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):
- whole new lighting engine, also supports 1 extra hardware light
- many locations have additional lights and / or tweaked lighting
- anamorphic lens flare for the flashlight
- new sleeping and game over music
- new title screen and game over screen
- 2 additional locations
- new gamma settings, saving of gamma and aspect settings
- new expert mode
- hundreds of small bug fixes, balance tweaks and improvements
- automatic monster-facing on gun-draw
- a few small easter eggs
- new short sidequest
- ending ‘collection’
- ‘The Ritual’
specific to New Game+:
- around 6 new locations
- 2 completely new endings
- 3 new songs
- over 20 new items
- 2 new sidequests
- new enemy
- new dialogue for all characters in the game
- many other easter eggs that are better left unspoilt
specific to PlayStation:
- trophies (including a platinum)
- cloud-save (cross-play)
- French & German languages (EU)
- Cross Buy (buy on one format, get both PS Vita and PS3 versions)
- controller support!
specific to PS Vita:
- touchscreen controls for inventory, option screen & textboxes
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: