The vibrant, geometric look of N++ was inspired by print-based graphic design, Metanet co-founder Mare Sheppard announced via the PlayStation Blog.
In N++, a sequel to action platformer N+, players navigate a minuscule ninja through a 2D world. Speaking about the game's graphics on PlayStation 4, Sheppard explained that Metanet wanted something that looked and felt different from other games. To do so, the developer teamed up with graphic designer MASA. Metanet wanted to keep the graphics reminiscent of N and N+, but "taken to a new level."
"An important part of making a game feel right is visual effects, to make in-game events have more impact and to really 'sell' the simulated world," Sheppard wrote. "We wanted the effects in N++ to look a bit different than the usual 'bunch of alpha-blended particles;' they had to work with our print-inspired style."
The result was a mix of wave and particle elements to create both zig-zagging, geometric effects and dissipating occurrences like explosions or dust.
N++ also features more color than its neutral predecessors. According to the developer, the goal was to organize the game's graphics in a way that creates "a visual language that players can learn how to 'read.'"
N++ was announced for PlayStation 4 last August; the game is expected to launch this year. For more on the creators behind N++ and their process for the final game in the series, check out our interview.