3.06 - Ninjas

Idea for February 26, 2008

Theme: Ninjas

includes topics that expand on the theme

  • Stealth
  • Shuriken
  • High-jumping
  • Black
  • Japanese
  • Speed
  • Katana
  • Smoke (bombs, screens)
  • Honor (or lack thereof)
  • Stabbing
  • Water-walking
  • Assassination
  • Multi-talented
  • Lightly armored
  • Poison
  • Wall-climbing\Scrolls
  • Training
  • Rolling
  • Conspiracy
  • Improvisation
  • Back-stabbing
  • Dexterity/agility
  • Mercenary
  • Peasants (like farmers)
  • Spirituality
  • Fear evoking
  • ‘Ninpou’
  • Fictional Rivalries
  • Cyborg-ninja (augmented physical traits)

Genre: Open-ended Action/Adventure game

game genre with possible significant changes or important points

  • Rambo, Ninja Gaiden-style action game
  • Sneaky, Splinter Cell or Tenchu style stealth game
  • Dual identity, Rune Factory style game
  • Open-ended, GTA-ish Ninja game
  • 1 on 1 fighting game with entire cast of Ninjas (like Naturo)


individual gameplay mechanics and mechanics categorized by system

  • Killing:
    • Related parties hate you
    • Law enforcement
    • Create/dispel fear
      • Affects sales, presence, etc.
    • Killing has serious and near-permanent results: player may be forced to flee the area if identified
    • NPCs are unique:
      • Except for faceless soldiers, people (citizens, family members, politicians) do not ‘re-spawn’ or otherwise be replaced. People stay dead, meaning if a small town loses its guards, they won’t be replaced and the town becomes vulnerable to bandits.
  • Missions:
    • Assassination
    • Spying
    • Retrieval
    • V.I.P.
    • Vandalism
    • Reputation/Propaganda
  • Use various killing methods to perform different missions
  • The player begins poorly equipped: the player must steal/pilfer/earn better equipment through the game, rather than just purchasing it (ninja weaponry were not common legal items)
  • Inventory management a key:
    • Moving items around would take actual transportation and management
    • To move large and dangerous items would actually require that you hide them in carts or crops and move them around during the daytime
    • You CAN’T carry everything at once, especially weaponry
    • Deciding to establish a ‘safe-house’ (or deciding not to) will allow you a place to store your inventory
    • Carts (caravans) can be used to transports illegal goods from place to place, or for storage if you don’t have a safe-house
    • Weapons affect speed, stealth, dexterity, noise made, stamina, mobility
  • Disguise/Daytime Activities:
    • To move about during the daytime, you can’t be wearing weaponry or ninja clothes (or, at least, you can’t normally), so you need to do other things to cover your night activities.
    • Pose/work as merchants, blacksmiths, farmer, minstrel.
    • You can also kill and imitate important people to use their persona as cover (like slaying a royal messenger, then steal their clothes and papers)
    • Can disguise as any NPC in the game?
  • Combat/Gameplay/Perspective:
    • 3rd person perspective movement, combat
    • Use a variety of weapons:
      • Swords
      • Bows
      • Throwing items
      • Smoke bombs
      • Chains
      • Staffs
      • Knives
      • Claws
      • Sand
      • etc.
    • Weapon types determine skills; characters cannot carry all weapons
    • Stealth kills are possible, and are separate from other kinds of combat
    • Use of traps:
      • Setup required for traps; variety of traps for poisons, nets, spikes
      • Needed to defend safe-house, success of traps varies with enemies
    • Poisons:
      • Sleep
      • Killing
      • Paralysis
  • Acrobatics:
    • High-speed, exaggerated speed (faster than real life)
    • Running along walls?
    • High-jumping/climbing
    • Blinding people, stuff like that
  • Skill Growth:
    • Actions/missions affect your ability to learn new skills and grow stronger
    • Gameplay is sculpted around your character’s choices, actions and strengths; this way if the player has built their character a certain way, they won’t be punished with a mission where their character’s skills will be useless.
  • Magic/Ninja Spirituality:
    • Tied more to movement and things like walking on water


narrative elements concerning plot, characters, world

  • Story driven by player:
    • Follows general goals given to the player at beginning of fame
  • Factions within game:
    • Aligning with certain ones affect how others treat you
    • Maybe one faction always against you? (like … pirates)
  • Primary Rival
  • Fight super (or just superior) ninjas to claim new equipment?
  • Evil lord taking over?
  • Feudal lord threatening stability of Japan?
  • Your father is an ninja outcast, and you’re forced to learn everything from his elderly self:
    • Your goal is to redeem your father’s ‘supposed’ crime (like a botched mission?)
    • Maybe a feudal lord has a personal vendetta against you for most of the game? Maybe for your father’s botched mission? Maybe who he kills by mistake turns a more dangerous foe on his trail.


includes possible target user group traits

Possible Technology

includes hardware that would best support the game


includes GDDG members who contributed to this idea and were present during the discussion

  • Mediator: Kyle Sakai
  • Chi Hsi
  • Holly Becker
  • Vincent Cua
  • Chris Walters
  • Drew Batcheller
  • Karl Schmidt
  • Kevin Lee
  • Marc DeRosier
  • Mark Lauman
  • Samppa Raski
  • John Zhang
  • Cody Church
  • Michael Liu
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