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Author Topic: Potential Games LLC - Island Forge BTC Discussion  (Read 4848 times)
Nyhm
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March 31, 2012, 02:15:09 PM
 #1

Greetings, I'm the sole developer at Potential Games LLC. I have a background in cryptography and distributed protocols, and I'm totally enthralled with Bitcoin. Thus, we've launched the: Potential Games Bitcoin Initiative!

That's just an overblown way of saying that I'm really interested exploring the potential of Bitcoin for independent game development (for fun and profit). I know that's a bit vague, but I'm hoping to have a few discussions on games and Bitcoin to see what direction to take. I know many have already created some neat Bitcoin-related games, and I'm eager to hear your thoughts.

Basically, I'm enthusiastic about Bitcoin, have a few ideas brewing, and want to participate in the community. Thanks for your interest!

UPDATE: Jump ahead for a more concrete proposal to integrate Bitcoin into our Island Forge MMORPG.

EDIT: Moved & updated to better reflect what I'm here for (thanks formit).

EDIT: Changed title because this is now more of a discussion than an announcement.

~ 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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fornit
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April 03, 2012, 07:39:38 PM
 #2

maybe you want to repost this to the general forum or have it moved by a moderator. you will get more attention there and since you are not really offering a bitcoin related service its the better place anyway.

i like the idea for your game. but just browsing the website its a little hard to judge the project.
i dont know how a single person with a half-finished game and a few players bring can bitcoin and the indie gaming community together. bitcoin is certainly great for indie games with its flexibility, low fees, no risk of chargebacks, no point of failure etc.
but do you have any influence on to make that happen on a greater scale (meaning a "we" thats > 1 person)?

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April 03, 2012, 08:30:44 PM
 #3

Thanks for having a look and providing your feedback, fornit! If this topic would be better served elsewhere, I'd gladly have it moved.

I can't influence the gaming/bitcoin world much today (but maybe tomorrow). Your critique is well-taken, though, and the description is overstated. I'll revisit the wording and bring it down to earth.

The purpose of this post is to see how many folks in the bitcoin community would respond to the potential for a small game company to provide bitcoin-related services. Consider it a market survey.

I certainly don't expect hundreds of customers to swarm me, waving their bitcoins in the air, demanding gameplay, but I was hoping for some positive response. Despite my personal enthusiasm for bitcoin, I'm not getting the impression that anyone in the bitcoin community cares for indie games. I've seen a few neat ideas, but they don't seem to attract much interest, either. That's OK, maybe the bitcoin community just isn't into games.

Regarding Island Forge - it's fully playable (and in the later stages of open beta). We're only taking PayPal for subscriptions at this time. Integrating bitcoin subscriptions would be exciting, but probably not feasible in the short term.

Instead, to get into bitcoin-related services, I'd probably focus on providing smaller experimental games, which use bitcoin in interesting ways (specifically that do not simply degenerate into gambling). I know that's still vague, but I'm keeping some of my cards to myself for now. I understand that this isn't really inspiring to anyone but myself, but that was kind-of the point. If you find my enthusiasm for bitcoin promising, let me know (just by saying so, you don't have to donate anything, I'm just starting to get a feel for the bitcoin landscape).

Thanks for your interest!

~ Bitcoin Game List
~ "Mathematicians overlook that computation is bounded by Physics. Computer Scientists lament it. Cryptographers depend on it." -- Nyhm c. 2012
~ 1NYhM2pzT6PDfZyXbyFm3dVcoob4phrGc5
fornit
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April 03, 2012, 09:40:29 PM
 #4

The purpose of this post is to see how many folks in the bitcoin community would respond to the potential for a small game company to provide bitcoin-related services. Consider it a market survey.

i think there a quite a few people here playing games. question is what exactly bitcoin related services are in this case.


Quote
I certainly don't expect hundreds of customers to swarm me, waving their bitcoins in the air, demanding gameplay, but I was hoping for some positive response. Despite my personal enthusiasm for bitcoin, I'm not getting the impression that anyone in the bitcoin community cares for indie games. I've seen a few neat ideas, but they don't seem to attract much interest, either. That's OK, maybe the bitcoin community just isn't into games.

many indie games dont involve money much. they are usually very straightforward (platformer, puzzle, shoot em up), so theres not much opportunity to involve money meaningfully. (like item trade, subcriptions, unlocking bonus content)

Quote
Regarding Island Forge - it's fully playable (and in the later stages of open beta). We're only taking PayPal for subscriptions at this time. Integrating bitcoin subscriptions would be exciting, but probably not feasible in the short term.

probably easy if you use bit-pay or a similar service. also you could encourage people to donate to level, item and quest designers or give prizes for "best quest of the month" or something like that.

Quote
Instead, to get into bitcoin-related services, I'd probably focus on providing smaller experimental games, which use bitcoin in interesting ways (specifically that do not simply degenerate into gambling). I know that's still vague, but I'm keeping some of my cards to myself for now. I understand that this isn't really inspiring to anyone but myself, but that was kind-of the point. If you find my enthusiasm for bitcoin promising, let me know (just by saying so, you don't have to donate anything, I'm just starting to get a feel for the bitcoin landscape).

cant really think of  anything promising there, but that doesnt mean it isnt there  Wink

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April 04, 2012, 01:24:40 AM
 #5

Thanks a lot for considering my points. Your insights are appreciated. I think you're right, that a lot of folks are playing games; I just don't know that it involves bitcoin much beyond a basic donation system, which is a fine start.

Part of my interest is just how/where to integrate bitcoin. The beautiful simplicity of bitcoin is just throwing up an address for donation (obvious, of course, to everyone here). If you need more game logic integration (knowing when some payment has been made), bit-pay is a good suggestion. I'm also looking into other software libraries for in-game integration.

Donations to boost your character is a good suggestion, as well. I don't think I'd put it into Island Forge at this time, but it fits a freemium business model very well. These are the sort of discussions I was hoping to engage in with the bitcoin community, so thanks again for getting the ball rolling. (And, I realize others have already blazed many of these trails, but I believe I can eventually bring something unique to the table.)

~ 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 04, 2012, 08:21:23 AM
 #6

Looks interesting.  Will be watching.
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April 04, 2012, 08:41:36 AM
 #7

I think that it can be a good idea to open a bounty for competition like the Ludum Dare

( this is just an example )
Competition Rules and Eligibility
1) You must work alone (solo).
2) All game code and content must be created within the 48 hours.
3) Games must support Bitcoin currency
4) All publicly available libraries and middleware are allowed.
5) All content creation, and development tools are allowed. (3dsmax, Photoshop, Flash, etc)
6) Source code must be included.

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April 04, 2012, 09:10:22 AM
 #8

If you made a game like Diablo III, Runescape, WoW, Ultima Online, etc. (I listed all that I've personally played) that somehow supported bitcoin, I would definitely play it.

at least until Diablo III is released on May 15 (the day I may quit my job and leave the world as we know it).

We'll see how good Diablo III is, but I've definitely wasted more hours on Runescape than I should be proud of and would promote a game of that nature for at least a couple years of my life until I ultimately move on.

Good luck!

CampBX for buying BTCs, Coinbase for selling BTCs or Vircurex or Cryptsy for trading alternate cryptocurrencies like DOGEs

PM me with any questions on these sites!  Happy to help!

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April 04, 2012, 09:28:30 AM
 #9

I would happily play any btc related game.
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April 04, 2012, 10:05:12 AM
 #10

Game applications can be Electrum clients (this is easy to implement), which feels like a very natural way to use Bitcoin as an in-game currency to me. For instance, my RPG characters might have different Bitcoin addresses, which can even be used by the system to identify them. All in-game monetary transactions might be done over the blockchain. Not sure if this is too exhaustive for the chain itself, but could be an interesting way to connect different game worlds, etc. I think the trick is to design a game that would make use of this fundamental structure within the setting itself.
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April 04, 2012, 02:37:24 PM
 #11

Creating an RPG with bitcoin as the in-game currency brings up business/legal questions if players can earn bitcoin in-game. Does anyone here have experience with games in which you can earn something of monetary value (of value outside the context of the game, that is)? Can this be done in a way that is not legally defined as gambling?

~ 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 04, 2012, 03:24:52 PM
 #12

Creating an RPG with bitcoin as the in-game currency brings up business/legal questions if players can earn bitcoin in-game. Does anyone here have experience with games in which you can earn something of monetary value (of value outside the context of the game, that is)? Can this be done in a way that is not legally defined as gambling?

Sorry, I don't have much experience with in-game currencies, maybe except Linden dollars, however I'd like to speculate. In the model I described, the game makers don't have to handle the money, process transactions or provide any financial services, it could all flow purely between the players (depending on the design, maybe even without the server even directly knowing). This has never been possible before, so it seems like a gray area. But theoretically it should be legally much safer than deploying your own in-game currency.

As a side note, all virtual currencies have monetary value, game currencies are being exchanged for fiat currencies since their inception, though I don't really know about the legal aspect of it.
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April 04, 2012, 04:03:49 PM
 #13

Creating an RPG with bitcoin as the in-game currency brings up business/legal questions if players can earn bitcoin in-game. Does anyone here have experience with games in which you can earn something of monetary value (of value outside the context of the game, that is)? Can this be done in a way that is not legally defined as gambling?

Sorry, I don't have much experience with in-game currencies, maybe except Linden dollars, however I'd like to speculate. In the model I described, the game makers don't have to handle the money, process transactions or provide any financial services, it could all flow purely between the players (depending on the design, maybe even without the server even directly knowing). This has never been possible before, so it seems like a gray area. But theoretically it should be legally much safer than deploying your own in-game currency.

As a side note, all virtual currencies have monetary value, game currencies are being exchanged for fiat currencies since their inception, though I don't really know about the legal aspect of it.


Even though only speculating, your remarks are very insightful, and you've highlighted exactly why Bitcoin is so exciting. Out-of-band item sales have generally been frowned upon by MMOs, but if Player A walks up to Player B (in-game) and offers a Sword of Magnitude for 2BTC, it's just a matter of sending the payment address as a chat, then handing over the item. ... Now if only I had a character with something to sell.

~ 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 04, 2012, 04:33:12 PM
 #14

Even though only speculating, your remarks are very insightful, and you've highlighted exactly why Bitcoin is so exciting. Out-of-band item sales have generally been frowned upon by MMOs, but if Player A walks up to Player B (in-game) and offers a Sword of Magnitude for 2BTC, it's just a matter of sending the payment address as a chat, then handing over the item. ... Now if only I had a character with something to sell.

yeah, thats the very basic method.
now imagine a ultima online-like house shop were the buy-button uses the bitcoin uri scheme to send a signal to the client for a certain amount and address and the user only has to confirm. the game transfers the item immediately when it sees a block with the appropriate transaction. supereasy, no fraud risk and the game never handles any money directly.

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April 04, 2012, 05:34:45 PM
 #15

Hope you could integrate bitcoin into this game, you'll be the first guy.

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April 04, 2012, 11:57:01 PM
 #16

Even though only speculating, your remarks are very insightful, and you've highlighted exactly why Bitcoin is so exciting. Out-of-band item sales have generally been frowned upon by MMOs, but if Player A walks up to Player B (in-game) and offers a Sword of Magnitude for 2BTC, it's just a matter of sending the payment address as a chat, then handing over the item. ... Now if only I had a character with something to sell.

yeah, thats the very basic method.
now imagine a ultima online-like house shop were the buy-button uses the bitcoin uri scheme to send a signal to the client for a certain amount and address and the user only has to confirm. the game transfers the item immediately when it sees a block with the appropriate transaction. supereasy, no fraud risk and the game never handles any money directly.

Very similar to what I was thinking - the game would provide a way to trade items like this: Player A puts item(s) into escrow for Player B pending payment of X BTC to some address ABC. The game server releases the item(s) from escrow when the payment is met.

My concern is that the server is still managing monetary exchange - I know it's a gray area. These are the discussions I'm interested in. Thanks for your thoughts.

Are there no games doing this yet?

~ 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 07, 2012, 03:20:10 AM
 #17

FYI: Cleaned up the Potential Games Bitcoin-related pages, for better clarity. Also now linked on the home page with a shiny Bitcoin.

Our primary purpose at this point is simply to show our support for Bitcoin (and accept donations), which we hope will encourage others to do the same. Thanks for your interest (and thanks to everyone who promotes Bitcoin)!

~ 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 10, 2012, 02:39:43 AM
 #18

Sent you a small donation to your 1PG address Wink

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April 10, 2012, 03:39:24 AM
 #19

Sent you a small donation to your 1PG address Wink

Hurray - so it actually does work! As stated, I'm extremely excited about Bitcoin, and hope to get more involved. It's definitely inspirational to find a supportive, helpful community. Thanks for appreciating my aspirations, psy!

~ 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 10, 2012, 08:26:51 PM
 #20

You can setup bitcoin pool and have players generate bitcoins while playing the game , I think I even saw browser based miner somewhere or at least a project of that. Players would have bitcoin balance where generated coins would be stored and a player can withdraw and deposit additional coins at anytime, much like internet based bitcoin wallet, and all in game transaction would happen within your server.

Players would use bitcoins as in game currency to by items from you or other players, but would be able to sell the items only to a player. You would need to carefully calculate average CPU mining power to have reasonable prices for in game items. You can also establish market where players would be able to buy and sell in game items to each other.

You should treat players account balance as their own regardless of how it was earned and get revenue from selling in game items.
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