Welcome back to On The Court, our series of developer blogs where each month our developers will give insight into the game design of Tennis Clash, sneak peeks at future features, and retroactive discussion on other aspects of the game.

This month, we’ll be talking about the newly released Club Slam, along with answers to some of your questions and feedback about this new social event!

Can you talk about the initial inception and development of Club Slam?

The main idea for Club Slam was to develop a social event in which players could participate in a competition along with friends in a different way.

Where did the name Club Slam come from?

The term Club Slam was inspired by the term Grand Slam, which consists of winning the 4 big events of Tennis in the same year (Wimbledon, US Open, Roland Garros, and Australian Open).

Can you talk about the reasoning behind the four courts and their surfaces?

In real-life Tennis, there are multiple court surfaces, such as Grass, Clay, and Hard. Each surface favors a certain type of player. For example, Clay favors Counterpunchers, Grass favors Serve & Volley, and Hard favors Baseliners. The idea of having different courts is to provide a way for players to play with different strategies and discover all the gameplay possibilities that exist within the game.

(Early artwork for Club Slam home screen)

What was the inspiration for the Club Slam home screen?

For the map, we got inspired by magazine infographics and a mix of toyish minimalistic designs to convey a clean, modern, and fun experience that would soften up visually the robust nature of the feature. Some of our early explorations seemed to be complex not only in terms of visuals but execution.

Then we opted to go for the infographic approach, very simple to understand but with a charm, especially the cute characters walking around. It’s like a live map of a local sports event pointing out sectors of where you can go and what you can do. Everything clicked together in a fun, simple, and nice package.

Can you talk about more players needing to use 4 different characters?

Here the idea is very similar to the one mentioned in the question about court surfaces. We want players to be able to have more variability and interact in different ways with the game. We believe that this will improve players’ experience as they will be able to master different character gameplay styles on different courts.

Will there be any interaction between Club Slam and Club Leagues?

We want players to enjoy the most of the two competitions, so players can expect Club Slam and Club Leagues to alternate, so players will have different types of competition to participate in.

Why did we transition back to Club League after one week?

We received an incredible amount of feedback (even before our post requesting feedback!) along with spotting a number of improvements and bug fixes that would improve the overall experience of Club Slam. Therefore, we felt it was best to make these improvements as soon as possible instead of delaying them by several weeks.

Matchmaking was a vocal point of feedback for the first cycle of Club Slam – what changed for the 2nd cycle? And what can we expect in the future?

We were aware that some players have experienced uneven matchups during the 1st Club Slam cycle. The matchmaking was done by matchmaking groups, which means groups of club divisions, and we observed that because within a club division there is a broad range of players (beginners, advanced ones, etc.) some matches were not well balanced. We heard the community feedback, and for the 3.2 version update, we made adjustments to help with this by adding a new step to matchmaking, which considers the player’s individual league within the matchmaking group. With this change, we have observed much more balanced matches during the 2nd cycle of the Club Slam. However! We are monitoring this very closely to understand if there is space for improvement.

What improvements or adjustments are we planning on making to Club Slam in the future?

We want players to engage and have a lot of fun during the Club Slam, for that we are working on some additions to the feature. For now, I can’t talk much, otherwise, we might risk ruining the surprise, but a lot of good stuff is coming up!

That’s all for now! Be sure to follow us on our social media channels to stay up to date with everything Tennis Clash!