Thursday, 10 July 2014

The Net-Positive Dogecoin Business initiative

I try to hold Dogecoin and when I get BTC, I usually convert to Doge. By using Dogecoin as a currency, and using services that use Dogecoin as a currency, we effectively create a closed loop that can only result in Dogecoin reaching the moon! Therefore, I would like to lead the initiative for a concept I call the Net-Positive Dogecoin Business (NPDB).

A net-positive Dogecoin business does the following:

  • Supporting services for the business should be paid with Dogecoin whenever possible, even if this means choosing a slightly less desirable service that accepts Dogecoin. An example of a supporting service would be computer stores that accept Dogecoin when buying hardware, internet service providers that accept Dogecoin, domain registrars that accept Dogecoin..etc. 
  • Preference would be given to a supporting service that claims to not convert immediately to fiat and rather tries to use Dogecoin 
  • The business should accept Dogecoin and try to convert to Dogecoin when possible 
  • Overall the business should, through regular operation, increase the market cap of Dogecoin by running a business that puts a priority on circulating Doge and/or converting FIAT to Doge 
Ideally, the Dogecoin foundation would come up with a review process before approving a business as a NPDB and these businesses would show up on various official Dogecoin websites and forums in a favorable spot. Until a review process can be decided upon, we should probably accept businesses that claim to be net-positive at their word, even if it's just to get the ball rolling.

Ideally, we would want to come up with a badge that a website can post on their site (which would link back to the official Dogecoin website) that shows off their dedication to being a NPDB. Hopefully our community of talented artists can come up with something! ;)

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Kickstarter funding and strategy

What happens if you don't reach your Kickstarter goal?

Work on the game won't stop if we don't reach our goal. That amount is the total amount we need (minimum) to finish the project over the next 2 years. If the Kickstarter does fail, immediately I will be contacting the backers who want to continue backing the project. Most of them would be getting immediate access to the prototype that is online right now.

Once that is all done, I'll be looking at alternate funding possibilities. If I start getting some traction with the media, but it is too late for the Kickstarter, then we would likely restart the Kickstarter after a few months. I would also be looking pretty heavily into Venture Capitalist investor possibilities as well.

There has always been a 3rd option as well. A lot of the technology we are working on is very much "cutting edge" and we've created the individual modules such that they could be easily deployed in other gaming projects. It is a remote possibility that we could get funding through a partnership with another game company interested in our software.

Needless to say that the time estimates attached to the donation reward levels would only apply once we get fully funded.

What is the money going to be used for? Why are you asking for so much?

The 275,000 we asked for on Kickstarter is the total minimum amount we believe is required to finish the game over it's 2 year development. The money would be used to pay developer living expenses primarily, but also legal fees, and other company fees. A number of people have asked why we are asking for so much, but for a 2 year development period, 275,000 is really a very small amount. It is also very important to understand what it is we are building. The game is much more than the simple shooter you see before you in the gameplay videos now. We're building the Universe Engine, and it is a very major undertaking in every regard, but all we need now is time and funding. 

Our first year and a half of development was a huge success with major pieces of the foundation frameworks for the Universe Engine put in place and created in such a way that will accelerate Phase 2 development. The Universe Project has a particularly long spin-up time, but VoidSpace allows us to release playable versions of the game very quickly because the visuals are simple enough that they don't require too much attention. Instead, we are able to focus the majority of our time developing the Universe Engine, which is the part that the players never actually see.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Dogecoin integration - VoidSpace vs Pay2Win

How will VoidSpace implement Dogecoin?

We will be creating an experimental MMO server that allows you to spawn a new character at the cost of
some Dogecoins. The dogecoins you pay in will be randomly distributed throughout the game world as a mineable resource. Which means that you can actually make money by playing the game. Not only will you be able to mine Dogecoins in-game, but you will be able to trade them with other players, or even attack players and loot their coins.

We will also be allowing for custom servers to be created where all players who join the server have to pay a buy-in in Dogecoins, and the player who survives gets to keep the coins at the end of the game.

Finally, the standard MMO server configuration will allow players to simply deposit coins into their characters so they can buy things from other players in-game. With this configuration, players won't need to mine the coins first. There will be some limitations on this configuration however. Players won't be able to remove coins from their character whenever they want. There will be a period once the coins are acquired that they will need to stay in the character's inventory. This is to keep players from stealing coins, and then removing them from the game so they cannot be taken back. Coins will also only be able to be removed in batches. For example, if the batch size is 1000 coins, and a player has 1200 coins in his inventory, he will only be able to "cash out" 1000 coins. The purpose of this is to keep at least a small amount of coins on the character available to be stolen/looted by other players. (Keep in mind that 1000 doge is currently worth about 40 cents)

Ok fine. But why Dogecoin?

Dogecoin is a decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency that enables you to easily send money online. Think of it as "the internet currency." Dogecoin is based on the same code that the wildly successful Bitcoin was created from, with some added tweaks to make transactions much faster. We have decided to go with Dogecoin for our virtual in-game currency for a number of reasons:

  1. Dogecoin was founded on the idea that a digital currency should be fun and friendly, and we believe this ideal fits in very well for an in-game currency.
  2. Unlike Bitcoin, Dogecoin's value is much less than a dollar, which makes it better suited for a game currency. It just feels better to get paid 1000 Dogecoins rather than 0.001 Bitcoins.
  3. Dogecoin transactions are much faster than Bitcoin (~8x faster) and Litecoin (~2.5x faster). This means that putting money into your account or sending money from your account will be much faster.
  4. Dogecoin has support from many currency exchanges so you can easily convert Doge into the currency of your own country. However, we would encourage you to check out Dogecoin services online that will accept Dogecoin directly!

Even though Dogecoin will be directly used as the in-game currency for VoidSpace, we will still accept other crypto-currencies and standard currencies. The crypto-currencies we will be supporting are as follows:
  • Dogecoin
  • Bitcoin
  • Litecoin
  • Vertcoin
  • Quarkcoin
  • Auroracoin
  • Darkcoin
  • Maxcoin
  • Mintcoin

I'm concerned that VoidSpace is just a Pay 2 Win game

Our funding model is partially based on the fees we receive for micro-transactions between players. The alternative would likely have to be a monthly subscription for the game, which players would probably hate. A few people see the player to player Real Money Transaction (RMT) as a Pay-to-Win (P2W) system and I have a handful of reasons why this isn't the problem they think it is.

  1. Generally, P2W is associated with games where players can buy things from the game developer to give their characters more power in the game world. This is primarily what gets people mad about P2W as it clearly makes it impossible to play the game "fairly". VoidSpace doesn't actually do this and all transactions happen between actual players.
  2. If you're still concerned about P2W happening in a player-to-player RMT system, then I would say that this is the case for ALL MMOs. People will sell on Ebay, directly on Paypal.. it will happen no matter what the TOS states. Making it easier for players to perform RMT only makes it safer.
  3. Regular games suffer more from a P2W scenario in general. In most games, players are all in close quarters either logically or physically (virtual-physical). For example, Diablo 3 had the global auction house, this has the effect of having every player in the world in the same room and whoever has the most money, gets the best stuff. VoidSpace relies on "localities" that will occur naturally. Players cannot even communicate over long distances let alone trade on a global scale. You must find what you want before you can have it.
  4. What it comes down it is this: players don't like it when they feel like they have to pay in order to be matched with the other players in the game. But this is the reality of a game that is based on reality. There are many more ways that a player can get more power than you and having more money than the other guy is only one of many. Any given player could be playing beside people who:

    A) already have an existing fan base on the internet
    B) have been playing for a long time and have amassed a lot of power
    C) have lucked out and created a technology that makes them much more powerful than you

    VoidSpace is a truly organic world and this kind of distribution of power will occur in many ways for many different reasons, not just because someone has the most money. 

If a player wants to get away from all that, in VoidSpace, he can. The world is going to be enormous and at any point a player can pick up and find a remote place to live, far from what he deems as a hostile and un-fun environment.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Our Kickstarter is live and we're about to get Greenlit on Steam!


This is big big news. Our Kickstarter is now up and running with lots of information and a brand new concept video for the Universe Project: VoidSpace.

Check out the Kickstarter here

Steam Greenlight

Getting greenlit on steam, and being one of the top greenlights, would mean tremendous exposure on the largest gaming network in the world. 
We're looking for gamers to help get us greenlit on steam, so please vote for us!

The Steam Greenlight page is here