Thursday, 31 July 2008

Big British Lost Crown Launch! Game in Stores!

The Ghost-Hunting Adventure finally arrived on the 18th, when The Lost Crown finally made its way to stores in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is wonderful to finally have it in Britain, given that the game is, without doubt, the most 'English' game ever made; crumpets, miserable vicars, pasties and a none existent train service help cement that fact.

The box art looks great, (thanks Akella!), and Lighthouse have done a super job getting the game recognised outside of the USA. The advertising is super, bold and eye catching; like this Ad in the front cover of The Fortean Times. It was weird opening the mag to find the game staring back at me! I just hope the game pleases those that have been waiting...patiently. Price-wise, the game is a bargain at around £15! 36+ hours of gameplay! Amazon, Play and Game have stock (I've heard its sold out on Amazon 3 times over) so what are you waiting for?



Don't forget to post a review, post play, on Amazon, Play or Game; if you enjoy the game DO say so, as for every "I liked this game" there's some idiot who states that the game will "ruin your life, burn down your house, and eat your cat". I suspect someone like my mother is behind those reviews! :-) ...


It's been a while since I posted a blog. I would love to say I've been busy with the next game (more on that in a bit), but I can't. I went on a cruise! The Carnival Splendor, a huge US 'Fun Ship', on its inaugural voyage. Some of the press are saying its the biggest cruise ship in the world, which I can believe, having travelled on the beast, and got lost in its endless corridors, bars, casinos, restaurants, discos, decks...etc etc...you get the picture. But. First voyage, massive ship, elegant staterooms...hmmm...anyone else thinking Titanic?! They even played the film theme in the Piano bars! There's nothing like asking for trouble, is there?! Good news is, it didn't sink. Phew. There are few Icebergs in Dover, so i think we were safe. Mind you, it didn't stop me wandering the ship, after midnight, looking for Penny Pringle and Vlad. (Titanic: Adventure out of Time characters). There are photos in my 'pics' area, if anyone is interested...some are nice, some are horrid. Be warned, there's a nasty pic of me with a mouth full of hot dog. Not good. Or lady-like.


Lastly, I am working on a new game. Yes. And, it's going to be super. I love the setting (new), the established characters and the threat. It's not as quirky as The Lost Crown, but will use some of the elements created for that game. Those who know my previous games will recognise many plot threads, with some loose strands being tied up. As far as titles go, the game will be called Dark Fall III, which is exciting...to continue the series. The subtitle gives LOADS away, so I'll hang on to that for a bit. In the mean time, rest assured in the knowledge that I am working, very hard, and making the best game I possibly can. It will be point and click, mouse only, with loads of puzzles (of every kind), made for XP and Vista, with adventure fans in mind.


The setting is horribly spooky (I'm surprised the location hasn't been used before), and really does provide a perfect stage on which to tell a ghost story; with lots of stony passages, dark pinewoods and long forgotten hallways. Horror-wise, this game will scare people; I'm constantly leafing through the game document (which is a bit like a walkthrough, for me to keep on top of the story) and adding "more creepiness here" and "needs a jolt here". If you found the crypt ghost or Ager Brothers spooky you may wish to start on breathing techniques now. In all honesty, I love spooky games, and want to make the next Dark Fall as weird and wonderful as possible. Fingers crossed, you should be playing the game by this time next year. I'm aiming for dark nights, as always, but we'll see how it goes. Deadlines have a way of flying past, at an alarming rate. But, one thing is for sure, I will be continuing the series (as its called) with this next game, with more to follow. The Dark Fall is coming...again...and it will know your name...


Get out in the sun!


Jonathan

Lucky Thirteen! The Lost Crown in the top 20.

Great news, sent to me via Lighthouse Interactive; The Lost Crown has entered the UK PC Games chart at number 13! With medieval II on one side, and the massive Crysis on the other. I am thrilled by the news. I hoped the game would get some recognition in Britain, but I didn't expect it to be a smash hit.



The chart can be viewed at
Chart Track.

Also, I did hear that my blog has been posted on some of the game forums, following my news of the next game. I hope people are excited, as I know the DF games have quite a following. It'll be great to get back to the series, as I have big plans for it. It is always waiting...

Lastly, the weather is amazing this week! The sun has finally remembered what season it is, so I've been out making plans in the church yard at Talland, and from deep within the Kilminorth Woods. It's so nice to get away from the glare of the LCD, and make some notes on paper. It reminds me of the old days, scribbling notes, for Dark Fall, on my waiters note pad. I pretty much thought up the whole game while serving sushi in Central London. How things have changed!


The nice thing about making/keeping paper notes is the chance to rediscover them, years from now. A bit like that feeling you get when you open an old game box, stuffed full of old gameplay notes and odd doodles. They can be priceless! I found an A4 the other day, waffling on about "Seven Sacrifices for the soul"...I have no idea which game it refers to, but it made interesting reading. Any strangers finding those scraps would think me utterly insane!

Jonathan

P.s. If anyone is reading my blog; do post a comment, as I'd love to get feedback, now and then.

July 08: Treasure Hunt, Lost Fawn, Saxton is real!

The treasure hunt is up and running! The clues are devious, the prizes are great and the sun is shining. So, if you are in the Looe area, before Thursday, get yourself an entry form from the Tourist Information Centre, The Salutation, The Jolly Sailor or the Looe Lifeboat Station. All proceeds go to charity.

Matt and I had a fun old time getting the treasure hunt to work, while sneaking about town to put posters up. There should be a pic of one, above or below this text. If the event is a success – more than 10 people play! - we will think about doing another one, for next summer. So, anyone looking to help out, drop me a line.

Escaping town, (which is packed full of chip scoffing tourists right now), we took a stroll up to Waylands Fayre, yesterday afternoon. The event consisted of the same old Cornish weirdness (displays of old tractors, period motorbikes and homemade steam engines), but the trip was made worthwhile by the excellent 'Boot Fair' which runs alongside. Boot Fairs are a little like mobile Garage Sales. People pile there car boot (trunk) with tatty wonders, and try and flog them to people on hot summer days. They did quite well out of me…in all honesty…I came away with two new (shrink wrapped) Doctor Who dvds (Edge of Destruction and The Aztecs, should anyone be wondering), a collection of ghost-stories (my favourite) and four Beatrix Potter books, (always handy as gifts). That was the normal items…here come the strange ones!

Matt managed to find two bright blue Kolorkins, which he tells me are highly collectable teddies. I also bought, for 50p, a strange old Bakelite record (from the 30's I think), called English Country Dance. It's got one track, the spookily titled 'Black Nag'. I half expect, upon play, to hear the sounds of the Wayland Fayre from decades past…interrupted by the sound of the Black Nag, as it swoops from the skies to terrorise the Fayre. Much screaming and horror would follow.

On a similar note, I also spotted this rather spooky looking doll. Well, I think it's a doll. It appears to be a fawn, with a sad, glacial expression, and broken ankles. I really felt quite sorry for the poor little thing.



It was just lying there, with his piggybank friend, waiting for someone to rescue him. I feel a bit guilty now. But, where on earth would you put such a thing. Upon eying the creature, Matt mentioned that it looked like something that should be walled up in an old house. He is referring to the old custom of bricking up small holes with dolls, effigies and trinkets as protection against evil forces. Utter nonsense of course, but I could certainly see his point. I just hope someone takes pity on the poor fellow, and he goes to a good home. There's something rather tragic about a lame fawn with broken hooves.

Lastly, I'll make a quick mention of the excellent 'promotional postcards' sent out to magazines and websites, for The Lost Crown. Lighthouse have a done a super job of creating 'fake' Saxton postcards, with a note from Nigel on the reverse. The first mentions Nigel's first impressions of Harbour Cottage.



The second is more intriguing, and is distressed to suggest the postcard has travelled through time, or been in the system for decades. Of course, to those who have finished the game, all those ideas tie in with the gameplay, which is great. Large images of the postcards are in my pics area (Work Folder on MySpace), and the reverse image is also available...with Nigel's cryptic messages.



It's good to see a publisher getting the promotions right, for once, with some snappy ideas. It was a strange experience to receive the postcard through the post…from somewhere dreamt up by my own imagination! Surreal.

Jonathan