The plaN

01 Jun / by: M&R / 17 comments /

First: We will talk about N later in this post.

Second: The reason for our horrible failure to post in May is probably not as exciting as you might hope: we now have an office. Or, we will once we finish fixing it up and moving in.

The past couple weeks have been full of painting, assembling Ikea furniture, installing air conditioners, trying to figure out basic plumbing, and lots of sweating. Although now that the air conditioner is in, hopefully less of that 😉

Here are some “before” pictures! “After” pictures coming soon.

What is the point of an office? After discussing this at length with Toronto indies who have offices, we are convinced it could help us to get things done. We mainly hope that a dedicated work space will help increase productivity and reduce stress relative to working from home. It will also have room for others to work, in case we need to team up with people or if any of our friends feels like working in an office for fun 🙂

 

In other news, the sixth annual TOJam happened a couple weeks ago. In case you don’t know what this is, here’s a link: http://www.tojam.ca/home/default.asp

TOJam is one of Toronto’s most exciting video game events, and has resulted in many, many memorable games. The benefit to video game culture is immense — the Toronto game development scene is very much indebted to TOJam, and we can say with certainty Toronto would not be as vibrant without it.

We were most impressed by the quality of the games jammers have produced in just three short days. Their talent and skill is indeed awesome.

We didn’t participate in the jam itself, but it was held just a couple blocks from our office, so we decided to “remote jam” and make something fun and small over the weekend. And so, we present to you a simple 2d basketball prototype! Compared to the official TOJam games, this one pales. But it was a fun little project and we’re happy we participated.

LINK

The controls are a bit awkward — we need more time to refine them 🙂

A fast-start tutorial would be:
-click in the window to set focus
-press tab
-press 1
-click+drag to pull back ball; release to throw

As you can possibly tell, we spent most of the time on the editor and didn’t end up having enough time to get a real game working; we’ve got a couple ideas of where to take it though so hopefully we’ll have a chance to revisit it in the next couple months.

 

And now we will address what, judging by the comments on the last few posts, is on everyone’s mind. Yes, N.

We are still on track to get this new version done this year, and will be ramping up progress as soon as the office is complete and we can get back to work. In the meantime, we’ve been making levels and planning so that we’re ready to start knocking items off our to do list. Levels are actually becoming much more difficult and time-consuming, because at this point we’ve made over 2000 of them and we’re trying not to repeat ourselves! Thankfully it’s still fun and enjoyable to test them.

The ragdoll has been rewritten, and there are a very few small things to fix up game-wise (e.g finally figure out how to make un-breakable one-way platforms!) but on the whole the rest of the work is database/back-end and UI type stuff.

We really appreciate your enthusiasm for N, and we hope this will be the definitive version. For the sake of our sanity it will probably be the final version, at least for the forseeable future (and notwithstanding a possible PSN version); at this point the game has become somewhat of an albatross for us, it’s a very hard first act to follow!

We know that we can eventually produce something that we like just as much as N, but so far all of our efforts on other games have been disappointing and frustrating… nothing is really turning out as well as N did. But still, we struggle on, because there are games we want to play which don’t yet exist, and we are dying to make them happen.

 

This month we leave you with something quite silly. Some of you may know Kris Piotrowski, a Toronto indie from Capy. A photo of him taken at GDC 2011 inspired us to create Happy Little Kris, a little pocket of ridiculousness that has been cheering us up ever since:
http://happylittlekris.tumblr.com/
Here’s the facebook page.
Happy Little Kris just makes everything more fun.

comments ( 17 )

  • Hey M&R! Don’t have anything to say about the blog post but just wanted you to know that I paritipated in TOJam this year and greatly appreciated your Red Bull donation. The caffeine got me through some tight spots. 😛 Thanks!

  • Hey, thx for some info about N. Just a quick question: will corner jumps be still possible?

    And do you actually mean under word ‘office’ a whole new house? I would imagine only like 1 room.

  • hi, is it okay if I help to make N version 1.4 onto Facebook?

    I can do that by myself without taking you guys time.
    And putting it on Facebook can make N 1.4 much more viral and social.

  • hey, when do ya say n v1.5 will actually come out? a tentative date, please?

  • Ikea furniture? IKEA!!? How could you?!

  • @Tanner; Awesome! so happy we could help 🙂

    @vankusss: we’re not sure yet, we’re still testing. And about the office, we rented a loft unit which is essentially a large rectangular room containing a smaller room (the bathroom) and a loft. Check the pictures, that should clear it up.

    @Unreality: No, but please email us.

    @CrazyAboutN: We’re not sure yet — by the end of the year is all we can tell you right now.

    @Zapmeister: Have you ever tried to buy non-IKEA furniture that isn’t horribly ugly or of crummy quality? It’s very expensive! we hesitate to spend too much on this office experiment 🙂

  • Hi, im very happy of hearing about N again, I hope you wont change the physics too much or we’ll have to get used to them again!

  • Christ. 2000 levels is a hell of a lot. Are you guys planning to have another column of user-made levels?

  • Hi 😉 Very nice office! If it’s not a secret – how much does it cost in a month\year\life? 😉

  • @EddyMataGallos: the movement code is exactly the same as in the original, except for a very small change that we made to fix the “stuttering up slopes” bug. There may be some differences in the semi-buggy behaviour such as getting shot into the air when crushed between two things though…

    @squibbles: not initially because we want to make the level making/sharing more integrated so that ALL user-made levels are in the game. We don’t really have any solid plan about this yet, this is sort of the last big task left, how to arrange the “user generated content” database in a way that’s simple and nice.

    @Fushigi: $1400/month

  • Hoorah! I’ve been a fan of N from shortly after the initial release. Seeing this pleasantly surprised me, I didn’t think I’d see any more N! As excited as I am- take your time. I’d rather wait for a quality game than rush into an unfinished game 😀

  • @M&R

    I’ve Been A Long Time Fan Of This Gem And I Can’t Wait For v1.5. I Heard There A Going To Be New Physics, And A “Classic” Mode. Anyways, Can’t Wait.

  • Let it be known that I would buy the bejesus out of a PSN version.

  • Mare – I am waiting for you to accept my marriage proposal. Much love,

    Vyacheslav

  • I’ve been waiting for the N info, also… a basketball prototype? Why do you need this.

    Poof! I’m out.

  • hi. your game is very nice. thanks

  • ah, so THIS explains why the v2 contesque prizes came in IKEA plastic bags… just shocking 😛

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