In 2015 Cbeebies premiered their new series of the much-loved children's' TV classic ‘Clangers'. We were thrilled to be asked to design and develop a new web-game to launch alongside this highly-anticipated show.

 

Aims

We set out to make a game experience that would match the high level of visual fidelity of the show. We made heavy use of rich character animation and brought in many of the show’s beautifully realised locations and sets. The gameplay focused on key themes from the show: Exploration, invention, imagination and improvisation. We wanted to feature as many of the individual Clangers as we could, and we wanted to capture the charm and personality of the brand. It was really important to us that we did such a widely-loved brand justice.

 

Challenges

Visual fidelity was such a key focus for the game, but how would we achieve this given the differences between the stop-motion TV presentation, and the available HTML5 Canvas technology? In the TV show, real-life three-dimensional props are animated in intricate and characterful ways. Using two-dimensional animation tools, how would we get the character and personality of the Clangers across?

Another challenge was inherent in the gameplay being based on shape-matching. The props in the Clangers universe are beautifully-crafted real-life objects, designed to be used by the Clangers as they invent and re-purpose the things they find. How would we use recognisable shapes to build up objects, and would they fit the charming aesthetic of the show?

 

Results

The final game is an interactive, explorative experience in which the player helps four Clangers, one-by-one to find and repair objects that have been blown around and broken by a big gust of wind that has blown across their planet.

Each of these four routes involves first finding the missing item with a hide-and-seek mechanic on the surface of the planet. Once the item is found, the player helps the Clanger reach the object with some fun interaction, then they have to help the Clanger fix the object back in their cave. There are multiple different ways to fix each object, re-purposing it into something completely new that has it’s own rich and characterful interactive payoff.

So far the feedback from the game has been really positive and we’re really proud to have been involved with such a fantastic brand loved by children (and adults!) all over the world.

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