Untold Entertainment was commissioned by marblemedia, one of our preferred clients, to create a game for Splatalot! Splatalot! is a kid-targeted mash-up of American Gladiator and Japanese obstacle course game shows like Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. The program airs on YTV in Canada, on BBC in the UK and on ABC in Australia.
The second segment of Splatalot! has the contestants assembling a ladder to escape a pit, while the adult Defenders (think “Gladiators”) shoot goop at them. marblemedia called the game Spladder (splat + ladder – you see?). They wanted a more puzzle-oriented game than the catapult and obstacle-based games in the show’s suite, so we built the fun puzzle platformer game that you see above, in the style of Abe’s Oddysee or Lost Vikings.
(What ever happened to the Lost Vikings developer? Meh – probably faded into obscurity.)
It’s Been a Slice
We used the Citrus Engine to build Spladder. It’s a framework of classes that speed up platform game creation. Citrus uses Box2D for its physics bodies. It gives you some great customizable character control and a level editor out of the box. The engine wasn’t quite set up to handle tiled platforms (in the examples, every platform is a discrete art asset) – strong-arming that to work was probably the most challenging aspect of development. That, and the level editor eventually became more of a hindrance than a help, to the point where i wound up hand-coding most of the levels in xml. The latest version of Citrus Engine drops the level editor so that you’re free to use your own solution.
The art and animation in Spladder are by veteran Canadian kids’ game artist Elizabeth de Fazio, who was an absolute joy to work with. marble’s Johnny Kalangis and i hammered out story details together to build an enjoyable game that we’re quite proud of. i hope you like it!