Saturday, June 24, 2017

Bye bye, my blog is stopped...!

It is difficult for me to manage several websites next to my activity of developer, from my portfolio to the Black Cube series, including The Icehouse Tumblr, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and so many more (forums, etc). For this reason I have taken the decision to stop updating this blog. For me it's a sad moment, because I was like at home here, it was MY website. It's been the main source of news for the Black Cube series for years, and it was convenient. But I must face the truth: there were not a lot of visitors, and it was difficult to spread the word about my projects from this blog. I'm sorry for all my followers who liked to come here (I know there were a few regular visitors here at the weekend), however it is more convenient for me to centralize most of my news and information in one single place, which is currently Facebook - and it could change in the future.

>> Black Cube News are now on Facebook <<

Don't forget to click on "follow the page" if you are a Facebook user. This is important if you want to show me your support, and to stay up to date about my next projects. There will be a lot of suprises in the next months/years (RealMYHA, Blue Moon, Boïnihi, Anterran 3, Kel Leda, ASA RJ, ATOS...), so please stay in touch!

This blog will remain opened after several years of good and loyal services. If you're a visitor who ended here with a specific reason, you may still find some info in the blog's history on the right. A lot of articles had been posted in order to share updates on my past projects (ASA, Myha, Catyph and Anterran 1&2 mainly).

See you soon on FB, or feel free to get in touch by email if you have specific questions!  

Thank you for following me during all these years, and for your continuous support!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

ANTERRAN episode 2 will release on November 9!

The 2nd short book of ANTERRAN will release on November 9th, 2016!

If you are not yet familiar with the ANTERRAN project, what is it?
It's a series of short comics that I have written in 2015, and that is being illustrated by artist John Carvajal.

These comics tell the past of the Anterran people, that is to say the creators of the Ark spaceship and the Black Cubes (yes, the ones you learn about in ASA). It takes place millions of years before the events of Terra and is a prequel to the mythology around the Cubes.


The inhabitants of planet Talifa have created the Sok'as, Black Cubes with great powers. Their use provoked the end of their civilization: "Day Zero"... In this post-apocalyptic jungle, a scientist named Stanl'ey takes care of young Oliv'r. Together, they try to survive, hiding themselves from the dangerous survivors who became mad: they call them Suk'rs. However an encounter with a mysterious girl might change everything.

If you want to be informed about this series of short comics, and eventually buy your own printed copies, you can visit the official page. ANTERRAN episode 1 is still available for free reading online. Episode 2 will be released on November 9! The production of the third episode should begin soon, for a release planned in the beginning of 2017...

Artist/Illustrator John Carvajal is currently in London. You can meet him at Thought Bubble festival in Leeds on November 5-6 where you will have the opportunity to discuss with him, and read in exclusivity the new 2nd book of ANTERRAN.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Catyph on Zodiac Store


What's better for a scifi/space game than landing on the Zodiac Store, where "every game is a star"? :)
I'm happy to say that Catyph is finally available on Zodiac, which should allow to most Italian adventure gamers to discover my 2nd Myst-like (the first one being ASA: A Space Adventure, as you probably know).

I have to admit that I am very excited, because I have received a lot of nice comments and encouragements from the Italian community during the past 3 years (including my friends Marina, Anna, Silvia, Simona, Andrea), so I hope you will enjoy this new game as much as the first one! If Catyph came to life after ASA, it was mainly thanks to your support. You made this game a reality!

On the other hand, I would like to tell you how I am disapointed for not being able to release Catyph in Italian language... And it will probably never happen. I was seriously thinking of a localization, but since I lost my work data (dead hard drive, see previous message), I have no way to make any changes in the game anymore... This is why it took so long for Catyph to release on Zodiac: I was waiting for the Italian texts to be included in the game, but now it is impossible. /sad

Friday, September 23, 2016

Catyph: Final version and price drop

Hello everyone,

I would like to warmly thank those of you who supported my work by purchasing Catyph and/or ASA. It really, really encourages me continuously when I see day after day that there are several passionate people all around the world who still enjoy 2D Myst-like games. Thank you!! As you know I have put a lot of efforts during the 2 years of development of Catyph, trying to please both the fans of the original Myst games and the fans of ASA. I know that some of the features in Catyph may be surprising (in the wrong way I mean - such as the Blue Matter System) but it's also part of the job of a developer to try new things. We don't want all the games to be identical! Other things could have been improved (gameplay/navigation), but I think it's important not to give up at the beginning of the game. The region of Kynan (that you can try in the playable demo) is far from being the most interesting and representative place of the game. imo

Also, I have decided to write this news in order to announce and explain a price drop. The game was originally released at $19.99 on Steam and you might have noticed the new price of $14.99. First I sincerely hope that you will not be furious if you paid the high price (at least keep in mind that it was the best way to support my work and it counts a lot).
The reason of this price drop is not related to the lack of success of the game, and it is not a marketting strategy. It is true that I didn't sell a lot of copies, but that was more or less expected with that kind of project, and my lack of exposure in the medias. Changing the price was not either a way to celebrate the end of Summer (who wants to celebrate the end of the most beautiful season? ;)

More seriously, if I chose to lower the price, it is because Catyph is now in its final version. What I mean here, is that I will not bring any new update to the game. Oh don't misunderstand me: I'd be willing to continue to fix bugs for you (happily there has not been any recent feedback reporting issues). But the truth is that it has become impossible: my backup hard drive recently died, and I lost all of my precious work data. I have found no way to recover it: both ASA and Catyph files are gone forever... It is a real pain for me and for my activity, as it will never be possible to use again the 3D models that I had created for these games.
Anyway, I am now in the incapacity to fix any new bug or issue, and to release any new update. As a result I have decided that the price couldn't stay the same, and I hope that you understand why I took this decision.

It was probably the last announcement about Catyph, and the price should now stay the same for a long while (except during special targeted events such as Steam Sales).
I wish that there will still be passionate people to get interested in these old-school games, which should continue to exist next to some more modern projects such as the recent (and very good) Obduction. That's also why we indie devs work hard: to bring diversity and different games - good or bad - but still different!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Catyph screenshots choice

This blog will seriously lack of news now that Catyph has been released. I will of course come back as soon as a new project is ready to reveal. In the meantime, you can follow me on Facebook to stay updated about the next Black Cube projects, here:

Thursday, July 21, 2016

My final Myst game


I would like to thank again everyone who supported me with ASA and Catyph during the past 3 years. 

The 2 games have received a warm welcome by the fans of the genre, even though they were far from perfect. I'm really moved that so many people understood what I tried to do with these games, and that they have been able to appreciate them at their true value. After 2 years of hard work on Catyph, I am quite proud of the result, of my creation, and of the feedback I received, even though I regret that the gameplay was still clumsy. I'm glad that the world of the game pleased several people all around the world, and that was my main reason for making games, so I'm truly happy. It's not something I can easily express, but I'm filled with emotions and this is all because I've been able to create a game on my own, that has been loved by several people from several countries. Thank you so much.

On the other hand, I'm also quite exhausted. I've been crossing the desert during several long months. I have been trying to create Catyph for a living, as a freelance indie developer, and it appears that it didn't work. I failed to get enough exposure in the press and on social networks, and despite the few positive reviews that were published, I couldn't reach enough people. Since my games are self-funded, and that I lose more money than I earn,

I have taken the decision to stop making "2d" Myst games, at least for a while, and on my own. Catyph was the final one.

I don't know yet what my future will look like, there are still many reasons for the Black Cube series to continue sooner or later in a different way, but I can't spend my personal money to create these games that most people won't play, won't like, or will never hear about.

I am aware that the market has evolved, and that most of the new Myst games are in realtime 3D, more impressive, more beautiful, (better?), but that is not the path I chose. I like to work on 2D games and prerendered 3D, they bring a different feeling and a bit of nostalgia. If they were good 15 years ago, why not now? Such wonderful games such as Obduction will certainly please a lot of players, but I cannot compete with these games, and I don't want to. I'd rather make something like The Longest Journey, if that was possible. But I understand the passion around full3D games, I'm playing them too!

I would like someday to try a cooperation on a full3D (realtime) Myst game for the fun, but I don't want these games to become the main direction of Simon Says: Play!. I will keep working on "2d" things and other different projects.

So what's next? Honestly, I don't know. First, I might have to find a job to earn money, even though it's not what I want after all the efforts I provided to build the Black Cube series and much more.
Then, I will think carefully of my next steps, and I might consider the Kickstarter option. It wasn't yet available in France in 2013 when we decided to work on TBT: The Black Tower, so there might be another chance now, with a different project? There's nothing sure. What I know for sure is that I gave all I had with Catyph, so it's time for something's different. It won't be TBT though, which I prefer to keep for later, with the hope that I can gather a talented team someday.

It is true that my games can seem quite expensive in price, in comparison to other indie games, but they are not just small games that you finish in 2 hours with no brain. There's a whole world to explore and a lot of things to do, particularly if you like puzzles and point&click adventures.

If you cannot afford to buy ASA or Catyph because of their too high price currently, which I can totally understand, it is however useless to ask me for a free Steam key (it has been the case quite often lately!). If you want a free adventure game, there are already a lot of them available on the web, or you can purchase older games for a lower price. If on the contrary you think that ASA and/or Catyph look interesting enough and deserve to be played, then please accept their current pricing and take in consideration all the time and efforts I've been spending into these games, on my own, at home, without any help from a publisher.

As usual, the price will drop down along the next few years.

If really you cannot buy the game of your choice now, because it is too expensive, there are other ways to support me. It is very important to do it if you like my projects (not only ASA and Catyph!) and want me to continue. I'm not asking for money, neither on Patreon nor any other way: you could for example ...

- ... spread the good word about ASA and Catyph on social networks and forums
- wait for Steam sales, and maybe a possible ASA+Catyph bundle with an interesting price
- tell your favorite game magazine that you enjoyed one of my games
- try to play Myha (free game) and see if you like it or not - it's a good introduction to the old-school 2D Myst genre with challenging puzzles!
- read the ANTERRAN comic book 1 for free online, and share the info here and there
- follow the news of my collective of indie artists, The Icehouse, on tumblr or facebook by linking through

Now I have to move forward, and at this time I consider that starting the development of a new first person point&click like ASA or Catyph is not the solution.

So yes, Catyph was my very last "retro" Myst game for a (long?) while, and I am really sorry if some of you were expecting a 3rd "ASA" game. I hope that I'll be able to keep working hard on new interesting things. The Black Cube series still has a lot of untold stories!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Greg's Collector Edition

Special thanks to Greg McLean, the owner of this Black Cube collector edition, made in collaboration with artist Kiboochan! It was such a pleasure to discover the game on your desk Greg, with all these projects gathered at the same place! 

Friday, June 10, 2016

All about Catyph

Everything that was said about the game has been summarized on The Icehouse:

Let’s end the week with a complete summary of the last news around Catyph, about things that happened since the release of the game on May 11th.

First of all, you can learn more about the game, and purchase it from the homepage:
You’ll find our Self-Published DVDs, the game on Steam and Humble.
We’ve also just added the game on, which will allow you to purchase and play without going through Steam: totally DRM-free!

You might also be interested in listening to the Original Soundtrack. Many people told us how they’ve been impressed by the quality of this OST, composed by the guys of Karreo. If you do like their work, don’t forget to support them with a bit of money (you can also download it for free, but your help will be very apreciated). At least, please consider adding a comment on their page :)

On another point, the Kiboochan/Black Cube special collector pack has been sold, and we would like to sincerely thank Greg for his purchase.
You might also want to check the artbook of Catyph. It contains the Making Of and almost all the pictures from the game, along with other artworks. Yes it’s expensive because it’s self-published on demand, but it’s beautiful with a very nice hardcover.

We don’t forget either the release of the first Anterran book in cooperation with artist John Carvajal! Still available to read online for free, or purchase your printed copy.

Simon has also published the complete walkthrough of the game. Very useful!

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of sites and people who talked of Catyph. Thanks a lot to each of you:
(dutch info and review)
Planète Aventure (french, Simon available on the forums)
Just Adventure (release announcement)
Game Sphere (french, info)
GoodGameAll (french, info, video walkthrough in progress)
Indiemag (french, game presentation)

And finally, a very long interview (in French…) with Simon, developer of the game. Read it here on Extralife!

Catyph walkthrough

Catyph is too hard? You need help but you don't find the answer anywhere? No problem, the walkthrough is now available.

Some of you might remember that I had shared a walkthrough with ASA in 2013: it was available as a bonus with the game, so everyone could read it immediately. Then why wasn't it provided again with Catyph? Several reasons:

- first, many people complained that the walkthrough was provided. It was too easy to look at it immediately at the first difficulty, and there was no need to build a community to help each other.

- second, there is the help system in the game, which is a kind of integrated walkthrough. It might not be perfect, but most adventurers should find here the answers to the most difficult puzzles.

- third, I wanted to try to be close to the players, and help them on forums when they ask questions. Unfortunately it didn't work because there hasn't been so many questions, and also I have been offline for over 3 weeks because of technical issues.

Anyway, it's been a month now that the game is released, and it would seem that several people are looking for a walkthrough to play with, so here it is:

Have fun!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Simon, are you there?

Yes I'm back! I must apologize for my long silence, which affected both the Black Cube series with the release of Catyph, and the Icehouse collective. What happened is that there has been a violent storm here on Friday 13th of May, which broke my internet access. Because of technical issues on the network of my web provider, I got stuck offline for 3 weeks, almost 4, without any way to browse the web. It happened only 2 days after the release of Catyph, so I was unable to bring support when required. I will try to catch up for lost time.