At a Distance at IGF 2012

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So, uh, wow. This is pretty unexpected – At a Distance is a finalist at this year’s IGF. (I mean, I think it is. I keep expecting to reread the list and discover that it’s all actually some kind of terrible misunderstanding.)

At a Distance is up for the Nuovo Award, a prize “designed to honor abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development“. I’ve actually played a lot of the other entries up for the same award, and they’re all pretty incredible, to say the least. It’s going to be a tough category to judge. I’m floored to be nominated, considering the competition.

Being an IGF finalist is a dream come true for me – it’s something I’ve aspired to ever since I went indie. I’m incredibly proud to be on that list, and can’t wait to go to San Francisco this year.


At a Distance launching on December 7th

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Hello internet! I’m back from Minecon. I don’t know where to start describing it. It was an incredible party, and a hell of a lot of fun. Vegas is crazy!

I was there with At a Distance as part of the event’s Indie Games Theatre, with a kiosk in the show floor. At a Distance has been finished for months – every time I show the game somewhere, I tweak it, make it better in some small way – but I’m not adding anything at this point. I’m just polishing.

In other places I’ve shown the game, I’ve practically walked people through it. This time, I decided to take a step back, and allow people to get stuck, get lost, and give up if they wanted to. None of those things really happened, though – which might be a sign that the game is ready for a public release, finally.

So, I’m gonna have a launch party of my own! At a Distance was made for an exhibition, so I think it’s only appropriate to launch it at one. I’ve booked a room in a small London pub for December the 7th, where I’m going to show the finished version of the game one last time, before I launch it publically on my website. The game’s going to be free.

Space is VERY limited, so I’m going to start by sending out invites. If you’d like to attend, get in touch and I’ll add you to the waiting list!


At a Distance at Minecon

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So, just a quick announcement – At a Distance is going to be at Minecon, as part of the event’s Indie Games Theatre. I’ll be demonstrating the game sometime on Friday morning, and it’ll also be available to play at a Kiosk on the show floor. This will probably be the last time I show the game anywhere before I finally start looking to release it!

Minecon is the launch party for Minecraft, probably the most successful indie game ever made. This is a once in a lifetime event, and I’m really excited to have any excuse to be part of it. Hope to see some of you in Vegas this week!


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.


At a Distance at Eurogamer Expo 2011

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So, for the last couple of days I’ve been hanging around the Indie Games Arcade at the 2011 Eurogamer Expo, showing people my No Quarter game At a Distance. There’s still one day left and I’m absolutely exhausted, but it’s been a lot of fun. I’m really pleased with how well it’s gone down at the expo too – it’s very encouraging that almost everyone who gives it a try ends up playing it all the way through to the end.

The expo’s not even over yet, and a couple of people have already written a bit about it (warning, major spoilers): there’s a preview of the game up on DIYGamer, and an incredibly flattering review on dealspwn.

I’ll talk a bit more about it when I get back to Cambridge next week, but something cool happened today that I wanted to mention – when I came back from lunch today, I found this stuck on the wall above the game:

This left me absolutely speechless – At a Distance was nominated for game of the show, alongside massive big budget blockbuster sequels like Call of Duty MW 3, Skyrim, and Uncharted 3. My chances are actually winning are probably non-existent, of course, but it’s an incredible honour to even be considered.

Tomorrow’s the last day of the expo; if you’re in London and you’d like to give it a try, consider making a trip down to Earl’s Court and checking it out 🙂 There’s lots of other cool things to see in the indie arcade too, so it’s well worth a visit!


At a Distance at Indiecade 2011

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I’m incredibly proud to announce that I’m a finalist at this year’s Indiecade, with At a Distance. Anyone who’s met me has probably heard me go on about last year’s Indiecade again and again, so to be part of it this year too is a dream come true. 🙂

Check out the rest of the finalists! I’m in some amazing company again this year!

(Indiecade asked me to record some gameplay videos for the festival, one of which I’ve embedded in this post.)


At a Distance at the 2011 Eurogamer Expo

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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.)


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.