This week’s highlight pits six players in an arena of death where everyone must work together to take down one of over 30 unique bosses. The controls are simple: right click to move, left click to attack. However, these simple controls are pushed to their limits as the creatures you face require split second timing and teamwork to defeat.
The game’s designer, ‘Clownz’ has done an amazing job of creating fun and interesting boss encounters, but that’s not all. The arena spawns random power-ups which can help turn the tides of battle. These power-ups include bonuses to your speed and damage; however, one of the most valuable power-ups increases your vision allowing you to more easily avoid damage and manage the battlefield.
Defeating a boss earns you loot as well as credits that you can spend to permanently improve your gear. Additionally, as your gladiator levels up, you’ll earn new models to show off your strength. Your gladiator’s progress is automatically saved, and when you start a new game you are able to jump right into higher level fights based upon your progress.
Read on about the development of the game in our interview with Clownz below, and when you’re ready to play, click here to jump right in.
Have a friend who might want to give it a shot, but doesn’t currently own StarCraft II? Like all of our featured games, Clownz’s Gladiator Arena is available to anyone with the free StarCraft II Starter Edition.
Traysent: How did you get started in game design?
Clownz: I’ve never had any formal training in game design or computer programming. I do, however, have countless drawings of imagined video game worlds that I was creating from as far back as preschool, so I guess that game design has always been part of my life to some extent. I have been using Blizzard’s map editors since as far back as WarCraft II to satisfy my need to create.
T: What made you want to make games with the StarCraft II editor?
C: I’ve always been a huge fan of the editors that Blizzard ships with their games. I enjoy how StarCraft II allows me to turn a seed of an idea into an entire game that people all over the world can play.
T: What was the inspiration for Clownz’s Gladiator Arena?
C: Everyone loves boss battles. It is very rewarding to defeat a big bad enemy not through brute force but with strategy and skill. I wanted to make a game that delivered the adrenaline rush of boss battles almost non-stop; a thrilling game where reflexes and short-term planning were of critical importance. A lot of games in the StarCraft II Arcade fit in what could be considered the “hero survival” genre. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could improve upon the idea.
T: How many people worked on this game and what roles did they have?
C: I worked on this project alone. However, I would like to thank all of the people (and there were many) who gave me feedback when this game was in its infancy. I got to hear a lot of different perspectives and it really helped shape the game into what it is today.
T: What was the most challenging part of your game’s design and how did you overcome it?
C: I wanted all of the beast fights to feel different. The game would get boring quickly if every fight had the same strategy. It took a tremendous amount of testing both privately and publicly to make sure that every battle was unique and fun. There is also a fine line between “difficult” and “frustrating.” I had to make a lot of tweaks to ensure that if a player fails a round, they say “Oops, I see what mistake I made” and not “I don’t understand what I did wrong!” It was an arduous trial and error process, but I’m pleased with the result.
T: What do players who want to conquer the game and be great do to reach that goal?
C: Since each beast has its own combat style, players need to pay close attention to the fights. If you are fighting a beast you haven’t encountered yet, I recommend being extra cautious until you figure out what sort of attacks they might unleash upon you. Watch what more experienced players do and follow their lead. It is also important to make your gladiator stronger by earning new items. The stronger you are, the further you will be able to progress.
I recommend people join the Battle.net group titled “Gladiator” to find people of a similar level to play with. The game is most fun and rewarding when playing with others of similar strength and skill.
T: What do you feel makes your game compelling?
C: It’s easy to pick up and quite action-packed. I’ve heard a lot of feedback that people have an awesome time playing it with a group of friends. Since the game difficulty can be adjusted, the challenge never really ends.
T: Are there any updates coming to Clownz’s Gladiator Arena that the community can look forward to?
C: At the moment, the game is playable even on Wings of Liberty. However, Heart of the Swarm has a lot of features and new graphics that I’d love to put in this game, so it is likely that in the future I will be adding more content to it, particularly in the form of new beasts to fight.
T: What advice would you give to someone who was interested in using the SCII editor to make their own game? Where is a good place for them to start the learning process?
C: People who are new to the editor should start small. Read some tutorials for the basics and then experiment on your own. It will take time to learn enough to make a playable game, but the learning process can be really fun!
T: How did you get people to notice your game once it was released?
C: I think having a good title is one of the most important aspects of attracting people to your game. If your title doesn’t catch people, nobody will bother trying it. Everyone has a pretty solid idea of what to expect when they see “gladiator arena,” so I didn’t bother getting too fancy with it. From there, I spent a lot of time testing the game with the public, and fortunately it was well received.
T: Do you have any plans for other games or future goals as a game designer?
C: I have some other projects started for StarCraft II that are in the early stages of development. I don’t intend for game design to ever be more than a hobby, though I do hope to be making games with Blizzard’s map editors for a long time to come.
T: What’s the best way people can follow you and your work (Twitter, Facebook, Website, etc.)?
C: I do look at and appreciate feedback from people in the Arcade review section. If you have comments, be sure to post them there! Also, I recently created a forum for people who enjoy the game at gladiatorarena.freeforums.org.
T: Do you have any favorite games on the StarCraft II Arcade?
C: There is a game called Nexus Word Wars which was a tug-of-war map that required you to frantically type words to defeat enemies. I thought this was creative and a lot of fun.