Archive for October, 2009


Bah. It was worth a shot.

It’s not looking like I’m going to have any of the stuff I wanted to have in the IGF version of the game – although the game is playable from beginning to end, teleporting around works and quite a few of the important cutscenes are in place, it’s 5am and a major feature, saving – something which I just added for the first time today – is completely broken. And broken in some intricate flash specific way that I’m not going be able to fix tonight with any kind of certainty! (I’ve also taken far too many shortcuts trying to get this out in time, and I’m not happy submitting it like this – there’s far too much rushed placeholder dialogue…)

Not a big deal though! Instead, I’m just going to submit the Eurogamer Expo version.



Tick tock tick tock

My flights leave for London tomorrow morning! I still haven’t finished or submitted VVVVVV to the IGF yet (or Don’t Look Back, unfortunately), so it looks like it’s gonna be another all nighter…

I may have to cut some corners.


VVVVVV in Leeds

The Eurogamer Expo starts tomorrow in Leeds, and VVVVVV’s gonna be there! I am running a little behind schedule and had to work all night last night so that it would be ready in time… Although all the game content is in place, quite a lot of the in between cutscenes that tie the game together still aren’t written – so to have something playable for the event, I had to cut all that out and do something different.

The Eurogamer Build has a hub world (pictured above!) which ties all the game’s levels together in an easily accessible way – in other words, there’s no world map, no exploring and very few cutscenes. That makes a lot of sense for the environment of the expo, but I really want all this stuff in place by the time I submit it to the IGF on Wednesday night. So I’ve still got a lot of work to do…

If you’re in Leeds and you’re at the expo, let me know how it gets on! I won’t be there until the London venue…



Woah! I’m more than a little shocked at the response my last post got! I thought maybe, if I was lucky, I might get enough to send maybe one of the games to the IGF and I’d have to make a tough decision – I wasn’t prepared for this sort of support. I’m humbled 🙂

It’s only been a day and I’ve already got enough to submit both games and then some – in fact, with the amount that people have chipped in I’ll actually be able to do things like, you know, pay my rent next month and pay my heating bill. I don’t know what say! To everyone who helped, thank you, so much!

I’ll leave the link up in the sidebar for now – the same bonuses are still available to anyone who donates, though it’s no longer an urgent matter. 🙂

I hope to submit Don’t Look Back this weekend when I get a chance to write up the entry form, and VVVVVV next week just before I go to London (which will be the last chance I get to work on it before the deadline).



VVVVVV is debuting in Leeds next week, so I’m crunching to get it ready in time! There were a lot of unexpected complications with my non-linear approach, but I think it’ll be worth all the extra work, in the end, when it’s finally done. It could be a very long time before I tackle something as big as this again, so I’m not going to rush it. You know what they say about the last 10%.

My browser start page is this – a countdown to the IGF submission deadline. Right now 12 days, 6 hours, 16 minutes and 55 seconds remain. So I figured it was about time I submitted something! I’ve thought about it a bit and decided that I’d like to submit two games – Don’t Look Back and VVVVVV. There’s just one problem; I don’t have the money.

I don’t talk about this a lot, so there’s a good chance a lot of people reading this don’t actually know what my working situation is. I actually make games full time – and full time as in, well, all the time; all day, every day. I quit my job two years ago and I’ve been trying to find some way to balance making the games I wanna make and being able to afford doing it since. My savings from work are long gone, and I got a loan about a year ago which has since run out.

So this is reality: very soon I will have to stop making games full time and start dealing with my debts.

My original plan with VVVVVV was to look for a sponsorship, but it’s grown too big for that to really be realistic. In any case, I find it hard to imagine it with a sponsor’s logo on the front, surrounded by ads. So recently I’ve decided that I want to try something else – I’m going to sell VVVVVV as shareware. It’s a big, scary decision to make, but it’s pretty much the only shot I have at this point at continuing to do what I love into the future! 🙂

I’ve love to know what you think about this. Please let me know! I haven’t really thought this through yet and I don’t really know how I’m going to do it…

A more immediate problem is that I really want to enter these games into the IGF, but can’t afford to! So I’m asking for your help! If you’d like to see me or my games in the IGF, please contribute.

The submission fee is $95 per game! Any contribution is appreciated, but as suggested by some friends here are a few kickstarter style targets to motivate you!

If you donate $10, I’ll send you a copy of VVVVVV once it’s finished. You can think of this as a preorder!

If you donate $20, you’ll get a copy of VVVVVV when it’s done and access to the beta when it’s ready at the start of November (if you like!).

Finally, if you donate $30 or more, you get all the above and I’ll credit you as a patron in the game.

(While donations are still welcome, preorders are no longer available. Thanks for the support! 3rd Jan)
(Beta access and the patron’s list are no longer available. 7th Dec)

Of course, any help at all is appreciated! I’ve never, ever asked for donations before.

Thanks for reading down this far. This was a really hard post for me to write.