Another new year’s resolution

Hello everyone! IT IS THE YEAR 2012 NOW.

At the start of last year, I wrote a long post about how things changed for me in 2010. Unbelievably, 2011 went even better. Between the steam sales, the humble indie bundle, and now the recent 3DS launch, VVVVVV continues to reach heights I never imagined possible. I’m incredibly proud of its successes, and incredibly grateful for what that’s meant for me.

Since releasing VVVVVV, I’ve worked on dozens and dozens of games. I don’t know how many exactly – I’ve lost count. A lot of those games didn’t go anywhere, and that’s fine. These past two years have been very creatively valuable for me.

But I’m looking ahead now, and I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the sort of work I want to do in the future. This year, I want to try approaching things differently. This is my new year’s resolution:

This year, I’m not going to start any new projects.

These last two years have left me with a number of very promising, incomplete prototypes, and what I’m going to try doing this year instead is focus on finishing these.

This is huge for me! It means no more entering Ludum Dare, no more Klik of the Months, no more throwaway jam games of any kind. It’s a massive, fundamental change to how I’ve always worked. But I feel very anxious to work on something bigger this year, and I want to challenge myself.

I’ve made a short list of my favourite unfinished prototypes. If you’ve been reading my blog before this, you may have seen me talk about some of these games before – there are three “main” projects on it that are the main things I’m going to focus on, and also a handful of smaller games that I’d like to return to if I happen to have the time.

Nexus City Spinoff

Nexus City is a huge RPG that I’ve been working on on-and-off with Jonas Kyratzes since late 2010. It’s a big, scary project, so last summer, Jonas and I talked about the possibility of making this short side game, as a way to introduce both ourselves and other people to the universe of Nexus City. It’s much smaller than Nexus City itself, and very much it’s own thing.

Jonas wrote an awesome script for the game, but other things came up last summer when meant putting it to one side. I’m planning to finally start work on it very soon, and I’m hoping to have it finished before March.

Nexus City

And then of course, there’s Nexus City itself. I’ve been talking about this game for a very long time, but I’m hoping to finally make it happen this year.


This relatively recent prototype came completely out of nowhere for me. I’m excited about it because it’s not really like anything else I’ve ever worked on. The nature of this game means that it’s very suited to being chipped away at, and I expect I’ll return to it frequently as inspiration comes and goes.

In addition to those three, there are also a couple of half finished shorter games that I’d like to revisit between projects:

I feel pretty attached to this right now, probably because it’s the most recent thing I’ve worked on. It’s a very short, stupid game. It shouldn’t take long to finish up either, so I’m going to stick with it while I still have a bit of momentum on it.
Big Hero:
One of the first things I worked on after finishing VVVVVV, Big Hero is a prototype I keep meaning to come back to.
In it’s current state, this game is basically finished already. Last summer I had bigger plans for this game, but I’m not sure they’re going to come to pass anymore. In any case, I think it’s something that deserves to be finished properly, in some form.
Annihilation Game:
I worked on this briefly in 2010 – I think I only ever actually posted about it once (under its old working title “Self Destruct 2”), but it’s a game I’ve worked on a fair bit, and continue to think about. I think it has the potential to be a very interesting game, and I’m really itching to make another shooter.
Not At a Distance:
At a Distance was a very challenging project at times, and quite a lot of ideas and content ended up getting cut from the final version. Enough that there’s almost a complete game’s worth of unused ideas still floating around. I’d really like to take some of those ideas and put them together in a playable form, as a short B-Side to At a Distance.

And that’s it. That’s everything.

Of course, like all new year’s resolutions, perhaps this is doomed to fail. I can’t promise I won’t fall off the wagon next time a Klik of the Month rolls around, and maybe it’s no big deal if I do. I’m really optimistic about this year, though. If I can finish even a fraction of these games, I’ll consider it a huge success.


17 Comments so far

  1. LewieP's Mummy on January 2nd, 2012

    What ever you decide to do will be amazing, you’re soooo creative! I’m looking forward to seeing what you make! Happy New Year 🙂

  2. Terry on January 2nd, 2012

    Thanks! 🙂

  3. binary_girl on January 2nd, 2012

    the thing i get excited about the most is starting something new.. that’s why i have so many unfinished things (especially songs) it takes a lot of discipline to stick to something and finish it so good luck to you man 🙂 happy new year

  4. Thomas on January 2nd, 2012

    Best wishes for 2012, Terry, and kick lots of ass. I just discovered VVVVVV and I look forward to seeing how your new projects turn out!

    I know from my own experience how easy it is to start and abandon projects. My current project, Barbarian Battle Quest, is the one I focused on for the long haul to eventually release it, and devoting yourself to one project definitely pays off. Keep on rockin’! 🙂

  5. Wander on January 2nd, 2012

    You can do it, Terry! I’ve always (quite selfishly) mourned your creative process in the past since it rarely yields finished games. Maybe the experimenting you’ve done will help you take a fresh look at older projects?

  6. Luke on January 2nd, 2012

    I think it’s a great idea. One of the main reasons I almost never release anything is that I’m always starting new projects.

    Perhaps I need to make the same resolution myself.

    Good luck Terry!

  7. StephenM3 on January 2nd, 2012

    I would absolutely love to see any of those games completed. Reading this blog, many of them have at some point reached the peak of my hypothetical “most anticipated” list.

    Not that my projects-started-to-projects-completed ratio is any better! This year I hope to get some life-baggage and game-design-baggage off my back and actually accomplish something I’ll be unhesitantly proud of.

    Have a great year, and thanks for being an inspiration!

  8. PC on January 2nd, 2012

    I’ll remind you about March!!

  9. Micah on January 2nd, 2012

    Yes! I’m so excited that Nexus City made this list.

    Want to play. So badly.

  10. SirBryghtside on January 2nd, 2012

    Terry Cavanagh finishing his projects?! Never! 😛

    Just joking around, can’t wait to play these! Mostly looking forward to IsoThingy and KittyRPG, they look really interesting!

  11. Nico on January 2nd, 2012

    Nexus City, GOTY 2012 ? Come on Terry, you can do this ! 🙂

  12. My 2011 | Jonas Kyratzes on January 2nd, 2012

    […] wrote a complete script for the as-yet untitled Nexus City Prequel. I can’t wait for the game to be finished and for people to get to know some of the […]

  13. InsanityBringer on January 3rd, 2012

    That is actually a great idea you have there. I’m hoping you can get Nexus City out on a timely basis, as it’s probably one of your projects I’ve had the most interest in.

  14. […] and what I’m going to try doing this year instead is focus on finishing these,” writes Terry Cavanagh, the developer behind VVVVVV. His new year’s resolution is to not start any […]

  15. gnome on January 3rd, 2012

    Exciting times ahead! Happy and creative new year Terry!

    Nexus City does sound so very delicious you know…

  16. […] developer Terry Cavanagh has vowed to complete three major and five minor unfinished projects during 2012, including anticipated RPG […]

  17. Anonymous on January 4th, 2012

    VVVVVV was awesome and can’t wait to see your other works d:

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