Why blockchain space trading game Parsec Frontiers is ambitious enough
Norwegian dev Artplant on balancing vision and experience
It’s early days in the world of blockchain gaming so, in one sense, most projects can rightly be described as ‘ambitious’.
Nevertheless, labelling Artplant’s Unity-based Parsec Frontiers as a “very ambitious” game for its almost 40-strong team to accomplish generates a strong response from CEO Jack Wulff.
We started thinking, 'What would the ultimate blockchain game look like?'
“Every game we build is ambitious,” he argues, adding EVE Online was developed by just 30 people for its first two years.
“But we don’t feel we’re being over ambitious.”
The reason for citing CCP’s space-based MMOG, of course, is it’s exactly the sort of experience Artplant is attempting to create on the blockchain with Parsec Frontiers.
“About a year ago we started thinking, ‘What would the ultimate blockchain game look like?’” Wulff explains.
“We know the space genre very well having developed games like Battlestar Galactica Online [with Bigpoint], and we could see the potential to build on that and create a truly integrated blockchain game.”
Artplant’s VP of Publishing Morten Larssen is also keen to stress Parsec Frontiers’ credentials.
“This will be a real game for real gamers,” he says. “It’s not just a game for people who are interested in blockchain.”
The contrast, of course, is with the CryptoKitties-style games, which offer interesting implementations of blockchain technology but don’t offer very interesting gameplay mechanics or longevity, at least beyond token speculation.
That said, Wulff reckons the setting for Parsec Frontiers – which is set in a post-earth Milky Way in which players must cooperate to set up settlements, mine for resources, and craft items – will appeal to blockchain enthusiasts as much as its ownership model.
Space games have always been about trading and thanks to the blockchain that will provide the deep metagame
“Space games have always been about trading and thanks to the blockchain that will provide the deep metagame for Parsec Frontiers,” he says.
The project’s roadmap reflects this with trading set to be the game’s main mechanic through to the end of 2019 when weapon production will be enabled and space combat begins.
Of course, there’s plenty more to be undertaken before that full vision for the game goes live, not least the detailed game and economy design, and the crowd sale for the Parsec tokens that will underpin the whole experience, which is expected to start in April.
So if do you bump into Wulff, say hi and ask him how it’s going. Just don’t question his ambition.