The Guild of Guardian Diaries — Edition #5

TL;DR

  • The pre-alpha demo was a HUGE success. We outperformed all internal and external metrics, albeit recognise there is a lot to still learn and improve
  • The Public Alpha is on track for 2H 2022. There is a lot of work still happening and a LOT of complexity behind it (see details below), but our confidence is high
  • The big features we’re excited about include: in-game earning of tokens (Gems), guild crafting and raids, as well as custodial wallets to enable us to onboard millions
  • We’re investing heavily in upgrades across design, UX and creative. Some of this is in response to community feedback, other things are pure quality and fun upgrades
  • The Guild of Guardians lore and universe are being defined and redefined. This will lay a critical foundation for us to build a truly global and AAA franchise IP
  • Active staking is under development and we’re targeting a release before the Public Alpha launch
  • We’ve massively grown our internal team, and plan to continue to 2X in the coming months. We’re hiring!
  • We’re working on additional programs to engage and reward our community members, including Builders Fund, Guilds 2.0, [Redacted 🙌 🎮] and much, much more
  • Bull or bear market doesn’t matter for us — we’re very well funded and here to build

Pre-Alpha Demo Retrospective

Performance & Gameplay

Since the Pre-Alpha Demo, we’ve made a ton of Progress. But first, let’s take a look at how the Pre-Alpha Demo performed and some of the exciting stats that tell us we’re moving in the right direction.

Pre-Alpha Demo gameplay from playtester Tayored

Economy

The in-game economy of the Pre-Alpha Demo was not a priority. We wanted to emphasise fun so gave no regard to Hero summoning and merge rates. Nevertheless, the economy team did provide significant input in balancing progression goals and content consumption/energy levels to ensure that the limited content we did provide could be enjoyed over the Pre-Alpha period.

Game Development Update

Directly after the Pre-Alpha Demo, we got to work on a lot of these improvements we identified. Starting with, rolling out continuous testing and a build delivery pipeline. Every fortnight, sometimes every week, a build for iOS, Android (and PC for internal uses) is delivered to internal and external testers. Additional feedback is continuously fed back into the design and development pipeline.

Easy Wallet Onboarding

One of the biggest challenges identified is mobile and AppStore onboarding. There are many hurdles currently, and we’re working on streamlining the experience.

There is a lot more detail about our plans with the custodial wallet, including how it interacts with non-custodial options, which we plan to share in the future.

Roadmap!

One of the exciting things to share is that we have high confidence in our roadmap planning for this and next year. Our Public Alpha on testnet is well on its way for a 2022 release — development is on track. Additionally, cooperation between Stepico as a core mobile developer, GOG internal teams, and art/asset partners has improved and smoothed out massively. We are faster and better than ever before. All of this equates to a better, more polished product.

Blockchain Integration & Play-And-Earn Mechanics

Building a blockchain game is incredibly complex and we want to share more details about why and what exactly the team is doing.

  1. Token payouts: Players will be rewarded with Gems for playing the game. Part of the complexity is building a system that ties into daily quests (so that we can improve gameplay and retention) which can also be configured remotely so that different play behaviours can earn the appropriate rewards. We are actively working on how this will work.
  2. Merging Heroes: Players can merge up to 8 heroes into one hero of a higher rarity. Part of the complexity is this new hero is minted as a new NFT and must be available both in the player’s custodial wallet and in the player’s game account for in-game usage. Merging heroes is an essential element of the core gameplay and game economy — it adds an additional strategic layer to the game, creates utility for Gems, and allows for ‘play-and-earn.’ All of this is built with the intention of increasing the token value and contributing to the play-and-earn cycle of the player. The player chooses their path for the utility that suits them best.
  3. Salvaging: Players will be able to burn equipment items (NFT or non-NFT) in return for some crafting resources. This will help both the balancing of game items and of items on the marketplace. It’s a net sink of resources, and lets players get something back by effectively deconstructing equipment.
  4. Guild Crafting: Guild Crafting is the most important and most powerful part of the play-and-earn economy. Guild Crafting will allow guild leaders to collaborate with their guild members to leverage the power and inventory of their guild members to earn a significant amount of ETH (shared with the guild members). This is facilitated primarily through guild raids, earned crafting recipes, and crafted items. This is one of our most complex features, as it involves multiple accounts, wallets, and the calculation and distribution of rewards in a secure manner.
  5. Guild Recipes: Guild Recipes will be required in order to craft items. These recipes are earned via ‘Guild Raids,’ which is a new game mode that is also being introduced where Guild members contribute to an epic battle for epic loot. The Guild Leader will be able to schedule a guild raid with guild members contributing heroes and cubelets (various resources earned while playing) to the success of the raid. After the raid is finished, rewards are handed out to all participating guild members and the earned recipe is stored in the guild bank, ready to be used for guild crafting. These crafting recipes will be essential to the utility of guilds and their output.
  6. Marketplace: To support all of the above, we’re also reviewing the marketplace and trading experience to ensure players have a good time out of the game as well as in-game.
  7. Custodial wallet bridge: In the first version of Guild of Guardians, players will have the option to go back and forth to deposit and withdraw from their custodial wallet whenever they want. This enables a mainstream onboarding experience and provides more comfort to players who may want to store higher rarity NFTs elsewhere.

Game Design Updates

All of the production improvements allow us to ramp up on incredibly exciting new gameplay features and processes. Since the Pre-Alpha Demo, we have structured ourselves post-alpha in 3 core lanes: 1) Features group to focus on key feature development, 2) Gameplay group dedicated to gameplay improvements, 3) Economy group which is dedicated to economy balancing, which is going to be addressed more in a later segment in this article.

UX/UI Improvements

Some of the most important features we’ve been working on are UX/UI (User Experience/User Interface) improvements. Let’s take a look at some of these.

Readability and feedback

When looking at the feedback around the Pre-Alpha Demo, players were left a bit wanting in terms of the information that was being communicated. So we’re adding many indicators to improve readability and feedback. For example, indicators letting you know when you’ve been hit, and when you’ve hit an enemy. This seems basic but makes a huge difference. We’re adding better directional information so you have a better understanding of where you’re facing. And finally, we’re adding better ability indicators so you can see enemies attacking you and the abilities that you’re using against enemies.

Metagame and theory-crafting

Min/Maxers will be happy about the improvements we’re working on. We want to help the player make strategic decisions. What items to wear, which heroes to choose, and what synergies you need will all go into the success or failure of a run. We are prioritising improvements on how we’re comparing items, heroes, ultimates, and more so that every decision you make you feel like it has a real impact. Essentially, we are reducing friction so that you can do what you want and how you want to do it.

UX Passes

Speaking of UX passes across the board, let’s dig in a little more into what we mean by that. First of all, as we advance the development of the game, we are looking at adding new gameplay modes. As we add these modes, we want there to be a seamless experience across the entire game from your home screen, to in-game, to leaderboards.

Bots

An extremely high priority for us is investigating bot countermeasures. We’re currently modelling and breaking down how someone can exploit through automated program mitigation. This is a top priority through gameplay and UX as a lot of the various countermeasures are directly tied to gameplay flow.

Live Ops

Beyond the work that’s going on in the game, we are also working on quite a bit out of game. For example, website interaction is a big one for us. How our website is tied into the game and vice versa creates a holistic experience whether you’re grinding dungeons or planning your next purchase.

Level Design Updates

We learned a ton in our Pre-Alpha Demo about our levels and what you thought of them. While many of you enjoyed them, we felt the experience lacked depth. We’ve spent a lot of time asking what we can do to fix our level design.

Economy Updates

In preparation for the Public Alpha, we’ve been doing a ton of modelling and simulations to help our game and community scale for the future. We’re implementing a player growth model to help us understand what it looks like depending on how player data changes. This helps us better manage in-game resources if we have a player base of 10 million or 10 thousand.

Creative Updates

Heroes (or Guardians)

Guild of Guardians is about the Guardians (and the Guilds). We’ve been hard at work creating awesome and new heroes that players will be able to summon only by playing the game. Below are a few leaks of some of these. We’re really upping the quality levels and diversity of the Guardians, and can’t wait to share more details on what they will play like and their abilities in-game!

Animations

With some key roles in place, the GOG animation team is, at long last, a fully armed and operational Death Star. With that in place, we can finally ask the question “How does GOG move?

Visual style

Given delays to the initial roadmap, the creative team has also taken a deep dive into how we can continue to upgrade the aesthetic style of the game. We’ve done some initial work at mocking this up for Requiem, and have aspirations to continue to level-up the art quality of Guild of Guardians even after launch.

Important disclaimer that the above visual development won’t be what the game looks like upon launch, but part of a long-term project that we have at Guild of Guardians to make the game better. We operate under the philosophy of continuous improvement. Nothing is ever final.

World & Lore

Guild of Guardians isn’t just a game. It’s a gaming universe and IP. And like any good gaming IP, the world and lore is super important.

Product Update

Staking

One of the main goals of GOG is to provide more utility to token holders through Active Staking. 20% of all primary sales, as well as 20% of all secondary trading fees to Guild of Guardians, must be paid for in Gems. Gems used in this way are transferred to a rewards pool and distributed proportionately to all Gem holders who actively stake Gems.

Team Update

Guild of Guardians has experienced incredible growth. Since the beginning of the year, we have almost doubled our team. We’ve brought amazing people with a strong background in games, so that we can build a great game. Recent hires used to work at EA, Ubisoft, Zynga, Relic Entertainment, Grinding Gears, Mythical, Jam City, Glu Mobile, & more!

Community Update

The beating heart of Guild of Guardians is the community. It is unique, passionate, and filled with intensely creative minds. As the community grows and our ambitions for the game grows, we want to empower our community to build a better community. We want to give you the tools, resources, and guidance needed to build whatever project you want to see, and we have a few initiatives that we’re working on

Builders Fund

Web3 is all about collaboration and building community, and we’re excited to support you with GOG Builder’s Fund. This fund will directly support creative projects being pitched and worked on. More details will be shared in the future.

Guilds 2.0

To Guilds — we hear you. Many of you have been reaching out to us about working together. We are beginning to formulate a strategic and model that we’re calling ‘Guilds 2.0’. We believe that Guilds have an important role to play in the Web3 gaming ecosystem, but that the current models don’t have the right partnership incentive structures which result in a long-term win-win for all. We’re currently in early discussions with some of the top Blockchain Gaming Guilds in the space to figure out what this new partnership model looks like, and have plans to experiment with some exciting partnerships that will significantly grow the Guild of Guardians ecosystem. If you are interested in working with us, you can email us here.

[Redacted] Partnership

As the community and game grows, so does the excitement of our partners that we’re working with. We have several partnerships in the works, some not yet in the Web3 space, that we are incredibly thrilled about. We’re confident that this will be one of the biggest things to have happened in the web 3 gaming space. 🙌 🎮

Market Outlook Update

Finally, we want to share our approach to what would happen to GOG in a bear market. This is a question that’s been asked a few times during the crypto volatility that everyone recently experienced, so we wanted to address it.

Conclusion

This was a long one, so once again here is the summary:

TL;DR

  • The pre-alpha demo was a HUGE success. We outperformed all internal and external metrics, albeit recognise there is a lot to still learn and improve
  • The Public Alpha is on track for 2H 2022. There is a lot of work still happening and a LOT of complexity behind it (see details below), but our confidence is high
  • The big features we’re excited about include: in-game earning of tokens (Gems), guild crafting and raids, as well as custodial wallets to enable us to onboard millions
  • We’re investing heavily in upgrades across design, UX and creative. Some of this is in response to community feedback, other things are pure quality and fun upgrades
  • The Guild of Guardians lore and universe are being defined and redefined. This will lay a critical foundation for us to build a truly global and AAA franchise IP
  • Active staking is under development and we’re targeting a release before the Public Alpha launch
  • We’ve massively grown our internal team, and plan to continue to 2X in the coming months. We’re hiring!
  • We’re working on additional programs to engage and reward our community members, including Builders Fund, Guilds 2.0, [Redacted 🙌 🎮] and much, much more
  • Bull or bear market doesn’t matter for us — we’re very well funded and here to build

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Guild Of Guardians

Guild Of Guardians

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Guild Of Guardians is a blockchain mobile RPG published by Immutable, and developed by Stepico. Turn your passion for gaming into Assets!