2014 was a bad year. What with gamergate, losing the referendum, the tories in Westminster and the rise of UKIP down south, it was hard to find much cause for optimism.
And then in December I learned about the new EU VAT rules coming into force on Jan 1st. The new laws effectively mean I can no longer afford to *legally* sell my games via itch.io, having only just started doing so this year. So, yeah, not a good year.
Anyway, onto the stuff I made this year (rough chronological order):
(unfinished) At the start of the year I took Hummingbird to Lucky Frame's Tacos, Bluegrass and Videogames event in Edinburgh. They built an awesome coffee table for it, and it seemed to go down well. They put on an amazing event all round :)
Following this I had plans to run a kickstarter for the game, and spent the next six months working on a pitch, only to find my motivation slowly, painfully ebbing away. Ultimately I had to conclude that I just don't have it in me to run a whole kickstarter campaign on my own; there's just far too much work involved if you want to do it right.
I made a dumb joke game for the Retro Remakes Videogame 50 compilation. It'll only make (vague) sense if you've played Robocod and remember the cheat/easter egg from the world map/castle.
Dark is Yonder Town
Having spent months painstakingly putting together the fancy fold-out books to go with it, I finally released my Dark is Yonder town album in February. It was pretty much ignored by everyone, but even so I feel it's one of the strongest, most mature pieces of work I've put out to date.
(unreleased) A weird 4-player football game that uses controller rumbles to pass hidden information to the players. Unreleased because I'm still yet to actually test it with four people...
You Have Mistaken Me for Something I Am Not
A short, minimally interactive poem based on parts of the Hummingbird code. Quite proud of this.
An 8-player cat-herding game I made for Ludum Dare 29.
A collection of seven gravity-themed local multiplayer games I made for the makega.me Series pageant. Released for Pay-what-you-want on itch.io (17 people thought it was worth paying money for), and shown at Feral Vector. Very proud of this one.
Lucky Frame and Abertay hosted a cool alternative controller workshop in June, and I made this daft race game where you have to hammer cardboard tubes.
(unfinished) A short-form abstract roguelike where everything in the game is encrypted. Was planning on releasing it in the New Year for £3 or so, but with the new EU laws, I guess that's not happening anymore. Part of the Leftfield collection at EGX London, written up in RPS, Vice.
A Diary of Whispered Truths
My take on the GREAT ARTIST genre. More of a musical instrument than its inspiration. Written about in Kill Screen, RPS. I also took this to GameCity, along with a fancy custom controller I built for it:
Also at GameCity I had a stall where I sold zines, Dark is Yonder Town, and the above fancy DVDs containing every game and piece of software I'd written to date. I sold about 2/3rds of the stuff I took with me, which is pretty good going, I think. It might have been nice to do more stuff like this, but I guess it's probably not going to happen now.
...and all those lonesome stars
A (massively?) local multiplayer deathmatch, supporting up to 80 players. I made this specifically for the Whispered Truths controller above, though it'll work with any keyboard/mouse combo.
Wake Up, Little One
...and one last game made in the week before Hogmanay. Deliberately a very light, undemanding thing.
For the past five years, I've been working part time in a supermarket and making games (etc.) in my free time. Originally my plan was to turn my gamemaking into a full-time business, but realistically that's not going to happen (especially now the EU have effectively prevented me from selling anything on the internet). So, starting January, I'm officially looking for work. If you know of any job opportunities for someone with my particular talents, I'd be very grateful if you could send them my way.
I'm afraid [encrypted] and Hummingbird are probably not going to see proper releases. Having put so much time into them I don't feel comfortable releasing them for free, and as established I have no way of charging for them without breaking EU law.