As part of its ongoing strategy to celebrate the gaming community and own key moments in the calendar, Supercell has worked with This Thing of Ours to create Clash Combat, a piece of social content to mark Video Games Day. The animated film 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.
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 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.
The content push aims to engage with Clash of Clans players, as well as the wider gaming community and fans of retro digital art. In line with Supercell’s community-centric approach, the campaign seeks to give fans a sense of involvement and belonging to drive affinity, loyalty and advocacy.
The video is running across social platforms worldwide.
Clash of Clans community manager Ana Martins, said: “Once again, working with This Thing of Ours 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 in an authentically Clash of Clans way?”
This Thing of Ours head of motion graphics Alex Robinson, said: “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.”