Today, at the end of 2022, the blockchain games industry is undergoing a major deformation due to the general trends in blockchain and cryptocurrencies, the experience of a huge number of failed projects and fewer successful ones between 2021 and 2022. If you are planning to start developing a blockchain game next year, we have collected some important information about blockchain games and how to start the development of the game that uses blockchain techhologies. The whole guideline will be published in several parts.

How much blockchain is in your project?

In blockchain games a part of the functionality is stored and executed in a blockchain network. The level of blockchain integration into the game depends on a number of factors including the platform and the project’s goals, and in general, affects the amount of game functionality and content hosted in the blockchain.

A bit. Wallets and cryptocurrency

The minimum level of integration usually includes the ability for users to make crypto transactions to transfer crypto assets between the user’s wallet and the game’s wallet. Crypto assets can include cryptocurrencies, tokens (fungible tokens) or NFTs (non-fungible tokens). Cryptocurrency is necessary for users to make purchases of assets inside the game or on a third-party marketplace where game assets are sold. Usually, in this case, the available cryptocurrency will be the currency of the blockchain on which the game is built. For example, if the blockchain part of the game is built on the Ethereum network and provides game assets for sale, they can be bought for Ether (ETH) – the native currency of the network. Such assets do not carry a functional load but serve more as visual skins inside the game.

For users to be able to make purchases for cryptocurrency, it is necessary to integrate into the game a crypto wallet that supports this cryptocurrency. Often this is Metamask, Trustwallet or another multi-wallet that supports many cryptocurrencies at once and has versions for different platforms.

A bit more. Smart contracts

The next step in integrating the blockchain into the game can be the development of some kind of functionality that is responsible for the operations in the blockchain associated with your game. For example, operations related to the ability of users to own crypto assets, manage, hold, lend or rent, pledge at interest, or perform some additional actions when owning assets.

This functionality is stored in a smart contract – programming logic that is stored and executed on the blockchain network. Let’s say a user makes a purchase of an NFT asset that’s stored in the Ethereum network. The asset, in addition to the visual component, contains functional logic and data that becomes available after purchasing the NFT and transferring it to the user’s wallet. These may be additional features in the game, some parameters, additional functionality, or content.

In addition to the gaming opportunities that the user receives by owning the NFT, he can also perform various operations with the NFT itself, since this digital asset has some value and can be transferred throughout the entire network.

The logic is developed in the smart contract with Solidity programming language and deployed in the Ethereum blockchain network. Also, the source code of the smart contract itself is made public in order to show the openness and honesty of the executable logic to users.

In addition to this, smart contracts are audited – an evaluation of the smart contract source code by third-party experts who specialize in auditing smart contracts. The results of the audit are also made public to increase user loyalty to smart contracts and the project as a whole.

A little more. Tokens and economy

Even more advanced integration of blockchain into the game is the development and implementation of its own game token (fungible token) – an in-game virtual currency developed on the blockchain that is used in the game. The main difference between a token and a classic virtual currency is its convertibility into another cryptocurrency (BTC, ETH, BNB, etc.) or stablecoin (USDT, USDC, BUSD, etc.)

A native game token expands gaming opportunities and allows building an in-game economy, which in turn gives the tools to create a full-fledged, autonomous ecosystem. This approach is the most difficult to implement in the long term, since building a stable virtual economy is the interconnection of many factors, by analogy with the real economy. However, this option for integrating the blockchain into the project proved to be the most popular, as it provided new tools for attracting investments into the project at an early stage.

Tokens are created and regulated using smart contracts. They exist within the blockchain on which the smart contract is running. However, there are already many options for bridging and moving tokens between blockchains.

Even more. Decentralized storage

The options for blockchain integration are described above, where the blockchain is responsible for crypto assets and their algorithms. However, all other data and files are not stored on the blockchain network but use classic data storage options: databases, centralized servers, etc.

The next level of blockchain integration is the storage of data in a blockchain network using tools such as IPFS, Filecoin, etc. – decentralized protocols for file storage. This option allows you to make the most decentralized solution and get away from using classic data storage tools.

This is usually applicable to files that are small in size and require a higher degree of security for accessing, modifying, or positioning open access to data. This is limited by the low performance of networks and the high cost of storing such data. Therefore, usually, games do not use this level of integration.

Balance between decentralization and usability

At first, the trends went from centralization to partial and complete decentralization of projects, promoting collective management, security and openness. Over time, it became clear that this complicates more than it simplifies people’s lives.

Therefore, today the trends are towards improving the user experience by reducing the level of decentralization in projects and finding the balance between decentralization and usability. While blockchain technologies work for virtual economies, ease of use can be achieved by implementing components that are managed by classic centralized tools.

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