Hi reddit :)

EDIT: Sorry, some links to my stuff for people who don't know me:

My website and blog!


Don't Look Back

Super Hexagon

Proof: http://i.imgur.com/zp3NO.jpg

[EDIT 2]: Ok, Have answered quite a lot of questions now, and this seems to be dying down so I'll call it a day. Thanks very much everyone, this was fun!

Comments: 427 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

ColinNorthway104 karma

Are you really that good at Super Hexagon or are your high-scores faked?

allnewecho110 karma

They're real - honestly, I've gotten kinda numb to the difficulty! To be fair, I've been playing it incessantly for months, so I have kind of a headstart.

Phillycj83 karma

How did the HIB impact your sales of VVVVVV?

allnewecho87 karma

The bundle was great for VVVVVV! And sales stayed more or less the same afterwards, which really surprised me. Very happy and glad to have been a part of it.

SanderDLM80 karma

What are your favourite (indie) games? Like a top 5 :)

Also wanted to say that VVVVVV was one of the best, refreshing games I've played :) Thanks!

allnewecho108 karma

Ohh, good question! OK, it's hard to single out favourites, but here are some indie games I love that I'd like more people to play:

Phenomenon 32 by Jonas Kyratzes - Ambitious, broken, and beautiful; this game is the reason I started working with Jonas.

Deadly Rooms of Death: The City Beneath by Caravel Games - The best designed puzzle game I've ever played. Absolutely mindblowing, had a huge impact on how I think about level design.

Mirror Stage by Stephen Lavelle - A mesmerising, idiosyncratic game.

The LaLaLand series by Biggt - Everyone who wants to make games should play these at some point.

The Sense of Connectedness by Michael Brog - A really wonderful space to explore; it's hard to think of other games that feel anything like this.

I could go on all day when it comes to game recommendations.

amzeratul57 karma

What is your opinion on Steam Greenlight, including the $100 fee?

allnewecho121 karma

I'm concerned.

Well, ok, there's two aspects of this really - first, the $100 fee, which is unequivocally bullshit. Jonas wrote a very interesting essay on why that is, which I agree with completely.

The other aspect is whether or not Greenlight is itself a good solution to discovering new games for steam, and I'm sceptical. I recognise that valve have a problem that needs to be solved; I just don't know if greenlight is a good solution to that problem. My two main problems with it:

  • It has the same problem all rating systems like this have - it disproportionately benefits already popular games, and makes it harder for niche, experimental stuff to get noticed. Ideally, I'd love to see steam highlight amazing games that really need the exposure instead of just becoming a popularity contest.

  • It forces indie devs to become PR people, whether they like it or not. If you want to get your game on steam as it currently stands, you no longer just have to convince Valve your game is worthwhile, which is hard enough - you have to convince the public. Which may mean, for example, giving away lots of cool details about your game that you might prefer to let people discover on their own.

I think there are a lot of cool indie games on steam that would not be there if they had to go through greenlight - hell, I'm pretty sure VVVVVV would never have gotten on steam through greenlight.

thatsmytrunks50 karma

My game's on Greenlight right now, and your two points have made themselves well known to me. The idea of it being a popularity contest is something that could be fixed if Valve were to take a look at everything subjectively, and actively judge games on Valve's own interest and weighing the number of positive votes against the number of unique views.

Also and this is mostly unrelated, the number of comments about my retro-styled indie platformer comparing it to VVVVVV are jarring. It has none of the same mechanics other than running and jumping and a pixelated visual style. I've been deleting most of the "this is a VVVVVV rip-off" comments, but they keep coming. Is there any way I can get a comment from you on it?

allnewecho98 karma

Jesus, that's ridiculous. I remember playing the original version of Love long before I even thought up VVVVVV. Feel free to quote me on that for your page (and good luck with getting onto steam).

thatsmytrunks56 karma

You are my fucking hero, this day.

allnewecho77 karma

Left a comment on your greenlight page. Hope that helps!

amateurviking52 karma

Any chances of a PC or Android release for Super Hexagon?

I have an inexplicable urge to be further tormented by your games despite the permanent damage that Veni Vidi Vici did to my mental well-being, and I don't have an iDevice.

allnewecho56 karma

Yep, absolutely!

Sylverstone1447 karma

Hey Terry, big fan of your works! I only have about 3 questions, really.

  • How do you pronounce VVVVVV?
  • Do you have any ideas for game development on the Wii U?
  • From one designer to another, mind sharing a few tips on how to put your games out there?

allnewecho118 karma

It's pronounced VVVVVV!

perrinashcroft41 karma

Where's VVVVVV 2? ;P

allnewecho93 karma

Haha, I don't really see myself making a sequel to VVVVVV. That game feels pretty complete to me.

sudo_rossy37 karma

So you're a running joke among a game-dev meetup near me.

One of the developers happened to have met you once (I believe it was at a TIGjam?) And namedropped you at the pub. It's become a running joke among us to shoe-horn meeting you into every conversation.

"Oh I've been playing lots of Super Hexagon recently"

"Oh, is your name not in the credits from when you met Terry Cavanagh"

And so on.

How does it feel knowing that you're well known enough to be namedropped in a pub full of nerds?

allnewecho33 karma

Haha, is this one of JMickle's friends? He told me :D

[deleted]37 karma

Captain Viridian's sex is never mentioned in VVVVVV. So which is it? Man or woman?

allnewecho77 karma

Depends on the player.

mguniverse33 karma

How has Super Hexagon been performing on the iPhone and what other platforms are you hoping to port it to?

allnewecho38 karma

Way beyond expectations, actually. It's sold about 10,000 copies in three days, and has been in the top 25 on the iPhone charts. I didn't see that coming at all - I'd really gone into this expecting the game to be a super niche thing that only a tiny handful of iPhone gamers would be interested in, and I'm really glad to be proven wrong.

For other platforms, right now I'm hoping to do an Android port, and PC and Mac ports! And a friend of mine has a Blackberry playbook, so I might give that a shot too for the hell of it.

ido13 karma

email blackberry developer relations, i'm sure they'll fix you up with a free playbook for porting.

allnewecho21 karma

I think they actually owe me and my flatmate Increpare like eight of them from IGF, we forgot to pick them up, heh.

Schepa1231 karma

Any planes for WP ?

allnewecho6 karma

Nope, the tech I'm using doesn't support it :(

Quote_a31 karma

I wanna start out by thanking you for all the fantastic contributions you've made to indie gaming so far. Thank you.

  1. What went through your brain when creating the hell-hole that is the Veni Vidi Vici rooms?
  2. Are you ever planning on finishing your 7dfps game? It looks really nice from everything you've shown, and it'd be a shame for it to go unreleased.
  3. How has your life changed since you began releasing games?

allnewecho40 karma

  • Veni Vidi Vici had to exist, basically. I didn't make it because I thought it would be fun, or because I thought anyone would honestly want to do it. I made it because the world demanded it; because it was a logical place for the design to extend. It's funny; I kinda thought of it as the worst part of the game when I released VVVVVV. Now I think it's probably the best.

  • Yeah, I'm definitely coming back to that one, though probably not this year. My immediate focus for now is finishing Selma's story! Next year, I'm gonna look into finishing off some of my other prototypes, like that 7DFPS game, but also Four Letter Word and Isothingy.

  • The first game I made that changed things for me was probably Self Destruct, which was a weekend jam game I made that got some good responses from people - it was probably the first time anyone really noticed what I was doing. Before that, making games was just something I was doing, a temporary state before I'd have to start doing something else. After that, I kinda felt like there was no going back - I wanted to keep making games forever.

Ningamer26 karma

How are Nicalis to work with as a publisher? I haven't heard great things, but I like how they're helping developers like you and Pixel.

Also, somewhat related, will Super Hexagon ever make its way to the 3DS?

allnewecho34 karma

They were pretty good to work with for me. I know other people have had problems with them, but my own experience was really positive. VVVVVV on 3DS would never have happened without them.

manasteel8826 karma

Chat Chat...you have to explain how that came about.

allnewecho49 karma

I like cats a lot

fleshBasedProcessor2 karma

I feel like if you kept updating that, like maybe just a new room every week, I would have played that one for months. I have no idea why, but it was just strangely engaging. I had a lot of fun leading new players to the music room.

allnewecho3 karma

I think its simplicity is one of the most compelling things about it, though.

Anyway, glad you enjoyed it :)

onemoretime84221 karma

Was Super Hexagon built in Flash too, or did you port it from the ground up using different tech?

allnewecho25 karma

Yes, Super Hexagon is built in flash! I'm using the relatively new Stage3D stuff, which is how I got it to run at 60fps on an iPhone.

I really like flash, but that's mostly just because I've gotten really used to it. At some point I want to make a change to something else, but I haven't found anything else yet that I really like...

onemoretime84213 karma

Two follow up questions, if you're not inundated already:

  • Did you/will you have to deal with Adobe's new licensing structure for using premium features?
  • What are your thoughts on it re: your future games? (The game does run fantastically on my iPhone, nice job!)

Okay, three questions actually:

  • So collision detection in Super Hexagon. I've noticed I can go through or not be penalized when hitting the barricades from the side. I seem to recall that in the web version hitting those barriers on the side would end the game. Is this a game design decision, a technical limitation, or my own misremembering?

allnewecho27 karma

  • As far as I understand, Adobe's confusing licensing stuff doesn't apply to what I'm doing for some obscure technical reason. Adobe seem to have extreme difficulty communicating things to people - pretty much any time they say anything there's huge confusion!

  • I can see myself using flash for the next year or so for sure, but I am definitely on the lookout for something new that suits the way I work.

  • It's a game design decision - I tried to minimise fail conditions in the game to ones that felt fair, and dying because you've nicked the side of a wall just felt really unfair.

fulsomenko18 karma

Have you played MMMMMM?

allnewecho29 karma

Yes, it's by my flatmate :) I owe him a fan game at some point; I'm thinking of remaking Trigger...

dermballs16 karma

What games do you play, indie or otherwise? Are there an gems out there you think need more attention?

allnewecho33 karma

Above I gave some suggestions for indie games I like, so let me instead use this as an exuse to mention a few recent commercial games I liked:

Deadly Premonition - Very rare to see this sort of thing in commercial games, a game that really gives you a sense of the person in charge of making it (SWERY). Really enjoyed this.

Catherine - I have some problems with this game, but I also found it really refreshing. There's lots of insanely cool stuff going on here.

Dark Souls - Really got into this earlier this year; haven't obsessed about a game this much since I was a teenager. Deep and brutal and awe inspiring. I finished it with a level one character.

Red Dead Redemption - Sadly, it's padded out to a pathetic degree, but if you get beyond that, it has one of the best videogame endings I've ever seen. I think if this game was abridged a bit, it would be the sorta thing people still talk about a century from now.

I3ucky16 karma

Do you have any plans to make more personal games like Oiche Mhaith, as opposed to the blisteringly difficult VVVVVV and Super Hexagon, or do you just make whatever happens to interest you at the time?

allnewecho23 karma

I have ideas for more personal games, and would like to make more things along those lines, but I feel like I'm kind of a slave to my inspiration. I can only really work on whatever it is that's ticking away at the back of my head at any given time.

rseBoogieMan14 karma

What is your favorite game that you have personally worked on? What is your favorite game of all time?

allnewecho24 karma

I think VVVVVV is my best game, and I will probably always feel that way, just because of the crazy highs and lows that came with the process of creating it. From other games I've made:

I'm really proud of At a Distance, broken and obscure though it is.

Don't Look Back was creatively very important for me in ways I can't fully articulate.

I'm sometimes a little embarrassed about Pathways, I feel like it's a very creatively immature game - but I think part of why I feel that way is because it was so exposed, so raw. I can't bear to play it anymore.

I recognise that We Love Mind Control Rocket is a terrible game, but I still think it's wonderful, even if I'm the only person who does.

I'm feeling very warm and fuzzy about Super Hexagon right now. I think it's the best thing I've made in a very long time, and I love that it's so different from most of my other games.

My favourite game of all time? Final Fantasy VII.

bradleyrose14 karma

Excuse me if you have already done this very thing, but have you considered designing any tabletop games (board, card, or role-playing)?

allnewecho29 karma

I've been experimenting! There's a board game designer meetup here in Cambridge that I've been going along to. So far I've made two board games, but neither are very good yet - one of the games is about the property market and inflation and it's set in Dublin, with all the players buying property off each other while the value of money constantly multiplies, the other is a game about dark family secrets, and keeping them hidden.

I have a lot to learn about board game design, but I feel like I'm slowly getting better at it.

Frem12 karma

Is indie games your full-time job right now, or are you just incredibly prolific in addition to being incredibly handsome?

allnewecho13 karma

Oh, you :3

Naxum11 karma

How does it feel to have reviewers labeling your game as your Masterpiece (something I agree with completely)?

allnewecho37 karma

It's hard to process. I mostly just try not to let comments like that go to my head - if you really, really believe you're already a master at something, then you'll never get any better at it, so that's a really dangerous mindset to have.

Thesurfernerd10 karma

VVVVVV for iPad. Will it ever come or shall I keep dreaming?

allnewecho16 karma

Actually, maybe. I dunno. I don't want to promise anything, and I'm reluctant to do anything more with VVVVVV because I want to move on from it and do other things - however, with Super Hexagon, I've got most of the hard tech parts of getting flash to work on an iPhone out of the way, so it would probably be a very easy port...

gazpachosoup10 karma

How is progress on nexus city going?

allnewecho13 karma

Nexus City itself is on hold. Haven't worked on it this year at all.

However, Jonas and I are working on a sort of spin off story in the Nexus City universe at the moment, and now that Super Hexagon is out that's the next game I'm planning to focus on :)

EngineF8 karma

How much creative freedom do you give to the chiptune artists that compose for your games? Also, what's your best VVVVVV time?

allnewecho20 karma


The music in Super Hexagon is licensed, nothing was actually created for the game.

The music in VVVVVV was created for the game, but I trusted Magnus to make cool stuff - my feedback usually just came down to "this is really cool" or "this isn't really working for me".

HapZep8 karma

Hello there Mr. Cavanagh.

Who are your greatest idols? Not necessarily only game devs.

Do you read? If yes, what are some of your favorite books?

IIRC you live with Increpare and Sophie Houlden. How do you think that affects your game design? Do you think there could be any negative sides about living with two other designers? (too much unwanted influence or something like that)

Pancakes or waffles?

allnewecho8 karma

Idols: Finding this one kind of hard to answer right now for some reason. Let me think about it for a bit.

Books: These days I don't read that much - never seem to have the time - but I used to read a lot. My favourite books are "Catcher in the Rye", "Dying Inside", and "Ready, Ok!".

Flatmates: Living with Stephen and Sophie is great fun :) We don't actually talk about design that much - I guess we've all got our own very distinctive thing going on.

Pancakes or Waffles: Neither, I'm diabetic :(

iandioch2 karma

Diabetic? Have you read the Pete the Pancreas books? They were suggested to me when I was diagnosed. I hear they're fun. Also, am I the only one who thinks that balancing blood sugars could make a half-decent game mechanic?

allnewecho3 karma

I thought about making a game about it after I was diagnosed, heh. Was quite recent; just last year.

(Haven't read the Pete the Pancreas books.)

aDFP7 karma

I've only just noticed, when I type your name into Google, there's a picture of you (from the Eurogamer Expo), but the text beside says: "Terence James "Terry" Cavanagh is a Canadian politician, municipal councillor in Edmonton, Alberta, who served as mayor. He was Edmonton's first native-born mayor"

Are you leading a double life?

allnewecho16 karma

I'm actually leading a triple life: http://www.terrycavanagh.com/

manasteel887 karma

Do you plan on going back to your 7day FPS? The lack of colors looks really interesting and I was curious how hard it is to make that come across with exploration and movement?

allnewecho7 karma

Yeah, I think about that game a lot. I think there's something cool there, and I really want to return to it some day...

PooperScooper997 karma

How do you pronounce "Cavanagh"?

allnewecho8 karma


plule6 karma

Do you have a (even vague) idea of when Super Hexagon will be ready for PC? (I'm a fan of Hexagon without Apple device so I'm currently in an important frustration state :3)

Also thanks, you are one of the people who really motivated me to try to make games.

allnewecho11 karma

I'm going to fantasic fest next week - I'd like to have the PC version of Super Hexagon out when I get back!

Also; really glad to hear that! Keep at it :)

harrybuttox916 karma

What's your thought of games having difficulty modes? From my experience playing some of your games I know you like your games to be challenging. Do you feel having an easy mode in your games would "break" the game?

allnewecho26 karma

Yeah, my biggest fear about putting an easy mode into something like Super Hexagon, say, is that some people might be inclined to only play the game on that mode, robbing themselves of the experience of playing it the hard way, which is way more fun.

I get that high difficulty is a deal breaker for some people; that's ok. I'd rather focus on making games that are really good on some narrow focus than water things down in some ill advised attempt to try to make something that appeals to everyone.

Leaufai6 karma

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring (iOS) indie developer like myself, then what would it be?

allnewecho17 karma

Don't think of yourself as an iOS developer; think of yourself as a game developer. A lot of the conventional wisdom floating around out there about what you "need" to do to have a successful iOS game is really toxic, and will make your games worse if you listen to it.

hannardynamite6 karma

Would you ever consider working with someone relatively unknown if their idea/design philosophies intrigued you enough?

allnewecho18 karma

Yeah, definitely. Depressingly few people seem to know who Jonas Kyratzes is, for example.

xCharlie5 karma

  • What tools do you recommend to start developing indie games?
  • Any advice for new indie developers?

Thanks Terry, I love your games!

allnewecho7 karma

This website by a friend is a pretty good starting point: http://youcanmakevideogames.com/

Advice for new indie developers: start making things! Just work on as much stuff as you can, experiment with weird ideas, find your own voice.

domcamus5 karma

You have developed something of a reputation for making hard games requiring excellent reactions to play well. Is this a conscious design choice on your part or just chance? (Assuming you even think this reputation is fair!)

allnewecho20 karma

It's mostly just a result of how I approach design - I just tweak things until they feel good to me, and that often results in me making very fast, very hard games because I have the attention span of a four year old and I get bored of waiting for things to happen.

JimJam7075 karma

Hey Terry, how good was Simon Roth when porting, or was it re-writing, VVVVVV from Flash to C+?

allnewecho8 karma

He's a total pro!

warygnu15 karma

I can't think of anything to ask you that hasn't already been asked, So instead let me just say, thanks for making great games!

allnewecho8 karma

You're welcome - thank you for playing them :)

ninjapresident4 karma

Do you have any plans for working on another platformer with the same scope as VVVVVV?

allnewecho10 karma

I don't have any platformer game prototypes right now, but I have other projects that are shaping up to be as large or larger than VVVVVV!

fleshBasedProcessor4 karma

How are you liking Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, or have you not had time to try it out yet? Dark Souls is in my top 5 games of all time now, and I bought it last spring partly because of your constant tweeting about it.

Also, I know I've bugged you about it on Twitter already and you have confirmed that is coming, but do you have any idea when we can expect a PC version of Super Hexagon?

allnewecho3 karma

I haven't had time to try it out, but Dark Souls is one of my favourite games ever. I totally obsessed over it. I've heard the PC port is less than ideal, but from what I've read it doesn't sound like any of the flaws are really game breaking.

bigfunkychiken3 karma

What are some tips you would give to beginning independent game developers?

allnewecho15 karma

Make lots and lots and lots of stuff. Inspiration finds you working.

nojohns3 karma

Did you intentionally take the idea of ground/ceiling gravitation from the game Metal Storm for the NES?

allnewecho7 karma

No, I only discovered that game after VVVVVV came out :( I've since played it and I think it's a super cool game that more people should play, especially if you liked VVVVVV.

supercow213 karma

How did you learn to make games? Through school, the internet? I am looking into getting into coding.

allnewecho10 karma

I started out by learning basic on the C64! Wouldn't recommend that path for someone learning now though, heh.

Really, there are two questions you've asked there, and they've both got different answers -

If you want to learn to make games, then use game making tools like Game Maker, Twine, MMF, anything you can get your hands on. Or just try making levels for existing games with mod tools (Knytt Stories is a great place to start!). Starting out high level like that will keep you focused on getting good at the really difficult problems of game design, and hopefully help you avoid common traps (like getting fixated on engine coding).

If you want to get into coding, then that's really very different - different enough to be mutually exclusive. Learning C is fundamental, and useful!

PinPinIre3 karma

Where did you go to university and what did you study?

allnewecho12 karma

I went to Trinity College Dublin, and studied Mathematics. Wasn't very good at it.

spiffiness3 karma

Do the V's in VVVVVV represent the spikes?

allnewecho10 karma

Among other things!

corygarry3 karma

Hey Terry, what would you say was the most influential gaming experience of your youth? Whatever impacted you the most to lead you to game development.

allnewecho3 karma

Whenever people ask me this, I usually start rambling about Final Fantasy VII and how it made me want to be a game developer, heh. So let's try talking about something else...

I'm pretty sure the first video game I ever played was Head over Heels on the C64, which is, I think, kind of a wonderful game to have been my first. It's really beautiful, and has its own very strong style, and even now there aren't really a lot of games like it. I'm not sure I can credit it for getting me into game development, but it's definitely a big part of why I thought games were cool when I was a kid.

kassatsu3 karma

What are your thoughts on PlayStation Mobile? I would love to see Super Hexagon on PlayStation Vita.

allnewecho7 karma

Yeah, that would be cool :) I wanna spend my limited time making stuff, though, not working on ports of existing stuff. If something like that were to happen, I'd need to find someone I trust to handle the port.

Fuzzy_Pickles3 karma

Hero's Adventure made me look at certain RPG mobs in a completely different way. Was this intentional? What brought forth the idea of this short, yet brilliant game?

allnewecho3 karma

Heh, yes, it's the whole idea behind the game. It's just a random idea I'd been thinking about for a long time, when klik of the month 50 came along I just decided to finally do something with it.

Kiitchh2 karma

Oh shit I'm sorry..

allnewecho2 karma

Sorry for what?

Kiitchh2 karma

Our dads taught us not to be ashamed of our dicks, especially with such good size and all.. Hahaha

allnewecho2 karma

Yes yes yes I've seen the video :P

[deleted]2 karma

Adam Biessener of GameInformer doesn't like you.

allnewecho3 karma


TrueGentleman2 karma

Love your games, particularly love the music in your games.

So, I was wondering, who are some of your favorite chiptune artists?

allnewecho6 karma

I really like Dubmood, Ensnare, Brother Android, FantomenK, and John Marwin. Dunno if they all qualify as chiptune though, heh.

[deleted]2 karma

VVVVVV is fantastic and I loved every second. I didn't even get it in the HIB, but when it was involved I forced my friends at gunpoint to buy it.

Just thought you should know.

allnewecho2 karma

I really hope that's some sort of metaphorical gunpoint, or water pistol, maybe

FinsternIRL2 karma

Have you heard or seen anything of the Game Design Higher National Diploma in Ballyfermot College in Dublin? Would you be interested in maybe giving a talk to my class on Game Design and your experiences?

allnewecho2 karma

I'm kind of a rubbish public speaker, heh.

neop2 karma

Did you experiment with other control types for Super Hexagon?

I think having the triangle move along your finger when moving your finger around the center of the screen would work very well. It might be a bit harder to control since you would have to compensate for all the changes in perspective, but I think losing would less frustrating.

allnewecho3 karma

Yes, I tried several different control schemes with Super Hexagon. The one I settled on is the one that works best at the game's higher levels, which is the deciding point for me in this game. I think if you play the game for a while, you'll come to the same conclusion!

Kamikaze_Tutor2 karma

Did you ever update VVVVVV on Steam to version 2?

allnewecho3 karma

Yep, the version of VVVVVV on steam is up to date with the official version. There's an unfinished beta patch on my forums but I never distributed it because it introduced some problems with the graphics for some people.

Sir_Tiffy2 karma

Have you ever considered releasing the source code for any of your (free) games?

allnewecho2 karma

Not really - which games would you like to see open sourced?

M-Tiger2 karma

What is your best time on the Super-Gravitron?

Thank you for doing what you do. I love VVVVVV.

allnewecho6 karma

I can just barely do a minute, which is why I chose that as the highest record.