Blockchains, so what?
Ethereum Integration Explained
Our vision for Dissolution was to create an MMO experience that will truly immerse the player into the game, all the while creating an element of realism that no other game on the market can match. We were inspired by the virtual economy of Eve Online, seeing the prices of in-game items and resources fluctuate like an actual stock market. We thought to ourselves: wouldn’t this be even more immersive with blockchain?
For those of you unfamiliar with blockchains, you may be skeptical on how the technology can bring more immersion to your experience. The ultimate benefit of using blockchain isn’t so much for the developers (its more development that we have to do), it is for the player. Blockchain allows a player to truly own their items, meaning that the item isn’t stored on our servers, but in your own personal wallet. We as the devs cannot do anything to take these items away from you, or prevent you from doing anything that you wish with them; they’re truly yours to keep. Players will be able to trade and sell them as they wish, without needing to log into an account or interacting with our game servers.
In fact, a player-driven, in-game economy will be at the core of the Dissolution experience. Blockchains also allow us to create enforceable scarcity in the game; unlike traditional titles, rare items will have finite supplies that anyone can see by quickly checking on a block explorer. We believe that transparent scarcity of items will force the player to make realistic decisions through both gameplay and trading.
Imagine a group of players who actively participate in trading the in-game rare-metals market, lets say steel. If the price of steel rises, it could have profound impacts on the narrative and gameplay for all players in the universe. First, more and more miners will flock to steel-rich asteroids due to the higher prices. Next, steel-shipments will increase due to the increased mining activity which then attracts pirates and other rogues who then raid these shipping lines. With the increase in pirate activity in the sector, miners and traders alike, will opt to hire security forces, which then provides opportunity to law-abiding private mercenary players. Every action that you make as a player will butterfly effect on the universe.
We are using ERC-1155 and the Enjin platform as our backend solution to connect the game to the Ethereum blockchain. While the benefits of implementing blockchains into a videogame are too numerous to outline in this brief explanation, there is still a massive downside: they are intimidating and hard to use.
Luckily, our integration with Enjin mitigates this effect for non-crypto players. We use a hybrid system of on-chain and off-chain (server-side) item storage. To keep things simple and friendly to users who don’t have an Ethereum address or are unfamiliar with blockchain, we will also be storing account and inventory on our central database like traditional games. At the same time, blockchain gamers can play our game while keeping their items as ERC-1155 tokens in their personal wallet. When a player feels comfortable, they can choose to ascend their items from the game database to become a blockchain token.