Supercell開發者談Clash of Clans上架五週年的演變

原文作者:Matt Suckley,譯者:Megan Shieh

Supercell僅成立於2010年,但此後卻對手機遊戲產業產生了不可小覷的影響。

事實上,它已經在數十億美元的交易中,被收購了兩次,第二次被騰訊以86億的價格購買。

Supercell最大的成功之一,也是有史以來最成功的手機遊戲之一,是《部落衝突》(Clash of Clans),它將於今天(2017年8月2日)慶祝髮布五週年。

五年間,很多事情都改變了。但有一件事是不變的:世界各地數以百萬計的狂熱粉絲仍在玩這個遊戲。

Supercell是如何運行這樣一個具有象徵性的遊戲的?它又是如何讓這些用戶在這麼長的時間內,一次又一次回到這個遊戲?爲了解答這些問題,pocketgamer.biz 對《部落衝突》的資深服務器工程師Jonas Collaros進行了訪問。

Clash of Clans(from venturebeat.com)

Clash of Clans(from venturebeat.com)

PocketGamer.biz:《部落衝突》現在已經5歲了,從最初發布到現在,你如何看待它的表現?

Jonas Collaros: 在開發《部落衝突》的這五年裏,最超現實的一件事是,儘管這個遊戲已經成爲了一種文化現象,而且經歷了這麼多事情,但我們基本上還是用一樣的方式在開發它。

我們仍然是一個由大約10到15名熱情開發者組成的團隊,他們都坐在赫爾辛基一個辦公室的角落裏,努力讓《部落衝突》成爲最好的遊戲。

當然,這個遊戲非常成功,我們將這歸功於我們的玩家。《部落衝突》的玩家是行業中最專注和最熱情的。儘管我們團隊強烈認爲還有很多很多的事情要做,但我們很自豪地看到,五年後,《部落衝突》仍以良好的狀態繼續。

目前《部落衝突》的在線運營(live ops)的團隊有多大?

Jonas Collaros: 遊戲團隊本身仍在努力以一種智能和可再生的方式整合在線運營。這意味着我們直接參與了在線運營工具的開發,以及計劃和活動安排。

每個遊戲都是不同的,所以我們想要找到最適合我們的在線運營方式,但是以後我們想把這個控制開放給其他的社區,以幫助促進更多的活動與地方相關性。

你認爲客戶的支持和反饋有多重要?如何得到重要的反饋,比如最近的建造基地更新,有被玩家迴應了嗎?

Jonas Collaros: 我們認爲客戶支持是非常重要的。Supercell的客戶服務設施是公司中最廣泛和最複雜的。這尤其適用於從來沒有像《部落衝突》這樣做過的遊戲。反饋是維持這些遊戲壽命的生命之血。

總的來說,新建造基地的迴響非常棒,這些支持通道能確保我們找到所有主要的bug和問題,它們對於我們來說是無價的。也就是說,我們通常會更多地關注我們的社區頻道,查看玩家對內容和遊戲的反饋。

你採取了哪些措施來確保在發佈這麼久之後,《部落衝突》還能保持一個相當大的活躍玩家基礎。

Jonas Collaros: 我們使用的方法和最初是一樣的:盡最大的努力把《部落衝突》做成最好的遊戲。在我們的行業中,有時很容易忽略這樣一個事實:玩家想要的,是找到一個他們可以日復一日地玩的,有趣的、高質量的遊戲。

當然,我們可以利用分析,協調營銷,使用像在線運營(live ops)這樣的工具來幫助我們瞭解我們的遊戲,更好地接觸我們的玩家,但是持續爲玩家提供他們喜愛的遊戲體驗這件事,是沒有任何東西可以取代的。

不要以爲這是一個簡單的答案 – 這是我們迄今爲止最難的工作。它包括每天沉浸在我們自己的遊戲裏,不間斷地吸收和跟蹤玩家的反饋,還有親自與社區的影響者和頂級玩家接觸。

我們必須保持一個大的視角,同時也要對我們所有的遊戲運作知根知底,其中包括我們所有玩家的感覺,他們想要什麼,以及遊戲最需要什麼。其他一切都是幫助實現這一目標的工具。

你把《部落衝突》令人印象深刻的成績歸功於什麼,你是如何維持這個局面的?

Jonas Collaros:迎合普遍愛好,爲可接近性而開發。不斷更新讓玩家參與進來,讓我們的社區儘可能地保持它的廣闊和活力,並持續提供他們想要的和喜愛的東西。

你願意分享任何KPI嗎?例如下載量,DAU (日活躍用戶) 或保留率。

Jonas Collaros:對於KPI,我們通常比較守口如瓶。我們想先從遊戲質量來判斷,畢竟我們的玩家是基於遊戲的質量來做出決定的。

即便如此,值得注意的是,我們今年已經看到了一些有史以來最高的DAU數據。此外,大約90%的活躍玩家都玩過我們的新建造基地模式。我們對這個數據非常自豪,因爲它顯示了我們的玩家有多麼渴望看到《部落衝突》在新的方向繼續發展。

你從《部落衝突》中學到了什麼? 你是否還在從《部落衝突》中學習?事後來看,有沒有什麼現在的你會以不同方式處理的環節?

Jonas Collaros: 對我們來說,一個正在進行中的、巨大的努力是改善開發團隊和玩家之間的溝通。

在發展的過程中,我們努力保持玩家的參與。我們希望玩家享受我們的遊戲,就像我們享受創作過程一樣; 然而,我們已經學會了在與我們的社區交流遊戲的變化時,更坦誠布公。

最後,從開發《部落衝突》的經驗中,你學到了什麼?

Jonas Collaros:開發《部落衝突》的過程是一個既令人謙恭,又有深刻見解的經驗。你會認識到一個遊戲在開發中心之外是如何生活和呼吸的。你還會發現,一個想讓人們玩5年,10年,甚至更長時間的遊戲所需的開發方式是多麼的不同。

同樣,一個熱門遊戲的開發過程也會被一次一次地神祕化,其中的祕密其實就只是:最大程度地把遊戲開發好,並希望它能引起儘可能多人的共鳴。

有些事情在你的控制範圍內,也有很多是你無法控制的,你必須學會如何做出最合理、最明智的決定,並希望得到最好的結果。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

Supercell was only founded in 2010, but since then it’s made quite the impact on the mobile games industry.

So much of one in fact that it’s been acquired twice in multi-billion dollar deals, the second time by Tencent for $8.6 billion.

One of its biggest successes, and one of the most successful mobile games of all time, is Clash of Clans, which celebrates its fifth anniversary today (August 2nd 2017).

A lot has changed about the game in that time. But one thing remains constant: It’s still being played by millions of avid fans the world over.

To find out how Supercell runs such a signifcant game and how it has kept those users coming back over such a long period of time, PocketGamer.biz caught up with Clash of Clans Senior Server Engineer Jonas Collaros to get the lowdown on the title’s life so far.

PocketGamer.biz: With Clash of Clans now five years old, how do you reflect on its performance – from launch to the mature title it is now?

Jonas Collaros: One of the most surreal things about working on a game like Clash of Clans for five years is that, despite all that has happened and how much of a cultural phenomenon the game has become, we’re still fundamentally developing it the same way.

We are still a group of roughly 10 to 15 passionate developers, all sitting in the same corner of an office in Helsinki, trying to do what we can to make Clash of Clans the best game it can possibly be.

Of course, the game has been very successful and we owe that to our players. Clash players are some of the most dedicated and passionate in the industry. We’re proud to see Clash of Clans still going strong after five years, though the team strongly thinks there are still many more to come.

How big is the team currently handling live ops on Clash of Clans?

The game team itself is still working to integrate live ops in a smart and renewable way. This means that we have been directly involved with developing our live ops tools, as well as the planning and scheduling of events.

Every game is different, so we’re trying to find what approach to live ops works best for us, but we would like to open that control to other community leads later to help spur on more events with more local relevance.

How important do you consider customer support and updates to be? How have significant updates, such as the recent Builder Base update, been responded to by players?

We consider customer support to be incredibly important. Supercell’s customer support infrastructure is the most expansive and intricate in the company. This is especially the case with games that are never done like Clash of Clans. Updates are the life-blood that sustains these games in the long-term.

Altogether, the response to Builder Base has been fantastic, and these support channels are invaluable to ensure we can find all major bugs and issues. That said, we typically look more to our community channels to engage player feedback about content and gameplay.

What steps have you taken to ensure that Clash of Clansmaintains a sizeable and active player base all this time after its launch?

Our approach to this is what it’s been from day one: try to make Clash of Clans the best game we can. In our industry, it can be sometimes easy to lose sight of the fact that, for our players, the bottom line is a fun, quality game experience that they can play day after day for years.

Of course we can – and do – leverage analytics, coordinate marketing efforts and use tools like live ops to help us understand our game and reach our players better, but nothing will ever substitute continuing to deliver great game experiences that our players love.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a softball answer, either – this is, by far, the hardest job we have. It involves playing and immersing in our own game every day, relentlessly taking in and following up on player feedback, engaging personally with community influencers and top players.

We must maintain a big-picture perspective, but also a nuts-and-bolts understanding of how all of our game works, how all of our players feel, what they want, and what the game needs the most. Everything else is a toolset to help achieve this goal.

To what do you attribute Clash of Clans’ consistently impressive grossing performance and how do you sustain it?

Develop for universal appeal and approachability, constantly update to keep players engaged, involve our community to keep it as expansive and alive as possible, and keep delivering things they want and love.

Any KPIs such as downloads, DAU or retention you’re willing to share?

We typically are a bit tight-lipped about our KPI’s. We want to be judged on game quality first – that’s how our players make their decisions, after all.

That said, it is noteworthy that we’ve seen some of our highest daily active user figures ever just this year. Also, roughly 90% of our active players have played the new Builder Base mode. That is a figure we’re very proud of as it shows how eager our players are to see Clash of Clans continue to grow in new directions.

What lessons have you learned/are you still learning from Clash of Clans? Is there anything about the game that, in hindsight, you’d now handle differently?

A big and ongoing effort for us has been to improve communication between the development team and players.

We try to keep player engagement at the forefront during development. We want players to enjoy our games as much as we enjoy the creation process; however, we have learned to be more open with our communication regarding game changes.

Finally, how has your experience with Clash of Clans informed where you are/what you’re working on now?

Working on Clash of Clans is both a humbling and insightful experience. You learn how much a game lives and breathes outside of the walls where it is developed. You learn how differently you have to approach developing a single game that you want people to play for five years, 10 years, or longer.

Also, the magic of a hit game becomes a bit demystified as, time and time again, it simply comes down to developing the best game possible and hoping it strikes a chord with as many people as possible.

Some of that is in your control, a lot of it is out of your control, and you have to learn how to just make the soundest, smartest decisions you can and hope for the best.(Source: PocketGamer.biz