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Author Topic: Potential Games LLC - Island Forge BTC Discussion  (Read 4847 times)
Nyhm
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April 11, 2012, 12:20:38 AM
 #21

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.

Thanks for your interesting concept, Serith. The whole idea of players earning Bitcoin is legally unclear to me. I'm sure it can be done, but there would need to be some legal work done up front to clarify such things. I've seen games where players can make cash money (prizes), so maybe it would be set up like a contest. Anyone here have legal experience with such a thing?

Many Bitcoin games seem to just boil down to some form of gambling, which is fine if that's your business model, but not really what I'm after.

Further discussion welcome!

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April 11, 2012, 02:50:26 AM
 #22

The Island Forge game looks interesting. I'll definitely be checking that out (until D3 comes out).

It does sting a little to see you market Paypal as "free and easy".

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April 11, 2012, 05:51:09 AM
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Hobbyist game developer here. I have some experience with trying raise BTC for game development. That being said, it does not goes well with the bitcoin community, or rather any community if you don't have a compelling demo.

Failed to reach my 300 dollars worth of bitcoin during March. Ran out of motiviation-fuel for the moment to continue my project and now I need money-fuel. So I am trying to freelance in the bitcoin community when possible, but it does not look good when every lead I follow end up with no project on my desk.

* kiba sighs

That being said, I don't plan to give up on my dream of fundraising money for my game and make it go for it, fulltime.

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April 11, 2012, 06:43:36 AM
 #24

You should write a good plan with other game developers and publish it on http://www.kickstarter.com

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April 11, 2012, 07:03:21 AM
 #25

I´m a fan of some independet games and have done some work for big gaming companies.

Some clarifications.

If you get coins by betting, its gambling.
If you get coins by winning because of skill, its skill.
If you get coins for free, its donations.
If you give interest and loans as a business you are a bank.

If you let people buy things, thats ok but if its expensive things they can buy and sell or huge sums you have to
make sure those players cant money laundry.

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April 11, 2012, 07:05:10 AM
 #26

I actually prefer the alt-coins to bitcoin for games, largely because bitcoin is the gateway to/from fiat and thus the one most likely to run into all kinds of legal problems. Others might be much easier to claim to be purely play-money, whereas bitcoin has a lot of folks who are trying to convince people it is a real money. So for play money it just seems safer to stick to the altcoins, and let players convert them to/from bitcoins if they wish as long as bitcoins are not considered money, but always ready to throw out bitcoin as a game-currency the moment is gets legally declared to be real money.

It is unfortunate that DIablo seems to have realised that banning players from buying and selling game stuff is bad, because that was a major thing indies could offer that the big companies did not: freedom to buy and sell game stuff, no rules saying you cannot sell characters, you cannot sell gear and all that crap. Free trade.

Hopefully Diablo will actually turn out though to still not really be as free as some might hope, maybe there will still be some stupid restrictions like you gotta use their shops and pay them a cut or something, that might still leave a huge field for indies.

I have been testing every free open source game codebase I can find, trying to sort the actually working ones from the vast numbers of totally broken ones, setting up as many games as i can with the core shared concept that the whole point is you CAN trade game stuff, and thanks to blockchain based coins you can even move value/wealth from game to game.

It does seem to be true though that despite the occassional suggestions that someone should make games that accept bitcoins, very very few bitcoiners are at all interested. They just want some other shmuck somewhere to play some stupid game so their personal bitcoin hoard will increase in value due to someone somewhere uses coins, they don't actually want to play games, they have no intention of bringing players iDiameter:    9825km (137/138)
Temperature:    about 23°C to 6nto such games, they certainly have no intention of becoming a part of one of the main selling points of multiplayer games, which is a community of players that welcome new players and help them get into the game long term instead of trying to kill them off and discourage them as fast as possible.

Basically this forum has been one of the worst places to find players for games. They are all into making money, not into playing games, and the concept of making in game stock exchanges that will try to avoid EVE Online's problem of all in-game investments turning out to be scams is just alien to them, I doubt they would even invest in a game company if it listed on GLBSE. It is getting that my players don't even like bitcoins because of the people involved with bitcoins. They have more fun playing with devcoiners and groupcoiners and even the sole solitary character who is trying to establish Ixians as a people whose currency is Ixcoins. There just aren't any bitcoiners actively working in game to establish bitcoin as a good useful in game item. You can buy decent stuff in game for devcoins or groupcoins or Ixcoins, probably even Iocoins, but bitcoins? Hmm, people seldom even offer stuff for them because they have learned that bitcoiners aren't players, and even if they were they would be offering anything other than bitcoins to buy stuff with since to them bitcoins are real money not an in game token to play the game with.

Bottom line: bitcoiners aren't there to spend money, the only way they'd bother being there is to suck money out of the other players not to pump money in. They aren't players, they are "the man", out to feed on the players.

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April 11, 2012, 07:28:38 AM
 #27

You should definitely be talking to the people over at ogrr.com btw, that is your audience/community.

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April 11, 2012, 07:36:09 AM
 #28

You should definitely be talking to the people over at ogrr.com btw, that is your audience/community.

Aren't they mostly into the piracy / Terms-Of-Service-Breaking side of things - encouraging / enabling trade of game stuff the game operators do not want traded? Those people are willing to break the Terms of Service to support (by playing, by being enthusastic about, maybe even by encouraging others to play) games that do NOT support such trade. They are black market opposers of the whole principle of making games that lack such restrctions on trade, they'd rather support the very games that want such trade-restrictions in place. They likely have no interest in supporting the development and deployment of games that lack such restrictions, and in fact those making money at it maybe even have an incentive to keep the restrictions in place, in much the same was a heroin dealers benefit from the illegality of heroin...

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April 11, 2012, 08:46:28 AM
 #29

I actually prefer the alt-coins to bitcoin for games, largely because bitcoin is the gateway to/from fiat and thus the one most likely to run into all kinds of legal problems. Others might be much easier to claim to be purely play-money, whereas bitcoin has a lot of folks who are trying to convince people it is a real money. So for play money it just seems safer to stick to the altcoins, and let players convert them to/from bitcoins if they wish as long as bitcoins are not considered money, but always ready to throw out bitcoin as a game-currency the moment is gets legally declared to be real money.

It is unfortunate that DIablo seems to have realised that banning players from buying and selling game stuff is bad, because that was a major thing indies could offer that the big companies did not: freedom to buy and sell game stuff, no rules saying you cannot sell characters, you cannot sell gear and all that crap. Free trade.

Hopefully Diablo will actually turn out though to still not really be as free as some might hope, maybe there will still be some stupid restrictions like you gotta use their shops and pay them a cut or something, that might still leave a huge field for indies.

I have been testing every free open source game codebase I can find, trying to sort the actually working ones from the vast numbers of totally broken ones, setting up as many games as i can with the core shared concept that the whole point is you CAN trade game stuff, and thanks to blockchain based coins you can even move value/wealth from game to game.

It does seem to be true though that despite the occassional suggestions that someone should make games that accept bitcoins, very very few bitcoiners are at all interested. They just want some other shmuck somewhere to play some stupid game so their personal bitcoin hoard will increase in value due to someone somewhere uses coins, they don't actually want to play games, they have no intention of bringing players iDiameter:    9825km (137/138)
Temperature:    about 23°C to 6nto such games, they certainly have no intention of becoming a part of one of the main selling points of multiplayer games, which is a community of players that welcome new players and help them get into the game long term instead of trying to kill them off and discourage them as fast as possible.

Basically this forum has been one of the worst places to find players for games. They are all into making money, not into playing games, and the concept of making in game stock exchanges that will try to avoid EVE Online's problem of all in-game investments turning out to be scams is just alien to them, I doubt they would even invest in a game company if it listed on GLBSE. It is getting that my players don't even like bitcoins because of the people involved with bitcoins. They have more fun playing with devcoiners and groupcoiners and even the sole solitary character who is trying to establish Ixians as a people whose currency is Ixcoins. There just aren't any bitcoiners actively working in game to establish bitcoin as a good useful in game item. You can buy decent stuff in game for devcoins or groupcoins or Ixcoins, probably even Iocoins, but bitcoins? Hmm, people seldom even offer stuff for them because they have learned that bitcoiners aren't players, and even if they were they would be offering anything other than bitcoins to buy stuff with since to them bitcoins are real money not an in game token to play the game with.

Bottom line: bitcoiners aren't there to spend money, the only way they'd bother being there is to suck money out of the other players not to pump money in. They aren't players, they are "the man", out to feed on the players.

-MarkM-


If who you have in mind are teenagers as your target group, then the above is correct. Bitcoin is not a toy and it would be weird to try to combine it with a meaningless game. A game that utilizes bitcoins should be aimed for people of 25+ age, WoW and EVE average player age is 29 and 30 respectively, so it is not a small target group.
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April 11, 2012, 10:22:48 AM
 #30

In games like WoW and EVE, players buy game-money and the automated software money-interfaces in the game for shopping and for what monsters "drop" and so on is in the game-currency not in whatever currency the players used outside the game to initially equip themselves with game-money, right? Even in the upcoming Diablo 3 it is not contemplated that various Earth-currencies be used in normal gameday to gameday stuff like grabbing a beer or bed at an inn or picking a troll's pocket or the like?

So basically what I am suggesting is be prepared to leave actual bitcoins out of the list of port numbers in-game money-routines can choose from in selection among the many cryptocurrencies that all use the identical bitcoin-style RPC call API. Accepting bitcoin as outside currency instead of USD or GBP etc for the normal outside the game things like subscriptions or buying a bunch of boosts or whatever is fine, you could just as well accept USD or GBP or whatever there. But don't put actual bitcoins into the hands of the monsters and barkeeps and so on in the game unless you are equally prepared to have some of them happen to "drop" GBP or USD or whatever. (Maybe trolls use USD, orcs use GBP, whatever, however you choose which currency which monster happens to "drop".)

The point is, bitcoin aims to be like GBP, USD etc: "real money". So you need to expect that some day all the reasons why you don't want your monsters to drop dollars or francs or yen or pounds etc should equally well lead you to not want them to drop bitcoins either.

However, things like for example DeVCoin could be fine for monsters to drop, since DeVCoin's aim is to promote free open source software, and encouraging players to play free open source software based games could be well in line with that purpose.

Thus I consider DeVCoin much better suited to use as "game money" than BiTCoin is.

I expect that if even Diablo chooses to have its monsters start dropping fiat, it will run into legal hassles, don't you?

We should expect and plan for bitcoin to end up being, for such legal purposes, pretty much just another "real money". If you want your monsters to drop dollars, fine, have some drop bitcoins instead. But consider too, how will you convince the monster to even admit it has a "brainwallet" let alone tell you the passphrase? Surely any bitcoins owned by monsters will be harder to get them to "drop" than any dollar bills or silver quarters etc? Intelligent monsters would, I would expect, use cryptocoins for the greater security they provide over carrying cash. Unintelligent monsters likely would not have much use for cryptocoins, though I suppose you could find in a dog's tag a message saying "here is a bitcoin address, I offer you its contents as an inducement to return my pet unharmed, more awaits you when that is accomplished" or some such...

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April 11, 2012, 02:21:20 PM
 #31

much simpler reason not to use bitcoin ingame: the ingame money is part of the balance, therefore its properties (creation and destruction for example) must fit the game. bitcoin has its own rules and using it in a game directly would require the whole game to be tailored to fit bitcoin.

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April 11, 2012, 08:07:33 PM
 #32

Wonderful discussion - thanks all.

Thanks for the gambling clarifications, istar. I've looked at kickstarter, so thanks for the recommendation HostFat.

I agree with fornit that putting Bitcoin into a game would have to make sense to the game. In-game currency seems to be the go-to concept, but ultimately I don't think this is a wise business decision in the first place. Surely it would create buzz, but the legal aspects are daunting. I agree with markm's insights that if you wouldn't have your monsters/shops using USD, then there is no reason you'd want to integrate Bitcoin.

Thanks for your deapthful insights, markm. You have a keen sense of the community.

The WoW & EVE demographics mentioned by Serith are interesting. Maybe that age bracket would be much more inclined to "play with" Bitcoin, rather than younger demographics. However, as markm pointed out, there are already a number of "play money" gaming tokens out there. The smarter business model may be to integrate with one of those, rather than Bitcoin directly. If players have Bitcoin (which sounds like a rare thing), someday they can buy those tokens with their Bitcoin (again, it's just another currency).

kiba, thanks for providing us with your experience trying to get into the Bitcoin-related game biz. Sounds disheartening, but I hope you find what you're after. Best wishes (sorry I can't offer anything - I'm really just getting started myself).

I'm still infatuated with Bitcoin, and I appreciate everyone's discussions. I'm forming a better picture of the whole Bitcoin scene. I'm starting to formulate a more solid idea of what I'd like to do with Bitcoin+games, but it'll be a while before I can really devote any time to it. Having these community discussions is certainly inspiring!

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April 11, 2012, 09:46:04 PM
 #33

In the Galactic Milieu, we introduce players to the general concept of bitcoin, the technology, by having a number of nations that use blockchains for their national currencies, and we mention actual bitcoins in particular by attributing them to the legendary/mythical "Hacker" nation.

Thus we take a soft-sell approach. The fact that a Hacker known as Satoshi actually visited the mythical planet "Earth" and introduced the "Hacker" currency, Bitcoins, there early in the 21st century is just a bit of historical trivia, players can have fun with various other blockchain-based currencies, hopefully ones they can actually realistically mine some of for themselves, before worrying about the actual real live bitcoins that, it turns out, someone known as Satoshi actually *did* introduce here on Earth in the early 21st century.

The thing is, the "Hacker" nation is so insanely advanced that their currency is ridiculously valuable, even more valaube than those of the very powerful and advanced Brits, Canucks and Martians. Plus, the Hacker nation is approximately as mythical as the planet known as Earth, so it is far more likely that players will find themselves dealing with one of the "big three" national currencies - United Kingdom Britcoin (UKB), Canadian Digital Notes (CDN) and Martian BotCoins (MBC) - or the currencies of the largest intergalactic megacorporations General Mining Corp (GMC) and General Retirement Funds (GRF), or even the relatively new United Nations Scrip (UNS) than actual Bitcoins; and probably often simply using bitNicKeLs, which all of the preceding use as the small-change denomination for day to day stuff smaller than, say, battlestars or space-stations or leases of entire planets or suchlike. Even bitNicKeLs are actually pretty hefty really for small game stuff like buying a beer, so individual-adventurer scale players will thus tend mostly to use DeVCoins or, if relatively well-healed, GRouPcoins.

It is probably not necessary to build into the games software for directly dealing with blockchains at all. It should suffice that tokens be used, or even that the various coins are simply assigned a relatively stable value in copperpieces, silverpieces, goldpieces, platinum pieces etc and use these normal familiar tokens in game, only bothering to actually directly use blockchains when sending funds to other players for use in possibly some other game (aka, some other sub-game of the meta-game, since actually hacking the code of all the subgames to make them smoothly transfer stuff between them is probably lower priority than simply getting them all working and working out what exactly they do each have to offer to the others in terms of export and import opportunities.)

The big thing that blockchain based coins have to offer for gaming is precisely this ability of the players to move them from game to game. They are rather like "real money" in that way, except that in most games you usually find in practice that you cannot in fact move "real money" out of a game. Most games explicitly forbid you from moving "real money" out of the game, you can only put it in, not take it out.

Basically it is simpler and more generic/homogenous to move cryptocoins from game to game than it is to move, for example, specific types of starship, or specific species of played character having specific skills and experiences and vital-statistics. Games tend to represent the latter types of things in such different ways that each thing to be shipped between games can involve a huge amount of theoretical work just to formulate the conversion algorithms before even getting to actually implementing them. But fungible "money" is an item many games represent quite similarly, that is, as a numeric value having various uses/effects in the game. So money seems the simplest place to start in weaving together many games into a larger metagame/economy... Your rich uncle who runs a village on a "Devana" based planet might not be able to come kill rats in the sewers with you in the Crossfire RPG or CoffeeMUD MUD based city you live in, but he can send you pocket-money or buy shares in the XNova-Redesigned or 2Moons based intergalactic mining venture you intend to finance with the loot you find in those sewers...

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April 12, 2012, 12:20:47 AM
 #34

In the Galactic Milieu, we intriduce players to the general concept of bitcoin, the technology, by having a number of nations that use blockchains for their national currencies, and we mention actual bitcoins in particular by attributing them to the legendary/mythical "Hacker" nation.

Thus we take a soft-sell approach. The fact that a Hacker known as Satoshi actually visited the mythical planet "Earth" and intricured the "Hacker" currency, Bitcoins, there early in the 21st century is jsut a bit of historical trivia, players can have fun with various other blockchain-based currencies, hopefulyl ones they can actuqlly realistically mine some of for themselves, before worrying about the actual real live bitcoins that, it turns out, someone known as Satoshi actually *did* introduce here on Earth in the early 21st century.

The thing is, the "Hacker" nation is so insanely advanced that theri currency is ridiculously valuable, even more valaube than those of the very powerful and advanced Brits, Canucks and Martians. PLus, the Hacker nation is approximately as mythical as the planet known as Earth, so it is far more likely that players will find themselves dealing with one of the "big three" national currencies - United Kingdom Britcoin (UKB), Canadians Digital Notes (CDN) and Martian BotCoins (MBC) - or the currencies of the largest intergalactic megacorporations General Mining Corp (GMC) and General Retirement Funds (GRF), or even the relatively new United Nations Scrip (UNS) than actual Bitcoins; and probably often simply using bitNicKeLs, which all of the preceding use as the small-change denomination for day to day stuff smaller than, say, battlestars or space-stations or leases of entire planets or suchlike. Even bitNicKeLs are actually pretty hefty really for small game stuff like buying a beer, so individual-adventurer scale players will thus tend mostly to use DeVCoins or, if relatively well-healed, GRouPcoins.

It is probably not necessary to build into the games software for directly dealing with blockchains at all. It should suffice that tokens be used, or even that the various coins are simply assigned a relatively stable value in copperpieces, silverpieces, goldpieces, platinum pieces etc and use these normal familiar tokens in game, only bothering to actually directly use blockchains when sending funds to other players for use in possibly some other game (aka, some other sub-game of the meta-game, since actually hacking the code of all the subgames to make them smoothly transfer stuff between them is probably lower priority than simply getting them all working and working out what exactly they do each have to offer to the others in terms if export and import opportunities.)

The big thng that blockchain based coins have to offer for gaming is precisely this ability of the players to move them from game to game. They are rather like "real money" in that way, except that in most games you usually find in practice that you cannot in fact move "real money" out of a game. Most games explicitly forbid you from moving "real money" out of the game, you can only put it in, not take it out.

Basically it is simpler and more generic/homogenous to move cryptocoins from game to game than it is to move, for example, specific types of starship, or specific species of played character having specific skills and experiences and vital-statistics. Games tend to represent the latter types of things in such different ways that each thing to be shipped between games can involve a huge amount of theoretical work jsut to forumulate the conversion algorithms before even getting to actually implementing them. But fungible "money" is an item many games represent quite similarly, that is, as a numeric value having various uses/effects in the game. SO money seems the simplest place to start in weaving together many games into a larger metagame/economy... Your rich uncle who runs a village on a "Devana" based planet might not be able to come kill rats in the sewers with you in the Crossfire RPG or CoffeeMUD MUD based city you live in, but he can send you pocket-money or buy shares in the XNova-Redesigned or 2Moons based intergalatic mining venture you intend to finance with the loot you find in those sewers...

-MarkM-


Nifty

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~ "Mathematicians overlook that computation is bounded by Physics. Computer Scientists lament it. Cryptographers depend on it." -- Nyhm c. 2012
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April 12, 2012, 01:31:14 PM
 #35

Nifty

I was just kidding with my one-word response to your epic prose, markm.

To elaborate, your vision of a meta-commerce between all games is compelling. I can imagine the mindset of players looking for which games offer the optimal earning potential. Some games would be good for farming value, which can be used to support actions in other games. That would change the landscape of in-game economics. More than I would get into, but a great concept.

Actually, this sounds like a sci-fi future-scape foundation for a Neal Stephenson novel.

~ 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 14, 2012, 04:35:03 PM
 #36

..watching this thread here as well.
(besides "Create a game that accepts Bitcoin for currency" https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=48088 )

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April 14, 2012, 05:07:01 PM
 #37

Since the main bottleneck to implementation is funding, it seemed reasonable to look into the economic-game and trading-game aspects first, since it seems possible that the popularity of rampant speculation could really drive some epic development.

I came across Bitcoin and Open Transactions when I went looking for market/trading code. I wanted players to be able to trade and to run trading houses, with the stuff they are trading having a location as well as whatever other attributes it might have so that a transportation/shipping game would naturally arise around it as a form of arbitrage when the locations of the things being traded starts to get in the way of the trading.

Location can also cover things like "this gold is over in the World of Warcraft universe", "these ISK are located in the EVE Online universe", "this suit of magic gear is in the Falling Swords universe" and so on.

However, currencies based on blockchains seem to offer an out from having to worry so much about location. Cryptocoins are easy to ship from place to place even among places where things like swords or grams of gold or local fiat currencies might not be exportable / importable.

Then along came DeVCoin, a coin anyone working on free open source games can easily aquire. The whole design of DeVCoin is based on putting it into the hands of such people. Of course I helped make sure that coin got created, it seemed a perfect fit...

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April 15, 2012, 09:34:47 PM
 #38

what about league of legends? it has more players than WoW, an thered there are chars ans skins buyable...
i think bitccoin will have a good chance

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April 15, 2012, 10:32:48 PM
 #39

Unfortunately though it is not open source. Trying to recreate it, or something very like it, from scratch is likely to be quite expensive. SO we should start with less expensive projects first to raise funds for the more-expensive ones.

There is however a purported World of Warcraft server clone on SourceForge. It does not seem to have clients though, it seems to epxect people to use the existing actual World of Warcraft clients. I am not sure if that is really a great idea, but it is something that is actually available so is probably worth looking at.

Basically we need to start with free stuff to raise money for hosting and bandwidth at first, then eventually once hosting and bandwidth is covered we can start adding actual development, and so on. Hopefully DeVCoin will help with some of this, since development is after all what DeVCoin is all about.

I expect too though that we will need a core population of cryptocurrency-oriented players, because in any multi-player game the population of players is a very major aspect of the appeal of the game. We need our games to be heavily populated with friendly players who welcome new players, help them get into the game long term, and get them informed about cryptocurrency. Without this core of players we will either end up with empty worlds or worlds whose players simply have no interest in cryptocurrencies thus just push for normal fiat if they want to get currency involved in the game at all.

Unfortunately as I have mentioned before the population of bitcoiners found here at this forum does not actually seem at all interested in games, so how to establish the initial core population of cryptocoin-oriented players is still an unsolved problem. We need active, friendly players, preferably ones who will get all their friends into it too. After all it is the early population that will presumably have the most wealth to be made selling things to the later arrivals, so getting in early should actually be advantageous provided that eventually outsiders do start to be brought in. There are a number of good "residual" marketing tools the core team can deploy though to help bring in insiders, so maybe it will also be important to have some mechanism for determinine who actually brought in each new player, so they can be rewarded for such recruiting/marketing.

(On the other hand, maybe that will take care of itself, since presumably those players who have accumulated things to sell will probably be mentioning their ability to provide such things as part of their marketing of the game, thus can expect the players they bring in to be contacting them about aquiring such resources.)

-MarkM-

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May 31, 2012, 11:49:07 AM
 #40

This is another game that can support BitCoin, and the name is already perfect: BitMMO Cheesy
http://8bitmmo.net
Someone should go to give some help to the main dev of this game Smiley

I have also made a suggestion:
http://8bitmmo.uservoice.com/forums/150844-general/suggestions/2892337-bitcoin-currency
Give your votes! Grin

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