The publisher and studio discuss porting this fan-favorite.
The long-awaited Might & Magic Clash of Heroes finally hit the App Store at the end of January, picking up a 4.5 out of 5 stars in our review. We've since spoken to the teams behind the game at publisher Ubisoft and developer Tag Games - here's what they had to say about the challenge of porting this popular title to touchscreens.
Can you tell us a bit about your development backgrounds and how you came to work on Clash of Heroes?
Tag Games: Although Tag Games are mobile and tablet games specialists our team have lots of experience in console and handheld console game development. Members of our team have worked on big console titles such as the Grand Theft Auto series, Crackdown, APB reloaded. We had a passion for Clash of Heroes being big fans of the original console game and this, combined with our technology and experience, meant we were selected as idea partners for porting Clash of Heroes to mobile.
Clash of Heroes for mobiles has been eagerly awaited since it was announced. What were the challenges the team faced in porting the game to touchscreens?
Ubisoft: When porting the game to touchscreens, our main challenges were about usability and controls (especially on smaller devices). We made a lot of prototypes to test the controls, and see what design was the best. For instance, we tried to display the game in landscape and portrait, before finally noticing that portrait couldn't be considered:
- The recommended touch areas for Apple devices are 44 pixels for non-Retina devices and 88 for Retina devices. In a portrait mode we need to fit 8 columns of units across the screen. The maths do not work as a screen width in portrait is only 320 pixels. This would mean that if units had no space between them, and no borders and no GUI, they could be 40 pixels wide. As a conclusion, landscape allowed for larger units making them easier to select.
- All the backgrounds and node data is set up for a landscape view. Having adventure mode in portrait would have meant that those nodes would not have worked and the backgrounds and node data would have to be adjusted.
We also had to face some technical challenges regarding the app size and the memory used by it compared to the large amount of assets and their quality. We finally made it, offering Retina assets. Unfortunately, it means the app size when installed is still huge, but we couldn't improve it better without sacrificing the assets' quality.
Can we expect to see any additional content for the game, or will you be sticking to a straight port of what's already available?
Ubisoft: Our mandate was to stick to a straight port of the HD version, so the chance to see additional content for the game in the future is really small. That said, we definitely think that the current content is huge, thanks to its five solo campaigns (20+ hours of gameplay) and the asynchronous multiplayer (endless hours of gameplay).
Something we mentioned in our review is that we'd love an undo option for errant moves during our turn. Can we expect that option to be included in a future update?
Ubisoft: Well, we decided to not implement this feature to respect and stick to the original design from Capybara. So it's not a technical constraint, but more a legacy constraint we chose to follow. Moreover, adding such a feature would greatly reduce the challenge for players, as they'll be able to experiment and choose the best move. Anyway, players need to think before acting!
Will Clash of Heroes be released on any other mobile platforms, such as Android?
Ubisoft: Yes, it will! We're currently working on the Android version which should be released as soon as possible. We can't yet commit on a date as we're also dedicating ourselves to supporting the iOS version, fixing major issues and implementing some improvements. For instance, the behavior of NPC interaction - right now, you have to click on the node, not on the NPCs themselves.
What's next for the team? Can you share any information with Modojo readers about your next mobile project?
Tag Games: We have a number of really exciting projects in development, but unfortunately are unable to speak about most of them right now! What we can say is that we are working hard to improve the current Clash of Heroes game and are looking forward to future opportunities to work with the team at Ubisoft.