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Achieving Balance in Web3 Gaming: From Communication to Authenticity and Fair Play
This article is based on a conversation held during the @Lazy_Soccer #Web3Gaming space co-hosted by @MatDefies & @AM_T_M, featuring @illuviumio, playSHRAPNEL, The Nemots, Max Diewold, and @SinjinDavidJung from MAYG NFT.
In the world of Web3 gaming, communication, authenticity, and fair play are essential to building a thriving community and attracting investors. While there are many considerations to make, such as case studies, the creator economy, and the financialization of game design, it’s crucial for game developers to remember the gamers themselves. The key is to strike a balance between commercialization and creativity, offer fair power options, and implement NFTs and other game items in a way that doesn’t create a significant imbalance before launch. By doing so, game developers can create engaging and immersive games that appeal to both traditional and web3 gamers.
Importance of Genuine and High Integrity Communication with Community and Investors in Web3
The Value of Case Studies
Before you start to communicate with your community and investors in Web3, it’s essential to remember the value of case studies. Case studies are an excellent resource for companies and individuals in the space to learn from the projects that have come before them. There’s a lot of valuable information and data from some of those case studies that can be applied to your own project. Make sure that you do your research and apply this knowledge to both your investors and your community.
Genuineness is critical in the Web3 space. You need to be genuine first and foremost with your community. Set clear expectations and meet them. Even during tough times, you need to maintain a high-integrity appearance to your community and investors. If you do this consistently, people will believe in what you’re building. When the market conditions are rough, people will keep their faith in you. If you value people in a way that aligns with the true essence of gaming, it goes beyond just monetization. Remember that the games need to be fun too. Genuineness is the key to success in Web3.
The Importance of Authenticity in Web3 Game Development: Striking a Balance between Commercialization and Creativity
In the realm of Web3 game development, the importance of authenticity cannot be overstated. Many studios tend to prioritize commercial aspects at the expense of creative innovation, but remaining true to oneself as a game designer or industry professional is crucial.
Web3 game designers predominantly emerge from the crypto space, with their primary focus being on tokens, financial incentives, and motivation. On the other hand, Web2 game designers are more interested in transforming ownership structures. Striking a harmonious balance between commercialization and creativity ultimately rests upon the shoulders of the game producer and designer.
At Shrapnel, the studio deeply comprehends the value of both commercialization and creativity. During their fundraising phase, it was made clear that the team consisted of accomplished Web2 game developers who have spearheaded renowned games like Halo and Counter-Strike. Additionally, a substantial portion of the team has contributed to various Bioshock games at different junctures. The studio sets high standards and refuses to release anything that falls below these benchmarks. Furthermore, a creator economy has been ingrained into the very essence of the studio, ensuring the flourishing of the creative community and the preservation of the unique and authentic nature of their games.
Recognizing the Importance of the Creator Economy in Video Game Modding
The creator economy plays a vital role in video game modding, an integral part of gaming culture for a long time. However, with the rise of the creator economy, it has become even more important to acknowledge its value. Shrapnel takes this concept even further by directly rewarding creators with financial benefits for their work.
Empowering and enriching the people who make mods is key to Shrapnel’s business model. In the game, players have the opportunity to create new guns, characters, and maps. If their creations become popular, they receive a significant amount of Shrap, the in-game currency. The game also allows players to curate and support creators by locking up their Shrap and earning emission from popular content. This system not only rewards creators financially but also fosters a vibrant and engaged community. The success of the game relies on the success of its creator economy and the satisfaction of its players.
The Role of Interoperability in Video Games: Unlocking New Experiences
In the ever-evolving landscape of video games, innovation plays a crucial role. As the industry transitions from traditional gaming to new technologies, companies strive to unlock new gaming experiences. While creating games in familiar genres and improving the overall experience has been a successful formula, there is a missed opportunity when it comes to incorporating interoperability into the game design from the ground up.
Although many games today utilize Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) to innovate their business models, they often lack a clear vision or pipeline for incorporating interoperability. This oversight limits the transformative potential of innovating on the tech level and fails to fully engage gamers. The introduction of NFTs in a game should go beyond being a mere financial investment. When NFTs are designed from the ground up to impact gameplay and unlock new opportunities in additional video games, it enhances the gaming experience. Alluvium, for instance, is successfully implementing this concept, adding depth, intrigue, and unlocking new experiences through items that can be carried over to other games. To unlock the full potential of this new gaming experience, it is essential for every game studio to adopt this approach.
Gamers are seeking more than just repetitive gameplay; they crave better experiences. Interoperability serves as the missing piece of the equation that the industry has overlooked. By incorporating interoperability into game design, players can transcend the boundaries of a single game and explore interconnected gaming universes. This not only adds value and depth to the gaming experience but also attracts and retains a more engaged player base.
Areas of Improvement
Why Allowing Purchases of NFTs Pre-launch is Detrimental: Negative Impact on Player Experience
Allowing players to purchase powerful NFTs before a game’s official launch can harm the game’s retention rate and discourage new players. When newcomers enter a game and discover that desirable items such as land, weapons, characters, and cards have already been acquired by wealthy players for large sums of money, it creates a discouraging environment. This significant power imbalance can demoralize newcomers and make them feel disadvantaged compared to early purchasers.
Games that allow players to acquire power pre-launch often struggle to provide value to new players and face retention issues. The unfair playing field resulting from early purchases discourages new gamers from investing their time and effort in a game where catching up seems nearly impossible.
To cultivate a healthy and inclusive gaming community, game developers must carefully consider the impact of pre-launch purchases of NFTs. Balancing power dynamics and ensuring new players have equal opportunities to engage and progress within the game contributes to a more enjoyable and sustainable gaming experience for everyone.
Selling power assets years before launch can be a significant mistake, creating excessive financial expectations for asset holders and disrupting the balance of the in-game economy. Timing is crucial when launching assets, ensuring players receive enough utility and power to feel value in their purchases without creating long-term issues within the game.
Gaming companies need to moderate the power they grant players to maintain a healthy game environment. Games that employ pay-to-win attributes, making paying players invincible to non-paying players, are detrimental. The sense of power players receive should be gamified to prevent easy prediction of their strength. While it’s important to provide value for pre-launch investors, it’s crucial to ensure that the sense of power is not overwhelming and doesn’t create excessive baggage going forward.
Some gaming companies rely on cosmetic non-utility assets like skins as their revenue model. However, without the intellectual property of popular games, the value proposition for such assets may not be as strong. Players may not perceive the same value in cosmetic non-utility assets as they do in more tangible value assets. Therefore, the value proposition for skins should be carefully considered when launching a gaming product.
The financialization of game design in the Web3
The financialization of game design in the Web3 space refers to the integration of financial aspects into the design of games. Rather than being solely focused on gameplay and entertainment, game design now incorporates elements that appeal to a financial or investor mindset. This integration allows games to generate significant amounts of money, as demonstrated by successful platforms like Kickstarter.
While financialization can bring financial benefits, it also carries risks that need to be managed for sustainable game design. Developers must take precautions to address liability issues and ensure the long-term viability of their games. This aspect of game design may be unfamiliar to traditional developers who may lack the necessary expertise to fully maximize the opportunities presented by the Web3 space.
However, Web3 developers have dedicated substantial time and effort to create an ecosystem that supports the integration of game design with blockchain technology. Their work has made it possible to establish a viable environment for game development and financialization within the world of blockchain.
Why The Lack of Traditional Gamers in the Modern Space
The Absence of Games that Appeal to Them Yet
One of the reasons why web2 gamers are not present in the web3 space is due to the lack of games that they find appealing. Most web2 developers who are passionate about making great games hesitate to participate in the financialized aspects of NFTs that are prevalent in web3. However, if they do not take part in this aspect, they will miss out on the opportunities presented in web3. The current offerings in web3 games are geared more toward investors rather than traditional gamers. This is mainly because financial aspects such as Defi and rugs make them skeptical, and they do not trust them. As such, they have not yet been able to build the trust required to take part in web3 gaming.
The Need for a Game That Is Worthy of Web2
Web2 gamers have not yet made the transition to web3 gaming because a game that is worthy of web2 has not yet been created. There is a need for a game that can appeal to both web2 gamers and traditional gamers. As seen in the example of female gamers, if the game is not appealing to them, the percentage of gamers in that genre would be very low. It took time for mobile games to catch on with female gamers, and the same could happen in web3 gaming. Therefore, some developers should work towards creating a game that can cater to both web3 and traditional gamers. In conclusion, web2 gamers are waiting for a game that will appeal to them before transitioning to web3 gaming., Interoperability in Web 3 Games
When discussing the future of gaming in the Web 3 space, one of the most important factors is interoperability. This means that games should be able to work with other blockchain-based applications, allowing for increased player freedom and creativity. While there are currently no completely native Web 3 games available, it’s clear that when they do arrive, they will offer a new level of immersive gameplay.
Fair Power Options in Web 3 Games
Another important aspect of Web 3 gaming is ensuring that players have access to fair power options. This means that NFTs or other game items which grant players increased power or advantages should not be completely unattainable by new or free players. A good solution to this is implementing a spectrum of NFT options, with some offering power advantages but not to the extent of completely unbalancing the game. Another option is to offer the most powerful items in a free rotation, so that all players have the opportunity to access high-level gameplay. It’s important for developers to remember that making the game fair for new players is key to building a loyal and sustainable community.
The Current State of Web3 Gaming: Striking the Balance Between Commercialization and Creativity
In the realm of Web3 gaming, the user base is currently limited to a smaller, more focused group of gamers. Unlike the metaverse boom that attracted a mix of players, speculators, and business people, the present emphasis lies on the Web3 gamer audience actively beta-testing the games today. This phase calls for games that are not only easy to play but also possess a simple onboarding process. Therefore, the inclusion of free triple-A games catering to every genre becomes pivotal in order to facilitate widespread adoption.
The Importance of Triple-A Games
For Web3 gaming to make a significant impact and gain maximum attention, the space requires at least one triple-A game in each genre. Although the current level of interest from new users may seem low, it presents an opportunity to refine game development processes and ensure readiness when the industry is primed for growth. In this context, the upcoming open beta launch of Alluvium holds promise as a leading example of a triple-A game in the Web3 space. Its success could pave the way for more exceptional titles like Trap Moler, offering an immersive and diverse experience for players.
Genuine Engagement with the Community
Engaging with the community is not merely an option but a fundamental necessity in the Web3 space. Merely having a token or an attractive website is insufficient. Drawing insights from past projects and case studies, the value of genuine community engagement becomes evident. Applying the lessons learned from these endeavors can prove incredibly helpful in establishing a strong bond with one’s own community. True engagement entails actively listening to feedback, providing prompt answers to questions, and maintaining transparency. By setting and meeting expectations, game developers can earn the trust of their community. Even during challenging times, upholding a high standard of integrity and transparency will inspire confidence and belief within the community.
Setting Expectations for Success
One of the critical aspects of community engagement is setting clear expectations. When developers promise regular updates or specific features, it is essential to follow through on those commitments. Failing to deliver on promises erodes trust and confidence within the community. Communicating any changes in plans and keeping the community informed about the project’s progress is crucial. Honesty and transparency play a vital role in building a strong foundation of trust. Although it may be uncomfortable, it is better to be upfront about setbacks or delays rather than disappointing the community at a later stage. Ultimately, being genuine and setting realistic expectations lays the groundwork for cultivating a loyal and devoted community.
Balancing Commercialization and Creativity in Web3 Game Development
Web3 game development introduces a unique challenge for designers and producers — finding the delicate balance between commercialization and creativity. The early days of Web3 saw a rush for tokens and funding, which presented a significant hurdle for developers trying to focus on their creative ideas.
Web3 games revolve around financial incentives and token supply, while Web2 game designers primarily focus on ownership and asset management. To strike the right balance, designers and producers must find a sweet spot that allows them to create innovative and extraordinary experiences while ensuring financial success.
One approach to achieving this balance is by setting clear expectations from the outset and ensuring that investors fully comprehend the studio’s values and goals. Transparency and alignment of interests between the studio and investors are critical to maintaining creative freedom while satisfying financial expectations.
Another effective approach involves incorporating a creator economy into the very fabric of the studio. By empowering creators and providing them with avenues for financial success, studios can nurture creativity while simultaneously driving commercialization. This approach encourages collaboration, fosters a sense of ownership, and allows for the cultivation of a thriving ecosystem within the Web3 gaming space.
Web3 game development presents a landscape where striking the balance between financialization, engagement with the community, and creative freedom is crucial for long-term success. With a focus on free triple-A games, genuine community engagement, and a balanced approach to commercialization and creativity, game developers can navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities offered by Web3. By doing so, they can shape the future of gaming, creating immersive experiences that captivate players while embracing the transformative power of Web3 technologies.
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Achieving Balance in Web3 Gaming: From Communication to Authenticity and Fair Play was originally published in gam3on on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.