Polls Polls Polls

02 Jun / by: M&R / 18 comments / tags :

To start off: N has advanced into the second round of The DIYGamer Indie Games Tournament! Thanks for voting, everyone — please keep it up! This time we’re up against Braid, which will be tough to beat… our fingers are crossed 🙂

You can vote for your favorite game here (until June 8th (we think)) : https://www.diygamer.com/2010/06/braid-tournament/


Now, on to more heady material.

Faithful readers may have noticed that lately we’ve been vacillating between projects, working for a month or so before moving on to something else. While this is a nice change of pace after spending 2009 focused on Robotology, and while we do intend to continue working on “blue sky” prototyping/R&D activities, we feel that it’s important for us to start working on something that we intend to finish.

Out of the many potential future projects, there is one which looms especially large over the rest; one which many have been waiting for and which we have committed to developing, albeit at an undetermined date. We are of course alluding to “v1.5”, the final update of N.

After half a decade of collecting suggestions and feedback from users, our list of desired features/changes contains many hundred entries, some trivial (add a running total to the kill count) and some quite complex (fix that stupid stuttering-up-slopes collision bug).

The main reason that we’ve been delaying this update for so long is that we realized that we really ought to port the codebase over to Actionscript 3 (it was written in Flash 5/AS1), and if we’re going to do that then we might as well just rewrite the whole damn thing. This is mostly a practical, pragmatic plan: there are many wishlist features that are currently almost impossible to add into the existing code, which will be much simpler to add as things are rewritten/ported. We’re also extremely reluctant to leave all of the joys of using a “proper language” — type safety! callstacks/debugging! — and descend into the horrible mess that is AS1.

Anyway, when we sat down to roughly plan things, we discovered that there are some very fundamental questions which we don’t know the answers to; after 5 years, the landscape of computing, gaming, Flash development, and pretty much everything else has changed considerably. For example: would users prefer to run N in a browser, or as a stand-alone application?

Therefore we’ve started a series of polls on the forums (https://forum.ninjarobotyeti.com) in order to solicit feedback from you. Now’s your chance to let us know how you would like v1.5 to be!

Please check out this thread for details: https://forum.ninjarobotyeti.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6040

That’s all for now 🙂

comments ( 18 )

  • I see now. So this is why it’s been delayed so long. Okay, now that we know, you can get it done with, right? Right?? Also, don’t make 1.5 the final version. There will /always/ be problems with every game, so even if you say it is the final version, you may release a fix to the just-released 1.5.

  • I am so glad this is happening. I would like to think my recent email helped push this along, but I wont be that arrogant. I can’t wait to see what is in store when v1.5 is released.

  • Awesome, guys. Simply awesome to see a blog post that’s entirely about N. (Great to see the forums linked here, too.)

  • 90% to 10% w should win. I have little doubt N will go far.

  • this is fantastic. glad to hear you’re still caring!

    anyways, the main problem with N is the editor which is obviously very non-user-oriented. its complicated and confusing surface has discouraged many people (f.i. 2 of my friends) who started N and gave up mapping due to the lack of user-friendliness and explanation.

    if anything, this should be cleared up. 🙂

  • I disagree with changing the UI of the editor. Sure it’s difficult to learn, but we all had to go through it. Consider it an initiation! Most mappers can map without looking down within a few months.

  • While we’re on the subject of N i might suggest an idea a had for a sort of new multiplayer N game. read about it on the N forum here http://forum.ninjarobotyeti.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=6020&p=125751#p125751. thanks

  • By re-write did you mean, re-write in flash, or re-write as a native application? Personally I’d like to see a native version of N but that’s just me. (I also wouldn’t mind seeing it open sourced, since it’s already free :D). There’s another thing, will this version remain free?

  • @Blackson: Concerning the editor, we’re not looking to change how it works, but make it more friendly, for instance adding a secondary non-hotkey-based method of interaction, adding Undo/Redo functionality, etc. We’re very productive with things as they currently are, but I think everyone who has lost a map — because e. they made a typo and cleared the level rather than saving it — would appreciate the same experience with a greater degree of friendlyness 🙂

    @daniel: we’ve got a few ideas for new multiplayer modes, but probably they will have to be saved for console versions given that Flash is still not a great platform for realtime multiplayer. You should check out the game Soldat though, which is very similar to what you describe and was one of our inspirations for N.

    @blankthemuffin: it will be free, we’re essentially porting it from Actionscript 1 to AS3 and cleaning things up on the way. We’re still trying to figure out what the exact plan re: source release is..

  • This is at Mare – How hard is it to clear the hackers from the highscores boards or at least put someone else in charge of them? It’s like being the mayor of a city but not caring if people deface the buildings. Thanks.

  • That’s cool!

    I disagree changing the editor too, though a few edits would be great. Can you fix the corruption problem?

    I wanna N as a native application. Flash players don’t allow using right mouse button; right clicking on drone and selecting NaN or editing his path or type would be cool.

    I posted more suggestions on forums.

    Waiting for 1.5. <3

  • agree with Sunset: This can’t be you’re final update, is it!?!?

  • Nice to read that you’re still working on it!
    I agree with making the editor more friendly. In 1.4 the editor is hidden, maybe that’s why many people don’t start with making maps. It would be nice to have the editor in the main menu.
    And can you make it more easy to play NUMA – Maps? That would be great!

    Looking forward to 1.5

  • 87% chance N’s going to win;)

  • 87% chance N’s going to win 😉

  • This has come along somewhat as a surprise to me, I had always assumed you would be getting around to Nv1.5 forever, and never actually doing it.

    I have to admit that i’m a little skeptical about the changing of the game. I know you will try to change as few of the integral parts of the game as possible, but I can’t help but feel a little nervous when you say that all past replays won’t work. Even I, a non-highscorer have some replays i’m proud of. Though I suppose we could still just open 1.4 and watch them…

    However, there are a couple things that would be beyond awesome to see in N which are not currently implemented. The first being horizontally and/or vertically scrolling maps, and the ability to create them. This would allow for the creation of some heavily atmospheric maps – ones of the adventure genre especially. The possibilities with a user-defined map area are limitless. It would be a groundbreaking change for sure, especially on NUMA.

    The second thing has already been mentioned here and there – multiplayer. I would really like for some multiplayer action on N. N+ gave a brilliant example of all the concepts and possibilities that can be created within maps when maps can have multiple players. If you give youtube a search, you can find some truly stunning concepts that fans around the world have discovered, and it’s amazing.

    I realise that multiplayer is a very big step, though. If it’s too far to go in a single bound, then that’s fine. I’ve been happy with single player N for nearly four years now and I will still be happy with single player N in four more.

    Sorry for the essay.

  • Let me just say that if this last update doesn’t hog my CPU power like the previous versions, I will be most pleased. You’ve also probably opened up the floodgates to a ton of people as well. We will not be disappointed. We live to play games. We are eternal.

  • please give us a release date for N 1.5 🙂

    still waiting x3

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