One of the games that has really caught our eye recently is Grip Games’ Atomic Ninjas. Seriously this game looks awesome. This week we were lucky enough to talk to Jakub and Jan from Grip Games to get the lowdown on what to expect from Atomic Ninjas:
The brain storming process when creating a game like Atomic Ninjas must
get pretty wild. How does the process start? It must be a daunting feeling
when first starting to build a game?
Jakub: We don’t work with a huge design document with all the ideas already in it,
but we create a very simple prototype that demonstrates that the concept
works and then we iterate through literally hundreds of ideas and features
and a few of them make the cut into the final game. Our initial concept was
that we want to make a simple 2.5D action game. All the other elements of
the game came as a result of this experimenting.
When we started with the development, we really hand no idea where we are
going to end.
Jan: Yes, our process is very organic and the only thing was a sparkle idea
at the beginning – Let´s make little multiplayer action game which we would
like to play by ourselves at home with friends and just to have easy to
pickup time killer. Nothing complicated but very very fun to play.
In Atomic Ninjas the way in which you take out your opponents is not as straight forward as
a karate kick. Was kick and punch something that you wanted to steer away
from in the game?
Jakub: We found out very early that trying to push other opponents into
environmental hazards, instead of relying on the traditional shoot & kill
mechanics, is much more fun, so we decided to build the whole game around
Punch is actually not the only way to do it, you can use more long-range
weapons, like Shuriken, but they all work on the principle of pushing other
players away, hopefully into an acid pool. We knew that we needed to be
different and this mechanics is very fresh, I wouldn’t be afraid to say
Jan: The typical shoot & kill mechanics is very frustrating and I can say
that our innovative 🙂 system keeps you much more longer in the game and it
is just more fun to be insidious 🙂
The crazy moving backgrounds and platform designs look awesome, these must
be big factors when creating a fast and furious game.
Jakub: We wanted the looks of the game to be completely different from anything
else you can see elsewhere and the first contact with the game’s look to
feel almost like a punch in the face. It’s funny that you call the arenas
“crazy”, because all we really did was introduce some lush and bright colors
and instead of having super-detailed textures, we went with just
combinations of light & shadows.
Most of the games today try to be dark, gritty and realistic. We wanted to
go against this trend and have something fresh. The crazy ninjas and music
came afterwards, to give the game a sort of cheeky and humorous charm.
Jan: The look development was very important process for us and as Jakub
said, the colors, light and easy to read structure was the key factors. Also
the look and design of little ninjas wasn’t an easy process. When we started,
there was only a block as main character in the prototype and no idea about
the overall setting of the game. I can reveal that the first concepts were
based around some space aliens and monsters, but during the evolution of
weapons and environment hazards we found that ninjas are exactly what we
need. I am very proud of the final look because it was very challenging to
find the best balance between interesting character design and well-arranged
Do you always use the same team of developers at Grip Games or are changes
made to your team depending on what type of game you create?
Jakub: The core of the team remains the same, but there is always some
fluctuations. Some people decide to look for other opportunities, others
want to quit working on abusive mobile games and want to create real games,
so they join us.
The type of games also makes a lot of difference. There were more 2D artists
involved than you would expect for such a game, we found an expert AI
programmer to make our ninja bots more compelling, etc.
Jan: For people who are more interested in the development, we have prepared
feature and development videos, where we would like to show more from the
design and concept stages of the game during the development
Can you tell us some info about the trophies, and will there be a
Jakub: Hunting trophies will hopefully be a lot of fun! There is one gold, four
silver and seven bronze trophies. Platinums are unfortunately only reserved
for large-scale games.
There are skill-based trophies, like killing a lot of players in a single
match, there are progress-based trophies for unlocking stuff and there are
also a few trophies that we included just for fun. There actually is a
hidden trophy that you’ll get for playing really badly 😉
It should also be noted that the game has its own “Ninja Trials” system
where you have a lot of challenges that you may complete while playing
matches and that will keep you occupied if you already have most of the
Will Atomic Ninjas be cross-buy?
Jakub: Yes, it will. The Vita version will follow about one month after the PS3
version is released, but even if you purchase the PS3 version right after
its release, the Vita version will be there for you to download for free,
after it is available.
At Punk and Lizard we are not huge fans of demo’s being released of games.
What are your thoughts on this?
Jakub: That’s difficult. A really great demo can help your game. A really bad demo
can ruin the sales, even if the game is great. Since the demo only shows a
small part of the game, it may not be the best way to present it.
Atomic Ninjas will have a demo. But we tried a different approach. It’s not
just a 30 minutes long single-player level. I won’t tell how exactly we
approached this, but hopefully, you’ll appreciate it.
Where can we find out more about Atomic Ninjas in the weeks before the
Jakub: The best place is the game’s webpage, www.atomic-ninjas.com, or you can
follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/gripgames) and Facebook
(https://www.facebook.com/gripgames), where we frequently add new content
When can we expect to see Atomic Ninjas and have you any idea on the price
Jakub: The PS3 version will be released at the beginning of September, the Vita
version shortly after that. The price will be under 10 USD/ EUR.
Huge thanks to Jakub and Jan from Grip Games for taking time out to speak to us. Super nice people who are making a killer game. Check them out on Facebook and Twitter and tell ’em Punk and Lizard sent you..