PIGScene Exclusive Unveil: XV

Posted by Mr. Podunkian at 7:02 am on March 7th, 2010

In a shocking turn of events, Terry Cavanagh has announced that the upcoming sequel to VVVVVV will not be called VVVVVVV as originally thought.

Rather, ever the ironist, Cavanagh has decided to go with a more literal name, XV, perhaps as a way of quieting those who felt the original game was not worth the 15 clams it was asking for.

The new game is not an RPG about upgrading your arms or legs independently, as was originally suggested, but rather a game about upgrading your head indie-pendently — to level up your mental abilities from that of a baby to one that is able to synthesize meanings from bouncing, abstract objects, and to find the clever links between the level titles and the levels themselves.

PIGscene spies have, through dubious means, obtained a private build of the game, which we’ve decided to upload. So without further ado, the exclusive PIGScene demo of XV after the “jump”!

This game requires Flash to play:


Arrow keys: Movement
Z, C, or Space: Action

65 Responses to “PIGScene Exclusive Unveil: XV”

  1. Terry Says:


  2. rdein Says:

    i like how i told you about the forgotten ‘indie game’s theme song’ days ago and you just chiptune’d it here.

  3. Bennett Says:

    Why did you have to brink Derek into it? He’ll probably go on a date with you if you just call up and ask.

  4. Lemming Says:

    I hope you’re wasted as hell, really.

    This is the shittiest PIGScene article to date; it’s (really) outdated. It doesn’t contain any new content on a game that you (well, Gunn actually) cleverly told off before. He did so with class, and introduced an awesome Indie Bingo along with it.

    Now, almost 2 months later you post this to say: “Btw, Terry. Fuck you!” It’s already been done; now move on.

  5. Dock Says:

    Well done for learning how to make a flash game. Do you think you’ll make flash games in future?

  6. Anonymous Says:


  7. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    @bennett — if you’d been keeping up with pigscene affairs, you’d know that derek yu lies at the core of everything that is wrong in the universe.

    @lemming — ahrm, i don’t think terry would appreciate you calling his game irrelevant, bro. please, can we leave all the negativity in the tigsource frontpage comments where it belongs? also, what sad state of affairs would it be that a journalist would report the truth while under the influence of substances?

    @dock — look at how mad you are.

  8. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    please guys, look past the inflammatory imagery — can’t we all agree that at heart of the masocore (firefox tells me this isn’t a word) subgenre of platformers is the idea that the difficulty is intrinsically linked to the ‘value’ of such a game (monetary, or otherwise)? in fact, the very issuance of a death count places this game squarely at odds to other games of this type — for instance, japan’s ‘super life ending adventure’, which can be configured to keep a running death count, reminding you constantly that the game you are playing is indeed worth the time that you are investing into it. similarly, it has been said that time is money, which i think is reinforced in the XV’s level names. just my two cents though, i’m excited to see how this conversation plays out.

  9. Jeff Says:

    Arthur, I love you.

  10. Annihilator Says:

    cool bro can’t wait.

  11. PsySal Says:

    Hooray moving on now please make fun of:


    I need the exposure…

  12. Dustin Says:

    hey guess what i hacked arthur’s site and found the latest version of the underside. instead of a cave story ripoff it’s an autobiographical work. here ya go.


  13. Sergio Says:

    You raise an interesting point Mr. Podunkian, but VVVVVV isn’t a masocore game according to current definitions of the word: http://www.auntiepixelante.com/?p=538

    Does this not cripple your argument? It is as if you are comparing apples that fall up and apples that fall down.

  14. Dustin Says:

    also, can i make a post where i describe how Action 52 is really just misunderstood and the forerunner of the art game movement? i played through all of the games and some of them deeply moved me.

  15. Cabot Says:

    “According to current definitions of the word” – yeah, right, becaues Auntie Pixelante said so. The word means what the majority of people use it to mean. Auntie Pixelante may have popularized the word, doesn’t mean he gets to decide how it should be used. I think the popular definition makes much more sense, too.

  16. fuckyouarthur Says:

    lol @ the masocore term.

    which gay idiot came up with that name?

  17. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    @sergio — ah, though the game may not be a pure-masocore game due to its lack of misdirection or true (to use a pixelante coined term) ‘mind-fuck’ery, there exists perhaps some commonalities amongst games of the genre and VVVVVV. for instance, undeniable similarities between the pose and animations of the captain VVVVVV to the feline protagonist of ‘syobon action’, in addition to a similarly soapy, slippery physics engine shows or at least hints that perhaps the game was originally intended to have been, what we in the art crowd like to call either a ‘homage’ or an ‘appropriation’ (depending on the general opinion of the artist) of ‘syobon action’.

    likewise, levels such as ‘b-b-b-busted’ feature similarities to masocore games, featuring the classic “enemy out of nowhere!” technique. and let us not forget about veni vidi vici, where nearly half of VVVVVV’s playtime is spent. its use of a single ‘block that disappears when you stand on it’ can no doubt be traced to its masocore roots.

    perhaps then, the term ‘masocore’ does not apply to VVVVVV. futhermore, as is the case in music, maybe it is time to create subgenres of masocore. i propose the following structure:

    NESocore masocore — games that are notoriously difficult, but do so as an attempt to replicate the degree of skill and difficult required of classic video games. japanese games of this nature should (and must) be called “famicomasocore masocore” games in order to distinguish place of origin. la mulana, for example, falls under the famimasocore masocore genre.

    i wanna be the masocore — similar to the above — though these games tend to adopt the retro aesthetic more as a guideline than as hard fast rule. you’ll see things such as alpha blending, spite rotations or scaling applied to what are otherwise NES sprites (or edits thereof). one tell tale sign of a ‘i wanna be the masocore’ is the iconic guitar riff that plays when your character is killed.

    yu wave masocore — yu wave masocore games, like the new wave genre of music, can only be applied to games created by artists who do not adhere to lord yu’s carefully designed definition of the independent spirit. a game made by cactus or deesgeega that would otherwise fall into NESocore masocore (above) or transdimensional masocore (below) would more or less be covered under the blanket term yu wave masocore.

    kusocore masocore — these games originate from japan and are by definition ‘shitty games.’ games that feature artwork obviously created in MS paint, flashing graphics, ill-fitting music, or jarring sound effects. unpredictable movement behavior, almost unbearable gameplay. not to be mistaken with tom sennecore masocore. the westernized equivalent of said phrase is klik’n'kore masocore.

    death masocore — masocore games that feature death as a means of progression rather than a deterrent.

    transdimensional masocore — “transimaso” games take the well established retro pixel aesthetic and applies these same principles to the third dimension (thus the transdimensional shift from two dimensions to three). due to gamemaker’s inability to natively render anything more than a spinning 3d cube, many of these games use cubes, or cubelike primitives as stand-ins for pixels, using them to represent literally everything in the game.

    i’m other worlds will be invented as the world feels the need to distinguish one game from another for some arbitrary reason to i’ll leave the sub-genre term-creating open for discussion.

  18. snapman Says:

    Oh, now I get it! He made a pretentious artgame to criticize VVVVVV for being a pretentious artgame! And it’s even MORE pretentious because it has such a deep meaning about the indie scene that we’re all just too stupid to understand. Looks like all you did was add I3, I5, N4, G2, G5, and O1 to the indie game bingo board. Way to show ‘em, Podunk! Tell me, will I be getting a wordy and condescending response in-character, or OOC?

  19. paul eres Says:

    what — his criticism wasn’t that vvvvvv was an art game or pretentious, it was a completely different criticism

  20. snapman Says:

    “…to level up your mental abilities from that of a baby to one that is able to synthesize meanings from bouncing, abstract objects, and to find the clever links between the level titles and the levels themselves.”

    Pretty sure accusations of pretention are in there. Is the other complain that it was too hard, or that it cost too much? Is he a signatory to that “make VVVVVV free” petition on kongregate? There’s something about difficulty and value in his comments later on, but I’m going by the post first and foremost.

  21. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    you started your comment with ‘now i get it’ but that was lie

  22. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    let me do you a favor and dispel some myths: you know that thing where you said you were ‘pretty sure?’ well, you were wrong

  23. snapman Says:

    No, I started with “Oh” so that was lie

  24. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    i’ve got a question are you this stupid when you’re out of character too

  25. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    can you drop a link to your hateblog? i’d love to see if your thoughts are always this wrong or if this was just a special case of being blinded with rage.

  26. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    actually don’t if i wanted to read pages of incomprehensible text i’d play braid

  27. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    or read this blog

  28. snapman Says:

    This is some fun stuff. Not that I want to look behind the curtain and disturb the mere man behind the mighty OZ, but could you tell me plain what this elaborate satire of the indie scene is supposed to say?

  29. snapman Says:

    Heck, not just this game, I mean the whole thing, pig jokes and all.

  30. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    wait i’ve got a question — you don’t really seem to ‘get’ my point; in a sense you haven’t seem to have levelled up your mental abilities from that of a baby to one that is able to synthesize meanings from bouncing, abstract objects, and find the clever links between the level titles and the levels themselves.

    now from this i have two questions for you:

    a) are you actually a baby irl


    b) if you didn’t understand it, why did you take such a terrible offense to it.

  31. snapman Says:

    The original context of that block of text was mocking those who gained entertainment from drawing connections between VVVVVV level design and the names they were given, correct? By describing the activity in childish terms, yes? What are you driving at, and why are you still refusing to put anything in plain terms? Stop being such a coward and say what you mean.

  32. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    i’ve got a veneer of artistic integrity i’ve got to maintain. like a comedian who explains the punchline to his joke, it is detrimental to an artist to fully spell out his work. *adjusts thick rimmed glasses*

  33. snapman Says:

    Then could you actually respond to my GloriousTrainwrecks PM, like a man? Don’t worry about me spreading your secrets, there isn’t a soul alive that would believe my word over yours.

  34. snapman Says:

    so then

    a) I haven’t been a baby for a great number of years


    b) I do believe I understand the insult, but take fairly little offense at it. What I take offense with is your reluctance to engage in a discourse with me on what your goals are with creating an anti-tigsource blog as an anti-derek yu.

  35. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    sorry; i’m too much of a coward and also not a man.

  36. snapman Says:

    Well that’s a darn shame (the coward part, masculinity is relative).

  37. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    just had a good laugh at your message and decided to share it just to remind everyone to the level of person that i am dealing with here:


    Congratulations on not deleting this message without reading it! Only a spiteful manchild would have done that.

    Hey man, I think I DO get it, if not better than most people here. I’ve been there: I’ve made a game about disliking what I felt was “artificial difficulty”, and I’m currently running an angry blog about somebody I disagree with in an “ironic” tone. It was seeing somebody else doing it that has hit me harder than anything else in a long time. I’m not really in the indie scene outside of Glorious Trainwrecks, so I’d enjoy understanding what’s so wrong with Tigsource outside of it celebrating “selling out” a bit much. What I really didn’t like was your summary dismissal of both trainwrecks and artgame aspirations. So a game can’t be a serious reflection or a dumb joke? What do you want a game to be, then? Or was that even more sarcasm?

    What you wrote is identical to what I’ve been telling myself recently. “Their biggest challenge is to determine when I’m being serious” was my mantra. But seeing pigscene has hit me like a lightning bolt. I’m no stephen colbert if all I’m doing is being confusing. So I guess what I want to do is thank you for giving me a moment of clarity in my self-absorption. The most I can hope to do in return is give you something to think about, and maybe help you work through it by a discussion of what you hope to accomplish. And from a selfish perspective, I want to try and improve myself by coming to terms with my own failures of intellectual honesty.

    Can you tell me (without sarcasm) what you believe pigscene will accomplish in changing the minds of the indie scenesters? What message should people get out of XV, instead of “i hate terry’s game because it is popular”? Which elements of your game design actually provide an alternative, instead of simply stating that you don’t like something? Which parts of it are constructive? Be honest with yourself. If you are trying to be helpful, it’s been drowned out by the noise of the “character” you play. Don’t let that character become your real personality. I realize now that I’ve been letting that happen to me. Save yourself before it’s too late.

    If you still believe that I “just don’t understand” then please tell me what I don’t understand. I think you will find me much more open to changing my mind than the majority of the internet. Just say what you mean.


    you just don’t understand, bro. also “save yourself before it’s too late” is probably the funniest thing i’ve ever had said at me unironically.

  38. Mr. Podunkian Says:

    as for the lasting effects of pigscene-ism, just take a look at the tigsource frontpage now versus a month or so ago. i’m not the only person to account for this, but my criticisms of derek’s giant circlejerk of a blog did spark some conversation regarding the direction he was taking it (see thread entitled “fracturing”/the igf thread). it’s gone in the span of about a month from writing almost exclusively about games you’d find on steam/xbox live arcade to games that are predominantly freeware works by lesser known developers. in fact, many of the games that are being covered on the blog aren’t even new — it’s simply derek and his editors playing ‘catch-up’ to what i’ve been saying should have been written about the whole time.

    in addition, most of the games featured on this blog are smaller games that don’t get featured on other blogs. they are legitimately good games beyond their ironic write-ups. the exceptions to this rule are and have always been games that are being written about by other blogs, which are just written about on principle, most of the time to point out the hypocritical/irrational nature of this terrible inbred community.

    hope this helps; now please stop ruining my blog with your stupid inane comments!

  39. snapman Says:

    Thank you for finally answering my question.

  40. Hello Says:

    This whole comments section wins the A* Award for Internet Douchebaggery.

  41. Bob Says:

    Even as a parody, you can only rip-off other games.
    Am I being serious, or just trolling, I mean, seriously, what’s up with that?

  42. Anonymous Says:

    ^^^^^^^^^^^awful people being awful

    fuck all of you

    ^^^^^^^^^^^awful people being awful

  43. everyone ever Says:

    GRR so madd!

  44. GoSign Says:

    Wow, Mr. Podunkian manages to be a total douchebag even when other people are being douchebags to him! -5 points in the “diffusing negativity” category!

  45. Anonymous Says:

    ha I love you podunkian

  46. Poop Says:

    here is my detailed and nuance opinion of one Arthur “Podunkian” Lee criticism of a videogame;

  47. Totally not wareya Says:

    I would laugh at the game, but I already laughed my ass off when I saw XV.

    Seriously, that’s the best subliminal smiley I’ve ever seen.

  48. namuol Says:

    stop being butthurt over other people’s success and finish the underside already, i wanna play.

  49. Wulf Says:

    So, I tripped over this site after following a bunch of links, one in a wiki somewhere or some such. That’s the nature of the Internet though, half the things one finds one just trips over by following links randomly, and here I am.

    Then I spied this post.

    If this post achieved anything, it’s made me want to play VVVVVV (yet again), as I’m reminded of what a fantastic game it is. It’s an all time classic! And hey, at least a good homage to the old times, rather than an incredibly direct, arrogant, and bald-faced rip-off of something, right? I had loads of fun with it, it had a really great game ethic, unlike so many other games I could think of (like that one Cave Story mod with cat people in it that I played once). :)

    No wonder VVVVVV is so successful, and no wonder there are people jealous of it and its success. Bless ya, Terry, keep making brilliant games!

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