At a Distance at the 2011 Eurogamer Expo

Posted in at a distance

Back in 2009, I was fortunate enough to have VVVVVV displayed in the Eurogamer Expo’s Indie Games Arcade, something which stands out as a massive highlight for me as a game designer. Not only had I never had any of my work displayed in public before, but I’d never even attended a games expo! It was amazing.

So, I’m very proud to announce that I’m returning to the Eurogamer Expo this year to showcase a new game of mine, At a Distance! This is a game that was basically made to work in this sort of environment, so I’m very excited to have this opportunity 🙂 If you’re in London at the end of September, come say hi!

(The full line up is available here.)


Interview with Jonas Kyratzes on Mattchat

Posted in nexus city

If you’ve been reading my site any length of time, you’ve probably heard me talk about Nexus City, an RPG I’ve been making with Jonas Kyratzes. It started as a little jam game for an RPGDX competition over a year ago, but has since turned into something quite a lot bigger.

It occurs to me, though, that I’ve said very little about with Nexus City actually is. Mostly, when I do talk about it here, I tend to post screenshots and vague promises of how many more weeks I reckon it’s gonna take to finish it. (Probably another week or two, at least, I reckon.)

You also might not know that much about Jonas Kyratzes, my collaborator on Nexus City – I’ve posted about some of his recent games here – The Infinite Ocean, Alphaland, The Book of Living Magic – but he’s made a lot more than just that. He’s also the creator of the hilarious Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge, and the fascinating Phenomenon 32. And a bunch of other cool stuff. Gregory Weir recently referred to him as “unsung“, which is putting it very mildly, as far as I’m concerned.

The reason I’m bring this up is that Jonas just finished a fantastic series of video interviews on Mattchat. In these, he talks at length about his many wonderful and criminally underappreciated games, and about his new projects, including his mysterious Troll Game, Catroidvania, and Nexus City. I’m embedded all three parts here, and strongly recommend checking them out!


Featured VVVVVV Level: “Rescuing Violet” by Stalefish

Rescuing Violet” by Stalefish is a very well made level – it’s not too hard (though some of the trinkets are a bit tricky), it’s got some imaginative challenges (I really liked the room “Frogger” in particular), and it pays a lot of attention to little details. Also, it does that cool thing I’ve seen few times now of using the Room Text tool to place rooms names in the room itself.

If I’m honest, though, the main reason I like it is that the motivating idea behind the level seems to have been exploiting an interesting bug in VVVVVV! The forum thread boasts “coloured text” as one of the features, something it isn’t actually possible to do in the current version. So how did he manage it? Turns out, he discovered a rather clever exploit to run internal VVVVVV scripts using say/reply commands longer than five lines! Neat! 🙂

(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


A quick update

Been a while since I’ve actually talked about what all I’m working on! Well, here’s a quick update on my main projects right now:


So, my main focus right now, of course, is VVVVVV. Simon and I are planning two patches – the first, which will be out very soon, should fix almost all the issues that have cropped up with the new C++ version of the game (i.e. the fullscreen-auto bug, the time trial bug, etc). It might also add some basic features to the player levels that don’t break backwards compatibility with the bundle version – like mapping, for example.

Some time after that, then, we’re planning a second patch, which will add loads of stuff to the editor that I didn’t have time to add originally! This will include almost everything that the main VVVVVV levels can do – like teleporter networks, scrolling levels, and advanced scripting.

I’ve also been working on some new levels of my own…

Nexus City

Nexus City is a very big RPG that I’ve been making on-and-off with Jonas Kyratzes for quite some time now. A few months back we decided to make a short side story set in the Nexus City universe, as an introduction of sorts to this very big game we’re making.

Nexus City is a very important project to me – in some ways it feels like the game I got into making games to make.

At a Distance

A few months ago, I made a game for NYU Game Center‘s 2nd No Quarter exhibition, called At a Distance.

After the exhibition, I decided to take some time away from it to decide where exactly I wanted to go with it – and I’m still thinking about that – but I have arrived at one decision, at least. At a Distance isn’t finished yet.

Just to be clear, I’m not planning to expand it or make it something bigger – in fact, I think I’ll end up cutting a lot from what’s already a very short game. What I want to do is improve what’s currently there – there a lot of details in the game that I’m not happy with yet, things that I’m able to see more clearly now that I’ve had a little distance from it.

Untitled Isothingy

I haven’t forgotten about this one!

This Isothingy (which I should really come up with a proper title for) is a short side project I started just after finishing At a Distance, and in it’s current form, is basically complete. I wasn’t completely happy with it, though, so I decided to expand the concept a little and add a bit more to it – and now it’s become something I think is a much better game. I’ve teamed up with Christine Love, who’s writing a very fitting story for the game, and Flashygoodness, who’s making some amazing music for it.

Unfortunately, with everything else I’m working on, I’ve had to put this to one side for now. Hoping to revisit it in a couple of months, though. It’s the most complete incomplete game I’m working on right now, if that makes any sense.

Untitled Nyxgame

This little thing is just a side project I’m doing for fun this week. Either I’ll have it finished by Sunday, or I’ll scrap it completely.


Nyxgame Day 3

Felt a little jammed out today, so I didn’t get quite so much done on my new project – but one thing I did manage to do was to sit down and plan it all out from start to finish. There’s more left to do than I thought there was, but IT SHOULDN’T TAKE TOO MUCH LONGER I TOTALLY PROMISE THIS TIME IT’S DIFFERENT


Untitled Nyxgame

Not even trying to do this as a Ludum Dare game anymore. I don’t care, I’m finishing this one properly – I can’t bear to scrap yet another project right now! This year I feel like I’ve just been working on one big project after another, so taking a week out to work on something small like this is doing me a lot of good. Can’t believe I hadn’t posted a minigame since February!

I’m excited about how this one is shaping up. It’s ended up being very informed by another old abandoned project of mine called Myosotis, which is a game I never expected to revisit.

Shouldn’t take much longer.


LD21: Update 1 (1:45pm)

I’m in CB2 this weekend for Ludum Dare 21! The theme’s Escape, which wasn’t what I was expecting or hoping for, but I like it. Haven’t figured out exactly how I’m going to approach my idea that way yet, though.

Anyway, I figured for this one I’d keep track of my progress on my own blog! The screenshot above is what I’ve got so far – I’ve invented a console, the NYX, and I’m going to make a game that runs on it.