More Onchain Gaming Alpha from Conferences 👀| Skill Tree #29
ETH CC, Cometh Day, Starknet CC
Learnings from fully onchain game Pirate Nation
Pirate Nation shared their insights at Arbitrum Day at ETH CC
Use learnings from game building for engine development (will be open-sourced)
Mirroring: Hold on L1, use on L2s → trading where the liquidity is, play where the game activity is. Easy to go multichain. Better UX (no bridging)
ECS for game data
building it to be compatible with MUD etc.
[Next] PvP Protocol for real-time gameplay (p2p system with quick signing and deferred validation)
Moves are broadcasted to neighbors who verify them locally. Move will be published onchain later
Exploring: How to use gas fees to disincentivize bots. Can stop paying gas fees for users that act malicious
Talks from Cometh’ Autonomous Worlds event at ETH CC
All the talks have now been uploaded to Youtube
Challenge #1: Gas costs can quickly increase if the game or other dapps on the chain attract users, or the gas token gains in value
Challenge #2: Attracting and retaining players
Account Abstraction will 10x player management
decentralized, secure, good UX
user can define theur own security rules
multiple validation logics
standardizes the way of making meta tx
emulates AA without requiring changes to Ethereum
how to distribute tokens?
based on what rules?
protocol should automatically adjust when activity increases/decreases (e.g. mining difficulty)
what does the world gain from it (incentivize valuable behavior)?
challenges: inflation, sybil attacks, spamming, botting, …
How it works for Rhascau: onchain ranking system based on scoring different activities > distribute rewards after the epoch (3 months)
Big next step: Generalizing the activity you want to reward to make the reward system autonomous
Asynchronous 2D fighting game
asynchronous = players don’t need to be online at the same time → easier “matchmaking” for a small audience like onchain games
Players design situational behaviors to combat other player-created behaviors
Uses two properties of blockchain as a medium
“multiplayer” computing device/ shared world computer
24/7 online, persistent
Players first learn the UX, then the game design, and lastly, the game economy
Smurfs: use skills/advantage they gained previously or even automate tasks → make the game harder for newcomers
If there’s no content, players will exploit the economy
Content increases the opportunity costs of farming (for real players), offers sinks, and motivation to be invested into an autonomous world
gameplay: social deduction + governance
screwing around with the rules of the game is part of the game itself
may feel familiar to DAO governance
non-skeuomorphic game design - gameplay native to blockchains (why should it be fully onchain)
making social coordination open and composable opens up more emergent gameplay possibilities
relates to crypto culture (DAO governance) → gamify the “real“ world of crypto and even learn from low-stakes experiments
Talks from StarknetCC
Cafe Cosmos: restaurant sim, onchain
Economic challenge: In these sims, rewards follow a progression curve - inflation
Redistribution mechanism in a closed loop system
There’s no dominant strategy for players as rewards dynamically adjust depending on how many players interact with each element (<-> Axie: Each player and each game add to the inflation, independent of each other) → Total inflation is capped, players compete for shares of the reward pool
Non-random deflation mechanism
Economic resets based on a quasi-predictable source of chaos: weather → can’t predict but speculate around (fun gameplay element)
Economic resets based on the weather, which itself is based on the ETH TWAP
Mithraeum embraces a different autonomous mechanic for economic resets called Wipe Threat that takes input from its own economy. When too many players hoard resources rather than utilizing them, they get punished by a wipe, destroying valuable resources. This economic reset ensures that the economy stay within controllable boundaries.
The wipe threat also leads to new emerging social gameplay.
Players, eager to keep their progress as long as possible, will unite in larger structures and try to fairly distribute the tasks of burning the resources among themselves and punishing those guilty of “hoarding” as well as those who do not want to take on such obligations.
Players who are lagging behind in development can try to interfere with the players from the first point by active actions, trying to bring the wipe closer, which will equalize the chances for everyone
The reaction of the market to the possible outcome of such wars will be funny. Depending on the intensity of the struggle, the price of game resources (tokens) will either soar, in anticipation of the next phase of the war of attrition, or fall sharply in fear of the prospect of a wipe, because then these tokens are guaranteed to depreciate
Shoshin (see Cometh talks above for a summary)
Benefits of dynamic NFTs
can evolve over time
Framework in Cairo
Generate onchain metadata as a separate contract → makes metadata reusable
onchain libraries (e.g. JSON, SVG) → onchain metadata that are reusable → composability with onchain data
What onchain gaming will look like in 10 years
The future of infrastructure (with Starknet)
Why build games onchain
Running a game on servers comes with the risk of being labelled as an exchange (regulatory risk), hacking, and botting
Onchain games embrace bots and provide a new paradigm of gameplay
Future of front ends
Account Abstraction + Unity/Unreal
pros: onchain games available on mobile, easy sponsoring of tx fees, seamless UX
WebGL + Unity becomes faster
Madara: High TPS centralized sequencers
can’t falsify proofs → more secure against hacking
Use sharding to scale
Fast ticking built directly into the appchain
The Rise of Onchain Modding - Investment Thesis for Onchain Gaming
The indie and modding scenes are driving most of the innovation while AAA game studios play it safe
Latest examples of successful, well-received indie titles : BattleBit Remastered, Dave the Diver
The modding model is broken
Missing business model: Modders receive little economic benefits, mainly donations. Payments except for donations are illegal as modders are using the IP of game studios
Changes to the base game can impact mods: Especially large mods require a lot of rework to ensure compatibility. Games are not designed with mods in mind.
Onchain gaming as the savior?
Flexible approach to profit distribution: Open-source, on-chain projects are not safeguarded by licensing. Smart contracts can be used to automatically distribute profits to value creators.
Immutability and openness: Mods are at the center of onchain games and can build directly on the underlying physics and on game state, opening up new possibilities.