8 Circuit Studios have started off on the right foot with a well developed mobile blockchain game and currently they have in development one of the first DApp games to be released for the popular game consoles. But what the team envisions is on a much grander scale than this, they have a goal to be a part of and help create a whole gaming “Metaverse.” What is that you ask? Read to find out.
1) Hi James you and your team have such diverse backgrounds in the videogaming space. Please give us an introduction?
The 8 Circuit Studios team is a collection of former Mobile/PC/Console game developers who have long careers in publishing and producing video games (from old school Nintendo, Xbox, EA, Blizzard days, and working on games like World of Warcraft, Halo, SOCOM, Battlefield, Sims, among others). We believe crypto and blockchains are the next revolution for our globally connected world. We also think that games are one of the best ways to make using blockchains quick, easy, and most importantly…fun.
2) Can you give us a brief overview of your blockchain game Alien Arsenal? Why did you choose to develop this first one for mobile devices?
Alien Arsenal: Battle for the Blockchain is a game where you collect, train, and evolve cute aliens to battle bosses and compete with other players on leaderboards. We chose to develop on mobile because we wanted to show how easy crypto can be. All you need to do is download our app and you get a wallet, digital assets (as adorable aliens), and more importantly…8Bit Tokens.
3) Your game D-PARC is the first blockchain game we have seen that is planned for the gaming consoles, like the PS4 and XBOX One. What aspects of blockchain will your game be integrating? Why dont you think we see more blockchain games being developed for the platforms? Are there many obstacles that you must hurdle over to do this?
In Alien Arsenal we have friendly alien characters and they also function as collectible digital assets. D-PARC is a first-person-shooter space-combat game and will “level-up” what Alien Arsenal accomplished on the blockchain. Not only will you be able to create a character that can live forever on the blockchain, but you’ll also be able acquire support ships, capital ships, and industrial installations that can develop and advance over time (and that is just the start!).
For console games that are blockchain based, broadly speaking, I think there are two factors slowing down their development:
1.) Blockchains can be daunting to work with. I don’t know if you picked up all the complex lingo, and concepts as a user of crypto quickly, but I remember it took me months and months and years to even understand crypto and blockchains…let alone actually use them (and I still have lots yet to comprehend on the subject). Now imagine the learning curve involved in trying to develop highly complex games that integrate them. This was actually the biggest challenge for us to overcome and I suspect this is affecting development on consoles.
2.) From the friends and colleagues at publishers and developers in the game industry that I’ve talked to, there seems to be a fair amount of skepticism about blockchains. There’s been a lot of hype around what blockchains can do, and of course the proliferation of ICO’s that amplify the hype. Making games is actually a pretty risky prospect, and developing for consoles/multiple platforms operates at another order of magnitude of risk over PC development. So my intuition says skepticism + risk = wait-and-see for most dev studios. Until blockchain development tools advance, or a lot more interest comes from publishers, I think you’ll see more DApp-type games or hybrid games on PC.
All that said, there’s also some really interesting stuff happening behind the scenes at the big game publishers that I can’t talk about yet, so that tells me maybe we’ll see more console development sooner than we think.
4) Which is your more difficult game to develop with blockchain, Alien Arsenal or D-PARC? What are some of the reasons?
Actually, its a bit of “apples to oranges”. Developing on mobile comes with its own challenges, but it was also our first title. A lot of the infrastructure we built to support mobile on the blockchain required exploring the unknown. Luckily our Architect, Kabe Robichaux, is a master of systems, databases, and pretty much anything with a CPU. D-PARC has WAY more moving parts on the game engine side, so it is more “complex”…but it’s also an area we’re a little more comfortable in. But that title gets to benefit from all the heavy lifting that we did for Alien Arsenal, so we can focus more on gameplay. In the end, its been amazing learning about this new territory. Now, we can help other developers benefit from our work.
5) What makes your games stand out from the competition? What are the most intriguing features?
I’d say two aspects help us standout: 1.) We focus on making crypto easy, convenient, and fun…no exchanges necessary, no third party plugins, and no need to find the right kind of wallet. Just download the app and play! 2.) developing on the multiple platforms: Mobile, PC, Console. One of the most intriguing features we currently have is the ability to evolve your aliens…they aren’t static. The more you train them, the more experience you get. Once you get enough experience, you can evolve them. Simply stated, the more time you spend on your aliens, the tougher they get, and that toughness is recorded on the blockchain.
6) What advice can you offer new game devs intersted in entering the blockchain gaming space?
I’d say if you could make relationships with other developers, start doing that. We have great lines of communication with EverdreamSoft who make Spells of Genesis, and we’ve had good conversations with the team at B2Expand as they developed Beyond the Void. Game developers are culturally a pretty collaborative group, and games are notorious for pushing the edges of technological boundaries. We can all learn from each other and share insights in the highly innovative blockchain space.
7) Did you guys have or plan to have an ICO or presale yet? Which one is your preferred choice and why?
We had a token sale in mid July for a small amount of ETH. We are using the proceeds gained to reduce the transaction fees on the Ethereum blockchain for our games – which we think is crucial for lowering the barrier of entry to crypto for the average gamer. We are also are considering another sale soon as we showcase some advanced capabilities that we’re not quite ready to reveal yet – so stay tuned!
8) Do you feel that your prediction of a Metaverse will happen in the future of gaming? There are still many in the videogaming industry that are hesitant in going forward with blockchain.
I think the foundation of the Metaverse is already being created thanks to gaming. Blockchains were the last piece of the puzzle necessary to make the Metaverse possible. Why? Because we needed a way to maintain the persistence of game objects across environments. Now that you can have assets moving between games on an open “platform” like blockchains, you can invert that model…and now we have games that can move around assets: like characters. It’s bit of a mind bending exercise, but this is essentially how the avatar system for a Metaverse would probably have to be built. These avatars could then move between the different worlds (or games) and remain persistent.
9) Where would you and 8 Circuit Studios like to be in five years time?
We would like to be doing what we’re doing now, only at a larger scale: making cool games, helping other developers, and building the Metaverse with others one brick at a time.
If anyone wants to be a part of this kind of journey, pop on over to our Discord and join the conversation: http://bit.ly/2sESQXj You can also download the Alien Arsenal game, get our wallet and 5 8Bit Tokens, and let us know what you think!
We’d like to thank Mr.James Mayo and the 8 Circuit Studios team very much for taking the time out of their busy schedules to talk with us for this exclusive interview!
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