Regardless of whether a client's games address the mobile or PC/Console markets, our Product Development Services team is ready to develop an effective approach for any project. With numerous services offered, the custom-tailored game development services are one of Amber's main full speed engines. Engineering, Porting and Maintenance, Level Design, Consultancy or Co-Development Work are just few of the solutions offered by our Product Development Services vertical.
Today, we will explore how this versatile vertical works in collaboration with other segments of the gaming industry by zooming in on a successful project born under the vigilant partnership of the artisans in PDS and the Business Intelligence team.
Guild of Guardians - “a multiplayer, fantasy, action RPG where players build their dream team of Guardians and compete in a guild to earn epic rewards” is the project we'll be tackling in this article - a title published by the Australian unicorn, Immutable. A significant name in the gaming world and the crypto ecosystem, Immutable is well known for being the first scaling solution for NFTs that doesn't compromise the security or decentralization of the world's leading public blockchain, Ethereum. Along with Guild of Guardians, Immutable is also known for one of the most popular P2E (Play to Earn) title - “Gods Unchained”.
The Business Intelligence team at Amber to partnered with Guild of Guardians to offer consultancy on their take over the crypto-based economy system in mid-2021. Together with the mandate of delivering a self-sustained blockchain economy, in which players have full control and transparency, the team focused on understanding the market, the audience, the title and the client's needs.
The scope of our work was to ensure a healthy economy system for the soon-to-be-launched title. Through our proven track record and our reputation as a trusted agency, we managed to convince Immutable, our client, to add along the way a few other key positions to the core team such as: an Economy Designer, a Product Manager, and a Data Analyst. These roles were fundamental in providing an in-depth coverage for all aspects of the game's ecosystem.
The product management tactics were leaned more towards envisioning a full self-sustained system in the game, with an extra eye on the strategic growth of the product and constant monitoring of audience satisfaction. With this model in mind and given that there's nothing being sold actively in the game, the Product Manager decided to put a significant focus into empowering a healthy community approach, trying to understand and predict how the masses consume this game, while playing to earn.
The Product Manager also became involved in the creation process of the title's current and future milestones, while closely surveilling the building of the economy system and any potential risks and opportunities that might occur along the way.
Alongside the PM, the Economy Designer focused on each step of the project on a granular level, calculating the numbers that will lead to a sustainable economy system, while making sure that the final scope of this game is met: to reward players for the time spent in game and for their usage and interactions with blockchain currencies. To craft an economy system that will challenge and engage players, the designer smoothly balanced each parameter to fit and support the correspondent features in the game.
The Data Analyst, another fundamental role in our process, created user models and tested scenarios trough tools like Machinations, following up on each change brought to the project from a BI perspective. This approach allowed us to answer all our economy questions and theories, using quantitative simulation data.
Since the project is still in a production phase, Amber's BI team and the Guild of Guardians Economy Design team are working on the creation part of the economy system. Once this step is completed, we will transition to a live-ops approach, phase during which we plan to focus on understanding and actively participating in the game's community while continuously improving the previous build's economy based on player behavior and needs.
Guild of Guardians is not so much a classic Free to Play game as it is a top competitor in the Play to Earn genre. Multiple phases of ideation and implementation were and are still necessary for most of the steps in our collaboration with Immutable. We will note two major ones today that lay at the core of creating and delivering a qualitative economy system:
Up until now, the team worked on the game as it was, while building an economy on top of it and making sure this blends well with the rest of the features, approach and with the targets. In the current phase, we are creating the economy for a release that will greatly increase our player reach (Beta Mainnet). To achieve this goal, we focused on several fundamental aspects of the game, like core gameplay and player progression, keeping in mind the game's highly economy-based nature.
Both phases from above are released on a sandbox blockchain system, while the next phase will be to slowly transition to the 'real' market. The last phase will be the full release on Mainnet Public Release with all planned features ready, where the community will Play to Earn as expected, and the value of the tokens will be determined by the game's economy.
A recent and notable milestone in the product's cycle was the Pre-Alpha Demo that was live for two weeks and very well received by the community. This build had limited content that allowed a certain number of players to discover the game in a fun and rewarding manner. The feedback received was clear and in line with our expectations. The KPIs, even if confidential, were satisfactory considering the high numbers this genre is showing nowadays, following the forecast made by our BI team.
We firmly believe that one of the best recognition signs for a development team - in this case for our core BI members - is the moment when the community reacts just as expected, showing a high engagement and being extra involved in supporting a global release.