An interview with Nuno, Battleship Domination 2022 Champion

The Marmalade Game Studio Battleship Domination Championship ran from December 9th to December 19th. 19 rounds were played between 6 colleagues, including our CEOs. The stakes were high. A trophy and bragging rights for the year is as serious as an Airstrike revealing the positions of 4 ships around here. Which I managed on one glorious occasion.

I’m Emily Inkpen, a copywriter at Marmalade Game Studio, and my fleet finally floundered in the semi-finals at the hands of our champion, Nuno Serra. I caught up with Nuno in the wake of his victory to get a better understanding of the mind behind the missiles.

Let’s start with congratulations! You just won the first-ever Battleship Domination Championship – how does it feel?

  It feels incredible, to prove my worth as a Commanders expert and to have been able to represent the Lisbon Studio in the Championship.

That’s a good point! Considering we have a London and a Lisbon studio, it’s amazing there wasn’t more cross-studio rivalry. You’re obviously very good at the game, does it hold a special place in your heart?

  I love the Commanders mode on Battleship, it’s the only way I can play battleship now. I hold it in high regard, it’s my favourite Marmalade game! It’s easy to pick up and play but with a layer underneath that makes it interesting every time.

You were a playtester for Battleship, so how many games do you think you’ve played overall? Give us an estimate:

  I’m estimating 300+? Since we’ve released Battleship on so many platforms and we always check cross-platform compatibility and the companion apps, we had a lot of test cases to check.

I faced you in the semi-finals and I couldn’t help but notice some serious tactics going on, namely hitting the ships and not sinking them. Is that how you win the game?

  I’m personally against this strategy, but in times of war one must do what is necessary for victory! It helps a lot since you deprive your opponent of extra points for their abilities,but without more game knowledge(and luck) it won’t win games on its own.

So what you’re saying is, I pressured you to abandon your principles in the heat of battle? I’ll take that! Have you got any other tactics you’d like to share? It’ll be a year before the next tournament, so I’m sure everyone will forget your answer… *tries to look convincing*

  Haha, sure, I’m in a sharing mood so: always look at the shapes of your opponent’s ships. Once the board is moderately filled with misses you must be more tactical where you shoot. Don’t fire right next to a missed cell, it’s preferable to leave one cell between missed shots(horizontally and vertically) and shoot the next one.  If your shot misses then you are(almost always) sure that there aren’t any boats on the skipped cell either.

Marmalade’s Battleship has a number of different Commanders and you favour Astrid Stormur, our Viking warrior. Can you tell us why?

It comes down to me being very lucky! Astrid’s ability combined with my high luck stat makes for a killer combo! If I need something more tactical and less RNG-dependent I choose Sir Philip Wade!

I tend to choose William Karslake for his Airstrike ability, and I put up a good fight! Did I choose well or should I branch out?

  I don’t think there’s a better or worse choice when it comes to what Commander to choose. They all have their place to shine it just depends on your play style and who you’re playing against. If I recall correctly you almost won the third game with the Airstrike, had you placed it one row above! So just follow your heart and choose the Commander who speaks to you the most.

Alas, I was so close! But luck clearly wasn’t on my side that day. You started out at Marmalade as a Playtester, but you’re not a Playtester anymore. Can you tell us about your new role?

   I recently moved into Game Design. It’s been challenging adapting to the new role, but it’s very exciting working on new projects and being able to develop skills with the guidance of Tomás(Santos) and Paulo(Goncalves).So far I’ve been doing smaller stuff,  all involving brainstorming ideas for our projects and learning the ropes of all the tools we use.

How much of your Playtesting experience feeds into your role as a Game Designer?

   All of it? You get more acquainted with specific terms and start to develop keen eyes for certain details, be it in-game or front end. And you get extremely familiar with our games, all the shared principles and what makes our games Marmalade Games.

We know you love Battleship, but what’s your second favourite Marmalade game?

 My second favourite is The Game of Life 2. It’s sooo cute! I never tire of playing it because of all the different worlds. All the care and attention put into every little thing always astonishes me. I hope players can feel all the love the team puts into creating the game.(I must admit to also having a soft spot for Jumanji). 

The Game of Life 2 Tournament is coming up, will you be entering?

Of course! I’ll never miss a chance to play a game in the Haunted Hills world!

Ah and acceptance and a theme request in one! Well played. Will you be entering Battleship Domination 2023?

  No, I’ll be winning it.

Oh, fighting talk from our current Champion! Just remember, Nuno, I was one Airstrike off sinking your fleet. May your luck hold out!

I can’t say we’ve got to the bottom of Nuno’s ocean of knowledge, but I for one will be going into our next battle better prepared! You can watch all of the exciting rounds of Battleship Domination right now on the Marmalade Game Studio Twitch channel. Ready, aim, FIRE!

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