How  implementation of NFT affects gaming experience

NFT has been the talk of the town for several years. It also gave a stir to the world of art and collecting, increasing the sales numbers to heights previously unseen. At the same time, a huge number of NFT collections carried only speculative value, which immediately reset the market to zero, first making it look like a bubble and then sending it into the red zone. However, there is also a positive side – NFTs are already well-established in games, and a new round of development in this area is expected to give true utility to this new asset class. 

Matvey Diadkov, founder of Chainers NFT game shared his thoughts with AIN.Capital readers on how NFTs affect the gaming experience and whether there is a future for NFT games.

The NFT games market is being actively replenished with new projects right now. How do you assess the NFT market today during the crypto market downturn? 

I have been asked this question a lot. It is undoubtedly harder to work in crypto-winter, although it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do that. I’ve been on the market since 2013, and there have been several bear markets we survived. If your product brings value or, in the case of games, people want to play them, it doesn’t matter at what rate Bitcoin or Ethereum are being sold. People will still use it.

As we can see, there is still a huge playground for implementing new approaches in this direction. However, could you highlight why more players are paying attention to NFT games? 

Most people don’t remember that, but the standard of Non-fungible tokens itself had existed long before the emergence of crypto punks and even before the emergence of crypto kitties. NFT is just a model that describes blockchain data that can mean a particular notion belongs to a particular address. It depends on the project itself and what meaning you give to the notion. After all, the success of crypto punks and bored apes was not related to it being blockchain. 

The success was related to the fact that a consumer WANTED to own something that would show he relates to a community and is part of it. The same is happening with NFT games now; players feel part of the community by having tokens. They see that they own something for real, that it is not an account on a server. These data are open-access, they can be verified. You can also pass them to a different person, sell them, and transfer them to external wallets. The fact that the process is open and the ability to own is probably what makes NFT differ from classical online games. 

Many projects never reach the final stage of their roadmap. What could be the reasons for ‘gameover’ for the vast majority of NFT projects?

Here, a story with ICO comes to mind, which was popular back in 2017. When a team gets to hold tens of millions of crypto, and all it does for the community are vague promises and a landing page on the Internet, it would be very naive to expect honesty and product delivery. Game theory in action. If you just spend part of your income on lawyers and crypto legalization and do nothing else at all, you’ll still end up operating at a profit. If you keep working on a product and spend everything you have on it, there is no guarantee it will launch, and anyone at all will need it. It is easy to guess which way most teams would choose. It is not ethical, it is not exactly legal sometimes, but it is logical. 

I only look at what the team is delivering and what motivation it has to keep doing what they are doing. By the way, we never aim at large crowd sales and investments and always try to build a sustainable business model above all; it is not sexy, but it is efficient.

Despite this, the gaming community increasingly criticizes game creators for not integrating the NFT component correctly. Describe how exactly this component should be implemented within the game.

This question does not have a certain answer. It depends on a project, a team, its vision, and what the community expects of it. You are asking about canonical principles of a field that is only emerging. It will only be clear over time. For instance, when we created Chainers, we put in such principles as free economy, clarity, safety and verifiability, but most importantly – scalability. We are building a project for millions of users. If they make transactions simultaneously, there is no way any blockchain would sustain that. Besides, if you consider several popular games that are successful, this turns into a massive problem.

One of the advantages that everyone points out is the ability to earn money in blockchain games (Play to Earn model). However, crypto market volatility is destroying this factor. What should be introduced to players to mitigate the risk of price fluctuations for NFT games?

Volatility and the market are not the key issues here. The very name Play to Earn doesn’t make any sense. You need to work to earn. You need to bring value to other stakeholders on the market. What value does a game player bring? Except for the creation of a mass-online effect – nothing. This value should be discovered. Experienced game makers know that each project has different player segments; some spend thousands of dollars on in-game purchases monthly, while others won’t pay a penny but will keep playing day and night to get a specific important item that someone will want to buy later on. This is a healthy economy, where there is demand, supply, and meaning to financial operations built around the gameplay. Play2earn, in turn, mostly tells people, “buy our token and play; it will get more expensive, and you’ll be earning.” It is pretty much the same as buying a meme-coin or investing in a Ponzi scheme; it grows for some time, then falls. Someone manages to earn from it, but most users will simply lose their money.

Tell us about Chainers. How does this NFT game differ from others on the market? 

We are building a large and ambitious game world based on Chainers. It will be a massive multiplayer online game with endless content, game settings, and open economy. We differ in a lot of ways, starting from technology and the principles we use in our work. We are building the project exclusively based on open-source solutions and deliberately avoid binding ourselves by having priority platforms. The game will always be available online, will open on any device and will determine its own path of development. 

Besides, a significant part of our economy is designed to be shaped not only by our team but by the community as well. The most powerful and fascinating part of the entire Web3 culture is that it is an open community with thousands of talented and creative guys. We want to give them an opportunity to realize their ideas on our platform. Of course, the game economy will encourage them to bring value and create content.

What are the pain points that users are currently facing in blockchain games and how can your project solve them?

I see a significant lack of understanding in blockchain game developers at this point. Lack of understanding of their own audience. Most often, I see two cases; either there is simply no developed gameplay and the game is extremely primitive with the goal of luring players by promising financial benefits, or there is an attempt to clone existing gameplay, for instance, a session shooter such as pubg or CS do, incorporating NFT in it. This attempt to hop on a train of the new game genre is crystal clear. However, there is little to no sense in doing so, as 95% of such games will either not launch or will be shut down shortly after the launch. Over time, the teams will look at the remaining 5%, study them and create success stories, developing even cooler products while the majority is shooting in the dark. 

If players get their NFTs for free, what is the value of these assets?

NFT itself does not have great value based upon the classical economic point of view. Here, the point is a little different. The game model is designed in such a way that the player has to spend a lot of time and effort to open a specific item or achieve a certain level of development, just like in classical MMO games. In the case with NFT, the more there are, the rarer and more significant, the more you can achieve in the fame. Also, you can sell them or transfer them to a different player, exchange them, etc. This creates a so-called mega-game around the gameplay, where it becomes important for players not only to play successfully but also to collect the right sets of items, trade, and exchange them in time. 

Ok, you focus on the players’ emotions, offering them the experience of WEB2 games while adding modern technology solutions such as NFT and blockchain. Is it possible to say that this approach is the way to WEB 3?

According to classical terminology, Web2 is when the community creates the content that is, nevertheless, owned by a company. The difference of Web3 is that the content and other objects in a game are owned by the users themselves. This is exactly our goal; we aim to develop an open world with its own Constitution and principles. 

What can Chainers’ players enjoy already, and what are your team’s plans for the future?

Now, the players are offered free tokens and different game items that will be useful once the game environment is available. All items can be used in the game in one way or another, given to others or traded. 

At this point, we are releasing a possibility to make content in AR with your own character, shoot short videos, take photos, dress them using NFT-clothes; this really is a lot of fun.  Also, you can use the characters in mini-games already, which we will release a few more in the near future. These are all transition steps to a large MMO-world, which is taking plenty of time to develop, of course. This is a really huge and complex project. 

However, while we are working on its development, we gradually immerse our community into the world of Chainers and keep giving them new game content and entertainment. Overall, the new features are released on a regular basis, and those who join the game now will most definitely benefit from the achievements they will have made by the time the game world gets huge.