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BEFORE ASKING TROUBLESHOOTING PROBLEMS: Most issues reported to me are a consequence of improper download, thus redownloading the game is recommended above all else. If the issue persists, please contact me privately.

Beetle Ninja is the story of an early-twenties ninja for hire, Montrell Saint Luc, the Beetle Ninja. After accidentally unleashing a cataclysmic entity which is set to destroy the world in two weeks, Beetle Ninja must work to prevent the realization of the incoming cataclysm. Partner with a slew of different ninjas, and defeat hordes of devious monsters as you work against the clock to stop the end of the world.


Again, this game features completely original artwork created by myself with custom music by PostElvis, and some additional help from others.

If you'd like to make a donation, you can do so here: https://ko-fi.com/16bitking

Thank you for your attention, and I hope you enjoy!
-Bit/ProsciuttoMan

Discord: https://discord.gg/huWuAuZ

Latest Blog

Beetle Ninja takes 4 Misaos, Beetle Ninja 2 updates, and more!

This might end up a little on the lengthy side of things, but please bear with me if you will, there's a lot to discuss.

Firstly, I am extremely happy to see Beetle Ninja's stellar Misao results, winning 4 awards and securing runner-up for game of the year and best gameplay. To be honest, this year's been really rough for me for a lot of reasons, most of which are probably of no interest to a casual observer who follows my game development and artwork independent of my character (as I tend to prefer it, lest I become some sort of Chris Chan-esque social media auteur), and I've been extremely close to giving up game development and art permanently at least twice, so it's very nice to see that my work truly is recognized and appreciated to such a degree that it's received such accolades.
I remember distinctly watching an interview with Edmund McMillen wherein he lamented feeling extremely stuck creatively following the success of his 2004 physics-based platformer Gish, claiming he felt it would be the peak of his career, and that he would be incapable of achieving similar levels of success with his future works.
I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a similar feeling instilled in me after the Misaos, but I'm working on something completely different now: both tonally and in means of gameplay with T.O.F.U (working title) in attempts to sort of alleviate this. Then again, when I released Beetle Ninja initially, I sort of had a similar feeling when it came to Karrion Killer and it's (comparatively lesser) success, so who knows, maybe T.O.F.U will blow everything I've made out of the water yet again, maybe it won't. It'll be exciting to see how people react to it, especially considering it's much more "edgy" thematically than my previous work...

With Beetle Ninja attaining far more Misao awards than I'd suspected, Beetle Ninja 2 continues it's development. Presently, it's years from being complete as we want to take our time with it, and since I don't consider Beetle Ninja 2 much of a priority project.
In means of gameplay, Beetle Ninja 2 stars Uropygi Ninja "The Whip Scorpion" living in the small city of Opstroykh, Russia in pursuit of an unknown target he must eliminate within two weeks. There is no combat this time, rather the game focuses primarily on overworld actions, expanding navigation and speech options. The hub world is much larger, and there are many new characters present alongside a couple of returning ones from the original Beetle Ninja. In short, it aims to be more of what was good about the original, without the more tedious or annoying aspects people didn't like (ie the more overly-serious plot elements and mundane combat), while employing a similar, yet different direction with the primary gameplay loop.
PostElvis has three other projects to attend to in the wake of Beetle Ninja's accolades, I'm presently working on other games, the guy who did most of the combat balancing and overbearing backstory elements wasn't asked to work on Beetle Ninja 2 due to internal conflicts with regards to the direction of the original game, and another contributor who deliberately asked me not to be mentioned again has erased her web presence altogether and therefore is unable to be further contacted to work on the sequel, so it's a much slower-paced development cycle. Consequently, a new team had to be forged and thus the direction might be a little different to what is expected, but I kind of prefer it this way.





"It'll be out when it's out" is something I'm extremely quick to call out as an excuse for lazy and overly-prolonged game development cycles, so for Beetle Ninja 2, I suppose I'd say that the game will be complete, or minimally close to it, by 2025, though this is merely an estimation, and as I said previously, the game isn't a priority for me right now as I work on other projects.
I might even make some more short and sweet comedy games while we work on Beetle Ninja 2 in a similar vein as Where the Moon Goes At Night. I have some ideas, and I've got a short, halfway assembled Christmas-themed game that I might want to polish up and release sometime in 2021, but it might not happen (we'll see).

As far as plans going forward after Beetle Ninja 2 go (or even before depending on if I get burned out on working on it), I have a few seeds of ideas that I might want to explore... I'm still attached to the idea of making a game about a group of characters I designed called the "Bombing Squadron" because I still think the designs are pretty cool (even if Mine Ninja already kind of uses one of their designs already), and I still have the basic foundation of a quick, fairly edgy game I was making for Christmas about self-detonation and giant sand worms that will hopefully see the light of day.
Of course, I'm presently working on T.O.F.U as well, an I Wanna Be The Guy-esque puzzle platformer about killing yourself to make bridges out of your square, tofu corpses while avoiding birdlime, scalding water, bullets and an assortment of other treacherous and often unexpected traps. I'd like to release it by the end of February, but it might take a short while longer depending on how ambitious I get and how much free time I, the programmer, and the musician are able to dedicate to it. I have faith it'll be finished though.

In closing, I must give a tremendous thanks to Edvinas Kandrotas, for assisting me early on in my "career" as a pixel artist to improve my craft tenfold. To Deegeemin, for inviting me into the wild and amazing world of inner-circle Newgrounds and for creating the memorable and humorous full screen illustrations for Beetle Ninja. And to ToonyRab for pushing me to keep making games when I was at my lowest point.
Their assistance means a lot to me and I doubtlessly would not be writing this post had they failed to assist me.

Thank you again for a tremendous turnout at the Misao awards this year, and I hope you'll stick around for my future work.
  • Production
  • 16bitking
  • RPG Maker 2003
  • Adventure
  • 02/07/2020 05:01 AM
  • 02/01/2021 08:29 PM
  • 10/17/2020
  • 42278
  • 24
  • 153

Posts

Pages: 1
Getting close to release, I can’t wait to play!
Tried out the demo, I love the structure and flow of this game. It's not what I expected when it comes to progressing through the days and it being light on plot. Also learning skills through watching dvds is a neat touch, though would have at least like to see a tiny frame indicative of the movie. Regardless there's a lot of ideas here and I'm looking forward to release.
author=Darken
Tried out the demo, I love the structure and flow of this game. It's not what I expected when it comes to progressing through the days and it being light on plot. Also learning skills through watching dvds is a neat touch, though would have at least like to see a tiny frame indicative of the movie. Regardless there's a lot of ideas here and I'm looking forward to release.

lol, I've thought about removing that demo because of how inaccurate it is to what the final game ended up becoming, but I'm very glad you enjoyed it regardless!
The teaser trailer for this was really good too! I'll check out the demo.
This game combines two of my favourite things:
Beetles, but also Ninjas.
OldPat
OrudoPatto, kisama!
3898
This game looks downright superb!

The trailer looks amazing, I love the attention to details, the animations and the music that accompanies the whole thing.

Even the settings all look so diverse and fun to explore.

A must play right there, I hope more will play this little gem!
The Biggest Sleeper Hit of 2020.

In the entertainment industry, a sleeper hit is a film, television series, music release, video game or some other entertainment product that is initially unsuccessful on release but becomes a big success later on. A sleeper hit may have little promotion or lack a successful launch, but then garner a fan following that rewards it media attention, which in turn increases its public exposure and public interest in the product.
Nice. Pretty cool, got 3 endings so far (one good, one bad, one that ends the game after the first half). I am sure I missed something by the way the game is so fun that I wished it was longer :)
I played a bit more of this today between archiving old rpgmaker games.
The music is really good in this.
...We talked about BeetleNinja on the podcast today. I was too nervous though and didn't do a very good job so I thought I'd post some of my notes here, since I beat it recently and I think it's worth talking about:

BeetleNinja itself plays like a mix of DeadRising, Katamari Damacy and Earthbound. The 14 day cycle is hard to get use to at first, but it gets easier once you understand how it works:

0)- Don't spend any of your money till after you fought the fish at the convenience store. That's when the real game starts and ninjas become recruit-able. After that, you'll want to make sure you have at least $2000 dollars between missions at all times.

1)-The First thing you want to do after completing the Fish mission - Save your game.
BeetleNinja is an rpgmaker2003 and has 15 slots: you'll want to use every single one of these slots in case you mess up at a particular part, earlier on.

2)The Second thing you want to do is check your phone messages and check the post office for mail. If you don't have a mission or a petty crime to solve - this is your rest day. You'll want to use this day wisely in order to properly increase BeetleNinja's stats according to your play style: i.e. if you use a lot of MP in battles, you'll want to spend your rest day drinking at the Ninja Dojo at least once, in order to increase your maximum MP, to give your some breathing room during battles.

3)If you have a mission or petty crime to solve - Don't accept the mission yet. Instead, spend the day exploring the town for more information and items or by talking to residents.

4) Once you feel you found everything in town for the day - Save your game, then - go to the Ninja Dojo and start hiring Ninjas. You can only hire a maximum of 3 ninjas at any given time. Some of them will be expensive, like Rage Ninja ($1550), but will be available to rehire from your office at a 50% discount, after hiring them the first time ($750).
If you're not happy with your current party members, you can also remove ninjas by using the Ninja removal tag on your office - but rehiring them will cost money. (this is why it's important to save.)

5) Once you feel you're ready for your mission, Accept the Mission.

6)Once you finish the mission - Don't spend any of your money - Save your game.(Anything can happen once you finish a mission). Once you have access to your phone messages and mail box again, start the cycle of exploring the town and hiring ninjas again.

BeetleNinja is a really challenging non-traditional jrpg that has a lot of thought and effort put into, not only the art and music, but also it's game design choices for a game made in rpgmaker2003. The problem is that, it's really not forthcoming about these design choices, so it's really just something you need to learn while playing the game. But, I really I hope people will sit down and actually see all the really interesting design and creative choices, that are in here - Like how, other Ninjas will sometimes appear on your missions and if you talk to them and say the right things, they'll sometimes quit their jobs and show up in the Ninja Dojo as secret, but powerful recruitable characters.

Small interesting touches like this, are what made Beetle Ninja such an interesting game for me to play through this year. They’ve created a really interesting world here with charming characters, that are actually quite memorable. I think BeetleNinja is worth checking out, just from the art assets alone - It makes me excited and wonder what future rpgmaker2003 games will look like, now that rpgmaker2003 is a viable option for creators.

EDIT: My favorite character in BeetleNinja is probably the conjoined Ninja Twins, you can eventually recruit very very late in the game. It would've been really cool to see their double-air-kick animated though.
Finally beat it in time for the RM Cola to talk about it, figured I share since you seem to be open for feedback esp for the sequel:

tldr Thoughts:
So yeah to echo the main problems, what kept me from fully enjoying the game were the battles. In general a lot of moves were kind of useless and most of the time it was better to just use damaging moves or straight up regular attacks. There isn't really a difficulty of losing most of the time and fights merely drag on. Except a lot of available party members don't really add much (unless they do damage, Rage Ninja for instance was a common choice for this reason). I get that something like a Parasite Ninja is cool in concept, but healing was rarely an issue until maybe the later parts. Something like a freeze move or a poison status won't really do much unless they end the battle quickly, this a common problem in a lot of RPGs. It can work, but only with a lot of fine tuning.

MP is also hard to come by aside from Beetle Ninja's move that can restore MP as long has he has 10, which was weird to me. It's tedious to restore MP for other party members and then to restore it again for myself, but I mean half the time most moves weren't worth it aside from Jaw Grapple. Which basically became my whole rotation (Restore MP/use Grapple, spam Attack). I never found a use for some of the DVD moves and it felt annoying to have only 1 at a time rather than just accumulate more moves. Some skill descriptions really didn't incentivize using them like the one that buffs enemies (why would I ever do that? I'm sure there's a hidden tradeoff where it works out but sometimes my instinct is just going to be stick what I've been using).

There's no progression system (exp or level ups) which is fine, but there also wasn't enough to look forward to. Maybe you didn't want the player restarting at level 1 for each ninja, or you simply wanted to keep the challenge steady. Thing is you kind of lose a lot of incentive to do a lot of the fights. Towards the very last dungeon the battles felt like punishments more than anything. The strategy for dealing with enemies stayed the same and with no progression there was no feeling like I could just endure it for the sake of gaining more power (which accumulatively makes further battles easier). I guess it's to say progression can sometimes alleviate average battles even if they are a headache to balance for the designer.

Broadly in the beginning it's easy for the player to waste days getting the wrong ninja or not knowing it was their only chance to get one for awhile (or even DVDs being a thing) I did enjoy the aspect of being surprised at how the game work but it felt a little punishing when it was too late to realize that I could have done something (forgetting to rehire a ninja, wasting too much money on dvds, running into an area for the first time without party ninjas and wondering why the battle was hard). Seeing that it isn't your typical RPG, it's worth to add some pointers on how crucial the day system can be.

A good battle system is when there are different viable ways to tackle a problem. If half of them are useless or I'm just guessing my way to a viable strategy (and it never changes) then as a player I don't always feel in control or feel good about making choices (like committed to a ninja hire or dvd). If there's a strategy out there that's actually fun, it's also not going to matter if the player can't find it (and is able to stick to a bread and butter). I get the appeal of the various combinations of party members at different times but certain things makes it hard to fully appreciate (and it's also hard to design).

Having said all that, and it sounds like I'm being harsh since all I talked about the battles, I wanted the battles over with so I could explore the world and appreciate a lot of the nuanced details that progress through the day system and exploring ares and seeing NPC dialogue, it's just that the battles really muddled the entire experience that I endorse rethinking how to approach rpg battles either for the sequel or for just as general advice.

RM2K3 out of the box does not always offer the best battle system, so it's actually not your fault. It's just not something you can throw together in a blender and it'll magically be good. For instance a common problem is agility and battle speeds. Enemies attacking at the same time (because they're the same enemy type and thus have the same agility) can be annoying but it can be addressed by making duplicates and giving them slightly diff agility values so you're not being hailed on constantly before making a command. That's just one of many annoying work arounds to make the battles smoothed out a bit better. (Agility is the worst in general) Everyone who has used RM2K3 over the years have just... accepted doing this kind of stuff to make it more tolerable. I would just run a battle system by RM2K3 veterans to what to improve.

Hope this is not too much, I look forward to the next game.
author=Darken
Finally beat it in time for the RM Cola to talk about it, figured I share since you seem to be open for feedback esp for the sequel:

tldr Thoughts:
So yeah to echo the main problems, what kept me from fully enjoying the game were the battles. In general a lot of moves were kind of useless and most of the time it was better to just use damaging moves or straight up regular attacks. There isn't really a difficulty of losing most of the time and fights merely drag on. Except a lot of available party members don't really add much (unless they do damage, Rage Ninja for instance was a common choice for this reason). I get that something like a Parasite Ninja is cool in concept, but healing was rarely an issue until maybe the later parts. Something like a freeze move or a poison status won't really do much unless they end the battle quickly, this a common problem in a lot of RPGs. It can work, but only with a lot of fine tuning.

MP is also hard to come by aside from Beetle Ninja's move that can restore MP as long has he has 10, which was weird to me. It's tedious to restore MP for other party members and then to restore it again for myself, but I mean half the time most moves weren't worth it aside from Jaw Grapple. Which basically became my whole rotation (Restore MP/use Grapple, spam Attack). I never found a use for some of the DVD moves and it felt annoying to have only 1 at a time rather than just accumulate more moves. Some skill descriptions really didn't incentivize using them like the one that buffs enemies (why would I ever do that? I'm sure there's a hidden tradeoff where it works out but sometimes my instinct is just going to be stick what I've been using).

There's no progression system (exp or level ups) which is fine, but there also wasn't enough to look forward to. Maybe you didn't want the player restarting at level 1 for each ninja, or you simply wanted to keep the challenge steady. Thing is you kind of lose a lot of incentive to do a lot of the fights. Towards the very last dungeon the battles felt like punishments more than anything. The strategy for dealing with enemies stayed the same and with no progression there was no feeling like I could just endure it for the sake of gaining more power (which accumulatively makes further battles easier). I guess it's to say progression can sometimes alleviate average battles even if they are a headache to balance for the designer.

Broadly in the beginning it's easy for the player to waste days getting the wrong ninja or not knowing it was their only chance to get one for awhile (or even DVDs being a thing) I did enjoy the aspect of being surprised at how the game work but it felt a little punishing when it was too late to realize that I could have done something (forgetting to rehire a ninja, wasting too much money on dvds, running into an area for the first time without party ninjas and wondering why the battle was hard). Seeing that it isn't your typical RPG, it's worth to add some pointers on how crucial the day system can be.

A good battle system is when there are different viable ways to tackle a problem. If half of them are useless or I'm just guessing my way to a viable strategy (and it never changes) then as a player I don't always feel in control or feel good about making choices (like committed to a ninja hire or dvd). If there's a strategy out there that's actually fun, it's also not going to matter if the player can't find it (and is able to stick to a bread and butter). I get the appeal of the various combinations of party members at different times but certain things makes it hard to fully appreciate (and it's also hard to design).

Having said all that, and it sounds like I'm being harsh since all I talked about the battles, I wanted the battles over with so I could explore the world and appreciate a lot of the nuanced details that progress through the day system and exploring ares and seeing NPC dialogue, it's just that the battles really muddled the entire experience that I endorse rethinking how to approach rpg battles either for the sequel or for just as general advice.

RM2K3 out of the box does not always offer the best battle system, so it's actually not your fault. It's just not something you can throw together in a blender and it'll magically be good. For instance a common problem is agility and battle speeds. Enemies attacking at the same time (because they're the same enemy type and thus have the same agility) can be annoying but it can be addressed by making duplicates and giving them slightly diff agility values so you're not being hailed on constantly before making a command. That's just one of many annoying work arounds to make the battles smoothed out a bit better. (Agility is the worst in general) Everyone who has used RM2K3 over the years have just... accepted doing this kind of stuff to make it more tolerable. I would just run a battle system by RM2K3 veterans to what to improve.

Hope this is not too much, I look forward to the next game.
author=LordBlueRouge
...We talked about BeetleNinja on the podcast today. I was too nervous though and didn't do a very good job so I thought I'd post some of my notes here, since I beat it recently and I think it's worth talking about:

BeetleNinja itself plays like a mix of DeadRising, Katamari Damacy and Earthbound. The 14 day cycle is hard to get use to at first, but it gets easier once you understand how it works:

0)- Don't spend any of your money till after you fought the fish at the convenience store. That's when the real game starts and ninjas become recruit-able. After that, you'll want to make sure you have at least $2000 dollars between missions at all times.

1)-The First thing you want to do after completing the Fish mission - Save your game.
BeetleNinja is an rpgmaker2003 and has 15 slots: you'll want to use every single one of these slots in case you mess up at a particular part, earlier on.

2)The Second thing you want to do is check your phone messages and check the post office for mail. If you don't have a mission or a petty crime to solve - this is your rest day. You'll want to use this day wisely in order to properly increase BeetleNinja's stats according to your play style: i.e. if you use a lot of MP in battles, you'll want to spend your rest day drinking at the Ninja Dojo at least once, in order to increase your maximum MP, to give your some breathing room during battles.

3)If you have a mission or petty crime to solve - Don't accept the mission yet. Instead, spend the day exploring the town for more information and items or by talking to residents.

4) Once you feel you found everything in town for the day - Save your game, then - go to the Ninja Dojo and start hiring Ninjas. You can only hire a maximum of 3 ninjas at any given time. Some of them will be expensive, like Rage Ninja ($1550), but will be available to rehire from your office at a 50% discount, after hiring them the first time ($750).
If you're not happy with your current party members, you can also remove ninjas by using the Ninja removal tag on your office - but rehiring them will cost money. (this is why it's important to save.)

5) Once you feel you're ready for your mission, Accept the Mission.

6)Once you finish the mission - Don't spend any of your money - Save your game.(Anything can happen once you finish a mission). Once you have access to your phone messages and mail box again, start the cycle of exploring the town and hiring ninjas again.

BeetleNinja is a really challenging non-traditional jrpg that has a lot of thought and effort put into, not only the art and music, but also it's game design choices for a game made in rpgmaker2003. The problem is that, it's really not forthcoming about these design choices, so it's really just something you need to learn while playing the game. But, I really I hope people will sit down and actually see all the really interesting design and creative choices, that are in here - Like how, other Ninjas will sometimes appear on your missions and if you talk to them and say the right things, they'll sometimes quit their jobs and show up in the Ninja Dojo as secret, but powerful recruitable characters.

Small interesting touches like this, are what made Beetle Ninja such an interesting game for me to play through this year. They’ve created a really interesting world here with charming characters, that are actually quite memorable. I think BeetleNinja is worth checking out, just from the art assets alone - It makes me excited and wonder what future rpgmaker2003 games will look like, now that rpgmaker2003 is a viable option for creators.

EDIT: My favorite character in BeetleNinja is probably the conjoined Ninja Twins, you can eventually recruit very very late in the game. It would've been really cool to see their double-air-kick animated though.


Combat is pretty dogshit, I'll readily admit that much. It was also one of the things I didn't handle myself, which is reassuring in a way because the most common criticisms I see of the game are typically a byproduct of one specific person who worked on it.
The sequel won't have any combat, I think working with 2K3's combat engine is a fairly difficult endeavor that seldom works and almost all of the criticism of the game in some way or another circles back to that.
It was fairly deliberate to have the player adapt to the day system on their own, and it's actually why I added the multiple endings. I personally like older games like that wherein you can go through one initial "practice run" before knowing about how to finish the game "properly"- like Cave Story's good ending or something.
That said, the day system in Beetle Ninja 2 is approached fairly differently and more things happen in the overworld between days.
I'll keep all this in mind for the sequel.
Godspeed,
-ProsciuttoMan
Pages: 1