Most blockchain games have been based on the simplest and most successful blockchain game to-date, CryptoKitties.
That’s no surprise but developers are quickly going to have to move beyond charging ETH for static images if blockchain gaming is going to reach anything like its full potential.
Fishbank can be described as CryptoKitties goes PVP with IAP
One studio ready to take up the challenge is Chinese outfit Chat Robotic.
It’s launched a number of chat games for Telegram, Kik and Facebook Messenger and claims 500,000 players and 2.5 million messages sent daily so appears to have the ability to successfully operate products.
Indeed, the white paper for its blockchain game Fishbank states it was the experience of running its open economy game Epic Kingdom – in which players could trade in-game currency – that led to its adoption of blockchain technologies.
As for Fishbank itself, it can be described as CryptoKitties goes PVP with IAP.
Big fish, little fish
In more detail, players will buy fish directly from other players in the Fishbank market or pay a small fee (0.03 ETH) to randomly ‘catch’ them from the aquarium.
Each fish is assigned a rarity value, from common to rare, epic and legendary, and the main attribute of each fish is its weight, which increases via fishy battling.
These are controlled by smart contracts, and if a fish is successful in battle, it gains weight by ‘biting’ it off the other fish, which loses the equivalent weight.
Combined with its underlying characteristics – power, agility and cool down time (speed) – the weight of each fish is used to algorithmically to generate its image.
Each fish is ERC721 token and so can be bought and sold on the Fishbank marketplace, which runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Fishbank charges a 4.5% commission on each deal.
Faster, faster, fishy fish
Another significant gameplay mechanic in Fishbank is its use of modifiers, which are temporary boosts.
These range from increasing power (damage) and agility (defense) to providing shelter or negating cool down timers. Small boosters last an hour, mid boosters 8 hours, and big boosters 48 hours.
Modifiers are one-use-only ERC721 tokens, which are acquired by purchasing chests (also ERC721 tokens) or traded and gifted with other players.
As with modifiers, chests come in different sizes: small, containing 1 modifier; and mid and large chests, which may contain between 2 to 5 modifiers. Small chests are earned by inviting friends to the game, while mid and large chests are bought from the chest store.
The next step
It’s clear Fishbank is inspired by CryptoKitties and similar browser games that use Ethereum and MetaMask but that it’s a significant advance too.
It’s clear Fishbank is inspired by CryptoKitties but it’s a significant advance too
This is particularly true in terms of how it integrates the sort of PVP features and randomized (or gacha-style) in-app purchases of chests that have powered the mobile game sector to more than $40 billion of annual revenues.
Of course, the difference with mobile games is their free-to-play business model encourages a very large player base. This is something transactional-focused blockchain gaming is yet to achieve.
You can play Fishbank here.