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Topics - VAgentZero

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Everything else / I want to make a short-form platformer
« on: December 04, 2010, 01:00:41 PM »
What should it be about, and what kind of mechanics should I explore?

VVVVVV / Terry Pwns Again
« on: October 10, 2010, 08:24:50 PM »
Consider this a digital form of knuckles and a manly chest-bump.  Congratulations on the Indiecade trophy, Mr. Cavanagh!   :viridian:

Nexus City / Nexus City
« on: September 29, 2010, 06:59:04 AM »
How's Nexus City coming along?  It piqued my interest last month and I'm pretty psyched to see something come of it.

Everything else / Good afternoon forum!
« on: August 09, 2010, 09:08:08 AM »
Long time, no talk!  How is everyone?

Other Games / Defen
« on: April 17, 2010, 10:26:44 AM »
What the hell, Mr. Cavanagh.  What the hell.

VVVVVV / Why I'm A Huge Sap
« on: February 14, 2010, 04:41:42 PM »
My girlfriend and I usually don't do much for Valentine's day.  For my birthday on Jan 11, she picked up VVVVVV for me as a birthday gift, and subsequently tried it herself.  I think she might've been even more struck by it than I was!

We don't go out and get steak dinners, or buy each other mounds of chocolate and flowers -- just do something nice, sweet, and simple.  So realizing the obvious parallel with "V-day", I made her this.  My image editing skills are poor; I made it in MS Paint in about half an hour.  But it was fun enough I thought I would share.

(I also don't intend to start invoking some kind of romantic subtext or OTP or something.  It just happens that my favorite color is cyan, and hers purple.  Sue me.   :viridian:)

VVVVVV / Rambling on VVVVVV and Single Mechanics
« on: February 05, 2010, 07:17:59 AM »
I put a post up on my crappy game-design blog about VVVVVV's successful exploration of a single mechanic.  It's basic, and probably has a few holes, but those curious can check it out:

Other Games / It's go time.
« on: January 31, 2010, 02:41:43 PM »
Beat this.

VVVVVV / Rank system for time trial
« on: January 19, 2010, 01:22:40 PM »
I can only assume I missed something obvious somewhere, but I'm trying to work out how the math is done for ranks on Time Trials.  I did quite poorly in the Space Station 2 trial and ended up with a B, which surprised me.  (I missed all three targets; time/death/shiny.)  My naive guess is that you start with a B and gain one rank letter (B -> A -> S -> V) for each category you "pass" in (+1 Rank!), but it wouldn't surprise me to find there's some kind of sliding scale based on math or points or something.  I haven't played them enough to figure it out.  :victoria:

So how is your final rank computed?

VVVVVV / Apologia: Why VVVVVV is worth $15
« on: January 12, 2010, 11:14:44 AM »
I've noticed there's a pretty serious contention regarding whether VVVVVV is worth the $15 price point.  It's a perfectly valid criticism, mind -- there are certainly plenty of free indie games out there of high quality.  But I believe it is worth it.  Allow me to explain my position.

First, why should you pay for VVVVVV at all?  Terry's not under any obligation to release his work for free just because it's independent.  The entirety of the games industry was built on the model of paying for the work of small teams.  In the late '80s and early '90s, the "Apogee Model" of shareware releases was in its heyday.  Download a game demo, and if you like it, ship the author anywhere from $10 to $50 depending on the game, and you'll obtain the full-featured version.  Of course, over the course of the past, oh, 15-20 years, games have become more commercialized, and multi-billion dollar firms have replaced the shareware developers in large part.  But they're still out there.  Paying an author for his time is a show of support for his work -- buying VVVVVV tells Terry, "Hey, the time you spent working on this is important to me."

Okay, so if you buy that releasing the game in a sale-based format is legit, why is it worth the full fifteen bucks?

Consider fun factor.  There's the argument of the "poor" graphical quality of the game.  VVVVVV is certainly not the most flashy piece of software out there.  It lacks the three-dimensional, anti-aliased, whiz-bang bloom effects that are apparently the standard these days.  You can't see the beads of sweat dripping off of Captain Viridian's face as he bounces between precarious platforms.  That being said, I submit:  Who cares?  I've never understood the gaming world's obsession with graphics.  They're a strong selling point, a wow factor, something that people will flock to a piece for.  But truth be told, they're disposable.  A fun game with poor graphics is still a fun game.  A boring game with excellent graphics is garbage.

The game is short.  No one is arguing that.  Know what other, nearly universally acclaimed game was a handful of hours of play?  Portal.  It may seem absurd to the point of sacrilege to compare VVVVVV to Portal, but it's the best example of recent vintage that I can come up with.  I completed Portal in a single sitting; so too did many others.  You paid your entry fee not for a sprawling game world, or for tens of hours of gameplay, but for a small quantity of gold polished lovingly to a mirror sheen.  I'll be damned if I can think of a mainstream commercial title out there which packs that much purity of design and play into each room.  VVVVVV's quality is similar -- each room is a carefully balanced, thought out element.  None are throwaways; none are dick moves, none are cop-outs.  The differences between the beta and release versions show that to the last minute, the puzzles were iterated on until they came as close to perfection as possible.  I'd happily take (just to pull a number out of the air here) 60 screens of utmost quality than 300 slightly above average ones, or worse still, a thousand mediocre ones.

Whether a game is made by a large company or one man makes no difference to me.  I believe the value is in the gameplay, in the love, and there's plenty of it here.  Of course, it's just my opinion -- if you don't agree, if you find your value in length, or beautiful graphics, or lightweight, stress-free gameplay, don't buy it -- no one will mind.  If you find value, but not enough to justify it, wait around a bit -- maybe you'll get lucky and catch a sale or something.  But as far as I'm concerned, I got every penny of my money's worth.

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