June 4, 2022
Issue No. 5
EDWIN ONG, JOEL COLON, ASHRAF AHMAD
Welcome to this week's AtherXplorer, covering the latest in gaming, blockchain, and everything in between.
This week’s top picks include:
Blockchain & DeFi Developments
Optimism (Layer 2 Solution for Ethereum) airdrops its Governance Token
In April, Optimism announced the “Optimism Collective”, an initiative that included an airdrop of their governance token, $OP, over multiple tranches.
This airdrop claim finally started on 1 June 2022, and you can check if you are eligible for the Airdrop here.
Ropsten Testnet to Merge with beacon chain to move to Proof of Stake
The final testing stages of Proof of Stake on the Ethereum mainnet have officially begun - with testnet deployments. First to transition to Proof of Stake will be the Ropsten Testnet - estimated to begin somewhere between 2-3 June 2022, according to the Ethereum Foundation.
Should these transitions happen smoothly in Ropsten and other Testnets, it would be a clear leading indicator that the transition to Proof of Stake will not face many further delays in relation to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik’s estimated date of August 2022.
$USDD Leads Tron Network’s Recent TVL Growth
According to DefiLlama, Tron Network, with its ecosystem of just 9 Protocols, has since claimed its spot as the chain with the 3rd highest Total Value Locked (TVL) at $6 Billion USD.
This puts it just slightly behind Binance Chain ($8.5 Billion USD, 402 Protocols), while the incumbent, Ethereum, holds the lead at ($68 Billion USD, 491 Protocols).
As reported by Decrypt, this growth has primarily been driven by the launch of the Tron Ecosystem’s new Algorithmic Stablecoin, USDD, promising 17.5% APY with Single Staking on JustLend, with even higher APYs on Liquidity Pairs. This is very similar to Terra’s UST - which recently collapsed and should be approached with caution while not financial advice.
India at the TOP!
According to survey site Finder.com, India has come out on top to be the most popular for NFT Play to Earn Gaming.
33.8% of the participants who said they have played a Play to Earn game came from India, with another 11% of the participants from India who said they were planning to explore Play to Earn NFT Games. Hong Kong took second place with 29% of the participants saying they had played a Play to Earn game. Among the countries that stood out were the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brazil, with adoption rates of 25%, 23%, 19%, and 18%, respectively.
As new & more exciting play to earn games emerge, some of them secure a strong foothold into these markets that support play to earn gaming by acquiring strong play to earn guilds and investors from these countries.
Games & Blockchain Gaming
Systemic Game Design: Important or Unnecessary?
When it starts to rain in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, campfires start to fizzle out, human characters might run to nearby cover and your character can slip as he climbs mountains and rocks. In a thunderstorm, enemies can even be electrocuted if they are standing in a puddle of water.
In V Rising, wolves and bears can be released from enclosures to distract enemies as you attack them. Enemies in certain areas will also specifically chase and kill your horse to ensure that you won’t ride off quickly and get an easy escape.
As you shoot down the flamethrower tank of an Advent purifier in XCOM 2, you attract a swarm of the Lost, as they are extra sensitive to sound and spawn faster if they hear any loud explosions.
These are just some examples of Systemic Games. “Systemic means there is a link between the systems in your game, they have been developed and designed with the intention that one can influence the other” - Aleissia Laidacker (Former Lead Programmer at Ubisoft)
Systemic Games encourage players to interact with the game and its environment more creatively. Rather than just hopping onto a map and using their equipped weapons to kill everything, players can also choose to explore imaginative solutions that might make the fight a bit more fun or even slightly easier.
To make systemic games work, it is all about awareness of different entities within the game. Here are a few examples.
- Automated weather or environment change: Players can make use of environmental changes or weather systems within a game to leverage certain weapon combinations and skills while some enemies could be weakened by environment changes or could acquire power boosts which bolden them to attack the player more aggressively, forcing the player to adopt a safer playstyle.
- Having Enemy AI to be aware of each other: This creates all sorts of possible opportunities for the player as well as the enemy. Enemies can now decide to perform combined attacks against the player. While one enemy can perform the role of trapping the enemy in place, the other can inflict damage over time as long as the player stays in place, creating a dynamic interaction between enemies as players progress to harder levels. Similarly, some enemies can also react to other enemy attacks by getting damaged by that same damage over time ability that was meant for the player. Now the player has the option to bait enemies into a trap, as he uses his own abilities against them.
- Enemies & the Environment: As much as the player can interact with the environment, enemies should also be able to interact with the environment. Like in Hades where a charging enemy can crash into a trap pillar to destroy the structure and cause damage or enemies may know to avoid certain traps that might cause damage to them.
Systemic Games allow the players to come up with interesting plans which can lead to surprising outcomes and this is called Emergent Gameplay. However, this is not easy! The Game designer will need to have a good framework of how all these systems might react in the game and set down consistent rules to make this all happen as systemic game design can lead to all sorts of bugs and unforeseen outcomes that might be exploited by the player. It is worth looking into? For a more fun and creative gameplay, possibly.
- The Rise of Systemic Games: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnpAAX9CkIc&t=6s
My Pet Hooligan releases Early Access V1 for Holders!
My Pet Hooligan is an NFT collection consisting of 8888 Genesis NFTs able to participate in a Play-to-Earn social and gaming experience built in Unreal Engine 5.0 called The Rabbit Hole. Players will be able to earn tokens called $karrots as they fight amongst each other for loot while completing missions.
The Early Access version of the game was released earlier today to the holders of the NFTs. Players could expect to enter into their game as their NFT and perform a limited set of actions as they experience the map and the world for the first time. Much of the experience, however, is heavily restricted as the objective for the developers is to collect some constructive criticism on the fundamental gameplay elements.
Many of the community members are hyped for the full game launch and thrilled about the prospects of an open-world experience on Unreal Engine 5. Players can expect more things to be developed as the game nears full launch such as Player profiles, Voice chat, New Sound and Music, Enhanced Close Combat and Camera focus plus several other gameplay enhancements including developing their multiplayer experience.
The game is still far from complete, however, releasing an open-world early access version of the game with around 6-7 months of development time seemed to impress many of the community members.
Ather Labs’ Backers
YGG Teamed up with Gallery
YGG Teamed up with Gallery to allow Guild Badge & Founder Coin Holders to create personalized NFT Art Galleries
Kyber Network’s First-Ever Community AMA
As a commemoration of its 5-Year Anniversary, Kyber will be hosting its first Community AMA with CEO Victor Tran @June 9, 2022.
Konvoy Announces Investment in Sanlo
Konvoy Ventures released a blog post to announce and describe their investment in Sanlo, a financial OS for games and apps.
US Charges Ex-OpenSea Executive with NFT Insider Trading
For the first time, the US Dept. of Justice pursued an insider trading charge involving NFTs or digital assets.
Nate Chastain, the OpenSea staffer who quit the NFT marketplace after an insider trading scandal in September 2021, is now in the crosshairs of U.S. authorities.
“Chastain was charged Wednesday with wire fraud and money laundering in connection with trading on confidential information about which non-fungible tokens were about to be featured on the OpenSea homepage”
said the Department of Justice in a press release. The two charges each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The Justice Department alleged in the release that Chastain flipped "dozens of NFTs" after choosing to feature them on the website, selling them for two to five times what he initially paid. Chastain hid his fraud by making these purchases using anonymous digital currency wallets and anonymous OpenSea user accounts, according to the Justice Department.
"NFTs might be new, but this type of criminal scheme is not,"
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.
"As alleged, Nathaniel Chastain betrayed OpenSea by using its confidential business information to make money for himself. Today's charges demonstrate the commitment of this office to stamping out insider trading – whether it occurs on the stock market or the blockchain.”
Coinbase NFT Continues Updating their Platform
Coinbase NFT recently released a Tweet identifying their latest release (update) notes.
Users can now:
- List NFTs directly from their Profile
- View NFT Prices in $USD (in addition to default ETH)
- View the number of Likes and Comments on an NFT
- Group NFTs by Collection
- View NFTs that they like (similar to the ‘Favorites’ feature on OpenSea)
- Edit NFT Listing price via Desktop
Rarible Redesigned its Platform’s Look
National Policies & Legal Updates
First US “Insider Trading” Enforcement Action on Digital Assets
Nate Chastain, more commonly known by the NFT community as “Nate” from OpenSea, was arrested and charged with using privileged information obtained as part of OpenSea in order to “make money” for himself, with a potential jail time of 20 years, CoinDesk reports.
Nate’s modus operandi was simple. As part of the team which knew which NFT Projects were soon to be featured on the OpenSea homepage, he would use anonymous Web 3.0 Wallets and OpenSea User Accounts to purchase these NFTs ahead of these features, and quickly sold them for almost two to five times what he paid for.
OpenSea, on discovering his activity, had asked Nate to resign in September 2021, as detailed in their official blog post.
Ultimately, this enforcement action will have broad implications on our space - which many have claimed to be rive with asymmetrical information for insiders and promoters (KOLs), ad puts them in the crosshairs of enforcement action.
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