About this project
Even though the Kickstarter's over, you can still donate!
Go here to donate to Sneaky Ninja's development through Paypal!
"Sneaky Ninja is the sort of stealth platformer Nintendo might make"
Sneaky Ninja is a 2D stealth platformer – think Mario with more ninjas, and Mark of the Ninja with more jumping – being made for PC/Mac/Linux and Wii U!
Just like Mario, you can jump on your enemies heads to defeat them – but you're also equipped with an arsenal of tools and magic powers to help you fight from the shadows or stay hidden in them!
We're proud to say that Sneaky Ninja has already been Greenlit on Steam thanks to your support, so a Steam release is definitely in our future! And we're equally proud to say that Starfall Studios has already been approved by Nintendo as an official Wii U developer!
We grew up playing Mario, bouncing happily from platform to platform, and eventually became entranced with the darkness and deliberate strategy of stealth games like Thief, Dishonored, and Mark of the Ninja. We were left scratching our heads thinking, hey, where's the middleground?
Sneaky Ninja takes the strategy of your usual stealth game and infuses it with the lighthearted whimsy and platforming goodness of a good ol' Mario game. You still get to outsmart your enemies and take them down from the shadows, but you also don't have to be all gritty and covered in blood while doing it!
As one of the four playable characters, you'll be able to utilize a variety of moves like a mid-air double jump, sliding down walls, walljumping, grabbing into ledges, and more. Then you've got your weapons – shurikens, arrows, bombs, sleeping darts, smokebombs, and many more, each with their own unique use, allowing you to bring along the equipment that best suits your playstyle.
And on top of that, you've got your magic powers. These are very powerful abilities that require stealth energy to use, which is gained by performing stealthy actions and lost by being a bumbling ninja school dropout. With enough energy, you can extinguish torches from afar, teleport, and even slow down time to a screeching halt!
But wait, those ninjas don't all play the same, do they? Of course not! To expand your options and allow you to even further customize your setup for your playstyle, each character has their own unique ability geared towards a certain playstyle. More on that soon...
Most of the rewards are self-explanatory (Get the game! Get the soundtrack!) but we wanted to call attention to some ofthe cooler rewards, such as:
Beta and Alpha Access! ($30 and $55)
Community Design Streams: Design an Enemy, Stealth Power, or Boss Fight as a Community! ($60, $75, and $125)
Turn Yourself into an NPC or a Playable Ninja! ($40 and $65)
(And yes, you'll be in every copy of the game in the whole world, not just your own!)
A sneak peek of World 2, the Plains!
Everything you see here amounts to just the very first world of the game, and only part of it to boot! We're aiming to include six full worlds in the final game, each with several different environments within them that have their own unique mechanics, level design, graphics, and music.
We also have big plans for our arsenal -- currently there are 10 weapons and 3 magic stealth powers (and then the 4 unique character abilities!). We plan on having many more for the final game, so no matter what your playstyle is, you'll have the perfect setup awaiting you!
And then there's the stretch goals... We have a ton of extra features we'd like to cram into the game, and we'll do our best even if we don't hit those goals. More info on those soon!
So is there a story? You bet there is! Despite being big Mario fans, we always felt ourselves wanting a little more out of the stories in Mario games. Paper Mario holds a very special place in our hearts for that very reason, and it's a big influence on the atmosphere and tone we're shooting for: lighthearted, fun, and wacky, but when it's time to get down to business, things can get serious. We can also name Avatar: The Last Airbender as another big influence!
We're holding the story details a little close to the vest for now, but it starts with something a little like this...
The Samurai clan has waged war upon the ninja clan for a hundred years, driving them deep into an ancient forest where they are protected by the magic of the spirits. But after decades of peaceful living, the spirits' magic mysteriously begins to fade, and the Samurai begin to invade once more, making their way deeper into the forest... Outnumbered and overpowered, our heroes Taro, Kaida, Shoji, and Miyu set out on a dangerous and sneaky quest to the spirit temple at the forest's heart to find out what's happened before the last of the ninja have fallen.
Heavy stuff, huh? Don't worry, it's more fun than it sounds! The story will take our ninja far beyond the reaches of the forest into several different environments. The forest is simply the first – and with your help, we can make the rest of their epic journey!
Our very talented composer Marc A. Stasio has created quite the atmospheric soundtrack for Sneaky Ninja, so we're sharing a few songs for your ears to feast on!
(Some people say Kickstarter's music buttons don't show up for them, so here's the link to Sneaky Ninja's SoundCloud page where you can listen to all the songs including new ones added in updates!)
First up is the forest music you hear in the trailer, followed by the version with an extra layer of intense drums that play when you've been spotted by enemies:
Next up we have the music for the hub level – yes, we know the hub level is actually a stretch goal, but we couldn't help but whip up some tunes for it anyway! The hub will be a peaceful village where the ninja live with several shops to spend your hard earned coins in, as the village fills up with NPCs that you meet throughout the game to grow more and more lively. First up is the soft version, which will play when you first begin the game:
Next is the medium version of the hub, after playing through a bit of the game and populating the hub with more characters:
And finally the full version of the hub further into the game, once the hub is bustling with activity and life!
Here's the music for a temple level towards the end of the first world. It conveys the ancient mysterious atmosphere of the temple, filled with dusty relics and dangerous traps to keep the unworthy from trespassing:
And finally, this is the music for a fortress level in the later half of the game. The fortress is an imposing mountain stretching up into the sky, swarming with watchful guards and treacherous cliffs between you and the top:
We have big plans to make a fully featured level editor that players can use to create and share your own levels. The level editor is already in good shape -- everything you see in the trailer (almost) was made using the level editor, so if all goes as planned then your work will be able to rival and maybe even beat our own! It still needs a lot of work before it's ready for players to use, however, and even more work for a community sharing system to be put in place. That's why we made it a stretch goal, and it's one we're particularly keen on hitting!
More money can make more awesome! With your support, every goal we cross allows us to sprinkle just a little bit more love and pixie dust over the game. Check out our updates to get more details on each of these!
These are some of the lovely beautiful websites that have written about Sneaky Ninja -- and with any luck, many more to come!
- Nintendo Life: Sneaky Ninja Infiltrates Kickstarter
- Destructoid: Sneaky Ninja does stealth without any messy throat slashing
- 4 color rebellion (interview): Kickin' It with Starfall Studios – Sneaky Ninja
- TwoDashStash: Sneaky Ninja: Mario Meets Ninjitsu
- TwoDashStash: (interview) Indie Stash Cast – Michael Sullivan Talks About Sneaky Ninja
- PCGamesN: Sneaky Ninja is the sort of stealth platformer Nintendo might make
- Nintendo Enthusiast: Kickstarter – Sneaky Ninja Update Reveals Exclusive Asymetrical Wii U Features
- Nintendo News: Sneaky Ninja Kickstarter Creeps Closer To Wii U
- Nintendo Fever: Kickstarter Spotlight: Sneaky Ninja (Wii U)
- ggsgamer: Kickstarter call for Sneaky Ninja
- Wii U Daily: Sneaky Ninja Kickstarter update details Wii U version
- Cliqist: Adorably Murderous Ninjas in Sneaky Ninja
- Nintendo Scene: Tales from Kickstarter - Sneaky Ninja
- Indie Games: Trailer Roundup for February 16th, 2015
- Indie Game News: Sneaky, like a Ninja!
For the most part, our main costs are the software/hardware necessary for continuing development of the game as well as for releasing on the Wii U. These tools will help us build a much better game than we'd be able to otherwise!
What? What do you mean games don't make themselves?! These guys might have had something to do with it, then... maybe. We're just a bunch of college students and graduates trying to make our dreams come true, but we need your help to make it happen!
[subliminal coffee advertising]
Help Us Spread the Word!
And While You're At It...
Risks and challenges
* Sneaky Ninja is our first full-fledged game, so we're still learning as we go. We're confident in our abilities but unfortunately less confident in our psychic abilities, so we can't say for sure what problems we might run into down the road. We're very sure we'll be able to finish the game – the big question is how long it's going to take us!
* Not only is this our first game, it's our first time working with consoles too! Since we're using Unity, building to different consoles is a very simple process, but you never know what compatibility issues there might be until you actually try it. It's a bigger worry if we target PS4 and Xbox One, too – more systems means more places things can go wrong!
* Our budget is purely business expenses and no personal expenses – we would have to ask for waaay more if we wanted to cover salaries for ourselves as well. So some of us needing to work part-time jobs and having less time to devote to the game is a possibility.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We're shooting for fall 2015, but honest answer? Who knows! This is our very first game and we can only guess how long the process will take, especially when it comes to releasing on the Wii U, which requires approval processes from Nintendo. Ideally we'd like both versions to be out at the same time, but it's possible the Wii U version might have to come slightly later to accomodate those processes. In the end, our goal is to make the best game we can, and if that takes more time then it takes more time. To quote the mighty Miyamoto, "a delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever." Smart guy!
Now this is where things get interesting! If you select any of these reward tiers ($60, $75, $125, $200, or $1,000), you gain access to very special and very limited private streams, where you the community get to brainstorm with us to develop a new feature for the game! The different tiers are enemy design, stealth power design, and boss design, and they get more and more limited as they go up. Because they get way cooler too!
The way the streams will work is that each stream will meet three separate times, probably once per week whenever we agree to do this -- we'll do our best to pick times the majority of people are available. The first meeting will be for brainstorming and selecting an idea to work on; the second meeting we'll return with our progress on the idea and get feedback on what you guys think of it; and the third meeting we'll bring a near-final version of the idea based on your feedback (the boss design might take longer, depending on just how awesome of an idea it is!). During the streams, we'll make sure each and every single person has the chance for their ideas to be heard, and we'll even collect ideas by email in advance if you want to submit any. That way, everyone can participate no matter what!
In addition, you'll gain access to specialized private boards on our forums over here for the enemy stream, the stealth power stream, or the boss stream, for continuous brainstorming and feedback even when the streams aren't going on. We'll also post updates there to make sure we're heading in the right direction with your ideas. The idea of working closely with the community is very exciting for us and we hope it excites you too!
WOW! If you spend that much, you might as well buy out our company! Pledging this much will grant you basically the amount of power the community gets during the community streams – except you wield it all by yourself! Don't let the power go to your head! We'll work with you to develop any idea you have for the game in any category (enemy, item, power, boss, NPC, whatever!)... as long as it's within reason, of course. As much as we personally feel a giant steampunk T-Rex would improve the game, we gotta draw the line somewhere.
Unfortunately, producing physical rewards costs money, so we'd need to ask for even more to offset the cost. And we'd also need to devote a ton of time to shipping them, which is time that could go to making a better game instead. As cool as goodies could be, we think it's worth putting our time and money elsewhere. Hopefully you think so too!
(This goes for Wii U only, since Steam lets us release worldwide no problem!)
We'd certainly love to! The real question is money, since it can cost a lot to get a game rated for release. Australia recently introduced a program where digital games can get rated for free -- which is awesome! Go Australia! That means our Aussie fans have a pretty sure release.
Europe/Germany (which has its own rating separate from Europe), we'll definitely try for a release, but it will have to be later than the main release because we'll need money from sales to fund it, unless the Kickstarter overfunds enough to cover that.
In Japan, on the other hand, Nintendo requires a local office which we simply don't have! The other option is working through a publisher, but that's just a bit over our heads right now, so at least for now we're gonna have to pass on that.
Support this project
- (30 days)