design Mist Village Development Post-mortem

Recommended Posts


This will be my Hidden Mist Village Launch Post-mortem talking about what it took to create the Hidden Mist Village’s initial launch state in Nin Online. It's been a long journey to create this major expansion for the game, and with the release a few months ago, it's been very satisfying to watch the dynamics of the game change.

Elk's Work (2013)
But the journey to create the Mist village actually goes back even further than you may think. Because it started in 2013, with some concepts drawn up by @Elk, one of the artists at the time. Back then, there was little to no reference of what the Mist village actually looked like besides a blur image on Naruto's Fan Wikia. 

The only other reference of the land of water, was from flashback scenes of the snowy smaller village that Haku was born in, in the original Naruto series. We had 2 simple directions, we wanted to keep the Mist village dark and gloomy, and really bring out the feel of the Zabuza Arc, and that's all we knew.


Unfortunately, all of the artwork that Elk posted back then has gone offline and expired from image hosting sites, so I can't show you what he did. But the way the village looks from his concept art, and what we ended up having is uncanny.

My Timeline of working on the Mist village (2018-2019)
Like all the villages, it all really starts with a sketch, a very barebones sketch. Unlike the Suna one, this one was done digitally (in paint).

Which you can see the similarities between the final product.
Going from that sketch (Mid 2018) to this (Mid 2019) is rewarding!

One of the hardest things to make for tiles are round objects, especially large round objects. So making a lot of different sized round buildings for Mist was definitely a bigger challenge than the square buildings in the Leaf and the one size round buildings of the Sand. But I felt that it was necessary for this village.

I didn't want Mist village to just be a recolored Leaf village, so the majority of the tiles were made brand new just for the Mist village, besides small common objects that could just be recolored.

In total, the Mist village has 3 tilesets (2048x2048) of sprites, 2 of them full! as well as a smaller tileset for the ant cave and one more for the Ship tiles for the new ship ride to the land of water.

This is some early style tests of what Mist would look like


Although it may sound simple, like oh just add Mist map and the surrounding forests. The total number of maps created for the Mist village thus far is 58 including the interiors to buildings, and there's more to come. With the release of the Mist village also came the small village outside, the ports, the organization bases, the Academy, the shops, Asoki Port village and all the maps previously non-existent linking the old playable map space to the new. I didn't want each map to look like a clone of each other, so I made sure that different parts of the Land of Water felt different, and so it feels more like an entire country, not one village!

These maps were all hand crafted and a lot of them contain new artwork made specially for them. The new mist graphic that overlays the maps was also custom made based on the Zabuza Arc's look and feel.

The village map consists of unique buildings that can take a whole day to complete, and I took time to make sure maps like the Spa felt different from what you already have in the Leaf and Sand village.

Like I said though, because there was little to no references of what Mist village should look like, the entire layout of the village was created originally for Nin Online, and so if you start seeing it look this way in any other game, chances are - they've been playing Nin Online!

Mobs & Summons
I made 10 mobs for Mist village. Including Ants, Boars, the Kraken etc.

There's only two summons at the moment, Clams and Pandas! But for Clams, I wanted it to be very different from the other summons, so we made it so it was a stationary summon and I created Acid Mist Jutsu for it too.

Adding summons is a process of doing the art and animations, then adding their Summoning Jutsu and stats, adding their NPC database stats, adding their summoning manual and adding the NPCs that sells their manuals.

Bubble Mastery

I wanted Bubble Mastery to work and feel different from other masteries, so I designed it around traps and snares, but utilizing a weapon. Although there's still more to do for it, I'm happy with how it looks! The art for it took a few weeks and then the implementation took a few days. Along with every new jutsu and mastery, comes a bunch of backend work like creating Jutsu/Jutsu Manuals/Scroll Scribe in the database.

New Items/Equipment

Mist Military Police Uniforms, Purple Forehead Protectors, Hunter-nin Robes and Masks, Mizukage Clothes, Mist Utility Vests, Blue and Colored Collar Jackets, Bubble Pipe are some of the equipment I did the art for, as well as all the mob drops and mission items! Oh, and the Bandaged Face Mask was done just a few days before launch to let people look more Misty.

Screenshot 2019-06-25 02.11.44.png

Making maps, doesn't just make them work. There's a lot of scripted systems for features like RP Missions, the Academy, Fainting and the hospital, Imprisonment, Kage command room, adding Mist to the War Event Map, and the Boat Ride too! These take time to make and are all done within the game itself.

The mission system is a complicated system. It's built upon both scripting and hard coding. The hard coded system is relatively simple, and it leaves a lot of the customizing each mission to the in-game scripting, so each mission takes a bit to create. I make NPCs and place them around and design fetch missions, I design mobs and place them around and design kill missions, I create a gate map and then script the timers for it, and then create guarding missions. I didn't want to just make missions for the Mist to go to the Sand and Leaf, so I also had to make missions for both the Sand and Leaf to now venture into the land of water. It may not seem like it from one village's perspective, but we effectively doubled the number of missions in Nin Online just by adding Mist!

Missions have to be scripted down to the level of what to do to the player when he dies, and it has to be linked to the Village Score System for example, which has to be linked to the War System, and with systems so interconnected, it gets exponentially harder with every additional piece added into it.

This was a relatively simple thing to do, I looked through all the submissions for clans for Mist and created emblems for them or used ones submitted. Most of adding clans is just in the UI.. so..

UI & Forum / Website
New UI pieces like symbols for the bingo book, the character selection, the world map and the village map had to be made. This was all done around April 2019.

New introduction scene for the Mist village was hacked together myself as well!

New login screens to celebrate the Mist launch too.

The forum and things like updater had to be updated with new graphics pieces to feature our new village as well! Things like promotional banners were and social media images too.

I did one piece of soundtrack for the Mist village, and the others are done by @Afilion!
My piece plays in some of the interiors.
I'm not a professional musician like him, but I wanted to leave a mark in a different way.

I created 11 NPCs with full walking and attack animations for the Mist village, for things like Guards, and just wandering NPCs.

Other Staff's Contributions
Besides, Elk, our ex-artist @Sezu also contributed to the village with Dragonflies & Fox Mobs, 8 Misc. Static NPCs, the Striped Clothing Styled Items, and the to be seen Chunin Headband (Slanted Mist Protectors) & Mist Flak Jacket!

On the programming side, there was a little bit of work to be done to prepare the engine to support a third village, which was all done by our resident programmer @Seth.

Reaper/Santa Chulo also contributed with yet to be seen art like the weapons of the 7 Swordsmen of the Mist.

@Afilion did the new village theme songs!

I also commissioned an artist named Daikai to create new artwork for Mist Ninja!


Mist took a lot of work. It was a lot of carrying from myself. It gets exponentially harder to add more things to a game where every feature is interconnected. I left out a lot of backend work I had to do, and I'm sure I missed a ton of things I had to do. I'm thankful for the help everyone has contributed to the village.

There were times I just felt like releasing Mist half done without summons, without organizations, without new jutsu.. but I decided against it because I wanted everything to be experienced at once and for people to get that feeling of a big new update coming, instead of the usual small patches with one or two new items.

Although we announced that I hoped Mist would release in 2018, the original pipeline changed very quickly in that year. Between then and now, we also went to add major systems like Summons and Clans which were not initially intended to be added before Mist. I had to spend a good few months working on fixing the major crash bug in 2018 which you can read about here..

Mist was a lot of work, it still is, and adding more content is getting harder and harder. But we'll keep going, slowly but surely. Thank you all for the support and for playing Nin Online!


  • Like 23

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly I can only appreciate the Art you produce and not the actual gameplay, nonetheless good work.

#buggedClam #BubbleAwfulDesignButNotArt #boattrip

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

What I love about the new village is that we actually gets vibes of the mist. The atmosphere is heavy. The mist makes it ominous. The art is very good and well structured. 

Much like the sand village, this is a GG. keep on the good work!

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good Job Rory The Mist Village is Amazing the summons are cool tho but idk how the acid justu on the clam looks is that out yet?. Thanks for this great story btw 


  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Tsuyoshi said:

Good Job Rory The Mist Village is Amazing the summons are cool tho but idk how the acid justu on the clam looks is that out yet?. Thanks for this great story btw 


Will fix that soon!

Thanks everyone!

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Updated with more screenshots~

Also, thanks for the warning @Now
But if you check properly, the original post was in June, so the bump was warranted :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good job Rory, I know we complain about your game a lot, and it's good when you tell us more about what happens "behind the scenes," so you and the team show us your reality, just as we players show our side to the developers.

Anyway ... great work from everyone involved, not only in Mist Village but throughout the game.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s amazing to see all your efforts come together to make a masterpiece. Thank you for your work Rory.

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now