Meet Nik Goundry — The Associate Producer 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 Associate Producer and Jira KING, Nik Goundry — Creative writer, cat whisperer 🐈 and ancient history geek! A self-proclaimed pursuer of Joy, Nik’s creativity and passion for life have guided his career and his many achievements to date.
As the previous Lead Writer on Objects in Space, Nik’s talents hold no restriction, and we’re simply thrilled to introduce him to the Guild of Guardians community.
Tell us about yourself, Nik!
Hi! I’m Nik, and I was born and bred in Sydney, Australia!
I didn’t always want to be in games. I always wanted to be a writer, actually. I discovered games by borrowing my cousin’s GameBoy and playing as much Pokemon as he’d let me. Eventually, I managed to persuade my parents to get me a NintendoDS, but I still wasn’t thinking about making this a career. It was actually Dragon Age: Origins that changed everything for me. I was about 14 or 15, when I decided that that was what I was going to do — so I did.
I studied Game Design and Production, and from there, I became the Lead Writer on Objects in Space. I’ve done a lot of narrative design work in mobile and some PC games, but I quickly realised I didn’t want to write for games — I wanted to write for myself.
I’d had a bit of an intense schooling experience. I was a high achiever and had really lost my love of learning. When I had the realisation that I wasn’t loving narrative design work as much as I’d envisioned, I think it shook me a bit. But I understood that I was ready to learn again, so I ended up going back to university and got a Bachelor’s in Ancient History. When I was doing this, I absolutely had to fight the little voice in my head telling me it was all a waste. Other graduates from my first degree were well into their careers, and I was doing contract work, working at a cat cafe and a cat rescue. But I absolutely don’t regret it. I learned a lot about myself and still knew I wanted to be in the games industry, just on a slightly different track.
I started writing a novel to satisfy that side of myself, and then I pursued production!
What are you most passionate about in life?
Uh, what a question! I’m trying not to write I’m passionate about life itself, but I’ve just gone and written that down, haven’t I?
I truly believe in the pursuit of joy. Not at the expense of other people, but still prioritising one’s happiness when necessary. I think that stems from something as simple as not being swayed by other people’s opinions. I definitely had some questioning relatives when I graduated high school with a high ATAR, and did. . . video games? Obviously, they didn’t understand digital media, nor how much of a powerhouse the industry is, but it’s easy to be swayed by loud external chatter. I know this is a bit of a privileged answer, too. Sometimes others’ opinions are impossible to ignore. But overall, I stand by it! Pursuing joy for yourself in all its forms is a great passion of mine.
You’re an Associate Producer 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?
Only a Sith deals in absolutes. And producers can’t know for sure what their day to say is going to look like. Part of the job is dealing with unknown situations that pop up just as you’re sitting down to lunch!
In all seriousness, I work primarily with the Creative Track (think Art, Marketing, Design etc). I try to make their work run smoothly, remove any blockers hindering their progress, and aid communication between a bunch of external groups.
My day-to-day changes! Sometimes I start at 8, sometimes at 10 — it all depends on meetings since we’re spread around the globe. I’m fairly close to the office, so I go in person once or twice a week. (I’d go more, but I have two needy cats!) I work in Jira a lot and make sure tickets are tracked properly and everything is on time! And then it’s a lot of meetings, usually!
You have a lot of experience working in a variety of games. What type of games do you like to play, and what makes you passionate about them?
I think I’m always going to be drawn to fantasy-esque games because I’ve always been obsessed with the genre. A lot of the time, I am playing story-driven games, like Dragon Age and Horizon: Zero Dawn, as well as Supergiant’s whole catalogue (Bastion, Transistor, Pyre, Hades). But these games aren’t limited to the story. They have engaging mechanics, great feedback loops, and progression arcs. . . the gameplay always has to be the hook. Still, it’s probably my writer's brain: I just love games with characters you can fall in love with. I take media VERY seriously. I’m the type that gets invested in fictional characters and has some real emotions about them. So video games make that experience even more intense.
What are some important things that make Guild of Guardians a fun game?
Honestly, it’s a bit of everything. The Guild structure RPG has always been one of my favourite gameplay styles, so I really enjoy that (even if I tend to stick to ranged guardians when I play!) But it’s also lore for me. I’m excited that there’s an extensive world and a story for each character because that’s what really keeps me invested in games.
I also think the progression is super interesting, and I love that there’s re-playability!
Which gaming evolution do you think will be mass adopted first, VR or Blockchain gaming, and why?
Here’s the thing. I have absolutely no idea — except I’ve worked in VR before, and I think one of the biggest limitations there is the console. Currently, there is a finite number of VR headsets in the world, right? So it’s very hard to convert new players to VR-exclusive games because that requires them to purchase a whole new device. I think for something like GOG, where the blockchain elements are integrated into the experience, it seems like less of a leap for new players. They’re just playing a fun game on a device they already own. It’s easier to dip your toes in that way.
When you’re not working, what would you be caught doing?
Reading, writing, hitting the gym, and playing video games! That’s honestly all I do. I am quite an introvert, so I’m never bored at home. For the last few years, I’ve been excited to work on my fitness and health, but I have a very poor immune system! So most of the time, I really am just at home anyway, and I guess that’s why games are such a big part of my life.
What’s a project you have worked on that you are most proud of?
I’d honestly have to say one of my first. Objects in Space was just such a brilliant project to have participated in. As one of eight writers, we had NO IDEA what the endgame was. Every week, we’d be given what was effectively a news cycle detailing all the events that happened in the space colony for that week. It meant everything we were writing — journal entries, quests, news articles — were devoid of foreshadowing and were as authentic as they could be. We had characters reacting to war that had been brewing for weeks, and great philosophical discussions about identity and humanity in space, all without a strong idea of how we were affecting the events. So wonderful to be involved in that way!
Where can we follow you?
I’m @apostcrate on Twitter :)
We hope you enjoyed getting to know our Associate Producer, Nik Goundry. Stay tuned for the next edition to learn more about the people behind the game, Guild of Guardians.
Until next time.