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Chris Rose

LEGO® Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin™ / The Art of Spinswitchu

Steve Thornton

LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin /The Art of Spinswitchu

Hello, Steve Thornton again, Game Director of Shadow of Ronin. Any Ninjago fan will already know that one of the defining powers that the Ninja wield is the “Art of Spinjitzu” – an ancient martial art that allows the Ninja to turn into a rapidly spinning elemental tornado. And if you aren’t a Ninjago fan yet – you know now!


In the game the Ninja can earn Spinjitzu power rapidly by fighting enemies, and although I don’t want to reveal too much yet about how it works in combat – I can assure you that the tornado is a devastating attack that can take out crowds of enemies in a pretty entertaining way that even long term fans of the show will be surprised by...



When we started the game though, I knew we would need to find a way to use Spinjitzu not just as a powerful attack in combat, but to drive the level design and puzzles in a meaningful way. Such a core aspect of the show needed to be a core aspect of the game as well. During early design meetings one of the level directors (full credit: Christopher Wyatt Esq) came up with the idea of using Spinjitzu to manipulate special switches and platforms – and thus was born the art of “Spinswitchu”.



On the special Spinswitchu pads players will be able to use the pull of their tornado to take control, but that alone won’t be enough - they will also have to use their wits and timing to solve the games puzzles. We don’t want to spoil all the ways Spinswitchu can be used throughout the game as that’s part of the fun, but some of my favourite examples include moving platforms, powering machinery, cracking locks, charging jump springs, and drilling through rock. And because I can never resist any opportunity to cameo more LEGO in the game, Ninja-eyed fans will no doubt recognise the Spinswitchu pads as stylized versions of the popular range of Spinner playsets; we tried to fit in as many as possible to match with our various environments.



The final way that Spinjitzu can be used in the game is to form the powerful “Tornado of Creation”. As in the TV show, this requires all four of the Ninja to activate Spinjitzu at the same time and combine their powers into a single massive Spinjitzu tornado capable of ripping apart the nearby environment and using those parts to forge crazy new and massive LEGO objects.



As a designer I want to provide mechanics that allow players to interact with the game world in a meaningful and satisfying way – and think in terms of interaction Spinswitchu and the Tornado of Creation are amongst the most exciting mechanics we’ve ever added to the LEGO franchise. I can’t wait for people to see them in action and get their hands on it, because as much fun as you probably just had reading about it, it’s at LEAST twice as fun to actually use.

Thanks for reading,
- Steve

Chris Rose

LEGO® Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin™ / Introduction

Steve Thornton

LEGO® Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin™ / Introduction
Hello, my name is Steve Thornton and I am the Game Director of “LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin”. I hope you heard that in an epic movie trailer guy voice with an orchestral riff in the background, because that’s the way I said it. Shadow of Ronin is an extremely exciting project for us for a lot of reasons – but for all the Ninjago fans out there the biggest thing to get excited about is probably how it fits into the ever expanding Ninjago universe.

In the upcoming 2015 TV season the Ninja find themselves visiting a mysterious island where the even more mysterious Master Chen is hosting a martial arts tournament with a twist… all the entrants wield elemental powers. After the thrills, spills and revelations of the tournament the Ninja return to Ninjago Island, only to find themselves under attack from an all new villain: Ronin. And that’s when our game gets started. 


Our games story not only officially bridges the gap between the Tournament and the upcoming part of the TV season (sorry, no spoilers!) but it will introduce characters, weapons and vehicles that will go on to appear in the show and LEGO playsets later in the year, and even solve a few mysteries that were left unsolved in the show along the way. The whole game team has watched the show and we’ve worked closely with LEGO to ensure that fans will immediately recognise the feel and style of the series in the game, so that together we can contribute a vital and official part of the ongoing Ninjago storyline.


The game is also special because it is completely exclusive to handhelds – specifically the Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vita. Whereas usually our job on handheld is to try and recreate the feel of the console version on the small screen, Shadow of Ronin is a chance for us to develop a game that completely plays to the strengths and features of handhelds, with unique mechanics, levels and design choices. Our emphasis is on dynamic on-the-go gameplay, acrobatic movement and fluid combat, punctuated with traps, puzzles and vehicle missions. The huge range of dragons, jets, Mechs and land vehicles in the show and playsets meant that our game had to follow suit with a huge variety of gameplay types – not only will players get to hack, slash, flip and spin their way through levels, but drive, fly, stomp and slide as well. With over 25 official LEGO sets featured in the game, hardcore Ninjago fans should have no problem spotting their favourite toys and vehicles – including all the brand new 2015 sets that are coming out this year. Even I’m surprised with how much stuff we’ve managed to fit in.


Although every IP is fun to work with, it was immediately obvious that Ninjago’s massive versatile world, cool characters, flashy powers and stylish combat make it perfect for adapting into a videogame. You can anticipate a trailer in the near future, but in the meantime myself and other members of the Shadow of Ronin team will hopefully drop by with some updates over the next few weeks.


Thanks for reading,
-Steve 

Arthur Parsons

LEGO® Batman™ 3: Beyond Gotham blog.

Arthur Parsons

Sooo intrepid LEGO videogame fans. Welcome to the LEGO® Batman™ 3: Beyond Gotham blog.
First and foremost I have to say that we here at TT Towers are absolutely ecstatic to be developing LEGO Batman 3. When we first found out that we would be returning to the fabulous world of LEGO Batman we were dancing around the office (Luckily there is no footage of this though, it would be most embarrassing!). We've been so busy that we've not even had time to get a blog written until now,so apologies for not writing one sooner. Needless to say that we have been hard at work at our Bat-Computers cramming loads of amazing content into the game.

 

Anyway, LEGO Batman 3 gives us the opportunity to once again delve into the DC comics archives and bring you guys more amazing LEGO Batman gameplay than ever before. The key words for this game are BEYOND GOTHAM... as we are taking everything that you guys loved with LEGO Batman 1 and 2 and then throwing that into a giant mixing bowl with a whole host of NEW features and content. A dollop of new characters, a sprinkling of new vehicles, a very liberal pouring of new locations, a dash of inventiveness and hey presto...

 

We are for the first time ever going BEYOND GOTHAM, we are leaving Gotham behind to explore the rich and diverse DC comics universe. Our story brings into play the various lantern worlds, and we will be allowing you to explore these and interact with all of the amazing characters that they bring with them. We are so excited to be taking LEGO Batman into space, uniting him with all of the Justice League members, and teaming them up with the villains of the Legion of Doom.

 

We are definitely throwing everything, including the kitchen sink into the mix with LEGO Batman 3, and we'll reveal everything about the game in due course.

 

As I write this we've had a Bat-tastic time out in Los Angeles showing the game at E3, and now we are looking forward to showing more of the game at Comic Con out in San Diego. We are just putting the finishing touches to our panel presentation, and gameplay demos. So far we have revealed a small glimpse of the playable cast of characters, but we have so many more to show you guys. We'll be revealing more at Comic Con, but at the minute we already have an amazing cast just from the characters we have revealed. The thing is... and you'll have to take my word on this... what we have shown thus far is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many things we've not revealed yet that will take your breath away.

 

We have left no stone unturned in our quest to create the Ultimate Super Hero game for everyone in 2014. Already we have shown that we are taking LEGO Batman into space, and that we have given him and LEGO Robin a host of new suits and gadgets to play with. Additionally Joker, Lex and Cyborg have a vast array of suits and gadgets, and then the remaining cast is littered with amazing fun and inventive mechanics and abilities. We've shown some new gameplay that we have designed into the game, to include classic space shooter gameplay, gravity-less platforming action and virtual world missions. However what we have to show at Comic Con will leave you pinching yourself!

 

This blog will hopefully go live just before Comic con, so make sure you stay tuned for all the action. We'll be getting a blog up after Comic Con with all the news and action from San Diego, and we'll also make sure that blog readers get an exclusive reveal or two in the coming blog posts... as I know that you guys can keep a secret right :)

 

So for now, sit back, strap in, and get ready for an absolute blast!!!

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