“He stood up at the end of the game and his legs fell asleep. “And he fell in the bathroom and broke his leg,” Brode said in an interview with The Washington Post in Los Angeles, as Hamilton Chu, co-founder of Second Dinner, chuckled. “And I felt somewhat responsible for that. “
Brode, lead designer of “Hearthstone,” said that while matches should have lasted more than seven minutes, they occasionally got longer. That’s why he and Chu wanted to explore even shorter card games and finally decided to do “Marvel Snap”. Brode said his control fighter friend yelled for help on the bathroom floor and was put in a cast.
Last week, “Marvel Snap” won best mobile game at the annual Game Awards, beating popular titles like “Genshin Impact” and “Apex Legends”. Formerly senior executives at “Hearthstone” developer Activision Blizzard, the developers founded their own studio, Second Dinner, in 2018. “Marvel Snap” is their first game.
Chu said the name Marvel adds credibility to a start-up like Second Dinner, and the card game creates more excitement for players because the characters are instantly recognizable. A former Blizzard colleague, now an executive at Marvel Games, helped make the collaboration happen.
“Marvel Snap” is easy for beginners and takes them through a tutorial where players slap cards from a 12-card deck featuring characters like Iron Man, Hulk, and Hawkeye.
The developers hope to add the ability to play against friends to the mobile app by next month.
“This is the biggest thing we’re working on right now,” Brode said. “But sometimes you know how things go, last minute mistakes, things slip.”
As for taking the initiative with Marvel’s intellectual property, Chu talked about being able to skip the layers of bureaucracy that is standard when working at a large company like Blizzard.
“This game wouldn’t have been made if we were still inside Blizzard. Blizzard, why would they work with someone else’s intellectual property? That’s not strategically right for Blizzard,” Chu said. “But we can do it because we don’t have to worry about such things, and that makes sense to us.”
Chu said that if he tried to present a “Marvel Snap” to Blizzard, he would have gotten clear approval from many people, including a business presentation and months of persuasion.
Brode and Chu left Blizzard in 2018, years before the company went bankrupt. with several cases over allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination, and before Microsoft offered to buy it for $68.7 billion. “It’s a really complex answer,” Brode said when asked how Second Dinner could avoid the corporate culture issues Blizzard faces.
“Recruiting is a really big part. Doing that really well and making sure we have the opportunity to hire people from a ton of different backgrounds to help make sure we’re not homogeneous,” Brode said. “Making people feel very empowered to come up and raise their hands when something goes wrong. And then, first of all, create policies and a corporate culture where there are no opportunities for things to go wrong.”
Second Dinner is one of several game studios started by former Blizzard employees. there is also Famous Studios, was started by the former “World of Warcraft” developers and made an eponymous fantasy game. And Frost Giant, created by former StarCraft developers, plans to launch a new game “Stormgate” in testing next year.
For Brode and Chu, starting their own company was risky and intimidating, but having a pedigree from Blizzard helped them build brand awareness. Choosing a new name for the studio was also a fun task.
“I have a really weird sleep pattern and I’m basically a vampire,” Chu said. “And so I have my second dinner every night. It’s my favorite meal to eat alone around 3am.
“Also, while we’re thinking about what the Second Supper will be, what we’re going to do is work at Blizzard all day and then go home and take care of our families and say, ‘Well, meet up. And we have a second dinner and dream about the future.
Ever since “Marvel Snap” came out in mid-October, players have asked a lot of questions about the game on social media. Some tweeted that after level 80, they felt that “Marvel Snap” gave real money players a greater advantage.
“If it was pay-to-win, then everybody could win. And that’s not the case, you have to be very good at the game,” Brode said.
He added that the competition intensified after the 80th place and that this was “due to the nature of the competition”.
He said that the probability of getting a card from a collector’s cache is about one in four, and that other variants and cosmetics that fit the cache will “surprise and delight” the player. In the backend, players are matched in duels based on their collection size, and as they play and evolve, they’re matched with players of similar skill.
Finally, the “Marvel Snap” developers reacted to The Post’s recent article about avoiding bathroom hazards while playing games like “Marvel Snap” in the toilet.
“’Snap’ will save you from hemorrhoids,” Chu said. “The Washington Post said Saturday”
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