In this Meet the Team series, we will get to know Aakash Mandhar, the Vice President of Engineering at Immutable Games Studio. This man of many talents is instrumental in developing Gods Unchained into the game that it is today.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am an avid gamer with a passion for solving complex problems and delivering results. I have extensive experience building high-performing teams and building products and service offerings that serve millions of simultaneous users. I love spending time with my family, reading books, being a productivity geek, helping others reach their full potential, and practicing martial arts.
Tell us in a sentence or two about your career to date.
Before joining Immutable, I worked at Hewlett-Packard, Yahoo!, Microsoft & Electronics Arts. My favorite projects were working on Halo 5 & Apex Legends. Seeing Apex Legends go from 0 to 50M players in 4 weeks and not have our virtual economy platform fall over was pretty exciting.
When did you join Gods Unchained and Immutable Games Studio, and why?
I joined Immutable a year ago. My primary motivation to join was to make digital ownership real and give people control over their in-game items. Electricity brought energy over the wire, the Internet brought information over the wire, Blockchain brings trust over the wire, and I wanted to be part of this revolution that is being spearheaded by gaming to bring true digital ownership to the masses and for which Immutable is uniquely positioned.
What does a day in your life look like?
Immutable is a fast-growing company, Gods Unchained is a beloved game and franchise, and the Web3 world evolved rapidly. Over the one year, my day-to-day has changed so much that there isn't really a normal day. At a high level, my day is spent understanding the customer needs better, working with partners to ensure we have a smooth delivery of features, working with the team to ensure they are empowered to do their best work, and focusing on the features and capabilities that we are building. Why are we building something, what are we exactly building, how do we build it, then build it and operate it in a reliable and secure manner. The fun part of my day is when I play game designer and try to suggest features we should be building.
PS: There is a reason why I am in engineering and not game design hehe, but that does not stop me from sharing my 2 cents.
What’s the main focus of development right now for Gods Unchained.
We have ambitions to become the best Web3 game in the world and are working hard towards that goal. The problem is it is not clear what the best Web3 game in the world looks like, so we are hard at work to ensure we have the right knobs in place which allow us to build and experiment fast to learn what good looks like while taking our player base along with us on the journey.
What’s the most exciting feature planned for the game?
Hehe...I cannot reveal stuff in the works, so I will defer to Daniel Paez (Executive Producer) and Justin Hulog (Chief Studio Officer). All I can say is that I would be excited to play Gods Unchained on the go.
Can you shed light on what web3 gaming trends emerging in this market?
In my opinion, there are certain first principles that all meaningful Web3 games should follow:
- The game has to be fun with or without the blockchain integration
- It is a game with an economy and not a gamified economy
- Digital Assets have meaningful utility in the game
- There has to be liquidity for assets and reasonable valuations for them.
- Incentives need to be aligned for all stakeholders
Gods Unchained has been a leader on all of these fronts, making me proud to work on it! The exciting thing is that more and more Web3 games are adopting these first principles, which is a very positive trend.
Many experiments and learning occur in real-time on the rest of the Web3 economy innovation front, leading to more future trends. One recent innovation I have seen almost looks to expand the definition of Web3 Game to Web3 gamified experience. It is too early to see if it will become a trend or not, but it's exciting.
Where do you see Gods Unchained and Immutable Games Studio in 5 years?
I would like to see Gods Unchained cement its place as the OG Web3 game, which got things right. I would like to see Immutable Game Studios be the place that brings 1 Billion players into the Web3 space and introduce them to the wonders of true digital ownership.
Any closing comments or last nuggets of advice?
While it is important to build the thing right, it is even more important to ensure we are building the right thing as engineers. Speed of learning matters, and constantly leveling yourself up matters. This is the mindset we are creating at the Gods Unchained team, and we hope that you can incorporate it in your life and benefit from it too.