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Submitted by raigan and mare, posted on 19 December 2004



Image Description, by raigan and mare


"N" is a 2D physics-based puzzle/platformer, and our first released game -- you are a ninja trapped in a world of well-meaning, inadvertantly homicidal robots. get it for free here: http://www.harveycartel.org/metanet/downloads.html

our idea was to combine the physics-based control of games such as soldat or elastomania with the tile-based world and run-and-jump gameplay of platform games like kirby or super mario bros.

since most tile-based games rely on very simplistic collision detection/response, we had to develop our own algorithms for quickly calculating collision response info (contact point, collision normal, penetration depth).

technical features:
  • a robust collision system which supports completely arbitrary placement of tiles (unlike most platformers where, for instance, the location of "sloped" tiles is very constrained)
  • procedural and keyframe-interpolated skeletal animation
  • replay system/online highscore system (clicking on a highscore shows a replay of that player's winning game)
  • physics-based control of the player
  • ragdoll physics
  • built-in level editor (still needs much improvement)
  • ninja-tastic gameplay
  • the current release (v1.3) features 300 levels. along with v1.3 we've been releasing a series of tutorials and source code explaining the more interesting bits of our engine (such as the collision detection/response); while the physics is very straightforward "jakobsen/verlet", we found a few tricks in 2D (for instance a simple and fast method for modeling joints), as well as a few enhancements to the traditional tile-based approach. you can check those out here: http://www.harveycartel.org/metanet/tutorials.html

    none of this is exactly cutting edge, however we had a hard time finding good resources on 2D game technology; most of what's online is from an era where collision was done using pixels instead of geometry. so we thought we'd share what we came up with. anyway, please feel free to email us with complaints, suggestions, large sums of money, etc.: n AT harveycartel DOT org

    raigan and mare

    p.s - this game was made in flash/actionscript. yes -- flash. our ancillary motive in making N was to demonstrate that it's possible to make "real" video games using actionscript, and that blame for the glut of terrible "games" made with flash should be attributed to the shortcomings of the developers and not the platform itself.

    p.p.s - we made it into the igf finals! woo!!



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