When the goal is to create the most exciting NFT trading card game in the world, drive and ambition are necessities. To explore the limits of Web3 gaming, only an individual with vast talent, knowledge, and passion can hope to achieve any success.
In this "Meet the Team" series, we will meet one such person.
Presenting our incoming Executive Producer, Daniel Paez! With an impressive background in AAA development, Daniel is a Blizzard and Activision veteran, having worked on legendary titles such as World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Call of Duty.
Daniel has been an integral part of the game design for Bigtime Studio and Worldspark Studios (Edenbrawl), where he crafted their economy and commercial strategy.
Now, he has turned his attention to Web3 gaming, aiming to steer Gods Unchained to its destined apex.
Tell us a little about yourself and your career
Gaming has always been a treasured pass time for me. I've been a pretty hardcore gamer since I got a super Nintendo on my 6th birthday. Fast forward a few years, and I was playing Starcraft on a laptop in my parent's mini-van while everyone was outside enjoying a family barbeque.
Eventually, all those years of gaming contributed to me landing my first job at Blizzard as a pricing manager for Latin America. This was an excellent opportunity for me. I got to work on multiple World of Warcraft and Hearthstone expansions, Overwatch, Starcraft 2, Heroes of the Storm, and later on Call of Duty.
With all my gathered experience, I knew I could go further and do more.
How do you envision your role as Executive Producer at Gods Unchained?
I have always wanted to take a central role in decision-making and development as designing game economy comes naturally to me. My goal is to elevate the player experience to the next level and, if possible, beyond that. I want to bring the same intensity we feel when playing FPS games to the matches in Gods Unchained and create more memorable, more "Holy SH*T" moments for our players.
I also want to explore our abilities to give players previously unexplored ways to enjoy trading card games. Through new cards, creative game mechanics, deck building, and trading, I want to increase our abilities to deliver something extraordinary.
Of all the blockchain games, what drew you to Gods Unchained?
Gods Unchained is one of the few gen 1 blockchain games that hasn't imploded, and I think a big part of that is thanks to the team's genuine dedication to the game and their desire to put player experience first and foremost.
I also used to play Hearthstone a ton, and I am a huge strategy and TCG game nerd, so being able to geek out and get excited about the game you are working on is a big plus for me. Truthfully, I don't think I can muster the same level of excitement for a match-3 game.
You worked on a lot of games in the past. What makes Gods Unchained unique?
I love the fact that players can trade cards properly with one another. That is absolutely something that should be a part of all TCGs. I want to take that freedom and push it to the next level.
Regarding the gameplay, Gods Unchained is in an excellent and flexible state where it can decide what direction to take next. At this stage of development, many games are pretty much locked in on their gameplay loops and are hesitant to take significant risks or any risks at all, for that matter. With GU, we have a solid dedicated player base that can provide honest feedback on the directions we take, the mechanics we implement, and the features/content we add.
What's the most exciting feature you want to begin working on?
We probably need more time to figure this out, as we don't want to rush things, but a new casual game mode, cosmetic migration to L2, cardbacks in loadout, and a few others are definitely near the top of the list. There are also a ton of excellent ideas from the team floating around internally, but you'll have to wait for future updates to see those :).
Do all games need to take the blockchain and web3 route?
Definitely Not. I think blockchain technology is excellent for certain types of games. Gameplay elements like trading do indeed benefit from blockchain integration. If you were to ask me if Web3 could improve the World of Warcraft auction house and gold trading, I would say, "Hell yes!" Would it help single-player, story-driven games like The Last of Us or strategy games like Civilization? Not really. Every genre has its characteristics; not all go great with the blockchain.
What does the ideal version of the game look like in your head?
A game that gives players disbelief, relief, joy, frustration, shock, and excitement, all within a single match. I want to see a game that fully immerses the players and makes their hearts beat with excitement, waiting for the opponent's move. That's the beauty of card battles, where the randomness of the draw can make all the difference.
Where do you see Gods Unchained in 5 years?
I want to see GU with many more players, (think millions) but more importantly, as a game worth sinking many more hours into. To get there, I envision a game with a great onboarding experience for new players, new and exciting ways to use cards, and more things to own that have utility and fun mechanics. It will take time, but Rome wasn't built in a day either, and we're definitely making progress!
What are your hobbies, passion projects or fun facts about yourself?
I'm a strategy gamer at heart. Love me some Total War and Hearts of Iron. My friends and I reached the top 3 in the team ladder for Warcraft 3 through a cheese strategy. And I have to say, it was glorious. I've been playing the drums for quite a while now and still enjoy playing punk songs from my youth.