Help everyone’s favorite Ninja Doctor with his first foray into a most radical medium: Video Games!
Seriously Click Above to Try It! The Preview is up Now. You Can Play It, but keep in mind, this is early in development. Many changes are still in the works!
You can check out our old project video that includes a more in depth introduction to our team and our studio's goals on YouTube.
Who is Dr. McNinja?
He's a doctor, he's a Ninja, and he's Irish-American. In a word: Awesome.
Dr. McNinja is the brainchild of Chris Hastings, and has been running as a popular webcomic since 2005. Set in the seemingly quiet Cumberland Maryland, Dr. McNinja uses his skills to defeat all manner of villain, from giant lumberjacks to shambling hordes of zombie ninjas. Together with the help of Judy, his Gorilla receptionist, Gordito, his young ward, and occasionally the clone of Benjamin Franklin, Dr. McNinja works to save Cumberland, and the world.
To read more about the Doctor, head to http://drmcninja.com/newreaders.php
Why a McNinja Game?
King Radical, McNinja's long-time foe, has recruited FatCat GameWorks to produce a version of the Doctor's adventures, but in a more radical fashion. Well, not really, King Radical is a fictional character; but that’s our story and we’re sticking with it.
A Mockup for our Forest Environment Levels
What Makes this Game So Special (And Why Should I Care?)
Dr. McNinja’s first video will be a unique (read awesome), platformer with powerups, classic Dr. McNinja villains, including robots with exploding heads! We’ve created a very special kind of retro platformer, one that has incredible explorable levels with hidden nooks and crannies, that also only uses one single button for input. That’s right it’s a one button game. Our game designers have made an evolutionary step on the “one button” genre and made a game that feels and plays like a console platformer while only requiring that single tap, tap, tap. Occasionally a press and hold. It’s that simple. If it helps, don't think of it as a one button platformer, think of it as an exploration rhythm game.
The game will be available on iOS, Android, and PC/Mac, and via the web. We’re using the Unity3D engine to develop it and will be able to port it to other supported platforms, such as current generation Consoles if it becomes popular enough to warrant doing so. For this kickstarter we are planing to release for Web first, followed by iOS and Android, with PC and Mac standalone games if we can get on the likes of Steam.
Also the game will be free! That’s right free. We will be using a micropayment system for content unlocks, but you don’t need to buy anything ever to unlock everything in the game. You earn shamrocks by playing the game, the frozen variety that are useful for killing pirates and for unlocking game content of course, and then you spend shamrocks to unlock new content. You can play the entire game for free, but if you want to support further development or unlock content quicker you can buy packs of shamrocks too.
A Mockup of our Lab Levels Environment
Dr. McNinja or: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Micro-Funding
We need your help on this one because as much as we love making games, we don’t love starving to death or losing our houses. We will be completing this game one way or the other, but with the amount of care we want to put into jamming every last bit of awesomeness in its chocolatey shell, we may take a while. If we get funding we will be able to dedicate all of our time to this thing, and not have to take out second Mortgages or take our laptops outside and code on the project from in a van down by the river to do so.
Plus, and this is key here, the game is going to be so awesome that it won’t even be done when it’s finished. That’s right the game won’t be "done", not until Dr. McNinja is dead or Christopher Hastings is stops writing. We are going to keep releasing new sets of levels, one for each Chapter in the extensive McNinja archive as long as people keep wanting them. What this means for you, the Backer, is that we have stretch goals built into the project. If we exceed our modest funding goals, we can and will release additional chapter packs with the very first release of the game, instead of waiting for enough people to harass us into doing so.
For every 7500$ we get in excess of our modest starting goal of 15000$ we will commit to developing another chapter from the Dr. McNinja archives immediately after release. The chapters will be released sequentially and the initial release will already contain Chapters 1/2 & 1, which means we'll need 10x our initial goal to have the funding to do the whole story right out of the gate. If we somehow make it past that mark, well we'll figure out more awesome stuff. Bonus levels, custom story lines, support for other playable characters in older levels. The possibilities, they are ENDLESS!
A Mockup for our City Environment Levels
What are we still standing about here jibber-jabbering for? I'm sure you want to know what you'll get out of this project, and we certainly don't expect you to just give us money out of the kindness of your hearts, ninja's don't have hearts. (Technically not true, but they would want you to believe that. Don't rely on that secret to try and convince one to not kill you though.)
For lower contributions you will get packs of Shamrocks, the in-game upgrade currency. These will allow you to unlock content without having to play a whole bunch, it's like the packs of shamrocks that we'll be selling only a lot cheaper right now.
At the higher end we have some cool stuff planned, we have a comic book in production, a guest comic that will be featured on drmcninja.com by our Lead Artist. We will be doing a limited print run of these comics and sending them to contributors who give us 50$ or more.
We have some awesome T-Shirts planned, exclusive custom-made miniatures, buttons, and even the opportunity to be featured in the game as an enemy that will get mercilessly killed by thousands of players!
We've also got McNinja soda! Special limited edition bottles that we will only be giving out on Kickstarter and at convention appearances, you'll get one for contributing 18$ or more. Where'd we get the soda? What do you think all of King Radical's Barrel Cannons were originally full of?
Three Kickstarter-exclusive playable characters.
*Update* This just in! We are adding three Radical playable characters that you can unlock with three new reward tiers. These characters are exclusive to Kickstarter, they won't be unlockable in the game normally. If you want to be able to play as these exclusive characters be sure to claim the associated rewards before the Kickstarter is over.
Concept Drawing of the Miniature Reward
McNinja is a cult icon in some circles. Part Doctor, part Ninja, all awesome. We want to be just like him. Without the Doctoring or the Ninja-ing, well maybe some ninja-ing. What we do want is to be awesome. Long story short, we’re a bunch of enthusiastic and experienced game developers who are based in the unfortunately barren game development wasteland of Portland, Oregon. All of the big boys go north to Seattle or south to San Francisco, Portland is stuck in the middle. Where is the love?
Fat Cat Gameworks wants to change all of that. We want to make Portland a place, one with games being made, the kind of place game developers go and say “Yep, we could make games here.” For that to happen stubborn people like us need to stay in Portland and start studios instead of going where expected. So we’re awesome like McNinja, we don’t do what is expected and we’ll be all the more noticeable for it.
Our team is composed of passionate people with varying amounts of experience in diverse fields that are all coming together like some kind of “varied-field-soup” to be really good at making games.
On top of that we hope that we can create an environment for people to make games in Portland, we don’t want to be a studio, more like a guild. A kick-ass game making guild that will accept all comers and help them get their game making dreams to magically transform into game making realities. If we can succeed at making this game as radical as it should be we will be able to create this game developers guild and help grow our local indy community.
We are happy to be able to take part in the Kicking It Forward project. You can read more about it here: Kicking It Forward
The good folks at Kickstarter have expressed concerns that the Kicking It Forward project may be confused with an Official Kickstarter program. We at Fatcat Games want to reiterate that it is not part of Kickstarter, and we do not believe it reflects poorly on any project that chooses not to participate. This is our own choice, we want to support the community of wonderful developers and creatives that use Kickstarter to make the world a better place by bringing cool things into it.
We solemnly pledge 5% of the profits from the finished product back to the Kickstarter community to help fund other people's dreams.
Special Thanks to MC-Jimmy of Newgrounds for his song, "Welcome to Fist", the Soundtrack to our new video.
Overseas countries (such as Australia, England, China, and Zimbabwe) are $20 extra; Canada and Mexico are only $15. This excludes the Sodas, since shipping liquids and foodstuffs internationally is difficult.
Yes and Yes. We have been working closely with the creator of McNinja since we first had the idea of making this a McNinja game. He's fully on board and there should be an update to the McNinja comic website before too long.
Not long at all. Our little team likes to work fast. We have what is currently in the demo after only about a 6 weeks of development. The longest component? Art of course! Matching the fantastic art style of the comics and creating animations takes our artists considerable time.
There most certainly are! The current animations are a compromise between the lead developer and lead artist because the initial animations didn't sync perfectly with the time the actions where taking in-game. Since we where trying to keep moving forward with the game, we decided to put a full rework of the animations on the back burner and instead just trim out frames in order to get them to fit. This left them with a lot less dynamic feel and a lot less heft than originally intended, and we plan to fix that. Also, Judy is going to be getting a whole lot more animations than she currently has, but all we've had time for so far is her 'throw Dr. McNinja' animation.
Once we launch the final version of the game, and probably even in later versions of the beta, as you play the game, you'll be accumulating shamrocks. Every time you complete a level, you'll get to keep the ones you collected on that run through, but you lose them on death. Depending on how quickly you got through the level, your time might end up on a scoreboard on the game's website, but more importantly, will earn you a multiplier if you get through quickly enough.
All these things add up to the way you'll be able to unlock content in the game. You'll spend the shamrocks you earn to unlock plot levels, challenge levels, and powerups for McNinja as you play. Unlocking the plot levels will end up taking less shamrocks per level than you'll earn while playing through the plot normally, leaving you with leftovers to unlock the other goodies. But, if you like the game, and do want to pay us something for it, you'll also get bonus shamrocks that way. You'll always be able to unlock all the content in the game just by playing the game though.
Well, we've already got them in our internal builds ;) But we want to get the game account stuff set up first so people can unlock them. Currently we've got the following powerups planned:
Higher jump: The doc can jump farther if you continue to hold down space.
Double Jump: The doc will do a jump in mid-air to get even harder to reach items.
Shuriken: The doc auto-attacks most mooks, making completing levels in less time easier (but denying you the bonus for a perfectly timed attack)
Katana: The doc gets his signature sword, making him not slow down when dealing with mooks up close, even if he doesn't land his perfect jump-kick (removes the time penalty for attacking too slowly).
Ninja Time: The doc's keen ninja reflexes kick in, giving him a wider window to perfectly execute his jump kicks.
Some of these will have multiple levels to unlock.
Some planned unlocks, but ones that we don't have implemented yet are unlocking additional characters (Judy as playable, the rest of the McNinja clan, Gordito, with and without Yoshi, King Radical himself, Dr. McNinja riding Sparklelord in motorcycle form). Each of these would have their own unique unlocks as well. That is of course if we can get enough funding! The more money we raise, the more of the comic's plot and additional cast we'll be able to produce as in-game content.
All rewards that cost more than 15$ come with 100K shamrocks. This is explicitly mentioned on some rewards and not on others because we were able to add that info to the description of some when we realized that it wasn't very clear, others we couldn't change because they had already been claimed.