GDC you in San Francisco!

03 Mar / by: M&R / 53 comments / tags : ,

It’s that time of year again, the annual migration of game developers to the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. Our flight was delayed, which is kind of lucky because in our rush to pack we forgot to write a blog post!

A couple weeks ago we reached +500 new N levels; initially we were worried that it would be hard to come up with new ideas, however once we got rolling we somehow managed to keep finding new sorts of traps/arrangements/concepts, so that was nice. We’ve still got it!

We still need to go through all of the N+ levels to find the best ones to include… unfortunately we never got around to making a nice spreadsheet, instead they’re scattered in text-files and quite a pain to track down. Plus, they’re all slightly different dimensions… it’s not going to be a fun process.

Looking back at the original N levels, it’s amazing to us that anyone liked the game — many of the early levels, aside from being ugly, are quite awkward. We enjoy a good challenge, but there’s an important difference between a level that’s hard in a fun/fair way, and a level that’s hard because of an awkward/annoying section.

Anyway, progress on the front- and back-end is progressing as well; the game code itself is almost complete, there are are only a few small things like tweaking the ragdoll remaining to do. We managed to get the 60hz simulation feeling quite close to the original 40hz version; it’s definitely slightly different, but we were surprised by how close we were able to make things. Having a special double-wide build of the game that showed both versions side-by-side definitely really helped the process.

We’ll be back with more shortly. In the meantime, check out the last of Mare’s old videos! There’s Office Donuts, a short film that explores the effects of donuts on modern office workers, and Früheadism: A Docfrümentary, a documentary about a Canadian band called Moxy Fruvous and their eccentric fans.

Hope to see some of you at GDC! We are both doing talks this year. Mare’s is called “Why I Hate Women in Games Initiatives” and is about the importance of diversity, and Raigan’s is a 5 minute rapid-fire session called “Why I Hate Triangle Meshes”, on the aesthetics of technology. Should be interesting.

Until next time!

comments ( 53 )

  • Glad to hear you have enough levels now for v2.0. Us highscorers have agreed with you for quite a while on the awkwardness of some of the levels you made, and I’m glad to hear they’re not all like that now. Unfortunately, I found hardest 55 to be in the same category as those ones; I just couldn’t find a good flow through it and it seemed like the others had a hard time too when I watched the replays.

    Have a good time in San Fran, wish I could be there to meet you two. Make sure to take some time out and see the sights before you leave.

  • San Fransisco… America?

    Anyways, I’ll be expecting N v2.0 when it comes out…

    Until then…
    OW99, over and out…
    (Until N v2.0 comes out)

  • any chance on a Intel or Universal Binary Mac version on N? The current PowerPC doesn’t work on Lion and later.


  • Sounds nice. I hope you’re implementing an anti-cheat into v2.0 so we don’t have to run third-party apps (ie nreality) for proper highscores.

  • hope you had fun!

  • Glad to hear the mapping is going well, but should you ever need a hand or want to introduce some variety (or even a totally different game mode (races races races!)) I’d love to help out with the mapping! (over 600 maps on numa, a nice group of dronies under my belt!)

    E-mail me if you’re interested ^^

  • Hey M&R, great work you’re doing there – I’m really looking forward to the final release – just a few points I (and a few others) would like to clarify about v2:

    – When you say 60hz, do you mean that there will in fact be 60 frames per second instead of 40, making corner jumps and such like 50% harder than before?

    – Will there be a column of user-created levels in v2 like the 80s in v1.4, and/or a default userlevel pack like in v1.4, possibly with a highscoring system?

    – If yes, how will those levels be picked? It’s going to be hard to hand-pick levels when there are 210k+ of them all hosted on a site that’s only up for about 9h/day.

    (Still waiting paitently for the v2 beta prizes. No pressure at all, but the longer I wait, the better I expect them to be in the end! :P)


  • To add to Zaps comment

    NUMA has 50k+ maps deleted

    sidkes NUMA map downloader helps

    The 80s collum was chosen from a contest (or so i believe) but with the community so small i doubt you will get 50 different authors or even 25, so they would (if they did) use older maps from NUMA

  • As far as picking user-created levels (a la the 80s column of v1.4) … make a thread at and a few of us will drop everything and knock together a list of suggestions for you to check out and streamline.

    I only raise this as an option because I feel that a contest similar to the one from way back would no longer be effective. (My post obviously assumes that there will actually *be* a user-created section, which I haven’t seen either of you verify or unverify yet.)

  • The user-made column was a way to try and highlight user-made levels in the game, because the integration of user-made levels in 1.4 was sort of crap/half-assed.

    We aren’t planning on having a user-made column this time, because (if all goes well) the user-made levels will be integrated in a much better way.

    I don’t know how much more I can say right now about this — thanks very much for offering to help! It would be awesome to have a list of maps to check out in general since NUMA is a bit overwhelming for us.

  • I am extremely intrigued about what you said in this post ^^

    I am excited to see how you guys integrate custom levels.

    I have always really liked your mapping styles. I would say I have enjoyed 95% of all of the Metanet levels. You guys have had a few gaffes like 59-0, but on the whole you guys are awesome mappers. I am a little sad to hear that there is no user created maps to be included in the new version. I think there are so many amazing maps that have been made since the release of v1.4. I am sure that we could come up with a list of some that you should check out. There was less than 10k maps out when you guys made your selections. There is now over 215k.

    In other news there have been a few new hackers and one or two duplicate scores spotted. I was hoping that you guys could delete those. I have updated the google doc page.

  • If you want to make a list of the best NUMA maps, we’d love to check them out… it’s just a bit overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.

    One problem we had with the user-made column in 1.4 is that the levels were all way too hard; partly this was because they were made by and for fans who are good at the game, and partly it’s because they were only playable as one-offs rather than in the context of a 5-level set.

  • The community could itself host and judge a competition wherein maps would be submitted for n v2.0. If the competition is judged by the community, we could ensure that the maps are of a high standard and with the difficulty tailored to the new needs we have (i.e, a little lower than what we usually put on numa).

    I’m sure it wouldn’t be too difficult to have multiple difficulty brackets open – a map submitter would choose whether to submit an ‘easy’ ‘medium’ or ‘hard’ map, and it would be judged as normal within whatever category. After that, the top scoring maps are picked from each diffculty tier (Whether that’s 50 easy maps, 30 medium and 20 hard to form a nicely rounded column or something more abstract, I’m not sure) and compiled into the form of a completed column.

    Hell, if you gave us a deadline i’m sure you would find a hundred high-quality maps appear rather quickly.

  • Hi M&R, how’s progress? Just asking since you forgot to post something on this blog last month, again.

    (subtly inserts casual reminder about v2 beta prizes)

  • I’m expecting some real good news soon (*wink*), in compensation for having kept us waiting over two months for a blog update! Cheers!

  • You guys are terrible bloggers D:

    I trust this means exciting things 😀

  • Sorry for all the delays… we’ve been hard at work, but unfortunately things are still not done yet 🙁

    We definitely haven’t forgotten you!

    Concerning user maps in N v2, our perspective is that if we make sure that user-made maps are properly integrated into the game (i.e not “second class citizens” like in the current version, but identical to the built-in maps in terms of presentation and support), then there’s no real need/point in having a “user-made set” of levels, because *all* user-made levels will be included in the game.

    Basically, the idea is for built-in levels and user-made levels to be more or less equivalent.

  • So do you mean that userlevels will be integrated into the game in pretty much the same way as NReality does it? (i.e. there’s a highscore submission system where each level has its own scoreboard in the database) Or something else?

    Great work so far though, Nv2 will certainly will be a huge hit when it’s released, whatever ideas you can come up with to put into it. No pressure. We’re all behind you.

    p.s. v2 beta prizes

  • Hey guys, just wondering if you fixed the glitch of dying while hitting a launch-pad & not being able to interact with almost any objects?

  • I’ll check back in another 6 months, hopefully by then N 2.0 will be released. I love your game & am very excited that you’ve almost completed the (much anticipated on my end) 2.0 version of N.

  • I hope my son will see the N 2.0…

  • … and as yet another blog-update-less, v2.0-beta-prizes-less month leaves us behind, forever lost in the shadows of unforgiving Time, the suspense increases yet another notch, by now evoking a slight sense of eeriness…

  • We just finished converting ~2000 N+ levels to N v2 format… it took a while longer than we expected.

    Sorry about the delays… it’s coming! Also a blog post soon hopefully 🙂

  • Hooray! Finally another weeks of sleepless nights, but it will come out on pc right? (hope it will sell under 30 bucks).

  • Im glad to hear from you again 😀

    By the way, the google spreadsheet is updated with new hacked scores that have appeared, maybe you could check it out and wipe them if you have some time 😉

  • Here’s hoping v 2.0 supports either Intel or Universal Binary MAc. But yeah.

  • Wow. An update – how exciting!! 🙂 Great to hear that you’re making progress! I know it’s hard work and it takes a lot of time, but if you do have a little extra 5 minutes on your hand, use those to write a little update on here from time to time! That would really make the wait less unbearable for many of us! We’re all looking forward to seeing what the new client has to offer!! 😀

  • Heya. No doubt you guys are busy, but any chance we can get a blog update before august rolls around?

  • number of months elapsed since last blog post: 5

    number of months spent waiting for v2.0 beta prizes: 6.5

    …and still counting

  • When will N+ be released for the PC platform?

    It is ridiculous that N+ has been out on XBLA for so long, yet has never seen the light of day on the PC. Exactly how long is that exclusivity contract?

    I’m literally throwing my money at the screen — I want N+ on PC! It’s absurd that there is no multiplayer component for the current PC version.. It’s absurd that the Xbox version has seen more love and more of a facelift than the PC version.


  • @hemcio: It will be most likely free, like the original N.

  • N v1.5? N 2? What is this?
    I’m really starting to think it’s a joke.
    No, seriously guys, lots of encouragement, the whole community are waiting and anxious. 😉

  • And,
    If isn’t too late, could you give proper to the involvement of episodic Userlevels somehow? Like users can make columns of episodic levels with cumulative time, and 5 together as in the original game, not only single maps.
    This would be wonderful and gives long life to the game.
    Maybe? 😉

  • (obligatory 1st-of-month comment)
    Hi M&R. What’s going on? It’s been half a year since your last update! I know that you’re busy and everything, but surely a quick post detailing your progress shouldn’t take that long? We’d love to hear from you. P.S. v2 beta prizes are in order.

  • Meanwhile, in 6 months later…

  • M&R says:

    —>> July <<— 15th

    .. "Sorry about the delays… it’s coming! Also a blog post soon hopefully"

    Seriously.. This is getting ridiculous. There is no way that you would not have ANY time to write even a tiny bit about the project. I mean, I DONT CARE WHEN THE GAME IS RELEASED BUT PLEASE SAY SOMETIMES WHAT ARE YOU DOING IF YOU ARE EVEN DOING ANYTHING. Are you too embarrassed to say to your community that you don't want to make the game? I've stopped waiting on hl2, should i stop waiting this too or how fucking close are you from finishing it?

  • Hay, yew guise. Pleez due maik ay blawg poest. We iz sadness.

  • New post every month – LOL.

  • Once upon a time in ol’ internet
    There was a game from metanet
    It was called N
    It was very fun
    And it was stuck
    In the dev-truck
    And t’was the story of ol’ N-game.

  • I fail both prepositions and limericks forever.

  • Hi M&R. It’s been a long seven months since you last posted. Please update us. And if you have any clue as to the v2 beta prizes, that’d be cool too. Don’t leave us in the dark (or in my case, literally – having just moved into my second year university room to find no sink, fridge, or working light).

  • Gah, I was hoping 2.0 would be released before the October Holidays… Hope it’s worth the wait 🙂

  • …This is like 3 or 4 years ago all over again!


    I hope you haven’t run out of electricity or anything serious.


  • Hi M&R. It’s been 8 months. I vehemently demand a blog update and information about your promised v2 beta prizes, or even better, the actual prizes themselves. We’ve waited for far longer than we ought to have, and the community are eager to know what you have been up to. Stop playing hard to get! And a scoreboard hacker wipe would be cool too.

  • Hello, are you even alive? :O

  • Yeah, there are a bunch of new hacked scores that we would gratefully see being deleted.

  • You guys had so much passion and potential, and I really enjoyed the work you did. I’m sad to see that you’ve burned out 🙁

    I wish you the best of luck with your future ventures.

  • @Vankusss: Yeah, it seems like they aren’t, but they probably aren’t dead.

  • yeah, probably in a coma

  • Wow, guys… I can’t believe there isn’t a single word from you since I last checked. It was months ago. My ancient comment is like halfway up the page and on June 20th! Get cracking again – we’re all hoping to hear from you again!!

  • Stopped counting the days. Still waitin for updates….

    nothing in sight

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