Yuga Labs' game-based NFT mint
Skill = better NFTs
Many — including me — have predicted every NFT collection will eventually become a game (in some form), something the news that Yuga Labs’ next NFT drop will be filtered via a game has done nothing to negate.
Called Dookey Dash, it’s a simple browser-based Tempest-like endless runner in which you’re manoeuvring through the sewer to collect fragments.
Of course, it’s all presented in characteristic Bored Ape-style.
The game will launch on Saturday 18th January, running until Wednesday 8th February and you can play as many times as you like. Players will also be able to buy 10-minute-long boosters, priced at 2 APE (c. $10) a pop.
However, access is gated by a Sewer Pass, which can by claimed by BAYC and MAYC holders on Friday 17th January. Passes come in four tiers depending on how many NFT types you hold — including Kennel Club NFTs. The higher the tier, the higher the multipler awarded to your score in the sewer.
Of course, Sewer Passes are also NFTs, which can be traded.
But, if you play the game and have a score greater than 0, you’ll have to hold onto the pass until Wednesday 15th February, at which point it “will be eligible to transform into something new” — some kind of power source.
Your score will be a combination of long you survive, the type of fragments you pick up, and the obstacles you destroy, and will only be associated with a Sewer Pass if it remains in the wallet it was in when the game was played. This means trading your pass prior to the end of the game on 8th February will reset its score to 0.
However, trading post-8th February until 15th February will not reset the score associated with a pass, which will generate some interesting game theory as people will no doubt try to monetize their high score passes.
Of course, as with all Yuga Labs’ products, everything has been well thought through and excellently presented. You can even hold your Sewer Pass in a hot wallet, while keeping your B/MAYC in a cold wallet by using services such as delegate.cash or warm.xyz
It’s also generating some nice memes.
You can read the all current details here, with more information due on 17th January.
This Substack is sponsored by Hiro Capital: investing in the future of games
Enforceable NFT Royalties news
I won’t pretend to fully understand DigiDaigaku developer Limit Break’s launch of a programmable royalty standard for NFTs — something it labels “Creator Tokens” — but it seems both significant and controversial.
The move is a direct result of the current situation in which creators can’t enforce royalties on future sales of their NFTs on-chain. There was much debate about this during 2022 as various marketplaces made such royalties — including marketplace fees — optional, or tried to come up with centralized ways of enforcing them.
Limit Break’s approach is what it calls “opt-in, backwards-compatible, programmable royalties contracts”, which because they are separate from the NFTs themselves, are enforceable at the individual NFT level rather than across entire collections.
This means individual collectors can chose to stake their NFTs into the contract and opt into these features (or not); the point being that creators can set up new incentives only for those who do opt-in, such as airdrops.
One interesting corollary is that collectors could set minimum floor prices — possibly dynamic — below which NFTs couldn’t sell, which could be helpful in terms of limiting the impact of market conditions on game economies.
Obviously, it’s very early days on this but I expect we’re all going to hear much more about this as Limit Break is going to be using the tech for DigiDaigaku and seems to think it will also get buy-in from marketplaces for this to be a new NFT standard.
If nothing else, the document is well worth a read.
Jon Tweet Of The Day news
Didn’t you notice I’ve paid to get a blue-tick (although it doesn’t show up in Substack for some reason).
Azarus Token Launch news
Streaming community platform Azarus launched in 2018 and has slowly and steadily been building ever since. During that time, it’s worked closely with Ubisoft — its tech originally launched on Rainbow Six Siege — and has engaged with over 1 million players through its browser-based extension. It’s also raised $6 million in seed funding during that time.
And in keeping with its longterm approach to value creation, only now has it launched its AZA token as a cryptocurrency, which runs on Ethereum via a Uniswap liquidity pool.
Previously AZA had been a centralized loyalty token that people could cash out against a fixed set of digital rewards such as games or game points.
This sort of conservative token launch used to be popular back in the day — Animoca Brands did something similar with REVV — as it allows a controlled amount of tokens to be launched. For example, the AZA/WETH pair currently only has $10,000 of liquidity, ensuring the price can’t explode up or down in the way it could if AZA was launching on centralized exchanges, which is what became the standard launch mechanic in the bull run and helped cause all the trouble we’ve experienced ever since.
BGA 2022 Survey news
The 500-company-strong Blockchain Game Alliance has released its 2022 members survey, which highlighted the growth of the sector, especially in terms of funding and adoption by celebrities and brands during the year.
One of the key shifts of attitude compared to 2021 was the decline of play-to-earn mechanics, with a drop of 67% of respondents saying it was the most important advantage for the blockchain game sector. In its place, 69% of the survey chose allowing players to own their in-game assets.
As for challenges still to be overcome, player onboarding and accessibility remain the biggest concerns, followed by the quality of products, especially in terms of their gameplay.
You can check out the full report here.
Sky Mavis A-Go news
It’s all systems go at Sky Mavis, which as well as launching a new season for Axie Infinity: Origins, launching the mobile version of the game into soft launch on Google Play, transitioning the Ronin testnet to delegated proof of stake, and launching the land NFT game Homeland, has also launched its new developer portal.
This is the place where developers can find API references (docs and guidelines), use the developer console to manage apps and keys, and also access a beefed up support team. It’s all part of Sky Mavis’ commitment to position Ronin in the longterm as a vibrant ecosystem that any developer can access to launch their games and apps.
And in related news, it’s also released a new version of the Mavis Hub, which is how players access games running on Ronin, now including the first community-developed title Axie DoLL and Axie companion games Raylights and Homeland.
New Face For Avatar Co. news
UK interoperable avatar platform Village Studios (disclosure: I’m an advisor) has hired Juho Pääkkönen as its head of growth. Previously he was VP of developer relations at Ready Player Me and before that an array of Finnish mobile devs such as Rovio and Next Games.
The move comes as the company preps for the release of its Playken Unity SDK in March, which will enable developers to integrate the NFT-based platform into their games.
This will allow them to sell wearable NFTs items that provide boosted stats in their games, as well as providing players with a set of connected experiences in which to use their Playken ‘You in every game’ avatar.
Building Out Alien Worlds news
Alien Worlds (disclosure: I’m an advisor) has announced the second season of its Galactic Hubs grant program, which provides funding for developers building in its ecosystem. There are two tiers with Development grants providing up to 500,000 TLM (c.$7,000) and Pioneer grants providing large amounts of funding and support for more in-depth projects.
Projects can range from games — such as the Battledome game funded by the first Galactic Hubs program — to interfaces and tools, especially those that extend Alien Worlds’ DAOs. Creators of educational content such as articles, streams and tutorials can also apply.
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