Super Dodecahedron

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Hey, so here’s what I’m working on! This game has been hanging around unfinished for ages, and I figured it was the perfect thing to give Haxe a proper test run. Here goes!

This is an Increpare fan game. Specifically, of Trigger, one of my favourite games of his. Back in 2012, Stephen made something inspired by one of my games, which led me to thinking this up – I’ve had this idea to get out of my head ever since.

Should be out soon!

* 3 Comments

Oh, you meant that thing about blogging more

Hey hey! I guess I’m making good on my aim to blog a bit more this year, starting with this very boring post about coding and tools and stuff. Here goes!

Flash:

flash

I learnt to code flash games in actionscript at the end of 2008, and since then, it’s been what I’ve done the majority of my work in. Flash is great, and maybe doesn’t get enough credit for just how great it is. So it really sucks to think that maybe it doesn’t have much of a future.

A lot of forward thinking people out there have been saying that for a while, but last year is when I really started to see it myself. Most big sites don’t use flash any more. When you try to update flash these days, it tries to install weird extra toolbars and other software. And unless it’s completely up to date, browsers warn you that it’s a security risk before they’ll run a flash game. I think flash probably isn’t going anywhere just yet, but, yeah, the writing’s on the wall. It’s time to look for alternatives.

So, this past week, I’ve been learning how to use something called Haxe! It’s a high level language that compiles into flash SWFs, but also, somehow, to HTML5, to native PC, MAC and Linux builds, to iPhone, to Android, and to a bunch of other weird stuff. And thanks to a pretty amazing project called OpenFL, it’s extremely similar to flash – not so similar that you can just copy and paste, but similar enough that I ported my entire framework in less than a week.

I regret that it took me this long to try it out – Haxe is kinda magic. Sure, it’s not perfect, some stuff doesn’t work on all target platforms – yet – but it’s still evolving, and working in Haxe feels like getting in on the ground floor of something really special. I’m kinda blown away by it.

If you’re a flash developer, I think you should be looking seriously at Haxe. Very seriously.

(Here’s a good place to start.)

Bosca Ceoil:

Now that I’ve got the basics of Haxe up and running, I’m itching to make something small in it – but once I’ve done that, I’m thinking I’m going to take some time out to finally update Bosca Ceoil, and maybe make a substantially improved version.

I think the appeal of Bosca Ceoil is it’s restrictions: making music is scary and it’s hard to know where to even start. A lot of what makes Bosca Ceoil nice to use is that it simplifies lots of decisions for you: here’s an instrument, here’s a scale, don’t worry about such and such, etc etc. I think that’s pretty important, especially for people like me who find composing intimidating. That’s why I made it that way!

That said, there’s a bunch of stuff it restricts weirdly and unnecessarily, and I’d like to rethink that a bit and see if there’s another way I can approach things. If this ends up making it a substantially different feeling tool, then I might just end up making a whole new thing.

And one more thing:

FutureTechnology

Here’s the thing: as much fun as learning Haxe has been, honestly, I’d rather not code at all. Mostly, coding has always just felt like it’s in my way, like I have to figure out how to express what I’m trying to do in this weird form. What I’d *really* like to do is just make my own game dev tool, and work mostly in that. And like with Bosca Ceoil, I have some pretty specific ideas about how that would work that I don’t see other people doing. I added the tools section to my sidebar recently as a statement of intent – it’ll probably be a while before anything happens with this – but it’s something I’m thinking a lot about.

* 6 Comments

Forgot, and never brought to mind

(thanks, HotAndColdAF!)

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.

Ok, I know that’s a terrible clichĂ©, but I mean it very earnestly! I used to post something about what I was up to as often as once a week. I’m going to try very hard to start doing that again from now on.

I like new year’s resolutions a lot – this time of year has always been important for me to think back on what I’ve made, and to think about what I want to make. This is when I make plans. I rarely stick to them, though – like, in 2012, I was so sure that I wasn’t going to start any new projects – instead, I was going to really focus on finishing one of the half dozen big prototypes I had lying around. That plan didn’t last very long, but, eh, it’s probably for the best.

Reflection of years of new year’s resolutions past reveal that I kinda keep falling into the same traps, and I’m feeling all the same things again this year: I wanna sink my teeth into a big project, but I don’t know which one to pick! I’m sick of making small things, but I have all these small things I wanna finish first! And I rarely finish any of the games I talk about wanting to finish in my new year’s posts – sometimes I don’t even work on them that year.

It really doesn’t feel like a process I understand very well or have much control over. Which is frustrating. I mean, I’ve been indie for over seven years now! Seven! I should be better at this by now!

Today’s an anniversary of a very important project for me – five years ago today, I released VVVVVV. Five years later, VVVVVV remains the game I’m most proud of. I feel incredibly blessed that it’s found the audience it has. Gosh, I don’t even know where to begin talking about how lucky I feel. And its success isn’t the only thing I feel lucky about: VVVVVV was a joy to work on.

Working on VVVVVV was not like working on any other big project that has come along before or since. VVVVVV never felt like hard work – even in the final weeks when I barely slept. It took a little over six months, and I spent most of that time just playing with level ideas and getting little details to feel right. I woke up every day excited to add the next thing, to try out some stupid thing I’d thought up the night before. I loved working on it. I’ve loved working on other games too, but VVVVVV was special for me, and I think it shows in the game.

I think I’ve been looking for another project like that ever since. I’ve gotten close, but nothing has been quite the same.

This year, I think any plan I make about what I want to work on has to be a better acknowledgement of the way I work best. So here it is: I’m not making a plan. I’m just going to work on what I feel like, when I feel like it, and see where that gets me.

Happy new year, everyone.

* 14 Comments

Moving Stories

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moving_ingame

A short game I made this month with Stephen Lavelle.

[Play Online (Flash)]
[download source code]

(note: contains some NSFW content)

* 8 Comments

Suddenly, #screenshotsaturday

movingstories

Gosh, no updates in a while! Will try to do better about that next year.

Stephen and I are working on a little thing. Should be out before the end of the year.

* 5 Comments

App Store > Games > Terry Cavanagh’s Favourite Games

suphexapp

This morning someone on twitter reminded me that today is Super Hexagon’s 2nd birthday! Gosh :D

It’s probably a coincidence, but Apple got in touch recently to say they’d like to put Super Hexagon in one of their App Store indie game showcase features that they’ve been doing recently, which is very nice of them and very good timing.

Part of the feature meant that I get to put together a list of iOS games to tell the world about. Here’s the ones I chose:

4nr 4NR

An elegant, fun little platform game that I love the structure of. Still find myself replaying it occasionally, long after finishing it with a perfect score.

80days 80 Days

Probably the most recent game on my list – it’s a great boardgamey interactive fiction take on Around the World in 80 Days. It nails this feel of being on a long trip and getting a fleeting sense of this world you’re passing through.

868hack 868-Hack

A brilliantly designed roguelike-like with a smart take on character progression. I’ve probably played more of this than anything else on my iPad.

bosonx Boson-X

One of the best endless runners I’ve come across – moreso than usual, I got really competitive with this one!

ending Ending

A drod-like of sorts, with a wonderful roguelike mode. Have played this pretty compulsively since it came out.

englishcountrytune English Country Tune

It’s by my flatmate, so, you know, nepotism – but I’m far from the only person to love this one. There’s an astonishing, mindblowing idea in the middle of the game that not enough people have seen.

gamedog GameDog

GAMEDOG! I love Gamedog! It’s this weird broken fake-LCD bootleg game emulator for a machine that doesn’t exist, with lots of weird bootleg takes on pacman and things like that. Charming and really funny.

hoplite Hoplite

Another roguelike-like! I love games that challenge you to purposefully make things harder for yourself as a show of swagger, something this game does very well with its achievement system.

iamlevel I am Level

Like somebody looked at an iPad and said “RIGHT, how can I make a Spectrum platformer work on this?”. The solution they came up with is unlikely and really clever. Hits right at the things I get nostalgic about. Plus the ending’s pretty funny.

kairo Kairo

A mystlike – walk around giant environments and interact with mysterious machines. I originally played this with two friends, passing the controller around and taking turns at the puzzles, which worked great because it’s beautiful both to watch and explore.

keroblaster Kero Blaster

Pixel’s low key follow up to Cave Story, a humble little platform shooter bursting with character and charm. I get a bit fanboyish about Pixel’s work!

mcpixel McPixel

A fantastic take on point-and-click adventure games, and a GREAT fit for touchscreens.

rebuild Rebuild

A really great board-game-like zombie survival game about rebuilding society. When it came out I played all the way through in one sitting.

rss Realistic Summer Sports Simulator

My favourite multiplayer game on iPad – hilarious and really fun. Watch the trailer!

skullpogo Skullpogo

Does tilt controls *really really* well. You play as a skeleton on a pogo stick, hence, Skullpogo. I like Skeletons.

spikedislike Super Spike Dislike

Aaaa I love Super Spike Dislike. It’s a really simple one-jump action game. Like Hoplite, has that wonderful quality of being hard mostly because you’re making it hard on yourself. One of the first games I recommend to people who get an iOS device.

thicket Thicket

Thicket’s a music toy that’s so spongy and great, you touch it and it makes sounds and you can mess with it with all your fingers at once. Ah it’s so lovely.

tumbledrop Tumbledrop

Beautiful and cute and charming and such a perfect fit for a touchscreen device. A thing I often show to people who aren’t sure if they really like games.

There’s a bunch of other stuff I love on the App Store too of course, but hard choices need to made for things like this. Hope it helps people find some stuff they like!

* 5 Comments

Elegy

voix_dead_GAMEOVER
The game over screen, featuring broken items important to the game – a mask, a sword, a potion bottle.

Here’s something that really sucks about the way I approach making games: a lot of things I work on don’t work out. Like, for every game I finish, there are five or six unfinished ones, in some cases games I’ve spent weeks or even months on.

When those games are just mine, it’s sad, but I just accept it as part of my creative process – failed projects sometimes become the core of something new and better. It’s just what works for me, for better or worse.

When one of those projects is a collaboration, though, it’s different.

My game with Cristian Ortiz didn’t work out. :( Essentially the design just wasn’t as deep as I had hoped when I initially prototyped it, and we got carried away and let the thing grow huge and way out of proportion. We ended up with something that was gonna take months to finish, and probably wasn’t a strong enough idea to be worth that kind of time.

With solo projects, I rarely announce when they don’t work out. But since this was a collaboration, and a project we worked on for several months on and off, I think it’s important to mark it. Partially just to have some closure, but mostly because Cris did a bunch of amazing work for the game and I really want people to see it:

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The Hollow Templar! A mini-boss that was supposed to be half way through the game.


A gif of some combat!( Some of the GUI stuff was placeholder)

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A skeleton enemy. To be honest, I just really like Skeletons. Wanna make a skeleton game at some point…

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The main character. The mask lets him see things that other people can’t see.


Another gameplay gif, blocking an attack.

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A frog enemy. Part of the concept meant that all the enemies needed to be non-human.

items
Various items found around the monastery.

Working with Cris was an absolute pleasure – I’m hoping we’ll end up working on something else in the future!

* 6 Comments

Outer Space

Hey everyone! I have lots of big annoucements about VVVVVV today, so let’s get to it!

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VVVVVV: Make and Play Edition

Let’s start with what I consider the really important thing – inspired by things like Knytt Stories and DROD: Architect’s Edition, I’m releasing a special build of VVVVVV on Windows, Mac and Linux today. It’s called VVVVVV: Make and Play Edition, and it’s completely free. This version of the game only includes the player levels and the level editor – which means that, from now on, the tools to make and play VVVVVV player levels are completely free.

[Download for Windows]
[Download for Mac] (right click and Save-as)
[Download for Linux] (right click and Save-as)
(last updated 18/06/2014)

People have done some really incredible things with the VVVVVV editor. I want to share that work as far and wide as I can!

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Lots of new VVVVVV ports

VVVVVV is now available on iPhone, iPad, Android, and OUYA!

These ports have been quite a long time coming! Actually, I originally started the iPhone port before I started Super Hexagon, way back in 2012. So it feels very, very good to finally have it finished, and released. This is something I felt I really had to take on myself – VVVVVV’s important to me, and it was really important to me that this be done right. I wanted the game to be as good as it could be on mobile. I feel very good about how it’s turned out!

You can get it from here:

[VVVVVV for iOS]

[VVVVVV for Android]

[VVVVVV for OUYA]

Nicalis have been working on a Vita port as well – this should be coming out sometime this summmer!

supgrav
Super Gravitron

Surprise! Today I’m also releasing another game on iOS and Android: Super Gravitron. It’s a little minigame that you might remember from the end of VVVVVV!

It’s acting as sort of a demo, but mostly I just think it happens to work really well as it’s own thing on mobile. And it’s completely free! Get it here:

[Super Gravitron for iOS]

[Super Gravitron for Android]

ach
Version 2.2

Thanks to Ethan Lee, VVVVVV on desktop has finally gotten an update! Version 2.2 fixes a bunch of long standing bugs (for example, player level warp lines) and makes the 2.1 changes official (like player maps, coloured text in player levels, editor direct mode, etc).

If you’re on steam, this update also adds achievements! They’re the same ones that VVVVVV always had, except now they’re recognised by steam. If you’ve already got them, log into today and you should get awarded a bunch of them at once, which is extremely satisfying!

mmmmmm
MMMMMM

Finally – remember that amazing Metal Medley of VVVVVV music by @FamilyJules7x? Yeah, both Souleye and I were seriously impressed!

Introducing: MMMMMM! A complete Metal cover of the VVVVVV soundtrack! You can pick it up today directly from Souleye!

The soundtrack comes with a mod, which you can install in your player level directory to play the game with the metal soundtrack instead of the original one!

That’s all, everyone! Thanks for playing!

* 62 Comments

Terry Versus E3

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Announcement time!

Finally! VVVVVV is coming to iOS, Android and OUYA this Thursday, the 12th of June! A Vita version will follow later, at some point in the future!

I’ve also been working on something secret that I’m very excited about, which will also be coming out this Thursday. Ahhh! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

* 12 Comments

Ports ports ports

Time for a very imPORTant update! Ho ho ho

VVVVVV’s mobile ports are definitely taking a lot longer than anticipated, but things are finally coming to an end. A few days ago, after weeks of testing and fixing bugs and optimising, I finally submitted VVVVVV to the app store! It’ll be in a review for a while, and going live hopefully not too long after that…

So what’s the next step? Well, there’s also the android version (that’s going pretty well too), and the steam update. And one more thing…

vvine

The OUYA version!

I like the OUYA as a thing quite a lot – last year I even ported 10 of my freeware games to it for fun! And it’s really cool to be able to play VVVVVV on it too – this’ll be the first time you can actually sit down with a controller and play VVVVVV on a telly, which is kind of a big deal. It should be out at the same time as the other ports – not quite sure when that is yet, but I’ll announce it as soon as I know :)

That’s not all, though.

suphexvine

Surprise! I’m also bringing Super Hexagon to OUYA! And real soon, too. Like, next Tuesday. Ahhhhhhh

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