It’s Stuart, your local friendly neighborhood Clash of Clans Game Lead again. Hope you’re having a great 2023 so far!
Our team’s having a fun one so far as we’ve been playtesting some prototypes of our Builder Base 2.0 rework. I thought it would be cool when Darian wasn’t looking to give you a sneak peek at some of the rework and also talk a bit about how the Clash team works.
One of the best parts of the current Builder Base is the focused tactical fun feeling of the gameplay there. With our rework we wanted to see how we could increase that even more. Alex, one of our game designers, and Simião, one of our game programmers, have been working for a few weeks together on this. They’ve been trying out two main things: having fewer stronger troops and giving more troops active triggered abilities.
Our reasoning for having fewer but stronger troops in attacks is that it would make things a bit less spammy and encourage more thoughtful troop placement. Alex and Simião have tried a whole bunch of different options, even going to the extreme of trying out what it’d be like to have just a max of one troop in each slot! Our current team favourite version has troops like Raged Barbarians with just 4 troops per slot. To us this smaller number is nice as the troops feel more powerful and each placement feels more important.
Another reason to reduce the number of troops on the field has been because we wanted to make Builder Base troops more heroic, in this case gaining active triggered abilities like Heroes. Currently without spells in battles there isn’t as much to do as in a Home Village attack. When you don’t have a way to intervene when something’s going wrong with your attack in the middle of the enemy base it can be very annoying! We could have added spells, but we thought it might be more interesting to try troop-specific active abilities, as Builder Base troops already have automatically activated special abilities. We also thought this would lend itself to interesting new future troops and create more of a different feeling from the Home Village.
Alex and Simião have also been trying out different control schemes to trigger the abilities and trying to figure out what the right number of troops with abilities would be. Currently we’ve settled on a control scheme similar to triggering Hero abilities, but we’re still investigating whether letting you directly tap on a deployed troop to trigger the ability will be an extra option. My personal favourite of the new troop abilities is the Bomber’s: when used the next projectile bounces through to a number of targets, a bit like the Bowler, potentially funnelling deep into the base. It’s been really interesting to look at familiar troops in a new light and try to think how to best use these new versions.
Why not take a look yourself in this video?
Although Alex and Simião are the only two working heavily on this part of the Builder Base rework, other groups are taking care of different parts. It’s very common in our work for these small task forces to go off and develop things on their own to keep discussions and decisions as easy as possible. However we always playtest everything together with the whole Clash team. Everyone from developers, to data analysts to marketing video producers is invited and knows it’s an important part of their job to try out everything and give feedback to make it the best it can be.
In these very early stage playtests we’re not trying to figure out the perfect balance for everything. If something is totally OP or underwhelming, of course we’ll fix it. The most important focus is instead on whether we think things are fun and understandable. We also rarely put in new visuals— we wait to do those when we’re more sure of mechanics and what will be needed. Later, when we’re more set on an idea, playtests focus more on the overall details and polish. We also gather more feedback from other colleagues in Supercell and from some trusted players outside of Supercell.
I hope you’ve found this sneak peek and explanation interesting. Remember this is all still very early development work and things will change a lot before it’s ready for you to play. We’d love to hear your thoughts about these changes, especially your thoughts on what kinds of troops with active abilities you think would be exciting. Hopefully it won’t be too long before my next post where I will maybe explain why we weren’t testing against a Builder Hall 9 base in the above video!
Stuart & the Clash of Clans Team