No we won't be, My comment was based on us devs adding / changing pictures and images for ingame. Ah, okay, that seems reasonable. I was listening to you guys talking about what sounded like packing levels and sprites together on HCWP, and got confused. Also, just to make a note from our discussion there, we all agreed that using the xLIBC palette makes the most sense in terms of space and speed.
Edit: As nagged, my email exchange with the creators of N about permission for porting, from back in 2008:
I am an independent developer for TI graphing calculators, and I am interested in porting N to said calculators. All of my work is free-as-in-beer and free-as-in-speech, so I would like your permission to include most of the elements on N gameplay in my version. I wish to distribute it freely with source, which I believe is in the spirit of the original N, and was planning to call it M (unless you'd be comfortable with calling it N). I've been playing around with some physics and collisions, and I've managed to get most of the movement physics down except for slopes. I'm not requesting source or algorithms, merely your permission to create a port of N. Thanks in advance. Oh, and if you'd like a screenshot of my progress thus far on the physics:
Christopher Mitchell (Programming alias Kerm Martian)
While we respect your desire to program games (esp. on such a cool platform!), and of course your love of N, I'm sorry to say that we can't officially license a version of N. But the thing is, you really wouldn't want us to. We're perfectionists, and I'm being honest when I say we would need to have input on your project, and we would get really nitpicky and probably cause you a lot of headaches. We are REALLY nitpicky about incarnations of our games
N is all we've got right now, made with love, care, lots of time and lots of Red Bull -- I'm sure you can understand why we'd want to keep our IP as tightly controlled as possible.
The other problem these days comes with the need to protect our IP since we've started making offshoots of N like N+ for XBLA, DS and PSP. We're now legally obligated to take more responsibility than we were 4 years ago when we released N, and although we're really trying not to sound all corporate and stodgy, you propose a tricky situation, and our hands are tied. I'm afraid we might even have to ask you to use other images for the character and title screen because they fall under the umbrella of our IP. You could make a clone called M, as you say, but you'd have to maybe make it feature something else as the main character -- how about a mime? That could be fun.
N came about because of a passion for games, a desire to experiment and a need to play something that didn't yet exist...We're not totally convinced that a clone of N is exactly in keeping with that spirit, though we understand your intentions are good. Could you not re-invent the concept, change the feel of the game, and make it your own? It's obviously great and important to be inspired by other games (heck, N was inspired by plenty), but we would feel more comfortable supporting a situation where we could contribute to the growth of something really cool in its own right. Does that make sense?
Anyway please write back, we would love to discuss this further!
Thanks for the response. I completely understand that you can't officially license a version of N, and I presumed it would need to be at least nominally different from N (ie, named something different). I agree that due to the limitations of the platform and my own commitments (I'm currently a student), it would be better if anything if I worked on something that wasn't an attempt to accurately clone N. I can understand your concern about your IP completely; I've put enough blood, sweat, tears, and hours into my own freeware to see where you're coming from.
I also understand what you're saying about going in a new or unique direction with the game I'm thinking of, so I hope you wouldn't mind if I run an idea or two past you. One of the main problems I was running into while brainstorming M was the size of the screen compared with a PC. I was considering a side-scrolling engine to allow for larger levels, but that doesn't really work too well with the N concept, as you generally need to plan out your approach ahead of time. I was chatting with a few of my peers about the problem and they suggested incorporating elements of the 2D Flash clone of Portal, specifically, being able to aim and fire portals on select surfaces, which might add an interesting element to the gameplay and make the dynamics work much better with the small screen. This might still be too close to the breakthroughs of two existing games. Oh, and I would certainly be willing to go with some kind of non-ninja theme; in fact, I think it would be more fun for me (not to mention users) if I tried to come up with something else.
Thanks for your time, and I look forward to your response.
I love the idea of a blend of N and Portal! That could be phenomenally fun. Obviously once you get the game mechanics down the levels are the really tricky part -- are you planning on making the game more puzzle-oriented or more action-oriented? Changing the dynamic so you don't need to plan out your path ahead of time seems like it could be helpful.
Yeah, it seems like you'll have to be very creative given the substantial limitations of your platform -- but we think limitations often inspire better ideas and better games, so we can't wait to see how you work with them and what you come up with!
Will you keep us posted?
TL;DR: Start with the N idea but add different mechanics. That's why I think some portalling (or time mechanics, or something else?) are a good idea and perhaps even necessary.