Posts Tagged ‘ Lone Survivor

The Golden Joystick

Hello, my friends.  It’s been a fair old while since I wrote, and I’m sorry for that!

Things have moved very fast this year, it’s hard to believe so much has happened.  In the last few months I’ve been doing various things, in amongst the continued support for LONE SURVIVOR.  I guess I should start with that…

So first of all I’m really proud to announce that LONE SURVIVOR has been nominated fora Golden Joystick in the ‘Best Downloadable Game’ category!  This really is the greatest honour, something I never believed I might ever achieve.  Actually, this award is voted for by the public, so if you like you can head over to:

http://www.goldenjoystick.com/awards/best-downloadable

… and even though I probably don’t have any hope against some of the amazing games selected, your vote would definitely be appreciated! :)

… As well as this, the game has been selected to be exhibited in Fantastic Arcade, and I’ll be in Austin, Texas this month from the 19th-26th to meet some of my US / Canadian brethren, eat BBQ, and generally enjoy the Southern hospitality!

http://fantasticfest.com/news/entry/fantastic_arcade_official_game_selections_announced

If you’re going, let me know and we can meet up!  The show itself runs from the 20th-23rd.

I’ve also been getting the art cards finalised.  It’s taken quite a few print runs to get them right (including throwing away a whole batch which got cropped wrong.) Anyway, they arrived with me the day before I came on holiday (where I now am, in Spain.) I plan to get these out as soon as I return, and I’ll be sending a final email to all the supporters when I do, in case of any final address changes.

Besides that I’ve had to do a lot of business stuff, setting up Superflat Games as a Ltd. company etc, stuff I don’t really understand, which scares me a lot, but of course I have to do.

I’ve also been doing a fair bit of music. I’ve put some love back into my studio space and made it a much more pleasant place to work.  I made a couple of tunes for my good friend and idol, Jonatan ‘cactus’ Söderström, for his new game, Hotline Miami (also selected for Fantastic Arcade, so hopefully we finally get to meet), which seems to be blowing up right now, and I can tell you guys, from watching it develop, that it lives up to the hype in every way!

Been doing some 140bpm tunes under the North Base moniker too (which mainly consists of four other friends from Manchester, one of whom, Silver, was my drum’n’bass partner for about ten years) … some of which have been signed, others still in the works.  Really enjoying making music for the sake of making music again.

One I did a few months back with them, called Acid Flashback, has recently come out on Wheel & Deal records: http://www.beatport.com/release/ruffneck-acid-flashback/904623

And then there’s the games which aren’t LONE SURVIVOR.  Well, I’ve started about four different games now (none of which have names yet besides XO3D), and all are currently on hold while I work out what it is I really want to spend the next few years doing.  I just don’t see myself making shorter games, they always end up large in scope somehow.  So I want to be absolutely sure I’m making something I’m still going to enjoy in a couple of years!

I may choose to enter LS into IGF again this year, I guess I figure that it was only half finished last year, or at least the beginning was not in a good shape, so now it is final, I figured I’d give it one more shot?

Anyway, that about brings it up to date. Thanks once again for your support, and all the kind messages you’ve sent.  I really never expected it to reach so many people, and as I’m sure I’ve said before, I’m awed and humbled.

Art Cards & New Projects

Hello everyone!

I’ll be mailing out the art cards soon… but there is one final decision to be made.

I’ve looked at various treatments for producing the thing.  Fine art papers (wrong texture, needed to be smoother), highest quality photo papers (very nice print, but still like a photo and quite thin), and lastly actual postcard printing (haven’t seen the sample, but I imagine the print quality is less fine, but it’s a nice card that you can put up somewhere.)

It’s a toss-up between the photo print or the postcard print, so I’m really calling for all you First Aid owners to suggest what you’d like!  Either way, I’m going to submit it for printing next week, so if you have a strong opinion, chime in now!

I personally feel, even though I haven’t seen the postcard sample, that the lower dpi won’t matter that much, I’m assured the colour balance should be identical, though.

So, would you rather a super sharp but photo-like print, or a physical postcard, sturdy but less detailed?  Answers on a … er … comment down below!

Have you moved house recently, First Aid Edition owner?

As per the title, and if you’re a proud owner of 1 of 200 ‘LONE SURVIVOR – First Aid Editions’ ever made, have you moved house recently? I’ll be needing your new address, then, to mail this lovely card!  Please write to:

support (at) lonesurvivor.co.uk


… making sure to use the subject line “First Aid Move” or something pretty obvious so I can tell it’s not an update request etc, including your new address.

Thankyou all for supporting the game when it first launched, it’s been an unbelievable few months since then!  Thanks also to those who’ve recently got it through the Steam and HIB sales, and welcome to the world of LONE SURVIVOR.

In other news…

I’ve been working on this for a while, but just recently decided to abandon it, for no other reason other than it didn’t get me super excited.  I may return to it and add what I planned to, and it may become something exciting because of that, just not right now.

So I started working on this – although it’s nothing more than a few bits of art and some vague ideas at present. For some reason, and maybe it’s just the the UK summer finally decided to show its face, a couple of months late, that I really want to explore some nostalgic Blue Sky™ right now!

Who knows where it will take me…

Steam Summer Sale / Day One Indie Bundle

http://store.steampowered.com/sub/15378/

Get LONE SURVIVOR, Cave Story+, EDGE, Anomaly: Warzone Earth and The Baconing for $10!  For the next two hours!  (Sorry, my site & email were down…)

Or…

http://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/209830/

LONE SURVIVOR itself is 35% off for the next 9 days, the cheapest it’s been on its own!  (Under a fiver!*  You can’t go wrong! Etc!) *UK

About other stuff…

I’ve been working on my new thing, a shooter which spilled over from 7dfps.  I’ve just got the engine done and I’m pretty excited about it!

About Lone Survivor Updates (support@lonesurvivor.co.uk)

Please bear in mind that they are coming in much slower now, but I’m still doing them in batches of ten or twenty to keep things methodical.  This means your update can slip for a few days sometimes, depending on how many come in around that time – but it will come through eventually!  As I’ve done thousands of these by hand, some have slipped through the net and I apologise for that, please just send your Fastspring order code starting with SUP-xxxx through and I’ll reply with your update key in the next batch.

About First Aid Edition Art Cards (UPDATE)

I forgot to mention that I’ve found a printing company that’s going to do the kind of quality I’m after.  It’s all going to be by hand and I’m even going to be going down there to help trim and crop the cards when they’re done!  They’ll probably be about 8 inches across, and printed on art-grade materials, either the finest photo paper or 308gsm art-print paper, depending on how they turn out.  I’m still waiting to get samples done, and tweaking the print itself (not much to do, just get the framing right and colour balance for print.)

The only downside is I will end up spending more on this than I imagined, and eating into the actual money set aside for freeware work, although it’s all very grey, and I’ll sort of do it as and when it fits anyway, without a specific budget.  I want to enter more jams this year, to keep myself agile, and I will roll out the rest of LS3D and release it for free at some point (I don’t plan to add much, perhaps a second monster, maybe some more foods, but the main thing is really just having some text between levels.)

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!