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Topics - Bruce Michez

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VVVVVV / I'm retiring.
« on: January 28, 2019, 03:06:11 PM »
I have decided to retire from VVVVVV.  This is because the frustration of playing levels that are both cleverly designed and diabolically difficult has become too much.  I simply cannot cope with hearing the "death" sound effect literally hundreds of times in quick succession just because my movement isn't quiiiite precise enough.  At least something like I Wanna Be the Guy makes a lot of its death scenarios entertaining in their own right - VVVVVV at its worst, I think, is far more liable to put the player in a bad mood because of its austere aesthetic.

So this is goodbye.  I'm still proud of my own contributions, especially the Dimension of the Ancients in [II] and some heated dialogue towards the end of [X].  And I'm grateful to everyone here for being easily one of the friendliest online communities I've ever come across.  And hey, a game as charming as VVVVVV is worthy of such a community.

Make Terry proud, everyone.

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VVVVVV / [\] has its own TVTropes page!
« on: January 15, 2019, 10:26:54 AM »
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/BracketedBackslash

Looks like it's the only VVVVVV level to have this honour, too.  I'm... nearly speechless right now.

(To clarify: I didn't make the page.)

3
VVVVVV / How old do we think the Souleye crew are?
« on: December 12, 2018, 04:45:12 AM »
Here's my guesses, from oldest to youngest:

:vitellary: - 50
:viridian: - 40
:vermillion: - 36
:violet: - 31
:verdigris: - 29
:victoria: - 23

4
I'm just curious.  My late father got one in 1995 because he needed it to run Sibelius (yup, the sheet music processor).  I don't really need it any more, because Sibelius has long since moved to Windows, but nonetheless I'm happy that it still works.  I can still clear TwinWorld (quite a difficult and substantial platformer) in one sitting.

5
VVVVVV Levels / [X] - the Square-Bracketed Saga concludes
« on: August 26, 2016, 05:48:35 PM »
This is the third and final installment in the story of :viridian:'s clone.  The first two can be found here and here.

Story: After a long journey, the Souleye crew are seemingly ready to fix the cosmos at last.  The experiment goes awry due to interference from four neighbouring dimensions, and :viridian: must explore all of them.  Luckily, the team's new base has some fancy boundary-proof shielding, making transdimensional travel much easier here than in [II] (where it's somewhat Gravitron-esque).
  • In terms of density (in both scripts and layout), this level is somewhere between its two predecessors, and thus isn't as long as [II] but is still a substantial adventure spanning four pocket dimensions.
  • For the first time I have dabbled in internal scripting!  This is actually why it took me this long to get around to making a third level; I knew that internal scripting would be required for the sort of story it would necessarily tell.
  • Yes, I know that the Periodic Table and dimensional map seen in the hub have been done before, in CCCCCCCCCC Retold and Dimension Switchback respectively.  They are there because they are the sort of things I'd expect to see in an actual research station in-universe.
  • 20 trinkets again, though they're even less important this time...  (getting 19 unlocks the 20th; otherwise they just influence the behaviour of characters in the base area)
Update history:
  • Original release, downloaded 200 times
  • A small update that adds two "running gag" room names I forgot to use, and removes a warning pertaining to what turns out to be a non-existent glitch.

6
VVVVVV Help / The createentity box enemy
« on: August 16, 2016, 06:23:03 AM »
I've been experimenting with it.  Two weird glitches have jumped out at me:
  • If using the command in room (20,3), you get a red triangle instead of the usual pink box.  I wonder if there are other rooms where a similar anomaly occurs...  edit: yes!  In (19,1) you get "OBEY", complete with the bigger hitbox!
  • Movement type 10 generates a large number of enemies, then promptly crashes the game.  Don't use that.  Again, there are probably more.  edit: yup, 12 freezes the game.

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VVVVVV Levels / Things that can be done by editing a level's code directly
« on: February 08, 2015, 04:39:42 PM »
My second big level includes two such things:
  • The colour-changing lab background, achieved by manually setting the room's properties to tilecol="6"
  • A weird box-shaped checkpoint, achieved by setting an entity to t="10" p="5", as seen in crazyal02's "Dimension SIMPLE" (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=1875.0).  This one's complicated: it turns out that the direction in which it spawns :viridian: is determined by the previous normal checkpoint the player touched.  Therefore, starting at a box checkpoint, when using the editor, crashes the game, as does saving and reloading at one.  Use with caution.
I'm aware of at least three other exploits:
  • The grey warp zone tileset, with a grey warp background, as seen in the original game's Polar Dimension.  Again, this is done by changing the room's properties to tilecol="6".  Interestingly, if you put a warp background in the colour-changing lab room described above, it will be grey.
  • An invalid tilecol in a lab room does something interesting.  If the player hasn't previously visited a lab room, this creates a plain white background.  Otherwise, the background will be the same colour as the last lab room the player was in.
  • Changing the speed of moving platforms, set by platv="x" in the room's properties.
How many other fancy things can be done with a VVVVVV level and a text editor?  I shall try to keep this first post up-to-date.

8
VVVVVV Levels / [II], the sequel to [\]
« on: February 08, 2015, 04:23:30 PM »
The story so far...  In my previous level (http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=1816.0), the entire crew got imprisoned in an evil artificial dimension created by terrorists.  Things looked bleak until :viridian: happened upon a weird shadow machine, which he used to clone himself.  The copy of :viridian: broke the crew out of the dimension, destroyed it using its creators' very own flawed prototype weapon, and used the shadow machine to escape.

Unfortunately, this has had some unintended consequences.  All the original :viridian: knows is that his crew have been locked up again, this time semi-legitimately for transdimensional vandalism.  As yet another rescue mission unfolds, it becomes clear that he's made a terrible mistake.  Can he put the cosmos to rights?
  • This level is longer than its predecessor, as its 2020 map is a lot denser this time around.
  • Like before, however, it is not intended to be as punishing as some other maps.  It focuses more on exploration and story-telling.
  • It makes much more use of Direct Mode than its predecessor, notably in places where the foreground of one tileset is combined with the background of another.
  • It also makes use of the "hidden" songs accessible via scripting, including the powerful "Predestined Fate" remix.
  • Remember that you're playing as the original :viridian: this time, not as his clone.
  • There are two new characters you'll meet, including a bad-tempered admiral who's embarrassed about his name.
  • There is now a third and final entry in this series: http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=2768.0
Update history:
  • Original release, downloaded 42 times
  • A patch that fixes too many things to list here.  Details will be posted below.

9
Intended as a large, but fairly no-nonsense level, in the tradition of 333333 but (hopefully) less punishing.  I do not use internal scripting.

Story: The data from the secret lab has fallen into the wrong hands (remember that terminal from the main game?) and :viridian: and company are therefore now imprisoned in an evil dimension.  You play as :viridian:'s clone - this came about because I figured the last NPC you rescue should be :viridian: himself.

  • The "Wait for It" trinket challenge in :vitellary:'s section was inspired by the "Desert Bus" level from way back, but you won't be waiting anything like that long.
  • Teleportation in various places becomes available after you rescue :verdigris: from this dimension's Warp Zone.  (20,9) is the teleport hub for a simple reason: that room always warps in all directions, because in VVVVVV proper those are the co-ordinates of the Super Gravitron.
  • I find :victoria:'s section to be the hardest - in particular, the third and last trinket challenge.
  • When you get to a room that looks like "Doing Things the Hard Way", don't panic - it's not what you think it is.
  • There are two endings.  Getting all 20 trinkets doesn't unlock any extra area, but it does get you the good ending.
  • As promised, there is now a sequel, in which you will get to see what happened to :viridian:'s clone, and find out what this dimension is actually called.  http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=1937.0
  • And here is the third and final installment: http://distractionware.com/forum/index.php?topic=2768.0

Update history:
Version 5 was the first released, downloaded 9 times.
Version 6, which was downloaded 7 times, addressed a serious technical issue in the final section.
Version 7, which was downloaded 5 times, made some aesthetic changes and hopefully made a few things clearer.
Now updated with version 8, which moves a checkpoint so you can no longer permanently lock :victoria: in her cell.  (See below)

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