Skip to Content

Tenchu the board game?

8 replies [Last post]
Zweiterversuch's picture
Joined: 04/18/2017

Hi there!

I'm working on a board game based on the Ps1 franchise, Tenchu. I already have a prototype on Tabletop simulator, but it isn't a mod you can download. I'm just looking for someone to play it with to see how fun it really is. So, if you're interested, DM me so we can play a game.

Let me tell you more about the game.

Tenchu, the board game is a 2 player cooperative game that turns players into ninjas trying to complete different objectives before the break of dawn. The players should move around the map, while avoiding enemy guards

The game uses dice to determine the outcome of actions the players want to perform.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
IP Licensing for the Tenchu Brand

Hello there,

Just curious if you have already managed to get IP Licensing for the Tenchu Brand? I ask this because it may be pointless to develop a Game around that IP if you are unable to get rights for commercial publication.

Although if you are making the game for FUN (and as a hobby) ... You should be OKAY but it might be hard (or illegal) to make a prototype because services like "The Game Crafter" (TGC) only allow you to (for example) print Cards with licensed IP and not cards with someone else's Brand. So legally TGC will not print cards that contain IP that belongs to someone else.

A Board should be fine UNLESS you put the NAME on it ("Tenchu" or "Inspired by Tenchu", etc.)

Of course if you keep everything ABSTRACT and say that players are NINJAs and that they must complete their objectives before the end of night... That is 100% legit and acceptable to make a prototype and cards, etc. Again provided you don't use "Tenchu" Characters or "Tenchu" Art.

Sorry I cannot help you out with Tabletop Simulator (TTS)... I just wanted to make you aware of "licensing constraints" and what you CAN and CANNOT do.

Best of success with your game!

Note #1: I would "refrain" from using the Brand "Tenchu" and talk more about ASSASSIN NINJAs that operate in the dead of night... OR something like that. Drop the use of "Tenchu" because you are probably NOT licensing their IP (for just the NAME) for BRAND-Only recognition...

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Like the TOPIC of the message/thread

Your topic is "Tenchu the board game"... I would DROP the Licensed IP Brand NAME (it's only a name anyways) and call it something else. Like "Nightly Assassin" or "Assassins at Night", "Assassin Attack", "Assassin Stealth" etc. Find a name that speaks about YOUR "Game" and not the "Tenchu" Brand. And BTW that last one ("Assassin Stealth") is pretty similar to the "Tenchu" Brand but it is NOT a copy and is original... Something you might WANT to use!

Making this change will HELP in not create confusion between the IP Brand and your own NAME. Believe it or not, they (Acquire, SONY and Activision) can send you a cease and desist letter for using THEIR name to promote YOUR game.

I honestly DOUBT you will be contacting SONY for a IP Licensing agreement. So therefore I would STOP using the "Tenchu" Brand Name and find one that is more appropriate for YOUR game.

Cheers and if you don't understand PM and I'll answer your questions.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Some clarifications... I just want you to be AWARE...

questccg wrote:
...Believe it or not, they (Acquire, SONY and Activision) can send you a cease and desist letter for using THEIR name to promote YOUR game...

I doubt they would notice you posting this way on ... But a bigger website like BGG, you may get some extra warning from more users. The whole legality issue comes from the NAME, it's a BRAND and has multiple products and that means NAME "recognition" for THEM. They DON'T want someone ELSE using their name to promote a product not part of their BRAND.

Like I said, I DOUBT (99.99% sure) that you've gotten an IP right to use the BRAND in promoting your game idea and so that's why I would find ANOTHER NAME to use which better describes YOUR game and avoids complications with the Tenchu Brand...

Cheers mate!

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I have played and looked at

I have played and looked at many commercial ninja games, and I tried numerous designs myself and never found a game that really works for me. Especially in a solo/coop game with tactical maneuvering. Some abstraction somewhere is required to make it work. Else, most of the working games are fluffy ninja themed game that has nothing to do with tactical stealth.

I had a couple of ideas lately regarding the map design that could potentially works, but I did not have a chance to test it yet (Walks on spaces or edges). I had an interesting mechanics of spending time to get automatic success, at the cost of losing time.

So if you are using a tactical map, I am curious to see how you did it.

In solo/coop game, most of the time, it ends up as a enemy capturing puzzle. AI can be complicated to design. 2 player opposing each other is also complicated due to the hidden information of not seeing the ninja. The scorpion clan board game managed to make it work, but the game is not that interesting.

Else, going the non-stealth route where the ninja is an almighty warrior like seen in ninja movies could be another approach. That generally ends up as a kind of dungeon crawler like the ninja turtle tactical board game.

Else I was thinking something similar to Kick-Ass crime fighting game. There is no tactical maneuvering, you just try to overcome threats in different areas.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Puppeteers of the Shadows

That's what I would call your game. A bit of HISTORICAL background:

Shadow play, also known as shadow puppetry, is an ancient form of storytelling and entertainment which uses flat articulated cut-out figures (shadow puppets) which are held between a source of light and a translucent screen or scrim. The cut-out shapes of the puppets sometimes include translucent color or other types of detailing. Various effects can be achieved by moving both the puppets and the light source. A talented puppeteer can make the figures appear to walk, dance, fight, nod and laugh.

NOTICE "fight"... Which works great with Ninjas and Samurai. Anyhow figured I'd share with you a COOL name that is available to be used by YOUR game.


Note #1: BTW I don't know which is better:

1> Puppeteers of the Shadows

2> Puppeteers in the Shadows

Both seem like plausible alternative. I know you're going to be like: "Man, I don't want to change the name..." And TBH, I understand... But you should post a thread "Asking for game name suggestions" such that you get better names for your game, including stuff which is legally more respectful to the owners of the Tenchu Brand...

Trust me... You'll be much better off when you get a name which is legally yours (for all intensive purposes...)

Note #2: The name of the game can be "PS1" or "Puppeteers in/of the Shadows" which may seem like a "broader" reference to the platform for the game... No worries if you don't LIKE the name. Like I said if you need help with naming, just post a thread "Looking for a new name?!" and I'm sure you'll get other members contributing with their own ideas as what Ninjas in the Night may be an appropriate name.

Cheers mate...

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I just had a flash, your

I just had a flash, your chinese shadow puppet theater gave me an idea. Could a ninja board game be possible as a 2D sideways game?

It worked for video games like mark of the ninja. But I could hardly see scrolling an entire stage as a board game to be convenient to play. I had that dungeon delve mechanic idea that could be used where the next part of the stage, is the next card on the top of the deck. You try to avoid the obstacles on each cards. But it`s basically just a rethemed dungeon delving mechanism.

But your idea of theater could be used like old kung fu movies where minions appear from all over the place and you need to fight them. Here you could have a theater(location), with obstacles and enemies appears on the stage. The player needs to deal with those obstacles in different ways since he is restrained to the theater`s space available. Various theater configuration could give replay value.

Not sure if it makes a good stealth game, might works better as a kung fu game. But the solitaire playability of such game is much more easier than any game with a tactical map and an AI. Could also be a 2 player coop game.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
OMG Eric you are a GENIUS!!!

Aka "Double Dragon", "Shinobi" or "Ninja Gaiden" on the NES!!! That's some COOL SHIT IDEAS! Make it like ROOM TILES in an "Area"...

You could have FIVE (5) Game Tiles each with their own "obstacles" and you would have a RULES "Card" which dictates the SETUP of the Level and what are the WINNING Conditions to beat the "Area"...

You move from "Area" to "Area" in the "Level" and try to beat a "Boss" in the final "Area" of each "Level"...

Would be GENIUS @larienna... I definitely agree something like this WOULD BE VERY COOL... Granted there is not much "Stealth" except that perhaps that game would be during the NIGHT and ergo the "Stealth-ing around" the game makes for a very Tactical Experience that could be HUGE amount of FUN!!!

Definitely SOMETHING "different" to consider.

Cheers all!

Note #1: You could EVEN have a BUNCH of MINIATURES for the various BADDIES and BOSSES... And even some mini-bosses in an "Area" after you beat "x" BADDIES... The mini-boss appears and you have to beat him/her to win the LEVEL. Actual BOSSES are a LEVEL in themselves...

I could really picture this KIND of game with Miniatures sell a SH!T LOAD of copies because:

#1: It's different

#2: It's what everyone on KS wants nowadays: Miniatures and such.

#3: It's popular culture from the 90s.

Yeah... You should definitely explore more into this as @larienna suggest!

Note #2: Tile #1 and Tile #5 would be SPAWNING Tiles and baddies would spawn from them. You could have different TILES and BADDIES depending on the Tile. Same goes for a Mini-Boss Tile... Spawn via a specific Tile #5...

This is HIGH on replayability... And if you design the LEVELS GOOD... I'm sure you'll find the CO-OP 2-Player experience of say a "Double Dragon" as being the closest and easiest to ADAPT for a Board Game. It's not so much of a "Side-Scroller" (or 2D as @larienna puts it) ... But more of a LEVEL with some AREAS and that is the most adaptable "product" TBH!

Note #3: I watched a 30-Minute Video on YouTube with the complete PLAYTHRU of "Double Dragon" and believe me... Even with a Board Game you can make it way BETTER. I'm not saying it is BAD, I'm just saying that you can improve upon the formula and make it a BETTER "Board Game"...

Haven't seen anything like this and as @larienna puts it... It could be FUN for 1-Player Solo-Mode or 2-Players Coop-Mode.

Definitely a LOT of potential if you are interested in what we are both talking about... Cheers!

Note #4: Notice that in "Double Dragon" there are AT MOST TWO (2) Enemies per Area. Of course you can improve upon this and create different types of enemies too (like "Double Dragon") as miniatures. Could open up an ENTIRE KS campaign with miniatures, stretch goals and all!

The bottom line: it's VERY DO-ABLE!

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I cannot find my prototype's

I cannot find my prototype's pictures, but yes, I managed to have some cards that you could layout like a Castlevania I map stage. The idea was that players try to finish the "video game" first. You hand monsters and obstacles to deal with which had different consequences if you could not meet the requirements. It was an old game Idea I could not make it work. The more I think about it, it's really much like a dungeon delving card game but with the possibility to restart some portion of the level.

The other idea would be like a double dragon video game (or TMNT arcade game) where all the action takes place in a single room. Enemies comes in, traps and event can occur. One thing I was thinking is have some sort of legacy effect making further actions more complicated. For example, an enemy could throw caltrops on a portion of the floor if you don't get rid of it fast enough. The caltrops remains in an area of the room making it more complicated to fight other enemies afterwards due to this new obstacle.

It could be like recreating something like this, but as a board game:

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut