Salutations, Mortals, we are glad to see you in our new issue of “What a Creative Mortal!” You may ask, what is “What a Creative Mortal!” about?
Simple, it’s about appreciating the valuable members of the Gods Unchained community. It is about showcasing and encouraging those who have created exceptional art in our past events.
During our community events and challenges, we’ve witnessed the contributions of very talented and artistically gifted Mortals. We thoroughly appreciate everyone who has participated in these events. We sincerely hope to sprout their passion for art, videos, 3d printed items, or even physical card sets with these posts. We have a ton of creative and passionate mortals, So let’s hype them up!
For our first interview, we wanted to introduce ‘FallenNephilim,’ the mortal that created a remarkable Visual Novel for the “Light the Way Event!” We thoroughly appreciate ‘FallenNephilim’ for taking the time to participate in the interview.
Please tell us a little about yourself and how you played Gods Unchained.
I was in elementary school when I first witnessed console gaming take the leap into 3D. The Ocarina of Time blew my mind, and I immediately knew I wanted to be a videogame designer. While my efforts have shifted since then, my passion has always strived to create a fun and engaging experience for others.
I heavily anticipated the launch of Mass Effect 3. When it came out, I enrolled in college in graphic design and programming. However, this marked the beginning of a noticeable wave of AAA titles receiving backlash for rushed development cycles and microtransactions.
It took me a few years, but I eventually realized I didn’t want to pursue a career focused on my favorite pastime. Others would ultimately have creative control over my work in that environment, and I didn’t want profit margins souring the user experience I wanted to deliver.
After dropping out, I immersed myself in tabletop role-playing and trading card games. I became so strongly invested in new games that I needed to understand what drew people to these hobbies. Specifically regarding TCGs, though, I engaged in many new games for months. I always stayed at least long enough to understand the lore and underlying mechanics and feel some successful progress toward my rank and collection.
Like clockwork, I started to sense the need for heavy grinding and the option to pay to progress past it quickly in the games I played. I promptly stopped caring at that point and would look for another one. Those games had user retention strategies I fundamentally disagreed with. The designers worked hard to offer me a wonderful experience, but their company’s drive for profits always warped it to become a stagnant experience praying on my innate drives as a human being.
Gods Unchained was just another digital TCG that I saw an AD about. A popular YouTuber made a one-off video in February last year and stressed that the $20 offer for the Stay, Play, Get Paid campaign wasn’t in-game value but actual cash. Crypto was in my periphery, but it was not something I had engaged with at the time. He never mentioned Ethereum in the video, so I was curious when I followed the sponsored link. It sounded too good to be true.
Once I understood Gods Unchained’s concept for using NFTs and Play-and-Earn, it alleviated all my concerns about other TCGs. I could also tell Immutable was committed to quality over quantity, and I’ve been an avid player since.
Woah, thank you for sharing this with us; that is one impressive and inspiring journey.
What inspired you to make a Visual Novel for the “Light the Way” Event?
I view the world not as people in different professions but as people who use different languages to express themselves. Professions like artistry, music, cooking, theater, athletics, programming, woodworking and healthcare are examples of people engaging with the world through different means. The languages you know influence how you perceive and interact with the world.
Pursuing game development for so long has encouraged me to consider how people immerse themselves in an experience. I talk to many people and try new things, so I’ve often been considered a jack of all trades. This has offered me multiple lenses to view the world, and it often leads me to consider combining seemingly independent ideas into new and interesting ones.
For starters, I prefer visual media like movies and video games. However, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “the book was better” from my friends who love reading. When I decided to engage with it, visual novels helped me bridge the gap between the different media types and were my literature of choice for a while. It helped me connect with the messages written in text better since it elevated the experience with my other senses engaged.
YouTube is also one of my favorite sources of entertainment and information. After a project at an old job, making software training videos, I’ve sometimes considered reusing those skills in content creation. I wanted to test if it would be something I’d be passionate about. After all, it could be a different route for me to deliver that immersive lore experience to an audience.
Is creating videos your passion, or just a hobby?
That’s tough to say. It was my first time trying to animate anything, and it was satisfying to scratch that itch to share an immersive experience with others. Suppose I thought I could get my hands on the necessary resource while submitting. In that case, I’d consider creating a series of similar lore videos about Gods Unchained with higher production quality and runtime.
We use the word “hobby” a lot, but it has such an unfortunate connotation for something that sparks joy and meaning in life. Diving into content creation the way I envision it would become more like an “enjoyable discipline” for me. I’d be passionate about that!
What part of “Light the Way” made you interested in participating?
As a tabletop game master, I get heavily invested in lore by default, and GU has some exceptional stories to tell. As I talked with the community during the growing hype around Cosmic Shift, I knew more of the details off-hand than most others did. As soon as I saw the contest announced, I impulsively conjured up a mock theatrical trailer script for the Battle of Whiteplain.
I considered formatting that script and submitting it as a meme entry since I knew I lacked the skills and time to pull a movie trailer off the way I envisioned it. However, when I shared the script with friends and family, some of them started talking about it more seriously. Soon after I started listing what skills I could apply to make a video for this, I revised the script and decided it was finally time to see if content creation were something I’d be interested in. It also helps to be egged on a bit, too.
What’s your favorite card in the “Light’s Verdict” set, and Why?
No contest, Thaeriel, the Fallen.
I chose my screen name long ago, partially from my love for redemption stories and my fascination with mythology and folklore. In different Abrahamic religions, the Nephilim have been depicted as giants or other beings who fell from God’s grace. In pop culture, characters who identify as Nephilim seem to exist outside of the normal order of the cosmos. There is a strong correlation between them and ancient lore keepers. They can also be referred to as old gods, the offspring of both angels and demons, or simply the heralds of the apocalypse.
I love the implications of Thaeriel apostatizing the Light in the lore. It’s my head-cannon that he is the first Nephilim to exist on Eucos. Since what he seeks is power, I’m sure this will be a cautionary tale to the descendants of the Battle of Whiteplain. With his cult following, he’s still going to be a major player in the lore that I’ll want to keep an eye on.
Well, thank you so much, FallenNephilim, for answering all of our questions! We appreciate you taking the time to partake in the interview, and we thoroughly enjoyed your participation in the event. Your Visual novel was astounding, especially for a first-time try, and we hope to see more of your work!