We spoke to A Thinking Ape to learn more about how Kingdoms of Heckfire is so deep yet accessible

By , on November 25, 2017

Kingdoms of Heckfire is a build and battler in a similar vein to Clash of Clans. The difference here though, is that it prides itself on being more friendly to casual players.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy though, it’s just a little smoother to get to grips with. You won’t open it and be flooded with a bunch of stuff to do, not knowing how any of it works.

But as you play, it opens up and there’s an awful lot of depth there. So there’s plenty of reasons why hardcore Clash of Clans fans will love the game too.

We spoke to A Thinking Ape to learn more about what sets Kingdoms of Heckfire apart from its competitors, and here’s what they had to say.

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What do you think your game offers that you can’t get from any other title on the app stores?

“We think kingdom builders are an amazing genre, with deep strategy, and truly social gameplay. The problem with most of them today though is that they are inaccessible to all but the most hardcore players.

Kingdoms of Heckfire is the kingdom builder for everybody - everything from the mechanics and balancing to the art style have been crafted in a way that will introduce these games to a much larger audience, without sacrificing the deep strategy that we all love.

“We’ve had a number of female gamers get deeply involved in the game, both in our closed beta and in soft launch. In fact, in our playtests, female players were the ones who rated our game the highest! This is a particularly interesting result given that the genre is typically male-dominated.”

What are the most important aspects do you feel for creating a successful kingdom builder?

“We believe one of the most important pillars in creating a successful kingdom builder is the ability to create a massive, thriving, online community with deep strategy involved. We’ve designed an environment where players are individually able to perform simple actions, but can form more complex behaviors as a collective.

“The social dynamics are interesting as well - it’s crazy to see the alliances and rivalries being formed and the stories that accompany them. We aim to create the kind of large-scale conflict you hear about in games like EVE online. However, this must be done in a way where we don’t alienate first-time players due to the complexity of the game. We try to unfold it and introduce it to them over time.”

What challenges did you face during development, and how did you overcome them?

“Oh boy. It’s been a long journey. We restarted development twice as we learned more about what it would take to make a truly accessible kingdom builder.

“It was very important for us to create a Discord community of a few thousand gamers to give us feedback. These gamers range from the hard-core players who play non-stop, to those who would play a few times a day.

“As a free to play game, we also enabled monetization early to gather feedback not only from our paying players but also our non-paying players.

“It was our goal to create a game that was fun for everyone in that spectrum. They have been an invaluable resource and the game wouldn’t be where it is today without them. Thanks, everyone!”

Which part of the game are you personally the most proud of and why?

“We’re excited about the community that has grown around this game during soft launch. We couldn’t have asked for more dedicated partners in helping us create this game. It’s what drives us as a company and has been an invaluable way to get feedback on our product roadmap.

“Since soft launch we’ve seen Heckfire spark at least two relationships, and we’ve had different players come to visit our studios from around the world to show their support!”

Do you have anything planned in terms of future updates for the game and, if so, can you give us any details of what these might include?

“Our team is just getting started, and we have nearly a decade of live operations experience so we are ready to support the game and continue work on it for years to come.

“The next big feature we’re focused on is Strongholds and Shrines, which will allow players to take control of a realm to become the ultimate ruler.”

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.