A clever question came up when the Clash of Clans team think about what would become the game’s most significant update:
“Why is it called Clash of Clans when the clans don’t clash?”
The game players really want to carry on war since the early days. But the game team cannot release Clan Wars update before months and weeks of preparation, hours of working and sleeplessness.
Some people might wonder why wasn’t Clan Wars in Clash of Clans a part in the original game idea. Its answer is quite simple, that is because the developers didn’t know how it will work and it wasn’t the right time. At that time, the game was very new to people, and it takes time to make people get to know this game. And measuring the player’s expectation, concerns and interest must be the team’s supreme precedence. “We knew we wanted to do something really crazy and take it to the next level”, says game developer Andreas. The word “really crazy” that he said cannot be done in a day, it was going to take time.
To develop an amazing game, the game team needs foresight. Jonas, senior server engineer, said: “We could have done something really quick and really simple months earlier, but we didn’t want the players to say ‘Ok, we’re bored, what’s next?’ after a week.” With real time strategy games, which are the mark of mobile gaming, other companies creating their own wily takes on the concept just to seek for taking advantage of player desire for Clan Wars. But the Clash of Clans strategy team chose to move slowly, make sure the community and the game were ready to have a big game feature update.
That update took the team five months – from November 2013 to April 2014 – of meticulous, conscientious development. It was longer than a usual way of working which usually takes a four to six week only. That’s because the enormous desire for Clan Wars inspired the team to push completely for polish.
Jonas said: “There was no rush because the game’s initial social implementation was very simple, but it was just interesting enough that it worked to keep people into the game”. Clash of Clans must have a sense of purity by way of consistency in gameplay mechanics.
Usually, when we produce something so simple, it’s going to be complicated. The same thing happens with developing Clan Wars. At the end of the development, there were more than four versions of the game’s concept before eventually releasing.
“One morning we were getting ready to present the art we’d been working on and someone said ‘This just doesn’t feel like Clash’. We all knew it wasn’t working, but we needed one person to say it out loud. We did that twice. And the game is better for it.”, as James – game artist – said. This kind of frankness is not out of the ordinary.
At the first playable, Supercell’s different departments gather to test new content, 40 people faced off against 40 others. The result wasn’t good at all. The team realized that the concept was loftier than it had to be, they hunkered down to think about another way. “Some people didn’t know how to do anything at all, although it was totally clear in our minds. It was just too complex”, said Jonas.
They sat together and started thinking: “Ok, what can we do to make this work in a realistic way?” Their reaction was fast and they created a list of must-have and nice-to-have features. Some features would make it to be the final product; others would be put on ice.