Archive for November, 2009

Impressions

Time for a quick update, I think! I’m preparing to move out of Dublin at the moment, which has slowed development down a bit. Hoping to pick things up next week, though.

For the last fortnight I’ve been mostly working on the final bits of the game’s content, the two intermission levels. Both are a bit of a departure from the gameplay in the rest of the game, so there was a fair bit of work involved in getting them right. “Intermission two” is basically finished, but there’s still work to be done with “Intermission one”.

A few people have written up their thoughts on the beta, all of which is very motivating! Dustin over at PlayThisThing wrote a review, Rob Fearon explains why you should play it, and Mike Rose gave his impressions!

This is probably a good time to clear up something I’ve been asked a few times over the last few days – yes, you can play the beta right now if you donate. Everything in this post still applies until the second/final beta is ready! This isn’t available anymore. (7th Dec)

Thanks to everyone who’s sent emails and feedback 🙂 I really appreciate the support, and I hope you’re enjoying the game.

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VVVVVV, Beta One

VVVVVV hit a really important milestone last night. Its first beta. I sent it out to all the donors with beta access, but there were a few technical problems and some of the emails weren’t sent originally. So if you haven’t gotten an email yet, get in touch and I’ll sort you out!

I’ve been so exhausted today that I can barely keep my eyes open. My body’s reacting like this monolithic project is finally finished, but it’s not. There’s still a final stretch to go before it’s done…

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Mini LD #14

Developers! I am hosting this month’s Mini Ludum Dare, and it’s happening this weekend. More info here, if you’re up for it.

Ludum Dares are normally solo events, but this one requires you to find a partner!

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Eurogamer Expo 2009

Last weekend, I was at the Eurogamer Expo in London, showing VVVVVV publicly for the first time! There’s a photo of big bearded me getting very worked up. It was pretty exciting stuff!

The show itself was a really amazing experience – I’d never been to a games expo before, let alone demo something at one. I met up with some really great people and played some brilliant games (the line up was phenomenal). A number of people at the event have written up summaries that you should check out – David Hayward, Mike Rose, Mike Nowak, and Rob Fearon (who I was gutted not to have met!).

This is the first time I got to see the game being played live, so I spent most of my time there hovering around and taking notes, chatting to the people who tried it out. While I’d gotten some feedback on the individual levels as I made them, it was really helpful to actually see where people where getting stuck, or lost, or overly frustrated. (though I have to admit I got a kind of sadistic pleasure when people got stuck in the really hard parts or decided to go for a shiny trinket!) I’ve gotten a lot of notes for little things to fix.

I couldn’t be happier with how the game was received. There were some people who didn’t really go for it at all, and that’s fine – I had one or two people pick up the controller and just give up at the first sign of any challenge. There’s no way I could make the game work for them without ruining it for everyone else.

But a few people really, really got into it. I expected with the whole setup of the event that players would give up when things started to get hard, but that didn’t happen at all. I had more than a few groups decide to tackle the hardest level right away, die dozens and dozens of times in the same room but persevere, pass the controller around and give each other suggestions on how to get past each bit. If anything, the hardest rooms really seemed to go down the best.

I’ve been getting back to work on VVVVVV this week at a less rushed pace. Should have more info soon!

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