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Of Choice and Breaking New Ground: Designing Mark of the Ninja


Ossified genre conventions are a major challenge to advancing game design as a craft. It is seductive to comfortably settle on familiar devices, but this can hamstring the ability to explore and express new ideas with games. Innovation within a genre isn't easy, but it is important. Mark of the Ninja adapted stealth gameplay to side-scrolling 2D, but the means to do this were often counterintuitive. Rather than emulating genre tropes, Mark of the Ninja was derived from understanding the true appeal of stealth games (player-centric design allowing for gameplay choice), and used these principles to adapt stealth games to a new perspective. Lead designer Nels Anderson will discuss the process that was used to design Mark of the Ninja, and how it can be applied to innovate within established genres.

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  • GDC 2013
  • Nels Anderson
  • Klei Entertainment
  • free content
  • Design
  • Design