Introducing the Game: Gladiators of the Underworld

Interview By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

Please introduce yourself to everyone...

'I'm Jeroen (@pixelscripter)! I'm married, am father to two beautiful daughters and I live in the Netherlands. I started programming games when I was about 9 years old. Throughout my youth I developed and played a lot of games. Later in life I worked as a professional game developer for multiple companies, and kept developing games in my spare time. At the beginning of 2016 I decided to “go indie” and I founded my own company, now called E-Genic.  I'm currently developing my first independent title called "Gladiators of the Underworld".'

How exciting! What's your game about?

'Gladiators of the Underworld is a fast-paced, combat focused, arcade survival game, in which you battle as a gladiator in the underworld arena.  For ages, gladiators have been competing in the underworld arena. You are a Necromancer and you need to prove yourself in battle against the most foul creatures, including Demons, Warlocks and Grim Reapers.

From the start, you are equipped with a skeleton staff which you can use as a ranged weapon by shooting fireballs. It can be used as a melee weapon, by striking your opponents. You can also perform a force push attack, by slamming it into the ground.

Furthermore you can obtain special weapons like bombs and lightning to attack your opponents with more devastating force. You can also get hold of a flying demonic skull, that will help you in battle by flying to, and attacking all enemies in the arena.'

What should we look out for in the game?

'I've tried to balance the game in a way so that it's quite challenging to beat. It's quite unforgiving compared to most games. It has more of an arcade kind of approach to it. If you die...well, you're dead, and you'll have to start over. But every time you play, you'll get better and better at judging how to respond in a specific situation in order to survive.

You'll also develop better insight in which abilities you will want to upgrade first in order to get the most out of your preferred play-style. The type of enemies (each with their own strengths and weaknesses) and type and amount of powerups you'll encounter will also change as you progress into the arena rounds.'

Tell us about how you developed the game

'The game is built using the Phaser framework. Phaser is a fast, free and fun open source framework for Canvas and WebGL powered browser games. It is maintained by Richard Davey (Photon Storm) who has been active in the HTML5 community for years. The game itself is developed in JavaScript ES2015, using Babel to transpile to ES5.

When I first had the idea to develop a game, I created a prototype. The fighting mechanics were so much fun! I decided to make the game revolve around fast-paced combat, and leave the large procedurally generated worlds and dungeons, for another game (maybe a sequel? :).  

I extracted the battle part of the prototype and started iterating on it. I added more weapons, powerups, enemies and player/enemy abilities to improve on. It wasn't long before the concept of fighting in an underworld arena popped into my head: Gladiators of the Underworld was born. I estimated that a beta version would be achievable within the 4 months I had for it, and it worked out perfectly.

All in all the core development took just under four months to complete (exluding creating the website, description texts, animated gifs and trailer movie).'

What an amazing journey! Where can we go and check out your wonderful creation? 

Gladiators of the Underworld Beta is now available for free here:

About the author: Ninichi is a game music composer. She is the in-house composer for games company Quinton Studios and works on a range of freelance composing projects including games, films & other media projects.

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