After 2 years away, dev realises no one liked his game and promises a free remaster to make up for it: 'I hope it will go some way to rectify mistakes we have made'

Alien war machines pick over a ruined city.
(Image credit: Steel Arts Software)

You know that feeling when you submit an essay, or a project at work, that you think is pretty good, only to have it handed back to you a couple of weeks later bearing a low mark and some excoriating comments? I don't—I've jettisoned every bit of negative feedback I've ever received out of a narcissism airlock—but it's probably relatable to Nathan Seedhouse.

Seedhouse is lead dev on Grey Skies: A War of the Worlds story (the HG Wells tale it's based on is in the public domain), a third-person stealth action game that's been on the market for over two years now. It's been reviled by players for almost as long, and currently sits at a 33% "Mostly Negative" score on Steam on the back of 110 player reviews. The thing is, Seedhouse's personal life has kept him preoccupied for so much time that it took the poor guy this long to notice barely anyone was enjoying the game. But now, as spotted by GamesRadar, he wants to make it right with a free remaster.

In a post on the game's Steam page, Seedhouse said that "a couple of years of crippling personal issues" has kept him away from development, but now he's returned "to find that Grey Skies has issues, and has been reviewed extremely poorly". "I was unaware of just how bad it was until recently".

But Seedhouse says the time away gave him "fresh eyes," and he "completely [understands] the issues most people have taken with it". Despite that, though, he still thinks that "underneath these issues we made a decent game," one he's going to try to uncover by "remastering the game with new technologies that have become available, and my own improved knowledge of development".

"I will read through all the concerns carefully and address each one, paying close attention to the most common complaints, such as clunky movement and frustrating stealth elements," said Seedhouse. Once it's done, the remaster will be given out to original Grey Skies owners for free. That original version of the game is set to be taken off sale soon, too.

"I hope it will go some way to rectify mistakes we have made on this," said Seedhouse, "and that some of you might be willing to give it another go". It's not quite clear how many devs will be working on the Grey Skies remaster, but I suspect it's not very many at all. 

I've reached out to Grey Skies' development studio to ask about the size of the dev team and I'll update this piece if I hear back.

I wish the remaster all the best, although I'm sceptical that it will be able to do the work necessary to turn people's perceptions of the game around. Still, it sounds like Seedhouse has been through the wringer over the last couple of years, and he genuinely believes in the game he made back in 2020 even if players are less than convinced. Perhaps he really will pull it off, and Grey Skies can join the rarefied list of Steam games that managed to claw their way from a red user review score to blue after a lot of sweat and toil.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.