Halfbrick Studios Remakes Magic Brick Wars

Halfbrick Studios, the creators of Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, harness the power and speed of the Heroic Game Stack to rebuild and relaunch Magic Brick Wars.

The challenge

Originally launched on a now-deprecated backend service, the Halfbrick team wanted to rebuild Magic Brick Wars with a suite of new features, on gametech they could depend on.


iOS, Android



Halfbrick Studios’s Magic Brick Wars

Halfbrick Studios are no strangers to innovation and working within an ever changing landscape. The Australian game studio, founded in 2001, initially focused on developing licensed titles for platforms such as Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. In 2010, however, the forward looking studio were among the early success stories in the rapid rise of smartphone games with their release of Fruit Ninja. It became an instant success and is one of the most iconic mobile games of all time. The studio has since released a number of other successful titles, including Jetpack Joyride, and has continued to innovate and adapt to the changing fondness of mobile gamers.

In 2019, Halfbrick Studios released Magic Brick Wars, a real-time multiplayer strategy game that combined the fun of building and battling with the magic of a collectible card game. After the game’s original backend service technology was deprecated, the title was in need of a new home. Halfbrick Studios turned to Heroic Labs to help them rebuild and relaunch Magic Brick Wars into the successful game it is today.

A Heroic Task

The Halfbrick knew that they wanted to rebuild Magic Brick Wars, and they wanted to do it quickly. They had a vision for a suite of new features, but they had limited time and resources to dedicate to the project. This is where Heroic Labs’s Nakama, the industry leading open-source game server, and Hiro, our powerful and flexible game development kit, came in.

Highlighting the full benefits achievable with Nakama and Hiro, the team were able to entirely rewrite the game’s backend to take full advantage of Nakama’s features and performance in only nine weeks! If that wasn’t impressive enough, Halfbrick Studios were able to do this while at the same time eliminating 75% of the previous codebase; in all they only needed to write 1,500 lines of code to achieve not only the same functionality, but also to add new features and improvements.

Brick By Brick

From the start the Halfbrick team knew that this wasn’t just about porting the game to a new backend. They wanted to take the opportunity to improve the game and add new features. With the help of Nakama and Hiro, they were able to do just that, with Hiro’s powerful, config-driven approach to game development allowing them to quickly and easily add their desired new features to the game while also planning for future updates.

Halfbrick Studios were able to utilize the comprehensive gameplay systems provided by Hiro out-of-the-box to to rework the game’s progression, inventory, and economy systems; Hiro’s Player Stats, Rewards, and Unlockables systems were used to create the progression system that allowed players to unlock new content and abilities as they played the game. The Inventory and Wallet systems were implemented to allow players to collect and manage items. The mining “mini-game” was revamped, using Hiro’s Energy system to allow players, for a limited time, to mine for resources.

Magic Brick Wars

Beyond these improvements and additions to the core gameplay, the team were also able to add new social gameplay functionality to the game. Nakama’s powerful Multiplayer Engine was used to implement a hybrid-multiplayer system which the game simulation occurring client-side and the server handling matchmaking, cheat detection, and player stats and rewards. This was combined with Nakama’s Matchmaker to enable an ELO-based matchmaking system for Magic Brick Wars’s PvP mode.

To top it all off and enable even more engaging gameplay for their players, the Daily Challenges system was implemented that allows players to complete daily challenges and earn XP rewards and progress in the game. This system is further enhanced using Hiro’s Personalizer to enable bespoke challenges for each player based on their playstyle and progress in the game.

More to Come

With the successful relaunch of Magic Brick Wars, Halfbrick Studios are now looking to the future. Impressed with the speed and ease with which they were able to rebuild the game using Nakama and Hiro, the team are now planning to expand the game further, adding Leaderboards and Friends functionality, and more. Powered by the Heroic Game Stack, the future of Magic Brick Wars is bright.

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