Friday, May 31, 2024

Are Blockchain Games A Good Advertisement For Blockchain Games?

I continue my look into blockchain games by examining existing blockchain games. Combining the words "blockchain" and "game" produces an immediate negative reaction amongst a large portion of the public. After looking into what a blockchain game is last week, I thought I'd look into existing games. Do these games deserve the outright venom they seem to generate online? I called upon my trusty AI assistant Copilot once more to dive into the world of blockchains, NFTs, and other web3 type of stuff.

Before digging into individual games, I wanted to know about monetization. I get the impression that those who viscerally despise any game containing NFTs and cryptocurrency automatically associate the games with scummy monetization. Like, Diablo Immortal levels of monetization. So I first asked Copilot about monetization in general.

The cost to start playing a blockchain game can vary widely depending on the game and its structure. Some games are free to start with options for in-game purchases, while others may require an initial investment to buy game assets such as characters, land, or equipment. Here are some general points to consider:

It’s important to research each game individually to understand the potential costs involved. Some games might allow you to earn in-game currency or assets through gameplay, which can offset some of the expenses. Always be aware of the financial risks and never invest more than you can afford to lose in blockchain games.

Normally Copilot gushes enthusiastically about subjects. I'm not feeling the positive vibes coming from the AI on this topic. Also, I get the feeling getting into a blockchain game would cost more than the $40 plus monthly subscription fee Square Enix is charging for the Dawnwalker expansion for Final Fantasy XIV. From the above answer, regular people wondering into the blockchain game pool need to look out for sharks.

Not knowing much about the genre, I asked Copilot about the most popular MMORPGs using blockchain technology. I received the following information.

The most popular blockchain-based MMORPGs, as of the latest information available, include:

Other notable mentions in the blockchain gaming space include CryptoBlades, My Crypto Heroes, and Axie Infinity, which have gained popularity among players interested in blockchain mechanics.

Just as an aside, I understand the concept of land ownership in a virtual world. I'm not sure just how valuable owning an in-game asset is if the game shuts down. Perhaps a topic for another post?

Anyway, of the five games listed, I had only heard of one, Axie Infinity. Since the game keeps getting mentioned by Copilot in my searches, I'll jump the game to the front of the line and discuss Axie Infinity first. From what Copilot pulled up, Axie Infinity is not an MMORPG.

Axie Infinity is considered a strategy game that incorporates elements of an NFT online game. It’s often described as a play-to-earn game, where players can earn cryptocurrency by participating in the game’s economy. The gameplay involves collecting, breeding, and battling digital creatures called Axies, and it draws inspiration from games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Idle Heroes for its “idle battle” system. Additionally, it has been compared to Trading Card Games (TCG) due to some of its gameplay mechanics. Axie Infinity has helped define the play-to-earn genre within the blockchain gaming space.

Besides going overboard with the hyperlinks, my AI assistant didn't pick out an MMORPG. But some of the history of the game is still relevant to the topic of the post. Launched in March 2018, Axie Infinity reached its peak in January 2022 with an average of 2.8 million monthly players. Then disaster stuck in the form of an issue that captured mainstream attention.

On 23 March 2022, the Ronin Network was hacked in one of the largest breaches of decentralized finance. While fascinating, I'm trying to keep the post short-ish, so I'll just give the rundown provided by Copilot.

While deserving of a post of its own, the compromise of the Ronin network pretty much ruined the reputation of Axie Infinity. From the peak of 2.8 million monthly players, the game had fallen to 363,000 players in July 2023. A counter tracking the amount of players currently active in the game showed a little more than 30,000 players active in the game on 30 May 2024.

Security breaches can definitely impact a game that relies on transferring value out of the game to attract players. But what about the other games. I had Copilot look up information on Ember Sword. I was disappointed to find out the game is scheduled for early access release in late 2024. I don't know if the inclusion of a game not even in early access yet is more an indictment of Copilot's ability to search or of the genre itself. But I quickly moved on to the next game.

Blankos Block Party launched in September 2022. I'm not going to lie, the graphics remind me of a kid's game. Copilot provided a features list for the game.

Blankos Block Party is a vibrant and colorful open-world multiplayer game that’s styled like a giant block party. Here are some key features of the game:

  • Custom Art and Design: Players can express their creativity by designing and customizing their own levels with a wide range of in-game assets.

  • Building and Exploration: There’s a strong emphasis on world-building and exploration, encouraging players to create and discover user-generated levels.

  • Collectibles: The game features unique Blanko designs that players can collect. These Blankos can be customized and leveled up, adding rare attributes to grow an impressive collection.

  • Blockchain Integration: It uses blockchain technology to tokenize in-game assets, giving players true ownership over their collectibles.

  • Social Interaction: Blankos Block Party is designed to be a social experience where players can meet up, show off their Blankos, and compete in various challenges.

  • Game Modes: The game includes racing, vibe collection, shooting, and brawl game modes, providing a variety of ways to play and compete.

  • Accessibility: It’s available for free on PC and Mac, making it easily accessible to a wide audience.

The game sounds more like a social game than an MMORPG. I'm not sure how well the game was received either, at least as far as the number of players are concerned. Copilot pointed me to MMO Stats which claims the average number of users online at any one time in December 2023 was 726.

Next up on the list of games is CryptoBlades. The game looks like everything I'd expect from an actual blockchain MMORPG. Copilot supplied the following details.

CryptoBlades is an innovative blockchain-based role-playing game (RPG) that combines gaming with decentralized finance (DeFi) elements. Here are some key aspects of CryptoBlades:

The game claims to have 1.1 million active players. But I'm not sure I want to take Riveted Games's claims at face value. When I clicked on the "How to get started" link, I received the following message from ZenDesk.
Oops, this help center no longer exists

The company you're looking for is no longer using our help center. We suggest reaching out to them directly via their official website.
Perhaps I'm too judgmental, but if I'm a new player receiving such a message, I'm moving on to the next game. If a company can't pay attention to one of the first things a potential player will see, how much confidence do I have that the company will pay attention to larger details like security?

Finally, we get to My Crypto Heroes. The game sounds like an MMORPG but, no, not after seeing an example of the combat. I was reminded more of Final Fantasy I than Final Fantasy XIV. But the features list pulled up by Copilot sounded good.

My Crypto Heroes is a blockchain-based role-playing game (RPG) that allows players to collect, train, and battle with characters inspired by historical figures. Here’s a detailed look at the game:

Launched in November 2018, My Crypto Heroes has become a prominent game in the crypto gaming space, offering a complex and engaging experience for players interested in the intersection of gaming and blockchain technology. Whether you’re a gamer looking to explore blockchain technology or a crypto enthusiast interested in gaming, My Crypto Heroes offers a rich and complex experience. For more information or to start playing, you can visit their official website.

I decided to leave Copilot's cheerful conclusion in for a change. I did want to know about the cost to play. Given the tone of Copilot's answer, I'm not sure the cost is worth satisfying my curiosity. 

My Crypto Heroes is a blockchain-based RPG that you can start playing for free. However, to fully engage with all the game’s features and to compete at higher levels, you might need to purchase heroes, which are NFTs inspired by historical figures. The cost of heroes can vary based on their rarity and the market demand.

To play, you’ll need an Ethereum wallet to store your in-game items. While the game is free to try, having at least three heroes is necessary for the full experience, which may require an initial investment if you choose to purchase them from the game’s shop or third-party marketplaces like OpenSea.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on any costs associated with My Crypto Heroes, it’s best to refer to the official game website or community channels. Remember to always do your own research and consider the risks before investing in blockchain games. Happy gaming! 🎮🛡️

Once again, take note of the financial warning at the end of Copilot's answer. I don't get the impression of a game I can play to forget about the worries of real life for a few hours. How many people play the game and disagree? While noting the game was developed in Japan, the Discord server had over 20K members, and the game's English Twitter account had 23K followers

After doing the research for this post, I came to a conclusion. As vehicles for entertainment, blockchain games don't sound very appealing. For those who want blockchain games to reach mainstream audiences the games can't concern themselves primarily with the mechanics of creating and distributing real world wealth. Instead of identifying themselves by the technology they contain, perhaps the developers and fans of the genre just make good video games that incidentally contain blockchain and other web3 technologies. Because after looking up 5 blockchain games I'm not interested in playing any blockchain game. The games I looked at just don't serve as a good advertisement for the entire genre.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

EVE: Equinox And A Surprising Amount Of Change

On Tuesday CCP Games released another video and dev blog in its Equinox In Focus series. With EVE Online's next expansion less than two weeks away, I have a few thoughts on the developers' plans to enhance corporation management and functions, AIR daily goals, and ship interactions.

The first part, enhancing corporation management, is very important. A lot of development time over the past few years when into retaining players longer than a day once they find EVE. Part of the effort is getting those new players into a good player-run corporation. Making the lives of those corporation leaders easier is just good business sense. Attracting and retaining good leaders is a lot harder than luring in new players.

The first part of the equation is developing a new corporation user interface.

The new design has a horizontal navigation bar with detailed sections in a sidebar, similar to the Opportunities window. This intuitive layout makes managing corporations easier for directors and CEOs. Tooltips will be added to each section, offering clear explanations of their functions and information about which corporation roles are necessary for access. This is the first step on the road to further improvements to this interface, laying a solid foundation for future enhancements and additions.

Back when I first started playing in 2009, CCP was well-known for creating features and then abandoning them to chase the next shiny idea. In 2024, we actually see iteration on existing features. A feature receiving additional attention is corporation projects.

The developers are adding three new types of corporation projects:

Ship Loss Projects: These projects give corporations the support they need to automate ship replacement programs by monitoring ship losses under predefined conditions and awarding ISK payouts accordingly. Conditions can be tailored to specify ship type, loss location, and the organization responsible, ensuring targeted support for corporation members and helping maintain fleet strength.

Earn Loyalty Points Projects: These automate LP buyback programs by setting a corp LP tax and offering ISK rewards for earning LP, applicable to any type of loyalty points. This flexibility provides valuable incentives for members to engage in loyalty point activities and contribute to the corporation’s growth.

Salvaging Projects: These projects monitor and reward the salvaging of wrecks, incentivizing members to keep their space clean or identify salvage operations during fleet combat. This adds another layer of engagement and responsibility within the corporation and further recognizes the contribution of the explorers and scavengers out there.

When I refer to iteration, I don't mean adding or changing the features. According to the dev blog:

A recent update to the underlying technology that supports these projects and Daily Goals, has improved load times and interaction speeds for a smoother and more efficient experience. This technological upgrade ensures that goals and projects load faster, making interactions with them more seamless and enjoyable.

I'm pointing out the lower load times because I can remember when loading the corporate UI for large corporations used to take several minutes. Like I stated before, making the lives easier for those players CCP relies on to provide the social organization and cohesion that encourages players to remain in an MMORPG just makes good business sense.

Next comes the updated goals section of the article. I'll copy and paste the section below so my commentary makes more sense.

AIR Daily Goals were introduced in the Havoc expansion last year and have already provided capsuleers with new and exciting daily activities to sink their teeth into in New Eden. With Equinox, they will receive a significant enhancement, adding a monthly reward track designed to offer more incentives for daily and sustained engagement. This new addition includes a 12 step progression system, where rewards are granted every third step. You can progress one step per day by completing two out the four daily goals to achieve the Daily Bonus, allowing you to reach the final reward in just 12 days out of the 30-day cycle. This flexible system ensures that even if you miss a few days, you can still acquire the ultimate reward by the end of the month.

This new system replaces the current daily login rewards, significantly increasing the potential monthly Skill Point gains per account. The daily bonus SP reward goes from 10,000 to 5,000 per character, but a new final SP reward track milestone has been added with up to 225,000 SP per character. Previously, simply logging in daily could net up to 150,000 SP per account per month, whereas the new system will reward more meaningful activities with up to 375,000 SP per character per month, meaning up to 1,250,000 SP per account. The daily goals are easily achievable for players of all levels and are the same for all capsuleers every day. This means more skills, more action, and more people in space!

First off, is the change in reward acquisition systems a recognition that monthly active user (MAU) and daily active user (DAU) metrics are, to use the technical term, bogus statistics? If so, I consider the move a major improvement. Developers are human beings too, and if they are incentivized to do something, like ensuring as many people log into the game as possible, that's what they will do.

The current system encourages people to log in and reach the character select screen to access the button to get the daily reward. No need to log onto a character and enter the game world, just logging onto the account sufficed. In Equinox, the developers are incentivizing players to undock to gain rewards. Are the developers designing the content to a new standard, that of average concurrent users (ACU) and peak concurrent users (PCU)? If so, players and developers will judge the popularity of the game using the same metrics.

The change in the removal of the daily login reward for activity based rewards may also change some of the in-game economic metrics. With the change I expect the money supply to drop from last month's 2.135 quadrillion ISK. How much will the money supply fall? I don't know, but the change may indicate just how much more popular the CCP leadership considered EVE than the player base looking at the average concurrent users on

The rewards for the new system will consist of EverMarks, SKINR items for personalized ship SKINs, ISK, and Skill Points (SP). Gone are the boosters, Abyssal filaments, and login ship SKINs. One item to watch for is will CCP supply another way to get filaments for beginning Abyssal runners? Or is the withdrawal of CCP generating them out of thin air an effort to make the filaments more valuable for those running tier 1 sites?

Next comes hangar management. I really want to see the see and use the new hangar user interface for myself before passing judgement, but the changes sound promising.

The first change sounds promising and I think scratches the itch that reaching a new level in other games scratches.

Various aspects of ship interactions are being refined to enhance the overall experience for capsuleers and make New Eden’s vessels and the requirements for flying them easier to understand. When you meet the requirements to activate a new ship, you will receive notifications and can navigate to the ship tree screen, where unlocked ships will be highlighted. The default action for unassembled ships is now "Assemble & Board," making it more intuitive and user-friendly.

Admittedly I'm getting older and now wear bifocals. Also, my opinion may change depending on how the UX folks used the space on the screen. But two weeks from launch CCP's changes sound promising.

A new card view option in the inventory window and station panel will display more detailed ship information, including group, type name, faction, and characteristics. This provides a comprehensive overview of your ships, making it easier to manage your fleets and ensuring that all relevant information is readily accessible.

Perhaps the most important part of the change is helping players develop a skill plan for desired ships.

When viewing ship or module requirements, you can save required skills as a skill plan, apply skill points, or add skills directly to the training queue. This streamlines the skill management process and makes training the appropriate skills, creating skill plans, and upgrading to fly your dream ship easier than ever.

Overall I consider the latest video and dev blog full of quality of life changes. For myself, the biggest obstacle may turn out to be overcoming years of muscle memory. I'm sure people can come along and nitpick points here and there. For myself, the changes look pretty good.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Using AI To Examine CIG Reaching $700 Million In Revenue

I originally intended to wait until Saturday to post about Cloud Imperium Games reaching $700 million in revenue raised through the company's Roberts Space Industries website. But I woke up to my Twitter feed (does anyone call it "X") and a story about the subject. I thought I'd run through the article, as the story reminded me of why I'm so glad I'm a blogger and not a writer for a mainstream games journalism site.

I don't think the author of the piece, Wesley Yin-Poole, really follows the game. I can't say I blame him. He's the UK News Editor for IGN and for him to closely follow a game that makes EVE Online look mainstream and is probably 3 years away from release is probably expecting a little too much. Still, I don't think he did that bad of a job given the circumstances.

The next part is where I really take issue.

CIG even breaks down the revenue by recent months, weeks, and hours. At its lowest point on the morning of May 28, Star Citizen brought in $42,886 in one hour, about $1.5 million yesterday, May 27, $10,883,513 last week, and $4,753,264 for the month of April (things appear to have picked up considerably in May after the launch of the Alpha 3.23: Adventure Beckons update).

This is where Yin-Poole's unfamiliarity with the subject matter comes into play. Yes, I know he wrote an article on Alpha 3.23. I also know that from the launch of Alpha 3.23 on 11 May to 16 May, revenue year-over-year increased from $842,000 in 2023 to $3.1 million this year. But the real driver of lifetime revenue reaching $700 million was Invictus Launch Week.

Today's view of the Funding Tracker

A year ago I wouldn't have picked on the slip as who can really keep track of games? With the advent of advanced AI engines, however, the excuses are going away. I asked Copilot if there were any events ongoing in Star Citizen. The first item presented by the AI was Invictus Launch Week.

1. Invictus Launch Week 2954: From May 17 to May 29, players can participate in Invictus Launch Week. During this event, you can play Star Citizen for free, explore new releases, rediscover old favorites, and enjoy exciting content.

The next request I made to Copilot I thought was obvious: tell me more about Invictus Launch Week. I'll paste the answer below because I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people have no idea.

Invictus Launch Week is a significant event in the Star Citizen universe, organized by the United Empire of Earth Navy (UEEN). Let me provide you with some details:

During Invictus Launch Week, players can expect the following:

  1. Free Play: Star Citizen opens its doors to everyone, allowing players to experience the game for free during this special week. It’s an excellent opportunity for newcomers to explore the vast universe, try out ships, and engage in various activities.

  2. New Releases: The event often features first looks at brand-new ship releases, weapons, and other content. Whether it’s a sleek fighter or a massive capital ship, players get a glimpse of what’s coming to the 'verse.

  3. Showcase of Naval Fleet: The UEE Navy puts on an awe-inspiring display of its naval fleet. You’ll witness impressive capital ships, fighters, and other military vessels in action. It’s a chance to appreciate the scale and power of the UEE’s forces.

  4. Community Gatherings: Players come together to celebrate Invictus Launch Week. Whether it’s organizing in-game events, hosting parties, or participating in races, the community buzzes with excitement.

Now, I know from writing about the business side of Cloud Imperium Games that Invictus is historically the second largest revenue producing event each year. So I asked Copilot about special ship discounts and promotions. I learned something new.

Certainly! During Invictus Launch Week, Star Citizen offers various ship-related promotions and discounts. Here are the details:

  1. Stock Limited Ships: The event features sales of stock limited ships on the Pledge Store. These ships are considered ‘exclusive’ and are only sold in limited quantities over a small period of time. Each stock-limited ship is limited to 1 per account, and sale windows are usually available in 3 waves.

  2. Discount Codes: Some players receive exclusive discount codes via email during Invictus. These codes provide a 10% discount on eligible purchases. Keep an eye on your inbox for any such offers.

  3. Free Play: As Invictus Launch Week comes to a close, all vehicles from the previous days are available to use for free on May 29 and May 30. Don’t forget, the Free Fly event also ends on May 30, so take advantage of the opportunity to explore the 'verse.

I did not know about the discount codes. I asked Copilot about the discount codes, thinking those were for Concierge members. Subscribers also may receive discount codes. CIG offers two tiers of subscriptions, Centurion for $10/month or $110/year and Imperator for $20/month or $220/year.

I have seen the subscription line item in CIG's yearly financial reports but never bothered to find out what people received for their subscription. Copilot was eager to tell me.

Certainly! Becoming a subscriber in Star Citizen is a great way to support the game’s development while enjoying exclusive perks. Here’s how you can become a subscriber:

  1. Recurring Plan:

  2. Pre-Paid Pass:

    • Alternatively, you can opt for a Pre-Paid Pass, which grants you subscriber access for a limited time.
    • Pre-Paid Passes are ideal if you prefer not to commit to a recurring payment plan.
    • These passes can be purchased using Store Credit and provide the same perks as regular recurring plans.
    • Additionally, they contribute to your subscriber history.
  3. Perks and Benefits:

Sometimes I get the feeling Copilot (or the Copilot project manager) is a Legatus Navium level backer of Star Citizen

In review, the Invictus Fleet Week event is designed to bring in large amounts of money. First, the company tries to lure players to try out the game by making access to Star Citizen free for the length of the event. Next, CIG entices existing players into purchasing large expensive ships costing hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars. And finally the events like Invictus Fleet Week incentivize players to become subscribers to receive the benefits, especially discount coupons, listed above.

As for Mr. Yin-Pool, I have to give him an "A" for effort. He actually got close to the facts of the story. The only problem is I think he assumed that the patch created the financial wave that pushed CIG's lifetime revenue total to over $700 million. The patch, despite all the improvements the new content brought to Star Citizen, was present to support the event. Then again, I decided to use Copilot to cover for my ignorance of some parts of the story. I don't think he used AI to aid his work.

Monday, May 27, 2024

I Actually Purchased An EVE Online Starter Pack

CCP Games is just two weeks away from the launch of the summer expansion for EVE Online, Equinox. Along with new systems, players will need to learn new skills in order to use the new Upwell ship line as well as the new personalized ship SKIN system. New skills require acquiring skill points. And since a lot of players have hauler characters who normally don't require new skills, players will look for ways to gain those skill points. Personally, for the first time, CCP came up with a sale that convinced me to join the crowd and send some real world cash.

Reading the details on the new Upwell transport ships, particularly the Deluge, I saw two important points. One, I could get an upgrade to ship Planetary Industry products out of low sec to high sec markets. The second is the potential growing market for those products in Equinox. Looking at the new changes to null sec and their cascading effects on low- and high sec, I decided I needed to train up a second character on each account.

Enter CCP's weekend sale in the New Eden Store. The sale was simple enough. From 23-28 May, multiple character training certificates were available in the in-game New Eden Store for 40% off. Which means I could buy 500 PLEX from the cash shop and convert that into 3 MCT certificates. I was looking to buy three certificates. My options were:

  1. Spend $24.99 for 500 PLEX in the cash shop, then use the PLEX to buy the certificates from the New Eden Store.

  2. Spend $40.99 directly for three MCT certificates.

  3. Spend $49.99 for the Gold Starter Pack. In addition to 500 PLEX, the package comes with 2 months of Omega game time, 500,000 skill points, a Standard 'Boost' Cerebral Accelerator which, since I've trained Biology to level 5, gives a character 8 days of accelerated training with +4 to all learning attributes, and 8 SKINs, none of which are for ships I fly.

I didn't see the value in directly spending for the certificates, which is why I was looking at the sale in the first place. I then considered if all the extra things I wasn't initially interested in was worth spending an extra $25 per character. Putting aside the cosmetic items I never use, $25 for two months of game time the kind of deal I look for. The fact I'm looking at also picking up all the new skills in Equinox as quickly as possible made the deal look even more attractive. So I bought a Gold Starter Package for each of my two accounts, and then quickly purchased the multi-character training certificates.

Yes, I really spent money for the expansion

I do wonder how many other people will give in to the temptation of swiping a credit card to acquire the ability to fly the new Upwell ships or try out the new ship SKIN system to decorate their ships the way they want. But I'm not going to begrudge CCP too much. After all, they don't charge for the actual expansion. The company just tries to find ways to direct players to the cash shop.

Friday, May 24, 2024

What Is A Blockchain Game?

I like writing about topics surrounding the video games I play, if not about the games themselves. But I am in a bit of a bind currently. Somehow CCP Games managed to accept me into the closed Phase III playtest for their new blockchain-based game, Project Awakening. Due to the NDA I signed, I can't say anything else about the playtest. However, I still want to write about web3/blockchain games.

To try avoiding any NDA breaches I will use an AI program, Co-Pilot, to navigate the waters. Also, I need to learn how to use AI for work and so I found a practical use. Besides, I really don't know the subject field so hopefully Co-Pilot will get set me on the right path.

My first question, naturally, is, "What is a blockchain?" Co-Pilot replied with the following:

A blockchain is a distributed database or ledger that is shared across a network of computers. It is designed to record transactions in a way that is secure, transparent, and tamper-proof. Each record, or “block,” is linked to the previous one, forming a chain of blocks—hence the name “blockchain.” This structure ensures that once information is added, it cannot be altered without changing all subsequent blocks, which requires consensus from the network.

Blockchains are best known for their role in cryptocurrency systems, like Bitcoin, where they maintain a decentralized record of transactions. However, their applications extend beyond cryptocurrencies to any industry where immutable data is valuable. They can be used to create smart contracts, manage supply chains, secure digital identities, and more. The technology is praised for its potential to reduce the need for trusted third parties, such as auditors, by providing a transparent and verifiable system.

Okay, so a blockchain game uses a blockchain. Simple. Co-Pilot's reply extended into the whys of a blockchain game, so I was happy.

A blockchain game is a type of video game that incorporates blockchain technology into its core gameplay mechanics. This technology enables new ways of creating, owning, and trading virtual assets within the game. Blockchain games often use cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to facilitate these transactions, allowing players to trade in-game items for cryptocurrency, which can then be exchanged for real-world money.

These games can also provide a transparent and fair system for in-game economics, and some are designed as “play-to-earn” games, where players can earn cryptocurrency through gameplay. The use of blockchain in games aims to redefine the relationship between players and game creators, offering a fairer and more transparent environment.

Blockchain games have been around since 2017, with CryptoKitties being one of the first to gain widespread attention. The game allowed players to purchase, breed, and sell virtual cats as NFTs using Ethereum cryptocurrency. Since then, the concept has evolved, and many new blockchain games have emerged, each with unique features and economies.

I even received some history, which was nice. But why use a blockchain when other options are available? Honestly, Co-Pilot's answer did not impress me much although gave me ideas for future posts.

Certainly! Blockchain games offer several unique features that set them apart from traditional video games. Let’s explore some of these features:

  1. True Ownership with NFTs: In blockchain games, players have verifiable ownership of their in-game assets through non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Unlike traditional games where items are controlled by developers, NFTs allow players to truly own their digital items, characters, or collectibles. These NFTs can be bought, sold, and traded on blockchain marketplaces.

  2. Decentralized Economies: Blockchain games operate on decentralized platforms, which means that in-game assets, transactions, and interactions are managed transparently and securely. Players can participate in the game’s economy without relying on central authorities.

  3. Play-to-Earn Mechanism: Some blockchain games follow a play-to-earn model. Players can transfer their in-game effort, activity, and items into cryptocurrency. By participating in the game, they can earn real-world value through their gameplay.

  4. Unique Abilities and Combinations: Games like Axie Infinity feature Axies, which are axolotl-inspired creatures. Each Axie has its own unique abilities, allowing for an infinite combination of Axie types and playstyles. Players can collect, breed, and battle with their Axies.

  5. Governance and Collaboration: In Alien Worlds, players explore space in a fourth-wall-breaking setting of intergalactic bitcoin mining communities. They can find NFTs, mine for resources, stake claims to new frontiers, and even participate in shaping the future of their planets’ governments. The game combines both competitive and collaborative elements.

  6. Pixelated Fantasy Worlds: Games like CryptoBeasts create pixelated fantasy worlds where players own plots of land, each containing a rare egg (the central NFT). These eggs serve as governance tokens and can be hatched into CryptoBeasts, which compete in battles. The more eggs and CryptoBeasts a player owns, the greater their impact on the world’s governance.

In summary, blockchain games redefine ownership, transparency, and interaction within the gaming industry, offering players a novel and engaging experience. 🎮✨

So what about the downsides? I asked Co-Pilot and my AI advisor on this knowledge trip provided several.

So far, so good. The list of potential problems for developers of blockchain games is a place to begin. The next question seemed obvious: "Are there any industry standards or best practices for blockchain game development?"

Yes, there are industry standards and best practices that have been established to guide blockchain game development. These include:

These best practices are designed to help developers create blockchain games that are not only technically sound but also enjoyable and sustainable for the gaming community.

Honestly I was pretty sure no organizations existed to set standards for blockchain games. But my AI advisor set me straight on that score.

Certainly! There are organizations that actively work on setting standards and promoting blockchain within the gaming industry. Here are a couple of notable ones:

  1. Blockchain Game Alliance (BGA): The BGA is committed to spreading awareness about blockchain technologies in gaming. Their mission includes encouraging adoption, advancing public understanding, and providing an open platform for discussion and engagement. They also focus on research, discussions, and sharing best practices related to blockchain game development.

  2. Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC): While not exclusively focused on games, the GBBC plays a role in shaping blockchain standards. It tracks developments in blockchain standards and produces recommendations for further standards. It covers various topics, including blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and supply chains.

Additionally, European standardization organizations such as the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) are relevant to blockchain standards in Europe. These organizations contribute to fostering standardization within the financial industry and promoting best practices.

These efforts aim to create a more consistent and reliable environment for blockchain game development and adoption. 🎮🌐

As I stated in the introduction of this post, I'm trying to learn how to use artificial intelligence programs like Microsoft's Co-Pilot. Using AI makes research a lot easier. Well, a human still has to follow up to make sure the answers make sense, but I would have to do that in any case.

Returning back to the topic of the post, I went a little overboard on the subject and produced a 1500 word article on the definition of a blockchain game. I didn't just come up with a definition but found several positives and negatives concerning the genre. Finally, Co-Pilot introduced me to the ways developers address the negatives.

At least in theory. I'll get to see how theory turns into reality with CCP's development of Project Awakening. While the NDA I'm under prevents me from writing about my experiences with a specific developing project, I can still write about the issues both developers and players face with the emerging blockchain gaming industry. The post contains several ideas for follow-up articles. I have the feeling I won't have to worry about writer's block for some time.