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Start a New NFT Game
The non-fungible token is not about the trading of useless digital carbon copies.
We know some NFT transactions are just about hype and personal preference. Many are rushing to list their “artworks” on marketplaces for sale, some are going to spend gigantic funds on the tokens, and the bubble burst; NFT is just another three-letter acronym … indeed not the ending we want.
Not all assets are suitable to have NFT integrated. NFT is a black hole, hollow and empty, without proper and meaningful ownership attached to the investment.
The fault is not on NFT but rather how we are going to use it. So, to be sustainable, we need to come up with some solid applications.
NFT becomes a trend in gaming but is still under the mass’ radar. Of course, some may regard it as another type of virtual collectibles, but it is much more than that.
Every game has designers. They are the creators of the metaverse, the data centers of avatars, and the central banks of in-game assets.
It may sound awkward to bring out the central power when talking about the decentralization of gaming, but we need game designers to maintain the order. A decentralized world without any collective governance will be chaotic. Game designers shall either take authority or create a consensus mechanism for the community.
NFT creation is the same as an initial coin offering (ICO); it needs well-structured token metrics to protect actual ownership.
Hard To Duplicate
The enforcement of ownership will derive another question — how to manage the asset supply.
Scarcity is crucial and generally accurate for any assets but exceptionally important for those with NFT integrated. The NFT contract alone is not sufficient to protect ownership if others can easily make copies for reselling.
It comes back to the game designers. Set a finite number in advance to prevent inflation, with moats and fences built to guard imitators. Simply put, they can expand the player management system and manage asset ownership centrally. Or start allowing players to use their blockchain wallets and private keys for self-control.
Breeding And Crafting
Blockchain games welcome players to make their in-game assets, either with a probability or a pre-defined formula.
Axie Infinity, a recent big hit, has breeding gameplay. Owners of the game pet — Axies, can breed offspring to create new Axies. The rarity of the new Axies depends on the genes of the parents.
Designers control inflation by restricting the breeding limit and asking for a breeding cost in terms of SLP tokens earned from playing or bought in the crypto exchange.
Crafting is another type of asset creation, including upgrade, modification, and combination of in-game items. This type of gameplay usually appears in RPG or strategy games.
Play To Earn
Players will be rewarded with in-game tokens when playing or achieving milestones. It is at the cost of game designers, yet they are willing to offer. Why is it so?
It is similar to airdrops in ICO. It is powerful to attract more players to join the game and empower individual ownership. Let others speak on your behalf is a clever marketing tactic.
Companies used to spend a hefty advertising budget in every mainstream media for promotion. It is not cost-effective and impedes smaller game designers. Now, as long as you are a hidden gem, you can compete with big-name manufacturers with play to earn as a game demo.
Here we come back to Axie Infinity again. To start a new game, players have to purchase 3 Axies in advance. So this is the initial investment. Unlike traditional console games, those players buy the games upfront in one-off expenses; the in-game assets are yield earning.
Players will earn new in-game items (NFTs) or tokens (currencies) which have resale value. Staking is possible by locking the tokens for a specific period and making interests in kind.
Community governance is feasible, too, using Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus. Stakers can vote for various development and economic proposals by other community members.
The primary function of an in-game item is to boost a player avatar’s strength, attacking or defense, to win a game or clear a particular stage.
If those items are tradable, why don’t we also think of lending our excessive items for an income? Some may prefer lending to sell the assets outright because they love their assets so much, may it be a limited edition skin or weapon. Smart contracts will operate to prevent defaults.
Instead of renting in-game items, players can hire other players too, either for boosting levels or farming/hunting of resources, which are time-consuming tasks.
Players communicate in the gaming interface to set the profit splits. Smart contracts then work in the backend once again.
It is the core of NFT integration. We said NFT creation is like ICO, so secondary markets need to facilitate assets trading and turnover. It expands the lifespan of a game which is favorable to game designers.
Depends on the smart contracts, designers can also get a cut on each changing hands of an NFT or a game currency.
Here the degree of openness is subject to discretion. Designers can build an exclusive marketplace or using third-party marketplaces, or both. Each choice has its pros and cons. For instance, a self-constructed trading platform will provide a better user experience for players at the expense of adding maintenance costs.
Supporting technology is critical because there will be plenty of microtransactions in gaming. Designers are looking for a fast and inexpensive blockchain.
Blockchains dedicated to gaming thus become more popular, layer-2 sidechains Ronin, Immutable X, are impressive riding on Ethereum, which has the most significant volume in NFT trading.
On the other hand, newer PoS chains Flow and WAX are close contenders. Some familiar names — Binance Smart Chain, EOS, Tezos, Polygon (sidechain and PoS) also appear in gaming applications.
Conclusion: Game Economy And Community
Once NFT is joining forces with gaming, designers gain endless opportunities. Game design has already shifted from close-ended to open-ended, and there is plenty of room for further development.
Gaming is not just for fun anymore; it is more about community building.
With NFT, the gaming community has created new forms of economic interaction. The traditional top-down approach of market cycles — selling one-off game licenses, watching sales and playing interest decay, offering patches/DLCs/next generation, is disrupted by fresh business models. Imagine a horizontal integration with esports and streaming, that all tournaments sponsorships and game streaming tips are in NFTs/in-game tokens; opportunities are enormous.
When there is a new community, there is a new economy. The game economy is amid metamorphosis, counting on a full-fledged evolution.