Ben Brode teases Marvel Snap’s bright future: Transmog system, esports scene, more – Dexerto
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Brad is Dexerto's Australian Deputy Editor, covering all aspects of the gaming industry, online entertainment, and broader pop culture. With a history in the Oceanic esports scene, Brad has also helped elevate many of the region's top pro players and content creators. You can contact Brad at [email protected] or on Twitter: @GoGoYubari__
Although Marvel Snap only just launched in full, the team at Second Dinner already has plans in motion for the next few months and even years ahead. Ben Brode was kind enough to discuss new features, modes, and possible additions on the horizon in our recent conversation.
From the very beginning of Marvel Snap’s closed Beta it was clear the developers were onto something special. With approachable yet deeply strategical gameplay, stunning presentation and the Marvel IP behind them, it didn’t take long for the game’s full release to captivate the masses, shooting to the top of the App Store charts with haste.
Now a few weeks on from its global rollout and countless players have been pumping dozens of hours into the free title. However, the dev team are acutely aware this hot start is only the beginning.
With a long-term development roadmap already in place, we have a decent idea of what’s on the horizon. From Collector’s Tokens and new modes on the way to friends list functionality, there’s plenty in the pipeline. But speaking more in-depth on what’s to come, Ben Brode was more than happy diving into new features, future esports support, Twitch integrations, and plenty more in between during a conversation with Dexerto.
While the community is always coming forward with new suggestions, one particular talking point has gained more traction than the rest. That idea being some form of transmog system in Marvel Snap.
As it stands today, upgrading cards changes their appearance to a degree. The higher the tier, the flashier they appear with all sorts of animated quirks, 3D backdrops, and nifty VFX. However, in the process of upgrading a card, you’re also changing its border color. All cards begin with the default gray edge before moving the ranks.
Rare is blue, Legendary is orange, Infinity is purple, and so on. Naturally, some of these border types fit certain cards better than others. It’s only fair one player with a Wong deck would prefer to keep the Uncommon green border around their card to better match with his attire. The same logic can be applied across the board, leading many to demand a system in which these colors can be picked manually. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple, in fact, it’s rather “tricky,” as Brode explained.
“I understand the desire,” he said during on the subject. “The problem is, there’s not really any other way to denote the current rarity. So there’s some gameplay functionality included in that equation.”
Though in saying that, Brode didn’t entirely rule out a new system coming down the line to resolve this issue. Quite the opposite, as while he couldn’t divulge specifics, cautiously cutting himself off a few times, he did confirm the team is working on this very matter right now.
“We’re working on borders in ways that might make people feel better in the future.”
When it comes to in-game events, it’s still very early days yet in Marvel Snap. Since the quickly scrapped Nexus Events in the Beta, all we’ve seen are a handful of bite-size mini-celebrations hidden away in the menus. Most recently, for instance, a Halloween event was tucked away in the inbox page and only provided 100 Credits for the most consistent players. Moving forward, it’s certainly an area the Second Dinner crew hopes to expand on.
“We’re experimenting with our inbox technology,” Brode said. The dev team is constantly “trying new stuff out” and recognizing there’s “a lot of room for improvement on events.” As for when we might see a more ambitious rollout, no exact timeline is in place, though Brode assured we’ll see the start of these improvements “at some point soon.”
Each and every week in Marvel Snap, we see a mix of Hot & Featured Locations rotate in and out. Typically, this serves as a way for players to get familiar with brand-new additions that season as these Locations appear far more often than usual. While this particular system isn’t going anywhere, one of our suggestions may very well shake things up in the near future.
On pitching the idea of community input here – having fans vote in-game or on social media for the next Location in focus – Brode was all about it. “Oh cool, that sounds rad! I’ll send that idea off to the team. That’s cool.” So there’s every chance we get some input and help decide which Locations pop up in the weeks to come.
Incoming, the Warriors of Wakanda first featured location, Shuri's Lab.🔹When you play a card here, double its Power.What sorts of wild experiments will you run in the lab?Let us know! pic.twitter.com/LcWEe8sOxe
For Brode’s previous work on Hearthstone, watching matches online couldn’t have been more intuitive. Your favorite streamer more than likely had Twitch functionality allowing you to interact with their game board. Just by hovering over a certain card in play, or tapping on their deck list to the side, you could instantly learn more about the game as a newer player.
For the time being, nothing is set in stone to replicate this popular level of engagement in Marvel Snap, but it’s definitely something the team is eager to tick off down the line.
“I actually don’t think that requires any work from the developer side,” Brode said. “I think that’s mostly on the Twitch side but I’m not sure. I think it’d be rad though!”
Currently, your options to communicate in Marvel Snap are quite limited. Beyond a handful of simple dialogue boxes and a number of emotes, there’s little else you can do to engage with your opponent, be it for a good-willed greeting or a toxic taunt. Though things are set to improve in this regard soon as Second Dinner looks to add more customization in this particular area.
“I’m sure we’ll add more,” Brode continued. “One of the things I think really makes the game fun is having goals, having things you’re excited about. Additional emote types is another category that would be really fun to collect.”
Since its arrival in closed Beta, Marvel Snap has focused on just one game type. Players compete in single, 1v1 battles using their favored decks. The winner earns a set amount of Cubes and continues their climb up the ranked ladder while the loser slips down. It’s a basic starting point to get everyone acclimated but it’s far from the only idea Second Dinner has in mind.
One such feature we already know of is the upcoming friendly battle system. Soon, we’ll be able to compete against friends in a new way thanks to this round-based format. Games here are effectively best of five or occasionally best of three, depending on Snaps, as Brode explained.
“Each player has 10 health. The stakes of this game is how much damage the winner deals to the loser. So if you Snap, you’re risking more of your health but you’re also dealing more damage to the loser. It creates this really intense focus because if you Snap wrong, you’re gonna run out of health. Every decision really matters.”
It’s in this ‘Battle Mode’ that Brode sees Marvel Snap’s competitive scene really finding its footing. “Once we have that in the game, people can run community tournaments and from there, we’ll see how things go.” From inside the studio, however, they’re optimistic early events will catch on given not only the game’s approachable design, but how exciting these Battles are to spectate.
“I think it’s super fun,” he continued. “It’s how we’ve been playtesting tournaments internally. It wasn’t like we intended to go build a great esport, but I think we accidentally did. It’s actually just really fun to watch competitive Marvel Snap.”
For the time being, many specifics of this new mode remain under wraps, though Brode did tease us with an example of a ‘sudden death’ shootout. If players take “too long” getting through their Battle, the game pivots. Now, “it’s just the first to win [the round]” is crowned the ultimate victor. “It’s really fun, I think players are gonna love it.
“I think Battle Mode will be a really fun way to test your skill against someone else and get several reps against them to see who’s best.”
One such way this new mode can spring to life is through aforementioned content creators. By creating a custom lobby, top streamers and pro players alike can then share a code in order to bring viewers into the match. “You can tell anybody else in the world ‘come challenge me,’” as Brode explained.
While Battle Mode is just one big addition for fans to look forward to, it’s barely scratching the surface of what the team at Second Dinner has in mind for the future. “We have a lot of exciting modes we’re looking at.”