Building a play-to-earn game is a massive undertaking. We have three pillars guiding our development on our quest to build a sustainable and fun blockchain-backed game.
Fun is our priority
Interoperability is the future
Build to decentralize control, but do it slowly
There is still a lot to learn in web3. Our approach is to build in public, to run many experiments, and to iterate often. Our community is a part of our build process.
Pixels is not a traditional game studio & its development process is anything but traditional as well. Instead of waiting years and years to launch our game, Pixels chooses to build in public with our community.
The first iteration of our game that we released was not very impressive, but the game has improved every week for over 2 years and will continue for years. Our community has been an active part of this consistent improvement - our community gives feedback - and we listen!
This process has allowed us to iterate & experiment way faster while allowing players to have a legitimate sense of ownership in the direction of our game.
There are plenty of talks about sustainability in play-to-earn gaming. Our thesis is that the key to building a sustainable play-to-earn economy is by removing the play-to-earn as a core part of messaging and expectations to both players and our game designers.
Our design team needs to focus on creating real value for our users - by creating a game that people genuinely enjoy and want to spend time playing. As we design, we need to work out how to keep the game experience fun for all types of users while still exploring the new realms of gaming that the blockchain can unlock.
Interoperability is one of the largest unlocks in blockchain gaming. If you truly own a virtual item or, even better - if you’ve grown to form a digital identity around a specific digital good - you should be able to take these things that you own into different experiences across the internet. In our mind, these talks about a Metaverse refer to this: an interconnected mesh of adventures, games, and spaces that your digital identity can flow between.
We surprised the space by implementing the first NFT integrations into our game - allowing users to connect their Metamask wallets and walk around our world as their NFT.
We have integrated over 90 different collections now.
We will continue pushing boundaries in this area. Stay tuned.
Complete decentralization is the end goal. But an innovative and calculated approach to idealistic decentralization is necessary.
As we build, we need to decide what decisions, mechanics, and pieces of ownership need to be on-chain and what are best suited off-chain, given our stage of development and the state of the current technology.
We want to take a product-first approach and release a fun game that offers the best elements of decentralization as quickly as possible. That way, we can learn what is working and what isn’t and adjust and iterate accordingly. As more of our systems become concrete and the blockchain ecosystem becomes more mature, we can decentralize our systems more.
Early on, our primary focus is to have ownership of in-game items on-chain, but the execution of many game mechanics server-side.
This approach allows for 10x quicker development, 10x faster response times, and a much better game experience. However, as the space matures, we can migrate over the actual implementation of mechanics on-chain and into contracts.
Early decision-making will primarily be centralized and controlled by our team as well. This will allow for much quicker decision-making and let us look out for the long-term health of the ecosystem in its critical early days. However, we envision and are setting up systems that will allow for decentralized treasury management, economic planning, and more. As the game and ecosystem mature, we also can begin to decentralize more and more of these systems.