Moving Forward++

30 Oct / by: M&R / 57 comments / tags : ,

It has now been 3 months since N++ launched, and it’s safe to say that there have been some highs and lows.

On the plus (plus) side, we’re incredibly happy with N++. It’s a great game that is close to what we wanted to make when we set out on this journey. We’re so happy with how well the game has been received by critics and fans; there have been a lot of positive reviews, and it’s been amazing hearing from players who really enjoy what we tried to do.

We’re having a great time watching people stream N++, from casual players, to co-op streams, to people brave enough to pursue all-gold badges; especially awesome was a series of streams which showed someone tackling the secret challenges and unlocking the secret levels! Thank you so much to everyone who has streamed N++, we really love watching 🙂

It has also been amazingly gratifying to see so much creativity and awesomeness from the level-making community; we’ve been trying to document some of our favourites via the in-game “Featured” section, as well as on our tumblr: http://metanetsoftware.tumblr.com/

Unfortunately, it hasn’t all been positive. There are several bugs in the game, including a severe (thankfully, rare) savegame-corrupting bug. And, though not a bug, no one has yet managed to unlock the Platinum trophy by beating all of the levels in the game (including Co-op and Race). Rest assured, all of these issues will be addressed in an upcoming patch.

Which brings us to the major challenge we’ve been facing since launch: After N++ launched, Shawn (N++’s programmer) decided that he couldn’t continue to help us make N++. We’re currently working with him to get a patch ready that will fix all of the bugs and problems with the launch version, but his time is very limited. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

Don’t worry: we have had ups and downs over the entire 11-year course of this project — we didn’t give up then and we don’t intend to give up now. We’re confident that we can find someone to continue the programming work required to move N++ forward into the future. This has definitely put a kink in our post-launch plans, and has made the future a lot more challenging than we had anticipated, but we are determined to make it a bright one regardless.

What does this future hold? We’re still excited about releasing updates which will add new content and features (we really can’t wait for you all to try them), and we’re also still working towards bringing N++ to more platforms — especially Steam, which is our top priority. We hope to have more news about these exciting new developments soon.

Finally, at launch we announced that we would not be putting N++ on sale. While we had intended to push back firmly against the race to the bottom (following Dan Adelman’s fearless example: http://gamasutra.com/blogs/DanAdelman/20150227/237639/On_Indie_Game_Pricing.php), it seems that the only tangible result of our decision has been to alienate a sizable portion of the audience. We really want as many people to play N++ as possible, and as a result we have decided we will be participating in a couple of promotional discounts in the future after all, to hopefully encourage more people to give N++ a try. Again, stay tuned as we will announce any news on twitter (https://twitter.com/metanetsoftware) as soon as we have it.

We really want to wholeheartedly thank everyone who has already given N++ a try — we really appreciate it and we hope you’re enjoying it so far. There’s more to enjoy on the way! We are committed to bringing N++ to as many people as possible, because we know that we have made something that is worthy of being played — and although that means reconsidering some of our positions and making some difficult choices, it’s important to figure out how to get people to play it and how to continue to support the community of players. So aside from the updates and bugfixes, that’s what we’re working on now.

If there’s anything that developing and playing N++ has taught us, it’s that you can never lose as long as you never give up. This is a lesson we intend to follow. We need to extend our heartfelt thanks to you, our players, for the encouragement and support you’ve offered us over the years. We hope to have more exciting news for you in the near future 🙂

On an upbeat note, if you’re in the New York City area mid-November, there are two events you might be interested in! First, Mare is speaking at PRACTICE about level design:
http://gamecenter.nyu.edu/practice/

And second, on November 15th there will be a super cool event at Babycastles featuring N, N+, and N++! There will be a tournament, and prizes, and we’ll be there to chat about the games and hang out. You should come!
https://www.facebook.com/events/957006181036915/

comments ( 57 )

  • Thanks for the update M&R. It’s been a long time coming and let’s hope that the future holds better and greater news for your team.

    With regards to the announcement that the game will be part of a couple of promotional discounts, I’m surely a bit naive about how the business works, but I would think that the best way to maximize the number of new gamers would be a heavy discount for PS Plus members. The upside would be to sell any future DLC at the regular price but for a bigger pool of customers. The drawback, however, is that if the discount is too big, you would risk alienating the “Day-1” purchasers who bought the game just three months ago, but based on the community so far, it seems everybody had their money’s worth and we’re all hoping that Metanet gets money to invest in future DLC.

  • @Sebastien: thank you! We’re hoping to see N++ as a PS+ monthly game at some point, but currently the Sony Store team hasn’t approached us about it; their tastes and strategies change, so we’re hoping that eventually it will make sense for them to offer us a PS+ deal — maybe later once the game has been out for a while 🙂

  • You’re still being very positive about things, even if it means challenging your original plans with respect to discounting it on PSN. That’s great! I hope both of you continue to keep in good spirits. I’m sure most people who purchased on release won’t mind (I certainly won’t!), especially if you’re able to communicate with them through various channels. Heck, this update accomplishes that, even if it’s only stating the intent before actually discounting N++.

    The move to get N++ on Steam sounds very smart. I’ll be grabbing it there too, whenever it comes out. Hopefully you will be able to find a good window when there aren’t any other major titles coming out that week. It kind of felt that being in the PSN PLAY promo crowded other high profile indie releases on either side of N++’s release, forcing some users to prioritize what they bought that month, if they could only afford 1 purchase.

    You mentioned N++ as a PS+ deal; that’d be nice if the Sony Store team worked with you to make that happen!

    Thanks for the update and all the best in your continued efforts with N++!

  • Your game is one of the top 5 PS4 games for me, and I played it for hours & hours. thank you for this awesome gem!
    wish you the best.

  • @Anthony: thank you! We’re going to do our best 🙂

    @Mr. S855: thanks so much — and you’re welcome 😀

  • Hiya!

    Really love N++ (47 hours spent in game!), I’m sad it’s not been as commercially successful as you guys had hoped (I bought it day one and have tried to convince my friends to too!). If/when you add extra content please add trophies for the content too!

    Anyway, is there a known issue with input lag when there’s no server connection? My score submission failed on episode completion, I can’t load my own replays or replay leaderboard, and the game has simultaneously developed some fairly severe controller lag.
    After some highly scientific timing analysis (me tapping left/right on my controller on the level select menu and timing when the selector stalled), the input seems to lag every three seconds (feels like it’s a network retry thread?).

    If I can be helpful in describing symptoms or providing a video or debugging let me know!

  • PS Sorry for using this as tech support!

  • @Fin: thanks! we’re so glad you’re enjoying it — honestly, that’s what we do this for, so it’s really great to hear.

    We haven’t heard about lag when there’s no server connection before, but that definitely sounds like a problem! Sure, we’d love more detail or a video, that would really help — email metanetATmetanetsoftware.com, and we’ll get to the bottom of it!

  • You guys are awesome! You are very involved with the community and really try to make your game the best it can be which a lot of big developers nowadays seem to be having trouble with. But not you guys! I played the beta and the full game and I have had lots of fun with it with myself and friends.

    Also, you guys should plan to come to Chicago for an indie arcade event. I would be down to go and would tell other people about it too. I’m glad you guys posted this new update and I wish you all the best down the line.

  • I’d gladly purchase a PC version of N++ if it were available DRM-free at GOG.

  • I am a long time user of N+ and I still play it occasionally. I also enjoy playing with friends a lot. I was once even in the top 20 of the leaderboard (before Xbox got hacked and now is flooded with cheaters).
    I find it sad to see that you moved with N++ to Sony. I played it recently and it is an excellent game. Is there any plans to port the game to Xbox One?
    I’d happily buy N++ but I do not want to get another next-gen console.

  • @Alex: Cheers! Do you have any links to previous Chicago indie arcade events? Sounds cool!

    @KillingMachine: we’re working on it 😉

    @Stephan: thank you! We’re hoping to bring N++ to Xbox One, however we want to get the PC version happening first. But it should make it there eventually! Sorry for the wait.

  • […] remember that each stage is composed of five levels. Metanet Software has said that the game was in development for 11 years and it clearly shows: despite the large number of levels, each feels distinct, with their own […]

  • I really really loved N+ on my DS, (Thank you so much for that awesome game!!) in my heart, “N” games are the perfect games to play while traveling, therefore I’ll be waiting for a portable version! But rest assure, as soon as one is out, I’ll be buying it! 😀

  • I love N++, playing since launch and can’t let go! I’ve noticed the above mentioned lag too and it’s not a server problem .I can’t wait to create my own levels ( when a patch is released). I wish you the best !

  • @Fern: Thank you, so glad to hear you like our games. we definitely agree that it’s great to play N+ on the road — however you may be waiting a long time for N++ — actually we can’t guarantee we will ever be able to make a portable version. 🙁

    @Slontis: Thanks so much! Can you send us a lot more detail about the lag you’re experiencing? eg, is it constant, has it been happening since the day you got the game, or does it come and go? Any other things you think might be triggering it? Please email metanetATmetanetsoftware.com. Thanks!

  • . Unfortunately, I can’t provide a video . The problem is permanent and can be reproduced easily through the stage selection menu, I haven’t noticed the input lag in action and I hope it happens only in stage selection . I had to delete the game 3 days ago , because of the save corruption bug , having completed every solo episode but no hard feelings! I can’t wait for the patch news so I can start a fresh walkthrough. Keep up the good work , your game is epic , highly addictive and the last time I had so much fun with a game was with Resogun!

  • Hi guys!

    I might have some insight on the controller input lag, having suffered it myself. I don’t think it’s a game problem, the PS4 remotes are apparently notorious for having their connections interfered with by other bluetooth devices. My laptop had it’s bluetooth on and was directly in the line of sight from controller to console, and it used to lag terribly. Giving line of sight helped me a lot, and I turned off my laptop’s bluetooth function too! Hope this helps some people!

  • Yeah, my game on PS4 has been deleted 3 times in a time of about 6 or 7 days. Please fix, it seems to happen if you don’t press ‘Close Application’ the most, or if you just power down halfway through a level.

  • Pretty sweet though.

  • @FatherLegend: thanks for the tip, that’s good to know — we didn’t realize that bluetooth interference could be a problem!

    @Trent: I’m really sorry this is happening, it’s the worst.

    Can you trigger save corruption on purpose? (i.e can you reproduce the problem?) If so that would be really helpful for us to know about.

    The upcoming patch will fix the only source of corruption that we know about, which is triggered if there are 2 or more levels in-progress (i.e saved but not uploaded) in the Create section.

    We’re not aware of corruption being triggered by sleep/resume or powering off while the game is running (unless you mean actually yanking the power cable, which can cause problems; if you power down via the PS menu then it should work properly). Please let us know if you have any more info/details on what’s happening. And, thanks 🙂

  • No bluetooth interference here, just random freezing when navigating through episode selection. I really don’t care as long as this doesn’t happen when I am trying to escape a missile! Also ,the corruption begun as soon as I started messing with the level creation , before that everything worked perfectly.@Trent , fully initialize your ps4 without backing up your saves, re-download the game and avoid level creation until the patch rolls out. This worked like a charm for 3 of my friends.

  • Is there a chance N++ Will be ported to Steam before Christmas or next year? I have a friend who used to play N+ And I want to get it for him as a gift. 🙂

  • @Chev: Thanks for writing! So cool to hear your friend liked N+! We’re positive he’ll like N++ too! Unfortunately N++ won’t be ported to Steam before 2016 — it will take several months, but we’ll post updates here on the blog as soon as we have anything concrete to report. It could be a great gift next year though! 🙂

  • @M&R ate you still going to raise the price when the big update comes?

  • @Jaime: we don’t know what we’re going to do anymore, we’re still figuring that out.

  • I was really happy to see an update file downloading for N++. I love and appreciate your work, and hope for smooth success going forward. N++ has become a staple of game night at work and, along with Duck Game, it always provokes the most profanity, yelling, and laughter. Good luck moving over to Steam, I’m excited to buy it again, and gift it to everyone I can.

  • I’m downloading N++ right now but there is not an update notification . Is the patch included in the game or do I have to wait for it ? I live in EU.

  • what about robotology? Was that forgotten?

  • The patch is in the game, in the update history section it says : version 1.03 save bug fix. My dualshock 4 controllers are brand new and their R2 – L2 triggers are super sensitive with every other game I play, sadly ,that’s not happening with N++. If there are plans for another patch , please consider addressing this issue by giving us an option for custom buttons or by calibrating the sensitivity for L2 – R2. Thanks in advance.

  • @Slontis – I think in the EU the patch version should be 1.04. Are you sure you’ve got the latest one? Also, what do you mean by L2/R2 aren’t sensitive? What behaviour are you seeing or not seeing in N++?

    @Ruby: nope, but we’ve been pretty busy lately 🙂 We hope to get back to Robotology someday.

  • May you inform me about what you are working on right now?

  • I haven’t received another patch , I downloaded N++ yesterday without receiving a separate patch. Once I searched in the update history section I saw version 1.03 , the description clearly mentions a progression save bug fix among other fixes. Also, I don’t think that this is the first time you read about the L2-R2 issue. Even with a brand new dualshock 4 , I have to press the trigger really hard for the sub menu to show up.

  • @Ruby: right now we’re just trying to finish N++ DLC and get it to Steam 🙂

    @Siontis: we increased the size of the deadzones twice already to try to fix this. I guess maybe we need to make it an option that players can configure…

  • Hey there Mare/Raigan. Quick question:

    Is it possible to access scores that aren’t currently highscores, of a chosen level. We know you can check individual player highscores by visiting http://www.harveycartel.org/metanet/n/data13/n_highscores_u.php?name=username, but is it possible to do that with a certain level?

    This would result very beneficial when elaborating rankings, since we ignore hackers and cheaters, and that produces that for some levels we don’t have all 20 scores, so it’d be great if we could fill the scores with those after number 20 (i.e. check the top40 scores or something like that).

    Thanks.

  • Oops, forgot to mention my previous comment refers to N v1.4.

  • @Eddy: hm.. we don’t know! Our friend Gabe wrote the backend code, and our friend Andrew wrote the front-end/UI code, and I don’t remember whether we ended up storing (or indexing) the whole list or only the top 20. I suspect it’s sadly just the top 20, but I might be wrong.

  • It was a long time ago indeed. I think it might be indexing more than the top20 though, as when you erased the hacked scores in 2011, old legit scores (previously out of the top20) returned to the boards. In particular, level 00-0 was full of hacked scores, and when the boards were cleaned, 20 old scores emerged to the surface!

  • oh, in N v1.4 — yeah Mare wrote that code. We’re pretty hazy on how it works right now and are out of town without access to that server at the moment, but we can probably look into it when we’re back. Can you email to remind us early January?

  • Absolutely, and thanks for caring 😀

  • http://www.cvawards.ca/cva-2015/canadian-videogame-awards-announce-2015-winners/

    Congratulations for winning Best Canadian-Made Game from fans!

  • @Mr.S855: thanks!! We’re so happy, it’s amazing to us that we won given the competition. Thank you to everyone who voted for us 🙂

  • I didn’t have a PS4. I was waiting for a Steam release. But I couldn’t wait any longer. Today, I bought myself a PS4 just to be able to play N++. I don’t care about games like The Last of Us, Ucharted, Assassin’s Creed and so on. All I want to play is N++. I will probably buy the game the day after tomorrow. Two more days and this game will be mine ! I will play it dozens of hours just like I played N+ on Xbox 360.

  • @Sullivan: Wow… awesome!! Thank you so much 🙂 We hope you have a good time — we tried to pack as many hours of fun into it as we could, enjoy!

  • I was told to post here about it, but there’s some feedback on the latest patch.

    I had almost 40 all-gold episodes before the patch. After the patch, the all-gold icons disappeared. It still says I’ve collected all the gold, but no icon and as such can’t see the mysteriousness when turned on either. I redid one of the levels (not episode) and got all-gold on it, and the all gold icon reappeared on that level, not episode. While it says I’ve got all gold on a lot of episodes, this is effectively irrelevant as far as affecting the game in any meaningful way.

    Then there’s been a change of font size used for the leaderboards. Okay, it’s smaller, not a big deal, but my username is always heavily left aligned, while everyone else is far right-aligned. This looks rather bad IMO.

    The user created levels have some issues with the name on the icon of the level. The name at the bottom of the screen is fine, but the name on the icon of the level where you select the level is not. When the name appear over multiple lines, I think the second to last character in the new lines will always appear before the line starts. This too looks pretty awful in what else looks like a great game.

    On the positive side, I haven’t had as much issues with freezing when restarting while song changes automatically. I used to notice it all the time. I don’t know if it has to do with how I’m playing, but now I think I’ve noticed it twice or something out of like thousands of restarts.

    I also just received the trophy “Achieve Enlightenment”, so that’s not glitched anymore. Well, the requirements for it wasn’t glitched before, but one of the last co-op levels were impossible to finish, but now that’s not even required, which I’m very happy about. If anyone wonders, you “just” gotta do level all the Solo N++ and Legacy levels, and that includes the extra hard ones (X levels), but not the secret levels. In other words, 1200 levels.

  • @MMDE: thanks for the feedback, we’re working on fixing these problems right now 🙂

    About the all-gold, thankfully this is only a problem with displaying them, the data is still there and it will be fixed in the next patch.

    Cheers!

  • @M&R: Good to hear. There was one bug I forgot to mention, but I don’t know if it has been patched yet or not.

    In the editor, if you place two goal gates at the same position, the gate buttons for these two goal gates are all messed up. I once tried to do 3 at one position. I thought it would be a nice idea to have multiple different ways to get the same goal to open. What on the other hand happened was that the buttons started acting strange, as in they changed state, and they affected each other, sometimes the gate was opened, sometimes not. I tried figure out the logic, but then the game crashed with error message n all. I reported the error with an explanation.

    While this doesn’t seem like a big issue, I can totally see it being abused by people to make other’s game crash. Think DDA and instant crash! 🙁 That’d be a huge hit against people daring to even try the user edited levels!

  • It still amazes me how long parts of this community has been around. I’ve been around since the days of 1.3 and it’s great to see all the new faces here, but quite a sobering thought to think of all the people past who played your simple (yet infectious) games.
    Keep up the good stuff metanet. Got my fingers crossed for a pc port of N++, and will happily donate if there’s a chance that might happen!

  • @MMDE: thanks for reporting that bug, we’ll look into it!

    @apse: thank you — we’re always amazed by the community, and how long it’s been since the start… we’re so old! :/ We’re starting work on a PC/Mac/Linux version next week 🙂

  • Good to hear that it will be ported. I can’t wait for it to be released on PC 🙂
    (Waiting since the beginning of development of N++, that’s quite some time…)

  • […] programmer also resigned shortly after launch, resulting in some serious bugs going unpatched for months. The decision to never put N++ on sale also “[alienated] a sizable portion of the […]

  • Depending on the success of the PC version, what will your next platform after that be? I’m hoping Vita, since this game is incredibly suited to it, but I’ll support you in whichever one you choose. I’ll buy both the Vita and Windows versions, for sure, and maybe even a 3DS version? That stylus screen would work really well 🙂 Same goes for touch on Vita, and mouse on PC. I wish you all the best of luck! <3

    P.S. Will user made levels be compatible across all platforms? And will the PC version be windows only, or osx and linux as well? I personally wouldn't mind at all if it was windows only, and you may very well have to go that way for sales. Just musing 🙂 Good luck!

  • Levels should be available across all platforms, but the highscores will probably be split per-platform.

    Our goal is for the PC version to be Windows/Mac/Linux.

    About Vita, this is something we’re still trying to figure out. The main problem is that porting will be much more complicated (expensive) than with PC, and the market is a lot smaller (from what we’ve heard, Vita games don’t sell very many copies) which means it’s not clear whether we can do it. We’re still hoping to find a way though (eg we partner with someone who will finance the port).

  • I’ve had some more problems and bugs happen to me.

    1. I had one of my friends on PSN buy N++, but I can’t see any of his records on my leaderboards, and he can’t see my times either. I can see the times of everyone else on my friends list. His username is NIALLERMANBUZ, mine is MMDE. I’m 100% sure we got the same version of the game.

    2. This one time when I had a bad connection, the game crashed while loading the leaderboards on a level.

    3. I played co-op through shareplay, this worked fine, but shareplay has a 60 minutes limit before you got to disconnect for a minute. When this happened in the middle of a co-op session, we got kicked out of the level. I decided to pause the game before the game automatically disconnect to see if we could resume playing the game where we left off when I reconnected. The pause screen was still there when I reconnected. I even got to resume the game, but then my player disappeared the first time I died to never reappear before we quit the episode and started the entire episode all over. Not a huge issue, but it would be nice if we could play without having to worry about this.

    Not a problem, but just want some clarification. I’m posting a trophy guide for the game on PSNP. Just to be 100% sure, what exactly is required to unlock the “Enlightenment” option? I know it doesn’t require co-op anymore, and it does require all normal Solo N++ and Legacy levels (including X row), but does it require Solo intro and what about Race? Does it require all gold on a certain amount of levels? Thanks! 🙂

  • Double post I guess… but some more feedback on the first problem I had. We have each other’s PSN accounts on our local PS4s. Like one of the user accounts I got on my local PS4 is his account, and one of his local user accounts on his PS4 is my account. I’ve so bad connection that I can’t host shareplay, so he does that for me on my account from time to time when I want some help with a local co op trophy on my account. To connect to him, I need another account with PS+, which is why I use his account to connect to him hosting a shareplay session with my account.

  • love the game but i got a problem i cant submit my scores or publish levels im on ps4 ive tryed deleting the game and re installing it and deleteing my save data and or game data i even messed with my dns settings but cant get it working its like the game is stuck in offline mode i can however play levels made by other players but i cant leave highscores on them.

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