Blockchain Game Shrapnel Aims for AAA Status in Web3
- Shrapnel released the latest version of its white paper on Friday.
- Players can create and organize NFTs in-game and wager SHRAP tokens
Traditional AAA studios tend to keep everything in the dark until a project is deemed ready for its big reveal – not Neon Media, the publisher behind upcoming multiplayer first-person shooter Web3 game Shrapnel.
High-level video games typically take a long time and require a large budget to build – three to five years with an average cost of around $80 million.
The process of creating blockchain-based video games, on the other hand, is different, Don Norbury, chief technology officer at Neon Media, told Blockworks.
Set in a futuristic dystopian world, Shrapnel is currently built on the Avalanche subnet and the Unreal 5 graphical game engine. What differentiates this game from other Web3 offerings is its level of community involvement and distinct game funding mechanisms (GameFi), powered by NFTs.
The team behind Shrapnel, comprised of entertainment veterans from HBO and Microsoft, worked to include future gamers in the development of its gameplay, lore, and NFT ecosystem.
For staff coming from Web2, “engaging with the community, retrieving ideas, sharing more than you would traditionally be comfortable sharing – just because you wanted to go through 18 iterations before they saw the light one day – was tricky,” said Norbury, who is also Shrapnel’s studio head.
The game is currently in pre-alpha development. The team will be sharing early access builds with focus group participants for feedback starting next spring – so a full public release could still take years.
Potential players were able to purchase an NFT Operator avatar, which depicts a mercenary character in the Shrapnel universe. Holders received digital and physical comics created for each of the five character stories available at Comic-Con in San Diego in July.
Most recently, Shrapnel released a two-minute gameplay trailer on Monday, similar to releasing a trailer before a movie premiere.
Shrapnel to brag about in-game crypto-economy
Shrapnel also released the project white paper Friday, outlining his scheme of tokenomics and in-game assets.
The game itself is designed to serve as a platform for community-built maps with various rulesets and playstyles, all based on a unique token economy based on SHRAP, an Avalanche-based governance token. .
For what it’s worth, the trailer features a space character exploring a futuristic, dirty city, as well as gunfire. Stakeholders can fall into different categories: players, creators, curators and landowners.
Each type of user can earn SHRAP rewards by completing missions, creating NFTs, or staking their tokens to receive two types of NFTs – vanity items and cards. Vanity items include gear, weapons, cosmetics, and skins.
The cards are split between play areas called The Arena and The Podium. Stakeholders aim to get their own cards or favorite cards in the middle of the podium by announcing them. As maps grow in popularity and SHRAP stakers, they increase in size and move closer to the podium. Once in The Podium, players and bettors can participate in performance-based SHRAP incentives.
“We want the majority of the time people play Shrapnel to be on the community maps, not the maps we make,” Norbury said, adding that “a lot of the effort we would put into making a story in one – the campaign of players we spend on our tool pipeline.
This rewards system requires dedication and skill to create high-quality cards that others will want to play, rather than just clicking to earn money. All gas costs will be subsidized in the transaction fee.
play to own
Shrapnel follows what it calls the play-to-own model.
This means that users effectively own the intellectual property (IP) for what they create and monetize, but they give Shrapnel the license to use in-game, Norbury said of creating a “healthy ecosystem and sustainable where people actually own and control the things they create.
Shrapnel therefore plans to attract and retain users through its content generation mechanism – by finding, curating and promoting the best player-created vanity items and cards, as well as wagering on them. A large user base would ensure a balance between supply and demand for SHRAPs.
A token offering and the Shrapnel NFT market are expected to launch in the coming months, according to Norbury.
The white paper states that 3 billion SHRAP tokens will be created as the total token supply, which will never increase. The community will receive 33% of the SHRAP tokens, 27% will be distributed to the team and its advisors, 20% will go to Seed token holders and other stakeholders will receive the remaining 20%.
The SHRAP utility includes voting rights to player-created content and certain aspects of the Shrapnel protocol. Additionally, the team is still figuring out how validator nodes can take SHRAP as a gas token, subsidizing end-user gas fees.
The game will also build its own subnet for low latency. When asked why the AVAX subnet was chosen, Norbury listed the reasons for security, customization, future-proofing and computing power.
He also distinguished between games like Axie Infinity that continually require more people to support the people who are already there.
“If you look at it from an economic point of view, there must be a principle of production. Something of value has to be produced, and then people have to want or be willing to engage with it in different ways,” Norbury said.