Behind the Scenes: The Creation of CLeM – Xbox Wire

NewsBehind the Scenes: The Creation of CLeM - Xbox Wire

The Unlikely Journey from KoRn’s "Issues" to Mango Protocol’s CLeM: A Tale of Inspiration and Creation

In the late 1990s, as the world approached the new millennium, the alternative metal band KoRn released an album titled "Issues." This album would later become a significant source of inspiration for Mariona, the art director at Mango Protocol. The cover art of "Issues" featured a rag doll, and one of the music videos from the album depicted the band performing amid roaches, a spider, and a fly. Additionally, a KoRn music video compilation DVD included a rudimentary escape room game set in an abandoned asylum. These elements planted a creative seed in Mariona’s mind, which would eventually blossom into the narrative and visual style of Mango Protocol’s game, CLeM.

The Birth of an Abstract Story

Fast forward to 2006, Mariona began working on a story for a short stop-motion movie. Drawing inspiration from her obsession with KoRn’s "Issues" imagery, she crafted a script that revolved around the circle of life. The story featured a captive doll chasing bugs while following mysterious instructions from a little girl. This intriguing narrative was deeply influenced by the themes and visuals of KoRn’s album.

After completing the short movie, the storyboard was set aside, waiting for the right moment to re-emerge. That moment came in 2018 when Mariona, along with Javi, Mango Protocol’s narrative director, and Jordi, decided to revisit and adapt the core concept of the short movie. This adaptation would become the foundation for CLeM, the fourth installment in the Psychotic Adventures game series.

Crafting a Dark Yet Endearing Tale

Javi took on the challenge of developing a cute, yet dark story for CLeM. His primary objective was to infuse the original script with themes that resonated with Mariona’s personal experiences, making it a deeply personal and emotionally engaging narrative. Simultaneously, the story needed to be suitable for a fully-fledged, narrative-based looping puzzle game.

Jordi, on the other hand, focused on creating puzzles that not only presented a fun challenge to players but also mirrored the protagonist’s emotional journey. The puzzles were designed to reflect the feelings and discoveries of the main character as the interactive experience unfolded.

The Evolution of Art Direction

In the art direction department, Mariona worked on unveiling the appearance of the game’s central character. This character was an improved version of the doll from the original short movie storyboard, which itself was Mariona’s interpretation of the doll on the cover of KoRn’s "Issues." The team instantly fell in love with this character, affectionately referred to as “the servant.”

The Game Experience: CLeM

CLeM is a narrative-driven puzzle adventure game that combines elements of alchemy, exploration, and a dark storyline. In the game, players control a rag doll brought to life in a dimly lit basement. A voice inside the player’s head demands beauty, and the only clue is a notebook filled with entries on alchemy and arthropods.

Key Features of CLeM

  • Dark Adventure Full of Mystery: Players wake up in a cold, dimly lit room that feels strangely familiar. The journey begins with a notebook labeled "CLeM" filled with intricate sketches of insects and cryptic messages.
  • Puzzles and Exploration: The game offers a unique narrative experience where puzzles are intertwined with exploration. This experience, termed “puzzlevania,” challenges players to unravel a shadowy story while overcoming various obstacles.
  • Crafting Enchanted Toys: Players can craft magical toys to uncover hidden secrets, access unreachable areas, and recover items from the past. This crafting element adds depth to the gameplay, encouraging players to experiment and discover new revelations.
  • Cute and Dark World: The game environment is a seemingly desolate house, accompanied by an obscure voice and a notebook filled with annotations on alchemy and insects. The art direction balances a cute yet dark aesthetic, creating an immersive atmosphere.
  • Embrace Your Destiny: The story of CLeM is one of manipulation, pride, forgiveness, and redemption. Players must navigate these themes and choose their fate in this emotionally charged narrative.

    Reactions and Reception

    CLeM has garnered positive reviews for its unique blend of narrative and puzzle elements. Critics have praised the game for its engaging story, intricate puzzles, and distinctive art style. The emotional depth of the narrative, influenced by Mariona’s personal experiences, has resonated with many players, making CLeM a standout title in the puzzle adventure genre.


    CLeM, developed by Mango Protocol, is set to release on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One on July 17. This puzzle adventure game, with its dark storyline and room escape vibes, promises to offer a captivating and emotional experience. Pre-order the game now to immerse yourself in its creepy yet enchanting world.

    In conclusion, the journey from KoRn’s "Issues" to the creation of CLeM is a testament to the power of inspiration and creativity. Mariona’s ability to transform her passion for KoRn’s imagery into a compelling narrative and game design demonstrates the endless possibilities of artistic expression. CLeM is not just a game; it is a reflection of Mariona’s personal journey and a celebration of the collaborative spirit at Mango Protocol.

    For more information and to pre-order CLeM, visit the Xbox Store. Get ready to embark on a dark and mysterious adventure that will challenge your mind and touch your heart.

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Neil S
Neil S
Neil is a highly qualified Technical Writer with an M.Sc(IT) degree and an impressive range of IT and Support certifications including MCSE, CCNA, ACA(Adobe Certified Associates), and PG Dip (IT). With over 10 years of hands-on experience as an IT support engineer across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Linux Server platforms, Neil possesses the expertise to create comprehensive and user-friendly documentation that simplifies complex technical concepts for a wide audience.
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