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VVVVVV gets its first update in seven years, and it's a big one

VVVVVV 2.3 update key art
(Image credit: Terry Cavanagh)

In early 2020, the gravity-flipping platformer VVVVVV celebrated the tenth anniversary of its release by going open source. That meant the source code was posted to Github, where anyone with an interest could download and mess around with it in just about any way they saw fit. And as a direct result of that, VVVVVV's first update in seven years is now live.

The full changelog for VVVVVV 2.3, "the first community-developed version of the game," is seriously big. You can get an abridged version of all the changes here, but these are the highlights.

  • An obscene number of bugfixes, notably regarding undefined C/C++ behavior    
  • Uncapped framerate        
  • In-game timer support        
  • Improved graphical options    
  • Big giant middleware update, including SDL 2.0.16 and updated Wayland support   
  • A huge number of features for level creators        

"This release was really important to me because I wanted to show that it was possible to do new releases of games with published source code rather than abandoning them like most other developers do, and I think players will immediately see that the results speak for themselves," developer Ethan Lee wrote. "Thanks to everyone who contributed to this release (especially Misa), and thanks to everyone who has done some really interesting stuff even outside of upstream. And of course, thanks to Terry for letting me try this absurd idea in the first place."

"Terry," in this case, is original VVVVVV creator Terry Cavanagh, who announced the plan for the patch back in April and tweeted about its release on Steam earlier today. He also confirmed that the update is coming to the Itch.io and Humble versions as well.

"This update is as a direct result of making the source code available last year, and accepting source contributions," Cavanagh wrote on his Distractionware blog. "I’ve personally added very, very little to this update—which is something that I feel maybe a little anxious about! But I’ve been very careful to make sure that every change is something I was happy with, and that none of the changes to the game were doing anything other than making this the best version of the 2010 game. 

"I’m extremely grateful to everyone who contributed to that—especially—and I really can’t overstate this, especially InfoTeddy, who did by far and away the most to make this happen."

InfoTeddy also wrote a little song to celebrate the release of the 2.3 update.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.