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!