Copenhagen Creators Interview

CopenhagenInterview

Founded in just 2012, Copenhagen Creators has produced a staggering variety of games in different genres including puzzle, adventure and action-strategy. Their most polished title yet, ‘SoulSpark Battle Cards’ is an intriguing fusion of card battler and RPG elements that’s produced to the highest of standards. A representative from the team in Copenhagen took the time to sit and answer some question for My Boxed Universe.

MBU
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions today, it’s greatly appreciated. For those not acquainted with your portfolio, can you tell us a little bit about Copenhagen Creators and their philosophy?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
Copenhagen Creators is a concept development company that develops, markets and publishes games and apps for iOS and Android. We work on our own independent projects, as well as co-productions and contracted projects. We’re a small team of around 17 employees, some of which are freelance and interns. This small team is highly experienced and very international, with people from Germany, Sweden, Egypt, China, and so on. We truly believe that this gives us an edge in terms of understanding the app market, which is also extremely varied.

As a company we aspire to always create unique games that alter the way game mechanisms are typically used, add a twist to a known genre or rethink it entirely. We want to stand out and expect and work towards one day becoming one of the big players with that global success story.

A diverse and talented team.

A diverse and talented team.

MBU
SoulSpark is first and foremost a card game, but it features a lot of excellent RPG mechanics and manages to tell a story throughout its campaign, was a fusion of the two styles always your intention?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
The story of SoulSpark’s creation actually started around a kitchen table in our Copenhagen office, where we and other game enthusiasts had been meeting for years to play games after work hours.
This group then decided to build a game together, which combined card collecting, strategy and action. We wanted to create a game that would be easy to pick up for anyone new to the genre, but with layers of strategy and tactics, which could challenge even experienced players. And thus needed to tell a story that would help immerse players in the game and universe.

MBU
Visually the game has a very unique identity, using the artwork of Steve Prescott almost exclusively. Many card games in both the electronic and physical sense elect to utilise a variety of different artists to both speed production and share the workload. Was it always your intention to work with Steve alone and what was your experience working with him?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
Well, actually Steve Prescott had the initial idea to create a game made for players by players. He talked to our mutual friend, Jesper Ejsing who is also an independent world-renowned fantasy artist, about it. Jesper then took the idea to us (Copenhagen Creators) and we in turn involved Danish game designers Wizkids. Thus, what started as evenings around a kitchen table, eventually forged this amazing transatlantic alliance to create SoulSpark.

Steve has previously expressed that he was driven by enthusiasm due to this exact point. That most other games have a lot of different artists, and it was therefore a dream to be the sole artist on an entire game.

Working with Steve was a blast. His designs are world class and really helped lift the overall quality of the game. For SoulSpark fans, that didn’t know about Steve’s art before playing the game, we highly recommend paying Steve’s website a visit. http://prescottartblog.blogspot.dk/

The artwork in SoulSpark is top-notch.

The artwork in SoulSpark is top-notch.

MBU
Did Steve produce the icons and additional interface graphics as well or were they produced separately to match his style?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
Yes, Steve produced the interface icons together with our in-house UI artist. We wanted to push Steve’s line work and style into the product as much as possible to make sure it visually provided a complete and coherent experience.

MBU
The games world map features a variety of clever scenarios and interactions between the cards as characters. How much attention was put into world building or did that grow organically from the nature of the games systems and art?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
The world was developed alongside monsters, mechanics and gameplay over many iterations. So a lot of attention was put into this process to make sure that the world and the map felt as a natural part of progression.

MBU
SoulSpark is a real-time card battler instead of being turn based, making it faster and requiring a greater sense of attention. What were your initial aims when creating this system?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
As mentioned earlier, we wanted to create a game that would be easy to pick up for anyone new to the genre. Though equally important to us was making sure that it was unique in its use of game mechanisms, with an added twist to this known genre.

After spending a weekend without any sleep to get the first basic prototype done, we could see that adding the real-time element to collectible card games had us hooked and realized the possibilities involved when there were suddenly no turns and no waiting for the opponent to act.

Real time actions give the combat in SoulSpark a sense of energy.

Real time actions give the combat in SoulSpark a sense of energy.

MBU
Time is a big element, with time management the basis of the games tactics. Every actions has a period of count-down before triggering, effects last a set amount of time and characters heal slowly in real-time. It adds a huge element of strategy that simply doesn’t exist in other similar titles (and this is before the cards themselves are taken into account). Did you find that play-testing the game was tricky due to different people’s processing time or that you got progressively faster as players as you learned what was happening?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
Yeah, even though on the surface SoulSpark seems to be rather simple and easy to get into – the underlying mechanics are quite complex. Testing balancing in a game like SoulSpark is not an easy task and great care was taken to make sure everyone would be guided softly into the game, but at the same time, difficulty ramps up over time so SoulSpark always feel challenging.

MBU
SoulSpark doesn’t require that the device it’s being played on is connected to the internet in order to enjoy its core game. Was that a deliberate choice?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
Yes it was. We didn’t want the players experience to be affected by coincidentally being in a zone with bad connection.

MBU
The game does have options for liking and sharing via Facebook. What prompted this inclusion and why stop at Facebook when many games also feature additional social networking sites such as Twitter?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
Twitter is an interesting social platform that we follow closely and are a part of with both a Company and dedicated SoulSpark profile, though we still see our largest following on Facebook. In the future Twitter and possibly Instagram will though be part of our game development plans.

MBU
The music in SoulSpark is a strong blend of tracks that inspire a feel for the world. Was there a particular vibe that you wanted to capture with its soundtrack? Were real instruments used or synth?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
SoulSpark has a lighter fantasy setting without that dark and ominous vibe and we wanted to reflect that in the soundtrack, a sound that fit the environment and gave you the feeling of actually being there. We think we succeeded in creating a very pleasant sound for the game and have luckily gotten the same feedback from our users.

MBU
The games does have a few difficulty spikes, were these intentional on the part of the developers to encourage grinding of earlier sections or purchases on the part of the player (SoulSpark is FREE but features some in-game purchases such as its premium currency).

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
Our philosophy was to make SoulSpark free-to-play so everybody could play the game without spending money, but by doing in-app-purchases you could also collect additional exciting cards and characters.
So it is entirely possible to complete the game without making purchases, by as you say, grinding of earlier sections. But of course also possible to advance faster if some of the added cards and heroes are bought. We feel we created a good balance between the difficulty spikes and actually lowered them a little in the last update, as we could see many players were having difficulties passing these.

MBU
SoulSpark is very much a game that could only exist in a video-game setting, with so many time orientated rules to keep track of, but were the developers ever tempted to create a physical equivalent and capitalise on its popularity?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
SoulSpark actually started out as a physical card game, but quickly evolved to be quite complex and the real-time nature of the game would make it hard to produce a physical counterpart. It is not something we are pursuing at the moment.

MBU
How has SoulSpark sold since release, has it met your expectations in terms of download figures?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
We got featured by Apple in most major countries, which gave direct measurable results that we were of course extremely pleased about. However, it is a very competitive market and you of course always want to improve.

Overall we are happy about how the launch went and expect to see a further increase in downloads with new updates and added content and functionality.

MBU
Are there any expansions or additional content that players can expect to see on the horizon?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
We are currently discussing the exact update plans but hope that these will include multiplayer functionality, ranked and unranked arena fights, and new worlds. We’ll share news as soon as possible on soulsparkgame.com and our social media sites:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CopenhagenCreators

Twitter – @CPHcreators and @SoulSparkGame.
MBU
Has production of SoulSpark triggered any interest in house for creating a more heavily RPG orientated title? Your games are frequently of an exceptionally high standard and it’s an area you’re yet to delve into.

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
Fantasy is a genre that we have worked with a few times before and certainly will again. Expect to hear something from us again quite soon 😉

MBU
Are there any parting words for fans of your products?

COPENHAGEN CREATORS
Yeah, we’d like to thank everyone that supported the game, both in the testing phases where many users gave us tons of valuable feedback and of course at release where they subsequently downloaded the game – Keep playing and giving us your feedback!

MBU
Thanks once again for taking the time to sit for this interview. For those who want to learn more about SoulSpark its official website can be found HERE, and it is also listed alongside its fellow games and some interesting information on Copenhagen Creators official website HERE.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s