Sneaky Ninja is a 2D stealth platformer — think Mario, but with ninjas! It combines the lighthearted platforming fun of Mario with the strategic stealth action of games like Mark of the Ninja. After successfully getting Greenlit on Steam and funded on Kickstarter, we plan to release Sneaky Ninja for Steam and Wii U in 2016!
It’s been a little while, but as promised I’ve been hard at work these last few months. It’s hard to take time away from work to do a big update, and I also wanna leave SOME surprises for the full game, so I don’t know if I’ll be doing any more of those… But, it’s only fair to give some sneak peeks here and there! I’ll probably be doing more small scale updates like this, once a week hopefully, leading up to launch (launch?! Keep reading for more on that!).
(Turn the volume up and you can hear the music change as you go underwater, like some of my favorite games, Banjo-Kazooie and Super Mario Galaxy!)
So here’s a quick look on Chapter 3: Umi Shoals. As you can see, it features a vast ocean dotted with islands and a new swimming mechanic! Gameplay will have you traversing between land and water frequently, each with their own unique aspects and ways of hiding from enemies. For example, underwater you can swim unseen behind those schools of fish, hide in seaweed or giant clam shells, while avoiding enemy Samurai patrolling in little compact submarines (they can’t swim, after all!).
As promised, here’s a closer look at one of the new chapters we’ve talked about and showed briefly before…
Grain and rice make for very handy hiding places to help you sneak past enemies, and as you can imagine, this stuff is everywhere on a farm. It works similar to tall grass, except it’s VERY tall! No need to duck to take cover, you’ll be automatically hidden just by being behind it — even if you’re in the air!
Pigs, and sheep, and cows, oh my! You’ll find plenty of farmland friends to frolic with, but they’re not just there to look cute. All of the animals can be used as cover by hiding behind them, and they each have their own unique use that you can take advantage of.
Pigs are extra bouncy, letting you reach higher platforms…
… while fluffy sheep can be jumped into like a bush, and there’s even enough room in there to pull in a samurai or two!
And finally, cows can be used as dangerous weapons! Get them mad by jumping on their head a few times or hitting them with a projectile and they’ll start to stampede, taking out any enemies in their path — but be careful, they’ll take you out too!
Barns provide a totally new layer to the gameplay by letting you go inside for a detour! You can jump in through any of the four entrances and jump out through another to sneak past unaware enemies on the outside. Be careful though, because samurai can patrol in barns too! You’ll see an icon from the outside to warn you where they are, though, so you don’t have to worry about jumping in blind.
And that’s Bento Plains! I’ll be back next week with an update on the snow level, Shiro Mountain. See you then!
It’s been long overdue, but the beta is finally out for backers. All qualifying backers have already been sent keys via email about a week and a half ago (bit slow on the announcement on my part!). If you never saw the email and can’t find it, let me know and I’ll resend it for you.
Awesome news! We were lucky enough to be selected by the Indie MEGABOOTH to showcase Sneaky Ninja for all to see at GDC (Game Developer’s Conference) in San Francisco, CA. We’ll be spending the week from March 14th-18th with a lovely bunch of other indies, showing Sneaky Ninja to a whole new set of eyes which perhaps haven’t seen it yet — the eyes of the press, of course!
Just a little bit late, but Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to the Year of the Ninja!
We’ve been too busy to say much over the holidays — we started 2016 with a bang at the Young Innovator’s Fair in Pennsylvania on January 2nd and 3rd, where hundreds of kids played Sneaky Ninja for the first time.
This was easily the most amount of feedback we’ve ever gotten from younger players, since most events we go to are filled with more experienced gamers. One thing we’ve tried to focus on is accommodating players of all skill ranges with our different difficulty modes (Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard), so we relished the opportunity to get all this valuable data about Easy mode and how it could be improved to be better suited towards its intended audience. Designing difficulties can be very, well, difficult — as very experienced gamers ourselves, we realized that we simply made it too hard for most kids!
Today we have a small update for you about a few of the gameplay changes we’ve been making to Sneaky Ninja based on feedback from our alpha players and people from local events and conventions. Some of these have had a pretty big impact on the way people play, which goes to show the power feedback can have on a game’s development! For those of you who’ve played the alpha but never gave us any feedback, take note: these are the kinds of improvements that can happen when you tell us what you don’t like!
(Also, all of these changes went live in an update yesterday, so alpha players should already have all of this in their game!)
First up is a new way of lighting the scene. Before, light from torches would illuminate the environment, but it was a little hard to tell before because you’d have to look at the ground and the way it was being lit up, which no one would take the time to do, and we can’t blame them for not doing it — who would? So here’s what it looks like now:
Now, you can see a very visible boundary between light and shadow, which we’ve noticed has a significant effect on players: nobody wants to walk into the light anymore! That’s actually a very good thing to us. One of the difficult things about designing a stealth game is to convince people to play stealthily instead of just running through it like an action game. Before, people would eventually realize that running through doesn’t work, but only after dying ten times in a row and us telling them to try something else. Now, they naturally feel safer in shadows and less safe in the light, leading them to more quickly play the proper way.
Hope you’re enjoying the spookiest time of the year! Our ninjas sure are, dressing up and carving some pumpkins with their big ghostie friend. He couldn’t help though — he has an unfortunate condition where he exists outside our physical realm. Poor guy.
In the spirit of Halloween, here’s a peak at a spooky new level in Sneaky Ninja… Stranded on a haunted island, you have to use your lantern to ward off ghosts who’d like to make your visit a little more… permanent.
Poor Taro… He can’t keep his hands from shaking!
This is one of the more unique levels in the game! For once, no amount of sneaking can help you — you’re the one being hunted, and they always know where you are. Your lantern is your only defense against these ghouls. Hopefully you escape before you run out of oil… *insert maniacal laughter*
Sorry again that it’s been a while, but it’s tough to show works-in-progress before we feel they’re ready. This time though we have a brand new environment type to show! In the future, we plan to use the secret development board on our forums much more to give sneak peaks to this stuff instead of dumping it on you all at once, so if you want to see what we’re doing before everyone else does, be sure to subscribe to the forum to get notifications on those! (If you qualified for the secret forum access from the Kickstarter and you never used it, send us an email and we’ll hook you up!)