Almost there… [EDIT: *(&!$(^%$!&]

31 Dec / by: M&R / 44 comments /

We’re still madly working to get the N v2.0 public beta out before the end of the year… it’s going to be close, and although we REALLY tried all year to avoid this last-minute panic, sometimes there’s nothing you can do!

We had hoped to be done early so that we would have time to play through the whole thing one last time, however that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Rest assured, as you celebrate the new year, we will be playing through levels long into the night, ringing in the new year with ninja-body-part fireworks.

Anyway, we should have good news for you sometime in the next four hours… stay tuned! Or, better yet, go out and have a great New Year’s eve, and the beta will be waiting for you tomorrow πŸ™‚

EDIT: please see our comment below… long story short, we have a build running and it sucks. We were hoping to only have a few problems, but this is unplayable… somehow there are crashes that don’t happen on our version that do happen in the final version. UGH.

We’re really sorry if we’ve ruined anyone’s New Year’s Eve… it’s definitely ruined for us. We’ll be back tomorrow with hopefully better news.

EDIT: okay, we seem to have resolved the most egregious bugs so we’re going to put it up (new blog post coming soon), however it will be *much* better when we’ve finished fixing all of the remaining problems. Here’s the current version:

N v2.0 Public Beta

Known bugs/problems (which we’re working on) include:

  • login/signup is broken;
  • mainmenu relays aren’t working;
  • episode/level numbers are wrong;
  • game uses arcade-mode timer/gold rules (whoops.. bit of miscommunication);
  • jittery performance (especially on some win7 computers);
  • sounds cutting out;
  • glitch when wallsliding at the top of the screen(?!);
  • buttons/UI isn’t completely finished/polished.

comments ( 44 )

  • New year Eve is over in Norway, so I’m ready for some N!

  • Woo! Super excited for the release. πŸ˜€ Thanks for keeping us tuned!

  • πŸ˜€

  • This is the culmination of years of anticipation! I’m sure this will beat any New Year’s party I might miss because of this πŸ˜€

    … but no pressure :p

  • ah.. please go to the party!! N will always be here, parties are fleeting πŸ™‚

    Seriously though, there are still many rough edges (and bugs that we’re as-we-speak still trying to fix) so we’re a bit worried about it being a big disappointment… πŸ™


  • Will be there any sort of easy way to bugtest for y’all? A global’d thread on with listed issues that you guys could check up on?

  • Thanks for all your hard work. Make sure to have a fun new years M&R!

  • An excellent way to celebrate the new year.

    We should spread the news…

  • Bad news. So we’ve been working with a contractor this past year to get this game updated finally (they’re doing all of the menu/UI/front-end stuff) and the latest build, with a crapton of final updates is pretty badly broken.

    Basically a ton of tiny miscommunications have added up to a lot, and we didn’t notice that was happening until roughly now, because we didn’t have the data ready for them until a couple days ago, so we didn’t have a final build to test until just now.

    Despite initially aiming for ‘summer of 2012’, that eventually changed to ‘fall’ and then ‘before 2013’ — we ran right down to the wire and there just wasn’t enough time for testing.

    This is entirely our fault, for not being more organized.

    It’s breaking our hearts, but we can’t release this yet. It’s too shoddy — you can’t even play past episode one, and there are a lot of things wrong.

    We are utterly crushed, completely defeated. We just wanted to keep one promise, you know? Just one. We’re so sorry.

    We’ll try again tomorrow. Please have a good new-years!

  • Are there any new changes besides a redone engine and new/tweaked levels?

  • Hooray! While it may not be a perfect release, I’m having a lot of fun testing it. Haven’t noticed any issues yet, apart from what you’ve already mentioned.

    Good luck on improving it, I look forward to seeing the final product. :3

  • Hey M&R, there’s a thread on the forums which is going to be used to post bugs and other glitches we find. Here it is:

    It’s great that you are able to post something. You have no idea how much it means to the community. Thank you.

  • This is fucking fuck yeah new Metanet levels so far guys I’m a tad off my nuts right now but man is this supersolid like a supersoaker

  • Have you guys been keeping a changelog? Can we see it?

  • The lag is breaking me. Are there any settings (windows 7) that I can tweak to help me? It’s consistently about a quarter of a second delay on everything.

  • @Bio: well.. until the editor it out, not really. The main new feature is that we’re hosting all the levels, and replays/highscores for all the levels, and level browsing/rating/etc. is all integrated into the game. But, that’s not in the beta yet..

    @Aideira: awesome!! Thanks so much, that’s a super-useful thread.

    @mammaletto: that sounds worse than normal. We have one win7 machine that’s very laggy (not as bad as yours sounds though), but we have no idea what’s different about it, as our other win7 machine runs it fine. We’re still looking into it… a different browser might help?

    @Yahoozy: not really… we have a tasklist/log where we keep track of tasks that are pending/done, but we didn’t change v1.4, we rewrote everything from scratch.

    We’ll be updating the beta as we work through the list of things to fix. Thanks everyone for your feedback!

  • Normally use chrome. Switched to firefox (which I hardly ever use) and the lag is gone, but the visuals are a little jittery at times but this is a relatively minor complaint. Maybe a quarter of a second was an exaggeration, I have no real way of measuring.

  • Will multiplayer be online too?

  • Right right. It’s excellent, either way. The subtle changes altogether and the tons of new maps are really exciting. Can’t wait to sink more time into making my own. Thanks for continuing to work on one of the greatest games ever made.

  • @Meanapple: co-op will be local-only

  • YES!

  • This is so awesome guys! buggy or not its great to see what you’ve been working on, and to play some new N! This is amazing.
    Thanks so much, and happy new year.

  • Just a general note on the maps themselves. There is not enough variety between the levels (i.e. not enough chain-guns or laser based based) and there are far too many maps with far too many seeker drones in them. There are maps with 40+ drones in them for purely aesthetic reasons which makes even my decent computer lag hard.

  • I’ve completed the 00s, 10s, 20s, and almost all of the 40s and 90s. The 40s were amazing, probably your best column yet. I really like the new physics, bounceblocks are much better and the slope stuttering is gone which is awesome. Also easier to perpendicular jump from slopes which I guess was a product of the stuttering anyway. I think the collision area for mines has been reduced, is this the case? Have you increased air drag at high speed? ‘Chimneying’ seems slightly slower. Also, horizontal acceleration in air is increased I’m sure. In short, the physics are similar enough to 1.4 to be familiar, but all of the creases have been ironed out, which is awesome.

    As far as the level design is concerned, there is way too little enemy variation in my opinion. As far as I can remember, there was only one chaingun and one laser in the (almost) half of the game I have completed. Pretty sure kkstrong means dumb zap drones not seekers. They are overwhelmingly the most prevalent enemy. There were a few maps with 50+ drones. It’s not like my PC is old or slow, and I am already running my browser with some graphics disabled to make it playable. From speaking to other folks as well I know that they have been lagging out on these maps when normally they are fine.
    If time was an issue with playtesting, there are literally thousands of maps on that have been playtested for hours that you could have used. I don’t think the physics engine change would have compromised them. Why not use the community?

    Sorry if that sounded negative. Like I said the 40s were amazing. I can’t wait till the final version is out and the highscores are up.

    The new physics are awesome. The 40s column was awesome. Enemy variation was poor (too many dumb zappers). Thanks!

  • ow… well then How to open the game editor and will there be bigger maps? or anything new besides the multiplayer?

  • I noticed a bug – the locked door switches do not change sprites when pressed. As a result, I thought that it would be cool if you guys added a door, which could be both opened and locked repeatedly by the same switch. Just a thought. It’s a bit jittery at times, but it’s all cool. Well done!

  • The bug with switches is really weird because it works perfectly on our (local) version. (Part of the problem with development is that we have a local version that’s just the game itself, and then another version which is the game inside all of the menu/UI, and there appears to be some different behaviour, which is really weird)

    The collision shape for mines isn’t smaller, I think what’s happening is a result of us fixing the bug where you could touch the exit through a door — in 1.4 we collided vs objects first, then pushed the ninja out of tiles. Now we do tile collision first, then objects; this means that previously the ninja would get closer to mines by “sinking” into the tiles temporarily. I think we’re going to leave this since mines are otherwise no smaller, but we’ll double-check to make sure nothing else is happening.

    About the tons-of-drones levels, they’re running fine on our computers, however we never really got to test the browser version so possibly we’ll have to edit those.

    About the lack of variety: we tried to use lasers/chainguns, however we feel like especially the latter are too random, and not really that fun.

    We didn’t realize that we should have gotten the data done earlier, because we had been testing it on our local version, and we assumed it would work identically to our local build but didn’t for some reason. We’re still trying to figure this out, since flash is flash… it’s a mystery.

  • hey it’s ska, AKA electricm4ster on twitter; you know, the first person to complete the N 2.0 beta? πŸ˜‰

    I thought it would be more effective to post here, rather than in stunted tweets.

    Anyway, I’ve been carefully compiling a shortlist of user made levels as potential candidates for induction into 2.0, most in a similar metanesque style which I think you guys will find very appealing.

    A Crème de la crème if you will.

    You and the community at large realised that spending hours combing through a 200,000+ map archive would be tedious, so I’ve taken the liberty of constructing a column of maps which would fit nicely into the game as a standalone, or to be interspersed at your discretion to replace maps (mainly some of the ‘recycled’ maps?)

    Of course, this is your game, and if I’ve learned anything over the last 8 years, it’s that you love this community as much as we love you, and we would only wish you continued success with this project.

    If you’re interested, please get back to me. I’d love to help any way I can.

    (Perhaps a secret unlockable column? :O)


  • That’s me completed it too now. I do agree than chainguns can be inconsistent. I guess once the lag gets fixed the drones will be less frustrating.

    Thanks again for doing this again, and doing it for free.

  • Great work, but still something to fix is left. I encountered:
    – in-game text bubbles with wrong text inside (press jump to continue while I have to press jump to begin)
    – some keys can’t be set as game keys (I used to play with Left Shift assigned to the jump)
    – still, when another key is set to jump and the Press jump to continue message appears, I have to press Z instead of the custom key
    – while text bubbles are blinking, I can’t quit (I have to press Jump before doing so)
    – no editor in beta?

  • Hey, M&R. Good to finally see the progress you’ve made on the game, and I can’t wait to see the final product.

    One thing, though: I just wanted to make sure you were aware of the fact that you can play any episode without unlocking it first.

  • “About the lack of variety: we tried to use lasers/chainguns, however we feel like especially the latter are too random, and not really that fun.”

    Please, please don’t under-represent lasers or chainguns. They are brilliant enemies and deserve more than that.

    Cases in point:

  • So, no user made episodes, uh?
    No new drones/enemies/tiles/whatever elements of game, uh?

    At least make user made episodes. I follow you from a lot of years, change something or add something new!

    Good luck!

  • M&R, i have poured hours and hours and hours (to the span of weeks, if not a bigger denomination?) since 2007 into this flash game that you distributed for free. That post is so apologetic! You owe us nothing, even if your record on promises is iffy. The fact that you’re still breaking your backs on this free game because it is wanted means you hold every karma card.

    I will restrain my billion questions on game modes and user level integration and features nad such until the editor and more basic stuff is existent. The new physics are subtle, but it definitely feels like creases have been ironed out. I also echo the concern over lack of variety in the current clumns, but more specifically detail; The original levels had some much more spacious, complex, finely-tuned, meaty cuts. But good, still, and it makes sense that you want to tone it down from how punishing it was back in the day.

    thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you

  • Especially given the fact that there were so many maps in 2.0 that are a direct copy of levels from 1.4, maps from nmaps would probably be a better choice.

    Btw I finally got an xbox and purchased N+, about time huh?

  • I can’t imagine how you would go about handling what seem to be hardware compatibility issues, but when using a USB keyboard with my laptop (as part of my desk set-up), attempting to play the game results in inconsistent delays ranging from unnoticeable to around 3 seconds in length between when I press a key, and when the player sprite responds. Sometimes the key input seems to get stuck, and this carries over to other applications when I bring them in focus (for example, causing “zzzzzzzzzz” to appear in text fields).

    I know from this it probably sounds like the problem lies entirely with my hardware, but it’s worth noting that the issues do not occur with v1.4, nor have I noticed them with any other application before now. However, if I use the keyboard built into my laptop, the beta handles input perfectly.

    Again, I can’t imagine what could cause differing behaviour across hardware in ActionScript code, so it may in fact be that the device is not compatible with [this version of] Flash Player itself. If so, sorry for wasting your time complaining about this, but otherwise I’m curious to know if there actually is something in the game code that could cause such discrepancies.

  • @Oliver: yeah, I’m not sure what we can do about that. There are some other bugs related to input that we’re looking into, so there’s a slight chance that fixing them will help you, but other than that there isn’t much we can do (i.e Flash doesn’t let us talk to the hardware at all).

  • Beat the beta yesterday!

    Very enjoyable, a bit heavy on surface-follow zap drones, but your maps are much more polished than they were in 1.4.

    Thanks again for making this.

  • oh God! Finally!

    This is outstanding guys, kudos to M&R!
    I beat only the first column because I don’t want to ruin the surprise of finishing the first time, but good job on rewriting all the program!

    Looks awesome, from what I heard you’re looking to implement user maps directly in the game, awesome feature. If I could ask (maybe it has been asked), is it hard to implement a custom episode feature? Where you make five levels and put them together, as seen in N+ (I believe)? This feature would be overkill for the game!

    Awesome, awesome, awesome, again awesome.

    Fantastic, too much excited. Good luck and thanks for giving us one of the most addictive game ever! After 8 years, n is still here =)

  • Is it possible to turn of multiplayer once it is on?

  • @peter: we need to fix the prompt — if you press “n” again it should toggle back to 1-player. We’ll definitely fix this though, it should be obvious!

  • could there be a column with user maps again? πŸ™‚

  • hey M&R, always nice to hear from you! We’re all super excited for v2.0. As for the new levels – I’ll have to agree with mammaletto – there’s a shitload of blue drones, but almost no lasers and chainguns. These are really great enemies, giving a great range of possibilities. I think that you’re underappreciating them. Just look at the maps kiaora has linked!

    As for the big-amount-of-zap-drones maps… You’ve overdone it. Like, who needs that amount of drones?! I don’t want to sound rude, but it really doesn’t have sense in my opinion. Yeah, sometimes it works. but only sometimes. Not mentioning the lag that some people have. I think you should tone down their amount. Just a suggestion.

    Doubling that one anonymous guy, aren’t you going to put in any new enemis or tiles? (I don’t really care about the latter, N with the current 8 types of tiles is completely fine for me) but the enemies… I was thinking, maybe you could merge N v2.0 with NReality somehow? I dunno if it’s doable (since you’re already having a lot of problems with things that should be ok), just a random thought. if not, then okay. I would also like to see some new obstacles and objects – miststalker’s idea with the multiple-use doors is really cool. The new door types could lead to a totally new and awesome puzzle genre, just think about it πŸ˜‰ I was just expecting more from the v2.0, although it’s only a beta, so yeah. I’m really happy to see the improved physics and stuff. Great work on that!

    Again, thank you very much for still being with us after 9 years. I haven’t been in the community as long as some guys here, who have been playing N continuously from ’04. the Metanet community has hosted thousands of people from all over the world throughout all these years. This game is surely a significant part of life of each of us.

    one more time, good luck and big thanks for giving us a great and an incredibly addictive game πŸ˜€

  • @Oliver: (About the USB keyboard issue)
    Did you try with another browser?

Leave a reply