Crypto, Cuteness and Blockchain Battlegrounds [Spotlight on Axie Infinity]
The Awakening of Blockchain Games
The blockchain gaming space is coming out with new advancements each day, converging the benefits of tokenized and decentralized play with unique creativity and community engagement. Gamifying blockchain just might be the key to enticing a new generation of gamers into crypto as there are potentially tremendous benefits of the space to offer - transferable point systems, independent sustainability from developers, incentivization of community input, and much more.
For today’s interview, we’re joined by the energetic team behind Axie Infinity, one of the most promising games to have come out recently and one of the first systems to propose several layers of interactability. Let’s hop right in!
The Creative Crypto (TCC): Hello Axie Infinity Team! Tell us a bit about yourselves and how you got into the blockchain space.
Hi! So most of our team actually met each other through one of the original crypto-collectible games - CryptoKitties. We saw CryptoKitties as an interesting platform for storing genetic data in ERC 721s but believed that it needed a game attached to it. We originally meant to design a fun battle system on top of the CryptoKitties platform but ended up creating our own game after realizing some dramatic flaws in their contract structure and platform design such as their fully decentralized auto birthing system, generation system, and uncontrollable kitten inflation problem regarding population size.
Trung is our CEO and lead engineer - he architected much of the vision behind Axie Infinity's genetic system and platform design. Trung has been coding since he was around eight years old. He was the CTO of a well-known Vietnamese startup, Lozi by the time he was 19.
Masamune is our Art Director and lead game designer. He has been drawing cute creatures most of his life and understands the Japanese "Kawai" aesthetic, which has really helped our game resonate with our Japanese player base.
Aleksander is our COO and he comes from a competitive gaming and military background. He was also one of the most active CryptoKitties moderators and that perspective has helped us in making sure we communicate with our community. Aleksander helps us meet deadlines and handles a lot of the operational stuff that goes behind running the game.
Jeff, or Jihoz as well call him, is our Growth Lead. His academic background is in military and economic history so he knows a lot about strategy and designing economic systems. He directs our community management and engagement, user acquisition, fundraising, and is also great at speaking at conferences on our behalf.
TCC: From your perspective, what is the current status of gaming in the blockchain world?
Right now, blockchain gaming is at an interesting point. A lot of the less well-thought-out projects are finally dying and users are looking for legitimate projects to invest in and explore. We hear "finally, a real game" almost on a daily basis. Right now, the main holdup for more mainstream adoption of decentralized games is the high transaction costs associated with the gameplay. We are at the cutting edge of scaling solutions and will actually be one of the earliest adopters of Loom Network's Zombie Chain technology. This should allow our users to transmit their game progress to the blockchain without running up ridiculous gas costs.
TCC: How do you envision the Axie Infinity ecosystem developing and what are its implications on daily gaming life?
We are super excited for the launch of our battle system this summer. We believe our battles will combine the best of both centralized and decentralized games. Engaging gameplay loops and progression, all with the security and transferability of game assets made by the blockchain.
In the Axie Universe, players will be able to form teams of 3 Axies. Like CryptoKitties, each Axie has a unique genome and these genes correspond to 6 different body parts. These body parts have associated battle moves which can be used in Axie Battles. Axies gain experience from battles which can then be used to upgrade/evolve their existing body parts, which in turn, unlock new battle moves. We believe that adding this sense of progression will be key in allowing our game to be the first decentralized game with a truly immersive gaming experience.
After battles, we will release the terrarium system which will allow Axie “trainers” to house their Axies in unique terrariums and stock them with interesting tokenized decorations and trophies. Imagine a world where a team of Axies can hang out together when they’re not in battle, surrounded by beautiful plants, decorations, and their trophies from past battles and tournaments!
We also have seen the open data structure of the blockchain aid our community members in creating cool sites showcasing information from the Axie Universe. In the future, we believe there will be many spin-off minigames using the genetic data stored on our platform. However, we are cautious about offloading the brunt of the responsibility onto our community developers, which is a strategy that other platforms seem to be trying. Only time will tell which strategy works best, but we have confidence in ourselves. That's why we've decided to be the designers for the initial feature rollouts.
TCC: It looks like there’s a great deal of room for engagement and contribution. How can people get involved?
We actually have a content creator reward system to encourage all types of content creators! Check out here and connect with our Discord channel to get more involved. We also hold frequent contests, check out the winners of the last one in this Medium post. Keep an eye out for the major gaming developments from Axie Infinity in the coming weeks!
A tremendous THANK YOU to the Axie Infinity team for taking the time to speak with us! We’re looking forward to a bright future of blockchain gaming and watching your adorable crypto-critters face off on the battleground.
Article imagery courtesy of Axie Infinity