26th April, 2018

Welcome to Ask Glitch, where we sit down with the Glitcher community in Discord and answer whatever questions they throw at us. We’ll be hosting these regularly so please join us at the next one!


How did you guys meet/start working together?

Graham: Simon will probably have to fill in some blanks here because my memory beyond yesterday is pretty terrible, but we technically went to the same secondary school but didn’t really know each other more than to recognise each other when walking past. We then went to the same college to study computing.

At the end of college we both went to different universities to study games in some form. After we both finished those degrees we basically didn’t want to get “real” jobs and decided to form Glitch Games. I think our first idea, if I remember correctly, was actually a top down pirate game that was massively beyond anything we could have ever hoped to make as 2 people.

I should point out, we were on the same college course together so knew each other properly then.

In the eventual Hollywood film the story will be played differently, it’ll probably end up us both being in a crowded train as strangers as we lock eyes and a voiceover will say “it was at that time I knew, this stranger on a train is who I want to make games with for the rest of my life.” There will probably then be a montage of some sort.

Simon: I will add to that and say that we also applied to the same university and even went to check it out together. However, I decided that I wasn’t quite sure if there was a future for me in videogames so I decided not to go in the end and got a basic job.

I ended up hating that job so much that I ended up going to university as a mature student and studied the course I was going to anyway. After completing my 3 year course, we both met up and discussed setting up a company.

In this future Hollywood film, what famous actors would you like to see in the roles of Graham and Simon?

Simon: I see Oscar Isaac playing Graham

Graham: Brad Pitt for Simon, in Brad’s “long hair” phase.


Simon, what was your “basic job” that drove you back to videogames and Glitch?

Simon: I was a tape drive engineer. Basically the now extinct version of data backups for large companies, banks etc.  I used to clean them, repair them and ship them out. Same thing every single day. They were basically small versions of VCRs

Have you always wanted to be game developers or did you have other dream jobs when you were kids?

Graham: As far I can remember I’ve only ever wanted to be two things; an astronaut or a game designer.

I then found out that you need to be good at maths and science to be an astronaut ( plus also probably be American ), so I doubled down on the game designer part.

I then discovered that you don’t just become that overnight, you need to generally work your way up through the industry and as I can’t draw to save my life I went into code.

Sadly I then realised how much maths is in programming, games programming especially, and if you ever see my code you’ll see how that is still not my strong point.

So basically my career path has been a long story of me slowly realising things.

Simon: I’ve loved computer games for many years. When in a rainy country like the UK, it is essential to have something to play inside with friends when it’s too wet to go outside.

However, I never really had any drive to become a developer because I was always a very active person and game development requires a lot of sitting.  I always thought I’d do something more active and game dev would be my hobby.

This is where being a game developer and working for yourself can be a great combo. I have the freedom to go to the gym, for a run, a round of golf or whatever else I want  and then working when it suits me.

So, even though I haven’t wanted to be a game developer for as long as Graham, I am more than happy that I now am one.

Graham: Incidentally, I’ve also never really wanted to go to the gym or go for a run for about as long as I can remember.

It looks like I’m the only one here right now so this looks more like a private interview session. Which is totally fine by me. My next question is: Which of your own games is your favorite?

Simon: Ferris Mueller’s Day Off.

It’s the people’s least favourite but I think it is a great puzzle game. Fun characters, good puzzles, good humour, good music etc

I think the art style puts people off but they should give it a go.

Graham: I think to play, Forever Lost: Episode 2 is my personal favourite. I think it’s a great length with a good mix of puzzles and locations, the music is probably some of my favourite, and we get quite a bit more of the FL story in there as well.

However my favourite to make was probably Ferris Mueller’s Day Off as it was just so damn fun to make so I’ve got a real soft spot for it.

But going forward I have a strong feeling that Veritas will end up being my favourite.

Speaking of the music, how did you find Richard Moir? Is he an old friend or was he a street musician whom you kidnapped?

Graham: Richard is an old friend of the family, he grew up with my younger brother so I knew him through him. However I didn’t realise he made music. I discovered that accidentally when I saw him tweet about his Soundcloud account which had some of his classical stuff on ( which is now on the radio in All That Remains: Part 1 ).

I showed the music to Simon and we both immediately agreed that we wanted him to make music for our games. Sadly this was after the release of Forever Lost: Episode 1 which is why his music isn’t in there.


I have to say, Forever Lost 2 has the best ending line / ending scene of a game ever, and is quite possibly my favorite of all the games. What inspires your “out of the box” puzzles?

Graham: It’s hard to say what inspires those puzzles, like most things I guess it’s a mix of things.

However what often happens is that one of us will have a random thought which could almost be some form of puzzle and then one of us ( often Simon ) takes that nugget of a thought and actually works out how a puzzle could come from that.

Simon: I can’t actually remember how we came up with that puzzle, but if we’re not thinking in puns then that is how our brains naturally work.  I can’t even remember who created that puzzle. It was probably a joint effort as with most of our puzzles.

Graham: Yea the origin of that specific puzzle is probably forever lost ( pun intended, naturally ) to history.

Simon: That was probably 5 years ago and my brain doesn’t go further back than last week.

Graham: Which is probably the reason we created a game about memory loss.

Simon: We did?

Graham: Apparently. At least that’s what people tell me.

How do you come up with the stories for the games?

Graham: We may have hit the “Glitch team have terrible memories” conundrum again with this one but I know that personally I am fascinated by things like self-deception and who a person really is if they can’t remember the actions they took and their past experiences. Are we more than our pasts?  So those sorts of questions have probably influenced at least some of our games.

But Ferris Mueller’s Day Off came about because I made a typo when messaging Simon about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and I think autocorrect got confused.

Simon: Hmm, I think the truth is that between us we probably have hundreds of ideas for games and stories, but we attempt the most achievable within the sea of limitations. Having said that, I think that when we first started Forever Lost we were a little naive and didn’t fully acknowledge how big a task that was for only 2 people.

The usual process is that one of us will pitch a very basic idea to the other, such as  “A game in space” and then we’ll run with it. Brainstorming ideas until we have a good story that we can populate with puzzles.

Graham: Yea go with Simon’s answer, that sounds better.

What are some games that inspired you when you began your career?

Graham: I was raised on Mario and Monkey Island.

Wait, re-reading that sounds like I was literally raised on some bizarre island.

Although I guess Great Britain can be odd at times but that’s not what I meant.

Simon: I think we owe a little credit to Grisly Manor too. Although quite simple, it showed us how well 2D puzzle games could work on a tablet or phone.

What types of music do you guys listen to?

Graham: It varies depending on my mood and activity, but I’m partial to post-rock when I’m working and as that’s a large portion of the day I’ll go with that.

SimonI like a lot of prog/classic rock. Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, Sabbath etc

However this isn’t great to work to IMO. When I’m working I like to listen to Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Hammock, Godspeed! you black emperor

How do you determine the ending of a game? Do your ideas change as you get to know the characters throughout the story?

Simon: With Forever Lost, we already knew the ending from the start of development. It was the middle that we had to fill-in.

I’d say that we usually get the story pretty solid before we start adding in the puzzles. This allows us to be more focused with the finer details. A lot of puzzle games out there focus primarily on the puzzles and the story, if any, comes much further behind. We try to hit the balance.

Graham: Yea I think Simon answered that pretty perfectly. We generally know the story before starting actual development, it’s mainly the puzzles that can change as we find out which ones are fun or not.

I loved how weird and wacky Ferris mueller was. Any plans for a similarly wacky game?

Simon: I think we will be making a game similar to Ferris in the future, just maybe with a different art style. I also like the weird and wackyness.

Graham: I hope so! But potentially with a different art style though. As much as I like the FL games and upcoming Veritas, the stories and locations are quite dark and depressing at times. It’d be nice to do a more light hearted game again.

Will you ever create a game that ties everything together in the future? Something that links Forever Lost to the science experiments of All that Remains to Veritas?

Simon: We haven’t discussed this, but since most of our games are set in the same universe we can never say never.

Graham: As James Bond probably said, never say never. We don’t know what games we’re going to make beyond the next couple so it certainly could happen. However as all our games are in the same universe there will always be more clues and connections in future games to help you build up that story yourself.

When will you start with Glitch merchandise? I need a sticker with Glitch-E on my laptop!

Simon: We should have started this 4 years ago, so ASAP I say!

Graham: Weird coincidence but I just made a coffee with my Glitch mug that Simon made me.












Did Hugo Simms ever make it out of iCeption?

Graham: I like to think he did yea.

Simon: No, I like to think he didn’t.

Graham: Maybe he’s still in there and he just went full Animal Crossing on the little house in the town.

Simon: He is mentioned in other areas of Forever Lost/Cabin Escape so probably… but did his red avatar escape? Probably not.

Graham: Aren’t we all just avatars man, in this crazy game we call life.


What Smashing Pumpkins song best personifies the Veritas theme?

Graham: I’m going to go with the one where they smash some pumpkins, and then I’ll put some pumpkin smashing puzzle in the game so my answer turns out to be correct.

Simon: Hmm, I’d say Zero.

“Emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness, and God is empty just like me”

Graham: That certainly sounds depressing, empty, and alone, so yea sounds perfect to me.


What are your favourite games?

Graham: I’m going to be terrible at this as I just never seem to find the time to play games any more, and Simon and I were actually discussing this sad fact just this morning. So probably from a nostalgia standpoint I’ll just have to go with the games I grew up with.

Which is pretty much Nintendo’s output and Monkey Island.

Specifically though one of my favourite has always been Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem on the GameCube.

Simon: Well, my honest answer probably doesn’t belong here, but my favourite games are those games you can play with friends and have a great time doing so.

1. Mario Kart 64
2. NHL 2001
3. Goldeneye
4. Perfect Dark

My favourite games to play alone are big RPG games like:

1. Skyrim
2. Fallout
3. Final Fantasy
4. Mario 64
5. Oblivion

My favourite puzzle games are:

1. Silent Age
2. Money Island
3. Myst

You’ll probably notice that not many of my choices are from this  decade, which is because unfortunately once you become a game developer you don’t have much time to play games yourself.

Graham: I’m hoping your honest answer is “anything created by those Glitch Games people, their output is just amazing, everyone should totally buy and play all their games.”

What fuels your creativity?

Graham: I always like to think there are two types of thinking; coffee-thinking and rum-thinking. For me, creativity falls into the latter category.

And as per one of the previous answers, Q&As must fall into the former category.

Simon: That’s why our office bar was so valuable. We couldn’t function without it.

Graham: I miss the Glitch Bar.

Simon: Same













Graham: Incidentally that’s also the office that we made Ferris Mueller in, make of that what you will.


Have you any plans to co-opt more people or do you prefer bouncing off each other (oooh errr)

Graham: Not plans as such but certainly desires. We have so many ideas for games that we’d love to get more people in to help and allow us to make multiple games at once but one of the reasons we’ve managed to survive full time for 6 and a bit years is by keeping our costs down and right now we’re just not in a position to change that by bringing in more people.

I personally don’t feel confident enough to be able to hire anyone if we couldn’t guarantee them stability and a proper wage.

Simon: Personally I think we have a good dynamic and are often have similar ideas. Adding more people will come with its benefits but I also believe that if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.

A way it could work is to do what Graham said and work on multiple projects simultaneously. Which would be nice.

Which courses interested you during your elementary or high school studies and/or university, and how have these courses directly benefited (or influenced) your professional work as video game designers?

Simon: I always loved Mathematics, Physics and Sport at school, so… I guess they didn’t help me at all.

My college course which was mostly centered around data entry and spreadsheets was also a little uninspiring.

I wish we had a lot of the lessons/courses available to us then that a lot of youngsters  have open to them today.

Unfortunately I think a lot of schools are at least a decade behind any industry.

Graham: For high school maths and physics would be the ones to focus on if you want to get into programming, I was never that good at maths but I did enjoy physics. But I was too foolish to actually make the connection between those classes and game development.

For college we had a fairly broad computing course that covered everything from spreadsheets to network security, but it did have a basic programming module as well which I enjoyed.

And for university I did a Computer Science degree with a specialisation in Games Development, so that focused a lot on programming which was immensely helpful.

That being said, you don’t need a specific education to make games ( to get certain jobs in the industry maybe, but not to actually make games )  – if you want to make games the best advice I can give is go make some. We use the Corona SDK from Corona Labs to make ours, it’s free, nicely documented, and uses the Lua language which is nice and easy to pick up.

Just remember when making your first games, have a think about the game you want to make, then halve that, and then cut another 90 odd %, and then maybe if you’re lucky and stick at it you’ll be able to finish it.

Simon: I’d say my university course played the biggest role in allowing me to apply maths and physics to an actual task – programming. Although Graham is a far better programmer than me, I think it’s important to at least understand the basics.

In the same way that Graham is really good at drawing stick figures.

Graham: My stick figures are some of the best stick figures that thankfully no one will ever see.

How on earth do you come up with the puzzles… do they come from dreams, divine inspiration, excessive thinking….. ?

Graham: I first read that last part as “excessive drinking” so I guess please see one of the previous answers.

But in all seriousness they pretty much come from everywhere, sometimes they come from sitting down and actively trying to create a puzzle – we categories all the different types of puzzles we make and sometimes we need a specific type somewhere to help with balancing – and other times little bits of an idea come from nowhere and then we develop it into something more concrete.

Simon: They often start as something small. Here’s a typical puzzle discussion:

Simon: Let’s make a puzzle using a box.

Graham: Great, but shall we make them think outside of the box?

Simon: Cool. What if the box has letters on it and they have to write ‘think’ on the outside.

Graham: Even better.

Imagine that, but with much more discussed in between and over a longer period of time.

The problem with doing it this way is that we often have a habit of making some puzzles far too hard.

Graham: Also…

Graham: I just noticed that the word “vikings” is basically the roman numeral for 6 followed by “kings”.

Simon: Hold that thought…

Simon: Yup. I loved that puzzle. That one was all you really.

Graham: That was very much a “Graham sets it up and Simon brings it home” sort of puzzle though.


Graham, when and why did you start coding?

Graham: My dad was a programmer, retired now, so I’d say a lot of my eventual interest came from him. I remember him programming us little games when we were younger – he made a version of connect-four I believe that would make it so that if you entered your name as Stephen – my younger brother’s name – they’d have a higher chance of winning.

However I didn’t really start programming until college where we had that basic programming module in Visual Basic and I realised that if I wanted a job in games it’d most likely have to be code oriented because of my aforementioned artistic abilities, or rather lack thereof.