Shrapnel is a first-person shooter AAA game on-chain, a new fundamental aspect of Gamefi.
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Token 2049 in London a few weeks back was an epic event filled with TradFi, web2.5, web3, and DeFi companies alike ALL coming together during the most chaotic days of our current industry…FTX collapse week.
Absolutely insane. Really, very insane.
We had a blast still interviewing and learning from really interesting projects and learning from some really good talks.
In todays post we have an AMA with Shrapnel’s core team Samantha and Francis! Shrapnel is a first person shooter AAA game on-chain, a new fundamental aspect of gamefi.
We dove into incentives, NFTs, gaming, and much much more!
Shrapnel: AAA First Person Shooter Game On-Chain
Andy: First of all, just how did you guys get started with this?
Francis: General in the projects or ourselves?
Andy: A little bit of both
Francis: So we’ll do a background. Because I’m formally in aerospace engineering prioritizing things like drones and reinforcement learning, I wanted to leave that industry. So I became an analyst in crypto and I actually met one of the cofounders in the private group and I was mainly prioritizing layer one and layer 2’s and trying to advise people on what is most suitable and applicable to them. And that’s what shrapnel is doing at the time. So they brought me on board and kind of been there ever since.
Samantha: I got involved in the NFT industry in 2020 just by chance because I was friends with some digital artists that were really well known online but had never shown any of their work. And it was this kind of game where I would go to big companies like IKEA and other things to try and license their work and people, you know, the rates were rather poor. So when we heard about crypto art, as it was called back then, we were really interested. And then I was in the nifty gateway boom of 2020-2021 and it really just took off from there.
I’ve worked with Vogue Singapore, Freddie Mercury Foundation, doja cat, several other kinds of entities that want to come into web3.0 but don’t necessarily know how to navigate it. So I sort of bridge the web3.0 and web2.0 kind of community communication side
Andy: We’ve seen that at this conference specifically, there’s been a lot of web2.0 to web3.0 talks. You know, a lot of the ones that I’ve been to have been Ethereum of conferences which are like super Dev focused and super DeFi, super NFT like in the trenches, trying to do NFT lending and how to create more utility and LP and debt and all these stuff.
This conference is more broad, kind of like bringing traditional finance and like fintech companies into web3.0. So it’s interesting to see that play out as you’re saying. Just that kind of transition is there’s a lot of business to be made there. So yeah, how did you guys come up with this idea for this game?
Francis: The game itself is kind of in something that our CEO Mark Long has wanted to make for a long time. So as a company, initially the core founding team was at HBO and HBO Interactive. Their role was to kind of turn you know, HBO’s Game of Thrones Westworld into AAA titles. They ended up spinning out and creating their own independent studio called Neon, which meant that kind of mark got to make the game that you always wanted to make, which was kind of a user generated content orientated first person shooter. So if you look back in time like the late 90s early nights, user generated content was one of the big things that happened in games. You have StarCraft, Half Life, which became CSGO, you look at Warcraft which became Dota 2. There was a ton of user generated content that led to very successful long standing franchises and then that just kind of disappeared.
There’s nothing anymore like the AAA space and the large game space where you do actually have user generated content. So now kids are growing up playing Minecraft, Roblox, visually programming, making their content like enacting what the games they want to make in their own worlds. But when they get to like 18, they’ve got nothing to come to. So what we wanted to do is give them that experience through an FPS, which most people mature into. And so that’s kind of the vision of like kids these days when they grow up, they’ve got no game to kind of rotate and go, OK, this FPS is something I want to play as an older adult. And we also love the genre of extraction, so it’s similar to Battle Royale, a closest comparison is Escape from Tarkov.
The way it works is you add an RPG element on top of the first person shooter, you have a continuous infantry, and everything you took from the previous game you can bring into the next game. So it has that looting system that Battle Royale has, but it doesn’t have that kind of problem that games in a vacuum chamber have, which leads to only one person winning. The way extraction shooters work is anyone can win because It’s your own condition and you kind of set those metrics yourself.
Andy: Almost like keep leveling up as you’re saying. It becomes more of like a journey, less so just like a one time game, but now incorporating blockchain into this, what was kind of the advantages or you know the thought process behind wanting to do it for this game.
Francis: There’s two kinds of factors. One of them is towards players continuously building their inventory and allowing them by being on a blockchain makes it very easy for them to actually sell their goods and monetize that. So if they’re good at the game, they can monetize their skill and then if you’re good at creating it also allows them to monetize in that way because we can reward them with the token. And then if they make successful content, we’ll give them some tokens based on how successful the content is and that’s their monetization. So there is a kind of earning through providing content to the platform.
But then what the blockchain really allows us to do is like trustless collaboration. So if I make a car, you make a castle, Samantha uses those in her map. We can set the terms of those interactions, and we can monetize it without even knowing who Samantha is. She can just find it on the marketplace through smart contracts, interact with us, and then, we’ve monetized, she’s monetized, everyone’s happy. You can’t really do that often because it’s not transparent and it’s not clear what’s going on.
Andy: Samantha, when it comes to bringing on traditional, whether it’s gamers or investors or kind of web two or just that that kind of broader audience from your past experience, you know what are some of the things that you think that you guys will strive to do, some challenges to overcome as far as onboarding users and and kind of growing your community outside of just like the web 3 niche?
Samantha: When we started this process, our studio is basically a Web 2 gaming studio that has just gradually embraced web 3 and become very excited about using it to sort of reward players. But I mean, you’ve seen this in the beginning. Like people on Reddit and Twitter were very initially adversarial just to Web 3 gaming generally because they didn’t understand it. And I think people took too much of an educational focus.. like this is a new technology, you should do this, but they didn’t really tell them about ownership or just kind of like empowering and exciting them and that’s as a community and like a game studio what we really try to do is just to try to give people a pleasurable experience and tell them by joining our community, kind of like the things that they can have access to that other gaming studios don’t provide.
I did have a call that was kind of interesting with the film studio and they were looking to use NFT’s to reward people who want to explore their IP or worlds further. So if they make a film, the Super fans can go into it like an immersive experience. And that’s just the kind of mindset I think that gaming and film needs to adopt is like this is an immersive experience, it’s just continuing the game in another way.
Andy: Interesting stuff. And the immediate kind of analogy or thing that a lot of people draw to is like skins in Fortnite, right? When you buy V-bucks, you get the skin, but you can’t take that skin with you or you can’t sell the skin and can’t really do anything. I mean, once that money is in the system and the V-bucks are spent, there’s no like getting more V-bucks back. There’s no transferring of the V bucks, but now with the DeFi And NFTs combination we can take the Shrapnel token put it into a DEX with some ether or some USC or whatever it is you can instantly have it have all monetizable value and then you can also create kind of a marketplace for these skins or for these in game items. I’m curious about what you guys think about these in game items as far as their being an active marketplace for them, will they be priced in your token? Who’s gonna decide the market pricing? Is there going to be an ability to lend and borrow different types of items? Can you rent out an item? Auctions? How are you guys thinking about the marketplace in general?
Francis: So in terms of the pricing, one thing we want to do is make sure it’s consistent. The last thing a web 2 player wants to do is come in, buy a gun for a dollar and tomorrow is $0.50. They feel like they’ve lost a lot of money there. So we’re gonna keep it consistent price range for people entering the system. So if they want to buy offers, they can. If they want to sell to us, they can. And those prices will remain in a very tight band. Something appropriate for people to actually onboard into a game without feeling like they have to break bank. And then there’s tiers of value that people can opt into based on how much they feel risking in the session to potentially get some rewards. So we’re gonna have a very healthy marketplace that really facilitates, you know, players customizing what weapons they want and kind of crafting their own experience through a highly liquid but also marketplace supported by us. Because I think that’s one thing that a lot of games aren’t doing right now is ensuring consistency and the experience for a player, especially on the pricing end. Because if you don’t do that, players will play your game thinking about money as opposed to entertainment, which is kind of not what you want at all. And then I think one of the big benefits that you probably see from this is a massive increase in entertainment like you mentioned.
If people can sell, you know what they’ve bought, they can actually take it to a different game. If they’re burning out of your game, play that game and then come back when your game is feeling a little more fresh because they’re less burned out. So there’s a lot we can do in terms of marketplace and interactions with other folks, which I think is super powerful in web 3. Increase the players entertainment experience without actually having them leave the platform.
Andy: And what are you guys doing on the road map and kind of launching and releasing? Are you guys out soon or how is that process going?
Francis: We plan to have a kind of launch at GDC. So there’ll be some stuff going on there and then potentially some consensus as well. Will have some good sneak peeks.
Andy: Where can our community get involved and find more info and and join and participate.
Francis: So we have Player, which is play shrapnel and then there’s a link to our discord on Twitter as well. We’re very active. We do a lot of kind of discord stages, a lot of backlogs on like meet the team, our vision for the series, ton of information, very interactive. We have a lot of mods, yes, a lot of community. There’s 35,000 people that are actively talking.
Andy: Anything else that is present for you guys?
Francis: Yeah, I skipped over your lending question by mistake. So one of the things we can do in the game is you can actually sponsor players. So if you’re a new player you don’t have the caps as a player, but you’re very very good at the game. But you know you might spend 10,000 hours on CSGO. One thing we can do is kind of have a Guild which is the Web 3 version or just kind of a clan which is the web 2 version, support you and sponsor you as a player, similar to how poker works. Yeah, there’s a predetermined split based on how much they’re sponsoring in the skill of that person and we have the same thing here.
Andy: So you can kind of negotiate with your sponsor?
Francis: Yeah. So the sponsor could say. So we’ll have an in game skill rating that’s tied to your account. Using like soul bound tokens so you can transfer that. They can read that on a chain and say “oh this player is rated 1500, so we’ll sponsor them up to $1.00 and we’ll give them a 50-50 split”. But there might be someone who’s like, you know, Rank 1 in the game. They’ll say, OK, we’ll give you a 90-10 split, but you can take whatever you want. Yeah. So yeah, we have this system in place to make sure that people have adequate skill, and can monetize themselves without having to have a personal bankroll themselves.
Andy: Well thanks guys for the information and the talks. It ‘s been good.
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