According to the team, what helped most was that every designer was already committed to Clashing. They knew what they wanted as a team and as fans of the game. “We were driven by our own desire to play, not by market research or hearing from above that ‘this needs to be done’. At Supercell, we’re all market researchers”, says Andreas.
Clan Wars turned out the way it did simply because it was created by people who love the game. “You have to believe in what you’re creating. If you play the game, you know what it needs”, says Jonas.
But ask them if it’s easy to join the Clash team and you’ll get a collective “No”, which is fitting, since “no” is used quite liberally in their workspace. When “no” isn’t being said, they opt for silence. But according to team-members who’ve joined from abroad, that’s just part of life in Finland.
“Honesty in Finland is critical, but only in a constructive way. If something doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work. It’s not because everyone hates you”, says game artist James. That raw honesty not only suits the determined denizens of Helsinki but is also a regular sentiment within the team. As Jonas says: “Our team is amazingly pragmatic. When we see a problem, everyone is completely committed to fixing it. This is something unique to the Finnish gaming industry in general and our team in particular.”
Most of all, the team’s efficiency can be attributed to one of Clash’s central tenants: simplicity. “The technology is simple, but it works. The art is very simple, but it’s pretty. Game play is simple, but it has lots of depth”, says Andreas. Keeping this in perspective helps maintain the balance necessary for a game that’s always under construction.
The team’s members have changed completely since the game first launched, but it remains the same at heart. “It’s still a very small, focused group of people working on a game they really care about.”