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Author Topic: Create a game that accepts Bitcoin for currency  (Read 16384 times)
markm
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January 08, 2012, 05:39:55 PM
 #41

The web-based Villages Online and Galaxies Online games have stepped up to the next level today: registration is no longer open to random passers-by.

Instead, players now need to develop their skills and/or resources using individual characters in order to accumulate or develop the requisites for founding a village or financing an intergalactic mining enterprise.

(The individual character scale of play is the CrossCiv server mentioned in my .sig ... You will need to make sure to pick a character type that will be in the Galactic Milieu not on the Fantasy world in order to have the potential to advance to the Villages or Galaxies scales of play.)

-MarkM-

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markm
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February 25, 2012, 07:35:40 PM
 #42

My hosting's PHP setup is global across all the subdomains, so when I activated a Zend optimiser / decrypter thing in order to test out a "membership site" system, all my sites on that host gained the Zend functionality.

Now the Villages Online system has suddently started gettign errors it did not have before:

Fatal error: Cannot run code from this file in conjunction with non encoded files in [snip]/villages.mygamesonline.org/Templates/Build/avaliable/availupgrade.tpl on line 14

I tried using the "file" program to find any Zend stuff by magic numbers, but it does not detect and of the files as Zend.

Nonetheless I suspect one or more of the "skin" javascript things are probably triggering this, which probably confirms that at least some of the code is stolen code from the commercial "Travian" game, not actually free open source code at all.

Thus, it will be shutting it down. I have been testing the genuinely free open source Villages game "Devana", and so far it seems to be working, so I will move that onto the Villages subdomain and get rid of the Travian-clone at last. It had in any case turned out to be broken in many places compared to what it ought to have had according to its blurbs instructions and so on.

Meanwhile I have also been checking out 2moons, another Galactic mining system. It seems to work much better than the Xnova Redesigned. It also has a larger selection of ships, basically continuing up past the largest ships the Xnova Redesigned has, and its user interface is not so over-designed as to make it crazy-hard to add more buildings ships technologies and so on.

This of course means that fleets developed in 2moons could be even more of a threat to the central civilised worlds of the Galactic Milieu than the fleets of the Xnova Redesigned system. Thus the Xnova Redesigned galaxies will still be retained as galaxies closer to home, and the 2moons galaxies will be situated beyond those of the Xnova Redesigned system, as an even farther-flung set of defences. Thus the lack of combat in the Xnova Redesigned galaxies can be consideres deliberate, the robotics corporations providing the technology deliberately keeping mining operations so close to home from being armed, at least until some farther threat is discerned which might justify arming the inner set of mining operations.

The 2moons system will be outer defenses, hopefully ready and able to take on any even farther out potential enemies of the homeworlds of the Milieu.

This means that the 2moons galaxies will be even harder to get started in than the Xnova Redesigned galaxies, which already had to stop allowing ever tom disk and harry to start up a mining operation. (Too many "players" simply never did anything, leaving the financiers who financed their startup gear in the lurch, and we were running out of capable CEOs for repossession corps to take over such abandoned operations.)

Most likely people will only be able to start operations in the 2moons galaxies once a jump gate has been built in the Xnova galaxies to enable ships to be sent that far.

-MarkM-

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schnell
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February 25, 2012, 08:22:09 PM
 #43

I was thinking about this just as I hit this thread..

The game basically uses the some spare cycles to generate BTC. This is then added as "drops" from creatures as they accumulate (mite only satoshi's at first but will grow..)

Makers of game sell ingame items in a central market (set fee goes back into game development, 25% for instance) rest is dished out. A user market place can also exist to resell items (again a small fee of 5% is taken to sell it via this system)

Money can be bought externally or withdrawn from an account if you hunt enough and want to extract your winnings.

Ofcourse this is for an MMO (WoW or dark of camelot style).

+1 to you, sir.
markm
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February 29, 2012, 09:17:54 PM
 #44

Yet another web-based game: http://fantasy.mygamesonline.org/

You don't have to think only in terms of bitcoins, there are numberous less valuable cryptocurrencies you might find easier to treat as game-currencies...

-MarkM-

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March 05, 2012, 11:05:52 PM
 #45

Anybody play CSS here?  I remember back when i played you were able to use a mod that allowed one to "bet" on which team would win.  This would be awesome with bitcoin!
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March 20, 2012, 03:44:48 AM
 #46

Betting with bitcoins would be an excellent idea especially on a popular game like CSS or even Left 4 dead 2 or such Heck i would host a server if that was the case Cheesy
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March 31, 2012, 02:24:53 PM
 #47

There are a lot of really great thoughts in this thread.

One thing I'd call for is Bitcoin-based game design to avoid simply degenerating into gambling (unless a gambling game is what you're after). I'm not a lawyer, but I think that any game in which you can win back more than you put in is defined as gambling (unless it's a contest, maybe). I think there are a lot more interesting ways Bitcoin can be used in games (especially indie games).

MarkM: You seem to be very familiar with the gaming industry, and developing indie titles. Thanks for your professional insights, and I appreciate that you recognize the importance of doing things the right way.

I'm an indie developer, as well. Have a look at my Potential Games Bitcoin Initiative topic, which is a (vaguely defined) campaign to gauge community interest in Bitcoin-related (indie) gaming. We're not yet taking Bitcoin, but I'm personally keen to move in that direction. Any thoughts are most welcome.

~ Bitcoin Game List
~ "Mathematicians overlook that computation is bounded by Physics. Computer Scientists lament it. Cryptographers depend on it." -- Nyhm c. 2012
~ 1NYhM2pzT6PDfZyXbyFm3dVcoob4phrGc5
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April 01, 2012, 10:42:35 PM
 #48

Looks like Notch is going ahead with space game thing ... titled "Mars Effect" ... "advanced economic and trading system" ... "mining, looting" sounds interesting?

"He notes the game is still early in development, but they’re planning to include:

    Hard science fiction.
    Lots of engineering.
    Fully working computer system.
    Space battles against the AI or other players.
    A game ending that makes sense.
    Abandoned ships full of loot.
    Waist high walls.
    Seamlessly landing on planets.
    Advanced economy system.
    Mining, trading, and looting."

http://techzwn.com/mars-effect-announced-by-notch-a-free-roaming-space-sim/#comments

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April 02, 2012, 11:17:53 AM
 #49

Looks like Notch is going ahead with space game thing ... titled "Mars Effect" ... "advanced economic and trading system" ... "mining, looting" sounds interesting?

"He notes the game is still early in development, but they’re planning to include:

    Hard science fiction.
    Lots of engineering.
    Fully working computer system.
    Space battles against the AI or other players.
    A game ending that makes sense.
    Abandoned ships full of loot.
    Waist high walls.
    Seamlessly landing on planets.
    Advanced economy system.
    Mining, trading, and looting."

http://techzwn.com/mars-effect-announced-by-notch-a-free-roaming-space-sim/#comments
Wow, mars effect. He's just asking to be sued again.
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April 13, 2012, 09:48:56 PM
 #50

The Open Transactions server has re-emerged from its deep rewriting and fixing phase, so we are back on track with the "financial games" aspects of the Galactic Milieu and have completed the first round of galactic corporation IPOs. I heard that a big problem for investors in EVE online is all the megacorps offering investment opportunities turn otu to be scams, so I aim to make sure there are good ones to invest in in the  Galactic Milieu. Eventually in principle every time someone builds a stock exchange in one of their cities the option should exist to set up an Open Transactions server to represent that specific exchange, but initially we'll use less actual servers than there are stock exchanges in the galaxy, starting with this initial test/demo deployment.

DeVCorp, GDC (General Development Corp), GFC (General Financial Corp) and GRC (General Retirement Corp) all issued a million shares each, and all the shares of all of them sold out at 20 DVC per share.

Note that where we write "General" here on Earth, in many parts of the Milieu they use "Galactic" instead. basically General and Galactic are interchangeable terms for Corps such as these.

Meanwhile we have also finally found a good useable free open source MUD codebase that does not have the onerous "you cannot ever make any money with this in any way" type of license so many MUD systems are stuck with. So development is afoot in adding that to the repertoire of systems one can use to interact with various aspects of the Milieu.

-MarkM-


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April 14, 2012, 08:22:57 AM
 #51

Jmonkeyengine looks like a good game engine written in java that should be easy to integrate bitcoin with
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April 14, 2012, 03:59:20 PM
 #52

... anybody here read the latest by Neal Stephenson .... REAMDE

MMORPG game currency and economy is a central theme ... crypto, gold, etc. Lots of ideas in there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reamde

Thats what brought me here, Stephenson's REAMDE.
When I read it I was all "hey, Stephenson has to write exactly that book with bitcoin!".
But, of course, the way to go is to program a game with bitcoin as an ingame currency.

I like the idea of an MMORPG. It has deep immersion and high addiction! :-)

I dont believe an alt-chain would make much sense. We don't want to market xycoin, but bitcoin. Players won't do the jump from xycoin to bitcoin, as xycoin is basically worthless and will be seen as a fancy ingame-currency only.

I dont think local mining works at all. Most people will have to use their cpu, only a small part has the right gpu. Those, however, would have too much of an advantage. The average would have a ridiculously low "income". Sure, make 0.0001 BTC one gold. But then there won't be any serious connection to the bitcoin-universe (=economy).. Want to get people buying mining hardware for playing that game? Makes no sense at all. They should and will rather mine regular and play regular independent of each other.

I suggest to only do exchanging between bitcoin and gold period.
Maybe something like this:

- Buy the game, for a relatively small price, online or in a shop.
- Each game has its own bitcoin address, the public one only.
- Each copy has one BTC preloaded.

- Playing costs a regular monthly fee, directly removed from that address.
- Bitcoins are converted to gold, by a changing rate dependent on regular exchange rates.

- Transfer bitcoins to your game's address, voila, more gold.
- Request a payout from your account: cashout
- Any bitcoin transaction may cost you some percent
- Dig/earn gold ingame: get bitcoins on your address


The goals:
- Have farmers farming gold/bitcoin, officially.
- Have people buy gold from the game or farmers, which they pay by real bitcoins.
- Have people do many transactions, like selling/buying gear, earning bitcoins, buying gold, and "tax" all of those transactions
- Have people play a lot, for monthly income

This will be a very wiggly economy. However, the game can influence at the btc-gold exchange rate, basically the real-world connection. As well as adapt the drop-rate and gold-finding rate. Make this clever, and a dynamic yet stable economy should be possible.
With income for the developer and people really using bitcoin as a currency in real-world amounts.

Bonus:

Every game is loaded with 100 gold. At the exchange rate of the week it was printed. Maybe the first games sold have one whole bitcoin loaded on that address, which is a ridiculously high amount of gold two years later. Let the huntdown begin!

Bitcoin really is an advantage here. Farmers around the world will love it. A whole new economy will form around the game and its players. Everyone can participate, where WoW needs a bankaccount or paypal or a gamecard bought in a shop. Which excludes a whole lot of people all around the world.

This would be the first game where you can really earn money, legally, with no risk. This will go so damn viral, oh boy!


tl,dr:
Read Stephenson's REAMDE. Then program WoW with bitcoin-gold. Invite all farmers, underage players, exchanges and businessmen!


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April 14, 2012, 04:11:02 PM
 #53

There is a popular MMORPG called Silkroad Online. Now if that isn't a sign! ;-)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silkroad_Online

It is pretty big (like in popular), and, remarkably, doesn't cost any monthly fees. You can buy extras and stuff. It seems that is already enough to finance the game?

Also, with "Then program WoW with bitcoin-gold" we obviously are talking about serious money being invested.
If it works, economy-wise, and the player-vs-player as well as quest-part are good enough to play longer than a few days, it would quickly gain a lot of players. Don't concentrate on the graphic (only) at first, make it fun to play.

If done right, this could turn into a multi million dollar venture within two years. I would bet on it. I might even bet money on it. ;-)
It would take a team of pros to do it. But I think it is possible.

edit:
The obvious answer for those problems, if not enough money can be piled up, is to have the players or users or community produce their stuff by themselves. Like in Second Life. You would "only" have to produce the engine, and a storyline..

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April 14, 2012, 05:40:41 PM
 #54

You are right that graphics are expensive. They also seem to be a technical challenge too, every time I try to download and install graphical clients on my Fedora systems I end up unable to get most of them working. I did briefly and after trying many alternate clients find one Second Life client that actually ran, but frankly the graphics just weren't worth it.

I have always regarded graphical representation as a client-side problem anyway. I have never favoured trying to look at what objects intersected what other objects at what angles with what relative hardness of material and so on to try to deduce story-elements. I much prefer that the game produce the story elements itself and leave the physics and graphics of how such a story-element might play out or look in a particular universe to an observer having a particular set of senses to the clients. Basically let the game write the novel and leave it up to the clients whether to render it as in illustrated novel or a movie or however else someone might like to have it represented.

So my approach has always been that the game should decide who lives and who dies, who gets damaged, who gets what items, not how many centimetres per second each finger trying to grab the item is moving and with how many gram-centimetres per second of grasping force and so on. Leave it to the clients to worry about what the happenings look like in whatever range of frequencies the observer can perceive, just determine what does actually happen.

Artists have for centuries or more created illustrations after the fact of events described in text. There seems no really compelling reason not to leave it to them to do so in future. The key seems to be providing text worth illustrating. So as you said above, make it worth playing. If it is not worth playing it is probably not worth illustrating, and pretty pictures albeit sometimes a big marketing thing to marketeers do not, to "real gamers" at least, make up for lack of an actual game.

I have been aiming at laying out the actual worlds, and even, using the Crossfire RPG system, maps that can feature some actions driven by buttons and rolling boulders or marching ants, figuring that turning all of it into three dimensional imagery is really just a money problem. If players are willing to pay enough to have three dimensional illustrations of their game actions and game possessions, fine. But for many players that actually seems to be not only an un-needed luxury but also a source of technical barriers and problems. Certainly it is very important to make sure that whatever might end up being provided in the way of 3-D it must not interfere with the functionality of people's scripts they use to keep their characters operational 24/7 while they personally do other things.


At some point, when/if enough people actually want to take a look inside the game universe using a second life client, it should be feasible to create scripts that will translate a Freeciv or Crossfire map into opensim regions. But starting out with opensim regions as the medium to start up with does not seem reasonable. Take Freeciv for example. How would rendering a Freeciv world as opensim regions help players actually play it? Seems to me it probably would not. Different aspects of the universes benefit from different user-interfaces, different tools for representing aspects of the world and organising such representations. Where opensim could become useful is when you have multiple players all playing the same Feeeciv nation. Whatever their government-type there should be some way for the game to determine which orders from which players should actually be sent to the freeciv engine and which are just internal bickering among the individuals composing or attempting to compose that government. Even here though, unless it is intended that the individuals are merely using hologram projections to talk to each other, opensim does not seem ideal as it isn't really designed to let the players duke it out with fists or knives to decide who actually gets to tell the Freeciv engine what the nation's government has decided. CoffeeMUD and Crossfire RPG both seem more useful for that kind of thing...

-MarkM-

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April 17, 2012, 12:18:17 PM
 #55

That bit about catering to the needs of gold-farmers is interesting. Reading up on the art of scripting a whole bunch of characters it seems one is recommended to whip up about ten characters at once to run through your scripting, so allowing at least ten characters per player seems reasonable; and scripting something graphical like the Crossfire RPG is much harder than scripting a MUD, since MUD clients are in any cased intended for doing scripts. (Crossfire RPG clients do support scripting, but trying to figure out the geography on a tile by tile bases by which images are used for the tiles is a lot harder than dealing room by room with room-descriptions with listed exits as in a MUD.)

A CoffeeMUD has been set up at MUDgaard.i2p (a telnet tunnel, not an HTTP aka website tunnel) as a front end, yes its not as convenient as plain old internet but plain old internet is not secure and trying to get ordinary people to use secure connections such as ssh is likely to be just as much of a challenge for them so might as well go direct to i2p for this. It is intended as just a first start and front end anyway, as it is expected that a number of MUD servers will be needed anyway to cover things like inability to chat and teleport between worlds or galaxies or planets or whatever, levels of difference at which player versus player combat is enabled and so on and so on.

We have had problems with any games we mass-advertise of having the vast majority of people who create an account never actually playing so this should help keep out those non-starters too, since what we need initially are "serious players" who plan to build a presence they can leverage into actual income once we do start setting up access points where "the masses" can come have a look and, like as not, do nothing like they usually do.

This ia quite a sophisticated system, better than farmville in its way,  you can forage and farm and mine and dig for gems and so on, do al kinds of crafts like pottery, blacksmithing, armourer, weaponsmith, sculptor (sculpting things like ovens and stoves and forges and jacuzzis and such not just ornamental stuff), construction, masonry, and on and on. It also has quite a sophisticated real-estate system so players can rent or own "rooms" or entire "areas", and a really sophisticated clans system featuring several different "government types", a whole range varying from all members voting on everything through the head honcho calling all the shots. Once your clan "conquers" an area, it can get the inhabitants working for it mining, foraging, scavenging, farming, weaving, carpenting, even making wagons and weapons and armour and so on.

Encouraging the use of cryptocurrencies, allowing several characters per player, and encouraging 24/7 presence with scripting should be a good start toward "catering to the needs of gold farmers", yes?

Give it a try... Set your i2p to provide you a telnet tunnel for your telnet client or MUD client to the destination mudgaard.i2p ...

-MarkM-

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April 17, 2012, 01:19:31 PM
 #56

I don't understand all genre words you use, nor do I understand all concepts you lay down. But what I do understand does really sound great! :-)
I never thought about the "initial population problem" before. I was a WoW addict many, many years ago, and consider myself cured by now. But this, for the good cause, would get me into MMORPG again! :-)

I much appreciate your work and effort.

So, in easy words: what would be the next (first?) steps? Contacting small gamedeveloper-companies? Raise money? Get more (bitcointalk-) people together? Work on basic concepts?

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April 17, 2012, 01:38:49 PM
 #57

Simple steps:

Install i2p.

Create a tunnel to MUDgaard.i2p

Telnet or MUD-client through that tunnel.

-MarkM-

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April 17, 2012, 08:41:33 PM
 #58

Simple steps:

Install i2p.

Create a tunnel to MUDgaard.i2p

Telnet or MUD-client through that tunnel.

-MarkM-


..I was more asking about the bigger picture.. The one at which's end a multi-million player game is, you know.. ;-)
No i2p here, yet. Maybe later though..

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April 17, 2012, 08:57:00 PM
 #59

i2p or Tor are probably best for the initial core teams, simply because anything that is going to end up as a multi million player empire of games is going to be worth a lot of money. If you don't want to get crushed out of existence before you ever even get off the ground its probably best to stick to such networks for the real stuff.

However, I anticipated from the start that not everyone has the same taste in game-interfaces and in fact many who are really just interested in the finance and trading aspects would prefer not to have to "actually play the games", instead simply speculating on all the various resources and corps and even the games themselves. Hence the Open Transactions server. No need to create a character and have it find or fight its way to some place where it can access a stock exchange or commodities market, instead you can simply directly speculate on the markets using Open Transactions directly with no worries about thief and assassin and mugger characters lurking in back alleys to jump you on your way to the market...

-MarkM-

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April 18, 2012, 08:12:37 PM
 #60

Challenge accepted.

I will attempt it with Second Life, as I can script. I'll start with some ideas, then I'll make the objects, then the site, then open it if everything works. Bitcoin would be the main currency in the game. I have already figured out how it can comply with SL's terms.

No donations though. I can't take the pressure if this thing doesn't work out and I wind up with angry donors.
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