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: https://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: https://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:
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!