N Troubleshooting FAQ

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Postby Seneschal » 2010.06.08 (07:22)

So this is an FAQ that I will be editing on and off that will attempt to cover most of the common problems that people experience with N, e.g. the objectID error, while also addressing some of the more simple issues that may trouble new users, e.g. how to open edit mode, how to view demos in edit mode, etc.

If you have any questions that you think should go in the FAQ, feel free to post them below.

This is a pretty long list so it's a good idea to use ctrl+f to try and find what you are looking for.

Getting Started

So, you are new to the world of N. So new, in fact, that you probably haven't even played N other than on those sites that only have the first 30 episodes, but they don't count. Here are a few questions and answers that should cover the basics.

Q. Where do I download N?
A: You can download N from the metanet software website - here's a link. Don't worry, it won't cost anything at all (except your social life and perhaps your soul).

Q. Great! Anything else I should know before playing?
A. You can change your preferences in the configure menu. This includes setting the controls, toggling practice mode on and off and controlling the volume.

Q. Do I have to play all of the levels in order?
A. Not necessarily. You do have to complete the episodes within a column in order, e.g. you must complete episode 0 in order to move onto episode 1, and so on until episode 9. However you don't have to play the columns in order: you can play the second column without beating the first. This means you can start at any of the starting episodes in a column: 0, 10, 20, 30, etc.

Q. Are there are any rewards for completing a column?
A. When you complete a column you receive a ninja "flavour". This is basically a new colour for your ninja that you can access in the configure menu. You will get one for beating each column. When you beat all the columns you will also receive a special reward.

Q. What is this "special reward"?
A. Complete the game and find out :P

Q. Huh. Hmm, my game progress isn't saving. Any help?
A. There could be a number of reasons for this. Make sure you start from the bottom of a column: you do have to complete episode 0 before you can move onto the rest of the column. That may sound obvious, but trust me, it has caught out several people in the past. OK, one person, not mentioning any names *cough*it was me*cough*.

Anyway. Another point is that you must complete an episode for your data to be saved; say you're playing episode 2 and you complete 2-0, 2-1 and 2-2. If you then quit, you will have to start at the beginning of that episode again.

Another obvious point that may nevertheless catch you out: make sure practice mode in the configure menu is turned off.

If neither of these solve your problems, then your problem probably relates to your .sol file. If you are using Windows, right click in N and choose settings on the little menu that pops up. Pull the slider all the way to the right and you should be able to save.

If you use a mac, this thread may help you.

If you want more information on .sol files, check this thread.

Q. How do I submit a highscore?
A. You're almost certainly not good enough to get onto the highscore boards if you've only just started, but it's a useful thing to know anyway.

Ok, your first step is to open up the configure menu. Look in the bottom right and you'll see the option to create a new user. This is really very easy: choose your username, choose your password and you're done (unless you want to include an email address, which is optional). Press enter and you should now be logged in. Turn online highscore submission on and you are ready to go.

From the main menu, choose highscores. Choose the episode you wish to highscore, and from there you can choose which level to highscore. There are three things you should know about highscoring:
  • You should notice that not only do individual levels have highscore boards, but that there is one for each episode for a while as well. This is not the combined score across each level, but is in fact the end score you achieve after playing through the episode as a whole. You cannot highscore episodes in the highscore menu, but must play through them from in the play game section.
  • You cannot highscore levels from episodes that you have not completed.
  • To submit a highscore, click the button labelled as "submit" (easy, huh?) However, you should not that when you submit a highscore you submit highscores from every level in that episode, e.g. if you wanted to submit a run on 41-2, you would also submit runs on 41-0, 41-1, 41-3 and 41-4 as well as your episode score.
  • You can view highscores on episodes you haven't completed yet, so if you get stuck try watching some of these!
Q. Some of the highscores don't seem to be very good and/or don't work and/or have an impossibly/ridiculously high score. Tell me why!
A. Unfortunately some people choose to submit cheated/hacked scores, and these scores usually don't correspond with the actual demos. However, some cheated demos appear to be legitimate, which of course makes them difficult to detect; difficult, but not impossible. A list of cheaters and hackers can be found here.

Nowadays cheating has been rendered impossible (and unfeasible) by Nreality; more on that later.

Q. If I lose my password, how can I recover it?
A. Yanni has this one covered:
Yanni wrote:Your password is actually hidden in your .sol file (big reason why you shouldn't give that away blindly, by the way) - check here to see where you can find the file. Open it with a decent text editor, although even Notepad would do for now. Search for "userpass", you should get a result near the top of the file, and the characters after that word should be your password.
Q. What are userlevels, and how do I access them?
A. From the main menu choose user levels. If no levels appear, make sure you have extracted the N folder.

Userlevels are exactly what they say they are: levels made by users. You can make levels in the N-editor (or Ned for short); more on that later.

Q. Can I change my userlevels, or add/remove them? I'm tired of playing all those maps by "astheoceansblue", whoever he is.
A. Yes you can. When you enter the folder containing N, you should see a text document entitled userlevels. Open it and you will find detailed instructions on how to manipulate userlevels to your heart's content.

Q. I have heard about something called Nreality - what is this and how can I get it?
A. Nreality is an awesome program made by Unreality that is essentially N on steroids. It adds several new features to the game including new enemies, a speedrun mode and 10 new columns to complete! You can find out more about it here, and you can download it here.

Using the Neditor

Q. Who is this "ned" person you keep referring to, and what has it got to do with the N-editor?
A. They are in fact the same thing (gasp): Ned is shorthand for N-editor, also known as edit mode. In here you can make your very own levels!

Q. Awesome...hold on, there isn't a link to it on the main menu, am I doing something wrong?
A. You can access the neditor by pressing the ~ key, which should be located below the escape button. If you're on a laptop, like I am, you may find that you have to press the \ key, usually in the bottom left of the keyboard. It might also be under the backspace key (Thanks, Aidiera!)

If you are on a mac, then I am told you should press the ' key (which is the same as the ~ key). (Thanks, 29403!)
...or the \ key, which also works, according to Rozer.

Q. Ok, I am in. What do I do?
A. The controls given when you enter edit mode are fairly self-explanatory. In here you can make new levels or play other people's. You can also watch and record demos. If you don't know how to do these, don't panic: there are explanations below.
Level Data

So. You've made a level. At this point you're probably wondering how you can save your data, so I'll explain. In the edit mode menu, there should be two white boxes filled with little numbers and letters. The top box contains your level data. Right click in this box and choose select all (or you could manually click and drag, but that's slow). Copy the data and paste it into a document of some sort, preferably notepad, although I suppose you could use Word if you really wanted. Save the document and remember it's location.

If you leave edit mode without saving your data, you will lose your data. I cannot stress the importance of saving your data enough.

So now you want to load a map into edit mode from your notepad document. This is really very easy: select all the data in the document and copy. Clear the level data box in ned and paste in the data from your document. Now, click outside of the box and press L to load the data. If you leave your mouse inside the box and press L then it can corrupt the data, as you essentially altering your level data.

Demo Data

Demo data is pretty simple to level data, really. When you want to record a demo, press 1 and then p. When you complete the level or die, return to the main edit menu. The lower box should now contain your demo data (if it doesn't make sure you are pressing 1 to record). To replay the demo, press q and then p. Your demo should begin to play.

If you want to view someone else's demo, select their demo data and paste it into the lower box. Unlike before, you have to press 3 before pressing q and then p, as it comes from an outside source.

Be careful not to paste demo data into the level data box; this will remove all objects from the map and create "fake" tiles that aren't solid ( so essentially this will ruin your map).

Q. Help! When I enter edit mode, N is frozen and only moves when I click!
A. Press caps lock.

Q. When I play levels in edit mode, there is no timer. Do I have to enable this, or what?
A. Nope. There is no timer in ned, so you have an infinite time in which to play levels there.

Q. Help! My level data has glitched weirldy!
A. Is it like this? If not, start a new topic asking for help and we'll see what we can do.

Playing Maps

Q. I was playing a map and something that should not have happened did happen!
A. That's not really a question, but whatever. This is most likely a glitch. There are a lot of these in the game, which may seem bad, but usually they add more possibilities to playing levels, allow for new paths, etc. Find a list of them here!

Q. N always lags on vista when I play it: help!
A. This thread should help you.


Q. What on earth is NUMA?
A. This is NUMA (You can say that in a 300 voice if you want, but it's not a requirement).

NUMA - the N User Map Archive - is a place where you submit your maps for others' enjoyment (or not, depending on their quality) and play maps made by other people. You can't really become a good mapper without hanging around NUMA for a while and playing other people's maps, so if you do want to be good, go there.

Q. When I submit a map to NUMA, I get some kind or error that prevents me from submitting my map. What is this and how do I get rid of it?
A. If you're getting an objectID error of some kind: Maps submitted to NUMA must have at least one object in them; if you're submitting a tileset, just shove a mine inside a tile or something.

If you're getting an error concerning tiles, my advice is this: paste your level data into word. Select all the data concerning tiles (i.e. before the |) and use word count to determine the number of characters. You should have 713 characters, as every map has 713 spaces for tiles (that includes blank d-tiles). If you have more or less than 713, you have probably incorrectly copied your data at some point. If you try and reload this into ned, you will almost certainly find that some of the tiles have been moved slightly and have also become glitched (you can move through them).

To resolve this issue without losing your original data, I would suggest adding enough 0s at the end of your code until you once again have 713 characters (or taking away as many characters to get back down to 713 if you have gone over) in word, or whatever program you are using that has a word count. Then reload the data back into edit mode - the issue should be fixed, however you will probably have to redesign some of your tiles. If you are really confident, you could try and add characters into word that correspond with your original design by seeing what the code looks like normally. If that makes sense :/


If you're getting some other kind of error, then I would suggest making your own topic to ask people how to deal with it. However, if you think it's quite a common problem (and I haven't already mentioned it above) then post it here and I'll have a look at it.

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