Supercell开发者谈Clash of Clans上架五周年的演变
原文作者：Matt Suckley，译者：Megan Shieh
Supercell最大的成功之一，也是有史以来最成功的手机游戏之一，是《部落冲突》(Clash of Clans)，它将于今天(2017年8月2日)庆祝发布五周年。
Supercell是如何运行这样一个具有象征性的游戏的？它又是如何让这些用户在这么长的时间内，一次又一次回到这个游戏？为了解答这些问题，pocketgamer.biz 对《部落冲突》的资深服务器工程师Jonas Collaros进行了访问。
Jonas Collaros: 在开发《部落冲突》的这五年里，最超现实的一件事是，尽管这个游戏已经成为了一种文化现象，而且经历了这么多事情，但我们基本上还是用一样的方式在开发它。
Jonas Collaros: 游戏团队本身仍在努力以一种智能和可再生的方式整合在线运营。这意味着我们直接参与了在线运营工具的开发，以及计划和活动安排。
Jonas Collaros: 我们认为客户支持是非常重要的。Supercell的客户服务设施是公司中最广泛和最复杂的。这尤其适用于从来没有像《部落冲突》这样做过的游戏。反馈是维持这些游戏寿命的生命之血。
Jonas Collaros: 我们使用的方法和最初是一样的:尽最大的努力把《部落冲突》做成最好的游戏。在我们的行业中，有时很容易忽略这样一个事实：玩家想要的，是找到一个他们可以日复一日地玩的，有趣的、高质量的游戏。
不要以为这是一个简单的答案 - 这是我们迄今为止最难的工作。它包括每天沉浸在我们自己的游戏里，不间断地吸收和跟踪玩家的反馈，还有亲自与社区的影响者和顶级玩家接触。
你愿意分享任何KPI吗？例如下载量，DAU (日活跃用户) 或保留率。
Jonas Collaros: 对我们来说，一个正在进行中的、巨大的努力是改善开发团队和玩家之间的沟通。
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）