It's Dev Update time again, and I can't wait to share our exciting upcoming plans for the month with you! It's been a wild ride, and it's only going to get wilder as Daniel Paez, the newly appointed Executive Producer of Gods Unchained, maneuvers our plane to scale to the new heights we're destined to reach! I hope you extend that same warmth to our new pilot, as I'm ecstatic to pass on the torch 'light' to Daniel.
Our mission continues: Gods Unchained will bring millions of players into the new gaming world, and we can't wait to unravel a glimpse of that future today! But first, let's look at September and its highlights!
Some Recent Highlights
- Building The Best Team: To be the best in the world, you need a team that shares that lofty vision and has the talent to bring it to fruition. Our focus has been developing a solid army of individuals who'll lead from the front. We're ramping up on executive hires and are proud to announce both Daniel Paez, Executive Producer at Gods Unchained and Cameron Dayton, Creative Director at Immutable Games Studio, will be instrumental as we revolutionize the gaming NFT movement.
- A God Becomes Mortal In Light's Verdict: Last week, we concluded the epilogue to Season 1: Champions Rise with Light's Verdict. It was also the first time we experimented with a mini-collection, and was overwhelmed by the love. Our community engagement rates skyrocketed to metrics we hadn't seen since the last bull run! Did you know all Shiny Legendary packs sold out in less than 4 days, the elusive Omox was finally found only 38 minutes into the launch, and we may have to start a fan-fiction novel on Thaeriel?! All in favor, say aye! We see the appetite for such mini sets, and we'll continue to test and experiment (with your inputs!), so please continue sending them our way.
- Leading With Lore: Did any of you witness the Cosmic Shift last week? The mysterious force ventured into the marketplace and corrected the imbalance of power the old lord-of-light, Thareiel, left in his wake after his malicious plans failed. All in all, we made a bold move that we believe paid off - we introduced a mechanic to reduce card supply through the lore and those who deciphered the codes were positively rewarded! While there is room for improvement with less cryptic clues or better aligning incentives as we encourage the collection of cards while reducing supply simultaneously, it was a successful experiment, and we're happy to say it will return in a newer shape and form!
- Daily Play & Earn For Rewards: It's been close to two months that Daily Play & Earn launched, and we've noticed such a positive, uplifting shift in sentiment! We've got a LOT of players joining the community, a ton of old players returning to play after months of inactivity, and even more heart-warming, current players teaching new Mortals how to battle in the Arena. Since launch, 50-60% of our weekly audience is playing the game daily! Now, we're in discovery mode on features the community requested, like Daily Play & Earn Dashboard Phase 2, Forge 2.0.
- Refer & Earn Program: Another incentive to reward our community with tokens as you and bring more real Mortals into the Arena. During the two weeks, #lightsverdict was live, we increased the rewards for pack purchases and noticed the community was even more engaged. While we still have a ways to go before we reach our 1M $GODS rewards payout, we'll continue iterating the program to see what you like best. Word to the wise, send word far and wide to reap more rewards! If you haven't already, check out the Refer & Earn Program.
- Content Creator Bounty Board: We proudly reward community participation at Gods Unchained; this program is a testament to that. The brand-new content creator bounty board is live and rewards everyone in the community with $GODS tokens for participating in various bounties set up by the team each week. Last month we trialed a closed program with our content creators, took those learnings and iterated the program to launch a better version for you, our wider community! Head on over to the Bounty Board to get rewarded!
- Sleek-Looking Update To Game UI: If you've played the game in the last week, you would've undoubtedly noticed the sleek-looking UI for Game Mode Select. Our devs work hard behind the scenes to bring you the best game, and your reactions make it all worthwhile. As soon as the update was rolled out, we got so much love, and we can't tell you how much that means. In fact, we will continue to tweak it for improvements based on your feedback. But more importantly, it leverages some of the work done on Mobile to give you a bit of a glimpse into the future *wink*
Feature Progress Updates
- Casual Game Mode: Last month, we spoke about a new game mode, and this time around, I'm happy to say we've finalized what it's going to be - casual game mode! Casual mode is something you've wanted for a long time. Based on our analytics and user research, new players are also a little nervous when forced to play Ranked too early. This new mode aims to make all new Mortals' lives less stressful. Additionally, you pros now have a safer space to try out some of your most bold strategies without worrying about hurting your rank!
- Combat Log Release: As we mentioned in the last update, we're hoping to release the first version of the Combat Log into the wild within the month so the community can test-drive it. Our goal is to enhance the onboarding experience to make it as seamless as possible for new players, and we believe this is one of the first steps to achieving that outcome. The ultimate goal is for every new player to understand the game's flow without any prompts, and we're working hard to see it come alive!
- Cardback Equipping: Another feature we're working on is finally bringing your card backs to life and making them useable in-game! Once your card backs are migrated from L1 to your L2 wallet on Immutable X (slight delay), you will be able to use them in-game by equipping them to your loadouts just like you do with Trinkets and Boards. As for 'wen' - the same time as cosmetics migration.
- Open Match: Our matchmaking technology has had a major overhaul and been replaced with Open match - an open-source matchmaking software that allows us to have scalable and reliable games. This also opens the door to build improvements to that pesky algorithm to ensure players are matched against similar skill set players and end those occurrences where you match against the same opponent repeatedly. Get ready to (almost never) face the same opponent again from today!
Things To Look Forward To
- Tokenomics Portal & Even More Token Transparency: The $GODS token is at the heart of our game, and we're looking for even more ways to introduce transparency around it. I'm thrilled to share that we'll be launching the $GODS Tokenomics Portal within the month, which will act as the source of truth for all things $GODS, including - the token's vision, strategy & performance within GUniverse.
- Lysander's Spear Trinket Snapshot/Distribution & Cosmetics Migration to L2: In case you missed it, the Light's Verdict expansion set had a special reward for all who collected a complete set. There are four trinkets types, each based on the quality of the set you collect and possess. As mentioned in the Buyer's Guide, the eligibility for these trinkets will be determined by a snapshot taken on 19th October at 4 pm PT. This is your reminder to fuse cards to get better trinkets!
There's a small hiccup in our timelines to distribute these trinkets and migrate all cosmetics to L2 but let me share why. We'll be building the full capabilities that cosmetics will bring, including setting up a new collection on marketplaces, metadata to help identify the various collectables, and how these new items can be incorporated into our rewards mechanism for all players to enjoy. I do believe shipping it as a whole will be more advantageous. Our revised goal post to achieve this is before the end of November, not that far away!
- Upcoming Balance Patches & Balance Charter Initiative: You may have noticed our cadence for balance updates, and bug fixes have increased recently. All thanks to our brilliant card design team! The latest balance patch featured changes to Light's Verdict cards. TL;DR there were no hard nerfs! We'll soon have a balance update (probably this week) announcing edits to Mortal Judgement and Core Set cards, followed by a Balance Charter. As I said, we've striving to be as transparent as possible, and this initiative will share insights on the balancing process we adhere to and how the card designers think about meta shifts. Exciting times ahead!
- Community-Focused Initiatives: Hands up if you participated (and won packs!) in any of our community-driven Light's Verdict campaigns. That's right, we're doubling down on rewarding our fantastic community for participation which means you'll see a lot more of us. In fact, maybe a little too much of Clay, as he dons a Pyramid Warden costume on stream later this month! Did someone say Ludia in a cat costume for Halloween? Oh, yea! Begin planning your Halloween costumes for the gods. We're also going in for a Discord rehaul sometime soon.
- Behind The Scene Improvements: Many updates may not be as prominent or player-facing, but they do most of the heavy lifting. We're entirely redoing matchmaking. Yes, finally! We're also completely overhauling the game client and assets. What this means is that our devs are busy reducing obsolete code and assets such that it works better to improve game performance and speed. Lastly, we're improving the processes around future releases to launch faster and make edits quickly with feature flags, where players can test features in slices and share feedback much earlier in the development stage.
Cycle Planning Updates
As we close, I'd like to share an update on where we are in our internal cycle planning. We're just finishing up C2 (July - Oct) and are currently in the middle of retros. This is when all teams take a step back to assess our performance as individuals, teams and as an organization working towards a shared goal (million players, baby!) as we identify areas for improvement. At the same time, we've also started prepping for C3, November - February. We'll add timelines against feature launches by mid-end November and have our priority list ready. While it's too early for us to share exact details today, Daniel will be able to give a more concrete picture of our roadmap during the next update, so stay tuned!
That's all for this month! Catch me talking about all these features in more detail with Daniel at our Discord AMA live at 3 pm PT on 18th October. Bring your drink of choice and questions!
I look forward to chatting with you soon.