Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Kingdom for Keflings DLC Preview

Take a look at the new DLC for a Kingdom for Keflilngs. This video has a sneak peak at a feature from an upcoming game we haven't announced yet.

As for the price of the DLC, each of the two Kingdom Packs will cost 160 Microsoft Points.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

More Kingdoms for your Keflings

NinjaBee announces first DLC for A Kingdom for Keflings

OREM, Utah – Worsening conditions due to overpopulation in Kefling Kingdoms has prompted drastic action by independent video games developer NinjaBee, announcing today it would act quickly and decisively to resolve the problem by providing four new kingdoms as downloadable content for its popular Xbox LIVE® Arcade title, A Kingdom for Keflings.

NinjaBee has also set a date, promising the new Kingdoms would be available for Keflings and avatars alike on Dec. 9, 2009.

“To be honest, it’s about time!” said one giant avatar who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s gotten to the point where you can’t even turn around without kicking one of those little guys. It’s getting out of hand, I mean, they’re like rabbits!”

The new DLC is the first to be released for the avatar-based XBLA title and will be released separately as Kingdom Pack 1 and Kingdom Pack 2, each containing two new playable kingdoms.

Kingdom Pack 1

This Kingdom Pack brings a fresh perspective to the original game with brand new Kingdom layouts. The Orchard Kingdom puts some new and interesting twists on the Classic Kingdom, and Kingdom Crossroads gives a new pace to your game. Luckily, the Keflings are still just as nice in both Kingdoms.

Kingdom Pack 2

The new layouts in this Kingdom Pack are not for the faint Giant at heart. The mysterious Relic Kingdom will force you to explore every inch of the map to find your way around, and the challenging Central Kingdom is definitely meant for the more advanced player. Previous Kefling management experience is a plus.

Take a look at just a few images taken from the new Kingdoms.

A recent update to A Kingdom for Keflings made the new DLC possible adding a new menu where players choose the map they wish to play. The update also made Keflings stronger, allowing transporters to carry three resources instead of one, and protected online games from griefers, making hosts and their friends the only players who can destroy buildings.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vote for 'Sposion Man!

We've got a quick plug for some of our good friends and fellow indie developers, Twisted Pixel:

Have you played 'Splosion Man yet on Xbox LIVE Arcade? If you haven't you should check it out, we highly recommend it. It's a really cool, fun game and it's been selected in the 2009 Spike TV Video Game Awards as a nominee for Best Indie Game.

This year the winners will largely be decided from the public vote, so if you're a 'Splosion Man fan you should go show your support for 'Splosion Man and Twisted Pixel by giving it your vote on Spike TV's Web site. You can vote now by clicking here!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Kingdom for Keflings coming to PC

Beta testers wanted

Orem, Utah – Nov. 13, 2009 – NinjaBee, a division of Wahoo Studios and a leading independent video games developer, has announced its award-winning Xbox LIVE® Arcade title, A Kingdom for Keflings, is coming to PC.

“Bringing A Kingdom for Keflings to the PC audience has been a priority for us.” said Brent Fox, NinjaBee’s Art Director. “It’s been a runaway hit on XLA and we are offering the same, high-quality game on the PC. We are proud and we’re excited to finally make it available to so many of those who haven’t been able to play before.”

The popular, innovative city-building game originally arrived on Xbox LIVE Arcade on Nov. 19, 2008 and a year later remains among the downloadable service’s most downloaded titles. Featuring a light-hearted, play-at-your-own-pace style of gameplay with beautiful visuals and catchy, frolicsome music, A Kingdom for Keflings offers players a relaxing, fun experience that is unexpectedly addictive. A Kingdom for Keflings was voted the 2008 Xbox LIVE Arcade Award-winner for Best Family Game.

No official release date has been announced, but NinjaBee is beginning beta testing and is accepting applications for beta testers. Interested persons should visit NinjaBee’s forums (http://ninjabee.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=17969) for details on how to apply. Testers will receive a free copy of the game in exchange for their feedback.

For more information about A Kingdom For Keflings visit http://ninjabee.com/akfk/index.html.

About NinjaBee

NinjaBee, located in Orem, Utah, began developing games in 2004. With every game they make, NinjaBee’s goal is to create a unique, top-quality, fun experience for people of all ages. Their popular titles include Outpost Kaloki X, Cloning Clyde, Band of Bugs, Boingz, Doritos Dash of Destruction and A Kingdom for Keflings.

For more information, please contact the numbers above or visit http://www.NinjaBee.com.

Wahoo Studios and NinjaBee are registered trademarks of Wahoo Studios, Inc. All other company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright © 2009 Wahoo Studios, Inc., All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ghost in the Shell Premium Theme

As of this morning you can now get the Ghost in the Shell Premium Theme for your Xbox 360 Dashboard. And since you can't look at it before you buy it, we want to give you a little taste of what it looks like.

Keep in mind, the images here aren't finished screenshots. What you see here are our production screenshots that have placeholder boxes instead of real content. But this will give you an idea of what it looks like before you go out there and spend 240 big ones (Microsoft Points) on it.

-You can find the GITS Premium Theme under "Anime Presented by Xbox360" under the "Themes and Gamer Pictures" section on your dashboard

-Priced at 240 MS Points

-This is not actually a NinjaBee product. It belongs to Starz Media. They hired us (our Wahoo Studios division that does contract work for other publishers) to make it for them.
Main Dashboard

Friends Channel

Games Channel

Media Channel

System Page

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NinjaBee Releases Kaloki War, Completes Conversion of Full Xbox 360 Game to iPhone

Kaloki War Released for iPhone and iPod touch
OREM, Utah – Oct. 19, 2009 – Utah-based video game developer NinjaBee is proud to announce the release of Kaloki War, the third and final chapter of the Kaloki series for iPhone™ and iPod® touch. The release completes NinjaBee’s first conversion of a full Xbox 360 game to the iPhone. The game is available on the iTunes App Store (http://linktoapp.com/kaloki+war) for US $1.99.

“This isn’t the first Xbox game to be adapted to the iPhone,” said NinjaBee’s art director and co-owner Brent Fox. “But what makes these games special are that they’re not a ‘dumbed down’ version of the original. You get the full content from the Xbox 360 version and you can take it with you wherever you go.”

Kaloki War contains the complete combat scenario from Outpost Kaloki X, one of the original launch titles for the Xbox 360’s downloadable service, Xbox LIVE® Arcade. Aside from adding the new combat/defense element to the space station tycoon-game series, Kaloki War adds additional content including ten new levels and four bonus scenarios. From start to finish NinjaBee’s three iPhone games contain around 25 hours of cumulative gameplay. Each game is also equipped with an auto-save feature that makes picking it up and playing easy for short, on-the-go-type situations or for longer periods of time.

“The games utilize the iPhone’s touch functionality extremely well,” said Kevin Heap, the lead programmer for the Kaloki games. “It makes them really fun to play. It feels like the game was originally designed for the iPhone.”

Kaloki War is the perfect challenge for aspiring space station tycoons. Players must strategize to build up profitable and efficient space stations while trying to defend them from hostile marauders. The game offers new buildable expansions previously unavailable in the other two Kaloki games that will help them strengthen their stations' defenses to survive in an intense race against time. Players who fail to build up their station in time face total destruction from an onslaught of relentless attackers.

The three iPhone games make up the three storylines from the Xbox version of the game. The newly released Kaloki War contains the game’s war story, adding combat and a heightened level of intensity. Kaloki Adventure, the largest of the three games, contains the adventure plot where players must hone their space station management skills and work their way through the story’s 16 comedic levels. In Kaloki Love iPhone users can play the game’s love story, where they seek to balance building up their space station and a quest to find true love.

Kaloki Adventure, and Kaloki Love are also available on the iTunes App Store for US $1.99, and $0.99 respectively.
For more information about Kaloki War please visit http://ninjabee.com/ikalokiwar/.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Kingdom for Keflings gets title update

Keflings get stronger, kingdom gets safer

Have you ever played A Kingdom for Keflings on Xbox Live and some griefer comes into your game and starts smashing up all the buildings your kingdom? Don’t you just HATE that? So do we. So we fixed it.

In case you didn’t notice the last time you played A Kingdom for Keflings, NinjaBee has updated the game. Many of the update’s new features will likely go unnoticed but two new features should make most gamers smile.

First, random players can no longer come into multiplayer games played on Xbox Live and break your buildings. Only gamers who you have accepted as friends on Live will have the ability to break buildings in games you host.

Second, all of your Keflings just got a big helping of electronic spinach. (Well, not a BIG helping.) From now on transporter Keflings can now carry three resources instead of just one. Hooray!

Other fixes include various performance issues and other minor bugs. Plus, the new update enables the game to support new, future DLC….

Thursday, September 24, 2009

NinjaBee gives away 3 weeks of free Love!

iPhone Apps go on sale

Whoa there, don’t get too excited - it’s not THAT kind of free love. We’re getting ready to launch the third and final game in the Kaloki series for iPhone and iPod touch, Kaloki War! So, to prepare for the new game (coming in the VERY near future) NinjaBee is placing our first two iPhone/iPod touch games, Kaloki Adventure and Kaloki Love, on sale for three weeks on the iTunes App Store!

For a short time you can now get Kaloki Adventure for just $1.99 and Kaloki Love for FREE!

Aren’t free games awesome? Especially really cool ones that are iPhone versions of award-winning XBLA games that you can take with you anywhere and provide you with hours and hours of challenging, entertaining, portable electronic bliss?

No need to thank us, and no applause, please. (Just throw money.)

Note: Kaloki Adventure has a tutorial but Kaloki Love does not. If you would like one you can download the lite version of Kaloki Adventure (Kaloki Free) for free.

Friday, August 28, 2009

NinjaBee Reveals Title to Cloning Clyde’s ‘Spiritual Successor’

Ancients of Ooga coming to Xbox Live Arcade

OREM, Utah Aug. 31, 2009 – NinjaBee and J. Kenworthy Entertainment, the creative team that envisioned and developed Cloning Clyde for Xbox LIVE Arcade, revealed today the title of their next XBLA game - Ancients of Ooga. Along with this announcement the developers also unveiled the first piece of concept art from the upcoming title.

“Ever since we released Cloning Clyde we’ve been bombarded with requests for a sequel,” said John Nielson, founder of J. Kenworthy Entertainment. “Although Ancients of Ooga is not a sequel to Cloning Clyde, it is what we like to call a spiritual successor because of how heavy an influence Cloning Clyde had on its creation. Just like Cloning Clyde, Ancients of Ooga is going to bring originality, humor, its own unique artistic style, and extremely creative gameplay to Xbox Live Arcade.”

Cloning Clyde was originally released in July of 2006. No release date has yet been announced for Ancients of Ooga.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Indie Studios NinjaBee and Grubby Games Team Up on WiiWare Title

PAX 10 Winner The Amazing Brain Train coming to WiiWare

OREM, Utah – Aug. 25, 2009 – Indie video game developer NinjaBee is proud to announce it has partnered with fellow indie developer Grubby Games to bring the 2008 PAX 10 Award-winning game - The Amazing Brain Train - to Nintendo WiiWare™, the Wii system’s downloadable service, this fall.

The Amazing Brain Train is a great example of some things that make indie games great – it’s highly creative, visually distinctive, and fundamentally fun to play,” said NinjaBee President and co-founder Steve Taylor.

More than a year of work has been put into fine-tuning The Amazing Brain Train and adapting it for the Wii. The result is a fun, ultra-challenging and addictive brain training game that is unlike any other in the WiiWare library.

“This is no ordinary brain game,” said Ryan Clark, co-founder of Grubby Games. “The Amazing Brain Train contains features never before seen in the genre. It’s a departure from the minimalist brain games we’ve seen in the past. You can forget about goal-less gameplay: The Amazing Brain Train is packed with quests, trophies and high scores that add an aspect of gameplay that other brain games just don’t have.”

Hosted by the diminutive genius Professor Fizzwizzle, the game takes the player on a brain-boosting adventure around the Professor’s cartoon world, stopping to solve challenges and help his friends along the way. Fueled only by mental energy, The Amazing Brain Train guides the player through 15 different mini-games in three addictive game play modes—quest, test and practice.

The ability to save personal, friends’ and family members’ high scores on the same console allows the player to come back time and again to challenge best scores and prove just how smart he or she is.

“Ryan showed me a copy of the game before it came out and after seeing it just once we said ‘This would be perfect for Wii,’” Taylor said. “That’s how this whole project got started. One of the cool things about working with small studios is having the flexibility to do something like this without a big negotiation or interference from a big publisher.”

The Amazing Brain Train was originally released for PC, Mac and Linux in May of 2008 and in July of that year, the game was selected out of hundreds of entries as one of 10 games to be featured at the Penny Arcade Expo.

About NinjaBee

Wahoo Studios, located in Orem, Utah, has been working with publishers to develop games since 2001. They have worked with such clients as Microsoft, Disney, EA, Real Networks and many others. Wahoo’s talented programmers, artists and designers produce creative games that effectively blend innovation, humor and fun game play. In 2004, Wahoo Studios established NinjaBee as an independent brand name. NinjaBee’s popular titles include Outpost Kaloki X, Cloning Clyde, Band of Bugs, Boingz, Doritos Dash of Destruction and A Kingdom for Keflings.

For more information, please contact the numbers above or visit http://www.NinjaBee.com.

Wahoo Studios and NinjaBee are registered trademarks of Wahoo Studios, Inc. All other company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright © 2009 Wahoo Studios, Inc., All Rights Reserved.

About Grubby Games

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Grubby Games was formed in October 2004 with a simple goal: To make accessible, polished games that are fun to play. Since then Grubby Games has done just that, producing a number of popular titles including The Amazing Brain Train, My Tribe, Professor Fizzwizzle and the Molten Mystery, FizzBall and Professor Fizzwizzle.

For more information about Grubby Games visit http://grubbygames.com/.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Arcade Afternoon to feature two NinjaBee games

This Saturday (Aug. 15) Xbox LIVE will hold and avatar-themed Arcade Afternoon event, which will feature two NinjaBee games: A Kindom for Keflings and Band of Bugs. If you're missing any multiplayer achievements for either of those games this would be an awesome time to go online and knock those out. Or just come and have a good time playing cool multiplayer games as your avatar. Plus, some of the NinjaBee team will be there. Let's meet up and play.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Podcast Interview with Steve Taylor - President of NinjaBee

Every once in a while it's nice to hear from the brains behind the games. Steve Taylor, co-founder and President of NinjaBee/Wahoo Studios recently made an appearance as the featured guest on the season finale of GoGcast, the video game podcast produced by GatheringOfGamers.com (an online community and social network for gamers).

During the show's 90 minutes Steve opened up about how he came to start a video game company, answered questions about the development and gameplay of some of NinjaBee's most popular games and may even have leaked a little information about our next big (and not-yet-announced) Xbox Live Arcade game.

If you want to hear what Steve had to say, you can find and listen to episode 20 of GoGcast (the Season 2 Finale) here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone for playing Band of Bugs and for entering our contest! We love to do this sort of thing, so check back in the future for more contests to get more cool free stuff! We hope you liked playing Band of Bugs as much as we do. If you haven't already, try getting together and fighting with/against your friends in the multiplayer Spider Hunter mode (then you can see whose avartar really IS toughest).

And a very special congratulations to the contest winner, J. Hency. You guys rock!

Here's the contest - Good Luck!!!

Here are the questions. The contest closes in 15 minutes, so hurry and send us the answers to these questions to info@NinjaBee.com. Make sure to put "Contest" as the subject line. Good Luck!

1. Name one kind of bug you fight against in the trial version of Band of Bugs.

2. How do you 'capture' something?

3. What kind of bug is Jabilo, the fire mage who joins your team in the final level of the demo (also found in the full game under 'Stand Alone Missions' as 'Demo Level')?

Thanks everyone for playing Band of Bugs and for joining our contest! We'll contact and then announce the winner before 8 p.m. EST.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NinjaBee Contest -- 1600 MS Points!!!!!

Hey all, it's contest time at NinjaBee! And yep, you guessed it, the prize is 1600 MS Points!

What's up
So earlier this month NinjaBee updated Band of Bugs on Xbox Live Arcade allowing you to play and fight as your avatar in the single player campaign or with your friends in the multiplayer 'Spider Hunter' mode. It also added a new level to the Stand-Alone Missions.

How to win
So here's how the constest works. This Friday (July 24) at 7 p.m. EST we're going to post a couple of questions here on our blog about stuff from the playable levels on the free trial version of Band of Bugs (it won't be hard, just play and have fun). So put it in your download queue and see what it's like to have your avatar kick some serious insectoid booty.

*If you already own Band of Bugs it's levels 1-3 on Maal's Story and 'Demo Level' from the Stand-Alone Missions.

Once the questions have be posted you will only have 15 minutes** to email the answers to info@ninjabee.com. The winner will be selected by our own super-secret, high-tech selection process (drawn from a hat) and will get the 1600 MS Points!

Good luck and have fun playing Band of Bugs! See you then!

**We switched to this method of selecting the winner to make the contest more fair to everyone with stinky slow internet.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

iPhone Developer NinjaBee Announces it has Finished Making Love

OREM, Utah – July 13, 2009 – NinjaBee, makers of Kaloki Adventure for the iPhone™ and iPod® touch, announced today it has finished making Kaloki Love, the next installment in the Kaloki series. Kaloki Love brings new characters, a new story and new scenarios to the space station building series. The game is available on the App Store (http://linktoapp.com/kaloki+love) for US $0.99.

"Right after finishing up Kaloki Adventure, we started work on Kaloki Love,” said Steve Taylor, president of NinjaBee. “Making Love was fun, but a lot of work - a lot of give and take, you know? Making sure everyone was satisfied took a lot of stamina, but in the end the whole team was happy."

Kaloki Love is a new way to build a space station. Players will fill the boots of a dashing new "hero" as they meet four potential sweethearts and woo the dream girl of their choice in this romantic five-part story. Multiple endings based on how the game is played means the player can always experience new romances or fix failed ones. The game also includes five bonus scenarios with goals and new strategies.

Features of the iPhone/iPod touch game include:

  • Five Levels of space station management and falling in love
  • Five bonus scenarios which feature fireworks, asteroids, Greek gods and more!
  • A distinctive art style and a catchy soundtrack
  • Auto Save: progress is automatically saved in the event of a disturbance
  • Easy-to-learn, friendly and fun for the whole family.

The original game, Kaloki Adventure, is available on the App Store for US $2.99 (http://linktoapp.com/kaloki+adventure) and a taste of the game, Kaloki Free, can be downloaded for free (http://linktoapp.com/kaloki+free). One additional story in the Kaloki universe, Kaloki War, will be released at a later date. For more information about Kaloki Love for iPhone and iPod touch, please visit http://www.NinjaBee.com/ikalokilove/

About NinjaBee

NinjaBee, located in Orem, Utah, began developing games in 2004. With every game they make, NinjaBee’s goal is to create a unique, top-quality, fun experience for people of all ages. Their popular titles include Outpost Kaloki X, Cloning Clyde, Band of Bugs, Boingz, Doritos Dash of Destruction and A Kingdom for Keflings.

For more information, please contact the numbers above or visit http://www.NinjaBee.com.

Wahoo Studios and NinjaBee are registered trademarks of Wahoo Studios, Inc. All other company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright © 2009 Wahoo Studios, Inc., All Rights Reserved.

Apple, the Apple logo, iPod, and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Come Play with Us!

To celebrate the release of the Band of Bugs Avatar update and the Tales of Kaloki DLC, NinjaBee will be hosting a Game with Developer night this Saturday, July 11 on Xbox LIVE from 7-10 p.m. EST. Our gamertags are listed below. If you want to play with any of us, just send a friend request and we'll be on that night to play and answer your burning questions, or just chat. See you there!

* gostay (Steve, President)
* YaZeus (Kevin, Lead Programmer)
* Big Blue Fox (Brent, Art Director)
* dajuse (Justin, Project Manager)
* T G Welfman (Eric, Programmer)
* Marmosetofdeath (Jeremy, Lead Designer)
* johnseph83 (John, Programmer)
* DarkMount (Jeff, Artist)
* scarabman (Ben, Designer)
* Abbasax (Jason, Test Lead)
* ThePr0tege (Mike, Tester)
* NinjaGirl01 (Valerie, PR/Marketing)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

iPhone Developer Spotlight

Congrats to our lead developer, Kevin Heap, who was spotlighted on AppCraver.com for his work on Kaloki Adventure. Here's a snippet of the question-and-answer segment, but you can read the whole thing here.

When did you start developing apps for the iPhone? Did you have previous experience as a developer?

We started working on the iPhone in October 2008. Wahoo Studios has been around since 2001 and in 2004 we created the NinjaBee brand to showcase our independent, self-published games. We released Outpost Kaloki X in November 2005 with the launch of the Xbox 360 on Xbox LIVE Arcade. So we’ve got lots of experience making video games, but this is our first for the iPhone.

What / how many apps have you made so far?

We have 2 apps out right now - Kaloki Adventure and Kaloki Free. We’ve also got two more apps on the way; Kaloki Love and Kaloki War.

What type of apps/games/software inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?

I’m inspired by games that make you think - which usually means simulation/strategy games - but I’m a sucker for a compelling story with just about any genre of games. There have been so many games that have inspired me since I was a kid, but the game that really inspired me to want to *make* video games was the original King’s Quest game.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Band of Bugs Music

Because we're in a giving mood here at NinjaBee (and we're super excited for the release of the Avatar update next week!), here are the music tracks from Band of Bugs. Please feel free to download (just right click on the link to download) and listen to this music for your own personal enjoyment, but remember NinjaBee owns it and retains all rights. All tracks were done by our very own designer/Music Man Extraordinaire, Mike Neilsen.

Hopper's Groove
Insectus Maximus
Many-Legged Mayhem
Jungle Pygmy Bugs

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Band of Bugs gets Avatar support and all-new DLC

NinjaBee Lets Avatars be the Hero, Releases New Game as DLC

OREM, Utah – June 29, 2009 – NinjaBee, the creators of the first fully-enabled Avatar game on Xbox LIVE® Arcade, A Kingdom for Keflings, announced today that beginning July 8, Band of Bugs will include Avatar support. In addition, NinjaBee will be releasing Tales of Kaloki, a new, game-changing DLC for Band of Bugs.

The added Avatar support will allow gamers the option of replacing the original story’s hero, Maal, with their custom Avatar as they play through the main story mode. Players will also be able to engage in hand-to-hand combat and spell casting in eight-player Spider Hunter mode. Spider Hunter, one of several multiplayer modes, allows players to battle with or against their friends over Xbox LIVE to survive an onslaught of deadly spiders, mosquitoes, centipedes and more.

The Tales of Kaloki DLC is based on NinjaBee’s first Xbox LIVE Arcade game, Outpost Kaloki X. The DLC is set in space and uses the basic mechanics of Band of Bugs but adds a new tile set, new characters, new story, new skills, new strategy, new attacks and new abilities.

“We’re giving you an entirely new game,” said Steve Taylor, president of NinjaBee. “The Tales of Kaloki DLC is Band of Bugs but with long-range combat using lasers, rocket launchers, OO rays and a ton of other sweet weapons to blow attacking space ships to smithereens. It’s all the wackiness from Outpost Kaloki X and tactics from Band of Bugs rolled into one, and we’re stoked to be releasing it.”

In addition, NinjaBee will release a Band of Bugs Premium Theme. This theme, which features scenes from the game and concept art, can be downloaded through the Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 240 Microsoft Points.

The Avatar support will be added to the original game for free and the Tales of Kaloki DLC will be purchasable through the Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 240 Microsoft Points. Like the extensive collection of DLC already available for Band of Bugs, Tales of Kaloki can be played by downloading the original game, Band of Bugs (800 MS points). The Avatar support, Tales of Kaloki DLC and the Premium Theme will be available Wednesday, July 8. Band of Bugs is rated E for Everyone.

About NinjaBee
NinjaBee, located in Orem, Utah, began developing games in 2004. With every game they make, NinjaBee’s goal is to create a unique, top-quality, fun experience for people of all ages. Their popular titles include Outpost Kaloki X, Cloning Clyde, Band of Bugs, Boingz, Doritos Dash of Destruction and A Kingdom for Keflings.

For more information, please visit http://www.NinjaBee.com.

Wahoo Studios and NinjaBee are registered trademarks of Wahoo Studios, Inc. All other company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright © 2009 Wahoo Studios, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Avatars and Fireballs

So we released this picture today announcing that we're bringing new things to Avatars that you haven't been able to do previously, like throw fireballs with your Avatar.

To clear up any confusion, this image was taken from a screenshot from the game. Our art director, Brent, took it from the screenshot and erased the background, touched up the color, tilted the positioning so the Avatar was in a better position and added a glow around the Avatar, but other than that, nothing was added in terms of the fireball. You will, in fact, be able to throw a fireball in this game. And a whole bunch of other really cool stuff.

Later in the week we'll be posting more info on this new prospect, so follow this blog, follow us on Twitter, or check out our forums for more info!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Indie Game Developer: The Definition

A continual debate rages that is more charged than politics, more heartfelt than religious conviction and more hotly contested than Roe vs. Wade. The unanswered question echoes; “What is Indie game development?” This argument endures throughout the year, but it’s never heard louder than right after the announcement of finalists or winners of an Indie game development contest. Cries of “Cheater, Cheater, you’re not I N D I E” ring throughout the air (well, okay, the internet air).

My desire to unite the world and promote love and happiness has driven my quest for an answer. Not just an answer to satisfy myself but one that is so clear and so undeniable that everyone must agree, “That’s Indie.” I believe that, in a moment of pure brilliance, I have uncovered the truth.

Drum roll…..

Indie is exactly what you are. Anyone who you think has an advantage over you isn’t Indie.

I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of years living in Italy. There I learned something about human nature. Many of the northern Italians believe that their culture and traditions are different from the southern Italians. They also believe that they are slightly superior to their southern neighbors. The northern Italians are quick to point out the higher crime rate in southern Italy and the fact the Italian Mob also began there. I believe this type of division is common in many countries, cities and even small towns. The fact that this division exists isn’t interesting in itself. The interesting observation is the geographical location where everyone places this division between the north and the south. I lived in many different cities during my stay in Italy and I noticed that everyone placed the division just a little south of where they lived. The further north a person lived the higher he or she felt that dividing line should be. In fact, in some very northern cities many of the Italians consider themselves to be Swiss. They were just stuck in Italy because of some arbitrary division of countries and would quickly point out that their ancestors, living in that very city many generations ago, hadn’t always been Italian. Despite the fact everyone in these towns can speak perfect Italian, many would choose to not speak Italian and often pretend they didn’t know how.

This same type of thinking is often apparent when developers are finding reasons to disqualify a developer from holding the honored title of “Indie.” This list can be as innumerable of the stars. It is rare that a definition is solely based on what qualifies a developer, but instead focuses on what limitations a developer must embrace. Some of these restrictions include items such as the following:

• Big publisher financial support
• Budgets that are too big
• Financing from investors
• Too much industry experience
• Publishing on platforms other than PC or Mac (no consoles)
• Publishing on any platform or with any web site that has restrictions or requirements
• Having worked with publishers - ever
• Previous Indie development success
• Schedules that are considered too long for the development of a single game
• Too large of a team
• Use of office space for development instead of a basement
• Use of commercial software or big commercial game engines
• Telling a story in a game
• Visuals that are too high-end and pretty
• Use of 3D
• Making a game that is mainstream and commercially viable (No first-person shooters)
• Desire for financial success
• Lack of distain for authority and publishers
• Not high enough quality

Of course this is just a small sampling of disqualifiers. The amounts on some of these items also can vary greatly. For example, on the budget issue, some developers go so far as to say that you shouldn’t spend any actual money--everything should be done with free, volunteered labor--while others might place the budget cap at $1 million.

Some of these restrictions seem very logical and fair and some seem totally ridiculous. But look closely. Can you see how each item actually reveals the self perceived flaw or weakness of the developer who is using these criteria as a means of disqualification of other developers? For example, the developer who excludes developers who use too large of a team may actually wish he had a bigger team or at lest think he could make a better game with a bigger team. Take thought before you next choose to cry out in protest--you may be inadvertently exposing your innermost insecurities to the world.

There are some developers who feel confident enough to include other developers with larger teams and lots more cash than themselves in the sacred Indie circle. These individuals simply believe that these factors don’t actually provide as strong of an advantage as other attributes often found in Indie developers. With creative freedom and a willingness to take risks, they can make amazing games that aren’t dependant on big teams or big budgets.

This definition doesn’t answer the question of who should be granted the privilege of entering an Indie game development contest. However, it forces me to think harder about my own evaluation of who I consider to be an Indie developer. The next time I try and make this distinction, I should ask myself the question, “Would my opinion change if I was just like them?”