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Onchain 👏 Gaming 👏 | Skill Tree #30
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Paradigm: Open Problems of Onchain Games
UGC as the most plausible case for onchain games - UGC on steroids
traditional platforms (Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite) require 3rd-party developers to spin up new servers (instancing) instead of scripting existing ones. hard to ensure that modes fit existing rulesets
instancing leads to fragmentation while onchain games can really be additional/composable
opening up the economy allows it to become more complex (more financial primitives)
sovereign player custody of game assets prevents compliance overhead for studio
Technical constraints limit game design
Tooling and game-specific infrastructure is getting built now (e.g. MUD, Dojo, Argus, Curio, Paima) making it easier to deploy games on platform that scale
Need for incomplete information (e.g. enemy can't see your move upfront) → e.g. TEE
Bots can't be prevented
Tick-based game loops are hard to do on blockchains → e.g. custom rollups
first-order: each game is a real money market which influences behavior
second-order: composability means mods compete with each other and introduce different incentives on top of each other
research directions: antifragile design, permissioning of mods, orderflow auctions
metagames tend towards stagnation
autonomous worlds strive for fixed rulesets with little updates → dominant strategy gets figured out & doesn't change = boring
research directions: seasonal updates, automated updates (similar to Bitcoin adjusting its mining difficulty), novel governance mechanisms
Onchain games in Gitcoin Round 18
3 games are looking for public goods funding through Gitcoin:
Autochessia (auto chess game built on MUD)
DFarchon (Using ZK for game optimization in Dark Forest)
BladeDAO (decentralized onchain game studio; 2 titles: Battle royale, factory game)
Roundtable Discussion: How to Design Game Economies
Nick (Tokenomics Advisor at Shima Capital), Michael (Web3 Lead at Mighty Bear Games), and Heimdall (Virtual Economist at The Citadel) share their insights about creating engaging & sustainable game economies for web3 and onchain games.
— Key takeaways —
supply is a function of demand
if something can happen, it probably will
if someone can repeat an action, he will until the action reaches market value (zero)
a majority of players is looking for economic stability (e.g. medium of exchange)
Speculators in games
General sentiment: Keep speculators in, make it fun, monetize it
Tip: Speculation doesn’t need to be financial, could also be about the meta for instance
Mechanisms for sustainability
distribution of supply: measured growth of supply with demand. can also cap growth and monetize it (e.g. NFT-gated)
prevent easy earning (will be botted)
well-timed consumption sinks that are actual sinks, not converters. best: recurring sinks like travel costs, taxes
competitive sinks like auctions
Challenge: Scaling down supply once demand falls e.g. burning, crafting, seasonal NFT
Learn from web2
onboarding & UX
monitoring of player engagement
Unlearn from web2
LTV > CAC math as now we have secondary trading, other value-adding actions than spending money
mindset shift from monetizing individual players to looking at the economy more holistically
The Content Layer for Autonomous Worlds
A world requires more than just physics; it needs real people, their interactions, and stories. While engineers construct the physical framework for Autonomous Worlds, determine how AWs appear; we also need storytellers to keep the narratives flowing, determine how AWs persist.
Timshel defined Loot in a tweet as a "massively-multiplayer collaborative world-building experiment"
NFTs act as narrative devices. The minimalist text-based NFTs serve as a starting point
More minimalist pieces may be better narrative devices as they leave more room for interpretation
Challenge #1: People cared about speculation and scarcity of the words, not the story - the narrative economy emerged
Derivatives expanded this economy
Challenge #2: Scarcity mindset (keeping the value of your NFTs) is the opposite of expanding the story (abundance mindset, related to inflation)
Content layer for Autonomous Worlds
Needs to enable content autonomy, meaning the community can create quality content after losing all centralized authors
Three types of content formats: Text, static/dynamic non-interactive media formats, interactive media formats
Third type = fully onchain games
Teaser: I’m working on a website aggregating everything about onchain games and autonomous worlds, covering games, news, events, and education. Things are coming along well and I hope to officially release the site next week.
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