, happen to have spare money, pay someone to continue working on it. Sketch the general idea, make a list of important tasks, answer their questions for a week and then let them work for a month. I have to try that once I’ve had a big seller 🙂

  16. avatar
    • Adam
    • November 12th, 2012

    LS on PS3 and Vita? Congrats Jasper, you must be really proud.
    Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

  17. avatar
    • Dadou
    • November 12th, 2012

    Too bad about NEW GAME+, it looked awesome!
    It’s cool about the LS port, but I was also hoping for some extra endings 😛

  18. avatar
    • taylor
    • November 12th, 2012

    it’s too bad that you have to abandon new game+, but like you say, when one door closes another opens!

    I eagerly await screenshot friday’s with your new rolling-based dating sim.

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