The Time Is Almost Nigh(++)

17 Mar / by: M&R / 56 comments / tags :

In case you haven’t been able to tell from our silence here, we are now in the very final stretch of development: since the start of 2015 we’ve been pushing extra hard to tie up all the loose ends and get the game finished, and sadly that means no time for things like showing the game at GDC or other events, or for writing blog posts.

We know you’re all aching for a release date, but we’re still not quite ready to announce that yet — we don’t want to announce until we’re sure the game will be out on that date. But we’re almost ready, and we’re here to give you a giant, detail-fueled update on where we’re at in the meantime.


N++’s core gameplay (single player, co-op and competitive multiplayer) is finshed and feeling great. Currently all of the levels are arranged and in the game, all of the colour schemes are designed and in the game and all of the music is licensed and in the game. The UI, packaging and transitions are in, though there still are a few placeholders, but we know what needs to change and how to change it — there are no more unanswered questions. This is a huge amount of stuff — and it only took two years 😉

We just playtested the first proper beta version on Friday, and it was really exciting to see it all finally come together!

Everything still needs the usual minor adjustments and polish — and a lot more testing — but all the components are complete and in place; our job is no longer to create anything, but instead to tweak and correct what’s already been created, while solving problems and fixing bugs.

(In case you can’t imagine what sort of problems may need to be solved, consider having to test not only every page of every menu, but also every graphic, animation, and particle fx of every entity in the game; not just once, but over 50 times, each time with a different colour schemes — each of which is built from over 140 different colours. It’s a lot of work!! (If you’re curious about the +8000 colours in N++, please check out this recent tumblr post)


The good news is that it should only be a matter of months before the game is out: months plural, since we have at least a month of bug-fixing and mistake-finding-and-correcting, and then when we’re finally done, the game still has to go through Sony’s internal testing and verification process, which will take another month. Oh, also, at that point, we’ll finally be able to announce a release date.

We realize that this is little consolation to those of you who have been waiting patiently for literally years for this game to come out, but we promise that if you’re a fan of N or N+, once you try N++ you’ll (a) understand why it took so long for the three of us to make, (b) grudgingly — or excitedly — admit that it was worth the wait.

We also realize that this isn’t the first time we’ve thought we were months away! Discussing this with other developers tells us that this seems to be a common thing to experience: you know what they say about the last 10%. Beyond that, there have been several times in this project in particular where just as it seemed like we were cresting the final hill, a new hill appeared on the horizon.

Because this is the final version of N that will ever be made (EVER), we thought it was important to always try to explore these distant hills, in order to make sure that we didn’t miss anything crucial; this curiosity has been rewarded, as several times we managed to improve something beyond what we had thought possible, and add a few new twists to the core game that have made it even better.

Anyone who has tried the new competitive multiplayer Race mode has seen a good example of this: we could have simply made it the same as in N+ XBLA, but we suspected that with a bit of work we could find something even more awesome. We’re really glad we decided to spend the extra time and effort, because murdering your friends with rockets is a ton of fun! If you haven’t been lucky enough to play it yet, here’s a recent stream from Indiecade that shows some casual matches — including a few rocket murders 😉

Pretty much every aspect of the game has been leveled-up in a similar way to Race — this is how a project which initially began as a quick 9-month launch title became a sprawling 36-month behemoth! 9 months was how long N+ took to develop, so we figured it was a good estimate, but we failed to account for all of the new stuff we would discover and explore in the process.

At this point we’ve satisfied our curiosity and are pretty confident that any further changes we could make would yield diminishing returns, if not actually make the game worse.


For those of you keeping score, we’re going to end up launching at around month 30 of development, but we do still have about 6 months of development work left to go — however those last 6 months will occur *after* the game ships, as we release post-launch updates which add new levels, colours, music, and (perhaps most excitingly) new game modes.

Releasing post-launch updates is a way for us to continue investigating promising ideas which we discovered during development but haven’t had time to properly explore, and to let us finish the game for launch without further delays.

In case the above paragraph has you worried that we’re shipping a rushed half-finished product that we’ll later patch: worry not, that will not happen. The game as it ships will be rock solid and pretty insanely great (if we do say so ourselves).

Our best guess for the fastest possible speedrun of all the 2000 levels available at launch is no less than 20-30 hours; we estimate that most players will take at least 50 or so hours to play through the launch version — if they’re good enough to beat everything.

We simply had to draw a line and say “okay, that can wait until post-launch” on a few things (eg additional multiplayer modes, additional levels). For example, we’ve spent the past 5 years making over 3000 new levels — levels which we feel are much better than anything in N+, simply because we’ve gotten a lot better over the years (plus we added new enemies and stuff).

However, making the levels is only part of the work involved in getting them in the game: what takes even more time is testing, arranging into episodes, tweaking, and finalizing them. That amount of time is gigantic. So, we decided that in order to expedite the launch, we could only finish half of the levels right now.


As it stands, at launch N++ will be 4x as big as N+ was — and actually, each individual level is also 30-40% bigger since N++ levels are 16:9 while N+ was 4:3.

Let’s just let that sink in. N+ had 500 levels, and at launch N++ will have over 2000.

We actually think it’s a better experience for players if we leave some levels for later, since even the current 2000 levels can be a bit overwhelming. But by the time we’re finished, this game will be so chock full, it could last a lifetime. Which is kind of the point, since again, this is the last version ever!

For those of you still keeping score who might ask how we could arrive at 2000 levels at launch while using only half of our 3000 new levels: one thing we haven’t mentioned is that N++ will also contain a special “Legacy” section which features the best levels from N v1.4, N+ DS, N+ PSP, N+ XBLA, and N v2.0, all remastered for the new 16:9 aspect ratio, and (when appropriate) featuring the new enemies and items from N++. As if over 1000 brand new levels weren’t enough!


When we started this project, our ambition was to make the best, definitive version of N — but we didn’t appreciate what this really meant. Our conception of this idea was simply something like N+, but with better production values, new levels, maybe a new enemy or two.

However, once we really found our footing and got going, we realized that this was something quite different than N+; this was something much bigger, much more complex, and also much more important.

When we’re all finished, N++ will be about 10x bigger than N+ XBLA was, but much more important than that — more than just a quantitative improvement — is the tremendous leap in quality that we’ve managed to bring to every aspect of the game. We’re so proud of the new levels, the new colours, and the new music. The whole package is 10000x better and we really can’t wait for you to finally be able to try everything.

Throughout the project we’ve tried to keep one thing in mind: you, our fans. Our mission was to make a game that anyone who had enjoyed N or N+ would adore, and when we playtested on Friday we were convinced that we have succeeded.

All three of us have been dedicated to a single goal for the past 28+ months: making the best possible game we can. We’ve ended up with something much better than we ever anticipated, simply because we each pushed each other to get better and better, to keep digging and iterating, to learn and improve.

We think this is a good sign, since it reflects the very core of the game itself: continual growth and improvement, and doing things that initially seem impossible.

It’s taken a lot longer than we had planned, but we’ve at last managed to achieve our ultimate goal: to finally fully realize the vision we had over ten years ago, but lacked the resources, experience, skill, and insight to create.

We’ve tried to climb this mountain several times over the past decade, but it wasn’t until the last couple weeks that we truly felt that we had reached the final summit.

Now we just need to climb back to base camp safely and share the results of our adventure with the rest of the world — stay tuned! It seriously won’t be long now 🙂

comments ( 56 )

  • Beautiful.
    Seriously, it gets harder to wait for this awesome game every day 🙂

  • so… I guess I need to buy a PS4!

  • 20 – 30 hours…. I know what i’ll be doing at launch!!! Seriously though, Super Pumped for this work of art!!! I have never been so excited for a game ever! actually at this point it is not just a “game” I really appreciate the amount of work put into this, unlike what I see a lot of games being developed recently which lack soul. I only tested N++ at PAX and that was almost 7 months ago, and I was so impressed that N++ was the only game I wanted to play there!!!

  • Soo im wondering about the leaderboards how will they lay out?

    Ps sounds like you have created a masterpiece, congrats

  • That’s Why i bought a ps4. Thanks Guys

  • Simply awesome.
    Waiting for such a mind boggling game, is really tough!
    Definitely looking forward to get my hands on it.

    Earlier you guys said there was going to be a Beta version. Is this still in your current plans?

  • This game is the only reason I bought a ps4. When I heard that this would not be on Xbox one, no way would I have missed out on this amazing game that has quality and quantity written all over it. Usually games have one, quantity or quality, but it is amazing that you 3 people managed to have both. On your next game (after n++), please keep the creativity alive. Do not try to create something that is not your cup of tea because you will fail. Have features like map editors and such other creation features that will keep your game and community alive. I really can’t wait for this game! Good luck!

  • Fantastic news! Looking forward to smashing my friends around with murder rockets! 😛

    But am i right if this “close to finish” means that we wont see a beta? I bet its pretty hard to get a beta out as a smaller game on consoles?

  • We’re still hoping to do a beta before launch, because all of the network/database stuff needs a lot more testing than the 4 of us can manage ourselves.

    Currently we don’t know how or when this will happen, we’re still talking with Sony about what our options are.

  • Great! But its interesting for me if where will be a blog about N++ on PC! 🙂

  • Haha Pootis, go get that PS4 already 😀

  • I hope N++ will have a death counter like in N v1.4. It was somehow rewarding to see how often you died.

  • @xela: we’ve taken that idea and run really far with it for N++; you will not be disappointed 🙂

  • FINALLY – my PS4 purchase justified!

    I’m so glad that you have really poured your heart and soul into this, the FINAL N game. It’s worth it – it’s a series those who have played have put their heart and soul into playing.

    It’s appreciated, even if you don’t hear it on a daily basis.

    Thank you

  • Thanks for the update! Like a few others, the only reason I recently purchased a PS4 and PS TV is in anticipation of N++ (was also the reason I purchased an XBOX 360 and Nintendo 3DS which I used to play the DS game on).

    Question… Have you tried playing the game through the PS TV via streaming from the PS4? Curious to see your thoughts on gameplay which I assume will be fine so long as no lag via the streaming.

    Also, I was hoping to be able to play N+ via the PS TV since it can play Vita games and has the ability to download both Vita and PSP games. However, I can not locate N+ on the game list via the PS TV. Do you know if it is available for download and purchase on the PS TV? Or any way to be able to play it on the PS TV? Is it still available for purchase if you own a PSP or Vita?

    Sorry for all the questions, but after getting the PS4 and PS TV all set up I am geeked to get my N+ or N++ gaming on!

  • Wow, this is super exciting.
    Imo, the more in built levels (though there is probably some limit) the better, so I’m glad to hear about that huge total of 2000.
    Congrats guys, from all that I’ve seen this looks awesome

  • We haven’t tried PS TV yet (or any of the other Vita/PS4 interactivity); we’ll probably figure it out if we look into porting to Vita.

    We don’t know about N+ on DS/PSP, sadly — they were published by Atari, who have gone bankrupt probably 7-8 times since! Anyway.. you should just wait for N++, it makes the old ones look quite old 😉

    Sorry for not having better answers! We’re just trying to focus on getting the PS4 version done at the moment 🙂

  • As a trophy hunter, i have to ask if you have planned any crazy trophies? No doubt i will play the … out of this game, but i hate insanely difficult trophies!

  • None of the trophies are insanely difficult on their own, but to get them all you’ll need to beat some insanely difficult levels 😉

  • Haha, looking forward for the challenge. N with a controller and not the keyboard 😛

    Have you got permission to get a Platinum trophy? 🙂

  • oh good 🙂
    we’re still waiting to find out about Platinum, but we should know soon!

  • When the release date is announced i hope it isn’t the week after i want to book the week off work 🙂

  • Nimoke! I can’t get ps4 because I from the other country 🙁 And I’m belive the great N++ will be on PC and mybe on steam free to play 🙂 I will wait

  • P.S I want to say to M&R Are cool! But interesting if in future will be N+++ 🙂 and platform maybe first PC and the PS4

  • I LOVE you guys! you made a game that I can put it on my Top 10 list of all time easily and cant wait for N++.
    And thanks for Legacy section! that will be awesome!

  • Pootis, its mentioned alot of places: N++ is the final game. No more N after this. But i then hope to see other games from Metanet 🙂

  • Am I the only one who literally searches for news about N++ every other day? So excited.

  • I will be looking forward to this game… since pax… since announcement…since the original N! @Adam I do that too… super happy they finaly released this update. even if they kept sending out by monthly or just monthly anouncements saying “we are still here, and we are still working” that would be enough to hold me over… you guys rock!

  • thanks for your support everyone! We’re really happy you’re excited! we can’t wait to have more info for you on the release date.

    @john davis: we don’t generally update the dev blog unless there’s big news or development notes. These posts take a long time to write and tear us away from dev time, so that’s why we save them for the important stuff.

    If you want more frequent check-ins, or just to know we’re still alive, we do a weekly post over on tumblr (, and we post occasionally on twitter (@metanetsoftware). There’s also a facebook page for N++ now:

  • Damn, those animations and close-up videos… N++ is looking GORGEOUS. Awesome job 😀

  • Everyone today is my birthday!

  • @Eddy: thanks 🙂

    @Pootis: happy birthday!

  • To think it’s already been over a decade since the first versions of n brought forth some of the best platforming to ever grace the Flash community. Man, I’ve been a fan for over half my life! It’s somewhat bittersweet seeing this is the final release after this whole ride.

    Will you guys be working on future titles after N++ like that Robotology thing? It looked pretty interesting.

    Also the year at the bottom of the site is outdated again! =)

  • New trailer:


  • N+ on XBLA was one of my favorite game and i’m really excited to get into this new one. Moreover, i add a thumbs up about an hypothetical Vita version because this handheld fits perfectly for that kind of game and i’d buy it day-one if it’ll be real, please consider it !

    You are awesome 😉

  • Ok… I see a date mentioned by abh… Is this a joke or serious? An official blog post would be great… Also, to be accurate, how will I be able to find the game under the shop’s basic search functionality? Of course I’d see it if it’s front page, but seriously, Sony’s basic search doesn’t seem to use symbols like ++… So how would I determine the game once it’s in the shop? Will it go under just N? Or like The Way Of The Ninja 3? Or will sonny enable use of symbols.

  • @John Davis: what date mentioned by ABH are you seeing?

    If there was a release date, we would have announced it very loudly and everywhere we can! Don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything 🙂

    Writing blog posts means we stop working on the game, and right now every second counts, so we’ll try to do that as soon as possible, but in the meantime please bear with us and be patient — we are almost there, but we still have a million little things to finish up. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we can!

  • I purchased Ps4 at launch (day 0) when I saw N++ in development for Ps4…… I LOVE “n” and “n+”

    N+ is the best multiplayer game I played on xbox, its great in all ways!

    I will love to play all of them in PC at same time (ports) , hope Windows 10 allow me to play N+ in pc from my xbox360 purchase.

    Thanks a lot for this game and all your hard work.
    A great huge from another Dev! 🙂

  • I am sorry. I miss typed that little bit… Had one too many drinks and mistook the date of the last comment as a date… My real concern was how would one search for the title of the game? Do you believe that it would show up immediately with just the use of the letter n?

  • M&R can you make a camera like in N+?

  • @goyetus: thanks! we think you’ll really like N++ 🙂 Can’t wait to hear!

    @john davis: ah! no worries 🙂 I don’t know if they’ll change their search algorithm, but in any case it should come up at the top of the N list, or at the top of the results if you just search for N.

    @Pootis: We’re not supporting a camera this time, so no panning or scrolling. According to fans (and we agree), that was a bit of a disaster in N+, so we’re axing it in N++.

  • Hello M&R. Im a huge fan of n and n+ but how much will N++ cost. Thanks

  • So ermm.. Enough teasing M&R? I see posts on twitter, facebook, on the preview site, and i even had a N1.4 game night last weekend.. Its tiiiime 🙂

  • @crazywizard: thanks! we’re not sure yet, we’re still figuring that out.

    @nimoke: sorry nimoke, it’s still not ready — the good news is, the release of these vignettes means we’re close! Hang on just a little longer, we promise it’ll be worth it 🙂 Also, N v1.4 game night, awesome!

  • PLEASE tell me you guys have decided or are at LEAST considering an xbox one version! I really don’t want to buy a PS4 solely for this game but i probably will if i have too.

  • @Hairy Cabbage: we really can’t consider anything until we see how the game sells — what we definitely don’t want to ever do is overpromise. It will kill us to have to tearfully tell all of you that we can’t do the port to [whatever] that we promised because the game wasn’t popular enough to let us do that. So while we’d LIKE to bring N++ to Xbox One (and Vita, and PC), we can’t actually make any decisions until we know what we have to work with (ie $$).

    Even so, we’re not contractually able to bring N++ to other consoles for 12 months, so you might want to factor that in to your decision! 🙂

    Anyway hopefully N++ sells well and people love it and we can expand the platforms it’s on — we want LOTS of people to be able to try it ’cause it’s so good! 😉

  • Just checked out some of the new material online and excitement level has not decreased one iota!

    I am hoping it is getting closer and closer to the release date. I believe it was March 17 where you guys felt it was about a month of Metanet testing and bug fixing and then about another month of Sony testing and verification. If I understood the post correctly during the Sony testing/verification you felt an announced release date would be on the horizon correct?

    Are yall allowed to (or even want to) disclose if you have completed the Metanet internal testing and if it is now in Sony’s hands?

    Just trying to give myself some good news!!!

  • @Adam: Glad to hear you haven’t lost any excitement — hooray! 😀

    We’re not quite finished internal testing, but we’re hoping to send it in for Sony testing in the next few weeks. A few things might cause delays: the timeline is really tight — we have a lot of little things to do in not much time — and we may fail cert the first time (most games do), but when we’re through cert we should have a better idea of when we can launch. We’ll definitely keep you posted here on the blog (and twitter and facebook) when we know!

  • Hello 🙂 will the campaign levels include ‘race’ levels (where u have to keep moving)? How much dlc guys be adding alot of dlc because i’d buy all the dlc lol. Sorry to keep you guys busy if you guys reply to this comment im just to excited! 🙂

  • @crazywizard: no worries! I’m not sure what you mean re:race levels.. there are definitely linear, no-backtracking levels in Solo and Co-op modes (and Race too, obviously), if that’s what you mean!

    We don’t know yet what we’re doing post-launch; there are a lot of things we’re going to be adding over the course of the next year, but we’re not sure yet how exactly the post-launch updates are going to work. We’ll definitely post here once we have a plan — for now we’re just trying to get the launch version done 😉

  • Is there any more news on the progress of N++, so excited to play this! 😀

  • @LH: we’re working on another blog post, however the game it taking up most of our time (12h days for the past couple months.. very tired.. sigh)

  • Are there going to be unlockable flavours in n++ 🙂

  • Hope we hear more about the release soon, was hoping to have N++ competitions at the summer BBQ parties! 😛

  • I just had a thought I think many of us are not factoring in..

    This version will have level share ability done right. So basically a never ending onslaught of hopefully solid levels to play. Thus DLC is basically included on an infinity level upon release.

    N has never had this for any console release. At least not like it will be in N++.

    Remembering this fact has helped me be patient.

    Good Luck to Metanet in this last lap. You are almost at finish line. Push on through!!

  • @adam: thanks! We really appreciate your patience and understanding — what you say is true. We are determined to make this the best version of the game that could ever possibly be, and we really can’t wait to get it out to you and everyone else!

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