Clan Battles And The Challenges Of Creating A Universe From Scratch

Estimated read time 17 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Original IPs are still alive! Kaidro’s immersive world offers a fresh take on sci-fi, blending tech and magic.
  • Kaidro: Clan Battles merges storytelling with multiplayer action, letting players shape the universe.
  • Unique art style ties comics, animation, and game together seamlessly, making Kaidro a cohesive, immersive experience.

Fresh ideas are seemingly becoming scarce in a day and age when the entertainment industry is dominated by sequels, remakes, reboots and re-imaginings. Whether we’re talking about video games, movies, comics, or other forms of media, it often seems like almost everybody’s given up on making new IPs at this point. Luckily, that’s not actually the case.

Believe it or not, there are still people out there developing new concepts and ideas, and then weaving them into fantastical worlds that we can immerse ourselves into. Gadget-Bot founders Peggy Chung and Robert Simons are two of these people, and among other things, they’re responsible for creating Kaidro, a fascinating science fantasy setting where society is torn between technology and spirituality.

Kaidro: The Awakening started as a series of webcomics back in late 2020 and quickly rose in popularity thanks to its unique setting, immersive storytelling and distinctive art style. The series is still ongoing, but Kaidro is currently preparing to evolve into a full-fledged universe that encompasses multiple mediums. Just last month, Gadget-Bot revealed the first official trailer for the upcoming Kaidro animation and now the team is preparing to fully unveil Kaidro: Clan Battles, an online arena shooter with RPG and Battle Royale Elements.

I wasn’t familiar with Kaidro until recently, but the animation’s trailer instantly sold me and made me want to take a closer look at Clan Battles, which features a similar art style. I had a ton of questions about the game after seeing it, and fortunately for me, Peggy Chung and Robert Simons were gracious enough to provide the answers. Here’s everything you need to know about Kaidro: Clan Battles:

[Hardcore Gamer] Before we begin, I would like to thank you for this opportunity. I have to admit that I didn’t know anything about Kaidro until very recently, but after watching the launch trailer for the upcoming animation I immediately became intrigued by the setting. An expansive universe that seamlessly blends together science fiction and fantasy elements is definitely not the easiest thing to pull off. What inspired you to create Kaidro, and what were some of the main challenges involved in creating a universe like this from scratch?

[Peggy Chung] Thank you for having me and Robert to talk about Kaidro. We appreciate the kind words and interest in this universe that we’ve been building for many years. To give a bit of background, together with our team, we worked on IPs for games, television, and more – Westworld, Call of Duty, Apex Legends, Alita: Battle Angel. We are entertainment nerds and spent many years helping people bring their stories to life. Having established our business we felt that it was time to enact phase 2 of our original goals. Phase 1 was to help bring stories to life for other companies. Phase 2 was to create our own original stories and worlds.

Robert and I have always had an obsession with storytelling, world building and art. We had been developing various projects into short films but decided to commit to one of our worlds [and turn it] into an online comic. One of the biggest challenges to building a world out from scratch is divulging that world to an audience. That’s what led us to the comic. It helps tell the story and visually gives people a sense of the world quickly. Before then, it was tough to fully explain the world just through illustrations and pitch decks.


The story of Kaidro: The Awakening revolves around Ava, who will also be the protagonist of the upcoming animation if the aforementioned launch trailer is anything to go by. Given the popularity of the character, why choose to make a multiplayer game with customizable characters instead of a narrative-driven game where you get to play as Ava?

[Peggy] So, Ava is our protagonist in Kaidro: the Awakening, and she loses all she knows in a great act of destruction and tragedy, which leads to her own journey to discover this new, great purpose and these magic-like abilities she never expected. We’re really proud of the story we’ve crafted for Ava so far, but we’re also proud of the world of Kaidro. In our original multimedia plans for Kaidro, it was always meant to be for the game version to branch off from the comic, but with a whole story of its own. Similar to if you think of Luke’s story in Star Wars, but then there is the Mandolorian’s story that takes on a life of its own.

The animation and comic was always meant to follow Ava’s story initially and, naturally being curious people, we always had questions about what else is going on in their world. Not saying that a compelling single player story game is off the table, but for now we wanted to focus on getting people together playing a multiplayer game with friends and if they so choose to go deeper into the universe, there are the comics and future animations.

We love the idea of people creating their own characters (which people did dress up, draw and write stories for Kaidro of their own characters). This really supercharged us to continue to create a world full of lore and belief systems to have fun with. This is where the Kaidro: Clan Battles come from. The clans each have their own ideals and visual style that the audience can get behind and build off of. That is just as fun for us to see come to life as developing the universe.

[Robert] The clans aren’t something we just made up out of nowhere. We have built out multiple seasons for the comics in the animations and the clans are always going to be something that Ava comes into contact with. But their story is one of adding Ava in the comics and animation. We thought it would be fun to explore their own individual characters and stories and get to know them on a personal level with the game. We are huge fans of seeing the narrative of the project from one end to another!

A bit of a follow-up question before we move away from Ava. Can long-time fans of the comics expect a little cameo or maybe a mention of Ava or other established characters in Kaidro: Clan Battles?

[Robert] Yes! The game is richer if you read the comics with Ava and the many other characters in it. Definitely you’ll see her Kaidro mentor, Tol’Saan, and many others like Gavin and Sydney. The games and the comics are in parallel so you can think of it as: what are those characters doing when I don’t see them in the comic? The game gives a way for the audience to see characters that may not get as much screen time in the comic. We have introduced many new characters into the Kaidro: Clan Battles game that…exclusive note…may in turn show up in the Ava line of comics.


Is Kaidro: Clan Battles aimed primarily at fans of the comics or do you hope it can reach a much wider audience? I know some of the folks at Gadget-Bot worked on assets and concept art for major online games like Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, among others. Do you feel like Kaidro: Clan Battles can reach a similar level of popularity as those games if it manages to find the right audience?

[Peggy] Great question. When we think about each medium of the Kaidro universe, we assume for it to obtain its own set of audience. Definitely if the original comic readers so happen to play games as well, it would be a great way to get to know Kaidro more. This is the same that goes for the Kaidro animation. We don’t assume that everyone would enjoy all three versions of the project, as we found everyone consumes entertainment in different ways. This motivates us to make sure each version and offshoot of Kaidro is interesting, fun and compelling on its own. All of them are important, rich and interconnected amongst each other. We believe that the multiplayer action RPG genre, not only we are fans of, but a fun way to introduce a lot more people to the world. Can it reach the level of the projects our team has worked on? It’s possible 🙂

At the time of writing, Gadget-Bot is preparing to unveil the first gameplay trailer for Kaidro: Clan Battles, which should already be out by the time this interview gets published. The gameplay trailer gives players an idea of what to expect in terms of core mechanics, but doesn’t tell us much about the PvPvE gameplay. Can you tell us more about that particular aspect? Would you say Clan Battles is a PvE game with a PvP component or a PvP game with PvE elements?

[Robert] In Kaidro, you battle these sinister forces from the Astral Realm that flow into the physical realm. You are on a team of three, and you’re working to defeat the entities and achieve objectives. What makes things tricky for you and your team is that you’re not alone. There are two other teams on the map, so you need to balance engaging or avoiding them while you take on enemies. It all goes together to make something complex, rewarding, and a little unpredictable. We want people to be able to coordinate and strategize with their team to win not only by getting the most PVP or PVE kills but a combination of the two to reach the top ranking of the game session.

Kaidro: Clan Battles is described as a competitive arena shooter with RPG and Battle Royale elements. We have an idea of how the Battle Royale aspect comes into play, but what can players expect in terms of role-playing?

[Robert] When it comes to the aspect of role-playing, we wanted to be able to have people find gear, buy gear, and earn gear and to be able to hold on to it. We have always loved being able to customize our characters in game and especially customizing mechas. Another part of it all is the story elements season to season that revolve around the clans, factions and more. The scale that we have it at now is do-able based on our smaller team size. We have far future plans for the growth of the game to be able to visit a location to interact with the NPCs and other players that we have in our game now, but it’s just a matter of time, scale and funding. We definitely want to keep Kaidro: Clan Battles within scope.

The Clan system looks to be an important part of Kaidro: Clan Battles. It’s right there in the name, after all. How does your choice of Clan affect progression? Do Clans offer players exclusive weapons, customization options, or other rewards for fighting under their banner?

[Robert] Yes, the Clans open up a larger story and items as part of the game. Being part of a clan through the Clan Pass allows for you to obtain items that you wouldn’t be able to obtain any other way. Example being mecha skins in the style of that particular clan. For the game as a whole, whichever clan makes it to the top rankings based on points throughout the season will receive special rewards and also be able to affect the future seasons. As to what those effects are, we will share those soon enough.


What role will Spirit Guardians play in Clan Battles? Can these creatures fight by your side?

[Peggy] The Spirit Guardians are where your stats for your Astral abilities are held within. So your mech has its own abilities that are made by humans or Trakarians in our world. But because in the Kaidro: Clan Battles game you play as a hybrid Trakarian (non adept human) and K’ailantian (a person with astral abilities). You basically get the best of both worlds and your Spirit Guardian is very much a part of your skillset. The fun thing is that there will be new Spirit Guardians that will come out over time. To integrate the Spirit Guardians more, we have built it so that they can fight by your side, but it’s a matter of time to refine it to its fullest.

Are there any other unique gameplay elements that might allow Kaidro: Clan Battles to stand out from other online games?

[Peggy] One thing I’m really excited about is that at the end of each season, one clan wins. Your hard work pays off, and you see that your achievements – or lack thereof – have a tangible impact on the next season. There’s a story that goes with these clan battles, and you have the power to impact the world of Kaidro through the PvPvE battles.

One of the things that immediately catches the eye is the game’s art style, which looks very similar to the art style found in the comics and the upcoming animation. Was it a major challenge to maintain a cohesive style between all these different mediums?

[Robert] We are so proud of the art style we’ve achieved. The advantage we have is that our team has worked across the comic, game and animation. Example being our environment artists were the same people that painted the backgrounds in the panels of the comic, the backgrounds of the game and the animation. It definitely took a lot of effort and care from members across all departments. Ultimately, we wanted this game to authentically represent the comic and vice-versa.

We challenged ourselves by asking, “If you paused the game at any time, could you believe you’re looking at a still from the comic?” And we’re proud of how we achieved that! We believe in front loading the work. So we built our backgrounds for the comic all in 3D early on in plans of always to use those assets to leap off of for the animation and game. We created 3D assets in Unreal Engine 5 – and we use hand-drawn and hand-painted textures on top of them. We also get a beautiful pen and pencil, comic-book look with a “slightly lighter than black” vanta black outline detail, which looks uniquely Gadget-Bot and Kaidro.


Were you ever worried that this sort of art style might not work for a video game?

[Robert] The intention was always to get the art style to match the comic for the video game. It isn’t one-to-one to the comic, as the needs of a video game for it needing to be able to read well with many players on screen in a dynamic environment. We used the comic as an inspiration point to jump off of, but things like line weight, background, middle ground, foreground, depth, visual effects and more had to be custom to the game.

We already know that Kaidro: Clan Battles is going to be a free-to-play game, but we don’t know anything about Gadget-Bot’s plans for monetization just yet. Can you tell us anything about that?

[Peggy] Kaidro does offer the core free-to-play experience and if players want to, [they can] dive deeper into the Faction’s stories and skins, badges, emojis and so forth through the Soulbound Battle Pass. There is also a special Clan pass that allows players to pick a clan to be apart of and unveil their story and mech skins, and more. Players can still play with friends and have the core Kaidro: Clan Battles experience without these passes so it’s for those who want to get into the Kaidro universe more.

While looking into Clan Battles I couldn’t help but notice a tweet mentioning that Kaidro recently became part of the Ronin blockchain. As I’m sure you’re already aware, there has been a lot of pushback against crypto and NFTs in video games over the past few years, with even large AAA publishers like Ubisoft and Capcom receiving a lot of flak for planning to include them in some of their upcoming titles. Will Clan Battles give players the option to purchase NFTs or will the partnership with Ronin not extend to this particular game?

[Peggy] The beauty of the Kaidro: Clan Battles game is that we have it up on Steam and you can play it entirely without any web3 elements involved. The game is free-to-play, immersive and has a traditional battle pass experience. It’s not even necessary to obtain a battle pass to play the game, so we definitely want people to play the game. If they so choose to want to get involved with the battle pass, for special clan related in-game items, they can.

This is also true of the web3 elements, those live entirely on the Kaidro website. Those who choose to get involved with the website and the web3 elements, can gain special in-game exclusive skins. A version of this is thinking of it more like a partnership benefit. An example we’ve seen is how you can attach your Twitch account to a game like Apex and obtain a special skin. With that said, we have a great collaborative partnership with Ronin. Together we agreed that our shared vision is that Kaidro is not just the game, the animation, and the comic, it is a full intellectual property play that focuses on the experience of the audience of Kaidro.

The game will be accessed for free, the comic is free and even our first NFT Kaidro collection was free. The paid versions of all these aspects are available, which a chunk of our audience does purchase, example being our physical Kaidro books that we create a Kickstarter of after every end of book from the free online comic series.

[Robert] We understand and are very aware of the sentiment of NFTs and web 3, crypto etc. The web3 world is in its infancy stage and there is so much that it can be. When we looked past the initial reaction and really studied the technology, it’s something we found very fascinating. An example being, to think of NFTs not as jpegs but as a pass exclusive to you and to many possibilities. We were already doing this with our fan base manually through contests and identifying individuals, but what if we could pinpoint the fan specifically and reward them for being involved and interested in the Kaidro world? We could give these fans our comic books, give them “tickets” to obtain first in line to get physical prints of our mechas, send them the earliest looks at our online comic, and so on.


The game’s Steam page mentions that the Alpha release of Clan Battles is “imminent”. How imminent is it, exactly? Any chance you can share a tentative release date with us?

[Peggy] Yes, simply some time in quarter 4 of 2024.

Will this be a Closed Alpha or can anyone join once it goes live?

[Robert] We have plans for alpha, beta that will be available. To test our systems appropriately at scale, we will be opening it up more and more to the public. Opportunities for the earliest testers will be those who backed us over all the years on Kickstarter for the physical comics.

Thank you again for the opportunity!

[Peggy] Thank you for the thoughtful questions. It’s always a pleasure to share more about the Kaidro universe for interested viewers, players and readers.



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