Posts Tagged ‘ superflat games

All Change Again

So if you’ve been following my twitter feed, you’ll have maybe noticed my recent announcement.

“I’m going fulltime indie again!”

I was sort of forced into doing it last time (around October last year) due to being made redundant following the release of Kinectimals.  During that time I made Soul Brother, but was re-hired at Frontier.  I began working here again in December, and have been for the last four months.  I’m working on a great project, which I can’t reveal of course, so really my choice has nothing to do with dissatisfaction from work.

During this time back in the industry, I’ve had plenty of time to think about the possibility of making the indie hobby into a career.  As I enter my mid-30’s, I realise I’m not getting any younger.  And as I have been given some financial leeway by the sale of Soul Brother, there really is nothing else stopping me from taking the plunge.

So, for the second time in a year, I’m announcing Superflat Games is my full-time job.  And this time for good hopefully!  I’ve set up a real business account, and put my life savings into it, which should keep me going for close to a year.  I hope to finish Legend of the Starmen in less than 6 months though.

I’m wasting no time, and have already begun serious work on the new game.  It’s already feeling quite fun and I have to stop myself playing it (a good sign, I hope!)  I have figured out the class system (there are three) and how the multiple weapons / items you can pick up work together.  As this is mostly code and design, there’s nothing new to show in screenshot form yet (well, ok, have some rocks:)

Anyway, I look forward to sharing proper progress with you guys.  And I suppose it’s a good time to announce I’ll be adding the usual Donate button to the site when I am self-employed next month.  If you’ve ever enjoyed my work or want to help me keep making it, you could always send a few bucks my way…  Money is a bit more of an issue being self-employed when you have a wife and child to support, but if I do ok from a future game I’ll be sure to take it down again!

Anyway, here’s to the future, beautiful games and indie life.

Superflat Games is now my fulltime job!

As per the post title, I’m no longer working for Frontier Developments, where I spent the last 2.5 years working on the Kinectimals project which launches in November I belive. I have decided to pursue my indie career, rather than look for new work within the industry, and I will be juggling that with my music career (as Sonic).

So, my plans are to:

1) Make a redux version of Psychic Prison Break with re-written dialogue (I wasn’t happy with it before), a few extra puzzles, and perhaps one or two more locations. I’ll be putting this up for sponsorship on Flash Game License.

2) Make another short adventure, which I’ve been wanting to do for a while. It’s a period piece set in a single bed and breakfast type building, and should be something a bit lighter for me. It’s also based on a period in my late father’s life. Again, put this up for license.

3) Meanwhile I’ll be working on Lone Survivor, which I’ve decided to make into a commercial release with a free demo online. I’m going to take my time over it, and make it the absolute best thing I am capable of making.

4) I’m also toying with Flash versions of Soul Brother and This Is How Bees Work. Both will be greatly enhanced and altered to fit the medium.

I’ll be putting up a donation button at some point in the near future to help kickstart my indie career (I had planned to take more time to save, but circumstances forced the move early). If anyone feels the urge to donate at that point, it would really help me support my wife and baby while bringing lovely games to you.

I’m going to make exactly the games I want to play, and never compromise in their content for commercial interests. I’m going to try to make games that touch on new subject matter. Adult games, for adults. I want to explore areas of interactivity that can be the only way to present certain stories. I want to tell stories most of all.

And so many stories have yet to be told, because of the youthfulness of this art form. Which excites me enourmously!

Ladies and gentlemen,


Stage 2

This is the fun part I’ve been waiting for, and slogging through all the nasty bits for…  It’s time to make the game proper!  Now I can enjoy the rest of the project a great deal more because it’s all about:

– making graphics

– making sound and music

– making levels

These parts are why I make games – programming and engines are all a means to an end – and I’m pleased to discover that the engine is adapting well to having lots of shiny new content thrown at it.

In that sense I really feel like I achieved my goal of reducing all the bullshit you have to do to get stuff into the game – it’s now just a case of coming up with the creative stuff, and getting it in there is [almost] pleasurable with the editor.

So far there’s heaps of new locations, sound and animation – but I’m going to hold off on releasing any more demos until I reach the closed beta stage.

I’ll leave you with a new screenie – recalling Soundless Mountain II in some ways (I like bathrooms, what can I say?)

In other news, there could be some wonderful things about to happen with Superflat Games – I will tell more when it’s confirmed – but suffice to say things could get quite a bit more serious in the coming months…

Soul Brother Is Coming…

So, thanks to the feedback of a select few talented game devs, the game is really taking shape.  It’s gonna be a little bigger than expected, but that’s ok – I get to work on it so little what with getting married next month that it never feels like a chore!  

I have a solid demo finished now, but still think it’s too early to release.  Want to polish the basic mechanics until they shine.  So far the feedback has been fairly good, so I’m excited about it.  It might just be that the people I have shown it to like that kind of game though, haha.

Anyway, here’s another sneaky shot of it (actually a bit out of date, I’ve dropped the bottom rainbow for clarity):

It should be out within two months hopefully.

what’s Amnesia all about?

Amnesia is a game I’ve wanted to make for ages… It’s in a pre-production phase and has changed from being a classic point’n’click to more of a Survival Horror title, partly due to the fun we had making Soundless Mountain II, and the fact that I now have a great artist to work with, ‘Lord’ P. Duncan.  The story is essential the same as the point’n’click I imagined, though – it’s about a Japanese man called Aruku re-discovering his identity through dreams and nightmares, in a recurring Groundhog day.  Solving puzzles ‘positively’ will give you a piece of a jigsaw puzzle that is white, solving them ‘negatively’ will give you a red puzzle piece.  When the puzzle is assembled you will regain your memory, although the ending depends on the makeup of your physical jigsaw puzzle.  

It deals with the theme of isolation from society so present in modern Japan (I lived in Tokyo until recently.)  In fact we hope to really tackle some issues about modem life with this game, the distance and loneliness people can feel even when surrounded by others.
Visually we’re using what we call a ‘Moving Mosaic’.  This is our tech term for chunky, grainy, dirty hand-drawn pixels with lots of noise and filtering.  As well as this we have dynamic 3D shadows, so the torchlight will be spectacular!  It still is very self-consciously low-res pixel art, but with a modern twist, scaled up 4 times as in SMII – although it is in a higher resolution than SMII and with no colour restrictions.  We’re using 3D cel-shaded characters, with a slightly Prince of Persia feel to the moment.  There will be a lot of ‘being chased’ in the game, and you’ll have to escape this unkillable antagonist time and again by any means necessary, pulling obstacles in his path, cutting rope bridges etc.  Dreams will range from flying to escaping a filthy prison, and that’s all I can give away at the moment!