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The Gamasutra 20: 2008's Breakthrough Developers

August 13, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 15 of 21 Next

Gamasutra 20 'Breakthrough' Honoree:


Studio overview

Metanet was founded in 2001 after the studio's core team of two people met in a programming class at the University of Toronto. The duo is based in Toronto; their first game, 2D platformer N, was released online in 2005.

Key staff

Mare Sheppard is a digital artist and filmmaker who also happens to develop games. In addition to making games, cofounder Raigan Burns is also interested in real-time physics and music.

Resume highlights

The pair's first project, N, was originally developed as an entry for a Flash game competition, but after it failed to make the finals, they posted the game online as a free download.

Word quickly got out, and the pair soon picked up an Audience Choice at the 2005 Independent Game Festival as well as an Audience Sparky at the 2006 Slamdance Guerrilla Games Competition.

An enhanced version of the original, N+, was released on XBLA earlier this year to rave reviews and excellent sales. The Metanet team has also become known for its brutal honesty, being unafraid to openly discuss and critique various issues encountered in both the development and publishing processes.

What's next

DS and PSP versions of N+ will be published this summer by Atari. Metanet is also working on its next new game, Robotology, a 2D physics-based platformer.

Our take

"N+ has been quite a success in the download space, not just in terms of numbers, which have been quite good, but also in terms of experience. The precise gameplay calls to mind an earlier era, but the user-created maps and top-10 superplays are decidedly modern features.

On top of that, I personally appreciate the penchant for its core members, Raigan Burns and Mare Sheppard, to speak their minds.

This is an industry often afraid of expressing itself for fear of repercussions from publishers, distributors, or even other developers. It's encouraging to see someone express a strong opinion in a public setting."
- Brandon Sheffield

Article Start Previous Page 15 of 21 Next

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