Have you ever wondered how you can be a well-known blacksmith of blockchain swords?
The Six Dragons is a project driven by our vision to innovate at the intersection of gaming and blockchain technology. Over the past 15 months, we are trying to rethink what can be done in gaming using blockchain, and offer a new entertainment narrative for gamers.
For those readers that only recently joined our community, The Six Dragons has consistently pioneered the way blockchain can be used in gaming.
- Back in April 2019, we presented at Game Developers Conference (GDC) the blockchain integration prototype for our 3D RPG title that “looks and feels” like a real game, using the great tools provided by the Enjin Platform.
- A few months after, we implemented the first advanced blockchain crafting system, where players gather and combine blockchain assets to craft unique blockchain gear, with unique stats and identity.
- And only recently, we started working with Chainlink, to offer verified on-chain randomness of various in-game calculations and inspire trust in critical game interactions.
Today we are proud to announce yet another innovative blockchain implementation. An implementation that opens up endless opportunities for player-driven economies, where player are in the front seat of the game and can capture real-world value from their gaming achievements.
Meet the Blockchain Crafting Service
Blockchain Blacksmith Service allows players to craft new tokenised in-game items (e.g. weapons, armour pieces and jewellery) using the blockchain recipes of other players, that in return receive a reward for their service paid in cryptocurrency. This process is seamlessly integrated with the game interface — all it takes is a visit to the crafting station of the nearest village.
In The Six Dragons, recipes are some rare and valuable items that give their owners a unique ability to craft copies of a specific item. Those copies are blockchain assets that the crafter can either use to fight the fiercest opponents in the game or trade them with other players in any blockchain marketplace for a profit.
Recipes are rare by design. For the sake of the game and its “tokenomics”, only a small percentage of the player base should have the ability to create new items. To get one in your hands, be prepared to grind for hours in the open world.
But this element also created some game design trade-offs. If recipes are scarce, the game becomes exciting, but only a few players can benefit from them. And even those players would have to reach out to other players individually and agree to craft items for them. At the same time, if we provided recipes to the vast majority of the player base, then all those advanced blockchain features would make no sense. Nothing would be actually rare, and nothing would be valuable enough to justify the tokenisation of in-game items.
Blockchain Blacksmith Service is the solution. Here’s how it works:
1. The player that holds a blockchain recipe can visit the crafting station in the game and create a listing for his/her service. At this point, the player designates the service fee — the reward that requires to be paid to craft a particular item.
2. Any player that is looking to get a new pair of boots and does not own a recipe can browse the listings in the crafting station. If the service price is right, then the player has to gather all the necessary materials for this craft, bring them to the crafting station and pay the blacksmith fee.
3. After the crafting finishes, the player that paid for the craft will receive the blockchain item directly to the linked wallet, and the blacksmith will receive the service fee payment (minus a fee that the game keeps to fund development, currently at 30%) to his/her wallet as well.
With the introduction of this functionality, we also plan to add several gameplay elements.
- First, the ability to use the blacksmith service and craft blockchain items will be linked with the ownership of limited blockchain badge, the “blacksmith certificate” (currently, the blacksmith service is open to all players without any restrictions).
- Second, any player that wants to be a successful blacksmith for other players will need to improve his “blacksmith stamina”, a new player stat that will be implemented in future versions of the game. This stat will regulate the inflation in the supply of crafted items, as it will require from blacksmiths not only to hold the necessary blockchain tokens but also excel the blacksmith profession from playing the game.
- Lastly, we look forward to hearing the ideas of the community during the upcoming open alpha. We know our community loved this innovative feature. During the first 24 hours, we counted more than 200 listings in the blacksmiths’ market. We look forward to continuing co-creating with you in the next months.
Game “tokenomics” just got interesting
From the very first days, our promise to the community was that in The Six Dragons, players will be ultimate protagonists. For us, blockchain is a unique opportunity to turn gamers from passive “consumers” to dynamic actors of change for the game.
With every new feature we design, our priority remains the same. To create more opportunities for players to do things that were not possible until today in traditional gaming. For example, the Blockchain Blacksmith Service allows players to employ several -unconventional- game strategies, such as:
- Blacksmiths can engage in price competition with the rest market to meet the supply needs of players while maximising their profit.
- Players that spend hours grinding in the open world can group guilds to loot first all the rare crafting materials, craft items through the blacksmith service and then sell the crafted items for a price premium.
- Players that own some unique recipes can even form a “price cartel” to control the prices of some items — obviously , we don’t like that scenario 😅, but in the end, the true notion of a player-driven economy is about giving players freedom, beyond a strict, one-way monetisation model of the game developer.
Blockchains allow us to rethink in-game economies
Blockchain is here to end for good experiences that lacked accountability between game developers and gamers. Let us look how The Six Dragons uses blockchain in this direction.
Tokenisation and Scarcity
Many games today are dependent significantly on in-game assets that players have to work hard for hours or spend real-world value to get. But then, how players can be protected from game developers that rig the game economy to maximise profits?
Blockchain enables us to tokenise all the valuable in-game assets (with the intention to use blockchain assets solely in the near future). This feature allows players to be confident about the real supply of each item (“how scarce this sword is”), the ownership history (who else had/has such item), and know all the player-to-player transactions that took place any time and day.
At the same time, we give players the freedom to manage their assets as they wish. You can use your sword and have fun; you can provide your skills to other players and earn a reward; you can trade the sword for another item, or you can sell it for real-world value — and not some meaningless credit points for an in-game store as in traditional games.
Blockchain in The Six Dragons does not end at the use of tokenized assets. We employ several other blockchain-driven features to make sure gamers have all the information they need to feel confident and participate in full in the gaming experience.
The crafting (item creation) and enchanting (item leveling) process is done through smart contracts too. That means for every item created or every sword levelled there will be a unique blockchain transaction happened, that will be stored as proof forever on the immutable ledger. No one can magically create a specific type of sword and break the game economy unless the necessary conditions happen.
And looting is transparent too. While we will keep the drop rates private (to preserve this mystery feeling when grinding monsters) nothing stops players from having total access to any information related to looting. The loot pool, composed of all the potential loot drops in the game at a specific time, is a blockchain address (see here). You can see precisely what is available to get, when did the latest drop happen, which address dropped what item and so on. We cant wait to see how many cool features our community can develop on top of this information.
True & Verifiable Randomness
But what about all these decisions that the game has to make based on pure luck? Decisions that can greatly affect your game progress and the value of your items.
Think as an example the moment where the game decides whether your crafted item will be of “Legendary” or “Dragonforged” rarity (the ultimate one in the game), or when the leveling process from +12 to +13 could fail and bring your weapon back to +0 or even destroy it. Trusting the goodwill of game developers might be the norm in traditional gaming, but is not enough for us.
That’s why we recently started working with Chainlink to use their Verifiable Random Function (VRF) and provide player proof that every random outcome was tamper-free and beyond our control. Chainlink VRF, using the power of decentralised oracles, will deliver the random outcome to the player along with the cryptographic proofs, showing that the randomness is indeed unpredictable.
This ambitious use case of blockchain technology in the gaming industry adds another pillar of trust between gamers and game developers. It enables us to offer an entertaining but also provably fair experience to our gamers and raise the stakes for the player-to-player game economy.
Want to participate in the alpha testing today?
In preparation for the open alpha, we are giving early access to our community members that didn’t participate in the closed testing. We want your help to stress-test our new game launcher and make sure everything is up and running for the open alpha.
Announcing the Blockchain Blacksmith Service in The Six Dragons was originally published in The Six Dragons on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.