The Next Project & The Post-Headspun Era


The weeks after Headspun’s launch have been a wee bit crazy. Thanks to everybody who has supported and picked up the game so far - I hope you’ve enjoyed it. To be transparent, the game had a somewhat bumpy launch and there’s been a lot to respond to, fix and move forward from. That’s a postmortem article for another time, however. This little post is about the future.

Three bits of news for right here and now, then:


There’s little to say about the specifics here, but Superstring’s second game is currently in full production. Headspun fixes and mop-up work will be happening in tandem, but our main focus now is on the new game. The only thing I’m happy to share here (other than the teasey image above) is that it’s an altogether different experience to Headspun, and both bigger and smaller at the same time.


Thanks to Creative England, Superstring has received funding to help bring this second game to market. Headspun was developed without any backing and very much on a shoestring. For game 2, we now have a little bit in the pot from the outset, which makes realising the vision we have for this project that much easier.


Thanks to the above, and Creative England’s belief in the new project, Superstring has now grown to a two man operation (for a time) as we welcome Kwok Law to the team. Kwok is a multi-talented artist, but has been predominantly brought on board as a UI/UX designer to help build the copious amounts of UI the new game requires. Welcome aboard, Kwok!


That’s about it for this update; we’ll have more to share on our new game before too long. We’ll also be looking to our Patreon community for feedback on early builds of the game - which is a big part of the moving forward strategy. The plan is to open the studio doors, so to speak, and bake transparency into the project’s development to iterate more quickly and iron out any issues much earlier on in the process. More on that soon, too.

Until next time x


Headspun is OUT NOW!

It's out! Over three years since the first line of code was written, our weird little FMV/Adventure hyrbid - our debut release as a studio - is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam (the Nintendo Switch version will drop this Friday!). Also, for the next week, there's 10% off the game to celebrate launch - get it while it's hot!

Headspun was an idea born out of reading too many pop-psychology books; I loved the concept of the competing voices in our heads and wanted to personify the different drives and desires that form our personalities. Choosing live-action - in part - to tell that story seemed like a natural fit. I'm incredibly proud of the end result; a true genre-hybrid that fuses elements of the Adventure, RPG and FMV genres into something new.


In the game, you'll take on the role of Ted; the Director of Cortex, and the rational, intelligent voice in the brain of Theo Kavinksy, who wakes from a five week coma at the start of the game. From there, it's up to you to rebuild Cortex, and work out what happened the day of Theo's accident.

The game is available now, but if you wanted to bag yourself the official OST and t-shirt at the same time, we have some exclusive bundles available on our Store.

To everybody that reads these posts or follows any of our other channels: a huge thank you. It's been a long road up until this point, and I can't wait for y'all to try out the game.

Take it easy x


Headspun Clothing Available Now on the new Superstring Store!

With the launch of our debut game, Headspun, just around the corner, it was about time to launch the Superstring Store in readiness. The game and official soundtrack will be added in due course, but we’ve got two Headspun t-shirts available today.

We’ll also have some game + tee combos available from launch day, if you wanted to save yourself a few coins.

Any questions on sizes or materials, give us a shout.


Headspun - The Bird Tee
Add To Cart
Headspun - Emoji Tee
Add To Cart

Get Your Diary Out! Headspun Will Launch August 28


I'll cut straight to the mustard: Headspun - our FMV/Adventure set in the human brain - will be releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac on August 28th, 2019. That's, like, just over a month away!

Bonkers, I know.

Pre-order pages for console are on the way, but you can add the game to your Steam wishlist today.

Until then, then…


Superstring now has a Patreon!


Superstring now has a Patreon*, and I'd love to invite you to join this exclusive little club.

(*In case you're unaware, Patreon is a platform for supporting creatives, and offers various perks, benefits and exclusive content (including regular builds of new games). It's a bit like Kickstarter, but ongoing.)

As well as putting a little in the pot to help fund Game #2 (which sort of exists! I know! Game #1 ain't out the door yet), the idea here is to burst my solo-developer bubble and start bringing others into the development process much earlier. I learnt firsthand with Headspun that working on your own leaves you blind to many problems, and putting the game in front of players too late leaves you no time to rectify potential issues.

Patreon can help fix this. Game #2 will be a more open / collaborative development, and this little membership club is the first step towards a more open development - with Patrons having access to early design documents, screenshots and game builds. Patreon allows us to throw open the studio doors and invite you in.

Also, before I lose your attention, get this:

Superstring Patrons can now get first and exclusive access to our FMV/Adventure Headspun - which isn't due out until later this summer. We've set up a special Headspun reward tier, which will grant you immediate access to a near final build of the game delivered through Itch. Anybody who backs at this tier will have their name added to the credits of the game.

That's it. That's the sell. If you decide to become a Superstring Patron, I totally owe you a beer.

Thanks - chat soon x



The Superstring Journal #1 | Four Steps to Branding Your Studio


Recently I’ve put a lot of thought into how I want my studio to be perceived by others. I’ve asked myself: What are the attributes that make Superstring different to the slew of other indie devs? What values will unite all the games that are born out of my studio? What does Superstring stand for?

I can almost hear the gags and wretches – this subject matter unavoidably gets into quite guffy, saccharine territory. It sounds like a load of bollocks, doesn’t it? Not long ago I would have agreed and written anything like this off as pretentious busy-work – a fat waste of time.

In retrospect, that thinking was naïve. I’ve come to realise how important this positioning work can be in the long run; it’s a vital step that a lot of smaller developers and studios are overlooking.

Taking the time to properly position your studio/company will cement your creative vision – it will give the games that slowly fill your catalogue consistency and a stamp that is undeniably yours. It will help you hire likeminded folk, and – most importantly – it will allow you to shape what the masses think when they see your studio interacting in the wild. This work is easy to rush and difficult to nail, but it’s not expensive. Anybody can do this work. Everybody should do this work.   

I want to say up front, by the way: I am by no means an expert in the world of indie development - Superstring is still a very young studio, and yet to release its first game (Headspun is out later this summer, releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac). I have A LOT to learn about development. I have, however, worked in the games industry for over a decade, with the past four years in a global brand role at an AAA publisher. Recently, I’ve been trying to leverage some of that big-publisher-thinking on a smaller scale.

Today I want to share that work here.   

In this first entry in the Superstring Journal (get updates here!) – a new monthly blog exploring various aspects of indie dev life – I wanted to walk through the four steps I’ve taken with Superstring in terms of building a brand for the studio. I’m not claiming Superstring is the best example of any of these steps, merely an example.

Note: in an ideal world, the below would be worked up alongside the birth of your studio. It should influence the name you choose, the icon you design, the language you use when communicating with the world. I’d imagine lots of people skip over all this and just get cracking developing their dream game – I know I did. Much of the below can be figured out at a later date, however – it just needs a step back, and some dedicated time to figure a few things out.

Ok, here we go!



This should be an easy place to start, but wrapping language around the aims of your studio/business is surprisingly tricky. “Because I want to” doesn’t cut it, sadly.

Your mission statement isn’t a slogan. It doesn’t need to be catchy or clever. It just needs to lay out what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re a tech company it will simply outline the solution that your product offers to a problem. As game developers, our mission statements are more likely to be rooted in the experience we’re looking to give to our players.  

Some examples:

Supergiant Games “We want to make games that spark your imagination like the games you played as a kid.”

Dropbox: “to unleash the world’s creative energy by designing a more enlightened way of working.”

Blizzard: “Dedicated to creating the most epic entertainment experiences...ever.”

Doublefine: “committed to making high-quality games with an emphasis on originality, story, characters, and fun​”

Giant Sparrow: “[to create] surreal experiences people have never had before. Our dream is to make the world a stranger, more interesting place.”

Superstring: “To bring narrative to unlikely places through genre hybrids and experimentation.”

Try not to skip this step, as it segues directly into the second.



Yeah, the second step is equally as vague and woolly as the first. Sorry. But again, it’ll unlock a lot if you can really nail this. Knowing the three values your studio stands for will help you to hire staff who share the same virtues, and thus develop games in accordance with a unified vision. It will help write your studio’s signature.  

It’s all too easy to rush this step and fart out a few quaint sounding words - but if they’re not reflective of traits you genuinely believe in, they’re meaningless. ‘Honesty’ might sound like a lovely value on paper, for example, but in an ideal world this would be true of all companies and brands. It’s hardly a virtue to shout from the rooftops, is it? “We don’t’ lie!” Brilliant. Even if this is, in actuality, less common than we know to be true, it’s just a bit shit and generic. Dig deeper. 

In an effort to minimise ambiguous bollocks and show how these values can directly affect your ongoing work, I’ll share Superstring’s values alongside examples of how these values help in practice. 

Superstring is:

  • T R A N S P A R E N T
    This might sound similar to ‘honest’ on paper, but it’s not. It’s about being actively open in all facets of development. It’s about sharing, and keeping very open channels of communication. 
    In practice: transparency will inform the content we create and share outside of core development - hence this blog! It guides how we interact with other developers, and – hopefully – shapes our games, which will benefit from the outside perspective we otherwise lack as a small team. I think this is really important for small studios where you can easily end up working in a bubble. Transparency is a two way street.

  • G U T S Y 
    There were several words I flirted with here – spirited, daring, adventurous – but they all relate to being bold. As Superstring is a one-man team, and a side project (I have a salary and full time job if things go pear-shaped), I’m happy to take risks. If an idea doesn’t pan out, nobody loses their jobs. Nobody goes without food or accommodation.
    In practice: Riskiness as a value means that experimentation is built into the studio’s DNA. Our games don’t need to be approved by a risk committee. We will actively pursue ideas that are more out there.

  • R E B E L L I O U S  
    This sounds try-hard, but I’ve always been keen to weave a little attitude into Superstring’s persona. I don’t want the studio to walk or talk like a traditional developer; I want it more in line with a band’s brand, for example. Specifically, I want to tap into the themes and visuals of the synthwave music scene – which I feel embodies this attitude nicely.
    In practice rebellion as a core value gives nice constraints for visuals, tone of voice and language. This value has directly influenced the visual identity work I'll outline later.


The first two steps involve language that – should you wish – need never be public. They’re the invisible tracks your studio will run along. Your motto (or tagline), however, is the slightly more succinct and catchy embodiment of the first two steps. It’s the language you’ll whack on your website and Twitter bios and whathaveyous. It should succintly convey what you’re all about.

Here’s what I landed on for Superstring (after many iterations…):

“(Superstring is) dedicated to abusing the boundaries of game genre.”

I like this because it a) reinforces my mission statement of experimenting with genre hybrids, and b) introduces a little hint of attitude. It sounds progressive – a little rebellious, even.

Note: With the motto complete, I’d also recommend building out a long and short description for your studio, too. There’s countless uses for these (website about page, press release boiler plates, etc etc) , and having a long and short versions prepared will save you a lot of time.



With the first three steps nailed, you can start building the core assets that will reflect your aims. All that introspective ethereal rubbish can now be converted into some lovely eye-candy! This final step is a big, complex one, in truth; the extent to which you’ll be able to act on it may be limited by budget (it certainly is in my case – there’s plenty more I’d do with a bigger wallet), but there’s a lot you can do to bring your intention and values to the world.

A – by no means exhaustive – list:

  • L O G O 
    What is your studio logo? How does it reflect your values? Does it reflect your tone of voice? Does it take advantage of accompanying iconography? Does it work in both black and white? How will it animate in video form?

  • P R O F I L E  P I C T U R E S
    What is your Twitter/FB/Insta/Discord/IndieDB profile image? Does it use your logo’s iconography? Is it still readable at a teeny-tiny resolution? Perhaps there’s no better representation of your studio than your own beautiful face.

  • K E Y  A R T
    I wouldn’t say your studio needs bespoke key art (unlike your game, which most certainly does), but it can help establish your values and convey what you’re all about. I was really keen to have something more than just a logo for social headers / website backgrounds etc.

  • C O L O U R  P A L E T T E  
    This will likely fall out of your key art & iconography – but having a defined colour palette will help tie everything together across the many platforms you’ll likely use. Continuity is key. Whenever I set up Superstring on a new service or social media, I ensure the colour themes are set to purples/blues/pinks; whatever is closest.   

  • F O N T 
    What font or lettering are you adopting for studio communications? We all know how poor font choice can lead to wrong impressions...

  • O T H E R  S T Y L E  E L E M E N T S

    D O U B L E  S P A C I N G  I M P O R T A N T  T E X T
    //Branded bullets
    Signature Emojis

  • W E B S I T E
    How does your website bring together all of the above to perfectly convey the brand you've tried to cultivate? This is the one place you have complete control over, and it should accurately portray what you're all about. 

Note: I see lots of developers leaning on imagery from one of their games in relation to the above. I think it’s important to separate your studio imagery from game imagery as soon as you’re able. Let your studio stand on its own legs and exist outside of individual game branding.

There’s a lot more to it than just this, of course. The language and tone of voice you adopt is also born out of all this positioning work, but there's enough to talk about here to dedicate a blog of its own. I won't go into it now. 

I still think a lot of the above can feel pretentious and without substance, but going through the motions of each step honestly unlocks a lot. Give it a bash.

Thanks for reading – I hope somebody finds some use in this. I am more than happy to chat in more depth about any of the points here – come chat with me on Discord - and if you found this helpful, please do subscribe to the Superstring newsletter for the next dev journal.