If you’ve ever wasted hours or even days on playing a video game on your old Commodore 64, then chances are it was a game called Load Runner. Well, it’s amazing how this genre has come back full circle. “N” is such a game. Developed in Flash by Raigan Burns and Mare Sheppard, of Metanet Software Inc.
My first sight of this game was from watching my son play it on his computer. I instantly became mesmerized by it’s smoothness and the intricate details in the movement of the main character as it moves, flys, jumps, and falls throughout maze after maze of enemies and bonuses. I especially took note of the simplicity of the game. Finally, someone has released a game that one can sit down to and play without having to crack open a 20 page instruction guide. But don’t be fooled! There are over 200 levels to get through! And what amazes me, is that after watching my three sons play this during the past few weeks, they’ve yet to finish the game! They’re totally hooked. The family PS2, with its adrenalin pumping shooters, 3-d ray traced, real-time graphics, and total game play immersion – sits cold and alone. Only to be touched if one of the boys is waiting for their time on the PC with N.
The ART of Software Development in N, is not just in the finished product and its ability to capture the gamer. Its also in the fact that Raigan and Mare have published source and tutorials on their web site, which explains the technique and process of developing this wonderful game. And we not just talking a few rapid paragraphs here! This is a full blown tutorial on Collision Detection, Physics, Movement, Geometry, and Mathmatics. With pictures and diagrams too! For anyone who wants a full blown education on the science of game design and development, this is the place to go!
I can’t say enough about this amazing game, the Metanet website, and the kindness of the developers. There is heart in the offices of Metanet Software Inc.! I have no doubt that we’ll be hearing more about Raigan, Mare, and Metanet! You’ll find this quote on their web site: “We’re not professional — that’s our strength.” That pretty much sums it up.
You can check out N at: http://www.harveycartel.org/metanet