Abstract: The future we are chasing is not a blockchain game, but a better game of blockchain technical characteristics. The best ending to the prosperous application of the chain travel industry is that the public has forgotten the "special existence" of blockchain games, but the value of game assets is deeply rooted in people's hearts and internalized into every game.
The encounter between blockchain and gaming applications is obvious to all.
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The traditional game industry urgently needs to introduce new gameplay and new logic to seek new breakthroughs and increments. The underlying technology and the pass-through model of the blockchain can provide new ideas for the transformation of traditional games, while the game carries the blockchain technology. Flying into the homes of ordinary people.
However, after the birth of the first blockchain game, the chain tour quickly developed into a synonym for DAPP such as quiz, lottery, and fund tray, and the number of users of the chain tour has not seen explosive growth, and the game as a district inside and outside the industry. The questioning of the best landing scenes in the blockchain has been heard.
Throughout the current application chain of the major public chains, games and pure lottery applications have always occupied the largest share. In Ethereum, the largest public chain ecosystem, the number of game applications is far ahead of other application categories. It can be said that the progress and breaking of the blockchain game is related to the future of the entire blockchain industry.
So what kind of difficulties and struggles are there in the growing blockchain game project? What is missing from the era of chain travel? We think it is necessary to take some time to understand the group of people who insist on playing games, to see if their original intentions have changed, what difficulties are currently faced, and what deployments they intend to make, and to promote what kind of "big times" the chain travels toward.
After visiting a number of practitioners in the chain travel industry, we have a clearer understanding of the growth of the entire industry, bottlenecks, and the current difficulties and future goals. Some of the views are as follows :
1. The disruptive changes that blockchain may bring to the ownership and liquidity of game assets are most attractive to industry practitioners.
2. Blockchain games may achieve a win-win situation in which players also make money and developers make money, and it is expected to change existing game development, distribution, dissemination and profit models based on blockchain technology characteristics and the pass-through economy model.
3, users feel that "not fun", developers feel that "do not make money" is the biggest "difficulties" of the current chain tour, and "let the content have barriers, so that players have no threshold", is the goal of the current chain travel practitioners.
4, the traditional large-scale game "chain change" mode is rising, the blockchain game team and the traditional well-known game IP matchmaking is constantly enriching the chain travel content market, and trying to win the industry "explosion".
5. The ecology of the blockchain game industry is improving day by day, from the underlying basic public chain facilities to the middle-level game industry solutions, to game development tools, game distribution service platforms, game production teams, game data ecosystems and assessment agencies. … The entire industry chain is constantly improving, which provides the cornerstone for the breakthrough and expansion of chain travel.
6, blockchain game is not the future, the game features built-in blockchain technology. At present, the blockchain may be more suitable to become a technology hidden behind the game. For players, accepting blockchain games should not be a deliberate rational judgment, but a natural emotional recognition.
The game is still the best choice for the first block of the blockchain application.
In the process of accepting the interview with the Scallion team, the practitioners of the blockchain game industry are still very determined that the blockchain can give the game vitality.
They think that the game itself as a single closed application scenario is very suitable for the landing of the blockchain. If the game can't take the first bar of the blockchain application, then there is no better scene to replace it. In addition, the most important thing is that the virtual asset circulation, community autonomy and virtual economy genes that come with the game itself are naturally close to the blockchain ecology and its pass model.
If you have to ask where the uncertainty of the blockchain game is, it is impossible to predict whether the blockchain can be combined with the game.
The most ideal is to "plant" the characteristics of the blockchain to the game field, and cultivate and grow, creating new gameplay and profit logic, bringing the content production, distribution and dissemination mode of the entire game industry. "Great change"; if you let go of the gameplay change, simply consider the blockchain as a technical tool, put a lot of centralized things in the decentralized system, you can also optimize the user experience of traditional games on many levels, such as achieving more Fairness, justice, transparency, and asset identification and ownership.
The chain tour is an emerging track, and the milestone breakthrough has not come so fast, but it has not stagnated, but is gaining momentum.
As Dappreview founder Vincent said, over the past year or so, the chain tour has shown a lot of visible changes. Small and medium-sized game makers have entered the market to develop more diverse game categories, and the screen production is more sophisticated. More fluid. Some chain-walking projects are eager to introduce more game products with pictures and interesting tastes, and build the infrastructure of the chain tour to help more development teams create more and better chain tours.
The "difficulties" of the chain travel industry: "not fun" and "not making money"
At this stage, the embarrassing situation of chain travel is: users generally feel "not fun", developers generally feel "do not make money." The content "not fun" caused few incremental users to enter the market, and the project "does not make money" caused few developers to enter.
Blockchain does have the potential to bring a lot of value to the gaming industry, but even if a game realizes all of this value, if it's not fun enough, there won't be players paying, not to mention community consensus and game assets. the value of.
"It's fun, it directly determines how many people will play. The so-called 'explosive models' that the market is eager for are nothing more than a huge amount of users, enough eyes, no one to play, chain travel can never achieve 'explosive models', and forever The business wish of the developer to 'make money' from the player cannot be realized, and the 'money making effect' is the best effect of stimulating an industry. It directly determines how many professional teams are willing to enter the industry…" – Cocos-BCX Chief technologist Hong Zhixiong also expressed the same concerns about the playability of chain travel.
Blockchain games are inherently linked to financial attributes, but a game that has no playability will eventually stay in "Ponzi" and "spinach" if you want to attract users with the illusion of tempting players to make money.
Reviewing the development model of traditional games, we will find that most traditional games use the game mechanics and gameplay design to attract users. In the early stage, the project party will guide users to enter the market through incentives such as free props, and after completing certain user accumulation, Step by step guide users to realize the in-game consumption.
However, at the beginning of the development of chain travel, it seems that more people are concerned about whether they can make money quickly. The players in the circle are like this. The developers are also like this. They all come into play with great speculative mentality.
Until later, we found that the chain tour gradually became a skinny Ponzi and spinach game, and the life cycle was short, only to realize that the chain tour should return to the essence of the game, more attention to entertainment rather than financial attributes.
In the long run, chain tour is actually possible to achieve a beautiful vision of "the player also makes money, the developer also makes money", provided that the game must be fun.
Strong entertainment and the design of the pass-through economy, in order to make the UGC content in the game reach a value consensus among a wide range of players, the game developers to develop the rules of the game, some of the game players consume, some people produce, the producer spends time Producing content, ordinary players get experience through token consumption content, thus forming a perfect economic closed loop.
The struggle of chain travel practitioners: "Let the content have barriers, so that players have no threshold."
At present, it seems that the early-stage chain travel developers have learned a lot of lessons and experience in the past year, and some of them have stopped, but many teams are constantly trying to make mistakes and summarizing, down to earth. Make some changes and try to come up with a viable path on this new thorny track. This year, we can see two obvious development trends:
The first is a new trend in the chain of high-quality traditional games.
On the playability of the game, the regular game of the traditional game is still the best. Before you can create a native blockchain game that crushes the traditional game, try to inject the blockchain characteristics into the existing traditional game. Good choice.
One can enrich the content of the chain travel market and guide more game players to enter the market; secondly, it can help more developers in traditional fields to understand and accept the blockchain in the docking process.
"There is more content in the chain tour, more developers, more exposure opportunities, and a greater chance to achieve the so-called 'explosive models,' said Mixmarvel team CMO YIYI.
In addition, we can clearly feel that the chain of the industry chain is constantly improving.
The formation of the industrial chain is not a day's work, just like the creation of the Internet product ecosystem, from the underlying technology infrastructure, to the middle-level game industry solutions, to game content applications, game development tools, game players, etc. Nothing.
However, we have seen that after more than a year of development, the chain industry chain has almost formed.
There are public chain infrastructures like Cocos-BCX that are tailored to game needs, game distribution services like BitGuild and Mixmarvel, game production tools like DGameMaker, and data ecosystem and game evaluation platforms like Dappreview.
In addition, on the CP level of the chain, there are small teams in the rapid development of trial and error, as well as game manufacturers are silently making a big move; some of the surrounding tools and services (Dapp portal, browser, wallet and Dapp information integration channels, etc.) are also It is getting better and better.
Of course, in the final analysis, the improvement of the upstream and downstream of the industry chain is to pave the way for the final product polishing. The quality is judged by the end users. Only by successfully creating the chain-stop product form of “content barriers, players have no threshold”, it is possible to The set of products and business models of the game are courtesy.
The establishment of content barriers requires the chain travel project to find a perfect match point and a new profit model in the strong entertainment of traditional games and the new economic model of the blockchain.
On the threshold of the player, the technical threshold and the cognitive threshold need to be leveled together, allowing more users to have no sense of contact with the new thing of the blockchain game, and naturally discover the fun and new play points.
What is the “big era” of the chain tour that looks forward to it?
Since the birth of the chain tour, it has carried the hope of the application of the blockchain. Then, what will the chain tour really prosper? Clearing the direction of the future may be the best way to get out of the current state of confusion.
ChinaJoy, DappReview and Cocos-BCX jointly released the 2018 blockchain game industry white paper, which divided the advanced process of chain travel into four theoretical stages:
In the first stage, the digital currency of some projects began to be produced based on Ethereum's ERC20 standard, and the token can be directly used as a game settlement method;
In the second stage, the props, equipment, and any other characters in the game are expressed in non-homogeneous tokens (such as the etheric cat), allowing the props between players to be traded in the chain, or even in different games. Realize the de-intermediation of props and de-acting transactions;
In the third stage, the key rules of the game (such as the rules of gold coin output, the probability of falling of advanced props, etc.) are run up, that is, directly implemented in the form of smart contracts on the chain to ensure that the rules are open and transparent to the player;
In the above three stages, chain tour developers have tried and explored in Ethereum, but due to issues such as content quality and performance limitations, they have not attracted widespread attention from players.
The last stage is an idealized state: the game is run on the whole chain, all the logic code of the game is put into the chain environment, and the decentralized blockchain network carries and stores data. The scene needs to be safe and efficient. There are no delay running containers and lightweight nodes to support the game, but there is no good technical solution.
Let us briefly review the "original intentions" of the concept of lit blockchain games.
Eitafang founder Vitalik was dissatisfied with the centralized manipulation of the player's virtual game assets due to the "Life Sucking Rainbow" skill of World of Warcraft development company Blizzard. The players like him still have thousands of players. The authenticity of the game assets becomes a pain point for the player.
In addition, the circulation and transaction process of traditional game assets (such as props) is cumbersome, inefficient, there are concerns such as the difference between middlemen and the lack of trust, and the game assets are often limited to the internal circulation of this game, without re-use value. The player's sunk cost is high.
Improving efficiency and reducing costs is the main theme of every new technology application. The arrival of the blockchain has invigorated everyone. The “big age” of the chain tour that we are looking for is actually the era in which the technical characteristics of the blockchain can be used to solve the pain points of the above game industry.
- All kinds of assets in the game are on the chain, and the points, props, weapons, and characters are no longer fully controlled and disposed by the developer, but can be attributed to the player's blockchain address, and the player has ownership of the game assets under the address;
- With the global network system of blockchain, the flow of game props is more efficient, and the trading props are as fast and convenient as the domestic Alipay/WeChat line scan code payment. The use of asset chain and mobile digital wallet will also make The trading of game props is no longer limited to the inside of a game.
All of this is based on the ownership and liquidity of game assets. The player's virtual game assets will truly become an asset, owned by the player, and the entertainment input and value can be precipitated, taken away, and traded.
Of course, based on this new decentralization system and token incentive model, the interaction patterns among participants in the entire game ecology will also change. Game developers and players, developers and publishers, and different games will be more closely linked, and the game's development methods, distribution methods, communication methods and even profit models may undergo a revolution.
This is a revolution in new technology and a revolution in the recognition of the value of game assets. The so-called "big era" of chain travel is actually the era in which the value of virtual assets of games is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.
Blockchain game is not the future
The big waves are sanding, and the sinkers are gold.
In the entire encryption market, the price of the whole currency is sluggish, and the public's enthusiasm for the application of the blockchain has been cast a shadow and confusion. The chain tour is really left behind by time, and the team that can really go on has become less and less. But those who have survived are the "first movers" who have fought in battle.
What really creates the commercial value of the blockchain is not the main network of the underlying chain, but the DAPP application built on the main network. Today, there is no more suitable for the blockchain application than the game. The application appeared, but the process of this pick is very difficult.
Blockchain will eventually become a technology hidden behind the game. For players, accepting blockchain games should not be a deliberate rational judgment, but a natural emotional recognition.
Players won't be tempted by the use of a blockchain in a game. It is only because of the technical characteristics of the blockchain and the injection of the pass-through economy model that the game experience is better and the user is more sticky. A new round of growth in the gaming and entertainment industry has been driven worldwide.
The future we are chasing is not a blockchain game, but a more humane and better game that uses the technical characteristics of the blockchain. The best ending to the blockchain game application boom is that the public has forgotten the "special existence" of blockchain games, but the value of game assets is deeply rooted in people's hearts and internalized into every game.
Author | Yin Yaoping