Meet Hensley Edwin — The Live Operations Manager of Guild of Guardians
We’re on a mission to onboard hundreds of millions of gamers into digital ownership via NFTs, by building the world’s most popular mobile RPG where players can turn their passion for gaming into real assets.
It’s a bold ambition, and bold ambitions require relentless focus, teamwork and some of the best talents in the industry. In this ‘Meet the Team’ series, we take a behind-the-scenes look at the team who are passionately building and spearheading the next frontier of gaming.
Meet our Live Operations Manager and Gaming Champion 👑, Hensley Edwin— A dedicated gamer and blockchain enthusiast with over 11 years experience working with AAA games! A gamer at heart, Hensley started his career as a game tester at Ubisoft and worked his way up to become a Live Operations Manager.
For Hensley, gaming is more than just a hobby 😎 and we are excited to introduce him to the Guild of Guardians community.
Tell us about yourself, Hensley!
I am Kadazan-Dusun, the largest native ethnic group in the state of Sabah, Malaysia, located on the northern portion of Borneo Island. I have lived and worked in Singapore for the last 11 years.
I started my first job in 2009 as a game master and customer support specialist at a game publishing company in Malaysia. After that, I joined Ubisoft Singapore in 2011 as a game tester (QA), and then move onto become a senior QA and eventually became Lead QA. This happened in the span of 9 years. In 2020 I became the Live Operations Manager at Ubisoft Singapore.
You’re the Live Operations Release Manager for the Guild of Guardians — What exactly does your role entail? And what does a day in the life at Guild of Guardians look like for you?
As a Live Operations Release Manager in Guild of Guardians, I work with internal and partner teams to establish the live operations strategy and framework for game updates, patches, and service updates which I envisioned in the live operations playbook that I have created.
My day-to-day will evolve over time because it will be different when Guild of Guardians goes live 24/7, for now, I work closely with the engineering team to implement the necessary back office and monitoring tools while iterating the playbook.
Once GOG is officially released, I will mostly involve with live issue discussions, planning for the release of all upcoming patches and collaborating with various teams in production to ensure each patch gets released with high quality and confidence. Specifically overseeing initiatives to improve the technical operations, stability, and releases of the game; coordinating with stakeholders to align the schedule for game updates, content releases, live events, offers and NFT sales; supporting live game operations for 24/7 escalation.
You worked for Ubisoft for over 11 years! What made you decide to join Guild of Guardians?
Guild of Guardians has all the right ingredients for a complete blockchain game that is not only fun and engaging but also rewarding for all types of players. Unlike other blockchain games, everyone can play on their mobile without purchasing NFTs in advance, as Guild of Guardians is free to play. Guild of Guardians has so many interesting features, so when the opportunity presented to join the team, it was a dream come true! I wanted to learn more about the development of blockchain games and experience the challenges on the live ops side, so I grabbed the opportunity without a second thought!
You are an experienced game tester from your early career, what do you look for when testing a game?
It depends on the specific test scope that is assigned to me, the scope will determine the test approaches that I will use to conduct the test. To elaborate more, with a clear understanding of the test scope; I will set my test approaches and mentality towards either black-box or white-box; and sometimes a hybrid of both, which is grey-box.
When conducting black box testing, I would play the game end to end as much as possible to look for any game feature or design that ‘does not feel right; this requires a good understanding of the latest trend of issues reported in other released games, so being a passionate gamer has helped a lot with this kind of testing 😉
Conducting grey-box testing requires advanced knowledge of the game system, for example, matchmaking logic; this type of testing would need the game tester to validate the feature against its original design without regressing other game features that are already stable. Besides a good amount of gaming experience, grey-box testers have to be comfortable in conducting tests that require the game tester to quickly learn and apply the technical skills so they can set up, test and troubleshoot the issue while conducting the test.
What projects have you worked on that you are proud of?
In Ubisoft Singapore, I have worked on Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Phantoms on PC, Assassin’s Creed Rogue on PS3 and Xbox360, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate on PS4 and XboxOne and Skull and Bones on PS5 & XboxSeries; each title is special to me, and I am proud to be part of the development team.
What are the challenges of working on a blockchain game vs a traditional web2 game?
Blockchain games require a robust in-game economy design because it needs to remain relevant to a wide spectrum of players including free-to-play, spenders and investors. Unlike traditional games, where the game developer might have control over the player’s items and inventories, this is not the case in blockchain games because any NFT items that the player acquired through game time or sales are owned by the players, and the blockchain game developer cannot take this away; at least not easily. For the same reason, blockchain games also need to have reliable game security features to make the game less vulnerable to hacks and unwelcome bots. Lastly, since blockchain games mostly have high community engagement and activities, the blockchain game developer would need to consider building up a solid team for community management and incident management.
When you first learned about blockchain gaming, what were your initial thoughts?
I believed that blockchain games were and still are in the very early stages of their evolution. Blockchain gaming will eventually become mainstream as they present an opportunity to update the player experience to a level that we have never seen before, as blockchain technology promotes true digital item ownership that is verifiable and transferable, especially if the NFT gives benefit or has utility in real life.
What sparked your passion for gaming?
When I was younger, I was always attracted to games where I could brag to my friends whenever I completed a mission or defeated a boss. In recent years, I have always found gaming a great pleasure to step away from the real world to express what I want to do that cannot or is impossible to do in the real world.
What games are you most passionate about playing?
Before I started playing blockchain games in 2020, I loved playing third-person open-world games. To name a few: Diablo series, GTA series, Fallout 4, The Witcher 3, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Horizon Zero Dawn.
Besides gaming, what else are you passionate about?
I have developed a great interest in blockchain technology, discovering its potential as well as its challenges. Now I like to spend time learning about blockchain technology each and every day.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know our Live operations Manager, Hensley Edwin. Stay tuned for the next edition to learn more about the people behind the game, Guild of Guardians.
Until next time.