Archive for the 'VVVVVV' Category

Featured VVVVVV Level: “Deja Verdigris” by Ciolf

Here’s another short level I thought was cool. Ciolf’s Deja Verdigris is built around the idea of repeating the same rooms over and over again, adding some small thing to it with each iteration.

It’s tough, but not just for the sake of being tough – here the build up of difficulty across the loops is integral to the concept, setting you up for a final difficult challenge that you’ve been preparing for. Having multiple loops starting from scratch also results in the level having a really nice rollercoaster difficulty curve – something that can be hard to do well, and works great here.

(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


Featured VVVVVV level: “CCCCCCCCCC Retold” by Whirligig

Whirligig’s CCCCCCCCCC is an incredibly cool little game that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already played it – Whirligig bills it as a demake-slash-sequel to VVVVVV, but really, it’s very much its own thing with its own ideas.

CCCCCCCCCC Retold is a re-imagining of that game as a VVVVVV level. I was expecting a pretty straight conversion, but it’s actually very different – while lots of the basic structural ideas remain (the story, the zones), the content itself is all new. It’s huge too – probably the biggest player level since Dimension 333333.

In places it’s way too tough for it’s own good – one of its 10 stages is a mandatory Vini Vidi Vici style challenge – but on the whole, the difficulty is pretty reasonable – easier overall than some other levels I’ve featured.

(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


Designing to reveal the nature of the universe

This is a really fantastic talk from this year’s Indiecade by Jonathan Blow and Marc Ten Bosch. In it, they talk about a particular approach to design shared by Braid, Miegakure, the Witness, and VVVVVV, with lots of examples from all four games. Very worth watching!


VVVVVV coming to 3DS, published by Nicalis

Hey all! I’m currently out in Indiecade, where for the first time, I met Tyrone Rodriguez of Nicalis in person. We decided it was a good time to announce something we’ve been working on! Here’s Nicalis’ press release:

Nicalis To Publish Terry Cavanagh’s VVVVVV on 3DS eShop

October 6th, 2011 – Nicalis, Inc., developer and publisher of independently awesome video games is VVVVVVery excited to announce a publishing agreement with Terry Cavanagh for VVVVVV on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. VVVVVV features the same amazingly retro gameplay, aesthetic and chiptune music (by Swedish musician, Magnus PÁ¥lsson), but now in 3D and on the go with your 3DS. Attendees of Indiecade in Culver City, California can play a near-complete preview VVVVVVersion for the first time on 3DS! Just find Terry Cavanagh or Tyrone Rodriguez and ask them to play!

Released in late 2010 for PC, VVVVVV is a 2D action-platformer deeply rooted in the days of 8-bit gaming with incredibly challenging gameplay and secrets. In VVVVVV, you play as Captain Viridian, who must not only save a dimension on the brink of collapse, but also find your ship’s crew–all of whose names begin with the letter V.

Now 3DS owners can experience the critically acclaimed game in 3D, anywhere. When asked for an obligatory quote, Terry Cavanagh said, “I’m VVVVVVery excited about it! This is the first time anything I’ve made has been on a console.”

VVVVVV 3DS Features:
Open-world environment with six unique levels
20 Trinkets to locate and collect
Full 3D awesomeness integrated into the retro-looking art style
– Dual screen functionality with a real-time map!
– Music by Magnus PÁ¥lsson
– New Featured Levels
– Future content updates

VVVVVV continues Nicalis’ partnerships with highly talented and super-awesome independent developers. Previously Nicalis has teamed up with Studio Pixel (Cave Story, Ikachan), Nicklas Nygren (NightSky) and NIGORO (La-Mulana). Now Terry Cavanagh’s incredible VVVVVV, too, will make the jump–er, flip–to console.

About Nicalis, Inc.
Based in Southern California, Nicalis, Inc. is an independent developer and digital publisher with a proven track record for developing well-polished games with library of highly-acclaimed products for mobile. Founded in 2007, Nicalis continually seeks to enhance, and improve the quality of video games throughout the game industry. Nicalis, Inc. is committed to developing wildly creative and endlessly entertaining games that just happen to be affordable. Nicalis, Inc. is also developing NightSky (portable downloads), has completed development on Cave Story 3D (for the Nintendo 3DS) and is publishing La-Mulana (WiiWare). More information on Nicalis can be found via the Internet at and

About Terry Cavanagh
Terry Cavanagh–not to be confused with the World’s Most Dangerous Accordion Player or a Canadian politician–is an award-winning independent game designer, and nice guy. Born in an undisclosed year in an undisclosed village deep inside of Ireland, Terry began laboriously toiling away at game development during a very early age with the Commodore 64 and BASIC.
VVVVVV Website:

Since then Terry has moved on to develop a number of lauded and heavily anticipated games including Don’t Look Back, Self Destruct and the forth-coming At a Distance and Nexus City.

In 2010, Cavanagh teamed up with Swedish musician, Magnus “Souleye” Palsson to create the critically acclaimed and highly successful game, VVVVVV, which has a VVVVVVersion for release in late 2011 on the Nintendo 3DS

Terry’s main focus has been creating minimal, concept-driven games.

© 2011 Nicalis, Inc
© 2011 Terry Cavanagh
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Featured VVVVVV level: “Quantum Tunnel” by Martze

Quantum Tunnel” is a new level by Martze, creator of the previously featured level “Soul Searching“. While that level briefly touched on a room duality idea, this level explores the idea in much, much more detail, using a long 20×2 sized world to combine warp lines and world wrapping in a very clever way.

This is the sort of VVVVVV level I really love to see – succinctly designed, light hearted and imaginative, more interested in exploring cool ideas than presenting you with difficult challenges. Highly recommended.

(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


Featured VVVVVV Level: Bonus Roundup, Part 3

Time for one last bonus round up! Five more little levels I liked lots:

“roomerBang” by DcTurner

This short level is lots of fun and extremely polished (which is no surprise considering it’s by the animator who made this). Loved the writing in this one too.

“LOVE V 2.0” by Ashley Gwinnell

Here’s another level that uses trinkets as keys! I really loved the structure of the main hub in this one, and the style of using the bright neon pink lab tileset for each room.

“Mineshaft” by Kadir

My favourite bit of this level is the second trinket, past the “Vent” room – Kadir set out to make a level that had a “strong sense of place”, and that’s where it comes across best. (The rest of level is great too!)

“Under Wraps” by Kurosen

Like “Devious Dimentions” in the previous post, this level is set in a very constrained world – but it takes the concept further than that level did, with lots of warping rooms and heavy use of screen edge warp lines.

“Space Station XCIV” by Danboe

This is actually one of the first custom levels posted to the forum, and the first level I saw to do the whole roomtext as roomnames thing. Although it’s a bit hard (impossible?) in places, it’s a dimension that’s a lot of fun to explore thanks to its attention to detail and very open structure.

Ok! Hope you enjoy these; I’ll be back to posting single featured levels next week. You can download this set from here:


To play a these VVVVVV player levels, extract the .vvvvvv files 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


Featured VVVVVV level: Bonus roundup, Part 2

Hope you’ve been enjoying the last set of levels from the roundup the other day! Continuing through my list, here are another five levels from my list of fifteen. Once again, these ones are a little rough compared to other levels I’ve featured, but they’re all awesome in their own way, and worth checking out.

“DSS Ideal X” by CHz

I almost featured this one on it’s own; it’s an extremely strong level – probably the best from this list of 15, if I’m honest. It’s bloody hard in places, but if that doesn’t put you off then I recommend it highly. It’s inventive, well designed, and has a pretty good story too.

“There and Back Again” by QualityJeverage

A level split in two paths, one easy, one hard. Both paths are good fun!

“The Sacred Grounds” by Requiem

This is a level inspired by the infamous secret hell level from Cave Story – but thankfully, not nearly as hard at the reference might lead you to believe! While it follows the structure of the Cave Story level pretty closely, it’s worth playing for its own spin on the level design. I particularly liked the interpretation of the Heavy Press miniboss!

“Jail Break” by YouKnow

A very short one next – Jail Break is a very neatly designed level with some cool ideas – including one section (in the screenshot above) that must have been a nightmare to script. This one’s not too hard either.

“Devious Dimentions” by Ferrety

This one’s set in a tiny, densely packed 5×3 world – there are a lot of little things I like about this one, but my favourite part is how it uses trinkets to encourage you to poke around in it’s various corners rather than as extra challenges.

You can get these five levels from the download below. I’ll post the final five soon!


To play a these VVVVVV player levels, extract the .vvvvvv files 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


Featured VVVVVV level: Bonus roundup, Part 1

Since the new version of VVVVVV launched, there have been a lot of amazing levels made for it – too many for me to cover, really. When I pick levels to feature, I try to stick to the best of the best – the ones that do something really special. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of great levels get overlooked…

So, I’ve decided to do a few roundup posts to highlight a few other levels I really liked, which you’ve probably missed unless you’ve been reading my forum!

These levels are a little rough around the edges compared to other levels that I’ve featured – some are glitchy, some are really hard, some are unpolished – but I think they’re all levels that fans of VVVVVV will enjoy a lot. There are 15 in all; here are the first five!

“Virtual V” by Vimol

This is a great little level that has a bit of a Manic Miner feel. It makes some pretty fantastic use of roomtext.

“Reactor Disaster” by Kris Asick (Gemini)

Reactor Disaster is a fairly large level with a lot of scripting. It’s quite hard, but very polished, and it has a lot of interesting challenges.

“Mirror rorriM” by PJBottomz

On the other end of the scale, PJBottom’z Mirror rorriM has no challenges at all; no spikes and no enemies. I liked it for its simplicity and singular focus.

“Castle Darkdeath” by Hatless

I found Castle Darkdeath utterly charming; it has some incredibly rough edges, but also some really imaginative challenges.

“The RYB maze” by S. Piqueras

The RYB maze I like because it’s so different from other VVVVVV levels – I found it really got interesting for me when I got as far as the room titled “The Bouncy, much much better edition”. I recommend sticking with it, even if you’re finding it a little confusing at the start!

You can get all five levels from the download below. I’ll post the other 10 over the next week!


To play a these VVVVVV player levels, extract the .vvvvvv files 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

* 1 Comment

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.


« Previous PageNext Page »