SeasoN’s Greetings!

23 Dec / by: M&R / 64 comments / tags :

After many frustrating days and sleepless nights, we have for you a small holiday gift: a quick beta test of N v2.0, in holiday contesque form.

Yes, that’s right, there’s a new Contesque! (For those of you just joining us, “contesque” is a delightful and non-legally-binding portmanteau of contest + the suffix -esque. We coined the term to describe our contest-like events, which are not true contests in the legal sense because we cannot afford to have a proper legal document drawn up. Wordplay!)

N v2.0 Holiday Contesque

Now before you get too excited, this little beta is very rough around the edges. The framerate is a bit unstable, the victory animation is placeholder, the door animations may be broken and a multitude of other small things are unfinished. Basically there’s still a ton to do, but we thought it would be fun to give you this preview of the new codebase, and the “arcade challenge” game mode.

The two main improvements you’ll quickly see are in the ninja’s interactions with slopes and bounceblocks — no more glitching on slopes or needing to dance around on bounceblocks, hooray!

On to the contesque! It’s open from now until January 14th (three weeks from now). Your replays will not be visible until after the contesque closes and we can determine the winners. We’ll enable them then, in a new build, so everyone can revel in the glory of the winning highscore runs. Check back here for links and details.


IMPORTANT: Please let the highscores load before playing, and make sure to let it finish uploading your highscore before starting a new game. The net code is very slap-dash, rest assured that this will be addressed before the proper v2.0 is released. And that horrible framerate too, ugh… sorry. The good news is that once we finish upgrading the simulator from 40hz to 60hz it should be smoother than ever before!

Note #1: When (if?) you get a highscore, you’ll see input boxes for your name and email — we’re still working on a login system, so you’ll have to enter a name and email each time. Also the font may be screwed up because Flash sucks.

Note #2: Emails will only be used to contact you if you win; we’re not spammy. Submitting your score may take a while, please be patient!

Note #3: There are three tracks of varying difficulty, and the rules are a bit different from what you’re used to in N v1.4: you only “collect” the gold’s time bonus when you beat a level, and the timer is not reset when you die. So the pressure is really on! Good luck.

Note #4: This challenge is definitely not for n00bs. If you’re having a hard time, you should probably practice on v1.4 (available for free here) a bit until you get the basics down; the challenge levels are are fairly advanced. We’ve tested thoroughly and determined that beating them is definitely possible though šŸ™‚


Feel free to post questions about the Contesque here in the comments, and send bug reports to metanet AT metanetsoftware DOT com, and please be as detailed as you can — ideally, send the steps to recreate the bug you’ve found. Thank you in advance!

There may be a few updates (we really had to rush at the last minute and may have made a few errors), so keep an eye on the blog. We’ll keep you posted!


Whew! That’s it for this year. After Christmas family fun-times, we’ll be taking a few days off to try to decompress a little. It’s been a really rough year and we are very worn out. Until next time, dear readers: thank you for your support, enthusiasm and feedback. We always appreciate it. We hope you all have wonderful holidays and fantastic new years! Here’s hoping next year brings happiness and success to us all.

Mare and Raigan

comments ( 64 )

  • Guys, thank you *so much*. Halfway through the first set of levels as we speak — it’s great, everything’s great. As a five-year Metanet member, I can’t tell you how happy this has made me. Christmas has come early.


  • Wow! Christmas come (2 days) early! This is great to see!

  • Please PLEASE fix the erratic framerate on the Mac version, it’s making some levels almost unplayable :<

  • Thanks! šŸ™‚

    @otters: sadly this is sort of not fixable right now; for some stupid reason Adobe have locked the projectors to 60fps max. I’m really sorry, I know how crap it is… basically this was running great at 120fps while we were making it and then we discovered that there was no way to really reproduce this properly on other machines — for some reason browsers and projectors limit things to 60fps. I guess only the debug projector doesn’t have this limit?

    Because of this we’re going to alter the entire simulation to just run at 60hz w/ the flashplayer, but currently we’re doing things the old way, which is to run at 40hz using our own fixed-time update. Unfortunately 40hz only feels good when we’re getting nice 8ms-sized snippets of time from the flashplayer.

    It runs okay on our iMac… well, not amazing but playable. This is super annoying šŸ™

  • thanks santa!

  • FYI, I heart everything else about the game, nice work guys <3

  • Hmmm, just clocked a highscore (110, yeah, pretty pathetic I know. :P) But… I have had no login box or anything at all to allow me to submit this? Was there a benchmark score I had to achieve? I haven’t started a new game.

    Also, you guys are awesome. šŸ˜€

  • Ahahaha! M&R made some levels and added a new mode and for the first time in years playing N is making my heart race. Who would’ve thought?

    Merry christmas, you two.

    (Also: that gold counter in the top right of the screen… Is it supposed to be picky about which gold pieces it counts or not to make this harder? Or is this something for your bug report department?)

  • By some kind of reason I do not find the jump button on my keyboard, is this some kind of test?

  • Amazing news šŸ˜€ Im definitely testing this and will give feedback in a day or so šŸ˜‰

  • You just made my year, so fucking happy right now

  • @Inspired: crap… really?! This didn’t come up in testing. There should have been a small form+button. Did the highscores download at the start?

    @179: geez, more bugs?! GHA!! So, sometimes when you pick up gold the counter doesn’t increment? We haven’t had a problem so far with this (the gold-counter code is also used in the Torontron Arcade versions)… can you reproduce it?

    @Epic4ever: If you read the rules page, you’ll see that JUMP = Z… maybe it’s a bit easy to miss though.

    Anyway, thanks again everyone, sorry about all the bugs!

  • Damn it, it looks like there’s a huge bug where you’re not getting prompted to submit a highscore properly…. AARGH!!

    Sorry everyone. This makes no sense!

    EDIT: New versions uploaded — hopefully without this awful bug!

  • Hey, first of all, congratulations on the great update. I really dig this new arcade take (new for PC anyway) in addition to the traditional format. I had a run on Hardest which didn’t prompt me for name and email after completion; (Don’t worry, it was just a test run. so nothing insane). I assume this was probably the bug you mentioned about waiting for the scores to load, and I understand it’s only temporary, so no dramas there now that I know how to avoid it.. Now.. onto the game/engine itself. Levels like “Worm Drive” are ingenious although will definitely test older/different systems. The biggest thing you’ll need to worry about is how Vista and 7 handle N as currently as with NReality for instance, it is laggy without modifying how the file is opened and I’m sure you’ll be thorough with your BETA testing. I’ve been playing on XP on my old laptop and it worked flawlessly and the level draw/reset time was blazing. Another big nod must go to the bounceblock fix. Seriously cool and you didn’t mess with the double jump dynamics. I’m assuming the lack of laser drones and chaingun drones is due to them not being finished yet? One of the most obscure laser drone bugs can be observed on 74-3 so I hope you can refine all that stuff which I’m sure you will. Now, as a highscorer, it took a little bit of time to get used to the slight alterations in physics. It’s evident to me that the hitbox or something is bigger with the ninja. Triple jumps against 1tiles seemed a lot harder than usual for instance. Things that irked me is the removal (intentional or not I don’t know) of the “downward push” achieved by jumping in the top corner of an intersecting roof and wall; now, my assumption here is that it is going to fix the most abused one way glitch in the game which is a small price to pay for realism. Now I know I have rambled on here, so I’ll just say “thanks very much, merry christmas to you both”. Also, I heard there are prizes :O Just for the winners or..? and what are they!? – ska

  • Is there a chance of getting a Linux version (specifically Arch)? šŸ˜€

  • @ska: had no trouble running it on Windows 7. Might just be me.

  • We’ve tested it on XP, win7, and OSX… the performance of the flashplayer is sadly super-variable šŸ™

  • Thanks for such a great early Christmas present!

    Haven’t been able to play around much because of car issues this morning, but the few levels I’ve played still seem good. Couple questions about the final format though. First, will it eventually be broken into the traditional 5-level episode format? Right now with challenges of 64 levels thats a long time invested. Second, will episode times still be such that deaths do not reset time? I really don’t have a preference but I can say that if deaths don’t reset times then the whole philosophy of episode highscoring will have to change.

    Looking forward to the final release of v2.0 and I will definitely be competing for whatever the prize will be.

  • You guys brought Christmas early!
    My only complaint is the non-hexagonal snowflakes on the download page xD
    Happy Holidays, M&R!

  • Hi, I am a “noob”, because I played this game for a while on Xbox 360 but that’s all ^^

    So I try to make my skill on this game with this new update. The thing is that the timer is too short for me. I would like to beat the game but it is hard because I die a dozen of time. I dont care about leaderboard and all. I just like to play, so can you make a mode without the “You die, you lose time” thing please ?

    PS : I am french so SORRY for my bad english

  • Well.

    In the version I downloaded last night, for many levels (but not all) the counter would stop at two gold pieces and not count any more. (For some it would stop at three or four or more, and it was always the same levels that would stop at the same amounts.) But in this updated version it’s working correctly. So, uh. You fixed it, I guess!

  • For those with Macs i suggest running the PC-version through Wine. It works great for me…! šŸ™‚ Love what you’ve done to the game! The new mode is incredible šŸ˜‰

  • Thank you. šŸ™‚

  • oh and by the way: I believe there will be a lot less frustration with the fast loading of levels. It was/is really annoying to wait for a level to come up fresh in 1.4 šŸ˜€

  • Hey M&R, this game is so brilliant, thank you so much! … but did you intend that people would be able to occupy multiple spots on the same highscore board? At this rate Eddy will have all ten spots on all three difficulty levels by the 14th, given that he’s just so far ahead of all of us on hard right now.

    Also agreed with Ben Schultz about the triple jumps.

    Looking forward to the prizes!

    999_Springs (the one currently one place behind him on hard)

  • hey, i really liked this now that i’ve played it. I found out that the physics engine its pretty much the same, which is great, though as a highscorer I noticed the change in the engine. It seems to me that the ninja runs slower, and jumps less, i mean, you can retain less speed, less “hoovering”. Also some tricks have disappeared, like the corner jumps šŸ™ (so sad about this) and also the triple jumps are insane to do now. I wont talk about the lag and that stuff because thats only because of the beta version. In general, the interaction of the ninja with the “air” and the tiles is diferent, but thats not a big deal, the tricks are the biggest deal. Overall i really liked the change and the new fresh N. Keep the good job šŸ˜€

  • Didnt meantion before that the stuttering fix is awesome, i really liked it, also your job with the bounce blocks is nice, they work perfect now, nice job šŸ™‚

  • I made a blog post about your BETA at

    M+R, I also strongly suggest PMing Mohamedraif or TheRealOne on the forums regarding a diagnostics report on the physics engine. If you didn’t know, Mohamedraif has made over 160 Manually Built Demoes which can be found here:

    I realise that you might be hesitant to send them a prototype NED or whatever you are calling it now, but rest assured that these members can be trusted and will be able to give you a very comprehensive primary report on most glitches and quirks that plagued the original N engine. Also, I loved the new level names, a couple made me laugh out loud. “red rings of death”, very cheeky dig at the XBox, “one heck of a trip”, “manimal lust 2: return of the franchise”, brilliant šŸ˜› “things that make you go boom!” and my personal favourite: “disasterisk”.

  • Best Christmas ever.

    Is it possible to get a version with changeable controls? I’m /way/ too accustomed to playing v1.4 with the up arrow as my jump key, and I don’t think I can’t get any good runs with Z.

    <3 you guys.

  • Why did you hardfixed the jump button and volume? So far that’s the biggest deal for me, didn’t actually played it yet.

  • @vankuss I do not wanna be an ass but you cant say “didnt actually played it yet”

  • @Epic4ever: Not everybody’s first language is English. And van’s awesomeness exempts him from English grammar rules.

    Again, this is amazing. Keep up the good work (although I’m sure we all miss walljumping in a corner to get a downwards boost šŸ˜› )

  • @Epic4eve (why are we skipping the last letter of nicks?) do you mean like I can’t say it because it’s gramatically incorrect or because it’s logically incorrect (meaning I wouldn’t find out that it has volume on without playing – which is true and I lied a little (but I meant ‘played’ as in ‘played with an intention to take 0th’))?

    @M&R – could you please make a version where the jump button is shift and volume is turned off? A lot of people would appreciate it and it’ll take like 2 minutes.

  • @Izzy I hope you did not feel offended!

    @vankus No like i said i was not trying to be an ass just pointing out that it sounds silly.. Like this: “didnt actually ate it yet” !

    @M&R Please do not put jump as shift in 7 it f*ccs up the system you get annoyed by another screen and put SPACE = JUMP!

  • Have to say I hate this game but at the other hand I love it! Died on last level of the hard just because of that i had too little time + you had an electric army of angry bosses behind you!

  • Continuing from van’s post, how about a variable jump button? First key you press after selecting hard, harder, hardest is your jump button for that session?

  • Could you eventually unlock all the levels for play? I would love to play all the levels because I am not very good at N.

  • Thanks a lot guys, this is something great to end the year with ^^

  • We probably didn’t explain this very well, but basically this is just meant to be a little test of the code thus far — the full version will contain all of these levels (maybe not in this mode though, most of them were edited to work better in this format) and will definitely let you change keys and whatnot.

    Also, it looks like despite our efforts to make it impossible, someone has managed to break our score display by getting over 999!

  • Well, vankusss is the overall 0th leader on 1.4, so I’m hardly surprised šŸ˜›
    I blogged this contest as well:

  • @M&R Can I ask will there be as in Nreality the way of unlocking Underclock?

    Because I have this way of always being stressed in this game so playing it like this is very hard!!

  • I was mainly asking if there was any way to make this current version have changeable controls. I don’t want to miss out on any prizes because I find jumping with up is the only way I can actually get anything done. šŸ˜›

  • Izzy, you can use a keymapper, which is a program that lets you change the function of any keys, so that you can assign the letter “Z” to the key “Up Arrow”. Its just like changing the keys.
    I cant post a link here since it’d be spamming, but just google for a keymapper, download it and enjoy šŸ˜€

  • @epic4ever I didn’t really understand that, but M&R didn’t make NReality, that was UnReality who you can PM on the forums, he is also very busy at the moment & he has said that he may not get anything done for awhile, i’m expecting something like 3 months before we hear anything of a new NReality… unless you meant something else & i just typed all that for nothing :\

  • Hi there M&R, I just updated the google spreadsheet with two new hacked scores, just so you know šŸ™‚

  • fix the fucking time shit

  • Oh, hell. N v2.0? There goes another perfectly good year of productivity down the tubes šŸ™‚
    Thanks, guys šŸ™‚

  • I thought I’d report a weird glitch.. it messed up my really good run on “hardest” as well due to said glitch. I died in between two bounceblocks on level 45. I definitely didn’t hit a drone, and i certainly didn’t run out of time.. really weird :S never happened to me on 1.4. also, there was no way i died form height.

  • First and most importantly: Thankyou so much for this.
    Secondly: Please please please let me assign ‘up’ to jump guys, z is killing me and I can’t get a keymapper to work.

  • @d: I think you can assume that the leading digit is “1”… we tried but failed too make it impossible to get past 999, but I’m pretty sure it *is* impossible to get past 1999.

    @Ben: you were sandwiched between two bounceblocks, and that killed you? Hm…?!

  • After quite a bit of playing, I like it very much. The new game mode is great (and challenging), however I personally think it is too long. Maybe you could have checkpoints every 16 or 32 levels, not sure if people agree with me though.
    The only other small thing is that I think it would be great if you also let the player set the ‘start’ key instead of fixing it to the jump key.
    These are only my personal preferences and I’m yet to come across any bugs.
    Last thing: Is the ‘acceleration’ when N is in the air slower than in v1.4?
    Once again, thankyou so much. I’m looking forward to more awesome procrastination material.

  • Please, remove duplicate scores / make it impossible to make more of them. They remove any will to improve after getting a persbest because it’s impossible right now to make it anywhere close to the boards.

  • M&R, you two are insidious. This challenge is bonkers, but I finally got a no death run on hardest.

    Some physics issues I noticed – On 43 hardest, if you chimney jump really fast sometimes you just kind of walk on air when you get to the top.

    I’m pretty sure there’s some odd momentum issues when you fall onto a 45 deg slope that joins into a 30 deg slope. Apparent on 22 hardest, sometimes you go way to fast on the x axis when you jump off the right hand side of the middle valley. This could be all in my head, but it didn’t feel like it.

    This last one is hard to replicate, and it’s only happened to me 3 times. Sometimes when you jump into a vertical tile and don’t wall jump or wall slide on it, your feet will hook into the wall as if the ninja were tipping off a ledge. The ninja goes a bit sideways and then falls normally.

  • @Ninjoid, i suspect/hope the acceleration is due to the 40hz

    @M&R, The gold thing, well, it means you only have 90 seconds on the first level of every ep & any gold you collect on the last level of every ep won’t help save you, this would be highly challenging for new people, if the levels are anything like v1.4 where it took me more than a year to beat 250 levels (with the fact that i had no .sol)

  • How does one change/mute the volume of the game?

  • I got some evidence of the ninja “hooking” into the walls, on the 852.200 run on harder, and I realized it happens on sloped tiles as well.

    At 396 on map 24
    At 545 on map 39
    At 747 on map 50

  • @loudog: thanks! We’ll look into those.

    @atomizer: we could filter out duplicate names, but since there’s no login system (it’s more like an old arcade game’s highscores) there’s nothing preventing people from just entering different names or appending digits to the end of their name. Maybe people won’t be that rude though…

    @basil: sadly there’s no control for this, sorry šŸ™

  • @M&R re: filtering duplicates – You may not want to filter all duplicates, but feel free to remove my duplicate scores. It’ll be more fun for others to be on the boards.

  • ok, duplicates filtered! Enjoy šŸ™‚

  • WOOOOOOT!!!!! N v2.0, can’t wait!

  • Not trying to sound rude in any way, but… Time for that annual reminder *points towards bottom of page*

  • I really wanted to do this but my Z key is broken. :\

  • I would love to play this, but I can’t even play N 1.4 because I got Lion, so if you guys made a non-powerpc version of N, that would be great!

  • Comments on the beta… Good controls, except the jump button should remain ‘shift’. I would prefer to have the coins go into your time limit once you collect them, instead of after you reach home. Some people take this as a challenge, but it would be at least nice to have the option when N 2.0 is fully released. I especially like the fact that this one works on Lion. Can’t wait for the 2.0 release!

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