Writers for the Simpsons Talk About Their Clash of Clans Web Series
Shortly after the launch of the mobile strategy game Clash of Clans, a writer and producer of the Simpsons was introduced to the game and fell in love. Rob LaZebnik’s 12 year old son was the one who showed him the game and then LaZebnik ended up sharing it with the other Simpsons writers and in turn got them hooked on it too. The writers even created their own Simpsons clan in the mobile game, and constantly sent each other messages during work in order to start clan battles. According to writer Joel Cohen,
“I’d say any bad joke that’s been on The Simpsons for the last four or five years, you can attribute to Clash.”
Thanks to their obsession, LaZebnik, John Frink, and Cohen decided to use their cartoon skills to create characters based on Clash of Clans units and put them in funny situations. They pitched the cartoon to the Finnish studio, Supercell. Now we have the series Clash-a-Rama on YouTube. The animated series has new episodes every week and today they are releasing a holiday one called 12 Days of Clashmas. Each episode is 10 minutes long and shows the familiar characters lives outside of war.
The web series was partly inspired by the show Portlandia. For example in one episode some very competitive archers have silly arguments while at the same time somewhere else a villager spends time teaching goblins there’s more to life than just stealing gold. Clash of clans is played by an estimated 100 million people each day. LaZebnik said about their writing process,
“There’s not a ton of backstory to the game and characters, so it was great for us to say ‘This is our take on their universe,’ and be able to define who some of these characters are. On one hand, you do have character rules about how they fight, how they interact with other troops. But beyond that, we were able to sort of really attack it ourselves creatively.”
The studio behind Clash of Clans, Supercell, has been involved in the web series and every idea has to go through them before they can publish it, but LaZebnik says that they have “really given us a ton of freedom”. The only time Supercell has shot down an idea is when it has gone beyond the game’s realm for example, a scene where a character is digging underground and discovers a hidden dragon’s lair. The studio has created a silly sense of humor around Clash of Clans, which is evident in their silly commercials.Clash-a-Rama is actually done pretty professionally. The character designs are done by Rough Draft Studios and the voice work is from people like the Simpsons and Futurama voice actress Tress MacNeille, Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star Rachel Dratch, and voice actor Charlie Adler. The show has been watched more than 40 million times and Cohen says it wasn’t written to draw in new people to the Clash of Clans universe.
“Really, our motive was to just do something for the community”
“It’s great that they look at it so closely, because we’ve looked at these things so closely while producing them, that we really appreciate that they appreciate the little things we’ve done”
LeZebnik makes sure to say that they aren’t perfect, but they try,
“We’ll still make the occasional mistake… There will be a level 7 town hall, and a character who shouldn’t be in that village. We’re trying to be as careful as we can, but stuff will slip through the cracks.”
Supercell hasn’t said how many episodes total will air, but Clash-a-Rama is expected to go for at least a few more weeks and the creators say that doing this series has changed the way they experience the game.
“You’re playing, but you’re also thinking on another level ‘Oh this new lumberjack guy is great!’… You can’t help but think how to implement it into a story-line.”
Are you a Clash-a-Rama fan? Let us know what you think of the series in the comment section below and make sure to follow DFTG on Twitter for all your gaming news! In other news, Toy Story 3’s Director has revealed the first official still of Pixar’s new animated film”Coco” and you can read about it here!
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