In honor of level 5,000, King held a press trip in their home office in Stockholm, Sweden on June 25, 2019.
By 9 a.m. Head of Candy Crush, Tjdolf Sommestad, led an introduction that gave insight to King’s past and how the interactive entertainment company produces Candy Crush in a way that makes hundreds of millions of players want to keep playing since its launch in 2012 on Facebook. The key seems to be the connection the company was able to establish with players via social media (mainly Facebook) before moving into the mobile space, allowing players to enjoy the game on the go. iPhone and Android users all over the world, including Antarctica, have indulged in Candy Crush ever since.
Lewold also explained how the game will be celebrating its 5,000th level by transporting all players above level 10 to a Garden Party with the game’s protagonist, Tiffi. Although level 1,000 was released in 2015, this new world will release a brand new level 1,000 on July 6. Levels 2,000 to 4,000 will be released consecutively leading up to the release of level 5,000 on July 10.
After the introduction, three workshops took place geared to explain the process taken daily to create new levels and features in the Candy Crush world. Each time a new level is created, major brainstorming from the game art design, sound design, and level design teams result in new characters and storylines, sound effects, and levels designed with players who play to win each level without the help of boosters in mind.
While each team handles completely different aspects of the game, their overall goal is the same: to keep Candy crush the game everyone loves while consistently adding improvements and a wow factor that can be enjoyed on all devices, from the latest iPhone to an iPhone 4.
Game Art Design:
During this workshop, Game Artists Sandra da Cruz Martins and Mattias Andersson spoke on how their team creates the world of Candy Crush through vision boards and storytelling. The Candy Kingdom is “a world of simple pleasures,” according to Martins. “It’s all about our heroine Tiffi traveling around in a world that has wholesome characters where nobody is decidedly evil. Candy is the most important thing in the world and it ensures the Candy Kingdom runs smoothly.”
Since Tiffi never visits the same place twice, there are always new places being created in the game. The artists draw inspiration from vintage boardgames, deco’s, puppet theatre, and especially candies all over the world. They then focus on nostalgia or the “good ole days and a retro feeling” in the early 1900’s which provides a mood that remains consistent throughout each kooky location. Sketches are printed, cut out, and put on sticks to create paper puppets characters with moveable limbs connected by tacts. Over the years the team experienced a “major overhaul” when they changed the layout and appearance of the game’s map through optimization and 3D elements.
The sound workshop was very straight forward and was more hands-on as participants were able to step into the recording booth, create sounds for a character of their choosing, and watch their voice give life to that character. However, before this occurred, the supervisor quickly broke down the games main soundtrack which is essentially a nine-second loop that was recorded in New York and inspired by World of Warcraft.
Game Level Design:
More on the technical side, the level design workshop with Ludwig Sjostedt and Therese Sander was also very hands-on but definitely unique from the other workshops. Using the actual level generator used by the whole team to customize a Candy Crush level informed me of the mindset level designers are in daily. With a deadline of a minimum of 30 levels every week, there were questions about how each level remains unique, how one would build a solvable game each time, and what happens if two designers make the same level. Starting out with different game modes, each designer has their own style and trusts each other enough to make separate levels which they test out on each other before moving forward. With that said, each design will differ in the amount of colors, explosives, and blockades used in one game.
Being able to play the 5,000th level after seeing the behind the scenes provided by each workshop made playing more enjoyable due to a heightened awareness of sounds, pictures, and obstacles presented during the level as well as rewards. As of July 10, every Candy Crusher pass level ten will have the opportunity to play level 5,000.