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.



It’s the first of March! Results of my game a month experiment so far: One game that wasn’t very interesting that I feel compelled to eventually finish for arbitrary reasons, and one game which is quite interesting that I feel compelled to put to one side for arbitrary reasons.

Maybe I need to rethink what I’m doing.

Ok. While I still plan to continue working on shortform games this year, I think I’m going to abandon this arbitrary game a month restriction, which isn’t really working out. It’s clear that moving on to new projects regularly is good for me, but I think I need to find a way to do it which is a better fit to the way that I actually work.

Anyway: at the very least this means that I’m going to keep working on Big Hero for a while. 🙂 Here are some new screenshots!


Heart Attack

Posted in big hero

I decided not to bother with Mini Ludum Dare or the NotGame. This week I went to Dublin and did lots of work on my main project for February, the RPG with the working title “Big Hero”.

I really, really like where this is going. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s going to need quite a lot more work before it really takes shape. I’m starting to have second thoughts about this game a month thing. I don’t really want to move onto something new on Monday!


Finish your abandoned RPG

At the start of this year, I resolved to move onto new projects every month! I thought it was time for an update on how that’s going.

My February game is Big Hero, and it’s going really well. I started this last year around June or so and only worked on it for three or four days, but it’s a project I’ve thought about quite a bit since. Over the last week or so I feel like I’ve started to get into a groove with it, and I’m excited about how it’s developing!

Unfortunately, I probably won’t have time to actually finish it this month, just because there are so many other things happening in the next two weeks that I want to do instead – Klik of the Month is tomorrow night, Mini Ludum Dare 16 is this weekend, the 371-Pirate Kart is next weekend, and at some point before the end of the month I also want to try making a NotGame. Oh well!

My January game was an untitled first person shooter. What with January being VVVVVV month and all, I never really got this project to a point where it had any momentum. All that’s really implemented here is a basic raycaster in flash.

Right at the start of the year I said that I want to make more shooters this year, and this was supposed to be a first attempt at trying out a particular approach I’m curious about. If I have the time and inclination later in the year I’ll revisit it.


New Years Resolution

With VVVVVV’s release imminent, this blog is probably going to be all VVVVVV, all the time for a while. So I thought I’d take this chance to write about something else – 2010! I have no idea right now what I’m going to be able to do this year – a LOT rests on how VVVVVV gets on. But I’m feeling optimistic right now that things will work out – at least well enough to allow me to keep making games for another couple of months 🙂

I’ve actually known for months what I’d like to work on this year, if I’m able: Petri Purho and Gregory Weir and several other designers keep a monthly release schedule, and it seems like a lot of fun! I wanna try it! This year, I’m going to try making a new game each month.

I make no guarantees that I’ll be able to do this, and I’m not putting any real rules or restrictions around it – my “March” game may not necessarily be finished in March, for example, but I will at least attempt to keep moving onto new projects each month.

So, first question – what’s my January game? I haven’t a clue yet! My focus is going to be on finishing and releasing VVVVVV for a while, so I haven’t given it that much thought. However, I’m going to TIGJam UK2 on the 14th, so I’m hoping something grows out of that. Chances are I’ll be doing something pretty simple this month.

As for the rest of the year – well, I already have a pretty good idea what some of them are going to be…

Some more ambitious shooters

I tend to make shooters when I’m taking a break from more serious projects; they’re usually short weekend things for me (like Bullet Time, pictured above), which is a good timeframe for this sort of thing. There’s something about constructing a set of shooter mechanics that I really enjoy – it’s very different from the way I usually approach level design.

I don’t feel like I’ve really explored this interest of mine very much at all, so this year I’ll probably make several shooters.


This prototype’s been knocking around for ages now (since the end of 2008), so I’m hoping to find a month to finally finish it up sometime early this year.

Big Hero

This was one of my favourite unfinished games from last year! I started this just after VVVVVV, and since at the time I was thinking about VVVVVV as a smaller project I thought I’d leave it until that was finished. I’m still hoping to come back to it as soon as I can, possibly as my February project.

I probably didn’t really get far enough with the prototype to demonstrate why I like this one so much, but I’m really quite keen to develop it further.

A Puzzle Game

I LOVE designing puzzles. I am totally making a puzzle game this year.


Big Hero Preview

Posted in big hero

Spent today working on a game for a contest over on FGL, but misjudged my time completely. I always end up doing that. 🙁

Earlier I thought I was just going to scrap the game I was working on, but now I kinda like where it’s going. Gonna spend tomorrow working on it, see what happens.

It’s more complete than it looks!