Archive for July, 2011

Featured VVVVVV level: “Seasons” by Michael Brough

Michael Brough’s “Seasons” is an atmospheric VVVVVV level. I’m hoping that future versions of the level editor will allow people to use their own graphics and music, and we’ll see a lot more of this sorta thing.

I really like how this level repurposes the simple tilesets from VVVVVV to represent different parts of a world – background skyscrapers in the city, checkpoints as traffic lights, a single blue line as an ocean.

(forum thread)

To play a VVVVVV player level, extract the .vvvvvv file into your VVVVVV levels folder. On windows, that should be in My Documents/VVVVVV, on Mac it’s Documents/VVVVVV, on Linux it’s ~/.vvvvvv


VVVVVV minor patches for Mac and Linux

If you’re a Mac or Linux user and the new version of VVVVVV is running on your machine, you can totally ignore this post! If not, read on:

We’ve just updated the Mac and Linux versions of VVVVVV on the bundle site. The Linux fix is to address a problem with included 64 bit libraries, while the Mac version should fix the crashes that some people were having with OSX 10.5.8. You can redownload the files from the bundle site, or download the patches here:

Mac 2.01 Patch | Linux 2.01 Patch

If for some reason the patch file doesn’t work on your mac, try manually updating the binary with the one in this zip file. To apply that, you’ll have to “Show Package Contents” on the VVVVVV application file, then go to Contents/MacOS and replace the binary with the one in the Intel directory of that zip.

Also, we had a go at making a Mac PowerPC version! We haven’t uploaded a new build for that yet, as it doesn’t seem to work for everyone we tested with, but if you have a 10.4 PowerPC Mac and would like to give it a try, you can download it here. Apply it using the same process as above. If it works, let us know!


VVVVVV version 2.0 launches in the new Humble Indie Bundle

Big news, guys! I’m launching a MASSIVE update to VVVVVV today, as part of the new Humble Indie Bundle! This is a complete rewrite of the game to C++, making it run faster and better on Windows, Mac, and, finally, on Linux!

But even more than that: there’s now also a level editor in the game! I’m really excited about this – it’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since launch last year. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been working flat out, trying to make this as powerful and simple to use as possible, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what people do with it.

While working on the editor, I sent early versions to a few friends and asked them to have a go at making something with it. Everyone came through big time; I’m totally blown away at what they came up with! Those ten levels are included with the new version. Let me tell you a bit about them (and the people that made em):

Robson: Pyramid of Doom

Robson is the creator of YYYYYY, an awesome ASCII demake of VVVVVV which I loved to bits. His level is an extremely cool themed world called “Pyramid of Doom”, which incidently is one of the easier levels in the pack, so it might be a good place to start if your VVVVVV skills are rusty…

Jonathan Whiting: Vertiginous Viridian

Jonathan Whiting is the indie developer responsible for Stalwart, Love Letter, Crushd and Jed, among many other games. I’m a big fan of his level design! He frequently attends the jams we hold in Cambridge, and was one of the first people I thought of for this. His level, “Vertiginous Viridian”, does some really clever things and explores some very interesting level ideas!

Magnus Pålsson
: Dual Challenge and A New Dimension

Magnus Pålsson, aka Souleye, is the musician for VVVVVV! I’m really impressed with his levels for this – he made two, “Dual Challenge” and “A New Dimension“, and it’s clear he really put his heart and soul into them. I love these levels because they feel like his music – in that they’re saturated with ideas and little details and care. His “New Dimension” level is also by far the biggest of the pack, occupying a very good chunk of a 20×20 map!

(Incidently, Magnus’ levels are the only ones of the pack to use scripting, which unfortunately wasn’t implemented in time for other people to use it.)

Craig Forrester
: Variation Venture

Craig Forrester, aka Ishi, is a UK indie developer and also attends the jams here in Cambridge. He’s the creator of the awesome Xbox Indies title Upbot Goes Up, as well as Johnny Platform’s Biscuit Romp and the awesome two player platformer Treasure Treasure. His level is “Variation Venture”, and is a short adventure divided into four parts around a central hub!

Roger Svanlund
: Line Wrap, Roadtrip to the Moon, and Golden Spiral

You might know Roger Svanlund, aka Rox as the creator of that super cool 3D mockup video VVVVVVX! Rox made not one, but three levels for the new version of the game! My favourite of his is “Line Wrap”, which is a great looking themed level that does some clever things with wraping rooms. He also made “Roadtrip to the Moon”, and “Golden Spiral”, which is without a doubt the trickiest level of the ten!

: Variety Show

Whirligig is the creator of the other ASCII demake of VVVVVV, titled CCCCCCCCCC. It’s a really clever and well put together game, that, like Robson’s YYYYYY, brings lots of it’s own ideas to expand the basic concept of the game. His level, “Variety Show”, is a bit like his levels from CCCCCCCCCC, with big open rooms.

: VVVV 4k

I’m sure Notch needs no introduction, but here’s one anyway – Notch is the creator of Minecraft, one of my favourite games. He’s also a frequent partipant in online coding contests like Ludum Dare and Java4k. To some of you, his level, “VVVV 4k” might be familar! This is a port of his awesome 4k demake of VVVVVV for last year’s Java 4k contest.

As for a new level of my own? Stay tuned 🙂

If you bought VVVVVV directly from me, you should very soon receive an email with a new download link! If you got it on Steam, it should be updated automatically there very shortly too. Unfortunately the Mac App Store will take a little longer as it needs to go through the approval process. But if you bought the game there (or anywhere else) and want to download the new version, get in touch and I’ll send you a link 🙂

If you wanna get started making levels, I’ve posted a short tutorial on my forums! Incidentally, my forums are the place to post and find new levels. 🙂

One last thing: I’d like to thank everyone involved for making this happen – everyone above who worked on levels packaged with this version, John Graham and Jeffrey Rosen for organising the bundle, and in particular, Simon Roth, who created the C++ port, and tirelessly worked long nights with me to get this version of the game ready for the launch.

Thanks everyone 🙂 Hope you enjoy the new version of VVVVVV!


My Super Meat Boy

So hey; here’s a little thing I randomly came across again today while looking for a snippet of code: You guys have heard of Super Meat Boy, right? It was one of my favourite games of last year! Well, if you’ve played it, you might have seen this screen:

…or maybe you haven’t, actually, since it’s from one of the harder warp zones to find; buried away in a Dark World level that you need to reach with a special character! Anyway, Edmund asked a lot of different indie game designers to draw warp zone title screens, including me! His instructions were pretty simple – draw the title screen you’d make for Super Meat Boy if it was your game.

Thing is, I don’t really work that way – in fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually “drawn” a title screen. After several attempts I didn’t like and scrapped, I figured it would just be easier for me to make a little Super Meat Boy fan game in my own style, and make something around that.

So, that warp zone title screen is actually a screenshot from the little game I ended up making. It’s only actually a couple of screens long and very broken, but when I came across it again today I figured it was worth sharing, for fun! [You can play it here]

[edit] To clarify, given some comments on reddit and elsewhere: this was thrown together in a couple of hours. It was just part of my process for coming up with the warp zone title screen for Super Meat Boy, and I decided to post it not because I think it’s good or even worth playing, but because I figured some people might find it interesting!


Announcing the Super Friendship Club

So, I wanna introduce you all to a new forum that launched just the other day – the Super Friendship Club! It’s primarily a developer forum (rather than a player forum), focused on the craft of making games.

One of the things we’re doing with the forum is reviving the gamecollective’s “pageants”, which we’re going to host regularly every two months! The current pageant theme is “Justice”, and ends August the 1st. (I’m entering too, with something small.)

Come make games with us!