The developer of Marvel Snap was inspired by a mishap of playing in a friend’s bathroom | Popgen Tech
“At the end of the match, he stood up and his legs fell asleep. And he fell and broke his leg in the bathroom,” said Brode in an interview with The Washington Post in Los Angeles during his Second Dinner co-founder that Hamilton Chu laughed. “And I felt somewhat responsible for it.”
Brode, who was a lead designer on “Hearthstone,” said that while battles should be more like seven minutes long, they occasionally drag. And that’s why he and Chu wanted to explore shorter card games, and eventually settled on making “Marvel Snap.” His control warrior friend screamed for help on the bathroom floor and ended up in a cast, Brode said.
Last week, “Marvel Snap” won best mobile game at the annual Game Awards, beating popular titles like “Genshin Impact” and “Apex Legends.” The developers, formerly senior leadership at “Hearthstone” developer Activision Blizzard, started their own studio Second Dinner in 2018. “Marvel Snap” was their first game.
The ‘Marvel Snap’ devs’ first idea was so good that they refused to believe it
Chu said Marvel’s name lends credibility to a start-up like Second Dinner, and it makes the card game more exciting for players because the characters are instantly recognizable. A former co-worker at Blizzard who is now an executive at Marvel Games helped make the collaboration happen.
“Marvel Snap” is easy on newbies, taking them through a tutorial where players swipe cards from a 12-card deck featuring characters like Iron Man, the Hulk and Hawkeye.
The developers hope to add the ability to play against friends to the mobile app next month.
“This is our biggest thing we’re doing right now,” Brode said. “But you know how things happen sometimes, last-minute bugs, things that slip.”
When it comes to taking over Marvel’s intellectual property initiative, Chu talked about being able to bypass the layers of bureaucracy that are standard when working for a large company like Blizzard.
“That game couldn’t have been made if we were still inside Blizzard. Blizzard, why would they work with other people’s intellectual property? That’s just not the right way for Blizzard to do it,” Chu said. “But we can do it because we don’t have to worry about things like that, and it makes sense for us.”
Chu said that if he tried to pitch “Marvel Snap” to Blizzard, he would have to clear approval from multiple people, including a business presentation and months of convincing.
When to take a ‘Marvel Snap’
Brode and Chu left Blizzard in 2018, years before the company was hit with several lawsuits over allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination, and before Microsoft proposed to acquire it for $68.7 billion. When asked how Second Supper can avoid the same corporate culture issues facing Blizzard, Brode said, “It’s a really complicated answer.”
“Hiring is a big piece. Doing that efficiently and making sure we have opportunities to hire people from a ton of diverse backgrounds to help make sure we’re not homogenous,” Brode said. “Making sure people feel empowered enough to come raise their hands when things go wrong. And then creating company policies and cultures where there are no opportunities for things to go wrong in the first place.”
Second Supper is one of several game studios started by former Blizzard employees. There’s also Notorious Studios, started by former “World of Warcraft” developers, which is making an untitled fantasy game. And Frost Giant, created by former StarCraft developers, plans to open a new game “Stormgate” in a test phase next year.
For Brode and Chu, starting their own company was risky and scary, but having a pedigree from Blizzard helped them gain brand name recognition. Choosing a new name for the studio proved to be a fun task.
“I have a weird sleep schedule, and I’m a vampire, basically,” Chu said. “And so I have a second dinner every night. It’s my favorite meal that I eat around 3 am by myself.
“And then, while we’re thinking about what Second Supper is going to be, what we’re going to do is we’re going to work all day at Blizzard, and then we’re going to go home, take care of our families and be like ‘Okay, see you. until 10 .’ And we will have a second dinner and dream about the future.
Ever since the “Marvel Snap” came out in mid-October, players have asked a lot of questions about the game on social media. Some tweeted that after rank 80, it seems that “Marvel Snap” gives more advantages to players who spend real money.
“If it’s pay-to-win, anyone should win. And that’s not the case, you have to be very good at the game,” said Brode.
He added that competition heats up after rank 80, and that’s “the nature of competition.”
The odds of getting a card from a collector cache are about one in four, he said, and the other variants and cosmetics that fit into the cache are to “surprise and delight” the player. On the back end, players are matched into duels based on their collection size, and as they play and become more advanced, they will be matched with players of similar skills.
Finally, the developers of “Marvel Snap” reacted to The Post’s recent article about avoiding bathroom hazards when playing games like “Marvel Snap” in the bathroom.
“‘Snap’ saves you from hemorrhoids,” Chu said. “The Washington Post said.”