Why do you follow The Way of the Ninja?

Babble about your incredible affections of ninja puzzle platformers here.

Moderators: Mare, raigan

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Leading The Flock
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Postby Mare » 2016.07.06 (21:47)

So as you may have heard, we're getting ready to release the Steam version of N++, soonish. Hooray! We want to reach more people and help them understand why this game is so great. Marketing the N series has always been tough -- people do see the graphics and think it's nothing special. You really have to play it to understand why it's so good. We know it's very much a niche game, and we don't expect everyone to love it (especially because of the difficulty), but we think more people would enjoy N++ if they just gave it a try.

And that's where you come in -- we're hoping you can give us some insight, since you're people who play and enjoy the game: why do you play N++, and what keeps you playing? what made you try it in the first place? What do you like about it? What makes playing N++ fun, to you?

(if you haven't played N++ yet, please feel free to substitute N or N+!)

You don't have to answer all the questions, or in much detail if you don't want to -- even your gut feeling is great. But if you really want to psychoanalyze it, that's cool too ;) Bonus points if you can describe what you're feeling as you play, emotionally.

We're just trying to figure out how to talk about the game in a way that entices more people to play it, and see what they've been missing :)

thanks for your help!

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Postby EddyMataGallos » 2016.07.06 (22:44)

The main reasons I have stayed with the community for so long are 2 or 3.

N is by far the most precise and polished platformer that I've seen, yet maintaining the simplicity I love from classic platformers (this simple style is probably what got me to play it in the first instance). The precision allows to exploit all subtle features when highscoring/speedrunning as well as having full control of the player instead of relying on glitchy controls. Also the levels can be very complex allowing for interesting route development and long term innovation, and there are often many techniques to exploit, i.e. tricks, which is pretty unique for a platformer (compare, e.g., with Super Mario). This makes it very enjoyable. The simplicity I like basically because it avoids unnecessary distractions, is prettier, and nostalgic from classic games.

Also, the community, although it's very hard to use this for game promotion probably, but having a great community, competition, contests, mapping, etc is really what made me stay and enjoy highscoring so much once I had already beaten the game.
ImageImage
Impressive flag by ska -|- N2High - My software for N2.0 -|- Awesome sig by Hendor
About me & Stats (Spoiler)

Hi, im Eddy, a Spanish highscorer and current Grandmaster of N. I've been playing N since 2006, I beat it on the 8th September 2008, and NReality later too. Started intermittently highscoring Metanet in 2010, although serious highscoring started in late 2011.

Current Stats
• Completed N on 8th Sept. 2008
• Completed NReality on 24th Dec. 2010
0th Place on Metanet 0th Rankings with 443 0ths.
0th Place on Metanet Top20 Rankings with 599 Scores.
0th Place on Metanet Top10 Rankings with 599 Scores.
1st Place on Metanet Top5 Rankings with 595 Scores.
0th Place on Metanet Level 0th Rankings with 361 0ths.
0th Place on Metanet Episode 0th Rankings with 82 0ths.
0th Place on Metanet Total Level Score: 72142.900 (20:02:22.900)
0th Place on Metanet Total Episode Score: 35669.900 (09:54:29.900)
0th Place on Metanet Total Point Rankings with 11669 Points.
0th Place in NReality 0th Rankings with 235 0ths.
0th Place for a grand total of 676 Total 0ths.
• Winner of some contests (BUST, 100, 9000, Bounty Hunters, SOAST) and of some rounds of some contests (ROPP, NErratic, Red Ball, NReality Team Arena)

{Info as of 01/Feb/2015} The info may be outdated.

Achievements
• 6th highscorer to reach 100 Metanet 0ths
• 4th highscorer to reach 200 Metanet 0ths
• 1st and only highscorer to reach 300 Metanet 0ths
• 1st and only highscorer to reach 400 Metanet 0ths
• 8th ever Grandmaster
• 2nd* highscorer to reach 599 top-20 Scores
• 1st highscorer to reach 599 top-10 Scores
• 10th highscorer to reach 70k Level Score
• 5th highscorer to reach 71k Level Score
• 2nd highscorer to reach 71.5k Level Score
• 1st highscorer to reach 72k Level Score

Relevant Dates
• First 0th: 31-3 on 04/Oct/10
• Reached 100 Metanet 0ths on 25/Feb/12
• Reached 200 Metanet 0ths on 30/Sep/12
• Reached 300 Metanet 0ths on 16/Mar/13
• Reached 400 Metanet 0ths on 04/Sept/14
• Reached highest amount of 0ths on Jan/2013
• Became the Grandmaster on 12/Apr/2012
• Reached 70k Level Score on 25/Dec/11
• Reached 71k Level Score on 13/Jan/11
• Reached 71.5k Level Score on 01/Aug/12
• Reached 72k Level Score on 04/Jul/14
• Completed N 1.4 on 08/Sept/08
• Completed NReality on 24/Dec/10
• Reached 100 NReality 0ths on Oct/2011
• Reached 200 NReality 0ths on Nov/2011
• Reached 100 Top-20 Scores on Aug/10
• Reached 200 Top-20 Scores on Nov/11
• Reached 300 Top-20 Scores on Nov/11
• Reached 400 Top-20 Scores on Dec/11
• Reached 500 Top-20 Scores on Jan/12
• Reached 599 Top-20 Scores on 04/Apr/12
• Reached 599 Top-10 Scores on 18/Nov/12

Deds & Images (Spoiler)

Thanks to ska for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to BluePretzel for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to da_guru for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to zoasBE for dedicating this full episode to me!: 00-0 00-100-2 00-3 00-4
Thanks to zoasBE for dedicating this mappack to me
Thanks to zoasBE for partially dedicating this map to me
Thanks to VODKALOVER for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to runningninja for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to zoasBE for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to zoasBE for partially dedicating this map to me
Thanks to trance for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to zoasBE for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to zoasBE for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to llabesab for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to the23 for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Traveleravi for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to 123leonidas321 for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to the23 for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Uniden for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Uniden for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Ors_II for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Sunset for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to blue_rocks for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Leonhard for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to blue_rocks for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Daggafork for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to VODKALOVER for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to blue_rocks for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to blue_rocks for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Armaghan_Ali for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Armaghan_Ali for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Armaghan_Ali for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to RandomDigits/SpartaX18 for dedicating this map to me
Sorry if Im missing any ded.

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Ice Cold
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Postby _danielr_ » 2016.07.08 (11:39)

I only play N, by the way.
For me, I like the simple look and feel of the game, as well as the little things that experienced players exploit, such as: corner jumps, getting keys through doors without opening them, double/triple bounce block jumps, kicking off thwumps, etc...
Many of these are very precise; you rarely get the same corner jump or thwump kick twice. Therefore the game requires patience, and rewards you for it.
The competition and community are a big part of it. Even though I participate very little in the latter, the fact that I know who I'm trying to beat on a particular map makes it all the more exciting.
Oh, and finding a route that nobody has done before is a great feeling. Sometimes method wins over skill.

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Leading The Flock
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Postby Mare » 2016.07.08 (14:34)

Thanks for your replies, Eddy and danielr! Great feedback from both of you.

@daniel is there any reason you haven't tried N+ or N++, or anything that would inspire you to try them?

@Eddy yeah it's definitely tough to communicate what is so great about the game to new people. We'll think a lot about how we can communicate that the community is so awesome...if you or anyone else ever have suggestions, feel free to let us know!

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Postby _danielr_ » 2016.07.08 (21:56)

Mare wrote:@daniel is there any reason you haven't tried N+ or N++, or anything that would inspire you to try them?

I'm just not the console gaming type (never grew up with XBox or PS or anything). Besides, I'm on my laptop constantly, so a little N is the perfect break from work.
I've always wanted to try N+/N++ out though, so I'd be happy to give them a go when I have the time/money.

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Leading The Flock
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Postby Mare » 2016.07.09 (12:48)

that makes sense! thanks for the info :)

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Postby ska » 2016.07.12 (17:00)

An excerpt from my 2015 Christmas letter to M&R wrote:Dear Mare and Raigan,

It is difficult for me to put into words how grateful I am for what you have given, not just to me, but to the world through your combined talent and hard work. I distinctly remember that special moment sometime in 2004 when one of my classmates put N on a 64-megabyte USB flash drive for me. It was a game that many of my friends seemed to enjoy for a few months and, in some cases, years. From sluggishly wall-jumping up a single-column shaft, to mashing my shift key so fast I would set off sticky keys or splatter on the ceiling, I cherished every milestone I reached within the game. But N also fostered a community, and it really gave me a great sense of belonging when I would take highscores, converse on the forums, or submit a map to NUMA and have people comment and show off their demos.

A hobbyist game developer myself, I would marvel at your silky-smooth physics engine and your grasp of minimalist design—and I still do, as it has only gotten more refined! But for all of this amazing work you did, you gave it away as your gift to the world, and for that I am very thankful. More than that, though, is your dedicated and professional interaction with your fan base. I just feel so lucky to be able to interact with you guys whenever I like. I don’t think such a relationship would be feasible if you weren’t the crusading (and caring) indie development team that you are.


I feel this letter really sums up how I felt (and still do) about this great game. It has brought together players from all over the world, and united people who would otherwise never meet. You will have no greater supporter of your company and productions than me.

However...

Moving forward, it is with a respectfully objective and critical eye that I feel I should talk about N++; namely, I would like to point out what is being omitted from your launch strategy. One of the reasons I quoted the letter excerpt is as follows: it outlined the reason for the success of N—the original release, I mean. Nv1.2–Nv1.4 wasn’t popular because of an artsy video; it was popular because people loved playing and sharing the game. It was simple, fun, had a high skill ceiling, compact in file size, and—for me, at least—it united everything I love about platforming games: stylistically consistent, physics-based platforming; a level editor, including a method to (relatively) easily share your levels with friends and strangers; and a highscores platform, allowing near-infinite replayability and competition that would span more than a decade.
One of the big things to learn from N 2.0 is the reactionary backlash that burgeoned from its release. Take this brief IRC exchange, for instance, which is currently the highest-rated quote on http://quotes.mountai.net/

Below I have addressed (not for the first time) some of the fundamental flaws that 2.0 had.
The UI felt rushed in comparison to 1.4; the game lagged on many computers that had specs well beyond the minimum requirements; the timing system to chart highscores was nearly incomprehensible; there was no ghost/demo mode like in NReality, which would have been very interesting/useful for highscorers/fans (additionally, a player couldn't see their final score for a level immediately after completion, which makes it hard to chart your progression when highscoring); there was nothing innovative about N+ compared to Nv1.4, other than the admittedly smoother frame rate; there was no way to watch a replay after completing a level; there was no episode highscoring; why does “logged in!” need to be at the top?—it doesn’t make for a clean interface, and perhaps it should’ve just popped in and out; and the highscores section was a mess to navigate, often involving as many as half a dozen clicks just to select a level to highscore, and that’s not mentioning the time it takes.
Little things like this don’t seem like a big deal; however, in the long run, they become a real nuisance.
It takes about four seconds to load 85-3 on 1.4, but it takes more than ten seconds to load the same level ID on 2.0. Furthermore, I loved the top-20 schematic in 1.4, and the layout was perfect; I can’t understand the rationale for changing it… surely it can’t be bandwidth. I understand that you wanted to give N a new coat of paint, but my opinion was that you tried to fix something that was perfect, and it just made it a clunky mess instead.
Now, having said all of this, I want to let you know that I understand that many of these things were not accounted for due to circumstances beyond your control. Windows 8+ played havoc with many people’s playability of N, but it had only been made generally available for about two months prior to the beta release of version 2.0. In any case, I’m sure the game would have been in its final stages, and ensuring widespread compatibility at the eleventh hour would’ve been an impossibility, even for subsequent releases.
In short, I feel these are the things that are most critical to the success of N++ on Steam:

– Give people who purchased the console version a compelling reason to also buy the PC version. (I understand this is happening, which is great.) Perhaps offer a bonus skin, song, or flavour for PS4 players.
– Make it legitimately challenging to fully clock the game.
– Pay homage to the 1.4 highscores board. Adding a speedrun mode wouldn’t hurt, either, and I’m sure it couldn’t be too much harder to code.
– For maple syrup’s sake, have a website like NUMA that is easily searchable in-game, where people can submit and download levels with foolproof ease. Allow ratings, demos, and moderated comments, but make sure your rating system cannot be abused—a simple ‘like’ or star button could be enough in certain circumstances, and maybe a “superstar” button that you can only use once a day (but I’m just spit-balling here), which might be weighted more heavily than a regular star. Suspend anyone who asks for good ratings or anything slimy like that. Be able to search by genre; for example: race, action, survival, DDA, etc.
– Do an AMA on Reddit after the official (non-beta) release.
– Apply regular updates. People will be more inclined to buy a game that is updated regularly.
– Test rigorously on as many computers and operating systems as possible; if possible, the game should be able to run smoothly on a dual-core computer from 5–8 years ago or so with no performance issues. Lack of compatibility was a huge problem for 2.0.
– Allow players to record highscores while offline so they can be submitted later. Only do this if you can prevent hacking while a player is offline. Prevention of speed-hacking and fake scores is of paramount importance, and they should take priority over offline submissions if a choice must be made. Perhaps have the game cache demos so players can load them even without the internet. The game could download the scores in the background when connected to the internet.
Okay, well, I think I’ve said everything I wanted to say. I hope you guys don’t get upset with anything I said; everything I did say comes from a place of love and hope. I want this game to be the biggest indie release of 2016. Peace!

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Postby EddyMataGallos » 2016.07.13 (15:16)

ska wrote:– Test rigorously on as many computers and operating systems as possible; if possible, the game should be able to run smoothly on a dual-core computer from 5–8 years ago or so with no performance issues. Lack of compatibility was a huge problem for 2.0.
– Allow players to record highscores while offline so they can be submitted later. Only do this if you can prevent hacking while a player is offline. Prevention of speed-hacking and fake scores is of paramount importance, and they should take priority over offline submissions if a choice must be made. Perhaps have the game cache demos so players can load them even without the internet. The game could download the scores in the background when connected to the internet.

+1
ImageImage
Impressive flag by ska -|- N2High - My software for N2.0 -|- Awesome sig by Hendor

About me & Stats (Spoiler)

Hi, im Eddy, a Spanish highscorer and current Grandmaster of N. I've been playing N since 2006, I beat it on the 8th September 2008, and NReality later too. Started intermittently highscoring Metanet in 2010, although serious highscoring started in late 2011.

Current Stats
• Completed N on 8th Sept. 2008
• Completed NReality on 24th Dec. 2010
0th Place on Metanet 0th Rankings with 443 0ths.
0th Place on Metanet Top20 Rankings with 599 Scores.
0th Place on Metanet Top10 Rankings with 599 Scores.
1st Place on Metanet Top5 Rankings with 595 Scores.
0th Place on Metanet Level 0th Rankings with 361 0ths.
0th Place on Metanet Episode 0th Rankings with 82 0ths.
0th Place on Metanet Total Level Score: 72142.900 (20:02:22.900)
0th Place on Metanet Total Episode Score: 35669.900 (09:54:29.900)
0th Place on Metanet Total Point Rankings with 11669 Points.
0th Place in NReality 0th Rankings with 235 0ths.
0th Place for a grand total of 676 Total 0ths.
• Winner of some contests (BUST, 100, 9000, Bounty Hunters, SOAST) and of some rounds of some contests (ROPP, NErratic, Red Ball, NReality Team Arena)

{Info as of 01/Feb/2015} The info may be outdated.

Achievements
• 6th highscorer to reach 100 Metanet 0ths
• 4th highscorer to reach 200 Metanet 0ths
• 1st and only highscorer to reach 300 Metanet 0ths
• 1st and only highscorer to reach 400 Metanet 0ths
• 8th ever Grandmaster
• 2nd* highscorer to reach 599 top-20 Scores
• 1st highscorer to reach 599 top-10 Scores
• 10th highscorer to reach 70k Level Score
• 5th highscorer to reach 71k Level Score
• 2nd highscorer to reach 71.5k Level Score
• 1st highscorer to reach 72k Level Score

Relevant Dates
• First 0th: 31-3 on 04/Oct/10
• Reached 100 Metanet 0ths on 25/Feb/12
• Reached 200 Metanet 0ths on 30/Sep/12
• Reached 300 Metanet 0ths on 16/Mar/13
• Reached 400 Metanet 0ths on 04/Sept/14
• Reached highest amount of 0ths on Jan/2013
• Became the Grandmaster on 12/Apr/2012
• Reached 70k Level Score on 25/Dec/11
• Reached 71k Level Score on 13/Jan/11
• Reached 71.5k Level Score on 01/Aug/12
• Reached 72k Level Score on 04/Jul/14
• Completed N 1.4 on 08/Sept/08
• Completed NReality on 24/Dec/10
• Reached 100 NReality 0ths on Oct/2011
• Reached 200 NReality 0ths on Nov/2011
• Reached 100 Top-20 Scores on Aug/10
• Reached 200 Top-20 Scores on Nov/11
• Reached 300 Top-20 Scores on Nov/11
• Reached 400 Top-20 Scores on Dec/11
• Reached 500 Top-20 Scores on Jan/12
• Reached 599 Top-20 Scores on 04/Apr/12
• Reached 599 Top-10 Scores on 18/Nov/12



Deds & Images (Spoiler)

Thanks to ska for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to BluePretzel for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to da_guru for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to zoasBE for dedicating this full episode to me!: 00-0 00-100-2 00-3 00-4
Thanks to zoasBE for dedicating this mappack to me
Thanks to zoasBE for partially dedicating this map to me
Thanks to VODKALOVER for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to runningninja for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to zoasBE for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to zoasBE for partially dedicating this map to me
Thanks to trance for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to zoasBE for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to zoasBE for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to llabesab for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to the23 for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Traveleravi for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to 123leonidas321 for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to the23 for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Uniden for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Uniden for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Ors_II for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Sunset for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to blue_rocks for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Leonhard for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to blue_rocks for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Daggafork for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to VODKALOVER for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to blue_rocks for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to blue_rocks for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Armaghan_Ali for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Armaghan_Ali for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to Armaghan_Ali for dedicating this map to me
Thanks to RandomDigits/SpartaX18 for dedicating this map to me
Sorry if Im missing any ded.

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ImageThanks to leo.
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Leading The Flock
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Postby Mare » 2016.07.14 (20:42)

thanks Ska (and Eddy), that's great feedback. We appreciate the detailed thought you've put into this!

Offline highscore submission -- we wanted to allow this but could not because of security issues and PS4/Steam authorization processes.

Some of the suggestions you've made are already on our "would be nice to add" list -- others we would like to do but just don't have time or resources...being a small team really sucks sometimes. For example, a website to support the level database: adding comments, rating, querying by genre and all the other things that NUMA has are very difficult UI problems, and we weren't able to solve them in a way that worked in N++, so we had to make the difficult decision to leave that info out. We added some things to aid discoverability and some more intuitive rating features to compensate. If someone were to make a website where you could do those other things, we would certainly get behind it officially, but it's unlikely we'll have time or money to set it up ourselves :/

Right now we're struggling to get the game out on PC quickly (the code was left in a terrible state -- a lot of the things you mention unfortunately ARE quite hard to code, at least in N++), and it's looking like many of the new features we have planned may not make launch, to our disappointment, but they'll be out soon after, and we have lots of updates planned (including some things speedrunners will appreciate). We plan to continue to support N++ for as long as we can. If N++ is hugely popular, it may even allow us to add some things we didn't think we'd be able to -- but we don't want to make promises we can't keep, so we'll have to see how things work out.

I do have to say, we're very happy with N++ even as it is right now -- it's much better than its predecessors in every way. We're pretty sure anyone who's a fan of N will really like it -- it's exactly N, but smoother and nicer looking, and with even better levels, plus some new stuff (the evil ninjas are my fave, they just feel so right!). There are plenty of things we want to add, but over the years we've noticed that we are making a game that appeals in quite different ways to different players: it's likely that not everyone will enjoy every feature, so every decision we make is a challenge. Our focus has been to make sure N++ is a solid, great game, and that it appeals as broadly as possible within the niche of people that like challenging platformers, and that there are enough really special thing about the game that each type of player can enjoy -- we're confident we've made some good decisions there :)

All that to say, thanks for your suggestions, even if we can't implement them, we read and consider each one in detail, and try to do everything we can. And thanks for caring -- it's so cool to be able to keep in touch with people who go way back! :D

Also, we can't wait to see N highscorers take on the N++ highscorers! I bet there'll be a real shake-up in the ranks ;)

ps that was a great letter and we really enjoyed receiving it. Thanks, we'll keep it forever :)

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Postby ska » 2016.07.15 (09:40)

Mare wrote:thanks Ska (and Eddy), that's great feedback. We appreciate the detailed thought you've put into this!

Offline highscore submission -- we wanted to allow this but could not because of security issues and PS4/Steam authorization processes.

Some of the suggestions you've made are already on our "would be nice to add" list -- others we would like to do but just don't have time or resources...being a small team really sucks sometimes. For example, a website to support the level database: adding comments, rating, querying by genre and all the other things that NUMA has are very difficult UI problems, and we weren't able to solve them in a way that worked in N++, so we had to make the difficult decision to leave that info out. We added some things to aid discoverability and some more intuitive rating features to compensate. If someone were to make a website where you could do those other things, we would certainly get behind it officially, but it's unlikely we'll have time or money to set it up ourselves :/

Right now we're struggling to get the game out on PC quickly (the code was left in a terrible state -- a lot of the things you mention unfortunately ARE quite hard to code, at least in N++), and it's looking like many of the new features we have planned may not make launch, to our disappointment, but they'll be out soon after, and we have lots of updates planned (including some things speedrunners will appreciate). We plan to continue to support N++ for as long as we can. If N++ is hugely popular, it may even allow us to add some things we didn't think we'd be able to -- but we don't want to make promises we can't keep, so we'll have to see how things work out.

I do have to say, we're very happy with N++ even as it is right now -- it's much better than its predecessors in every way. We're pretty sure anyone who's a fan of N will really like it -- it's exactly N, but smoother and nicer looking, and with even better levels, plus some new stuff (the evil ninjas are my fave, they just feel so right!). There are plenty of things we want to add, but over the years we've noticed that we are making a game that appeals in quite different ways to different players: it's likely that not everyone will enjoy every feature, so every decision we make is a challenge. Our focus has been to make sure N++ is a solid, great game, and that it appeals as broadly as possible within the niche of people that like challenging platformers, and that there are enough really special thing about the game that each type of player can enjoy -- we're confident we've made some good decisions there :)

All that to say, thanks for your suggestions, even if we can't implement them, we read and consider each one in detail, and try to do everything we can. And thanks for caring -- it's so cool to be able to keep in touch with people who go way back! :D

Also, we can't wait to see N highscorers take on the N++ highscorers! I bet there'll be a real shake-up in the ranks ;)

ps that was a great letter and we really enjoyed receiving it. Thanks, we'll keep it forever :)


I'm sure you've heard this quote before, especially since I know you are Miyamoto fans:

"A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."

If the deadline isn't rock solid (as "soonish" implies), it might be wise to keep this in mind. As for the site, I'm sure there are some talented hardcore N fans that would be happy to lend their talents to creating an accompanying site pro bono. I'd be happy to do some written content, for example. Gather up some web devs, graphic designers, programmers... you could crowdsource a good site.

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Postby Mare » 2016.07.15 (13:23)

that's one of our favourite quotes, and one we live by (hence we haven't yet released Robotology and Office Yeti) :)

We don't know that it really applies here though, since N++ is already out, and is a demonstrably good game. We'd like to add a few more features, but would be adding them to a very solid foundation -- it's more like we're adding a new expansion pack. Carefully considering a lot of factors: releasing soon, with updates throughout the year, makes more sense and is less risky than waiting until spring 2017. Already having released it underscores that: the response from players on PS4 has been excellent, and we think you're going to like it too!

If anyone wants to volunteer to work on a site to support level-sharing, please get in touch! :)

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Postby sidke » 2016.07.15 (17:28)

i enjoy n for the community, the friends i've made, the shenanigans, being able to make codes with the game. also making almost exclusively tilesets because having maps judged and be put down for gameplay was always upsetting i ain't no mozart yahoozy. m'yahoozart.

i didn't play n2 past a few days because of the split of community, the in-game sharing system didn't really make an easy community for actual conversation. discussions about maps were held in different forums or irc instead of on the map itself. it felt too disjointed and i'd already not been present in metanet enough already. i tried at some point to consolidate the two communities but lost drive.

i didn't play n++ ps4 past a few days because of the inability to mess around with the maps outside of the console. there was no real way to establish a sense of community from in-game shared maps, like n2, but the music was cool.

if there were a central source of map sharing and community for n++ pc, that would probably for sure get me to stick around and play and map and code religiously like ten years ago
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Postby Hyteriux » 2016.07.16 (10:04)

I really don't know what to say as what these three have said have really summed everything I would've wanted to put in this reply up and broke it down in every way possible leaving little for me to say, so I'll just tell my story and what this game has done for me and meant to me in the time that I've played it.
I originally started playing somewhere around 2008-2009 on an older version with my sisters. We found it on one of those game hub websites with a load of free games and I was really intrigued by it. I did stop playing after a while partially because it was a fairly early and probably outdated version of n at the time therefore had fewer levels, but honestly that was pretty much irrelevant because I was much younger then and not very good at challenging platformers or games in general so it's not like I was able to complete them all anyways.
After a while, for nostalgia, I searched up n and played v2 around august last year and thoroughly enjoyed playing the new levels in there and the old ones that made a return. That lasted for about a month and then I started to find my self playing user levels more than Metanet levels and began to admire some of the highscorers and mappers in the community and tried my hand at getting user levels highscores under my first account "iignoreu" (long story, I later moved over to my current account Hyteriux and tried my hand at mapping). One fateful day I looked at the front page of the newest levels and found one of thunder's levels advertising the Kiwi chat for nv2. Me, having admired thunder's many many many maps (at the time around 3 or 4k, now like 9.2k) wanted to meet him and the rest of the community, so I copied and pasted it into the search bar and joined the chat. After that day, I spent every ounce of my free time on the chat meeting new people and talking about n and many other things with them. As I was in there more and more they began to rub off on me, I noticed I began to get better at mapping and highscoring as I got pointers from them and watched them compete with extreme dedication on levels and slowly I learned new tricks and began to compete with them as well. The surprising lack of drama and multitude of friendly and easily-relatable people really sucked me in and kept me interested for months to follow. When Npoints season 5 rolled around and shomman and btoasterboy announced for the first and last time it would include 1.4/nreality in the mix I decided there was no better time to go and see what nreality was all about and I must say, I was impressed. What the community had done over there amazed me and the quality of the maps and the competition on the leader boards of user levels and Metanet levels was insane.
NUMA instantly became my favorite thing, the fact that I could post a map there and get ratings and feedback directly on my map drew me in because v2 lacked that kind of thing and I was limited to whoever was on the chat at the time, which keep in mind, a large amount of v2 players had no idea about or no intent on joining, some of them being excellent mappers and highscorers that could really help me improve myself and mapping. I ended up posting a map of mine on there and asking what they thought of it and what they thought I could improve on. I was super satisfied and excited when I got comments from Tempus_Fugit, Sunset, RandomDigits, PALEMOON, blacklef, apse, and tiki854 giving me welcomes and feedback on my level, it was the best thing ever to me.
Even though the community was small and is still very small, it felt like it was 1000x better than v2's and NUMA made it a breeze to communicate with players and really become a better mapper which is something that has been important to me because it is something I find to be super enjoyable and it allows me to get crazy and creative and just experiment with ease. It really is nothing like I have ever experienced before, even in other games level editors are always really mediocre and limited where it felt like there was so little to make. But mapping in n feels like art, it's more than just putting down some textured walls and doors and staircases and creating something thousands already have, mapping is more abstract and is a nice challenge having to blend aesthetics with gameplay or go and focus solely on creating a piece of art whether it be with mines, tiles, a mix of everything. Also, creating a level base that other players can experiment with and create their own gameplay and use the aesthetics of the tileset to create interesting and fun situations and jumps is something I've always liked.
I spent a lot of time on there for a few weeks. I only ended up posting one map on NUMA because I became very busy around Decemberish and really had little time to play N. I also decided to stop because school had become a mess and I really needed to focus more on that rather than N. Unfortunately, the free time I did have was spent catching up on Destiny with the rest of my friends (I had ditched Destiny and many other games to focus on N because of my newfound love for the game).
That brings me to now, I just started playing N again (only v2 though because I played nreality on my even older computer which is on life support and really doesn't run the game very well, and this laptop refuses to run nreality or 1.4 for whatever reason) and I've started mapping again. I do want to post again on NUMA soon, I'll likely post the level I just gave to toaster and shom for npoints once it is published on v2 (approx. 4 weeks subsequent to this post) because NUMA is something I really want to be apart of and I really want to improve my mapping and understanding of it.
Overall, my experience on n thus far has been amazing and like no other. Although I am still fairly new to the community of this game (willing to bet a hefty amount of cash, if I had it, that 99.99% of the users on this forum have no idea who I am or have even seen my name before), I have no doubt the online community aspect of this game is a HUGE selling point and really is one like no other and its absolutely wonderful level editor and level sharing feature pairs perfectly with it.
I won't lie, agreeing with eddy, danielr, and sidke, v2 really felt like it lacked when it came to some of the things that made v1.4 enjoyable, replayable, and outstanding like similar sharing and feedback features to NUMA and the ability to replay your highscores no matter what and the speedrun mode but I must say, from what I've played so far in the N series, I can confidently stand here (well, sit rather) and say that N is by far my favorite game (and what I consider the best platformer out there) and I've truly had an exhilarating adventure and ride in it thus far. You've done an exceptional job Mare and Raigan and I can't wait to see what you bring to the table in the future. You really have made my life more interesting and a whole lot better with this game and I am very thankful for that. Cheers :)

(Sorry for the super long reply and potentially childish grammar and such, I tend to ramble quite a bit and I really like to unload my thoughts on these kinds of posts plus it's 5 in the morning and I've gone two days only having like 2 hours of sleep. Hope I didn't bore you too much and can't wait to delve further into the masterful N series with the PC release of N++ .;) ).

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Postby Mare » 2016.07.19 (13:22)

thanks sidke and Hyteriux, those are great comments.
Hopefully a NUMA-like will help bolster the community, which is of so important to us -- UI in N++ was a really difficult problem, and we weren't able to add all the features (incl comments, rating) that we would have liked. So if it's possible to have a companion to the game where you can do that stuff, that might be the most elegant solution.

We're mulling over everything you've all said, thanks for letting us know :)

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Postby Sunset » 2016.07.19 (14:01)

i play it because i like to mess around in edit mode to be completely honest with you. playing the game is fun, but making levels and finding stuff out about the game's mechanics just seems more appealing to me

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Postby ska » 2016.07.20 (16:27)

To reiterate, a sense of community was the lifeblood of 1.4. Although 1.4 was fragmented between NUMA and the forums, the two were intrinsically linked, and they never really felt detached. Conversely, this—as others have pointed out—was not the case with N++. I don't think anyone here is criticising you for this, especially since you were limited by resources; however, if the community is fractured again, N++'s PC released could be severely hampered, as online level sharing was a hallmark of N 1.3/N 1.4's success. Although the Miyamoto quote was said in an era when game cartridges couldn't afford to have game-breaking bugs, a solid first release on any given platform is essential. Even if you patch out issues a few weeks after, initial reviews and complaints can unfairly tarnish the game's image. Anyway, I'm sorry if it feels like I'm adding to the stress instead of easing it. My suggestion would be to set up a casting call for different site positions: back-end site developers, moderators, UI designers, graphic designers, writers, testers, etc.

Although I'm sure I could drum up a few people, I think it would carry more weight if you or Raigan make the call official. I can assure you that doing nothing will yield nothing, and using the so-called slack time is a much better use of our time than twiddling our collective thumbs.

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Postby Mare » 2016.07.20 (20:37)

thanks Sunset, that's great feedback!

I forget, ska, have you played N++?
I did make the call official here and good news, we have already received replies and volunteers to get the ball rolling on a companion site. We appreciate your concerns and are talking about every piece of feedback we receive, and just to underline how important the community is to us, I will stress -- we are doing the best we can to keep the community alive and vibrant, and will continue to do that. We've already done a lot to try to create and foster the community, and as evidenced by the new-to-the-series players who are really enjoying it so far, N++ has got legs -- we have more to do, certainly, but rest assured, it's happening! :)

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Postby Sunset » 2016.07.21 (05:04)

Mare wrote:thanks Sunset, that's great feedback!

I forget, ska, have you played N++?
I did make the call official here and good news, we have already received replies and volunteers to get the ball rolling on a companion site. We appreciate your concerns and are talking about every piece of feedback we receive, and just to underline how important the community is to us, I will stress -- we are doing the best we can to keep the community alive and vibrant, and will continue to do that. We've already done a lot to try to create and foster the community, and as evidenced by the new-to-the-series players who are really enjoying it so far, N++ has got legs -- we have more to do, certainly, but rest assured, it's happening! :)


this is a completely unrelated question, but do you and Raigan ever browse NUMA? it seems like it's its own part of the internet now, removed from nearly everything, including the creators of its own game

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Postby ska » 2016.07.21 (08:40)

Mare wrote:thanks Sunset, that's great feedback!

I forget, ska, have you played N++?
I did make the call official here and good news, we have already received replies and volunteers to get the ball rolling on a companion site. We appreciate your concerns and are talking about every piece of feedback we receive, and just to underline how important the community is to us, I will stress -- we are doing the best we can to keep the community alive and vibrant, and will continue to do that. We've already done a lot to try to create and foster the community, and as evidenced by the new-to-the-series players who are really enjoying it so far, N++ has got legs -- we have more to do, certainly, but rest assured, it's happening! :)


I did not. I don't think I ever received a code for the game (after winning one in the contesque), but even if I did, I wasn't going to buy a PS4 for the sole purpose of playing one game. Sorry, I wish I had that kind of disposable income! Regarding the news on the companion site: this is awesome news! Please don't hesitate to email if you think I can help in any capacity, even if it's just for testing.

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Postby Mare » 2016.07.21 (13:37)

ska: Fair enough, who does. Anyway we were just wondering what you think of some of the steps we took to address these concerns already, is all :) We'll have to wait and see! About the code: which Contesque do you mean, the Nv2 Holiday one?

sunset: I'm not sure what you mean -- NUMA was created (and operated) by a fan, so it's always been a little removed from Metanet...we check in there from time to time, but are we missing something you're getting at specifically?

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Postby Sunset » 2016.07.21 (14:31)

Mare wrote:sunset: I'm not sure what you mean -- NUMA was created (and operated) by a fan, so it's always been a little removed from Metanet...we check in there from time to time, but are we missing something you're getting at specifically?


nah, i wasn't getting at anything, i was just wondering if you went to the site at all

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Postby ska » 2016.07.23 (16:24)

Mare wrote:ska: Fair enough, who does. Anyway we were just wondering what you think of some of the steps we took to address these concerns already, is all :) We'll have to wait and see! About the code: which Contesque do you mean, the Nv2 Holiday one?

Yes, I was indeed referring to the Nv2 Holiday contesque for which I received the shirt, buttons, et cetera. By the way, I'm not complaining; it would've been no use to me anyway, other than perhaps using it as a prize for a contest of my own.

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Postby Mare » 2016.07.25 (15:22)

Ah, sorry about that -- we sent out Holiday contesque prizes probably a year and a half before the game came out, and although we tried to keep track of everything, things got substantially crazier than we expected and it must have fallen off our list. Any holiday contesque winners reading this -- if we didn't send you a code for N++, please email us!

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Postby ska » 2016.07.26 (12:01)

Mare wrote:Ah, sorry about that -- we sent out Holiday contesque prizes probably a year and a half before the game came out, and although we tried to keep track of everything, things got substantially crazier than we expected and it must have fallen off our list. Any holiday contesque winners reading this -- if we didn't send you a code for N++, please email us!

Oh, I figured it was just a matter of logistics. Entire nation states have risen and fallen in less time! ;)

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Postby 乳头的早餐谷物 » 2016.08.09 (20:08)

Mare wrote:that's one of our favourite quotes, and one we live by (hence we haven't yet released Robotology and Office Yeti) :)

Does yet actually imply Robotology could still happen because it's the only thing I've ever cared about
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