The Doings to date.
SQVISHY - James Makes Games (for The Light Keeps Us Safe - Big Robot)
2019 - Concept, Design, Programming, Production
Big Robot's The Light Keeps Us Safe includes a surreal minigame called SQVISHY which is playable via arcade cabinets you can activate inside the wider game. SQVISHY is a small but challenging arcade action puzzler involving giant, tumbling fishtanks, cosmic rainbows and radioactive cats. A slightly expanded version is available as a standalone title in case anyone wants to play it without booting up The Light and hunting down an arcade machine... A big thanks to Big Robot for signing off on that.
You can buy Sqvishy here.
The Signal From Tölva - Big Robot
2017 - Design, Programming, Production
A sprawling singleplayer sci-fi combat and exploration game with an intriguing and complex backstory. You fight a first person territory war for control of a mysterious alien world inhabited only by drones and the wreckage of lost empires, or so you were lead to believe...
Tölva punches substantially above its weight for the tiny team that created it. PCGamer called it “A lean, intelligent sci-fi shooter with a watchmaker’s eye for detail.” while Eurogamer said it was “An open-world wasteland game of unusual profundity.” Wait... wasteland? Rude. If you like superior laser battles, haunting mystery and peerless robo-art by superstar painters, Tölva is for you.
You can buy The Signal From Tölva here.
Sir, You Are Being Hunted - Big Robot
2013 - Concept, Lead Design, Programming, Production
SYABH is a deceptively tense comedy/horror, a First Person survival stealth 'em up, initially concieved and Kickstarted in a time before the "Survival Game" was a thing but prefiguring much of what went on to characterize the genre. It has sold over 600,000 copies to date.
An experiment has gone horribly wrong, casting you and fragments of your infernal machine onto a parallel British Isles. This procedurally generated alter-Albion is crawling with posh robots, tweed-wearing techno-terrors who have hunted the human populace to extinction. And now they're after you...
You arrive on the islands with no gear, no weapons and no plan. On the run, you must scavenge supplies and find a way to escape an increasingly hostile environment. In a post DayZ/Don't Starve/PUBG world the core mechanics - and especially the "there can be only one survivor" multiplayer - sound very familiar but we were there at the very beginning dammit! No really, go and look at the KS dates...
Fallen City - Big Robot / Channel 4
2010 - Lead Design, Production
Channel 4 had a brief stab at supporting indie game development in the UK and Fallen City was a happy beneficiary. Fallen City is a puzzle game designed to encourage the view that cities are "machines for living in". That taking care of your environment really means taking care of each other and learning to appreciate the hidden value of what you already have. It's got cups of tea and silly hats and the most stirring intro sequence to any game ever. Fact.
Fallen City was distributed for free by generous Channel 4 on their games blog but that was nearly a decade ago and alas now appears to have vanished from their site. Good hunting...
Arma 2 - Bohemia Interactive Studios / 505 Games
2008 - Lead Script Writer
Technically this was just plain ol' James Carey, not James Makes Games Ltd (which didn't exist at the time), but bar the occasional contractor James Carey is all there is to JMG Ltd anyway, so there you have it, the mask has slipped... Arma 2 is great and something all involved with should be dead proud of, so it's going in this list...
Arma 2 is probably most famous for being "that game wot spawned DayZ". Certainly Dean "Rocket" Hall's zombie-em-up survival mod brought Bohemia's extraordinary mil-sim offerings back into mainstream gamer conciousness in a way that had eluded them since Operation Flashpoint. But before the zombies ran amok in Chernarus it was home to Team Razor, heroes of Arma 2's singleplayer campaign, a marooned special forces squad trying to stop a civil war from spilling over into global conflict. Arma 2 featured a non-linear, branching, recombinant, feedback-loopy storyline and mission structure that was both deeply satisfying and nightmarishly difficult to produce. It's often said in videogame blurb that you can radically alter the course of a game by your actions, but in the case of Arma 2 it's absolutely true. I can't think of another game where it's possible - halfway through and within the dialogue options and mission structure - to pull the main characters out of the game and send them home on a transport plane. And that was a pretty straightforward bit.God knows what we were thinking...
You can buy Arma 2 here.