I now declare this new site…open!


It’s here! The new Chris-Jeff.com, let’s call it Jeff v3. I thought I’d clean it up a bit as to be honest, we’ve had the same page since 2009 and it was getting a bit bulky and an eye sore. I got in a few cleaners – Betty and Dorris and they did a swanky job and brushing around and cleaning up the place! They did an alright job don’t you think?

What’s new?!

How about, what isn’t new?! We’ve got everything new pretty much!

Front page – This is where a lot of the face lift happened, right on the front! I’ve cleaned up the blog to move it to it’s own page which completely free’d up the whole page! I’m now displaying featured images for the blog posts, ads for premium games I’ve released (Currently Space is Key mobile!) & also displaying any new projects I’m working on and announced at the bottom of the page! I’ve left room at the top under my welcome to be able to throw another ad for anything I’ve released too and it looks super clean still! I put in “HI, I’M CHRIS AND I MAKE GAMES AND STUFF.” as placeholder and kinda just left it there, it does no harm and kinda sums me up anyway.

Portfolio – Made a much nicer place for hosting all my games, whether they’re released or working on them. If they’ve been announced or launched, they’re in there! The old one was a side bar and a bit crappy for 2015. Needed a face lift!

Business section – I get a lot of emails from different companies which means other people than fans come on here. I thought it’d be nice and easy to host my Press Kit there and have a client page for them to have a cheeky peeky at, keeps everything in one place.

Blog – Blog has pretty much stayed the same but I’ve decided to move it over to it’s own page and actually not host the bulk of it on the front page. I chose this as my Jeff v2 was mainly a blog with everything else attached, I want this to be a site specifically for my works, with a blog attached. Nowadays I don’t blog as much so I feel primarily having a blog feels a bit of a waste since I’m a slacker! New blog posts, with a nifty little picture are updated on the front page though so don’t fret!

So that’s the intro to the new Jeff v3. As for games (Which really, that’s why you’re here). I’ve got some announcements to make soon – but I can say 100% of my time at the moment is on new mobile IP.


Ludic Ubiquity Interview


Hey guys. I’ve been a slacker on here for a good 6 months! I’m sorry for that, I suck. BUT, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth – really, I’m here!

I got interviewed last month by Ian Schiffman from Ludic Ubiquity and thought I’d share it with you guys.

With no previous programming experience, Chris Jeff started learning Flash and Actionscript on his own in 2007 while he was in college. Motivated by his love for games, specifically online Flash titles, he worked up a few examples in his own free time looking to the internet for advice and help. He eventually released his first game which received a few million plays. Working as a full time game developer, he has produced, both on his own and with artists, a number of online Flash titles with each one becoming more popular than the last as he has matured as a developer. Yet, by far, his most popular title is the one-button platformer Space is Key and its sequels which have been ported over to Android and iOS. Now, he has established a reliable brand with Chris Jeff Games working with sponsors like Armor Games, BigFishGames, Kongregate and Addicting Games. Ludic Ubiquity caught up with him during the development of his latest mobile titles.

Here is the PDF version of the interview:
Chris Jeff Interview

Ludic Ubiquity: What got you started in programming and video game development?

Chris Jeff: I’ve always had a strong love for video games. And, all throughout school and college, I’d play a lot of Flash games and was pretty active on Newgrounds. After trawling the forums a little bit, I came to understand that these games weren’t made by the bigger companies you’re used to with consoles. These are literally one-man teams making insanely fun games and Adobe (Macromedia at the time) Flash was on the radar the whole time!

I decided to give it a shot and started to learn Flash when I was in college (UK college, so I was like 16) during my free time and made some little games for my classmates to play. People in the computer suite actually ended up playing them quite a bit and seemed really addicted to them. And from then on I just kept at it. Kept learning and kept making little games. I’m completely self-taught and used forums when I had issues and tutorials to mess around with and get a good understanding of Flash. So realistically I learned to program purely in order to be able to develop and design games.

LU: What was your first game?

CJ: You can find my first release game here. To give a bit of the back story to the game, this was during my Newgrounds days I believe. It was when “scary mouse mazes” were a big thing. The games themselves were generally fun but ultimately you got scared and the whole point of the game was to scare you – not to have fun! So I played around and made one which ended up getting a few million plays, this really shocked me that there where that many people out there that would play something I’ve made.

LU: How would you gauge the overall response to your games?

CJ: At first it’s pretty scary that you can put a game out there on the web and within days millions of people will have played it and commented whether or not they loved it, hated it or whether they really just hate you. I was in the Flash scene pretty early – since like 2007 (again I was 16!). So, I think I didn’t get hit as hard with the shock as some others will be as I kinda just got accustomed to it all. But to date, for sure, I still am shocked at how you can throw something out there and get so many eyes on it. I also think being in the Flash industry has prepared me for the bigger challenges of mobile & console development in terms of being able to engage with fans. This is where I can say I love Flash, right?

I’d like to think my games have been received well. I’ve been blessed with insane fan responses to games I’ve developed which has allowed me to keep going at it really. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing sponsors and amazing collaborators in the industry too which has really allowed me to put games out there that I loved to do but couldn’t do on my own. Seriously, I can’t draw at all. I think I can draw a pig pretty well, but that’s all I can do.

LU: What’s your most popular game?

CJ: When it comes to any of my games popularity, I think it’s pretty obvious that, out of all of them, Space is Key dives out. This is literally a game that I had a little idea for one night and started prototyping at like 3:00 am. I honestly never thought it’d end up having the reception it did. And now it’s definitely at the top of my most successful games for sure. Scary how I’ve worked on games with artists and put in two to three months work, yet a little prototype with my own artwork in a night ends up outshining them all. Oh internet.

LU: Have you ever been to game festivals?

CJ: In 2013, I actually got to have Space is Key showcased at PAX Prime from a friend’s booth. He was hosting a booth in order to promote his social platform for Flash games and I got the chance to send Space is Key along. I actually didn’t get to go myself but I tuned in a few times via live chat with people playing the game and it was pretty insane to see people react to the game live. Apart from that, I’ve actually never been physically at an event with my game, but I definitely want to in the future: it looks so fun to do!

LU: What is your development process like?

CJ: I think my game development process is pretty straight forward. Nowadays I’ll actually get all my ideas down in a game design document at the same time as prototyping. I try and build the prototype into something fun and something I can really play with more. From that, I’ll start to buff the idea out and start making it into an actual game instead of a prototype, i.e. level design, art, sounds, etc.

Yet, the development process can change depending on the idea. Like for Space is Key, I had the idea of jumping over blocks: a really super simplistic idea. But it wasn’t until the end of making the game I felt like, if I polished up the place holder art I’d drawn – a bunch of squares really -, that the style could really compliment the game. Yet, it was one hundred percent about the gameplay and not how the game actually looked. Sometimes games just evolve from a little engine or prototype for another game I’ve made also; so, it really depends, but generally my process is the same.

LU: How do you go about creating the art for your games?

CJ: As I shared before, sadly I don’t draw. I’d literally love to! But I really can’t. So a lot of the time I collaborate with an artist, which in itself is amazing. Being able to bounce ideas off them and vice versa but, also, just to have someone else there on the project chipping in their ideas is completely invaluable and I love it. But sometimes if it’s an idea I think is simple enough, I enjoy running with it just by myself (like Space is Key). So usually my process for that is the same as any other game, I’ll fill the game with place holder art so I can get everything working and sometimes that art work just ends up sticking. I think with game art, if you’re not going for a fancy style, just having something super simplistic that really compliments the game can be just as effective.

LU: Besides artists, you’ve also worked with musicians. How do you go about working with them?

CJ: I love getting the chance to work with other people on projects. When I’m in a decent position in development and have the feel of the game down, it’s usually a great time to get a musician on-board. I think a good majority of my games have custom sound tracks actually. Audio is an often overlooked part of game development and really can solidify your game and achieve the feeling you want. I usually have a pretty simplistic approach with audio and for the most part I’ll talk to a musician who thinks of what style will really match the game I’m working with. I’ll show them the game and let them play it. I think letting them have hands-on time with the game lets them nail the feel of the game too. I always let them go wild with their creativity and try not to push them too much in a certain direction apart from some pointers or ideas for the track I’ve had.

LU: How has developing games changed your perspective and opinion of games you have played, if at all?

CJ: I’d say I have a pretty open love for games nowadays. I really do play a lot of different genres. However, I’ve noticed I do have a pretty short attention span when playing a game. It really has to hold me and I think that does actually shows in my games. I gravitate towards short, sharp styles. However, I’m a really competitive person naturally. Thus the likes of Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive got their hooks in me and I play those often with friends. I think developing games definitely does give you a different perspective on games. I don’t think it really changes my opinion as I don’t play them as a developer: I’m playing them as me. But I’ve noticed that, if I don’t generally like a game, I can still respect it for what it is or what has went in to it a lot more than when I didn’t know a lot about what actually went in to a game.

LU: You started mostly with Flash games. How did you go about porting Space is Key to the mobile platform?

CJ: So the current Space is Key iOS/Android app is actually in Adobe AIR. It’s using Flash which for me is a technology that is right at home with the current workflow. And for Space is Key it runs perfectly without the need to worry an awful lot about optimisation like you would with much larger games due to vector art. Before the AIR version, it was actually in Cocos2D for just iOS for a year or so before I moved it over to AIR. This was completely different: it was a bit of a struggle and I had some help getting that out there. Right now for mobile games (which is my current focus) I’m using Adobe AIR for some & Unity for the others. I didn’t really choose the game for the platform initially. It’s just what I prototyped the game in and has kinda just stayed that way in using that technology.

LU: As a developer of browser-based games, what do you think the future holds for them?

CJ: I honestly think browser-based games will stay around for longer than a lot of people give them credit for. It comes down to ease of access. Just being able to load up a web page and play a game is a great thing. And, as there are developers still creating enjoyable and creative content, you’ll always see people playing games in their browser. Also, browser-based games have had insanely high quality games and have allowed developers to make that step to mobile/downloadable games too. Just being able to throw a game out there and reach a huge audience is unmatched.

LU: Last question: What’s next for ChrisJeff Games?

CJ: What am I not working on?! I’m actually working on three to four mobile projects still. They’re still in the early days apart from one which is leading the pack. I haven’t revealed what they are publicly nor shown pictures so sadly I can’t show anything. But I can say that one is an arcade/action/reaction game in the sense that Space is Key is and the prototyping has been great with it. It’s rather fun! The focus for ChrisJeff Games currently is mobile games. I’m feeling super excited working on these games on tablets & mobile.

I think my simplistic design approach generally compliments the mobile platform. So, it’s been a fairly nice transition but I can’t wait to get more content out there. As far as web games are concerned, I’ve had a game I’m ninety percent done with from, easily, over a year ago that I need to finish off and get out there. It’s called Beard Quest and you can see it here! It’s very typical of me to work on way too many things at once which sadly slows the development of a lot of them but when I do have stuff to show I generally blog or tweet about them pretty fast.

But yeah, hope you liked that and found something you can take out of it. If you have any questions, I’m happy to talk!

I’ve got a few blog updates planned to share what I’m doing at the moment as sadly I can’t actually share a lot of it yet – and I’m busting at the seams to tell you guys what I’m working on.

You also can view the interview over on his site at: http://sett.com/ludicubiquity/chris-jeff-interview

Space is Key Christmas is here!

Santa will be giving everyone a few space bars this Christmas!
Santa will be giving everyone a few space bars this Christmas!

Santa will be giving everyone a few space bars this Christmas!

Yeah! Finally it’s released. I worked on this as part of Armor Games “The 12 Epic Days of Armormas” – this is actually the first time I’ve worked on a seasonal game too so it was kinda fun to approach it especially with something like Space is Key which is is a very minimalist style, I felt like If I went overboard it would totally ruin the game. Same with the Christmas feel of it all, I didn’t want to go insane Christmas spirit but I think it’s got the perfect amount.

Waterflame, you magical musical wizard you, you perfected the OST. It’s still in my head & honestly think it was a big piece of this game, slots it all together with the right Christmas feel :)

You can head over to Armor Games and play it up, give it some love (Or hate if you don’t like it, it’s fine, it’s Christmas) http://armorgames.com/play/17615/space-is-key-xmas

Snow. Snow everywhere!

Snow. Snow everywhere!

Also NCH whipped up some of the extra assets you see in the game. Cause’ as much as I like working with Space is Keys minimal approach – I really can’t draw. He made the snow all fancy!

So what do you think of it?! And throw your scores at me. I love to see how people score!

Nitrome Game Jam!


If you know me just a teeny tiny little bit, you’ll know I absolutely love game jams. They’re one of the brilliant & unique things in our industry that just seep creativity in such a short amount of time and that’s why I just love them! And when I heard Nitrome was having a game jam, even though I’m neck deep in other projects that I can’t wait to show people about – I decided to just drop everything and have some fun! So this game jam was a 5 day one (Monday – Friday) and sadly I really couldn’t do the whole week, but instead of just not doing it, I grabbed Alex and Yuya (Didn’t grab them, a simple message done the trick, no grabbing involved here!) and got to work on an idea that had been floating around my head ever since the theme ‘Dreams’ got announced on the Monday.

Alex initially drew our little guy. Pretty cute for someone who eats dreams, right?

Alex initially drew our little guy. Pretty cute for someone who eats dreams, right?

So yeah, like I said, we started pretty late to this game jam and I had an idea floating around my head that I pitched to Alex & Yuya to see if they could get involved with me. It was kinda totally against what I initially thought when I read ‘Dreams’ and I think it’s why it stuck so well with me. Initially when I thought ‘Dreams’ I pictured really beautiful cloud based worlds and thought about some kinda exploration based platformer, essentially exploring dreams – then I thought this may be too obvious and that maybe other people could have just interpreted the theme like that – so I kinda went the opposite way.

Early mock up of the game. Starting to take some shape but it's lacking that mood and environment that I wanted - art style is what we wanted for something that we'd have to do so fast too.

Early mock up of the game. Starting to take some shape but it’s lacking that mood and environment that I wanted – art style is what we wanted for something that we’d have to do so fast too.

Then Baku was born! From the start, I wanted this to be a top-down exploration game with challenging stealthy stuff thrown in there too. Essentially you’re a dream eater and you’re in a random house, you’re pretty hungry so you’re sneaking around trying to find dreams to snack on that are littered around rooms with sleeping folk in them. One problem though, you’re a bit clumsy and just make far too much noise!

So yeah, you’re sneaking around the house trying to make as little noise as possible & eating dreams. As simple as that I guess.

Our final title screen for Baku!

Our final title screen for Baku!

Feature wise, there is a tonne of stuff I wanted in here however within the three days, I really just couldn’t get them in there. Saying that, I’m pretty proud with how well we coped and how much we did in the time though!

It even got to the point where Alex actually put stuff in the tutorial for features we were planning to get in the game. Stuff like:

– Walking around (Since he’s heavy footed) slowly increases alert, your ‘disguise’ ability slowly decreases alert energy & if you’re stomping around a room with a sleeping person/dog in they will actually wake up and spot you.

– A few more rooms in the house. Who doesn’t want more rooms?!

– Each room will have a threshold so you don’t always have to hit 100% alert to fail the room, if there’s more people sleeping in the room or if there’s a dog, the threshold could be lower!

The finished look for the game jam entry

I think we’re really considering putting in some more time in to this and getting it a proper release on the web, could be fun and I really think it’s a fun little game with potential. What do you guys think though?

oh oh oh, you can play it here too! http://chris-jeff.com/nitromejam.html

Or hit up nitromes site and you can vote I think, sounds pretty cool! http://www.nitrome.com/jam/games/bakuthedreameater

Over the next few days I’ll get a proper page put up for Baku too so it’ll pop up on the side of the site.

Fun fact: Yuya actually named the character Baku – I think it means spirit in Japanese and he’s Japanese so y’know. It stuck with us!

2014 Flash Games Market Survey!

During the past year, the flash game market has witnessed the surge of HTML5 as a significant contender to browser-based games, the rise of Unity’s web player, the corresponding end of Unity’s Export to Flash support, and a rapidly swelling “flash is dead” movement. Many argue that Flash’s competition, at least on the web, has yet to present a comparable replacement, but the downtrend is difficult to deny.

The recent closing of Mochi Media, one of the few significant industry stalwarts of the web-based Flash Games Market, is sure to have a significant impact on both the current market and it’s future. The goal of this survey is to both assess the current status and direction (or change there in) of the market, as well as to continue one of the most important industry contributions that Mochi has made over the past several years: the Flash Game Market Survey.

We have carefully reconstructed this survey from Mochi’s past surveys in order answer the most pressing question plaguing our market today: “What now?”

Our goal is to get at least 1,000 respondents in order to maintain the survey’s statistical relevance and correlation to previous years. So, please forward this survey to as many of your fellow Flash game devs as possible.

The results of this survey will be shared publicly, although we expect the collection period to take a few months in order to reach the needed response level. So, please be patient, and you’ll get all the juicy stats from the survey! In a nice edible form.

So yeah hit it up and share it around <3