Happy New Year!
Every review blog of 2020 doubtlessly starts with how bad the year was. We will skip that part and just wish everyone well for 2021!
The DGA started at the end of 2019 with most of our activity happening with our Discord sever. 2020 was the first full year for the DGA. We had a very active first half, but a rather quiet second half. Edward moved countries and took a change direction a bit in life, which put a bit of a damper on the group’s efforts. The main development teams of the DGA also became a lot busier in H2 compared to H1. A list of those activities will feature below.
What makes the DGA different from other blockchain gaming groups is that we solely focus on fully decentralized gaming. Most blockchain games are centralized in order to make development simpler and to offer faster on-boarding of users. However, centralization comes with it’s own drawbacks as everyone in the blockchain space knows. There are good reasons why Bitcoin is decentralized and we also see very good reasons for game developers to follow a decentralized approach.
Now on to our 2020 round-up….
First Half: problem solving and video calls.
We had a weekly video call back in April through June where we discussed a lot of pressing ideas within D Gaming and even did some problem solving. In addition, we had a few calls where teams presented their work which we recorded and uploaded to YouTube. Some of the ideas we chatted about in Discord, and on the videos calls, were put into practice by our member teams.
Guilds as DAOs
For example, Taurion is exploring the idea that guilds can become DAOs. There will be additional logic codified into their off-chain VM that already governs how Taurion works.
Freemium Decentralized Games
During several calls we discussed economics and player on-boarding. Crypto necessitates some friction in order to avoid spam. This proves tricky for games as players love the freemium model: i.e. try for free, but pay for premium experiences. One of the ideas discussed in a video call revolved around sponsored transactions which have been implemented in the Unique Network (from the Usetech team) that will launch within the Polkadot ecosystem. This problem solving has lead to real world changes in our member teams, so is isn’t just pub chat.
Fog Of War
This idea was mainly discussed in the Discord and hasn’t yet gone into any code base, but it was discussed a lot and something of a simple algorithm has been suggested.
See the following blog for more details: Preventing cheaters in Fog Of War Games.
Interestingly, 2020 saw the alpha release of Dark Forest which has a different solution to FoW.
Decentralized Gaming Book
In 2020, Edward worked on a book for Decentralized Gaming. He did a first draft for about half of the content, but that has been on ice since the summer. The main idea is to capture the discussions into a coherent resource. An online book is also better for reference than blogs. It is possible to share links to specific paragraphs than to a blog as a whole.
Second Half: less chat, more buidling
Ok, this half was fairly quiet. No video calls and far fewer discussions in the DGA, which was mostly due to the building teams having their heads down and getting on with work. Nine Chronicles launched mainnet at the end of October, plus we saw a treasure hunt in Taurion just before that, and the launch of an open beta of Soccer Manager Elite, so it was no surprise that the DGA was quieter. See the next section for more details.
Progress from Decentralized Game Builders in 2020
The following is a short summary of progress from the DGaming teams in 2020:
- Nine Chronicles launched mainnet and start an early access phase. They also launched an ecosystem program to reward active community members.
- Taurion had another treasure hunt (#3). Launch in 2021.
- Soccer Manager Elite launched an open beta at the end of October and will hopefully launch in 2021.
- Ethernal launched some alpha versions in 2019, but saw more activity in H1. Unfortunately it didn’t survive until year end. Would be great to see it given to the community.
- Ronan Sandford, who started the Ethernal project, created a Gitcoin grant for his personal work.
- Creepts was released in 2020. It is mainly a proof of concept for the Cartesi project.
- Dungeon Protocol launched in alpha start earlier in this year. Progress has stalled while the dev has to pursue his day job. Fingers crossed for more in 2021.
- Dark Forest released a number of alpha versions and progress continues into 2021.
- Town Forge came into an existence. They are taking a new direction which is to base their own chain on Monero.