GM Mortals. I can’t believe how time flies - it’s almost two months in my role as Executive Producer at Gods Unchained! It’s been a hella fun ride, and in my first Dev Update, I’d like to take time to step back and reflect on the opportunity that lies ahead as we embark on this journey to shape the future of web3 gaming together.
Creating a fun, entertaining game that players want to return to, day in and day out, is hard. Building a sustainable gaming economy underneath this core gameplay loop is even harder and that’s why I joined Gods Unchained. I want to challenge the status quo and explore the unexplored. The end state of a successful web3 game hasn’t even been achieved yet, and my goal is to steer Gods Unchained full speed ahead in that direction.
There are so many possibilities to discover and so many unexplored paths. We’ve been building at double the speed and pushing out features or fixes each week! This is mostly due to a renewed focus on cycle planning introduced a couple of months ago. As a recap, we’re in C3 (Nov - Feb), and all teams are working towards shared goals. As such, we can attach a higher confidence level to each of the products we’re working on.
I’m so excited to share all of the progress we’ve made since our last update and walk you through some of the most anticipated features we’re building at the moment - hello, mobile!
- Casual Game Mode - We kept things casual with casual game mode! Launched successfully in November, with over 17,000 players using it to date. This game mode allows for a low barrier of entry to newcomers who want to learn the game or for veteran players to build and experiment with various decks. Take a break from the competitive play of Ranked and test out your meme decks, Mortals! The best part is that you won’t have to worry about dropping a rank while enjoying the game.
- Combat Log - Making its way to the Beta Realm last month, this feature gives players a cool new way to checkout in-game plays while getting more context and actionable insights during play. It is super useful to see what cards were targeted by each turn to improve the game's strategic elements, don’t you think? Maybe we expand it to capture logs post-match? Imagine if you could get a step-by-step walk-through of each turn, viewing both players’ hands to learn. Let us know your feedback and thoughts in Discord!
- Update To Wallet UI And New Wallet Integrations - The whole aim is to make onboarding of new players into GU as seamless as possible. To this end, we’ve streamlined the wallet management function such that linking a wallet is easier than ever. We also introduced a new wallet, Gamestop, for our web2 friends and will be looking to integrate with other wallet providers in the future. A cool new option to create a wallet is by using your email address. Check out this handy guide on how to get started if you’re new to Gods Unchained.
- Card Back Equipping - A much-awaited feature that’s finally in the wild. We’re so proud that all released card backs are now usable in-game, even though it was a long wait. To commemorate the occasion and thank the community for your patience, we included a 𝙣𝙞𝙘𝙚 𝙨𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙮 𝙎𝙞𝙡𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙘𝙖𝙧𝙙 𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝘼𝙇𝙇 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙮𝙚𝙧𝙨! Have you checked out your loadout lately, Mortal? What do you think of the surprise?
- Balance Charter - In case you missed it, we created the Balance Charter as a way to introduce you to the game’s balancing mechanics and methodology. I hope you enjoy the sneak peek as it shares insight into the game meta, balancing tools, rules, the framework around balance, and more. We’ve come a long way in refining our balance processes for pre- and post-release content. The long-term vision will always be to prioritize creating exciting gameplay strategies that foster creative skill expression.
- Lysander’s Spear Trinket Distribution - Fun fact: The Lysander’s Spear from Lights Verdict was the first trinket minted for Gods Unchained in ~2 years. Well, safe to say we’ll be minting a lot more trinkets now that we’ve officially integrated with L2 on the backend. I’d also like to shed light on the hiccup during distribution, wherein a few players received more trinkets. On further examination, we identified the root cause - manual data analysis. We’ve since implemented a process to minimize and avoid human errors.
- Cosmetic Migration To L2 - I’m thrilled to share ALL Cosmetics are available on L2, including rare and exclusive collectibles from Genesis, Trial of the Gods, Divine Order, Mortal Judgement, and Light’s Verdict! It’s such an exciting time because players can trade trinkets, boards, and card backs on L2 for the first time ever. Have you begun personalizing your in-game experience yet?
- Community Contest - We’re very receptive to community feedback, and we wanted to create a win-win situation wherein you, the community, felt you’ll have ample game variations, modes, and challenges, while the devs continued to focus on our C3 goals. We got the best of both worlds with Community Contest, and of course, there’s a lot of improvement to be made, starting with the name and reward distribution. As always, we’ll analyze data and create better versions in the future so you can reap the rewards while playing!
- Creative Onboarding Experiences - As part of creating a fun onboarding experience for new players, we thought, why not publish an educational piece with help from the community? Presenting Gods Unchained Glossary, your one-stop shop to get you up to speed on acronyms, commonly used terms, and memes! Creating a more tangible written culture for GU Fandom was especially important for us to explain to new members of the community, and we expect it to continually get populated with community terms. If you’ve got more suggestions to include, please reach out to the one and only Eclipse in Discord. Also, as promised, check out the new Tutorial Mission 3 that’s live!
- Top Player Facing Bugs - I’d also want to take this opportunity to address the elephant in the room - the Martyr of Whiteplain bug. It has finally been resolved, but we understand the frustration due to the time spent fixing it. The bug was extremely challenging to resolve, requiring input from multiple teams and a refactor of code. We appreciate your patience while we worked it out and have taken a lot of feedback on board to hopefully avoid such delays in fixes going forward.
- Update To Matchmaking - As part of our continued effort to make GU a fair battleground and spot match fixing, we’ve identified some problems with our matchmaking system. We’ve fixed a bug where you might get paired against a previous opponent if they are playing matches faster than you are. We’re keeping an eye out if this is enough to deter the match-fixing bots. We have another strategy in our back pocket we can roll out if they continue to cause trouble. and are working on the one that’s easier to fix. When evaluating if Player A and B should be paired, we check if player A played against player B in their last three games but not if player B played against player A in their last three games. If player B is playing slower than player A, they could still be matched against player B.
Things To Look Forward To
- Expanded GU Leadership Team - Over the past few months, we’ve started to introduce key members to the GU team who will help us meet the game’s major milestones. In short, this means we’re leveraging the expertise of both new leaders and those across Immutable Games Studio to help us share and apply learnings from one game to another, ultimately strengthening both Gods Unchained and our position as a leader in web3 game development.
- More specifically, this means that you will all begin to see new faces as we begin to introduce leaders across verticals and capabilities. Many of you have already met our new GU Executive Producer, Daniel Paez, who joined us last month from Blizzard, but a sneak peek of a few more team members we’re excited to introduce include:
- Cameron Dayton - our new studio creative director, Cameron, has already begun developing the narrative in unexpected ways (wait till you see what's coming) and shaping storytelling for Gods Unchained.
- Roberto Vieira - recently appointed head of technology who has led full development and operation units in the games industry for over 20 years. Stoked to have him on board.
- Daniel Stephens - did you know he shipped over 25 game titles and counting? Until now, Daniel was the director of engineering at Guild of Guardians and will expand his scope to Gods Unchained and Immutable Games Studio.
- Derek Lau - you may already know Derek from Guild of Guardians. We look forward to gleaning his insights as he helps us build our web3 mechanics.
- Chris Clay - Not to worry - Clay isn’t going anywhere. Just as we’re expanding the roles of many of our Studio leadership teams, you’re going to start to see Clay become more involved with the game dev of Guild of Guardians.
We can’t wait for you to meet these execs, and more, in the coming weeks with our ‘Meet the Team’ series.
- An experimentation strike team - We’re strategically placing a greater emphasis on rapid iteration across all disciplines at Gods Unchained with the help of a full-fledged team to ensure we’re bringing more innovation to the project. They’ll be taking on experiments in all shapes and forms with a dual-sided goal of onboarding new players and engaging current players. We’re confident in this strategy as, over time, these experiments will result in features that add up to a better experience for our players.
- Community-First Focus - Meet the Team series, Twitter/Discord AMAs (you’ll see the calendar for December soon), collaborative community challenges, partnerships across Immutable brands (beginning with Immutable and Guild of Guardians), and more such opportunities are being looked into to place our community front and center in everything we do. To push it to the next level, we’re working on a bespoke community game event with Token Trove during this holiday season! I can’t wait to share more about this in detail; we’re still ironing out some kinks, so stay tuned.
- Merch For The Very First Time - In the spirit of giving back, we took a poll to let you decide what merch design you’d like. Thaeriel, affectionately dubbed ‘our vampire boyfriend’ by some, unanimously stole the vote and your hearts! Before the holiday season, we’ll have a one-of-a-kind Thaeriel design for fans on the Immutable X online shop. We’re even doing a little something for our long-standing community members with an exclusive design. Depending on the appetite for this small release, we'll consider expanding the offering to everyone.
- First-Hand Updates In-Game Client - A lot of you have shared feedback about not having a singular place to look for game updates. We agree and will now have regular balance updates, bug fixes, and patch notes in-game. The client will behave as a source of truth for all important communication, while the blog and all social media channels will supplement it. We hope this helps keep you up to date with everything that’s happening on game progress, key dates, and more in one place.
- Going Mainstream With Mobile - I understand we’ve been teasing mobile for what may seem like ages, and I will admit it was put on hold while more important priorities took center stage. This time though, it’s part of our Cycle 3 roadmap internally and hence have a team (twice the size as the previous one) devoted to it. We’re aiming to launch an early mobile Alpha to a small segment of the community in quarter 1 next year. Some players may have seen us begin the groundwork externally, as we collected mobile models in the Mount Olympus channel in Discord. We’re making progress, and I’ll be able to share a more concrete plan for mobile in the next month!
- One UI In The Works For Desktop And Mobile - As we begin preparing to ship mobile, we’re also using the opportunity to modernize desktop UI. As such, we’re envisioning revamped UI with mobile features being made available on desktop and vice versa. By consolidating PC and mobile UI, it’ll make ongoing development efforts a lot more streamlined. This is still in the very early stages of development, and the feature list isn’t locked yet. That being said, we’re currently developing it, and it will affect desktop players around the same time as mobile is out.
I’d like to close this super long update by saying thank you. Thank you to the community who always keeps us on our feet. Our goal is to make you proud, and we hope you see the effort we place into listening to your feedback to mirror what you think will make Gods Unchained successful. Until next time!