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Exploring The World of Blockchain Gaming

S8 Ep6 with Mike Gordon of Crypthulhu Studios

In the rapidly evolving landscape of blockchain technology, one of the most intriguing and transformative applications has been blockchain gaming. The fusion of blockchain and gaming has opened up new realms of fun, incentives, ownership, and possibilities. In a recent episode of Crypto Sapiens, Rachel, the host of the show, engaged in an enlightening conversation with Mike Gordon, the CEO of Crypthulhu, a prominent game development team. Their discussion delved into the world of blockchain gaming, touching upon topics such as the driving forces behind Crypthulhu's journey, the advantages of blockchain in gaming, and the exciting prospects it holds for the future.

Embracing Blockchain Gaming: An Affirmation

Rachel initiated the episode with a heartening affirmation that perfectly encapsulated the essence of blockchain gaming. She highlighted the power of this innovative intersection, emphasizing how it unlocks new realms of fun, incentives, ownership, and possibilities. This served as an apt prelude to the engaging conversation that followed.

The Genesis of Crypthulhu: Introducing Mike Gordon

Rachel then introduced Mike Gordon, the CEO of Crypthulhu, a game development team that has been actively involved in the realm of blockchain gaming since the winter of 2021. Crypthulhu achieved a significant milestone with the launch of their first blockchain game, Dimension X, on the Flow blockchain in September of the previous year. Mike's extensive experience and expertise in the gaming industry made him the perfect guest to shed light on the exciting world of blockchain gaming.

Unveiling the Motivation: Mike's Why

Mike shared his motivation behind venturing into the realm of blockchain gaming. At a practical level, providing for his family was a significant driving force. However, his deeper passion lay in the ability of blockchain gaming to transform creativity into a viable career. He acknowledged the challenges that come with a creative career but highlighted the fulfillment and dynamism it brings, particularly in his role as CEO of Crypthulhu.

The Intersection of Passion and Family

The conversation took an endearing turn as Mike and Rachel discussed the intertwined nature of gaming and family. Rachel shared her personal experience of growing up in a household of gamers, and how it formed an essential part of her family dynamic. Mike echoed this sentiment, explaining how his decision to start Crypthulhu was supported by his family, allowing him to harness his creativity and build a fulfilling career.

Crypthulhu's Journey: From Mobile Gaming to Blockchain

Transitioning to the core subject, Rachel prompted Mike to delve into Crypthulhu's journey and their flagship creation, Dimension X. Mike revealed that Crypthulhu's team comprised avid mobile gamers who had been a part of the gaming industry for a long time. Their expertise in mobile gaming allowed them to transition seamlessly into the world of blockchain gaming. The idea of leveraging blockchain technology to enhance the gaming experience, particularly in terms of ownership and value retention, was a turning point for them.

The Epiphany of NFTs in Gaming

Mike candidly shared how his scepticism about blockchain gaming was dispelled through an eye-opening conversation about the utility of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) in gaming. A friend posed a thought-provoking question: "What do you own in World of Warcraft?" This query illuminated the potential of NFTs, allowing players to truly own their in-game assets and achievements, irrespective of the game's lifespan.

The Paradigm Shift in Gaming Models

The conversation delved into the transformative impact of blockchain gaming on traditional gaming models. Mike discussed the limitations of conventional free-to-play models, which often rely on ads and extraction-based methods to generate revenue. He highlighted the superiority of blockchain-based gaming models, as they offer players actual ownership of assets, empowering both developers and players to align their interests and create a more sustainable ecosystem.

Demystifying Blockchain Gaming

Their dialogue provided valuable insights into the nuances of blockchain gaming, its potential pitfalls, and key factors to consider when evaluating projects in this space. Rachel continued the conversation by asking Mike to provide an overview of what blockchain gaming entails, particularly for those who are new to the concept. Mike offered a straightforward explanation, likening blockchain games to traditional video games with an essential twist. He explained that in blockchain gaming, players' actions and assets within the game are recorded on a blockchain, providing a transparent ledger of ownership and transactions. He emphasized that blockchain gaming, at its core, involves owning and trading in-game assets with the added assurance of data integrity and ownership retention.

The Power of Team Experience and Transparency

As the conversation deepened, Mike shed light on the critical importance of the development team behind a blockchain game. He stressed the significance of teams having prior experience in creating games, as the process of making successful games often involves learning from mistakes and iterating over time. Mike shared his belief that teams with a track record of overcoming challenges are better positioned to navigate the complexities of blockchain gaming.

Rachel and Mike also discussed the topic of anonymity within the blockchain gaming space. While acknowledging that some individuals may have valid reasons for anonymity, they both expressed a preference for transparency in game development. Mike stated that seeing the faces behind a project instils a sense of trust and confidence in players and investors, as it suggests a commitment to accountability and responsibility.

Lessons from the Bear Market

The conversation shifted to the recent bear market and its impact on the blockchain gaming landscape. Mike highlighted the bear market's role in clarifying the space and filtering out projects that lacked substance. He mentioned that during the bull market, some projects appeared to defy logic, often raising questions about their viability and sustainability. The bear market served as a reality check, revealing which projects truly had value and long-term potential.

Recognizing Promising Projects

Rachel sought Mike's insights on identifying successful blockchain gaming projects beyond the well-known examples. Mike mentioned a project called "Ether Orcs," which exemplified a community-driven approach to blockchain gaming. He emphasized the significance of authenticity and innovation, stating that projects with a strong community focus and unique propositions stand a better chance of succeeding in the long run.

The Journey from Failure to Success

Mike shared a valuable perspective on failure within the game development process. He likened the iterative process of game creation to a rite of passage, where creators must embrace failure as a learning opportunity. He mentioned that the path to creating a successful game often involves producing a series of not-so-great games before hitting the mark. He encouraged aspiring developers not to shy away from failure but rather to view it as an essential step toward achieving greatness.

Analyzing the Conversation: Insights into Blockchain Gaming

The conversation between Rachel and Mike offers a candid and insightful look into the world of blockchain gaming, covering various topics from community engagement and ownership to gameplay mechanics and challenges. Here are some key takeaways from their discussion:

1. Community Engagement and Transparency:

Mike highlights the paramount importance of community engagement and transparency in the success of a blockchain gaming project. He emphasizes the value of listening to players' feedback and incorporating their suggestions to enhance the game. Active participation by the project's leadership in community discussions builds trust and fosters a sense of ownership among players.

2. Skill-Based Gameplay:

The conversation touches on the significance of skill-based gameplay in the blockchain gaming realm. Mike underlines the need for success and failure to be determined by players' abilities rather than financial investments. This focus on skill-based outcomes adds depth and engagement to the gaming experience, ensuring that players are motivated by their skills rather than just monetary gains.

3. Balancing Incentives and Fun:

The conversation delves into the challenge of striking the right balance between play-to-earn incentives and the enjoyment of the game itself. Mike's project, Dimension X, is an example of designing a game that remains engaging and fulfilling even without the play-to-earn elements. The challenge lies in making gameplay exciting and enjoyable, regardless of financial incentives. The conversation addresses the dynamics of play-to-earn games, where players earn rewards through their in-game activities. However, the challenge arises when the emphasis on earning overshadows the fun of gaming. Designing games that offer both enjoyable gameplay and meaningful incentives is a key consideration for developers.

4. Ownership and Interoperability:

The concept of true ownership through non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is a key feature of blockchain gaming. Players have the opportunity to own in-game assets that hold real value and can be traded, sold, or used across different games and platforms. The potential for interoperability among games raises opportunities for players to carry their assets between different virtual worlds.

5. Technical Challenges:

Developing blockchain games comes with technical challenges, particularly in terms of backend infrastructure and security. Ensuring that cheating is prevented and that gameplay remains fair and secure is essential. Building a robust backend or utilizing on-chain solutions both have their advantages and challenges.

6. Longevity and Sustainability:

Rachel shares her experience with a DeFi game that was popular during the bull market but lost its appeal during the bear market. This highlights the challenge of creating games with an enduring appeal that can sustain interest even in fluctuating market conditions. A game's mechanics, community engagement, and skill-based outcomes can contribute to its longevity.

7. Inspirations and Traditional Games:

Mike's inspiration for blockchain gaming draws from a range of traditional games, including classics like The Legend of Zelda series and Magic: The Gathering. These games served as foundations for his understanding of engaging gameplay and informed his approach to creating a blockchain game that combines fun with blockchain technology.

8. Simplified Gameplay and Accessibility:

Both participants stress the importance of straightforward and accessible gameplay. Complexity can be a deterrent for players, especially when excessive hoops need to be jumped through just to engage in the game. Simplifying the gaming experience while maintaining depth is a challenge that developers need to tackle.

9. Web 3 Challenges:

The conversation highlights some challenges faced by the broader Web 3 ecosystem, such as accurately measuring demand, creating meaningful incentives, and maintaining player engagement. The inherent unpredictability of demand and the balance between supply and demand are complex factors to manage in the evolving Web 3 landscape.

Future Endeavors in Blockchain Gaming

The conversation wraps up with a discussion of exciting upcoming initiatives from Mike's project, Dimension X. The project is working on an Ethereum version of the game and is planning a free Ethereum drop to engage the community and bring new players into the fold. Mike's enthusiasm and dedication to the project shine through, reflecting his commitment to creating an engaging and sustainable blockchain gaming experience.

Rachel expresses her gratitude for Mike's extensive insights and knowledge in the blockchain gaming space. As someone not deeply immersed in the world of Web 3 gaming, Rachel appreciates Mike's expertise and the opportunity to learn from his experiences.

Stay Connected: Resources and Final Thoughts

The conversation between Rachel and Mike shed light on the exciting intersection of blockchain technology and gaming. Crypthulhu's journey from mobile gaming to blockchain underscored the potential for transformative change in the gaming industry. The interview provided a glimpse into the future of gaming, where players can enjoy not only the thrill of gaming but also the security and ownership that blockchain technology brings. As blockchain gaming continues to evolve, Crypthulhu stands at the forefront, exemplifying the innovative spirit driving this exciting digital frontier.

The conversation between Rachel and Mike offered a comprehensive exploration of the world of blockchain gaming, highlighting its potential, challenges, and key considerations for players and investors. As blockchain gaming continues to evolve, the insights provided by Mike shed light on the path to success in this exciting and dynamic landscape. Transparency, experience, community engagement, and a willingness to learn from failure emerged as key ingredients for creating impactful blockchain games that resonate with audiences worldwide.

The episode concludes with Rachel acknowledging the support of projects like BanklessDAO and Opolis, which have made the podcast's eighth season possible. She emphasizes the importance of these projects in building a solid Web 3 community and invites listeners to explore these initiatives for learning engagement, and networking opportunities.

Rachel also directs listeners to the Crypto Sapiens website for access to podcast episodes and additional resources. Furthermore, she highlights Opolis, a digital employment cooperative that offers services to those working in the Web 3 space. This aligns with her mission to support the Web 3 ecosystem and foster collaboration among its members.

As the conversation ends, the audience is left with a sense of excitement for the evolving world of blockchain gaming and its potential to redefine how we interact with virtual worlds, own digital assets, and engage in new forms of entertainment.

Episode 6 Resources

Play Dimension X:

Connect with Mike:

Crypthulhu Studios:

Connect with Rachel:

If you're interested in learning more about joining Opolis, a platform that supports the production of season eight of Crypto Sapiens, we've included a referral link in the description. Take a look and explore the possibilities it offers.

Before we wrap up, we want to emphasize the importance of following and subscribing to Crypto Sapiens on YouTube. We also have a podcast that you won't want to miss. By staying connected with us, you'll be sure to receive the latest updates, valuable content, and thought-provoking discussions.

To stay up-to-date with everything happening at Crypto Sapiens, make sure to visit our website. It's a great resource for accessing additional information, exploring past episodes, and discovering more about the fascinating world of blockchain and Web 3.

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