Rarity - my awakening to Defi gaming

If you have heard of Axie Infinity, you would have some inkling on how hot the Defi gaming space is becoming.

For those of you who are new to Defi gaming, perhaps you will get a better idea after reading this post or trying it out personally on one of the blockchains. I have also appended some related articles at the end for your reading pleasure.


The ancestor blockchain of Defi gaming is of course Ethereum, where smart contracts gave birth to a myriad of popular games like Cryptokitties, Aavegotchi and Axie Infinity. There are even upcoming blockbuster-to-be games eg. Illuvium (token price $539.37, TVL S$5,473,192) with huge capital locked in even before launch.

As users move towards the preference for lower gas fee and higher speed, we see Defi game space rapidly expanding into various other blockchains such as Polygon, Binance, Fantom, Solana, Enjin Jumpnet, Terra... to name a few. And do you know that Singapore is home to a few blockchain gaming fintech companies?


Recently, I have started playing this new Defi game called Rarity and find it mind-blowing. 

Mind-blowing not because of the graphics or game play effects but the concepts behind Defi gaming. 


A game but also a community

Rarity started out as a hobby project by Andre Cronje and was launched on the Fantom blockchain. It is likened to the game "Dungeon and Dragons" and was created with the same concept as the Loot. It was quite popularly received despite being newly launched this month.

Andre Cronje (a prominent Defi developer) created the contracts for the game's protocol, upon which, any coders can design and build the game interface. Just check out some of these amazing game portals below.


Rarity MMO

Rarity Manifested

Rarity Game

Rarity Visualizer

RarityLand


Source: Rarity Manifested

Unlike Axie, Rarity is not created and run by a formal team of developers. Also, there is no hefty upfront cost to start playing. 

It is like an open source work that the community can gradually build and play. So no matter which of the above portal you use, you will have access to the same character functions, levels and game resources. Any ideas / suggestions can pop up any time for it and we kind of won't know where this game will lead us to. A little like treasure dig...


Rarity has well demonstrated the composability of blockchain applications and the power of Web3.0 which no traditional gaming medium is capable of.

You can follow Andre Cronje's Twitter for updates to Rarity's developments and also its discord channel here. Hopefully there will be more interesting game elements incorporated in the coming months.


'Pay to play' and 'play to earn'

Although the wallet, characters and basic game assets are free - that's the closest you can get to "free to play" blockchain gaming. That is because you will still need the native blockchain tokens eg. fantom to pay the gas for in-game transactions eg. summoning the characters, assigning skills, going on adventures etc. On the Fantom network, it is still relatively cheap currently to play as each transaction is approximate few cents or less.

The characters are NFTs (non-fungible token), which means that they can be transferred to another user or sold on chain. Each character has a unique serial number tagged to it. 

For the assets eg. gold, an ERC20 owned by the summoner (the NFT itself) since it's a common item for collection on leveling up. The game's gold functions like money in the game that allows for certain tasks to be carried out eg. crafting.


In case you wonder on NFT versus non-NFT... NFT are unique entities, whereas non-NFTs are plenty and non-unique stuff like your blockchain coins. Some NFTs are damn costly all because they are unique, one of its kind in the collection!

A little side track here on the various kinds of ERC tokens on the Ethereum chain:


(Do take note that Fantom native token is NOT an ERC token, it is Opera FTM. The FTM you trade on the ethereum chain is ERC-20 but cannot be used directly on Fantom's network. That's why you need bridging yada yada...)


One can also choose to "play to earn" by investing some time and money to create in-game items or build characters, then sell them via a marketplace to earn FTM tokens in return.


How to get started

  • You need a web3.0 wallet such as Metamask that can connect to the blockchain which the game resides on.
  • Transfer some native token eg. FTM for Fantom blockchain into the wallet for gas fees. The tokens can be bought from a CEX (eg. Gemini, Binance, Kucoin, FTX) or bridged over from another blockchain.
  • Go to the dApp site, connect your wallet and play the game (and pay gas fees).

It's actually quite a no-brainer once you are used to navigating these blockchain dApps.


Some thoughts...

The game plan

One can mish-mesh the game items and create a storyline for the game play, there are endless creative outcomes - say in terms of quests, PVP fights, conquering lands...

There can also be a marketplace, game economy (aka game tokenomic) or governance protocol created for a blockchain game. An example of governance can be seen in the game Star Atlas (on Solana blockchain) where Polis is the governance token for its community to propose / vote for future game changes to the development team.

Games on the same chain can also be interconnected to form a multiverse*.

An interesting trend these days is people are snatching up NFTs of a game even before it officially starts. Loot is one of them.

However, I feel that Defi gaming still has much room for growth and improvement. Some games have similar game play that does not require much strategizing and player actions eg. click a button to send the characters for fight or quest then come back in x hours to see the results, repeat until level up. 


Full ownership - unless you lose your wallet

Everything from characters to game progress will reside on the blockchain, meaning that these data will not be lost... unless you lose your wallet password or seed phrase! (Your wallet is what you need to "login" to play.) 

You don't have to worry about a game server or developer shutdown.

With the possibility to attach data to custom tokens, you can also permanently "mark" your ownership.


Possible risks encounter

Just thinking of some possible risks here while gaming since crypto scammers are abound.

  • Malicious contracts to steal tokens by getting one to claim unsuspicious airdrops.
  • Malicious contracts disguised as a game function.

Some ways to mitigate that is to keep yourself updated through various channels like twitter and discord on possible scams. Also to use only dApps sites that are reputable or well recommended.

Malicious players might also make use of programs or bots to gain advantage in-game.


If you have more thoughts to share, please feel free to leave your comments below.

--

*An example [Source]:

"Here you can use your CryptoKitties which are non-fungible tokens to race other cryptokitties and win some ETH. As of recently you can also use your cryptokitties in Gods Unchained to make statues from your kitties, which you will be able to use in Gods Unchained."


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Related readings [external links]:

Games and Blockchain - What is about to change in the gaming industry

Blockchain Gaming 'May be Key to Mass Adoption', Outpacing DeFi, NFTs - Report

Blockchain Games: What They Want to Achieve and Where They Are Now

A Gamer’s Journey Through the Enjin Multiverse



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