This is an interview with the team responsible for the Ninja Loves Pirate game. An interview with people who still create games the way the gods of gaming intended. People who also got NLP a nice official site.
1. Ninja Loves Pirate is both original and old-fashioned. How did you come up with the idea for this game?
Patrik Liljecrantz: The idea of ninja loves pirate is a sort of spinn-off of things Emanuel Garnheim and I have been discussing during our years studying together. What actually made us put a game together was the Four elements competition at Gamedev.net. It had rules requiring ninjas, pirates and zombies, so that gave us the right push. We won the contest btw 😉
2. Are you sure a Pirate can actually (and deeply) love a Ninja?
Patrik Liljecrantz: Yes, they actually can! The bonds of love grow deeper than any ancient disputes.
3. What’s more dangerous? A zombie or a robot?
Patrik Liljecrantz: In a one on one situation I would say the robot (Without underestimating the zombie). Zombies work in packs, that’s what makes them dangerous. And the fact that they always seem to be in the right place at the right time. Even though you hide on the roofs, the legless zombies are always waiting for you.
4. Ok. Enough with being weird. NLP has excellent pixel-artsy graphics and a distinctly retro look. What was your inspiration? Why did you choose such a (beautiful) style?
Emanuel Garnheim: Our inspiration was from NES and SNES-games such as Contraand (Super) Metroid, as well as games such as the holy grail of pixel-art, Metal Slug. All these games have beautiful pixel graphics, which suggest more than the pixels that are there and leave some of the art open to interpretation and imagination, a trait that in my opinion lifts pixel-art above modern 3d graphics. This was the main reason, aside from pure nostalgia, that we chose this style for Ninja Loves Pirate
5. Perfect music too. Care to tell us a bit more about it?
Magnus Alm: We work with a really talented musician called Antonio Tublén who also works as a director in Denmark. You should really check out www.tublenco.com if you want to hear more of his stuff.
6. How did you manage to fine-tune the gameplay?
Jimmy Öman: I wasn’t involved in the demo design, as I am part of the development of the full version taken up by Muskedunder Interactive. As far as game play tuning for the demo though, I think it’s safe to say there wasn’t much tuning. The demo was made under a lot of time pressure and I think the main goal was to make it playable but not excellent. My work with the full development will make sure the ninja and the pirate are a lot more interesting to play, especially in co-op. I’ve emphazied their unique features to make them asymmetrical, both in fighting and in other abilities. The enemies and the fights in general will be a lot more fun, with smarter and tougher enemies, f.e. trying to flee when hurt and cannibalize to regain hit points. We will also change the intensity of encounters to follow a dramaturgical curve, thus varying the encounters and the game play. There will also be event fights, where the camera will stop to anticipate an incoming fight. You have to beat whatever goals we set for the player before continuing, giving the events a mini-boss feeling.
7. What do you consider your greatest success in NLP?
Jimmy Öman: For the concept as a whole, I think that would be the achievement to make something great from the seemingly chaotic mix of ninjas, pirates, zombies and robots. It could as well have crashed and burned, but instead it’s a success so far, thanks to careful work and talent.
8. When should we expect the full game release? Any ideas for Deluxe, boxed, Xboxed etc versions?
Magnus Alm: The release date of the full game isn’t decided yet, since we are currently discussing with publishers. Also I should mention that the platform of the game isn’t final just yet. As soon as anything is decided and signed, we’ll announce it.
9. Care to reveal some of the team’s future plans?
Magnus Alm: We are working on two other titles right now, they will be showcased to publishers further on this year. They differ a lot from Ninja Loves Pirate and belong to different game genres. But they remain funny, cute and will be sure to get a smile on your face, just like Ninja Loves Pirate. So, we do have other stuff going right now, but we aren’t ready to announce anything just yet.
10. Thanks a lot and good luck. (not a question really… more of a wish)