The design process behind the story of a gladiator, now available on Xbox One

Summary

  • The very first idea of ​​the game was to create a simple 1v1 symbol game with turn-based combat
  • We’ve added more and more characters and races to the arena, so it’s more like the gladiatorial period in ancient Rome
  • The design process was long and we had to change the direction several times to deliver the final version

Story of a Gladiator is an arena in which you take on the role of a man in search of his fate to find it in the sand of the Coliseum.

The very first idea of ​​the game was to create a simple 1v1 symbol game with turn-based combat. It was a simple screen with two characters taking turns attacking each other. After thinking it over, we found that the game would look much better if it had some real characters instead of symbols – along with a background arena – that led to the concept of a gladiator’s arena game.

Once we had some characters and backgrounds, it was easier to do a turn-based combat simulation. Each team chose a character to perform an action, and then continued until all characters had completed an action before a round was completed.

Again, a new arena concept was created to better resemble Roman times with a single character, a crowd and the local magistrate.

The turn-based combat system was very simple, so we decided to improve it and add more skills and abilities for each character to give them more options each round.

We’ve added more and more characters and races to the arena, so it’s more like the gladiatorial period in ancient Rome. Somewhere there, however, we noticed that the characters felt a bit strange and did not move. It felt like they could do so much more, but instead they got stuck in this turn-based system.

The arena had only one horizontal axis of movement. That meant if we wanted to make an action game out of it, it would have to be something like a 1-on-1 club. In a gladiatorial arena, one would expect several gladiators to compete against each other. So we decided to add a vertical axis similar to older beat em ups like Double Dragon and Streets of Rage. We did a quick test to see what that would do.

It quickly became clear that this was the way forward. The
Characters could finally use their legs and move instead of being rooted
in their turn-based positions. This also meant controlling a group of moves
Based on Gladiators, you now control 1 Gladiator. The game felt exciting and easier
playful and fluid already with a simple hit and move fighting system. It
Just like that, you would want to fight as a gladiator in an arena.

Now that we had an arena with two axes, we had to bring back some ideas from previous concepts like the crowd and the walls. We’ve also decided to add a little battle intro with your gladiator entering the arena from the left to cheer the crowd and play trumpets.

We wanted a crowd of people from all directions, including the floor, to keep you in the spotlight. Some new things were added, such as the bazaar feeling, as this was a small arena in a province where the streets, the market and the arena were a bit mixed.

We’ve continued to work on several revisions of the arena to give it a more natural look with better depths and angles. One of the last concepts was the following arena.

There was something missing that we could not imagine at this time. We took a break from designing arenas and instead focused on creating more characters. That refreshed us a lot when we came back a few weeks later and designed a whole new arena that made it to the final version of the game.

At that time, the game direction seemed very clear as what
The final version would look like this. We now had everything we needed to finish
the game.

Overall, we are very happy with the progress of the game.
It’s realistic, physical, tactical and has a lot of action. It has everything
Elements that you would expect from a gladiator game.

The design process was long and we had to change direction
several times to deliver the final version. Now take your sword
and shield and enter the arena to become champion!

The arena is waiting for you, Gladiator!

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