Archive for October, 2011

The IGF Pirate Kart

Earlier today Bentosmile wondered aloud on twitter: “Why is there no Pirate Kart for IGF?“. Great question! I think that’s a great idea. And as it turns out, so do a lot of other people.

The IGF often celebrates these massive, polished indie games that compete with the big triple A titles on consoles – and that’s very cool, but to me that’s only a very small part of what’s exciting about indie games.

The pirate kart represents a different side of indie games, one that I think is far more interesting – and one that’s maybe not so easily represented in the IGF. That’s why I’d love to see a pirate kart enter the festival. Not as a protest, but with complete sincerity.

So, I’m putting a bunch of my KOTM and jam games forward for this. You should too!


Back from Indiecade

I’m finally back from LA! I’m so exhausted I can barely stand. Indiecade was, once again, an amazing festival and conference. I didn’t win any awards with At a Distance, but I don’t care; Indiecade is something special for me, and I was incredibly proud to be a finalist at it again this year.

I was hoping, after this, that I could lock down the basic design of At a Distance and start thinking about how I’m going to release it more publically. Showing the game at Indiecade demonstrated that it’s not yet ready for that, though.

My biggest issue with the game is that it’s still kind of a “gamer’s game” (as a fellow designer described it). Indiecade is different in an important way from, say, the Eurogamer Expo – in that it’s open to the public. And seeing the game being played by people who, for example, weren’t able to jump in first person, was a bit of a shock – it was kind of depressing to see people unable to put any of the game’s concepts together, because they were still struggling with things I take for granted. I don’t want people to have that experience with the game.

Most of the time that didn’t happen, though. In fact, a few people at the festival had an absolutely perfect experience with the game, the sort of experience I wish everyone who played it was lucky enough to have – shared moments of realisation, an open discussion about the systems in the game and how they could experiment with it – when it works, it makes it all worthwhile.

There are a few more events this year I’m hoping to showcase the game at, which I’ll have more details about soon. Oh! And I meant to post this earlier, but Phill Cameron of Gamasutra talked to me at the Eurogamer Expo about the game. His write up is relatively spoiler free, so it’s definitely worth a read if you want to know a bit more about it.


VVVVVV coming to 3DS, published by Nicalis

Hey all! I’m currently out in Indiecade, where for the first time, I met Tyrone Rodriguez of Nicalis in person. We decided it was a good time to announce something we’ve been working on! Here’s Nicalis’ press release:

Nicalis To Publish Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV on 3DS eShop

October 6th, 2011 – Nicalis, Inc., developer and publisher of independently awesome video games is VVVVVVery excited to announce a publishing agreement with Terry Cavanagh for VVVVVV on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. VVVVVV features the same amazingly retro gameplay, aesthetic and chiptune music (by Swedish musician, Magnus Pålsson), but now in 3D and on the go with your 3DS. Attendees of Indiecade in Culver City, California can play a near-complete preview VVVVVVersion for the first time on 3DS! Just find Terry Cavanagh or Tyrone Rodriguez and ask them to play!

Released in late 2010 for PC, VVVVVV is a 2D action-platformer deeply rooted in the days of 8-bit gaming with incredibly challenging gameplay and secrets. In VVVVVV, you play as Captain Viridian, who must not only save a dimension on the brink of collapse, but also find your ship’s crew–all of whose names begin with the letter V.

Now 3DS owners can experience the critically acclaimed game in 3D, anywhere. When asked for an obligatory quote, Terry Cavanagh said, “I’m VVVVVVery excited about it! This is the first time anything I’ve made has been on a console.”

VVVVVV 3DS Features:
Open-world environment with six unique levels
20 Trinkets to locate and collect
Full 3D awesomeness integrated into the retro-looking art style
– Dual screen functionality with a real-time map!
– Music by Magnus Pålsson
– New Featured Levels
– Future content updates

VVVVVV continues Nicalis’ partnerships with highly talented and super-awesome independent developers. Previously Nicalis has teamed up with Studio Pixel (Cave Story, Ikachan), Nicklas Nygren (NightSky) and NIGORO (La-Mulana). Now Terry Cavanagh’s incredible VVVVVV, too, will make the jump–er, flip–to console.

About Nicalis, Inc.
Based in Southern California, Nicalis, Inc. is an independent developer and digital publisher with a proven track record for developing well-polished games with library of highly-acclaimed products for mobile. Founded in 2007, Nicalis continually seeks to enhance, and improve the quality of video games throughout the game industry. Nicalis, Inc. is committed to developing wildly creative and endlessly entertaining games that just happen to be affordable. Nicalis, Inc. is also developing NightSky (portable downloads), has completed development on Cave Story 3D (for the Nintendo 3DS) and is publishing La-Mulana (WiiWare). More information on Nicalis can be found via the Internet at and

About Terry Cavanagh
Terry Cavanagh–not to be confused with the World’s Most Dangerous Accordion Player or a Canadian politician–is an award-winning independent game designer, and nice guy. Born in an undisclosed year in an undisclosed village deep inside of Ireland, Terry began laboriously toiling away at game development during a very early age with the Commodore 64 and BASIC.
VVVVVV Website:

Since then Terry has moved on to develop a number of lauded and heavily anticipated games including Don’t Look Back, Self Destruct and the forth-coming At a Distance and Nexus City.

In 2010, Cavanagh teamed up with Swedish musician, Magnus “Souleye” Palsson to create the critically acclaimed and highly successful game, VVVVVV, which has a VVVVVVersion for release in late 2011 on the Nintendo 3DS

Terry’s main focus has been creating minimal, concept-driven games.

© 2011 Nicalis, Inc
© 2011 Terry Cavanagh
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.