Back in the early days of downloadable games, before Steam was even invented, Anthony made a PC game called Cletus Clay, a rambunctious clay-animated action platformer with a heavy arcade influence which was intended as a more ambitious follow-up to Platypus. After three years of work, the game was close to being finished, but it was also clear that the PC downloadable games market as it existed in 2006 was simply not ready for such a thing. Seriously, it was all bubble poppers back then.
After a demo of the game caught the interest of Microsoft, Anthony teamed up with Alex and the Tuna team to bring Cletus over to the newly-launched Xbox 360 Live Arcade instead - a proper console with a proper game controller, and a much more appropriate venue for this sort of thing. We had a terrific deal with Pinnacle Entertainment in place, but also various stipulations from Microsoft, including that the game support online multiplayer and, eventually, acres of documentation. This and other changes meant a full redesign along with a complete re-coding, so everything except for the original stop-motion animation had to be done over.
All of this effort however would ultimately come to nothing when the Global Financial Crisis hit and Pinnacle Entertainment shortly thereafter ceased to exist. A brief partnership with Microsoft didn’t work out as the game’s visuals no longer appealed to the rapidly changing team at Live Arcade. Nearly ten years ago the game was shelved in mid-production and that was basically the end of it.
We still have all the original assets and we wanted to do something fun with it, in the spirit of the original game. We aren’t tied to any publisher this time, we’re just going to do it and hope it all works out. Which means we can do whatever we want, but we need to find an audience early enough to support it.
The multiplayer aspect was actually a really cool addition and we are keen to develop it further, hence the new name CLODHOPPERS. It’s not just Cletus any more.
We’re also tired of working away in the dark so this time we are going to let everybody watch us build this thing. We’re working in an open environment and you can follow and even contribute to the team’s progress on Discord. You can participate in our discussions, try even the most rubbish of early builds, see how we flail about with social media and marketing, but we’ll also do what we can to help with your games too.
We intend to release lots of materials from the game’s history along the way. We have so much unreleased material! Not only do we have demos of the first two versions of Cletus Clay, there’s a couple of iOS game prototypes here as well… all kinds of things.