Blowout!

16 Jun / by: M&R / 13 comments / tags :

As seen on the Major Nelson blog, N+ is one of the many games featured in the XBLA “inventory blowout” sale, from June 16-22.

Yes, that is correct: now is your chance to pick up the best version of N+ (according to us anyway) for only 400 Microsoft Currency Units! That’s 5 buckazoids if you’re from Xenon.

 

In other news, N has progressed to the quarter finals in the great DIYGamer Indie Games Tournament.

Thanks to everyone who voted — you guys rock!

This time around, we’re up against Torchlight, a game we’ve been meaning to try but haven’t yet got around to — which is probably a good thing considering how addictive Diablo can be! Apparently they have a large and active online community, so we’re not really sure what our chances are of making it to the semi-finals. We’re keeping our fingers crossed! 🙂

You’ve got one week (starting June 16) to vote for your favorite here: http://www.diygamer.com/2010/06/torchlight-tournament/

 

In game-development-related news, we’re in the process of porting N’s main “game simulation” code from AS1 to AS3; so far we’ve already found quite a few bugs, some of them pretty nasty (assignment in a conditional expression?! Thank you Flex compiler for warning about that, we would have missed it again).

We managed to fix the “stuttering up slopes” player behaviour; we had always assumed this was caused by faulty collision at the seams between tiles, but it turns out it has nothing to do with collision! Stuttering is caused by how we were calculating and applying friction, leading to the player becoming intermittently airborne every few frames.

Of course, we only discovered this after having completely rewritten the collision system to be geometry-based (tiles only exist in the editor now)… gah! But this is actually fine, since this new collision system is intended for general use in future projects (and tutorials), and is leaps and bounds easier and simpler than the big mess that it replaced. Silver lining!

We also figured out why bounceblocks launch you so much further if you “waggle” back and forth on them when moving downward: for some reason, we were applying drag to both vertical and horizontal movement when the player is standing. This makes no sense, because if the player is moving vertically then they can’t actually be in a “standing” state…except of course in the case where they’re standing still relative to a bounceblock which is traveling upwards.

With stuff like this, we’re trying very hard to keep things feeling as close as possible to the original, but unfortunately we’re finding that it’s impossible to make things identical without also duplicating behaviours which we’d prefer to eliminate.

For instance, the only way to fix the stuttering glitch was to alter the player’s velocity, since that velocity is what moves them into the air. But altering the velocity makes the movement feel a bit different — even a fraction-of-a-pixel change applied to a single frame (which is what was required to fix stuttering) results in a markedly different trajectory over the following few seconds. Markedly!

Thankfully we have a really nice testing setup where we can run the original unmodified player simulation “on top of” our revised version, which lets us see immediately where and how they diverge. In the case of stuttering, we were able to tweak things to be almost identical.

Our mantra for this rewriting process is “Always remember how badly George Lucas ruined Star Wars.” We’re really hoping that the changes we do make will be appreciated rather than reviled 🙂

In any case, dear N fans, we have your feedback close at hand, and we are considering it thoughtfully. We’re positive that although the revision will not be identical to N v1.4, it will be awesome — rest assured, we love this game immensely, and will make sure we do it justice.

comments ( 13 )

  • I think you guys should know that I’ve played this game virtually every day for the past four years (honestly no gad-damn ounce of exaggeration there), and I’m /still/ more excited about this new build than anything I’ve just seen at E3.

  • Guys if you are into game developing you should honestly make a 3D version of this and put it onto some sort of gaming platform (not just PC), love the game i would have payed for it, CONGRATS!!!

  • Ash: why should they make it 3D? There’s already a version (mentioned in the above post, no less) for XBOX, PSP, and DS, that you could pay for.

  • If the latest version doesn’t clog my RAM… I will be most pleased.

  • I wouldn’t mind new art styles, maybe an episode-compiler/creator/designer, possible some custom physics. Y’know, via your playing style, adjust friction, gravity and speed. Maybe even earning experience and leveling up you ninja. Names, clothes, multicolors, and more N customs should also be thought about. Perhaps, after game is beaten, earning a headband, or even playing AS a drone. I dunno. Some sister games might be fun, too. Have the community make a drone game, or something. I dunno. Just be creative. Love you guys! and I’m still working on that song. I has a ways to go.

  • I really hope I won’t need to use Rosetta to run the new version on my Mac. >_<
    Good ol’ 1.4 runs sorta slow as a PowerPC app. I am really looking forward to this new release, since like Yahoozy I’ve played this game a lot over the years. ^^

  • @Colt: Apparently you haven’t beat v1.4

    Can’t wait for the new release 😀 (and hopefully the dev tutorials, hopefully they coincide with me wanting to start a small game as a learning project (again (…again again again)))

  • Hopefully AS3 will allow performance increases in 1.5: since my portable wee netbook (a great device for running a game like N) has frame rate problems with the linux flash version and the WINE Windows version.

    Like GamingWolf says – let’s hope it’s kind on the RAM 🙂

  • @Colt

    “Maybe even earning experience and leveling up you ninja.”
    that would be very nice 😀

    Please make a soundtrack for N 1.5 like in N+!

  • Cain’s post gave me an idea. Maybe once you’ve beaten the game you can get a custom ninja sprite editor, as such. You could use tools similar to paint. Just simple line tool, paint bucket, brush. You could draw patterns onto the ninja and stuff. I don’t mean for customisation to the point of delete the ninja and draw a car, but it would be a cool thing.

    But I realize that it’s totally superfluous, so it’s probably a waste of time.

  • hey guys… u can try introducing profiles, like if both me and my bro want to play N on the same pc, we can’t do it without changing sol files which is a tiresome process. If it were possible to include profile selection in the game menu itself, it would be awesome.

    By the way i love N but i couldn’t get my hands on N+ as i only have a pc. Can’t you guys introduce N+ on pc as well?? 🙂

  • @Snowkid
    #!/bin/sh
    # This script will swap two N+ profiles.
    # Works on linux and (hopefully) Mac OS X
    cd ~/.macromedia/Flash\ Player/#SharedObjects/*/localhost/
    if [ -e n_v14b_userdata.sol.1 ]; then

  • @Snowkid
    Put this into file, mark the file as executable and run it.
    Copy starting from the next line.
    #!/bin/sh
    # This script will swap two N v1.4 profiles.
    # Works on GNU/Linux and probably also Mac OS X.
    # Downloadable (“offline”) version only.
    # Licensed under the WTFPL, Version 2.
    cd $HOME/.macromedia/Flash_Player/#SharedObjects/*/localhost/ || exit 1
    mv n_v14b_userdata.sol n_v14b_userdata.sol.temp
    mv n_v14b_userdata.sol.bak n_v14b_userdata.sol
    mv n_v14b_userdata.sol.temp n_v14b_userdata.sol.bak
    exit 0
    Copy up to the previous line.

    Something similar with a zenity-based profile picker, support for more than two profiles and actual robustness could also be easily done, but it wouldn’t be very portable.
    And it would take longer than 5 minutes to write.

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