Psychic Software is Sam Redfern and various collaborators, and has been making award winning indie games since the mid-1990s, ranging from a crazy turn-based postapocalyptic MMO of vehicular combat to Amiga wargames, to casual iPhone games, and lots of other things in between! As a university academic, I have also published some interesting articles on games A.I. for combat and racing games.


1980s and 1990s

Yep.. 1980s. I started making games on an Apple II and later a BBC Micro, from the age of 11. My first publication 'Space Trader' was a game code listing in Personal Computer World Magazine in 1984 (that's how indie games were distributed in those days). That was the same year that Elite was released on the BBC, and it had the exact same theme as my game! I spent much of the 1990s in career development mode (I'm actually a university lecturer by day, with a PhD in computer science). One notable release was 'Critical Hit' - an Amiga wargame which was distributed via FTP sites and bulletin boards: the WWW as we know it did not yet exist.


In about 2003 I rebooted my game development, in part as some kind of masterplan to converge my game-making and academic research; but pretty soon it was purely for the love of making games. My largest project was 'Darkwind: War on Wheels' which is a turn-based MMO of car combat (think Mad Max meets Car Wars boardgame meets X-Com) and this kept me busy from 2005 until about 2011. I switched at that time to mobile games (probably too late for the goldrush.. huh) and Psychic Software has released 9 titles for iOS, Android and BlackBerry - the most notable is 'Let's Break Stuff!' which has had more than 5 million downloads; it's a casual slingshot game where you smash crockery, teapots and glasses.. it's a very satisfying way to pass a few minutes, and for some reason was a major viral hit in Italy.


The focus has recently moved back to PCs and 'real' gamers. Darkwind was released on Steam in 2014, and Musclecar Online in 2015. In recent months I have been prototyping some multiplayer 2D games ideas - this is the first 2D development I have done in 20 years and it's a hugely welcome change from 3D.


Darkwind: War on Wheels YouTube

Musclecar Online YouTube

Let's Break Stuff! YouTube

Doodle Bomber YouTube

Goblins & Grottos 



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Awards & Recognition

  • "Game Tunnel Game of the Month" - Darkwind: June, 2009
  • "Bytten Most Addictive Game 2009" - Darkwind: December, 2009
  • "Best Casual Game 2013" - Let's Break Stuff!: Engineers Ireland @ Games Fleadh 2013
  • "Best Design Award" - Goblins & Grottos: Indie Revolution Expo 2015
  • "Best Technical Achievement Award" - Imirt Irish Games Awards 2017

Selected Articles

  • "The brutality of Darkwind is the most appealing thing about it. Your team ages: at 30 their stats start dropping, at 40 their skills follow. You'll give them nicknames, train them, get attached to them, maybe even unlock specialities such as Engine Tuner or Negotiator, and then they'll die."
    - PC Gamer Magazine, Full review PDF
  • "More Darkwind reviews and awards here.."
    - , Darkwind Website
  • "Let's face it - there is something about shooting off a slingshot and breaking things that is just plain old fun... overall this is a great time killer and an awesome way to vent out some daily frustration"
    -, Review

Developing and Running an indie MMO.. singlehandedly.. part-time
An indie game developer conference I presented at, in which I explained the lunacy which drove me to singlehandedly write an MMO

Pathfinding.. just like those clever humans
An academic conference I presented at, in which I used crowd-sourced A.I. to assist the pathfinding of bot cars in Darkwind

Breeding better A.I. racedrivers
An academic conference I presented at, in which I used genetic algorithms to teach bots to race cars

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks