Ok, maybe more like the penultimate push

Hello again! For the last week or so I’ve been crunching to finish up VVVVVV. It’s been really productive – the intermission levels are finished and most of the extra game modes are in place now. Souleye‘s been working on a new song that’s absolutely blowing my mind. The game finally has an ending written. But even though I got an awful lot done, it’s still not finished. I have a checklist of about 200 things I want to fix or change in the game, and I’ve barely made a dent in that.

My gut reaction after all the drama last week was get it out the door as soon as possible before it had spread too far and wide, but an awful lot of people have been telling me that that would be a big mistake. And I think they’re right.

Two reasons, mostly: First of all: it just makes way more sense to add as much extra stuff as possible to the full game at this point, to give people a good reason to get the full game even if they’ve played the beta already. Secondly, and more importantly, rushing the game means cutting corners and leaving things out, and I’m just not sure I can bear to do that after working on this for nearly six months now.

The fact is, I’d very much like to still be able to make games next year – and my ability to do that depends entirely on how well VVVVVV sells. The best thing for me, and the best thing for the game is take a little more time to finish it up properly. I don’t know exactly how much longer that’s going to take. Christmas may slow things down a little. But I think it’ll be worth the wait. 🙂

* 41 Comments

41 Comments so far

  1. BobisOnlyBob on December 14th, 2009

    Good man! And the more features you add between the leak and now (while minimising further leaks), the more compelling it will be to buy to filthy pirates like me – pirates, I should point out, who were unaware VVVVVV existed before the leak! =P

  2. Elijah Katz on December 14th, 2009

    I think you should get all that you want done with the game instead of rushing it out ASAP. I think its important for it to be different from the demo due to the leak. VVVVVV is already getting great coverage and I wouldn’t be suprised if it was a finalist at IGF. Make it the best that it can be!

  3. allen on December 14th, 2009

    I think we all want you to still be making games next year, so the more polish the better in the long run.

    Also intrigued about the new SoulEye track.

  4. boss on December 15th, 2009

    Console gamer/ New PC gamer here, is there anyway in hell this could ever be something on the ps3/xbl arcade?

  5. Erik on December 15th, 2009

    I bought this from you already for PC, but I’d buy it on XBLA in a heartbeat.

    Either way, you can do it man! Though I kinda want beta access now that the game is gonna take a while more! 😉

  6. Daik on December 15th, 2009

    I agree with the above. Since I have no money at the moment, I’m saving up every penny I’ve got. This is going to be amazing. Don’t you cheat us out of the amazingness =D

  7. W on December 15th, 2009

    I check this blog every hour I’m on the computer, just for more updates. That’s how much I’m craving this game. Whatever you do, I’m sure it’ll be for the best. Keep doing what you’re doing and everything will work out for the best!

  8. StephenM3 on December 15th, 2009

    After getting a taste of this, I’m very sad to have to wait for the second beta. I feel like the 4channers stole the game directly from me!

  9. Anonymous on December 15th, 2009

    That is the spirit! Good luck, and I hope that the game sells well.

  10. William on December 15th, 2009

    That’s the right decision ! That’s your game, and nobody can stole it if you take time to make it the way you want.

  11. Nevet on December 15th, 2009

    like i said in your last thread, this game is one of the best ive played in a long time, and with the challenge modes it has amazing replayability

    i look forward to purchasing the full version of this game

  12. Carl on December 15th, 2009

    Listen to Violet, Terry.

    Click on me to see my winning stat screen. Alright, maybe I could have died a few thousand times less, but not bad for a first-time effort.

    Keep up the good work and see this through to the finish, FTW!

  13. Sergio on December 15th, 2009

    The ending in the beta is really weird and awesome. To be honest, having seen it and knowing it will be replaced makes me wonder if people will say the liked the beta ending better. That said, I think it’d be nice if it could be included in some way… just as an extra, perhaps.

  14. AFMG on December 15th, 2009

    Take your time, Terry. It’s your baby and, no matter how desperate we are, i think we’ll appreciate it even more when it’s finally done. Thanks for amazing us with such games. Merry Christmas!

  15. Shasharla on December 15th, 2009

    I can’t wait for you to finish your game, Terry. So far I’ve downloaded all your games and played them numerous times. I have to say they just keep getting better and better. I can’t wait to see what you’ll whip out in the future and I’ll always be willing to pay for ’em.
    You have great ideas and concepts that are rare to find in games and the fact that you write these games yourself is nothing to scoff at.
    Keep it up.

  16. John on December 15th, 2009

    As other people are saying, without the 4chan leak a fair fewer people would know about VVVVVV. The game is so good that when I get my full copy I’ll be playing it again not only for the extra content but just for the fun of it; not that I’m good enough to get all 20 trinkets though…

  17. Porpoise on December 16th, 2009

    I may have missed this being mentioned before but will VVVVVV be released on Steam?

  18. Josiah Tobin on December 16th, 2009

    I agree with the majority, here– Certainly take all the time you need to make absolutely sure you’re happy with the finished product. 🙂 I know the situation, as well as the regret of cutting corners and such… Take your time and I know it will be worth it. 😀

    Can’t wait!

    ~Josiah

  19. Lazer on December 16th, 2009

    I’m anticipating this with delight, I know it’ll be amazing!
    I have a feeling that I’ll tell everyone I know about it.

  20. eyf on December 16th, 2009

    Terry, please keep on trucking. This game is the most fun I’ve had since playing on my Commodore 64 in the eighties. You can count on a few bucks from my way.

    (Have a look at my link for something fun 😉

  21. Omni on December 18th, 2009

    I’m here because I’ve happened to stumble upon the leaked version and I liked it so much, I decided to google it.

    Getting the “Nobody will ever get this one” Trinket was one of the most satisfying feelings for a long time now. One of the most challenging and well thought games I’ve played, I’d be more than happy to buy it or otherwise support you just to make sure I’ll be seeing more stuff from you.
    I love you man, I really do.

  22. A on December 18th, 2009

    Great decision Terry!!

    I agree that polishing your work to your heart’s content is the right way to go. I’m sure none of your supporters/potentian buyers find this a drawback.

    I am positively waiting for your final release -when you feel like it is complete-.

  23. AFMG on December 18th, 2009

    Just droping by to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Terry. Hope everything goes as you like it and best wishes!

  24. Terry (No, a different one.) on December 19th, 2009

    I had a root through a big magazine’s ‘most anticipated’ list of games coming in the next two months (the ones that ran away from Modern Warfare 2 in the schedules); and I realised that none of them looked as exciting as VVVVVV.

    I mean, I love MW2. It’s great, silly fun; a trip to Alton Towers with a favourite uncle. VVVVVV, on the other hand, kidnapped me, gave me a severe beating; showed me the meaning of the universe; then dumped me in a layby on the A43; but I emerged from the experience a better person. Braid was the only other recent game to give me Stockholm Syndrome, so well done for that. 😀

    (Yeah, ok, I missed the last, easy trinket on my third play through and I hate you for not letting me go back for it, but in a good way)

    Good luck with the final crunch!

    Terry.

  25. Anon on December 19th, 2009

    I’ve played the beta. Just like Terry, this game gave me a beat down. I haven’t had to step away from a video game because of absolute fustration in eons. Most of the time its usally other people playing a game, like in a FPS or a MMO, but this time it was the actual game itself. I enjoyed what you did with the Tower and the flip wires. I can’t thank you enough for putting your heart and soul in this game. Needless to say, I will be buying this.

    I hope I’m not being rude, but I do have one suggestion/request. After beating the game, could you add a game mode that lets you play just the special areas (like the tower). I think it would be fun if it gave us limited lives or maybe a time limit.

  26. StephenM3 on December 19th, 2009

    I saw the Gamasutra thing. Please, don’t rush the game because of that! It’s their mistake, not yours.

  27. Anonymous on December 19th, 2009

    Here’s another fan who wouldn’t have found out about the game if it wasn’t for the 4chan leak. It took me about two hours to finish the beta version and only afterwards did I realize that the oddly familiar name at the beginning of the credits was, in fact, the guy who made Don’t Look Back.

    The point I’m trying to make here is a) all publicity is good publicity, b) I’ll be looking forward to the finished version, I’m totally buying it and c) I’m trying to persuade my friends to follow suit.

    As of now, thanks for making this great game, please only release it when it’s done to the point of you being happy with it, and Merry Christmas 🙂

  28. BL on December 20th, 2009

    Smart decision, keep it up.

  29. Me on December 20th, 2009

    I don’t think that selling it will be good. The best way for you in my opinion is to upload it to kongregate , because you will surely win 250/1500$ for the best game of week/month. That will be probably much more money than from selling this game. Thank you for reading.

  30. khaldun on December 20th, 2009

    i think you should go xbox live or ps network or steam.

    you would def. get kotaku and other blogs to review it.

  31. Anonymous on December 21st, 2009

    Have you heard about this bug yet?

    >when you go into the ‘alternate world’ or whatever, if you exit the game and do a continue from teleport instead of a continue from checkpoint you go back to the normal area and can’t get back

  32. W on December 21st, 2009
  33. Anonymous on December 21st, 2009

    Just finished the beta, can’t wait for the full version. One complaint: in “The Final Challenge”, the short delay between appearing at a checkpoint and being able to move becomes very apparent and very frustrating. If you could sync the moment you appear with the moment you regain control, that would be great.

    Also, maybe you’re already planning this for the full version, but it’s more fulfilling if you can somehow visit every square on the map. Those blank squares make me feel like I missed something. Or maybe I did?

  34. Lazer on December 22nd, 2009

    Re: “Me” on December 20th, 2009
    On Kongregate he will get, at maximum, 250$ 1500$ and about .26 cents per play, which could give him about $600 at about 200,000 plays, which would be after a couple months, and a medium trickle more over time. This is assuming no-one else releases an even better game during that time, and that the game is exclusive, and also can vary greatly depending on how popular it is or the current ad rates. Total: $2350, give or take a few hundred.
    Selling the game for $10 per person: Lets assume that 1 percent of the 200,000 people decide to pay up and buy the game. Right there: $20,000
    Even if a quarter of a percent of the possible buyers buy the game, it still makes $5000.

    I have the feeling that you just want to play for free, ‘Me’.

  35. Erik on December 22nd, 2009

    F5F5F5!!!! 🙂

    Excited and waiting for final release

  36. Wobbles on December 23rd, 2009

    I’m also one of the folks who found it courtesy of the 4chan release. I’m incredibly fond of this game, and I’m currently working on a twenty-trinket speedrun 🙂 My time is down to 26 minutes and dropping!

    I just want to say that even though some of the rooms are really, REALLY, mean, I got a huge sense of satisfaction from beating this game. Thanks a lot for making it, and the moment I have money in my bank account you’ll be getting some of it 🙂

    In the meantime, I’m doing what I can to advertise by livestreaming my speed runs. You’ve got a great game here, and I’m looking forward to the final release so I can speedrun that too 🙂

  37. ZekeSulastin on December 23rd, 2009

    To back up Lazer’s response to the poster Me: somehow, I think Mr. Canavagh is already familiar with Kongregate’s terms.

    I can’t wait for the demo, so I can see if I enjoy or loathe the ultradifficulty >.> *resumes listening to the main theme and uptempo main theme on repeat*

  38. Trinket searcher on December 23rd, 2009

    How do I get the trinket marked by Victoria on the second part of the blue sector?

  39. Omni on December 23rd, 2009

    I’ve found a minor, but still bad bug. When I saved at the first teleporter that would get me to the ship for the first time and closed the game, then selected “continue from teleporter”, I couldn’t teleport – the map showed up instead. I don’t know if it’s the same with any other teleporters, though.

  40. Moran on December 23rd, 2009

    Omni, you need to leave the room and come back again I think. Or did I misunderstand your problem?

  41. Wobbles on December 25th, 2009

    Just want to say that the more I work on my speedrun, the more respect I have for you. The first section alone can be run through at nearly full speed by doing everything just perfectly… but the timing on the flips is insanely hard. I didn’t think it was possible to go through The Yes Men without waiting, OR Stop and Reflect, OR Trench Warfare… but you can go from one to the next to the next with only a tiny moment’s pause in Trench Warfare. The amount of polish and dedication in this game is just unbelievable and everything fits together amazingly well. Respect to you, Mr. Cavanaugh.

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