Project image
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$21,144
pledged of $75,000pledged of $75,000 goal
57
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, December 23 2016 7:59 AM UTC +00:00
Vagabond GamesBy Vagabond Games
First created
Vagabond GamesBy Vagabond Games
First created
$21,144
pledged of $75,000pledged of $75,000 goal
57
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, December 23 2016 7:59 AM UTC +00:00

About

Click the link below!
Click the link below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nin takes place in modern times very much like our own. It follows the life of a keychain-plushie that’s been forgotten since the 90’s. After taking refuge in a secluded shoebox, our bite-sized hero spends many years in dark solitude. Now, the tiny castaway sets off on a journey to seek the light of the outside world.

The game is a 3D adventure-platformer that simulates the perspective of a miniature protagonist. It incorporates exploration, survival, parkour, and puzzles within a larger than life experience. Think Toy Story meets Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

Explore real life like never before!
Explore real life like never before!

Fans of early cinematic platformers such as Prince of Persia will know what to expect in terms of gameplay, but the twist lies in the fact that Nin is a plush toy. For example, falling from great heights usually means death in these types of games:

Rules of gravity? No problem!
Rules of gravity? No problem!

Thankfully being a plushie has its advantages.  In turn, the damage system reflects this trait by allowing Nin to take a considerable number of hits.

Despite his sandbag quirk, players must pay attention to Nin’s appearance as he is still susceptible to wear and tear:

The world and its harsh realities can be tough even for a plush keychain. Fortunately, players can heighten Nin’s survival rate by gearing up with his makeshift tools:

 

 

Since there is no HUD and inventory menu, Nin is limited to what he can manage as a small toy. If the player decides to take the Med Floss, then space for the Grapple Jack will not be possible.

Though the game may seem a bit grim, Nin is actually a playful homage to the early 90’s. Players will encounter parodies of pop culture references and memorabilia from this era.

Going for all the marbles!
Going for all the marbles!

 

POGS!
POGS!

Lastly, the game will feature full rotation movement with fixed camera views similar to Resident Evil. These design choices are essential for capturing Nin’s larger than life experience and most especially for the VR integration.

 

$5 - Special Thanks - We appreciate your support! Stay up to date with Backer exclusive news and give feedback on the game's progress.

$10 - Early Bird Deal - Get a digital copy of the game along with the instruction booklet in PDF format.

* Available in limited supply! *

$15 - Digital Game + Manual - Get a digital copy of the game along with the instruction booklet in PDF format.

$20 - Backer Exclusive: Motorbike Helmet - Receive a DLC code for the Motorbike Helmet. It comes with an adjustable visor and even glows in the dark! This in-game item will only be offered during the Kickstarter campaign.

* Includes all previous rewards. Available in limited supply! *

$25 - Game Soundtrack - A digital download of the game's music available to listen at your leisure! Contains bonus tracks not featured in the game.

* Includes all previous rewards. *

Listen to what Nin is jamming to below!
Listen to what Nin is jamming to below!

 

 

$30 - Nin's Akimbo: 2 Games & 2 DLC Codes - Snag an extra digital copy and DLC code for the Motorbike Helmet. Makes a thoughtful gift for a friend who missed out!

* Original Soundtrack not included. This reward is excluded from higher tiers. *

$35 - Beta Access + Name in Credits - Gain early access during the Beta stages of development! Your name will also appear in the game's credits.

* Includes all previous rewards. *

 

$45 - First Edition Nin Keychain Set - A keychain figurine made of high quality resin and color. It will be scaled to match the actual in-game size of Nin!

* Includes all previous rewards. *

$65 - Limited Print T-Shirt Set - Made of 100% cotton with an exclusive screen-printed design! Choose your shirt size in a survey after the Kickstarter.

* Includes all previous rewards. *

$115 - Handcrafted Nin Cookie Mug Set -This reward nets you a ceramic cookie dunk mug resembling Nin! Perfect for milk and cookies, or tea and biscuits.

* Includes all previous rewards. *

 

$500 - Design a Hat - Help us design a unique in-game hat for Nin to wear! These hats will be unlocked by accomplishing certain achievements throughout the game.  With that said, this reward is subject to creative oversight for game design purposes.

You will also be credited as "Content Designer".

* Includes all previous rewards. This reward is excluded from higher tiers. *

$750 - Design a Parody - Work with us to design an in-game parody. These assets will be part of the environment Nin explores. It can range from snacks, video games, or a personal memorabilia from your childhood. This reward is subject to creative oversight, so please try to keep the humor rated PG!

You will also be credited as "Game Producer".

* Includes all previous rewards. *

 

 

 

The game, first known as Littlest Ninja, began as a group project for a university class in 2010. The original concept involved a tiny spy, whose objective was to steal the answer sheet for the said class’ final.

In 2012, the game was revived as Project Nin and redesigned to match the whimsical nature of this character:

Project Nin consisted of a 4-man team: a composer, a concept artist, a 3D artist, and a programmer. During the early stages of development, the 3D artist left the project. After some time, we split the game into 3 parts due to budget and time constraints. With the concept artist and programmer sharing the 3D artist role, the first episode was rapidly prototyped into Nin:

After the release of the 2013 teaser trailer, we focused our efforts entirely on development instead of marketing. Since then we made progress towards improving the game whilst carefully considering important features.

Game: Graphics Revamp

The footage in the teaser trailer actually shows an earlier rendering of the game. It originally used deferred lighting with dynamic shadows, but performance steadily declined as the game's content increased. In order to address this issue, we researched about light maps and light probes. From there we utilized Unity's built-in Beast program and achieved the following results:

Original
Original

 

Revamped
Revamped

As you can see we did a HUGE graphics overhaul to the game. Not only did the visuals improve, but the game runs faster as well!

Feature: VR Mode

The game currently supports the Oculus Rift and will eventually feature a dual display. More specifically, the Oculus shows a first-person perspective and the default screen will show fixed camera views.

Fixed camera views provide more direction with gameplay since their positions often hint at where players must go. Although the VR Mode provides an immersive and free perspective, it may leave players overwhelmed with their surroundings. It's designed so that players can remove their headset to size their situation, or heed guidance from spectators.

Feature: Save File Transfer

As mentioned before, Nin was separated into 3 episodes so that development can continue as realistically as possible. Similar to the Mass Effect series, this feature allows players to import their saved data from the first episode to subsequent games.

For example, the hippo lighter is a special item that’s only obtainable in the first game. It serves no real purpose, that is, until you discover the lighter fluid in the second game:

This seemingly cruel design is actually an ode to a hallmark joke that occurs in LucasArts adventure games. Rest assured, normal game progression will not be hindered in any way. In this case, the player would resort to using the nearby matchsticks.

In summary, the results of this feature merely supplement or enhance the experience.

Nin: Episode 2

Here's a look at some concept art for the original story of Nin!

Fun and interesting characters:

 

New and bigger environments:

The Room
The Room

 

ABC Cat's Home
ABC Cat's Home

 

It’s been our lifelong dream to create games, and developing Nin for the past 4 years was both challenging and rewarding. Unfortunately, our personal funds are running out and there is still much work to be done!

With your help, most of the money will go towards finishing up Nin: Episode 1. It will also help improve our game development process which includes:

  • Upgrading our software to the latest and licensed versions. We’re stuck with student editions of Maya 2008!
  • Gearing up with better equipment. Our work computers are aged and falling apart!
  • Affording us more time to develop with proper care. We miss eating real food!

If the second stretch goal is met, then we can continue integrating the VR feature. It also allows us to get the latest VR technology and recruit another developer.

The last stretch goal puts us one step closer to the project’s intended vision. Most importantly, it provides a stable foundation to work from by allowing these privileges:

  • Recruiting a 3D artist early on to speed up asset production and increase quality of work.
  • Development for Nin: Episode 2 can start immediately after the release of Nin: Episode 1.

The rest of the funds will be used to establish and maintain our company, Vagabond Games, as a legal entity. Overall, Kickstarter will be the final public approval for Nin’s development and our lifelong goal to become official game developers!

 

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

Many indie games have been pitched on Kickstarter. By now, experienced backers should treat these projects like investments. Like VC funded investments, the chances of success are small. Maybe only 1 in 100 will succeed, but VC’s invest because they expect big pay offs. Games, however, are not like that. They bring joy to many people, and they don’t bring monetary returns the way VC backed startups do. That’s why Kickstarter exists. It’s to help fund these projects, and with that, the goals of bringing pay off in fun and enjoyment.

Like many indie developers before us, we too left our stable jobs to pursue this goal. Nin may be our first commercial title, but it’s a cause we firmly dedicated to for nearly 4 years. In that time, we worked relentlessly to formalize the concept and established a solid game development process. Now, with an experienced understanding of the project and a carefully estimated budget, we seek Kickstarter’s support. It’s important to note that the success of this Kickstarter is a small step towards a bigger and ambitious goal. Our wish is to minimize risk by delivering this vision as realistically as possible.

With that said, one challenge we had in the past was keeping a consistent flow of updates. It’s been a difficult process since we’re fairly new to marketing and press related affairs. Nevertheless, this time it’s different. If you’re going to trust us with your money, then we need to be clear about what we’re doing with it. In fact, we opened up accounts on Twitter and Tumblr to communicate across all channels. Of course, any issues that arise will immediately be reported to you. We just ask that you bear with us as we get into the rhythm of sharing our progress.

Thanks very much for taking the time to read about our project. If you have any questions, then please check out the FAQ or contact us through email.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Special Thanks

    We appreciate your support! Stay up to date with Backer exclusive news and give feedback on the game's progress.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Early Bird Deal

    Get a digital copy of the game along with the instruction booklet in PDF format.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 20 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Digital Game + Manual

    Get a digital copy of the game along with the instruction booklet in PDF format.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Backer Exclusive: Motorbike Helmet

    Receive a DLC code for the Motorbike Helmet. Only available at this time!

    * Includes all previous rewards. *

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Physical Reward: Nin Keychain Only

    A keychain figurine made of high quality resin and color. It will be scaled to match the actual in-game size of Nin!

    * Excluded from all rewards. *

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Game Soundtrack

    A digital download of the game's music available to listen at your leisure! Contains bonus tracks not featured in the game.

    * Includes all previous rewards. *

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Nin's Akimbo: 2 Games & 2 DLC Codes

    Snag an extra digital copy and DLC code for the Motorbike Helmet. Makes a thoughtful gift for a friend who missed out!

    * Original Soundtrack not included. This reward is excluded from higher tiers. *

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Beta Access + Name in Credits

    Gain early access during the Beta stages of development! Your name will also appear in the game's credits.

    * Includes all previous rewards. *

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    First Edition Nin Keychain Set

    A keychain figurine made of high quality resin and color. It will be scaled to match the actual in-game size of Nin!

    * Includes all previous rewards. *

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Limited Print T-Shirt Set

    Made of 100% cotton with an exclusive screen-printed design! Choose your shirt size in a survey after the Kickstarter.

    * Includes all previous rewards. *

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $115 or more About $115

    Handcrated Nin Cookie Mug Set

    This reward nets you a ceramic cookie dunk mug resembling Nin! Perfect for milk and cookies, or tea and biscuits.

    * Includes all previous rewards. *

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Design a Hat

    Help us design a unique in-game hat for Nin to wear! These hats will be unlocked by accomplishing certain achievements throughout the game.

    You will also be credited as "Content Designer".

    * Includes all previous rewards. This reward is excluded from higher tiers. *

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Design a Parody

    Work with us to design a parody that fits in the game. Please try to keep the humor rated PG!

    You will also be credited as "Game Producer".

    * Includes all previous rewards. *

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (32 days)