Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Catyph on Steam: Thank you!!

Thanks to the votes of many of you who follow my work on Catyph, I am very happy to confirm that the game has been greenlit on Steam on December the 29th 2014. As a result, you can expect a release of CATYPH: The Kunci Experiment on Steam in 2015, and on self-published DVDs on the Icehouse shop! I will give more details as soon as possible.

2015 will be the year of the Black Cube series, with several projects to come:

- ASA: Remastered Edition will release on Steam and self-published DVDs in February/March

- Catyph will release on Steam and self-published DVDs in 2015

- The original book (novel) The Tower in the Space (temporary title) will release on the Icehouse shop in 2015

- 2 other projects created by other teams of indie developers might be revealed (Ape Marina and Luminy Studio, Friends of the Icehouse)

- TBT: The Black Tower Prototype was just shared as a gift for free and I still have hope to work on it from scratch sooner or later.

For more details about these projects, please come back on this blog from time to time, or just follow The Icehouse collective to receive the latest news. As you can see, the Icehouse is more and more involved in the distribution of my projects, so I think it's a good idea to learn more about my small creator's collective if you plan to purchase one of my games someday! www.theicehouse.fr

Once again I'd like to thank you A LOT for your continuous support and for voting for ASA and Catyph on Steam, and I wish you all the best for 2015. Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Download TBT The Black Tower prototype

Hey everyone, if you are subscribed to the Icehouse Newsletter, you probably discovered that we have decided to share the playable version of TBT: The Black Tower for Christmas! Some of you here may still remember about this project and how it failed, but yet it's not totally dead. It is sure that it will never ever release in the current state (which is probably better), and maybe it won't be a JRPG at all (?), but I don't know yet!

First I need to focus on CATYPH and ASA: Remastered Edition, and then if possible, I will try new projects. Oh, just a reminder: TBT is also part of the Black Cube series :)

Please read the details about TBT and download the short early dev build on the Icehouse shop (for free), or directly on itch.io

Have fun, and happy Christmas holiday to all of you! -Simon

Monday, December 8, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Catyph - Raju screens #1

It’s been a long time since I shared the last new pictures of Catyph. Let's forget for a while the upcoming release of ASA: Remastered Edition on Steam! Today’s new screenshots are from region Raju, a place of low hills, where blue cobalt covers the sand. The dunes are surrounded by a sea of liquid mercury, making strange metallic bubbles in the sky. Somewhere in the back, a very old and rusty spaceship had crashed long ago. It came from planet OT, and there are probably some mysteries to uncover about it…

Catyph: The Kunci Experiment is a Myst-like / 1st person adventure game telling the story of a Terran astronaut who landed on a moon called Tytaah.  He will visit several regions, each of them being very different. Raju (above), the sea of Mercury. Kynan, the red desert of incessant rains. Saad, the forest in a crater. Vysynia, the high snowy mountains. Darnaha, the rocky islands. And Palak (an unrevealed region yet), a volcanic continent with a palace to visit. The game Catyph will release in 2015.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

miniblob & ASA

This is just a quick note for my french followers. If you have followed the progress of ASA since its beginning, you probably know that the game was reviewed on JeuxVideo.com some time ago. And if you know JVC, you probably know one of their writers: Miniblob. I'm sure you saw him at least once in a Gaming Live of real Myst, or a video about Riven!
Well I just wanted to let you know that Miniblob has played ASA too. He liked the game and decided to write an article on his blog. You can read it (in french) on the blobosphere here:

ASA, un hommage appuyé à Riven qui ne laisse pas indifférent

Thank you Miniblob ;)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Exhibition in Montpellier (France)

Some time ago, my friends Olivier & Cécile (Atelier Sentô) convinced me to submit 2 pictures for a contest: the Game Art Exhibition 2014. One of them was selected \o/

It has been printed on a 1 meter square canvas, and is visible among many other works from other artists at the Fabre museum in Montpellier, France, from November 17th 2014 (today!) to January 4th 2015 (at least!).

This artwork, from game ASA: A Space Adventure, was also used as the cover of the ASA graphic artbook, that is available in the Icehouse shop. A good way for me to celebrate the upcoming Remastered Edition of my game!

Thanks to the people who apreciate my work, and I wish all the visitors have a good time at the museum.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

ASA: Remastered Edition

As anounced in the previous article, I have an important news today.

ASA: A Space Adventure (that you probably know well, now?), will finally release on Steam in Q1 2015. And not only the game will be on Steam, it will be a Remastered Edition!

ASA: Remastered Edition will try to fix the different issues of the original game. You can check the 2 trailers below:

ASA: Remastered Edition will have the following new features:

- updated HD graphics 1920x800 (original game was 1024x432!)
- Entirely redeveloped with Visonaire Studio by indie developer Andrea Rinaldi
- More flexibility and stability
- We've added visual aids to identify the hotspots (can be disabled)
- More translations, no need to patch! (English, French, Italian, Spanish and German)
- Available for Windows, Mac and Linux

The game will release on Steam, but we will also try to release it on GOG. It is still too early to know if it will be possible.We also plan to release a self-published DVD version on the Icehouse shop (http://shop.theicehouse.fr).

Of course, everyone who purchased ASA Original Edition (digital) before this announcement will have the possibility to request a free copy of the Remastered Edition. They will receive a free Steam key by email. But please wait for the release of the game before asking for it! I won't answer to these requests now.

You probably understand better why I have been tired lately. As a result, I am sorry to say that Catyph is now officially delayed to 2015. However the development is going great, and I am very happy with some of my ideas of puzzles, so I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I ask you a bit more patience now! Thanks!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Hi everyone! There is still some time to wait before the release of Catyph and I am very sorry for keeping you waiting. However, I am happy to announce that my collective of indie artists The icehouse has just opened a small shop.

You won't find a lot of things on it for the moment, but there are at least 2 products that could be interesting if you can afford them:

The first one is a self-published DVD retail of ASA: A Space Adventure. It is more or less the same version than the one on Desura and GamersGate. The DVD is not protected, you can make copies and share them with your friends and family.
However, I would recommend not purchasing this DVD today, as tomorrow I will make a major announcement that could influence on your decision!

The second one is a kind of artbook gathering most of the backgrounds from ASA, with wireframe views comparison, some work in progress and other pictures. The book contains almost no text, except for a preface in english, which summarizes the different steps of the project.
This book is quite expensive because of self-publishing costs, so you should probably buy it only if you really enjoyed the art of ASA.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

The point on the development

I'm sure that the development of Catyph must seem very slow, and that some of you are starting to wonder when the game will release and what's happening. But I'm also sure that you understand how difficult and exhausting it is to create a game alone, at home!

The truth is that the development is going very well, but I've been a bit tired lately. After some small health problems, I have to be more careful and I think the game will be delayed to 2015. This is not official yet, I still need to see how the project will progress in November, but it's more likely I won't make it this year... The production of the graphics, in particular, is taking much more time than I expected. Moon Tytaah is much more vast than the Ark in ASA, plus there are video transitions between your different moves within the game. As a result, it takes me longer than I thought to build everything. 

Also, Visionaire Studio is a great engine to develop adventure games (because it's not expensive, and doesn't need a single line of code), but it has some interface problems that make the workflow very slow, compared to Adventure Maker that I had used to create A Space Adventure. Finally I expect to lose a lot of time on the localisation process, because working on texts is always complicated. I hope you understand.

All these reasons are, in my opinon, a proof of quality: better gameplay, HD graphics, 5 languages, a vast world to visit... I prefer to take more time and work carefully, in order to make Catyph the game that we all expect, even if it means releasing the game later. So please don't be disapointed if I delayed to 2015. On top of that I may have other surprises to share in the meantime. And hey! don't forget that I'm working with no money on Catyph: it's an homemade game, it's very difficult to work in these circumstances :)

If you are interested in Catyph and can't wait for it's release (really? Thank you so much! Let me know by email), I'm sure there are different things you can do actually:

Read the Catyph Making Of
which is starting to be quite complete (I have finished the Production stage).

where you can follow my different works and other artists'. The icehouse is a collective I have co-founded, so I'm very active with them. And maybe you could even subscribe to our Newsletter?

which is an early playable version of the game, even if it's very short and limited!

of the game, such as the short film or the trailers, or maybe my other short films? There are 25 on Vimeo.

that is a cooperative comic book in progress. I'm sure you saw MVEM somewhere if you played ASA! 

Indeed, don't forget that the game was Greenlit on Steam, so it should (re)release soon. I have finally received an EIN number that allows me to sell on Steam. It was difficult!

Now as you can see I am working on many different things. All I could add is that I am very happy with some of my ideas of puzzles, and I'm sure you will love them too (or hate them!). So now let's wait a little while and maybe I will know more about the exact release date of the game?

To conclude, I would like to share with you this series of screenshots, that summarizes the different views that I have shared since the month of April on this blog.

Friday, October 10, 2014

New Darnaha screens #2

More screens of game Catyph, region Darnaha. There should soon be a last post with new ones... Thanks for following!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

New Darnaha screens +wire

Here are 2 new screens of region Darnaha in Catyph, with wireframes to see the difference before/after the rendering with textures. More screens should arrive soon as I have finished working on Darnaha.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

End of Facebook pages of ASA & TBT

This is important: 
I am soon going to close 2 old pages on Facebook.

- The page of ASA: A Space Adventure (here)
- The page of TBT: The Black Tower (here)

These 2 pages have no reason to exist anymore, since there is a global page for The Black Cube series. ASA and TBT are both part of this series, such as Catyph, so you can find all the news regarding these projects on a single page :

Facebook page of The Black Cube series

Or you can, of course, follow these projects on this devblog.
This will make things a little easier for me to manage. 
Thanks for following my projects!

TIGforums & The icehouse

I keep posting articles in my Catyph Making Of on the forums of TIG. Today I explained how the puzzles and other actions are being created in Visionaire Studio. This engine allows to script several lines of actions without writing a single line of code. However it is also possible to use LUA language to make additionaire features. Let's see it a little closer here:

NB: if you are interested in Catyph or ASA, and would like to know more about my games, you could consider following The icehouse, the collective of artists that I have co-founded. We are on Tumblr and Facebook! You can discover there my other projects, such as watercolor studies and my cooperative comic book Mon Village est Magique
The most important news about Catyph and ASA are also added on The icehouse, so you will never miss anything regarding my projects if you follow us! On top of that, it is a great opportunity to discover and follow the work of other wonderful artists such as Atelier Sentô (video game The Coral Cave), or Amir and Sage (comic book The Legend of Novo), and of course more video games by our permanent members Beckoning Cat and Ape Marina!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Darnaha new screens

At last, here are new screenshots from the region of Darnaha (Catyph). It took me some time to make interesting views to share!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Icehouse Newsletters

Our collective of indie artists, The icehouse, will now release a Newsletter from time to time. It is a good way to read info on my projects, including news about ASA and Catyph. All these news should appear here on the Black Cube blog, but it can sometimes be easier to read a summary?

Icehouse Newletter #1

Monday, September 8, 2014

Discovery of Darnaha

I think it is time to reveal the first screenshots of Darnaha. It is the 4th region I created after Kynan, Saad and Vysynia. Darnaha is a vast rocky island reminding Greece where Germinal did some experiment on wildlife. As you know, moon Tytaah is not a place where Terran people (such as the hero) can live in. Germinal used his powers to change the conditions of the region and allowed specific species to survive... until they suddenly disapeared.


Monday, September 1, 2014

ASA Fanart

I know that most of the news here are about Catyph, but hey! do yo remember ASA? Well, someone named "Black Seagull" did, and sent this beautiful fanart to our collective of artists The icehouse.
I can't tell how happy I was to receive it. It's my second fanart of ASA: A Space Adventure! Thank you very much! Hope you like it too.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

TIGforums - from 3D to Visionaire

I have updated the CATYPH Making Of on TIGforums, and added some explanations on how I prepare the 3D elements, in order to use them in Visionaire Studio.

Read the article on TIGforums

Now that I'm back from holiday, I should have a bit more time to update the blog and work on Catyph.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Catyph - early prototype

Back from holiday, I decided to share a prototype version of Catyph. I explained everything on the Adventure Gamers forums, where you will find a link to download the files.


Please read the explanations on the forums (or at least the provided readme.txt) before running this preview version. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Catyph box art

This is the new (and probably final) cover for Catyph. Maybe you saw it already: it was on the official website since several days.

There is still a lot of work on the game, so several months before the release. I'm still planning Q4 2014, I'm doing my best.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Trailer 2

I have a surprise today. In exclusivity for those of you who follow either this Black Cube blog or The icehouse collective, I decided to share the new trailer of Catyph that I will officially release on next Wednesday. I hope you'll like it! Thanks for following!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

CATYPH - Vysynia Screenshots #3

A series of 6 new screenshots of Vysynia, the snow region of Tytaah.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

TIGforums - Rendering 3D

I continue to post my weekly CATYPH Making Of on TIG:
>> Read it here <<

I hope some of you are following it and are interested in my explanations. Feel free to ask questions!

Today, I explained the different steps from the viewport preview in rough 3D to the final render, that is to say how I add lightings and textures and how everything is being processed by the computer.

You can support my work by sharing the infos about Catyph, or by following the project on Facebook or The icehouse collective.

Friday, July 25, 2014

CATYPH - Vysynia Screenshots #2

These are the same screenshots than before, but I found it interesting to compare the result in 3dsmax (WIP) and in the game (Final).