Article By Samara Malkin
Blockchain is constantly being linked to the financial world – and why wouldn’t it be, given its stance as the backbone of cryptocurrency. But, blockchain is about much more than just putting finance back into the hands of the people. It’s about doing what we love, in a better way.
This is where gaming comes into the picture.
Gaming on the Blockchain
For me, the crypto-based gaming industry is one of the most exciting advances in blockchain technology. There are a growing number of games being developed on the blockchain and they’re becoming more and more like traditional RPG-style online games.
With the worldwide gaming industry achieving over $100 billion in revenue last year and the global blockchain industry clocking in with $708 million in 2017, these two industries combined stand to profit from one another – not to mention, provide endless hours of coded entertainment.
Blockchain games largely started as trading games. It would be impossible to talk about blockchain games without mentioning CryptoKitties, the original crypto trading game.
Built on the Ethereum blockchain, CryptoKitties allows players to purchase digital cats, breed them, and then sell them at a profit if they wish. CryptoKitties became so popular so fast that it nearly crashed the Ethereum blockchain.
More blockchain games have since sprung up, many of them enlisting this same trading card mentality, but twisting it closer to the type of adventure-style games veteran gamers enjoy.
Neon District is one of the games looking to combine blockchain gaming with regular gaming. For its characters, Neon District still focuses on the trading card aspect we’ve come to recognize from blockchain games, but Neon District is also incorporating RPG-style tactics to liven things up a notch.
Set in a dystopian future, gamers will have to fight against the ruling group known as ‘The Mainspring,’ but they have to be careful. Every action, every decision made by the gamer will forever affect their character. This is what gives Neon District its completely unique playable characters.
Neon District characters may also one day be able to move into other games. Since they’re coded on the blockchain, they can technically be transferred into any game that allows them. To start, Neon District characters will probably float around in other blockchain games.
Neon District is still being developed, but it’s an exciting concept and definitely one to watch.
Age of Rust
Age of Rust is another blockchain game focused on adventure and mystery. Players are trying to survive the collapsed dystopian future where they either have to fight or solve puzzles to continue.
From lost mines to abandoned spacecraft, clues will be scattered all around the universe for gamers to find and use to level up.
Throughout gameplay, players are collecting blockchain cards, which can impact their character’s abilities and may alter their storyline as well. Blockchain cards can be collected, traded, and used at all levels in the game.
Interested gamers can participate in the beta test for Age of Rust, which is ongoing now.
Immortal Player Characters
Immortal Player Characters (IPCs) aren’t a game themselves, but the characters for a game. IPCs are coded onto the Ethereum blockchain and will live forever. Like the characters in Neon District, IPCs are meant to be able to move into other games, wherever they’re allowed.
Designed to belong to the player, not the game, IPCs represent exactly what blockchain gaming should become. You can level them up, get equipment for them, and add memories to their backstory without the fear of losing all your progress if the game shuts down – because the character exists outside of the game and the character is what you own.
Currently, IPCs are designed in the style of medieval fantasy, making them well suited to games like League of Legends (LoL) or World of Warcraft (WoW).
Of course, it may take some time before games like LoL and WoW allow users to interface with the blockchain and introduce IPCs into gameplay. But hopefully, that’s the direction things are headed.
Blockchain games still have room to grow. Many blockchain games out now and in development continue to focus on the trading card aspect.
The potential is there for blockchain games to grow beyond digital trading cards. Both Neon District and Age of Rust show additional aspects of gameplay that is closer to the traditional sense of what video gaming is. Immortal Player Characters hold the potential to cross blockchain games with traditional online games.