23rd September 2014
Jobs and Opportunities
Since I took it upon myself to create & market my own game I've seen my skillset evolve. True, I'm no longer as practiced in the art side of things, but then I'm no longer just an artist. I've become a coder, musician, designer & marketeer, and it turns out that this varied skillset is more in demand these days.
On top of my Artist job for
, this summer I was offered the role of Sector Skills Champion at
The Studio School
in my hometown of Liverpool. Liverpool was always a hub of gaming creativity & the Studio aims to continue that tradition. To that end I'll be imparting what I've learned to the students & I'm dead excited about it! However, two part-time jobs does mean that I'll be cutting back on Psychotic video/text updates, but don't fret... while Psychotic has been relegated back to hobby hours, it always will be very much a thing!
4th September 2014
Power-Up is on STEAM!
It's been close to three years since I tentatively first set foot on this game development journey. I've experienced loads of amazing new things as a result, from running a Kickstarter to Podcasts, panels, bundles and blog features. I got to operate my own expo stalls and even take up invitations to meet my heroes.
However you look at things, it's been worth it. These three years have probably been amongst the most adventurous of my life and getting on Steam was certainly not in my thoughts when I set to work on that first evening in our back bedroom. I'm going to make some more games... I don't expect them all to do as well as this, butI am really greatful to have such supportive people following my progress and I hope you'll stick with me regardless. Now to get back to sorting Steam keys, but if you've been holding out for the Steam release...
here it is!
22nd August 2014
Power-Up Submitted For Steam Release
It's been a week of compromise, ups and downs, pros and cons. I never quite managed to get that award system coded in on time for the initial release, but on the upside I did get those Trading Cards, Badges, etc working, and the nice people at Valve gave me a few pointers to help me to have Power-Up ready for release day.
...Incidentally, that day happens to be a week today. Yes! Friday August 29th is Power-Up's official Steam release day. Of course, this all depends on Power-Up making it through the submission process, but I've been given plenty of direction with regards to getting the game approved I'm confident that everything will be primed and ready on the day and that Power-Up will get exposure to thousands of new people. ...Imagine that! I for one am very excited about it all!
I've done a new trailer and everything... Look!
4th August 2014
Daily Indie Game Bundles Power-Up
I'm always on the look out for a good bundle to offer my games on, but not being overly familliar with any one type of gaming, be it PC, console, retro, etc, I'm not always aware of the best distributors. As I always say, I'm learning as I go, so I'm always extremely greatful when said distributors get in touch with me.
That's exactly what DailyIndieGame.com did (or D.I.G for short). They had a look at Power-Up and they liked it, so they got in touch. As a result Power-Up is now featuring in
their latest bundle
along with 5 other great indie games at a very reasonable price and everyone's winning! So if you run a site with offers on indie games and would like to feature any of mine, feel free to drop me a line via my email address: email@example.com. I'd be more than happy to check your site out with a view to working together.
21st July 2014
Flix In Greenlight
I'm not one to rest on my laurels, me. So while Power-Up was in it's final stages of getting good n' greenlit, I decided to put my latest little offering Flix The Flea up for Greenlight too. Sure, I'm not expecting a cute platformer based on a very 8-bit experience to resonate in quite the same way but hey, it can't hurt?
Flix has been up for a few weeks now, but I was so busy getting it finished and Power-Up prepped for its Steam release that I didn't push Flix as hard as I should have. Through a combination of a somewhat unfamilliar game mechanic, relatively simple graphics and a genre that's not percieved as quite as cool as the SHMUP, I wasn't expecting much of a response to Flix... So I was rather surprised to find that my little bouncy friend has already racked up very nearly 10% of his Greenlight target. If you'd like to help him get there,
here's the link.
7th July 2014
Last Thursday I woke to a lone tweet congratulating me on getting Power-Up Greenlit. I was groggy, rubbing sleep from my eyes, possibly dreaming. I put my phone down, followed my morning routine and as my partner left for work I yawned that I'd had the strangest tweet. "Have you checked?" she said... No, I hadn't.
I opened up my email and guess what?! Those nice people at Valve had indeed greenlit Power-Up.... No, they had GREENLIT POWER-UP!!! I won't pretend for a moment that I wasn't moved by this news. It's been six months of hard work in the making, and it threw my schedule into havoc for a few days while I cooled down enough to figure out what the heck to do next. Well, I'm getting on top of all that now and I'm hoping to have Power-Up out on Steam in late August, but first, Thank you! If you voted, it's only there because of you... and here's the
23rd June 2014
After the relative success of my first game Power-Up in the Groupees bundle, I thought I'd investigate the possibillity of putting the game in a few more bundles. After all, it can't hurt and this project is as much about gaining experience as it is about making mountains and mountins of hard cash... which er, it hasn't yet.
So with that in mind, I wrote to a number of the good people at what I considered to be some of the good bundles. I'm sure I missed a few of course. As I say, this is all about learning what works for me and what doesn't, but it's also a great way to familiarise myself with what routes to market are out there too. So far this year I've also distributed Power-Up through
The Lazy Guys Bundle,
and while they're by no means as big as the big bundles, they're as up and coming as the indie scene itself and worth checking out if you're a developer.
9th June 2014
Power-Up in a Book!
Toward the end of last year, I was approached by a company called Eye For Gaming (or EFG for short). They informed me that they were responsible for an up and coming magazine and asked me very politely if I'd like to get involved with a book they were hoping to get out there into the world. In short, I was well up for it!
I was a little worried when they asked me for examples of my designers' ideas, concept artists' concepts, my modellers' models, etc. My concept artist was me. My modeller was me, my designer... you get the idea, and if I'm honest, I gave none of these fields the specialist time and attention I felt they deserved. Being a one-man studio is like that sometimes. Still, I couldn't help but be dazzled by the fine job that the EFG guys did with the art I sent. Take a peek if you like. It's called "The Art and Design of Video Games." ...It's awesome,
and you can get it here.
27th May 2014
Judging At GradEX14
Some of you will probably remember that at the back end of 2013, I was invited to share a bit of my experience as a one-man games developer who's aspiring to be a successful one-man games developer with the students at Stafford University. Well, some of those students are graduating now, and they just did a show!
...and what a show it was. I was asked to judge work in the Games Design and Production section and while time restrictions didn't allow me to visit every exhibit, my brilliant guide Adrian organised my day making sure I got to natter with designers, developers and general creatives in a wide range of disciplines from procediurally generated worlds and destructible terrains to impressive tabletop dogfighting planes and even a game for cats! It was very inspirational stuff and a brilliant day outta my stuffy office.
you can see the catalogue here.
13th May 2014
Play Blackpool - What A Show!
Well, it's the last of this Spring's shows for me. I feel I've thoroughly tested the water with regards to which show style works for me and how best to prepare for them. Erm, on top of that, I've pretty much run out of money and think I'd better wait and see a return on my games before I commit to more of these expensive expo thingies.
I have to say though, while my Power-Up Greenlight really only seems to benefit from a small-event/big-screen combination, I particularly enjoyed this year's huge
retro show, partly for the awesome collection of arcade cabinets & consoles, partly for the great retro bargains I got, but mostly for the people! I shared a stand with the brilliant
Ste ZSK Dix,
had a long chat with the mighty
and even did several in depth interviews with the likes of
Chimps At Play
and the legendary
I had a thoroughly top time!!
2nd May 2014
Well we did it! It was a long, hard slog from this end and there were times I was reserved to the undeniable fact that it wasn't going to happen, but despite it all, once again you guys came through for me and Flix The Flea made it respectably out the other side of the Kickstarter process in the end.
On one hand I was beginning to see it as something of a relief that Flix was falling short, while on the other hand I was feeling a little dissapointed about it all, thinking I'd done everything I could to get word out there. That was until my friends and family reminded me that I had in fact NOT done everything I could. I'd forgotten the first rule of Kickstarter: go to your friends and family! The people who want you to succeed the most. So I did, and that really got the ball rolling. So much so that... well,
see for yourself.
In short, thank you guys.
21st April 2014
Considering the massive effect of the RetroCollect Fair on my Power-Up Greenlight campaign in March, I decided to test the water with some more shows, committing lots of my weekends and my money to the cause, and attending another bunch of shows in the hopes of getting lots more Power-Up QR codes out there.
Now first and foremost, it looks like neither of the two shows I'm about to mention had quite the effect on my Greenlight campaign that RetroCollect did, but we'll come to the whys and wherefores in later posts as I get more data to work with. That said, these were both amazing experiences in themselves. First, the
show in Salford's MediaCity was a superb opportunity to meet and greet a lot of my contemporaries, while the
Event in the Ricoh Stadium, Coventry was a great chance to see how the big LAN-Based shows operate.
2nd April 2014
After weeks of spellchecking, award-tier-finetuning, and the updating screenshots and video clips alike - as I've been improving on the look and feel of the game, it's now safe to say that the Flix The Flea Kickstarter has officially launched! For the next 28 days you'll get your chance to pick up an advance copy of Flix for just £1!
There are loads of other brilliant award tiers too of course, and I'm happy to see that they're all being snapped up nicely. In just one day we smashed my 20% target, funding one fifth of the whole game straight away! Fantastic! With another 28 days until the campaign closes on May 1st, I have a good feeling that you guys will come through for me in a style that might even put last year's Power-Up kickstarter to shame! If you're totally in the dark as to what I'm on about, why not find out if Flix The Flea ticks your gaming boxes
over at my Kickstarter page.
24th March 2014
The ICG & IGDA Conference in That-London
The Indie Games Collective! That's what it stands for... and it sounded far too cool and exclusive a club for the likes of me, so I'd all but written myself off as unworthy of the event, then I was rather surprised when the organiser issued a personal invitation to me on Twitter stating that people like-me-was exactly who it was for!
Despite my nerves and the nasty sting I took on the cost of London transport, I actually had a really good time. Pearls of indie wisdom were dished out by the likes of green Man Gaming, Pocket Studios and Roll7 Games and between the sessions there was plenty of time for kicking back and having a good natter with my Inide peers... not to mention finally meeting my social media contemporaries in person and seeing some of their faces for the first time. If you're a UK Indie Dev and want to meet the community, look out for the next one
it's the place to be.
20th March 2014
Power-Up on Groupees
After a week or so on the front page of the Humble store, I began to wonder what Power-Up's chances were with regards to getting it a place on one of those fangled bundle thingies, so I began to do a little research into the subject... and it turns out there are a lot of good bundles, and Power-Up is right up their street.
...so understandably, it made me particularly happy when I recieved an email from Groupees, inviting me to feature Power-Up on their famous "Build A Bundle" pack. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing with regards to contracts and protocols I was happy to provide Groupees with the Power-Up assets and codes they needed (at the time of writing it's still not quite through the Greenlight process). Getting those codes sussed and sent was a lesson in itself, I can tell you, but one I think I've mastered now. If you want to see how we did,
here's the link.
15th March 2014
Power-Up at The RetroCollect Market
This last weekend saw in the first ever RetroCollect event over at Leeds town hall. The organisers told me they were expecting a couple of hundred people... yeah er, they had a few more than that. turns out there's a big retro-revival happening and the 1500 strong queue around Leeds town centre was testement to it!
I was very kindly invited to the event and felt strangely at home as a lone games developer in amongst all the sellers. I went there to give Power-Up's Steam Greenlight campaign a bit of a push and had decided that an extra 1 to 2% of the "yes" votes I needed would be brilliant. The event pushed the campaign up by a whopping 8%!! I know, right?! Just amazing. Almost as amazing as the stack of Megadrive games I brought home. What an event!... and I hear they're doing it all again!! If retro's your thing, do yourself a favour and
check it out.
27th February 2014
Power-Up Hits PC
A couple of months ago, I put my little game Power-Up on the long and grinding Steam Greenlight journey... realising that this was going to take a while I decided to release the game early provided there was a heartfelt push to get Power-Up to 50% of its greenlight target by Feb 27th... And guess what, there was.
Sure, we haven't quite hit that 50% mark yet... that's a BIG ask for a small fish like me, but 47% is more than I expected. I think you guys have more than earned it so as of Feb 27th Power-Up is available from all good PC portals. So far these include
Desura, IndieGameStand, FireFlower Games, Itch.io, Gameolith, IndieCity, GetGamesGo and ShinyLoot,
I'm also assured that Power-Up will soon be making an appearance on the Humble Store, so watch out for that! Them's the download options... enjoy the game!
11th February 2014
Preview Copies Out, Videos In
In a bid to get the word out about the Power-Up Greenlight campaign, I thought it would be a good idea to put 50 preview copies of the PC game up for grabs via Twitter, on the off chance that members of YouTube, Twitch, and other video based communities might fancy doing the odd let's-play or video review.
...and they didn't let me down! It took just three days to completely run out of preview copies, and the live let's plays & pre-recorded videos are already beginning to come in. In fact, between the PC and XBLIG versions of the game, so many great Power-Up vids are out there that I'm losing track... So to counter that, I've started a playlist. If you'd like to see previews of Power-Up in action and hear what people are saying, you'll find the playlist at my
31st January 2014
An Early PC release for Power-Up?
So, the Steam Greenlight campaign is going pretty well, and when I'm comparing the stats for Power-Up to the stats of the other Steam contenders I really have no cause for complaint. We're just over a month in and the campaign is at almost 40% of the yes votes it needs to be in with a chance of a release on Steam...
Still, exposure is the name of the game, and getting more people to the page and voting "Yes" is what it's all about. So how about this?... Feb 28th is my birthday and I like good things to happen on my birthday, so if you guys get Power-Up to 50% by the day before (that's the 27th), I'll release the game into the wild on as many good PC portals as I can!! Now, I can't say fairer than that, eh?
If you want to get Power-Up early, send all your mates
8th January 2014
Power-Up Arrives on Steam Greenlight
So I couldn't resist. I jumped the gun a bit and submitted Power-Up for Steam Greenlight a little bit earlier than expected, which meant that I spent half of my christmas holidays in the company of my family and half in the company of my online friends in a bid to get the campaign underway... and I'm glad I did!
With over 3,000 of the estimated 10,000 "yes" votes needed to get a game published through Steam Greenlight, it looks like Power-up is already over a third of the way there, and while things have slowed down a bit since the innitial holiday boost, it's great to watch those "yes" votes sneaking up hour by hour in a determined expression of solidarity from my friends and supporters.
If you'd like to see Power-Up on Steam, you can register your "yes" vote
20th December 2013
Power-Up to be "Indie" Published
It's been a great few months. I've met with publishers large and small, famous and infamous. See, I took a punt on an email to the big games publishers that I'd like to work with. From ones who were publishing when I was little to the biggest and brightest of today's industry. I wasn't particularly anticipating a response from anyone...
Turns out there's a few established publishers who consider indie games an important part of the industry going forward, so we had a chat.
The trouble is, they're just not ready yet. Currently, the bigger companies see Power-Up as too small a return on the costs of their huge marketing machines while the smaller ones are simply not equipped to provide anything that I can't do myself. Ultimately, Power-Up is better off going it alone, so I plan to submit the game to Steam greenlight myself in early January! Watch out for the launch.
13th December 2013
The PsyPsite Has Landed
Strange and paradoxical as it may be for my first published news story to be about the launch of the site that contains said news story, it's still pretty big news from my point of view, and hopefully for everyone who's been following my work so far. At the very least, this post should serve to nicely punctuate roughtly when it all came about.
Well, this is it! Psychotic Psoftware's very own website! Have a prod around and I'm sure you'll find that the site has grown a fair whack from its humble beginnings in 2011 as my one-man company's social media hub with simple links to my blog, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts. The site is fast becoming a source for all things Psychotic including the games, the merch and info on me and my upcoming projects. If you stick around, I daresay you'll see Psychotic Psoftware grow into something even bigger and better still...
9th December 2013
Guest Lecturer?... Who, Me??
I've worked with people from all over the industry. some are doing their own freelance thing these days, others are making AAA games on the other side of the world, one of my good mates is a games lecturer in a university... Still, mate or not, it was one flippin' heck of an honour when he invited me over to do a guest lecture!
"It's alright" I thought, "I know my stuff. I'll talk about me, my game, & my Kickstarter. Hmm, better make a few notes though so I don't repeat myself or get nervous and lost." ...and that's when I realised just how tough this lecturing lark can be. It took me the best part of a week to get myself in order, not to mention the business of understanding my own shorthand in a bid to appear natural. The students and staff were very gracious about it all, but I've a new level of respect for the lecturers in
Computer Games Design and Programming at Staffs Uni.
16th November 2013
Power-Up Does The Platform Expo
There have been some wonderful changes for the better within the games industry of late. One of my favourites is the ever-improving recognition and inclusion of us indies as a vital part of the industry as a whole. The guys organising The Platform Expos really do embody that spirit and their latest Expo proves it!...
By offering free exhibiting space to penniless start-ups like me The Platform crew went above and beyond, even making custom banners for my display which brought a sense of consistency to the event and legitimacy to my little shoestring operation... not to mention hundreds of fresh new players. It has to be said that the creative drive of Hull's games industry and the forward thinking exhibited at the Platform Expos goes a long way to justify the city's position as City of Culture and an upcoming hub for Video Games. Hats off to
this awesome Expo.
1st November 2013
Power-Up Gets an XBLIG feature
So my first little one-man game, Power-Up hit Xbox Live Indie Games on Friday 13th of September to a series of awesome reviews and a lot of very happy customers. It was good news all round and while I'm yet to recieve any official sales figures the number of downloads was has been healthy, rising on a daily basis.
Great as this was, things were about to get even better. While I was on the train home from the Norwich Games Expo I began to notice a bit of noise coming from Twitter regarding Power-Up on XBLIG. Before I'd properly sussed what was going on for myself, my partner Jo cleared up the mystery, sending the attached photo. It's official! At the time of writing, Power-Up really is on the front page of the Xbox Live Indie Games marketplace. Now, that can't be bad, can it?!
Want to check out Power-Up on Xbox Live? Well you can...
15th October 2013
I only went and did a games Expo!!
This year saw in the first Norwich games Expo as part of the Norwich Sound & Vision Festival... and it was my very first expo too. The guys there were kind enough to invite me as a guest speaker on the "Successful Kickstarters" panel. I manned the panel with Nicoll Hunt, the developer better known as the brilliant
"I Fight Bears".
We shared some tales of our repective kickstarter campaigns and a jolly good time was had all round. After the panel I had a bit of time to chat with the other indie developers about their work, in particular I made firm friends with the
guys, before making a mad dash for my train home, I also had my little mind blown when Power-Up featured on the big screen! Amazing! I might have to do these things more often... If you're interested in the Norwich Games Expo and would like to know more about it, check out
1st October 2013
The Power-Up Soundtrack On Bandcamp
I've recieved a lot of great feedback for the Power-Up soundtrack. In fact, the demand was so high during my Kickstarter that I decided to make the soundtrack available as an extra award tier, and in completing the high definition version for my backers, it only seemed fair that I made it available everyone! so I have...
If you particularly enjoyed the intense orchestral/ choral/ techno hybrid offerings of my Power-Up soundtrack, you'll find it over at the Bandcamp site for a DRM-Free download straight to your favourite music player. It consists of all of the games interludes, level tunes and big-boss-beats in one neat little audio package, or if you prefer, you can just download your favourite tracks individually.
The digital download of "Power-Up - The Soundtrack" is out there now and you can get it
13th September 2013
Power-Up for Xbox is GO!
For somewhere in the region of to two years of my free time while employed, & half-days while looking for my next job, I've been toiling away at a labour of love: My first XNA game, Power-Up. The whole thing started as a hobby really. A learning exercise in making an indie game for XBox 360 using Microsoft's XNA framework.
When I lost my job back in January, the project shifted from free-time fun to a serious bit of graft with an end goal: The possibility of an actual honest living and a decent quality of life for me and mine (or at least a foundation for all that). I'm still working toward my goal and with this in mind, I finally released the XBox Live version of Power-Up on Friday 13th of September. Unlucky for some, but not for you lucky people... or me for that matter. Here's hoping!
Got an Xbox 360? ...Want to play Power-Up on it??
...here's the place to go!
5th September 2013
This Summer I was contacted by games industry recruiters Yoh and asked if I'd like to enter their #ShowYohStuff contest. The brief was pretty straight forward, to figure out, and to use this Vine app-thing that all the cool kids were talking about to make a quick mobile video that would encapsulate my game in just six seconds.
JUST SIX SECONDS?? ...Now I know how Doc Brown felt when confronted with the task of generating 1.21 Gigawatts! But true to style, I was sure it could be done. Who knows Power-Up better than me after all, right? ...So separating each of the five levels into one-second shots of the action and throwing one of the front-end logo into the bargain for a spot of memorable branding, I entered, inviting my brilliant twitter and facebook friends to check out the page and vote for their favourite clip... I didn't actually expect Power-Up to go and