Clash Of Clans
Clash Combat: Paying Homage to Retro Gaming
Ah, the nostalgia... In our latest animation for Clash of Clans, we aimed to show how the community has helped Clash of Clans grow over almost a decade of gaming. What better way to celebrate Video Games Day than to look back at the various styles that games had over the decades?
The bigger picture
Our long-standing client, Supercell, wanted to mark Video Games Day with a special something for the Clash of Clans community - and they reached out to us for the job!
This project was part of an ongoing strategy to celebrate the gaming community and own key moments in the calendar.
We wanted to engage with existing and lapsed Clash of Clans players and the Supercell halo audience, as well as the wider gaming community and fans of retro digital art.
In line with Supercell (and our) community-centric approach, the campaign seeks to give fans a sense of involvement and belonging to drive affinity, loyalty and advocacy.
“Once again, working with Waste we have created a social content push which taps into the zeitgeist in order to engage with fans and help us maintain brand salience. What better way to celebrate Video Games Day than with an affectionate homage to old-school games, executed with a Clash of Clans twist?” - Ana Martins, Community Manager, Clash of Clans
What we did
So, to mark Video Games Day, we decided to create an animated film that pays homage to retro gaming and shows how far games have come in terms of design and art direction.
The video takes a journey through gaming history, evolving from an 8-bit graphics arcade animation to a rich 3D-animated scene. It sees two Clash of Clans characters go head-to-head in a unique one-to-one combat, inviting the Clash community to vote for the winner.
“In mobile gaming terms, Clash of Clans is mature, and whilst it has high levels of brand awareness in the gaming world and mainstream culture, top-of-mind salience requires constant stimulation. This campaign is part of our ongoing strategy to pick halo moments in the gaming calendar and own them, as only an OG game like Clash of Clans can do. We’re leveraging Video Games Day with a piece of content created with the gaming community very much in mind.” - Christian Perrins, Head of Strategy, Waste
About the Style
Inspired by classic 8- and 16-bit fighting games, the animation aims to reflect the aesthetic of each era while staying true to the Supercell brand.
This Thing of Ours (our animation studio) partnered with specialist pixel artists to create the scenes, harnessing modern day techniques to create a familiar and nostalgic feel.
Art Director Dolph Souza developed a technique that allowed This Thing of Ours to create all the animation in 3D software and break it down into pixels, a similar process to that used in The Lego Movie. The studio then reduced the frame rates to match the time period and worked over the top of each frame in pixels.
The third scene featuring game styles of 1993 was the most challenging to create, requiring extensive research and development.
Norik Imami, 3D artist, remodelled each character with a low poly count, treating and remapping each texture with pixels, to achieve the retro look.
“Working on a project like this tickled many of our cravings as animators. By far the most exciting part of the project was the level of reverse engineering that was involved to achieve a look and feel that felt familiar to all those hardcore gamers.” - Alex Robinson, Head of Motion Graphics, This Thing of Ours, part of the Waste family
Engaging the Community
At the end of the first video, we stopped the fight at the crucial moment: the final blow, deciding which of the characters would win. We asked the community who they thought would reign victorious - and once the results were in, we released a second video giving the fans some much needed closure...
With over 700 k views through Supercell's Clash of Clans YouTube channel and nostalgic comments from the community that kept on pouring, we concluded that this campaign was a success!
As the cherry on top, The Drum also awarded us Ad of the Day for this campaign. Safe to say, we were pretty stoked, and Supercell were too!