Yes, N v2.0 is finally coming together, and as promised we have for you a new beta version to try out. Hooray!
Most of the obvious kinks from the initial beta have been worked out; we’re looking forward to a whole new batch of problems 🙂
Here you go!
N v2.0 Public Beta
For our fans: thanks to ska, gloomp, flagmyidol, lord_day, and RandomDigits, there’s a new secret/hidden column of user-made episodes that’s unlocked when you beat all the regular episodes. The current level selection is temporary/placeholder, and will be changing substantially for the final release, we just wanted to get this feature in quickly to stamp out all the bugs.
We need your help testing these, because we have yet to beat some of them — please confirm for us that they’re actually beatable in the new simulator. Also, we’re going to post on the forums about this feature in the near future, stay tuned.
This is our first “public” beta, so for those of you just joining us, here are some intro notes:
You’ll notice that the editor is missing (we’re still working on it), but there are lots of new things we think are pretty cool and are hoping you’ll enjoy.
First and foremost, N is finally playable in-browser, which should solve the problems Mac and Linux users have been having. The N code was painstakingly ported to Actionscript 3 from the ground up, so we were able to refine and optimize it to work better on modern computers. Let’s just hope the browser version of the Flash Player is finally up to the challenge of N. So far people seem to be having more luck with Firefox than Chrome. No reports on IE because nobody uses it ;p
The first thing you’ll need to do is to make an account; we considered duplicating old accounts, but since we are integrating searching for and playing user levels right into N, we instead decided to retain NUMA and the old system as is for those of you who want to continue using that version. In N v2.0, your account will save your game so you can resume your progress wherever you login, and it will be where your user-made levels are stored.
Because of some of the changes we made to the code, old levels and replays are not automatically compatible, so we decided to start fresh with N v2.0. Your old levels will be playable in N v2.0, with a few exceptions (e.g objects placed without snapping in 1.4 will end up snapped to the 1/4 grid in 2.0) — you’ll just have to paste the old level format into the editor (once it’s finished), test them to make sure they work, and then you can upload them to the new database for all to download and play. We’ll go into more detail on how that works when the editor is done and added.
In this version, when you beat the built-in levels in episode format (under “play game”), they are unlocked for highscore runs (under “levels” -> metanet levels). You’ll be able to browse user levels and your own levels and get highscores for those as well, all of which will be hosted on Metanet’s servers for free.
If some of the levels look familiar, you’re not hallucinating: the built-in levels in N v2.0 are made up of our 100 favourite levels from each of the previous versions of N (v1.4, N+ DS, N+ PSP, N+ XBLA) plus 100 new levels. It’s kind of a “best of”.
We’d love to hear what you think! Please send all feedback, including bug reports, questions, comments and critiques to metanet AT metanetsoftware DOT com, subject line “N v2.0 feedback”, or in this forum thread. If you’re reporting a bug, please send us as much detail as possible — let us know about your OS, browser, and if you can, how to reproduce the bug you’re seeing. More detail = way better 😉
There are still lots of things that remain to be done.
Known bugs/problems (which we’re working on) include:
- sign-up broken (rejects all email addresses… doh);
- suicide key doesn’t work;
- intermittent chuggy performance;
- news scroller is mis-scaled;
- sounds cutting out;
- glitch when wallsliding at the top of the screen(?!);
- buttons/UI isn’t completely finished/polished;
- .swf file is 666.68kb.. possibly semi-demonic.
Highscorers, take note — if we find any bugs that require significant changes to the game, we may have to wipe the highscores for the final release. We’ll keep you posted, but be ready to re-work your magic when the update comes out just in case.
The final release will include the editor, of course, plus some more polish. We’ll also think about some of the things we’d planned but cut for time and will see what we can do: social stuff (eg the concept of a friends list so you can easily find and challenge each other), the planned challenge modes or other game modes, and a way for you to make your own episodes or playlists. So there’s still lots to do until we consider this game really finished, but we’re happy to have a good base to work with, finally.
For the winners of last year’s contesque, we haven’t forgotten you! We still haven’t figured out what the prize will be, but now that N is out we can get back to work on it 🙂
And finally, a bit of a year-in-review. 2012 was disappointing in many ways (for example, we planned to have N finished by the summer!) and exciting in others (we did a bunch of talks, travelled a little and made some new friends, plus we finally finished many of the planned updates for N, which is hugely gratifying after so many years of work).
We are very grateful that so many fans have stuck with us even as we continued to let you down by missing deadlines — rest assured, your support and understanding have been huge comforts through our various struggles with N. We know that we have not been keeping you updated very often this year, and we really regret that. We promise to make more time for blog updates in 2013 and to let you know what we’re up to in the future, whatever that may be.
Speaking of which, we should have some pretty interesting not-v2.0-related news for you N fans shortly, so keep an eye on the blog!