What a year, huh? It started out with so much potential and promise — we moved to a new city that we were excited to explore and get to know, we had gotten cracking on a new prototyping framework that we were looking forward to experimenting with and filling up with new ideas, and we’d started to feel ready to think about what kind of future we want to work towards.
And then it all kinda went to hell.
It’s been a really tough year, hasn’t it. We lost a lot of momentum because of the pandemic — the mental strain and heightened anxiety really threw us. We found it hard to concentrate and harder to be creative and a lot of things just fell flat. We STILL don’t know Montreal well, and we haven’t seen friends or family much at all this year (offline, anyway). Also our corporate fat cats are getting old, and they’ve had some health troubles this year which we’ve found really upsetting. They’ve been a part of the company from the start, and confronting the inevitable reality that we will lose them, maybe soon, is heartbreaking on top of it all.
However, all is not lost. We’re safe and well, and so are our families and friends. We’ve adapted to the pandemic and are feeling a little less strained now. We don’t have anything to show yet, of what we’re working on, but we’re optimistic about making more progress next year. We’re starting to feel creative again. Trump’s out as president and there’s a little opportunity to reshape the future. And the cats are doing ok for now. So that’s all great! 2020 felt like a bit of a failure, but it taught us a lot about what we really need and what we want to do. And whatever else happens, it’ll be one we’ll never forget 😉
But Metanet, you may be asking, are you going to update us on N++?! We are absolutely delighted to let you know that an incredible 14 (!!!) people have 100%-ed the game! That’s double the number from last year!! At this rate, in 30 years everyone on earth will have beaten it!!! 😉
You are all amazing, awesomely skilled players and again, we honestly didn’t think anyone would EVER 100% the game, and yet here we are with 14 intrepid people having accomplished that frankly appalling task, and we know many others are currently still working on the last few challenges. We remain absolutely in awe. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all for playing, and for being so inspiring.
To all those trying to reach this goal — please let us know when you do, either on the discord or by email! We have mailed out signed, hand-printed certificates (see this blog post for details) to the first 14, and we will send out one to you as well, whenever you get there. Good luck!
What’s been especially rewarding is seeing the community grow via Discord and get further into the secrets hidden in the game. Several of the earlier 100%-ers have been helping everyone else complete the co-op levels (via Parsec or Steam Remote Play) — shout out to Kostucha for helping 6+ people achieve 100%. There have also been a few Race-mode streams between the best players in the world, which was awesome to see.
Last but not least, we’ve also seen a big uptick in speedrunning N++ — which is no easy feat! https://www.speedrun.com/nplusplus/
SimVYo has, in the span of a year, managed to completely dominate the Solo leaderboard, with some really impressive runs.
And now for some bite-sized news:
- RIP Flash :/ we will mourn its loss for a long time. But, we were so happy to have been able to use it to make games, and to be part of such a thrilling time in indie game history. PC Gamer recently wrote this article on difficult Flash games, and identified the modern lineage of platformers as “N-likes”! https://www.pcgamer.com/flash-games/ We were floored. What an incredible honour to have our work recognized in this way!
- N will continue to be playable in downloadable form, and we’ll keep the servers running for as long as we possibly can, so don’t worry about that. It’s also available as part of BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint Archive and you can find other ways to play here:
Hey all, Flash content will still find life beyond the end of the official Flash Player, and alternatives to preserve and make that content work (even in-browser!) are here, albeit still developing! A thread: pic.twitter.com/6qzsykeXI5
— John Cooney (@jmtb02) December 10, 2020
We’ll do our best to make sure it continues to be available somehow, but don’t forget, N++ is N, plus plus, and it’s got your back.
- We’ve been Featuring levels made and curated by the N++ community in the game and showing them off over on tumblr, so check them out if you’re interested in what the best and brightest have to offer — from the Main Menu of any version of N++, just go to Browse, and choose the “Featured” tab.
- Two of the most infamously hard user levels were finally beaten in 2020, after tens of thousands of attempts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3Bp0DASoZg https://www.twitch.tv/videos/804988433
- We hope to have some new things to put in our Etsy shop next year: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/metanet So keep an eye out!
And finally, Raigan is once again acting as “Santa Paus” to give away 25 copies of Michael Brough’s underrated gem, Cinco Paus! Keep an eye on Raigan’s twitter on December 25th (Eastern time zone) if you want a copy of this excellently designed strategy/puzzle game.
So what’s next? Well, we’re still not sure, to be honest. But we know we have a lot more ideas we want to explore and things to try, and we think you’ll like them. We’re still not quite ready to announce anything, but we are so excited to prepare things to show you in 2021. We are looking to the future with optimism and motivation, and we can’t wait to make 2021 much better than this year.
Happy Holidays, all, we hope that you too have discovered what things and people mean the most to you and that you can hold them closer next year. Good luck out there, please stay safe. See you again soon!
ps do you have N++-related news or info that might be of interest to the community you’d like us to consider putting in future blog posts? Email us and we’ll take a look!