PS4, Progress

Hello again! We’re still hard at work on N++. Here’s what we’ve been up to in the past month or so.

We’ve moved from in-progress designs and prototyping to finalizing graphics, animations and effects, plus all the UI. When all that is in the game, we can finally get screenshots and start really seeing how the game is coming together. We’ll also be testing a lot, so should have a good sense of how everything feels and works together.

Though we still have a lot of work ahead of us, we’re finally able to get a bit of a sense of how much we’ve done, which is motivating, and soothing. We should have some exciting things to show you at the end of this month!

So the PS4 is launching tomorrow! Unfortunately, N++ will not be available at launch, but when it is available, it will be part of a fantastic lineup.

Those of you living in NYC might be attending what sounds like a pretty cool party: http://blog.us.playstation.com/2013/11/13/nyc-new-ps4s-on-sale-just-for-you/ If so, keep an eye out some N++ art on the Standard Hotel building, and take pictures!

We’ll be back soon with more updates, but in the meantime, we’ll be posting concept art, photos and other fun stuff on the Metanet Software / N++ tumblr: http://metanetsoftware.tumblr.com/ Check it out!

27 Responses to “PS4, Progress”

  1. Christian says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    This is awesome! Thanks much for the update.

    Truth be told: one of the MAIN reasons why I’m getting a PS4 is N++.

    Appreciate the tumbler feed and will keep tabs on it.

  2. Artur says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Thanks for new information

  3. Ryu says:
    November 14th, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    When I saw the teaser trailer, I almost started drooling all over the place. If I ever have the money to get a PS4, this is the first game I’ll get. I have a question! About the sound assets in n++. I assume you plan on having a soundtrack, if this is the case, who is making the music for the game? The theme in the teaser has been stuck in my head for a while :)

  4. mkk255 says:
    November 16th, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Seriously the ONLY reason I’m second guessing my Xbox One pre-order is N++. I absolutely loved N and N+.

    I don’t suppose there is any chance N++ would be released on the Xbox One in a couple years, no?

  5. Artur says:
    November 16th, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Actually, I’m also wondering about the soundtrack. I really enjoyed the music of teaser trailer and also the songs of the N+.

  6. isra says:
    November 19th, 2013 at 2:41 am

    I need this game for ps3
    :) im poor for buy a ps4

  7. Cesar says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 11:58 am

    This NEEDS to come to the Xbox One! When will you be able to provide announcements for future platforms?

  8. GT says:
    November 21st, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    so early 2014 ?

  9. Wolf says:
    November 30th, 2013 at 1:56 am

    oh man i cant wait for this game i loved N+ hope this is as good!

  10. M&R says:
    November 30th, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for all the positive feedback! (Sorry it took us so long to reply here, the past couple weeks have been a blur of work)

    re: release date, “early 2014″ is the current plan (we are about 80-90% done; almost everything is there, it’s just a matter of moving it all from “good” to “great”).

    re: trailer music, thanks! Raigan makes music as a hobby, and the trailer song is something he made. Mare remixed it for the video. You can find more (although, it’s not all similar to the trailer song) here: https://soundcloud.com/search/people?q=operator%20operator

    re: soundtrack, we’re not sure yet, we’re still trying a bunch of stuff to figure out what works best! There may be a range of different music to go with the range of different colours.

    re: other platforms, we’re just trying to finish it first on one platform (PS4) before contemplating porting it. We honestly have no plans right now beyond “get this thing out on PS4 ASAP”, once that’s done we’ll figure out what’s next. Just getting it done well on one platform is hard enough! ;)

    Generally, each platform brings with it additional development costs, plus redesigns to UI/graphics/architecture/etc based on platform-specific limitations and idiosyncrasies. Each new version must also be tested thoroughly, which can take months. We know that just about every game comes out for every platform these days, but it’s harder for small teams with small budgets to do that. So we have to see what happens on one platform before we can say one way or another.

    And to be honest, we’re not sure that it will ever be on Xbox One — unfortunately Microsoft has a very strict “if it’s already out somewhere else first, we don’t want it” policy (which they only break in rare cases like Minecraft). So even if we wanted to, chances are it wouldn’t be allowed! Hopefully N+ XBLA fans will understand that it’s most likely out of our hands :(

    re: will it be as good as N+? So far we think that N++ is even better. It’s definitely the best version of N that we’ve ever made.

  11. EddyMataGallos says:
    November 30th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Those are some great news, can’t wait to see the final result ;)

    By the way, is N v2.0 project still being contemplated? I think it was a good idea to upgrade the flash version, it wouldn’t be cool if it was left unfinished. You know, those couple bugs that are still floating around there.

    I know work must be taking up all time now though.

  12. M&R says:
    November 30th, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Our friend Andrew from Golden Gear (who did all of the menu/app code) is working on fixing 2.0 bugs.. not sure when it will be ready though!

  13. Byron Miller says:
    December 3rd, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Can’t you guys do the ID@Xbox developer program?

    http://www.xbox.com/en-us/Developers/id

    I’m not buying the statement you made about it being mostly out of your hands unless you mean you expect Microsoft to publish the game.

    From the ID@Xbox details it looks like you guys could have some free developer kits and early access to the self publishing..

    How could you as a studio not know this?

  14. M&R says:
    December 4th, 2013 at 11:48 am

    @Byron Miller: There’s definitely a lot behind the scenes, which might explain why this picture seems so incomplete to you. We do know about the ID@XBOX program, we signed up for it as soon as it was announced — however, that only happened a few months ago! N++ has been in development since late 2012.

    The crux of the issue is this: we’re a two person team and we have a very limited budget. We had to choose what platform to target. So we’ll walk you through how we arrived at PS4.

    Up until recently (and of course, excepting the brief window in which we self-published N+), Microsoft’s stance was: small indies have to go through a third party publisher, there was no self publishing option. That’s a deal-breaker for us.

    Also, it’s absolutely out of our hands that Microsoft has a policy of “if it’s already available elsewhere, we don’t want it on XBLA”; there have been very few exceptions to this rule and all have been for pubs or devs who have lots of leverage with Microsoft or several millions of fans (eg Namco, Minecraft), so we don’t anticipate them being receptive to a port of N++ later on.

    (If there’s enough of a push from consumers, we hear Microsoft may consider it. Perhaps the fans of N+ will take it upon themselves to start a revolution!)

    Maybe this isn’t obvious from the outside, but it was very difficult to get N+ through Microsoft’s internal greenlight process — it took us something like 9 months of negotiation with Microsoft before we could even *start* working on N+! That was a stressful and almost ruinously expensive process, and really terrible way to begin the actual development (which took another year of work).

    Moreover, this is what happened *despite* having someone internal at Microsoft who was championing the game!

    Since we currently don’t know anyone at Microsoft (all of our contacts seem to have moved on to different departments — we have heard good things about Chris Charla though!), cold-calling them and trying to get approval seems like an impossible and thankless chore.

    In comparison, Sony was actively asking us to make N++ for them, and had been ever since N+ came out. We literally couldn’t say no, because Nick Suttner (our contact there) was so persistent! He genuinely liked N and N+ and wanted to see another iteration. It took 1-2 weeks to sign a contract with Sony (including the time it took to courier the contracts back and forth), and more importantly: it didn’t feel like a hostile, adversarial process — it was awesome because they listened to our concerns and cared.

    Additionally, Sony was willing to give us a guarantee on sales — via Pub Fund — which meant we could hire our dream team to work on the game, without worrying about going bankrupt if the game fails. That alone made a huge difference for us; we’ve always wanted to work with one of our favourite graphic designers, but in the past could never afford to take the risk. This was going to allow us to make the version of N++ we could definitively call the best — not one where we had to skimp and cut many options to work around a limited budget. That’s a big deal, since it will help us feel confident that this project has been done right, and let us move on and move forward.

    So, many things contributed to our decision to go with Sony. Frankly, we’re really happy with our decision: working with Sony has been amazing (especially in contrast with Microsoft), and given what we’ve seen so far, we think PS4 is the better console. (ok admittedly we’re very biased)

    Having said that, there was one big thing that made it hard to decide to go with Sony: we worried that we would be disappointing all of the fans of N+ on 360. It was an incredibly difficult thing to address, since our fans mean so much to us, and to the life of this game.

    Perhaps naively, we assuaged our fears by thinking that only a small minority of gamers would be hard-core “only Microsoft” or “only Sony” people, and that many of our fans from 360 might end up with a PS4, so that this might not be much of a problem.

    We realize that none of this is going to make it any less frustrating for Xbox One owners who want to play N++.

    We’re sorry for disappointing fans without PS4s, especially because of the amazing audience we found on the 360, who we still really appreciate (nothing is more motivating for us than watching youtube videos of people playing N+ XBLA co-op levels).

    Game development is full of decisions like these, with gut-wrenching consequences. We think that this was the right decision to make, as difficult as it was.

  15. mkk255 says:
    December 4th, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Completely understand the issue with Microsoft and even just the budget of a smaller studio. I’m completely biased towards the Xbox and Microsoft, but in this situation I just can’t defend them. You guys made the absolute right call here and I am glad you’ve had a great experience with Sony.

    If I ever do get a PS4 in the future no doubt my first game would be N++. Until then, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for an Xbox One port. I almost wouldn’t even want it still if you guys would have to go through the same grueling process with Microsoft to even do it.

    In the mean time though I’m really excited to follow the blog and the game’s development and see videos on youtube! Best of luck to you guys.

  16. Momotaro says:
    December 6th, 2013 at 10:42 am

    RE N++ on Xbone: yeah, N+ was on XBLA. It was on the DS, too! And I hope you haven’t forgotten N was on PC. Why do you only seem to care about your Xbox fanbase?

  17. Kia says:
    December 20th, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I LOVE your work! N was one of the best indie games I ever played & I was very sad for not playing N+. now I will have PS4 soon & N++ will be one of my first games on that console!!

  18. ninja says:
    December 20th, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I wish I can play N++ on Xbox, it’s one of my most memorable experience on 360. I bought all of the add-ons too.

    However I understand your decision due to the reasons you explained above, it’s too bad. I’m hoping it’s not an exclusive forever, and by that time I hope Microsoft has turned around and treat developers better.

  19. vankusss says:
    December 21st, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    Hello,

    I’d just like to thank you for the contesque prize you sent, it arrived no problem. Since I don’t own or plan to own ps4 I won’t be able to use the free code :(
    Best luck with n++ launch.

  20. Hairy Cabbage says:
    December 22nd, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    @M&R

    “(If there’s enough of a push from consumers, we hear Microsoft may consider it. Perhaps the fans of N+ will take it upon themselves to start a revolution!)”

    This is a pretty silly statement really. As if fans are going to go out of their way to push for this when the people who make the game aren’t also willing to back it.

    However, at least I don’t feel as betrayed as I initially did after having read the trouble you had to go through at Microsoft.

    I really do hope “There’s definitely a lot behind the scenes, which might explain why this picture seems so incomplete to you.” is a hint towards you guys developing this for the Xbox One also, but I wont hold my breath.

  21. Skonth says:
    January 1st, 2014 at 2:29 am

    I see you are talking a lot about different consoles that might have this game ported to, but what about the PC? Do you think the PC might see the light of day from this game at some point? Having played N for so long I’m looking for something fresh and I don’t feel like throwing $400 dollars on a console.

  22. Dan says:
    January 26th, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Any update on when the game will be ready for me to download and get addicted to like n+?

  23. M&R says:
    January 28th, 2014 at 9:48 am

    @Dan: we’re working on a playable demo to show at various places in March, and some sort of official announcement will happen as soon as we get a proper trailer video together. Sorry for the wait! We’re trying to make sure it’s worth it :)

  24. Mike says:
    January 31st, 2014 at 7:49 am

    You guys planning on including a “classic” mode with the original grey scheme? I love the simplicity of it. I’m sure the new look will be rad-nasty too. Anyway, can’t wait for the game. N has some of the most engaging gameplay of any game I’ve ever played, certainly better than almost anything that gets made nowadays

  25. M&R says:
    February 1st, 2014 at 12:35 am

    @Mike: yes, we haven’t made it yet but we are planning on having a “classic” set of colours. Also, thanks! :)

  26. Garrett says:
    February 12th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I have both the xbox one and ps4 so I’m good to go.

  27. just says:
    February 23rd, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    I can’t wait it’s driving me crazy looking in the psn store every day for that glorious game. Im getttng very bored of assassin’s creed and battlefield 4. So glad I got a ps4 instead.

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