Glitch Begins

Let me set the scene, it’s December 2011, it’s cold ( probably ), it’s raining ( more than likely ) and Simon and I are drunk ( most assuredly ) discussing something, I forget what now so let’s just go with something

We then got onto the topic of making a game together – I was closing down a previous 1-person company and he was fresh out of Uni – and somehow we started designing a top-down pirate game called Open Waters.

Thankfully it didn’t take long before we realised that we were massively out of our depths ( pun fully intended, naturally ) and instead decided to pivot, as that’s what successful tech startups do, to educational apps, mere days after coming together.  

The fact that neither of us had any nieces, nephews, or children of our own didn’t dissuade us from the idea that kids educational apps would be a perfect fit. This was our first mistake.

Over the Christmas break I started mocking up an interactive book framework, which I called Ignite ( for reasons that are now completely lost to time ) using what I was already familiar with, the Corona SDK, and we spent the next few weeks throwing around ideas for the name we were going to call our sure-to-be amazing company.

We eventually decided on Glitch Games and officially registered the company on the 27th January 2012 ( and announced ourselves to the world a few days later, I guess we were a little shy to tell people ), and for those eagle eyed readers among us you may notice that that’s exactly 10 years ago today, which is incredibly handy as what you’re reading is a short — yet rambling — 10 year retrospective of us.

Sadly, our origin story doesn’t involve the death of a beloved uncle or a mugging-gone-wrong, instead it’s more like a drunken conversation at 1am. With great alcohol comes great regrets and all that.

The Early Days

As above our first plan was to work on some educational kids apps, the first being an interactive book about a Deaf child’s journey into learning sign language called My Colourful Life, influenced by my then-girlfriend-now-wife’s career working with Deaf people, we then followed this up over the next few months with Kids Love Animals and My First Colouring Book.

Throughout these months we also worked on a fast-paced arcade game called Blox, a music creation app called Mixis, and a party-drawing game called Wordoodle.

They were all super-duper successful and wildly popular. So successful that you’ve probably never heard of them. That’s how success works right?

Despite us pulling all of these apps from the various stores once we decided to focus on adventure games you can still see traces of them throughout our Forever Lost trilogy. Have you spotted them all?

The Hauntening

Towards the end of February 2012, before we’d even released our first app, we took part in a 48 hour game jam called The Techority Challenge, with the original plan being to use our Ignite interactive book framework to create a silly interactive ‘horror’ book.

Over the course of 48 hours this slowly evolved into a very simple first-person adventure game by mistake ( Glitch motto – the best things in life were accidents so … well done us? ).

This ended up winning the jam and so we decided to put it on the app store for free just to see what other people thought of it and it turns out people liked it. People are weird. But not you, you’re great. Please keep buying our games.

So we then decided to go full-steam ahead in making a full length adventure game, one that would eventually be named Forever Lost: Episode 1.

Fun fact, the game name comes from a God Is An Astronaut song.

Less fun fact, I originally suggested we create all 3 episodes before we release the first. Simon thankfully pointed out how foolish this was ( he may not have said ‘foolish’ ) especially as it wasn’t until 2015 that the final episode was released.

Forever Lost

Based on a recent discussion in our Discord, most people that know us first encountered us through Forever Lost so with such a level of importance for us as a company it really means I should allot a proper number of words to the topic.

We made three games, all called ‘Forever Lost: Episode’ followed by a sequential number, then released them.

Was that enough?

Fine, ok, I’ll write some more.

I can’t actually remember when we first decided to make Forever Lost, sadly the reason alot of our games start with “you wake up with no memory” is because you write what you know – my memory for events is terrible.

It would have been around March, not long after we released The Hauntening, so let’s go with that.

Simon’s better at remembering these things so maybe I’ll task him to write our 20 year retrospective.

We realised pretty quickly that the framework we had used for The Hauntening wouldn’t work for this so I started working on what would become Mango – I was going through a fruit naming scheme phase which thankfully ended after this – which was what powers both Forever Lost 1 and 2.

We really didn’t know what to expect when we released the first episode so we had to keep our budget very low, which is why we didn’t have an original soundtrack nor did we have professional voice acting ( I did the voice work for The Hauntening so it was Simon’s turn with Forever Lost ) and I can honestly say that no matter what we did expect it certainly wasn’t that it would still be selling nearly 10 years later or that the story would mean so much to so many ( or that I’d still be putting in bug fixes ).

Due to the surprise ‘success’ of the first episode we decided to increase our budget from £0 to a little higher than £0 and make episode 2 bigger and better ( hopefully ), plus we got the amazing Richard J. Moir to create the soundtrack – and we’ve managed to persuade him to do all our other soundtracks since, as well as write some words too.

By the time we’d released FL2 we wanted to work on something different before jumping into FL3 and thought that now would be a good time to also create a new framework, this time called Serenity, to power our games.

We used it to develop all our games post FL2, right up to and including Veritas, but have since retired it which I’ll touch on later.

When it was time to start work on FL3 a fair amount of time had passed since the release of FL2 so there were quite a lot of expectations and pressure but as we already knew what the ending would be right from when we started FL1 we didn’t let it get to us.

We’re incredibly proud of what we created with the Forever Lost trilogy and it’s truly amazing and humbling that so many people have enjoyed it over the years and sent us so many questions and theories about the story. Please do keep them coming!

Other Games

After releasing Forever Lost: Episode 2 we wanted to take a little break before going straight into Episode 3 and due to an accidental typo when discussing classic 80’s movies we decided upon Ferris Mueller’s Day Off

Hands up if you’ve played the game?

For this one we decided to go with a completely hand drawn art style, which means we have a box in the Glitch Vault ( my attic ) that has lots of sharpie drawings of western-themed objects and mules. 

Maybe one day we’ll autograph them and auction them off for charity.

Ferris is very much the Marmite of our games, and maybe the visual style kind of puts people off because it looks childlike but it’s possibly one of our harder games, puzzle wise, so if you haven’t checked it out, please do!

Throughout development of Ferris people were asking for the final episode of the Forever Lost games and so whilst we were back to working on FL3 we decided to release a little short prequel prologue for free to say thank you, which in case you are new here is Cabin Escape: Alice’s Story, which people seemed to like and is oddly one of our bigger earners ( despite being free as it has an in-app purchase for hints ).

When we finished Forever Lost: Episode 3, to much fanfare, we wanted to do something a bit more colourful, but not as colourful as Ferris, and so settled on A Short Tale, a story of a child named Jason who makes a wish to see their ( forever ) lost brother again, only to find themselves shrunk down to the size of a toy for reasons.

We then went on to make The Forgotten Room, our attempt at a haunted house. All through development of the Forever Lost Saga ( I sometimes call it a Saga to make it seem more cool ) people were saying they found the games scary despite us never intending to make a scary game. So we thought, let’s give it a go. Sadly I think we missed the mark on ‘scary’ for this one, however I still like the game. One day maybe we’ll have another go at a scary game with a full version of The Hauntening.

And now we find ourselves at All That Remains: Part 1, a game set in a cold-war era bunker with the intro sequence – obnoxiously long and unskippable as it is – showing you getting dragged down there unconscious “for your own safety”. For this game we added a little bit of voice work by way of a walkie talkie and your sister, Clara. 

Your sister, incidentally, will be the star of All That Remains: Part 2 if we ever get around to making it. One day I’m sure.

This brings us to Veritas. We realised that since the Forever Lost games had been completed none of our other games followed the same structure of starting in a small locked room, and then the area slowly increasing in size as you go, with chapter quotes dotted throughout so Veritas was intended to be us going back to the beginning with a game in similar structure, and size, to the first Forever Lost episode.

Sadly, as is always the way, we didn’t quite stick to this original plan. It ended up being considerably bigger than we had intended as we ended up liking the setting more than we expected.

Just after releasing Veritas in February 2020 we decided it was time to finish Great Escapes, which is something we started way back in 2016.

For those that aren’t aware, Great Escapes is a pack-based room escape game and one of the original rooms was called The Bunker, however we liked the setting so much we decided to expand upon it and make All That Remains

After finishing All That Remains rather than going back to Great Escapes we decided to work on Veritas, which, like everything else, took longer than we hoped.

Finally, with Great Escapes out of the way, we started working on Another Tomorrow.

Another Tomorrow

One thing I’d been wanting to do for a while was retire Serenity, our adventure framework that sits on top of the Corona SDK ( now Solar2D ) as it was beginning to show its age. It served its time and served us well. I loved it very much, but also hated it and never wanted to see it again other than when I was burning it in a fire ( it’s just too bad we’re cursed with very long tails on our games so I’m always drawn back into using it when updates are required ).

So along came the LUNA framework, or Lua Using Narrative Adventure framework, which is totally an acronym that I didn’t force just to get the Solar/Luna connection in, our new framework that will hopefully serve us well for the next 10 years.

From the outside it probably won’t seem that different, granted we’ve gone back to the horizontal bar inventory rather than the circular one we tried with Serenity but that didn’t require a new framework. 

There are other surface changes too but the majority of the changes are under the hood that result in a more stable game but also faster development times.

Granted Another Tomorrow has taken us a long time, but a lot of that time was due to developing LUNA alongside the game so everything needed to be started from scratch and Simon has been learning new skills and tools to get the new art style he’s used for the game. 

In the future things should go quicker again.

The Future

And so this brings us to the end of our little trip down Memory Lane and as we turn blindly into What Lies Ahead Road we can start to think about what’s next.

I think the most important thing right now in regards to the future is that we want to get more games out, after spending the last *looks at watch* bloody long time working on Veritas and Another Tomorrow pretty much back to back we’re going to start working on some shorter games. Still adventure games like you’re used to, just shorter.

You may have noticed this popping up across our various social accounts over the past week and that’s mainly because we’re not smart enough to schedule it for today so we just did it slowly ourselves

We’ve refreshed our logo. Glitch-E is still super important to us but they’re now more a mascot than a logo, and the Eye has now been brought forward and given a bit of a spotlight.

Our various sites and games will slowly get updated with the new logo over the course of whenever I have enough time to do it.

You may have noticed the next few games we’re working on were briefly shown at the end of the video above, namely Another Tomorrow ( technically it’s next as we haven’t released it yet  – releasing on the 12th February! ), Incoherence, Station 117, Great Escapes: Pack 5, The Valley of the Eternals, and a secret collaboration project with Altered Gene.

We will be showing more about these in time but for now please check out their individual pages.

And if you’ve read this far we’d just like to take this opportunity to thank you for your amazing support over the last 10 years, and for all the amazing testers and Glitchers that have helped us get this far.

And if you didn’t manage to read this far, then we can’t be friends anymore. You’re not even reading this anyway so you don’t even know we can’t be friends any more.

Actually, I take that back. Please still be friends. We need friends. The kind of friends that buy our wares.