NR, utd.
Based in Smyrna, GA

Release date:



Regular Price:



Mantis Shuffle is a rhythmically interactive dance simulator. The player succeeds in the dance if the performance gauge can remain filled throughout the song. The more accurate the player’s timing, the more the player is rewarded as well as the worse the player’s timing the more the player will be punished.


First Wave

This was the beginning of Mantis Shuffle. Beginning as a prototype focusing on NR, utd.'s team strengths of programming and music and a weakness of art, a choice to begin a rhythmically interactive game for IGF 2006 was created, a deadline that was only a couple months away from the project's beginning. The completion of the first wave was NR, utd.'s entry into IGF. At this point, the project was at a playable demo in the minimal level with 5 different songs and 5 different difficulties. The brief introduction of the story's prologue also was able to make the deadline.

Second Wave

After the entry into IGF 2006, the team went through and managed feedback and changed development plans in response to the feedback. The team also took on a major loss that greatly hurt the moral for a long while with the death of the lead composer, Kenneth Isaiah Smith. Changes to match required a major team change development around the team's weakness. During the development of the second wave, the song count expanded to 12 songs along with a major overhaul on the AI. An options mode and demo mode were also added to give a more completed experience.

Third Wave

During this period, Mantis Shuffle began to take on a series of refinements, showmanship, and polish. Tasks that gave the player insights behind the scenes came into focus with the song memoirs, a tutorial, and finer details in areas that players see frequently (such as the song selection rotary, avatar selection, and the gameplay state). Avatar abilities and a tournament mode greatly enhanced the gameplay competitive experience while the addition of a duet mode (co-op play) brought players together. The options received a major expansion as well with features like: music and sound effect volume adjustment, pattern settings, key config, lyric display, font choice, etc. The voice acting began it's recording and implementation during this process as well. The team even took on the chance for a return to IGF with a submission in IGF 2007. The song playlist jumped up to 32 and even developed a new syncing system.

Fourth Wave

The fourth wave began a major push creating a completed project. Step patterns went through the process of updating into the new syncing mechanics and the story mode gained a lot of content. Fluffy the janitor was also added to the roster to provide a fuller experience and comedic effect. The AI also took on a further emulation of a human opponent by perfomring their appeals as well. Many glitches were also tweaked in this phase. The team even created an attainment system (similar to the Achievement system of XBox Live or the Trophy system of PSN). The play list also expanded another 6 songs.

Fifth Wave

The project took on a focus on polishing off and completing Mantis Shuffle during the fifth wave. A few songs were added to bring the total up to 42 songs. There was also an additional mini-game added called Melomania. The remainder of the team's efforts and energy were focused on completing the game and getting it to launch.

Putting the dance to sleep

The lack of any budget with the plan of working for profit sharing finally brought the project to a need of being put on hold while still staring the end within sight. It was extremely hard on the team to finally admit after so much work put into it but it was a necessity that needed to be called and the company to move on to a new project before breaking the team's emotional stamina.


  • Free style, Duet (Co-op), and Dance Battle gameplay style
  • Over 40 songs from various underground composers
  • 5 difficulties for each song in each gameplay style
  • A.I. opponents with 5 different difficulty settings to challenge a player playing alone
  • 16 characters with two unique appeals each (in addition to 4 hidden characters)
  • Attainment system to reward the player on special achievements
  • A branched story mode to follow through Mantis’s experience at Desmond
  • Plethora of options to customize the experience to the player’s desire
  • Melomania (mini-game testing the player’s rhythm and memory simultaneously)
  • Tournament mode for up to 16 players
  • Various stats for a player to track his or her long term results
  • Player profile storage to keep track of individual players on the same system