With the deepening of the bear market, the market has become more and more boring, and the previous mainstream narratives are all exhausted. The development of Defi has fallen into a bottleneck, and the transaction volume of NFT has also been declining. There has been no exciting project for a long time. The three-year bull market has developed too fast, and many models that can only be established by relying on the sufficient liquidity of the bull market and the extreme risk appetite of market participants are now facing realistic torture. A bear market is a time to revisit the “common sense” that all bull markets have built up.
This time I want to talk about chain games and P2E. My point is that P2E is a wrong attempt in the chain game technology tree, and all Crypto projects that focus on creating P2E games will not achieve long-term success.
I even think that Gamefi is not a separate category, but should be classified into “Big Defi”. P2E is like liquidity mining with a few more steps. Liquidity mining is a token distribution mechanism of Defi, but it is not the source of value of Defi. What really gives Defi value is AMM, which is a pool model of lending , is the innovation of mechanisms such as revenue aggregators, and is composable and permissionless. These are the sources of value for Defi. Where is the corresponding source of value in Gamefi?
An obvious answer is playability, and improving playability allows players to have real fun.
As a result, many traditional game practitioners have emerged, and they have a lot of development experience in traditional game development. They “chain reform” the games that have been verified in the traditional game world. The goal is to make games like EVE with assets on the chain, and games like World of Warcraft with P2E mode, but I am skeptical that it can be done. Player assets can be freely liquidated and monetized. Does it make the game more fun or the opposite? I believe that “monetizing” the player will have a substantial impact on the player’s internal drive, which will cause an inherent conflict with the playability. Here I would like to directly quote the point of view of the teacher.
Min Tao teacher Twitter screenshot
At the same time, the mode of chain-changing games is also a “weak technology” mode that cdixon talks about, which may seem closer to the mainstream audience, but it will not be the next era. The concept of weak technology comes from cdixon’s article “Strong Technology and Weak Technology”, a technology always appears in pairs. One is a low-tech version, which looks closer to the mainstream and is easier to implement; the other is more like a toy at first, but has the potential to usher in a new era. For example, in 2018 and 2019, many non-coin blockchain projects, as well as alliance chain + real economy, supply chain finance projects are weak technologies; Ethereum and Defi are strong technologies.
Chris Dixon《Strong and weak technologies》
Chain Games needs to get rid of path dependence and re-imagined. We are not faced with optimizing in a model that has worked, but still at a time when a paradigm-level breakthrough is required. In my opinion, instead of making games in a chain-modified way and using traditional games to compete with traditional games, we should think about how crypto and blockchain can create a more unique experience, and we should focus on the advantages of crypto.
We observe Defi, Defi is the full expression of the advantages of blockchain, permissionless, extremely open, any combination, community governance. If we build games based on the chain, we still need to pay attention to these advantages. This is what makes our games truly extraordinary. We need to use Defi to build fun, and we need to do on-chain games.
I believe that games built on the above principles are the strong technological version of Chain Games. Isaac is a recently discovered chain game that is very in line with the “strong technology” paradigm, and is a work constructed in a more “native” way.
Isaac is developed by Topology studio, which is different from our common chain games, which only have coins and key assets on the chain, and the specific game activities still run on the company’s server. And Isaac is a completely on-chain game built on StarkNet. Complete on-chain means that all the logic of the game is processed using smart contracts, making the game have the advantages of Defi.
New mediums of expression require new ways of expression, and new technologies also require a matching design philosophy to create excellent content. When 3D graphics technology was first applied to games, people didn’t actually know how to design 3D games. For example, before the advent of 3D games, 2D platform jumping games like the Mario series were very mature. In the process of turning platform jumping games into 3D, there are two very representative games, one is Crash Bandicoot and the other is Mario 64.
Although Crash Bandicoot used the advanced 3D graphics technology at that time, it did not make a breakthrough in the game design mode. Although it is a 3D scene, it cannot be freely explored. It is still a simulacrum of the 2D platform jumping mode, 2D becomes 3D, and the movement from left to right is changed from front to back. The core of the gameplay is still on overcoming obstacles and testing hand-eye coordination.
The design of Mario 64 got rid of the idea of simulating 2D platform jumping games, and rethought the gameplay based on the 3D game environment. The core of the gameplay changes to arouse curiosity and guide players to explore.
The design of on-chain gaming should also have game design ideas based on the on-chain environment and based on first principles.
Topology’s design philosophy can be summarized as follows:
1. Create real “depth”: I understand it to focus on creating rules and evolving gameplay from rules. The appearances in this “game” are supported by complex physical rules, rather than hard-coded and rude. Mincreaft is a game that focuses on creating rules. The world of Mincreaft is composed of blocks and has its own operating logic. Players can explore freely under self-contained rules, and each player can get a different game experience, which can support thousands of hours of play, and some roguelike games can also be classified into this category.
In contrast, filmed games like “Uncharted” and “Tomb Raider” have no real “depth” and are just a fixed experience. The game loses the value of playing after the game is cleared through the process.
2. Inclusiveness is important: on-chain gaming must be inclusive enough to allow as many people as possible to participate in the game. For example, Cs go tends to reward those who are responsive and have hand-eye coordination, and Defi rewards those who understand the game and are sensitive to information. Topology’s goal is to make it possible for as many people as possible to find their place in the game.
3. Open construction: This is also a very advantageous part of on-chain gaming. Traditional games are also trying to open up some APIs and provide SDKs and developer tools to allow players and third-party developers to participate in the production of games. . And this attempt is indeed effective, and traditional games have proven the potential of third-party/community development. For example, Cs go was originally a mod of the Half-Life series; Dota was only a map of Warcraft at first. However, the mods and developer tools of traditional games are fundamentally limited by game developers, but the on-chain architecture will raise the openness of the game to a whole new level, and the three-party developers can be on an equal footing with the official. Or the concept of “official” will eventually disappear.
Topology believes that all the official developers have done is sow a seed and set up initial “physical parameters”, and participants can participate in the “evolution” that affects the world. We have already seen the beginnings in Defi, and many developers build new products around the existing Defi protocol, which is also the charm of web3.
4. The original non-physical design concept: It does not pursue complete simulation and high resolution that fit the reality, but establishes a parallel on-chain reality by making full use of on-chain rules. As mentioned earlier, Mario 64 does not pursue the simulation of 2D platform jumping games, but thinks natively based on the given game environment.
Based on the above design philosophy, Topology launched its first experimental work – Isaac.
Isaac is like the three-body problem combined with Factory Alien. There are three different stars and a planet revolving around them in the game. With the help of starknet’s gas-free characteristics and high-speed processing performance, Isaac imprints the physical rules on the chain using smart contracts to simulate gravity on the chain.
Friends who have read “The Three-Body Problem” know that the three-body system is a chaotic system. The chaotic system is extremely sensitive to initial conditions and cannot be predicted for a long time. It’s an unstable system, and the planet is in danger of falling into the star. This is also the root cause of the Trisolaran’s subversion of civilization again and again. This is a planet that is facing destruction at any time by the Sword of Damocles, so Trisolarans need to explore planets outside the galaxy that are suitable for settlement. The same is true for our little planet in Isaac, but instead of escaping from our homeland with a starship, we use the “Wandering Earth” method-installing a planetary engine on the player planet, giving the planet propulsion at the right time, changing The orbit of the planet to prevent the planet from falling into the star and allow the planet to survive.
Players need to work together to build a planet engine on the surface of the planet. The gameplay here is a bit like “Alien Factory”. Players need to collect energy and raw materials, allocate resources, manufacture parts, and assemble planetary engines. Players need to constantly make trade-offs, such as whether to produce more generators to improve the production efficiency of the factory, or to use limited resources to produce more parts and components to produce planetary engines as soon as possible. Players also need to grasp the opportunity to boost the planet at the right time and the right direction, otherwise it may not only waste resources, but also enter a wrong track, resulting in the destruction of the entire civilization.
Players need to really cooperate with each other to survive this small civilization. This is an experiment of social collaboration. Some players are very energetic and can keep making equipment; some players are very good at physics and can calculate when and where is a good opportunity to start the planetary engine; there may be some people like the “Earth Trisolaris Organization” Happy to see the destruction of the planet, specializing in destruction.
There is another point that needs to be emphasized. Although the physical rules of the operation of the entire system are encoded in the form of smart contracts, players cannot directly predict the future through software simulation, because in addition to the rules of gravity, there are player behaviors in the game. The randomness makes this chaotic system unpredictable for a long time, which ensures the unknownness of the game to the players, and the unknown creates fun.
Another reason why Isaac chooses to build on-chain is that developers hope that Isaac can be independent from the control of developers and achieve autonomous existence. Isaac maintains an open attitude towards the player client side of the game, all the logic of the game is on-chain, anyone can build any form of front-end, it can be built on the host, on the PC, and any form of front-end can be used (As long as you can see clearly). It’s a bit like Dwarf Fortress, where there are various community-developed front-end displays, or the various graphics texture packs in Mincreaft.
Isaac hasn’t been officially released yet, but I can’t wait. I believe that games like Isaac are the correct way to open chain games. Even the on-chain “game” is not just a game, it can exist independently, open construction, and participate freely. With the help of Blockchain, even without developer maintenance, it can survive for a long time. It is no longer enough to understand the connotation of on-chain gaming in terms of game framework. On-chain gaming has actually become a kind of alternative reality, which is why Guilty calls their “game” on-chain reality (on-chain reality). reality).
The future is getting more and more interesting.
This article is not investment advice, and none of the products mentioned in this article have issued tokens. Thanks to Topology founder Guilty for his insight and tireless answers.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/p2e-is-dead-rethinking-chain-games-with-first-principles/
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