How to Create a Blockchain Game: A Step-by-Step Guide with hacks for Developers

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Blockchain technologies are gradually penetrating various (still relatively few) business sectors, including logistics, insurance, finance, etc. Another interesting area is blockchain games, which began to actively develop in 2021. They are based on blockchain technologies, utilizing elements of cryptography. Cryptocurrency in such games is the main in-game tool. An example is the game Axie Infinity, which has received many positive reviews — it can be called a genuinely successful blockchain-based project. How is a blockchain game created? What should be considered during its development? We will discuss this in more detail, so the article will be of interest not only to beginners but also to professional developers.

How to Create a Blockchain Game

Initial Steps and Technical Solutions

Basic Blockchain Infrastructure It’s crucial to decide on the foundation of your project “from the shore,” when you are just starting to think about creating a game based on blockchain. The main focus here is long-term planning. It’s advisable to plan for 2-3 years ahead, since we are talking about creating a real project that will need to be developed and expanded. If you decide to switch platforms later on, you will face very significant problems. This is not at all the same as switching one bank for another in a regular business (and even there, there are complexities).

Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of several blockchain platforms that should be considered at the beginning of the project:

Ethereum. Pros — the level of platform adoption worldwide and the number of #ETH holders. All this significantly simplifies the UX and other nuances of development on Ethereum concerning game users. Additionally, it provides transparency and trust in the platform. Both are at a level that can increase user loyalty to the game.

Cons — expensive transactions, which are well known to system users. It is possible that this problem could be resolved within a couple of years, but this is only a perspective, and quite a foggy one at that.

Binance Smart Chain

Binance Smart Chain. Pros — inexpensive transactions, which are a lifesaver for many system users. Additionally, this platform is ranked second in the blockchain system ratings.

Cons — the lack of legitimate NFT markets and acceptance of the blockchain as an NFT hub. Another significant con is scalability issues, which are still easier to solve than in the case of Ethereum. Experts believe that all this can be resolved within six months.

Solana/Polygon. The plus here is just one — practically zero transaction costs. Choosing such blockchain platforms comes with numerous and significant downsides. For instance, working with Solana/Polygon is essentially interacting with corporations. Everything is centralized here. There are also few users, which might lead to distrust in the game right from the start. Moreover, there is also little stability, as these projects are not yet well-established.

Own Solution. An example could be Layer 2 on Ethereum. The advantages here are few, the main one being the maintenance of technical connection with the parent blockchain, in this case, Ethereum. This is an advantage in terms of simplifying UX. Additionally, it offers zero or near-zero transaction costs. However, the disadvantages are much greater. These include “crutches” for mass use, a general decrease in UX (despite the simplification, yes), and a deterioration of the “blockchain charm,” which factually worsens the overall atmosphere of the project.

In some projects, two blockchain platforms are used simultaneously. For example, the aforementioned Clash of Coins uses a combination of Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain, which provides inexpensive transactions, adds a legitimate NFT market, and allows for scaling the project. Another point is the same user wallet address for two blockchains. The combination works well because transactions in Binance Smart Chain are essentially an Ethereum virtual machine.

Wallets Besides the blockchain platform, before starting work on a gaming project, it is also necessary to decide on the wallet that will be used. Currently, about 90% of the wallet market is occupied by Metamask, Coinbase Wallet, Trust Wallet. There is a vast amount of information about them online. The main thing to know is that each has tens of millions of users and a convenient UX/UI. They are practically compatible with all blockchains.

There is another interesting solution that is not well known to everyone. It is magic.link, which supports Ethereum/Binance Smart Chain networks and allows user onboarding via email, and nothing more. The solution boasts full white label, analytics, and the possibility of additional security settings such as 2FA.

Blockchain Integration

Debugging Best Tools for Wallet and Blockchain Integration

After selecting the blockchain and wallet options, they need to be integrated into a unified system. This system should include, besides the already mentioned elements, the core gameplay and the server side, which will ensure the operation of the entire project.

There are quite a few solutions here, and one of the most interesting and relevant is the Moralis platform for WEB3. Currently, it is one of the most popular and reliable platforms for WEB3 development.

Fiat Gateway This refers to the ability to purchase cryptocurrencies within the game using fiat money, such as familiar currencies like euros or dollars, without leaving the game. There are quite a few projects in this area, which can be divided into those that have access to the US market and those that do not. Recommended fiat gateway launches include Simplex, Moonpay, Transak.

Successful continuous development of Blockchain Game

Successful continuous development of Blockchain Game

Here we are talking about aspects that are important during and after the product launch. In most cases, these are no longer about technology.

The Quality Product Itself Earlier, we agreed that when talking about a blockchain game, we are referring to a long-term project with a horizon of about 2-3 years or more. Precisely because the project is not a facade, it must be based on a substantive product. Over the past few years, numerous speculative projects have disappeared from the market, with the most significant ones now being those with real metrics like LTV, ARPU, and Retention. They also have a viral, hype component that helps promote the main project. However, this is done in favor of expanding the latter, not just to “cash in” and disappear. The most successful projects currently emerged thanks to a combination of a strong product and a viral marketing strategy.

Among them are Gods Unchained, Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, Alien Worlds, Embersword, and probably Guild of Guardians.

Successful Collaboration and Networking Primarily, with those known as NFT artists. The thing is, any large or even medium NFT collections are centers of organic growth with their own fan bases. It’s beneficial to integrate the lore of these collections with your game to gain the loyalty of such a fan base. In cases where a good partner is found, the cost of game marketing can be negligible, and in exceptionally successful partnerships, it may even approach zero. Moreover, interacting with NFT artists can help promote the product, as can gaming guilds.

NFT Lands

NFT Lands

This involves adding a feature to the game that allows the purchase of virtual land plots, which some blockchain project developers do. Why? There’s no practical sense, of course, but it gives users new sensations from acquiring or selling virtual “lands” followed by development. Here are examples of the most successful transactions:

Sale of a plot for $2 million in Axie — proof.

A similar transaction for the same amount in another crypto game — proof.

The transaction values are so high because the issuance of NFTs (in this case, virtual land plots) is limited. Initially, the “property” is inexpensive, but over time, as the number of users grows, the value of NFTs can reach tens, hundreds, or even millions of dollars, as shown above.

It’s important to emphasize the significance of virtual lands — after the increase in value, their location and/or proximity to other virtual objects becomes important.

Token Launch

It should not be launched immediately but only after gathering an audience of at least 10,000 people. The ideal situation for launching is when the token has a live and understandable utility economy, and it is launched when there are already thousands of active users. At this point, the viral effect can literally skyrocket.

Expansion Several interesting opportunities include launching, for example, on the web, which symbolizes Web 3.0. Another option is launching in the Epic Store, which is quite friendly to blockchain projects, so developers of such games should pay close attention to this company. And finally, developing your own desktop client, which is also important.

Within a year, there may be an opportunity to host blockchain projects on mobile devices outside of stores. However, this requires interaction with various companies, which involves negotiations. So, this is not the easiest path, but it is possible.

Security check

Audit

After everything is launched and operational, it is necessary to conduct an audit. Unfortunately, professional teams that can perform a security check of the product and conduct a comprehensive penetration test often have a backlog of clients. So even after paying for the service, you may have to wait, sometimes for several months.

In most cases, developers do not have that much time; they launch projects having reconciled with the fact that the product will be vulnerable for at least 3-4 months. However, after assessing the situation with the product’s information security, it will be practically immune to threats. It is worth noting that the cost of the service for checking project vulnerabilities is not cheap.

Overall, these are the main points to consider when developing a blockchain game, so if you can use them in your own project, you can avoid a number of complex issues that complicate the development of the game.

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