An Interview with Competition Participants | Mage: Blockchain UGC Card Game
With the Competition coming to an end, the Committee has received more and more quality entries, including some amazing works. With that said the Nominee Award for this week is "Card Maker.” As a User Generated Content (UGC) card game it offers the opportunity for players to get involved and design many parts of the game, including but not limited to cards, characters, levels and plots. Combining this feature with blockchain technology offers players creative ownership and complete value assurance in the game. With the privilege of giving this award the Committee contacted its producer Mage and had the following interview.
NEO blockchain game contest event page:http://neo.game/index-English.html
Committee: Hello Mage, the development of Card Maker is fantastic! Can you please introduce your team that made this amazing game to us?
Mage: Hello, we are true fans of all games and we love the variety of unique and inclusive games. Also like me, the other team members have nicknames such as Monk and Assassin. We have had past experiences developing web games in 2008 and mobile games in 2014, like the early years of Ogame and Travain. We were also involved in developing a few generations of card games until the field became saturated with developers and turned into the Red Sea market. We prefer games that do not need to bear the burden of KPI, like some independent games such as Equipment Room, Seeker and Platina Hero. We are almost a comprehensive group of developers in the process of art and programming.
Committee: So what inspired you to develop Card Maker? After all, there is a clear span of thinking from traditional to blockchain game development.
Mage: Well, you are right. This is really a magical thing. We started to understand the field of blockchain relatively early in the market learning from crypto exchanges with the help of some experienced people. We gradually recognized the true principles of blockchain and thought it is a very cool discipline. However in our previous experiences designing and developing games we realized that some of the best ideas have to give way to economic conditions, which is quite disappointing for us developers. I am sure that most of the domestic game developers in China can understand and relate to what I am saying. More importantly though, through the continuous understanding of blockchain we found that we all can combine some of these interesting areas to create other ones that allow developers and players to work together towards the same direction.
It’s true we are still only small developers that are exploring the vast world of blockchain. But at least we keep in mind that blockchain games must first be playable and interesting. Card Maker is one of our favorite work, parts of the game were inspired by Enterbrain's RPG Maker, Markus Alexej Persson's Mine Craft, and Peter M Whalen’s Dream Quest.
Committee: I feel that the overall game will give people a fresh look and experience. Can you tell us about the gameplay and what fun the players can have in the game?
Mage: Card Maker has the feel of a Card + RPG game. Players will use their initial cards and items presented by the system to solve puzzles in each level and obtain corresponding items. Each level is randomly configured, so in the same story mode players can go back to explore a lot of undiscovered, interesting content and treasures.
The whole process of defeating the levels is also quite unique. Players can openly combine their roles to form a line of defense.
The card's UGC framework has a broader design where players can setup their corresponding card specifications, parameters and performance levels for research or play.
Players can even upload their own card designs to the chain for others around the world to appreciate and sell. All the game’s content and player feedback are inseparable from the exploration and interaction with other players.
This is just a prelude because with the advancement in our Roadmap, new character, level and plot designs will be quickly and completely available to the players. At that time players will become diversified and it won’t be difficult for anyone to be a designer of a level. Furthermore by providing their own input through the very convenient internal and external editors, the players will gain more of a personal attachment to the game.
Committee: Wow, your game is sounding even more interesting! So for players like me who like card battle games, what should I do after entering the game?
Mage: Hmm, specifically as a card enthusiast when you first join you will receive a system Q & A, which was how many of the game introductions in the classic games looked like." A set of cards will be generated according to the player's choices. After detailed calculations your initial lineup of cards can be completely capable of defeating the level. Once a battle is finished the player can bring back their first bucket of gold to carefully select and use their new card combination (from the alchemy room or from the market) for subsequent harder levels. There is the option where you can also enter the mirror mode or the battle mode to perform a card check. Also remember not to forget about the ability to combine your characters. The lineup is just your attacker, but the character is your line of defense. Overall this is like the game Hearthstone but with some more flexible options.
Committee: In what ways do you plan on motivating players to create their own game worlds?
Mage: Well, this is now where blockchain comes into the game. First, through the smart contract, “Card Maker” will generate a constant amount of Tokens which will help increase the value of each Token unit as the content continues to expand throughout the game. For some tokens that conform to the NEP5 standard, you will be able to exchange them freely. However, the Token in “Card Maker” is obtained by the concentration. The better the content provided by the players, including designing of the cards, levels, artistic creations, etc... the greater feedback will be from the community. This is something which cannot be done in traditional games. With the help of the technical logic of blockchain and the attribute of decentralization this feedback will be also naturally implemented. We believe that all the players' inputs should be rewarded because this is their own personal investment and commitment to the game. As the development of the game progresses there will be a wider audience of players joining and the design of the Token Economy will be distinguished by the valued feedback of the various users’ behaviors. We believe that all these behaviors will eventually play a role in the development of the game itself.The above information is a brief outline of the game but this is a complex design system and “Token Economy” is a term that is being used more and more in the gaming world, which of course we have been analyzing for a long time. Thus our main goals are to make all the designs revolve around “how to offer positive feedback for the user’s inputs” and “how to continue the growth of the user content economy.” Perhaps in the past, these ideas would have made people think that this game was a scam with limited social productivity. However, this is how the situation is for the field of growth in game development nowadays.
Committee: Card Maker seems to be more like a highly autonomous game community as the relationships between players is no longer simply battling or building teams. What is your ultimate goal by setting this up?
Mage: Yes, by looking purely at the content it is not difficult to see that the game design of “Card Maker” will allow players to have more diverse interactions. They will not only be gamers but can play a variety of roles. Because of the validity and confidence in the game Token the players can act also as an admin. Imagine that a bad card design flows into game marketplace? At this point players can vote on some of the designs they like and we provide corresponding incentives to the ones maintaining them. In addition they will also occupy the largest part in Token distribution. We believe that by allowing players to create the content, they will be much more professional about it than us. Hence, we should offer this designing capability to them. As the game market circulates, power will flow more and more into the hands of the players so that eventually the game will achieve decentralization in the true sense.
In summary we hope to see a game which really uses the true capabilities of blockchain and a highly community-autonomous Dapp. The difference between the blockchain revolution and traditional fields is that it is a bottom-up process that is bold, interesting and a logically rigorous endeavor. Nowadays, we see various financial gain type games popping up in the blockchain field. From zero-sum games like Cryptokitties to fomo3d funds and other similar derivatives. We cannot reject this trend and if even if we don’t develop this genre of game there will be many other people that do. But over time the ecological construction of blockchain will become more difficult and the only consensus at that time may be destroyed. So that is why we want to build some more positive content in the blockchain field.
Committee: What role will your team have after the game is truly decentralized?
Mage: We will become players! Yes, become a player in the true sense. This process will be difficult yet fun from the course of developer-player consensus to the practice of player-player consensus. After all, developers are the first players but we have invested more in the initial stages of the game. As Tokens transfer from contracts to the player market, the Token Economy will become stronger and we will gradually be turning into only players.
At that point I may spend more time designing some interesting stories or some tools to further help develop the game. Maybe I will leave a few stories about the game’s evolution and keep it on blockchain. This eternal record will allow for more players to read our stories and try out the smaller levels we designed. It will be very gratifying.
Committee: Thank you for having this interview and sharing your super content with us. Congratulations again on getting the award and we can't wait to play this game.
Mage: Thank you NEO! In the process of using the NEO public chain we found a lot of praiseworthy ecological systems in place. We will continue to do our best in the time developing and completing “Card Maker.” We also welcome all the like-minded developers to participate with our team (you can contact us through cardmaker.io). Thanks to my team's efforts and everyone's support. We will make it the first independent decentralized game in blockchain ecology.