With the impending launch of zkSync2.0, one of the most recent updates offered by Matter Labs would be for zkSync2.0 to serve as a “one-stop solution for game developers”. Staying true to the team’s ethos of adopting a “developer-friendly” approach towards building a general-purpose execution environment for zkSync2.0, zkSync has partnered with LYNC to facilitate a convenient avenue for game developers to launch GameFi projects on zkSync within just a few minutes.
What is LYNC?
LYNC is a one-stop SDK (Software Development Kit) deployment platform targeted specifically at building GameFi Infrastructure. With LYNC, game developers in the Web3 space are able to easily list their in-game assets such as currencies and equipment, as interoperable NFTs without having to undergo the hassle of deploying smart contracts and interacting with the blockchain on their own.
This generates an environment friendly for Web2 game developers interested in transitioning their projects into the Web3 space, of which the conversion of in-game assets such as NFTs play a crucial role.
This is particularly important when weighing the common issues faced by Web2 gamers, as we will discuss further below.
Ownership of in-game Assets
Especially for the most competitive and ardent of players who have invested hours into their favorite Web2 games such as Dota2, Fortnite and the like, it is unfortunate that their accumulated virtual assets such as achievements, skins, and equipment actually do not wholly belong to them. These competitive gamers are merely licensing these in-game items from the game developers.
What does this mean for gamers?
First of all, not having true ownership of their in-game assets means that these hard-earned items will likely be lost in the scenario where the game developer opts to shut servers down for good one day. In this case, we are perhaps looking at thousands of hours worth of grinding going to waste, with no way for players to extract these items out of the doomed servers.
Liquidity of Assets
For gamers who wish to cash in on the thousands of hours spent on dungeon-grinding, the unfortunate reality is that many mainstream multiplayer games such as Dota2 and Diablo do not encourage the trading of these in-game commodities. With terms and conditions that specify how users may be banned for selling their assets for cash, Web2 gamers are hard-pressed for a way to liquidate their assets for some much-needed cash should the scenario present itself. This is also the reason why black and grey markets for games such as Diablo Immortal have proliferated ever since its launch – it provided an avenue for players to convert their assets to cash and actually make their gaming hours worth something in the financial world.
Naturally, these markets are generally considered illegal and gamers participating in such trade often run the risk of having their accounts banned entirely if they are caught utilising these very sites.
Interestingly enough, it is these very issues with Web2 gaming that have laid the foundations for the genesis of NFT marketplaces that we see today, such as BitKeep NFT Market, as well as GameFi.
What Exactly is GameFi?
GameFi, or Game Finance, is a nascent concept that combines elements of blockchain technology, decentralized finance (DeFi), and gaming to create a new paradigm for gaming and financial interactions. At its core, GameFi aims to create an ecosystem where players can earn cryptocurrency by participating in games, as well as leverage their gaming assets to generate revenue.
The concept of GameFi emerged as a natural evolution of the blockchain and DeFi ecosystems, which have gained significant traction in recent years. By leveraging the aspects of security, transparency, and immutability of blockchain technology, GameFi allows players to own and control their in-game assets and earn cryptocurrency for their efforts. In addition, players can use their gaming assets as collateral to access DeFi services, such as borrowing and lending, staking, and liquidity provision.
GameFi also introduces new game mechanics and incentives that align the interests of players, developers, and investors. For instance, developers have the ability to create games that reward players with tokens that appreciate in value, while investors can earn a share of the revenue generated by the games. Moreover, GameFi enables players to participate in governance and decision-making processes, giving them a say in the development and direction of the ecosystem.
What Kind of GameFi Projects are on zkSync?
zkSync promises a host of various GameFi projects, several of which we will be taking a look at in this article.
Tevaera is a GameFi platform that features an integrated DEX and supports user-generated NFTs, on-chain player reputation system, and is optimised to cater towards a wholistic and inclusive Web3 gaming experience.
The game is also free to play, allowing anyone to mint a free character to compete in the game. Clearly, Tevaera is following an increasing trend of GameFi games that are beginning to recognize the necessity to keep barriers to entry low for new gamers in order to build a sustainable game economy that only rewards the oldest or wealthiest players.
Gamers may collect Karma Points as they progress through various side-scrolling levels, which can be used to purchase in-game assets such as cosmetics and weapons. Additionally Karma Points can also be used to redeem public tokens in the future. Players will be ranked according to the total Karma Points they have collected, and those who top the leaderboards will also be eligible for further rewards.
If you are a fan of side-scrolling platform games such as Maplestory and Hollow Knight, Tevaera will be right up your alley.
If macabre side-scrollers are not entirely your thing, you may try your hands on CryptoMaze: a free-to-play social gaming universe where gamers take control of their characters (in the form of NFTs, of course) and interact with others in a dynamic virtual world – all from the comfort of their mobile device.
While the game has yet to be officially launched, CyproMaze has already completed their first phase, “Genesis”, which featured the minting of 3,333 unique “Genesis Block” heroes. This NFT collection contains 3,333 unique Mighty CryptoMights, the main characters of the game. Currently, the unrevealed NFTs hold a floor price of 0.1ETH, or roughly USD $155 on BitKeep NFT Market.
If you missed out on this mint, not to fret as another upcoming mint is on the way. Be sure to keep a lookout on their Twitter page to stay updated on their latest news, and of course, when the next public mint will take place.
Eager to get your hands on one of the original NFTs? Head on over to the BitKeep NFT Market and try your luck at an unrevealed CryptoMight! Learn more about how you can buy, list, and search for your favorite NFT collections on BitKeep NFT Market here.
Enjoy the colorful aesthetics of Cryptomaze and also the side-scrolling platform of Tevaera? MiniMini Dungeon promises a delightful marriage of both worlds. Stylised in adorable 8-bit format, MiniMini Dungeon is one of the highly-anticipated games arriving soon on zkSync2.0.
Similar to most GameFi games, players can stand a chance to convert their gaming hours into tokens and rewards. The game features two primary modes of currencies: Gem Tokens and Exp Tokens. The former can be achieved by selling items the player gains through venturing into dungeons, and can also be used to purchase more items in NFT form or upgrade their existing equipment. Exp Tokens, on the other hand, essentially injects a direct upgrade into the player’s account, enhancing their farming efficiency while in dungeons and also unlocks more NFT equipment rewards for the player to earn.
Be warned, however, that this adorable game comes with a rather unique sinister catch – dying in a dungeon will result in the loss of the player’s character and assets, which the game developers have explained will simulate “an experience like a real death in the game”.
On the upside, because this game will be built on the newly-developed zkEVM, players need not pay for transaction fees with ETH, and instead, can pay for them with in-game tokens from the game, providing an additional layer of convenience for all players brave enough to venture into these 8-bit dungeons.
While a novel and fascinating concept, GameFi is certainly not without its drawbacks and risks. For starters, GameFi games have been criticised for lacking depth and sophistication, with an over-emphasis on the game’s tokenomics. Indeed, you would be hard-pressed to source for triple-A GameFi projects featuring state-of-the-art game engines such as Unreal Engine and Frostbite. Additionally, GameFi projects have also been criticised for having high barriers of entry, such as requiring players to invest in initial capital, be it in the form of an NFT character or domain.
That being said, however, GameFi developers are beginning to acknowledge these criticisms and have adjusted their strategies accordingly. Popular GameFi project Axie Infinity, for instance, has begun allowing new players to loan out free NFT characters to begin earning within the game instead of requiring them to purchase three NFT characters right off the bat, as was the initial state of the game. Furthermore, who is to say that high-end graphics are necessary for one to enjoy a game? 8-bit stylistics can be just as enjoyable as flashy and realistic explosions within triple-A games, as games like Minecraft show.
Ultimately, there are still undeniable risks associated with GameFi projects, such as hacks or even an absolute collapse of the game’s token economy. As with any monetary-related endeavor, there will always be risks that users need to pay attention to. Always remember to DYOR , study a project’s tokenomics before committing to it, and take standard hygiene practices in safeguarding your wallet’s private key or mnemonic phrase when traversing these GameFi realms and the Web3 space in general.
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