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Interview: Pandada Games producer, Yeqing Lu, discusses the making of its stellar auto runner Ninja Must Die

Interview: Pandada Games producer, Yeqing Lu, discusses the making of its stellar auto runner Ninja Must Die
| Ninja Must Die

Ninja Must Die, the fast paced ninja-themed autorunner from Pandada Games, launched onto mobile devices worldwide last December, bringing players a perfect concoction of classy ink-wash style visuals, meticulous level designs, and intuitive controls, all of which impressed us enough to give it a well deserved Silver Award.

Just like its theme, Ninja Must Die seemingly sprang from nowhere to deliver a fast paced adrenaline hit that’s executed to perfection.

We spoke to the games producer, Yeqing Lu, to learn more about the game’s development and how it manages to deliver such an addictive gameplay experience.

What do you think Ninja Must Die offers that separates it from other mobile titles?

Ninja Must Die combines auto-running with combat action gameplay to create the most enjoyable experience on the mobile platform. This style of gameplay has never been seen before on mobile, or indeed on any other platform.

Indeed, very few autorunners achieve the diversity of gameplay Ninja Must Die provides. Was that a natural development over the course of its production or was it designed that way from the start?

From the very beginning of the design, we thought thoroughly about the possibilities and expansion of the core gameplay, just like building a beautiful stage. Of course, during the creation process, we kept putting more and more interesting ideas into the game.

What were your inspirations for making it?

There were many inspirations, but most came from the games we played in our childhoods, especially many classic side-scrolling action games such as MegaMan and METROID. It also comes from our imagination and love of the ninja theme.

When the word ninja is mentioned, the words "Shuriken, Ninja Swords, Ninjutsu" are always on everyone's mind, so I personally think that ninja is really the coolest profession in the world!

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Besides, bringing the best of classic side-scrolling action games to players around the world in a way most suitable to the mobile platform is what drives us to create this game!

What were the biggest challenges you faced during development?

As you know, due to the unique gameplay framework of our game, all the problems we faced were such that we had no direct references and needed to think and design independently, which was probably the biggest challenge from start to finish.

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Do you have anything planned in terms of future updates and, if so, can you give us any details of what these might include?

We’ll continue to evolve our ninja story as players face more powerful enemies and richer challenges, and encounter new charismatic ninjas! We are scheduling a massive update on 11th January, which will introduce a new ninja protagonist to the game. She has a very distinctive character: her appearance is that of a very cute and vigorous girl, while in reality, she’s very hot-tempered and loves to eat spicy peppers. With the launch of the new ninja, there will also be an exclusive storyline about her, which we welcome new and old players to experience within the game.

We will also continue to create more exciting and imaginative competitive content and a competitive ecosystem that will allow more players to participate and play together.

Lastly, how has it been performing since its global launch and has it been meeting expectations?

To be honest, it hasn't lived up to expectations for the moment and many people don't know about our game yet. It might be that we haven't introduced our game to the global players in the best way. However, everything is just beginning and we will continue to work hard to make the game better. We believe that we have created a gaming experience that everyone around the world can enjoy and that it is sure to be loved by many more players in the future. In the meantime, creating more and better gaming experiences for the players is our constant goal and motivation to move forward. Now, our team is interacting and communicating with many players through different communities, constantly iterating on the game, and we hope to have the opportunity to build a better ninja world together with more players in the future.

If you’d like to try Ninja Must Die for yourself, you can find it available to download right now from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. It’s a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.