Clash of Clans meets Candy Crush

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Tim Chae
Tim ChaeHunter@tchae · Partner @ 500 Startups
Found this game a couple weeks ago. Really well made and it's super addicting.
Ryan Hoover
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Nice work, @alexwlin and team. I'm a fan of both Clash of Clans and Candy Crush (although the former is a bit heavy with the monetization upselling, for my taste). You've been in gaming for several years now, through the transition from paid to freemium. I'm curious what the next major shift is in games. Predict the future. 😉
Alex Lin
Alex LinMaker@alexwlin · Founder, CEO @ LVL6
Thanks @rrhoover! The team at LVL6 really put their hearts and minds into this one for the past two years. When we set out to build Toon Squad, we honestly didn't expect it to become, "Clash meets Crush." I think it came out this way because our team is comprised of group of passionate gamers who enjoy a spectrum of genres; For example, our creative director exclusively plays Candy Crush and Subway Surfer (he insists he's in the top 0.5%) while I prefer intense RTS or MMOs like StarCraft and WoW. We also had an enormous amount of fun building the theme of the game. Truth be told, I'm not even sure what our theme is. It's like this mash-up of pop culture and... troll? Fortunately, our players seem to find the self-aware/light-hearted vibe of the game refreshing in a sea of military and fantasy games. I encourage everyone to download the game and play through the tutorial at a minimum. Hopefully we can get a chuckle out of you. :) With this said, don't let the casual cover of the game fool you. Toon Squad has an enormous amount of depth and social gameplay if you allow yourself to be immersed in our delightful little world. -- Re: Predicting the future. Freemium is here to stay. It's a brilliant business model that has empowered mobile games to become one of the most mainstream forms of entertainment in the world. This is primarily because of two reasons: 1) The LTV for players in mobile games is incredibly high. Companies are also now willing to invest 1-2 years out before they see any ROI. This allows them to bid up to $35+ per free install. Think about that for a second. You can throw your computer/phone at the wall now. 2) The form factor of a freemium mobile game makes it the ideal candidate for advertising. You can advertise anywhere in the world and see some sort of conversion. Imagine buying a billboard on the 101 that says, "buy water or you'll die." You can't pull out your iPhone and download water but you can surely download a freemium game. There is virtually zero barrier to consume. Now imagine a game like World of Warcraft that has a shelf-life of 20+ years. Imagine if they were willing to wait 5+ years for ROI on a user. Hide your banners, hide your interstitials, cause "x" mobile gaming company gonna steal your 1st, 2nd, and 50th impression. I know I paint freemium to be this nasty all-powerful behemoth, but it's actually an amazing thing for the industry. To achieve everything I mentioned above, game developers will need to create a product that people actually adore. You can't keep people around if they don't like your product. Game developers are slowly starting to learn that if you can retain a user for 2+ years, even the most frugal user will spend $5 in a game. Because of this, the whole industry is trying it's hardest to create genuinely fun stuff. That sounds pretty good to me. I don't want anyone to be alarmed by anything I just said. Disney has been doing this for years. You remember that little game called, "Pokemon" that defined your childhood? Their TV show was just a genius marketing tool to funnel kids into buying their games. Think freemium is evil? Don't think for one second that they couldn't have included all 150 Pokemon in 1 game. Market domination via advertising can genuinely be a beautiful thing. It's how brands are made. I just wanted to give you guys a little real talk. Side note: Entertainment is one of the largest exports for the United States. The mobile gaming industry is going to surpass Hollywood in the coming years. Finland is dominating mobile gaming and their government and investment community stand firmly beside them helping them thrive. Zynga's rise and fall has left a bad taste in SV's mouth, but I hope we can see past that and support a wonderful industry. After all, if Disney is going to fall, it's going to be to a mobile gaming company. Thanks for having me @rrhoover. :)
damien legave
damien legave@damien_legave · CTO
@alexwlin @rrhoover // Imagine buying a billboard on the 101 that says, "buy water or you'll die." // You can't pull out your iPhone and download water but you can surely // download a freemium game. 1.Buy water or you'll die. 2.instruction not clear, downloaded freemium game. *User died of dehydration* Excellent article. Also congratulation for the game, your team seems really awesome, I will try your game now. Damien
damien legave
damien legave@damien_legave · CTO
@alexwlin @rrhoover I just tried the game, The on-boarding process is extremely well made, probably the best process I have ever experienced. The design is polished and the GUI is neat & beautiful. There is a fair share of humour, especially at the beginning until signup ^^ The only thing they could improve is in the fight process: it's a little unclear on how your hit strength is calculated. (What is the value of each combinaison ? What move increase combo ? etc) Congratulations !
Alex Lin
Alex LinMaker@alexwlin · Founder, CEO @ LVL6
@damien_legave @rrhoover Thank you for your kind words! I'll be sure the let the team know. Re: fight process, it's definitely a little complicated, but we intentionally didn't want to hold the users hand throughout the entire process. Freemium game design has moved the industry towards a standard where the users is taught EVERYTHING with arrows (in the name of retention), and we wanted to bring it back to old school Japanese game design where you were kind of just thrown into the world and forced to figure everything out. We think it's healthier for long term retention that way. :) To directly answer your question, the value varies from toon to toon. Click on your toons head in the speed bar and you can see how much damage he/she does per orb. Combos occur when you achieve multiple matches in a single move (they don't add bonuses.) The combat system is incredibly complex and we're continuously balancing it based on the data that we're receiving (currently it's skewed in favor of that attacker), but I promise you we're working on it. If you have any more questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me here, twitter, or in-game through our live chat support. :)
Kevin Li
Kevin Li@liveink · Co-Founder at Farmstead
this game is amazing
Mack Flavelle
Mack Flavelle@mackflavelle ·
@liveink yeah dude. i lost respectable time to this one already. love it.