History of Blockchain Gamer & Ark Tribe
Ark Tribe is the result of a think tank that went by the name of Blockchain Gamers, from the cryptocurrency community, that aimed to find innovative uses of blockchain in video games, and real use, that could meet the needs or demands of the video game ecosystem.
You will find the documents and studies on which we based ourselves on the website of “Agence Française du Jeu Vidéo.” Some recent studies reinforce the points that this group had already put forward at the time, I may refer to them. This is not an anachronism, but a note to show that what was said is still relevant today.
Started by myself, based on my experience as a player in high level guilds in most MMORPGs at their hour of glory, and many "solo" games, then quickly joined by other players, the group had enriched its discussion on the needs and desires of the players of today and tomorrow by reading numerous studies on video games and technology available or that would be available in the future.
It seemed relevant to listen to people of all ages in order to have a wider panorama and to meet the needs of those who will be the buyers of the next generation of games tomorrow.
From a perspective of the future, and in a reflection on solutions for the long term, we had by multiple mediums (discord, slack, private messages on telegram, on skype ... but also mails and private forums) exchanged on subjects like “the qualities that a game should have to meet the expectations of duration, quality, and universality” of current players.
There appeared some major needs that guided us to the solutions that I would present later in detail. These needs can be summed up by a motley search for difficulty, a nostalgia for the social game, and a need to recognize the cultural character of the game.
The thoughts of Blockchain Gamer
It has to be said that not all players aspire to a similar difficulty. The video game is no longer the prerogative of adolescents in search of personal challenge, it has become widely popularized. You will find in appendix references to the studies of the AFJV (French Agency of Video Games) which show that today a very different population plays video games.
From Blockchain Gamer discussions have emerged for some a need for challenges such as those of video games before. By looking at what they thought was "better before" we were able to find several elements that determined their discontent.
Before the arrival of the MMORPGs, and their massive adoption, there was little or no quest indicators in minimaps, for example. We had to explore every corner of every place we went to, talk to each NPC (non-player character) to find quests, and explore the game map for monsters or rewards.
As of today, each quest is announced on the mini-map (miniature map of the player's immediate environment, usually at the top right of the screen) which is standard for MMORPG systems. And the storyline transports you from one place to another with laser-guided precision. It is not hard to find what you are looking for too.
If there is a demand from players who want to be able to play "without breaking their heads" and who like to be carried away by the storyline, others regret not being able to "choose to have to explore" rather than be led through the game by a suite of quests.
Open world games, where you can go anywhere, could have provided a solution for these players, if it was that 'anywhere else than where the next quest leads, there Nothing exciting "and so the interest, for them, of the open world is limited to being able to look at beautiful landscapes, nothing interesting.
If this is not a universal point of view, and not all games are RPGs (role-playing) it is interesting to see that even on other types of games, this point comes back. So, on platform games (where you have to jump, move from one platform to another) you have exactly the same opposites "It's too easy" and "it's impossible" depending on agility and the customer's machine.
Another observation is that today, we play on PCs, consoles, laptops, and smartphones (more and more) but we isolate ourselves when we play. "The online modules or multiplayer is the blank" insisted adults, against a "no, they are cool" in adolescents.
From this opposition, a very interesting discussion was born. Initially opposed on the subject, after much discussion, was born a consensus that it would be much more fun if the multiplayer, without making an obligation, could be played by several people whose presence and physical interaction would affect the game.
But everyone, regardless of age and occupation, has shown a growing appetite for immersive games where you feel you live the story. And if they are currently reluctant to spend on virtual reality equipment, they admit that they would be happy to spend on this type of equipment if a serious game offer that meets all their other expectations.
The most technical people of the group had reflections on another challenge of today's games, and more, of tomorrow. As said above, we play on several mediums, but even worse, each of these mediums to several operating systems, the consoles all have their own different, on the PC there are MAC OS, Linux, and Windows. On laptops, there is Android, Windows, and others. different screen resolution (size), and do not calibrate the performance and capabilities of each device.
So what? What to do?
No need to explain that to make a different version for everyone is time-consuming, and not rentable, undesired in the case where you have the choice to do otherwise. The proof is, if you need it, that the best selling point of Unity 3D, Game Maker Studio, and RPG Maker is that you can "publish for all consoles and OS" with one and the same code without changing it.
In the world of application development (including video games) cross-platform solutions also abound, including Visual Studio (software used to make programming from Microsoft) that even offers the power with the C #, among others, to make programs for Android or Linux.
The beginning of solutions appeared.
As mentioned above, Unity 3D and Game Maker Studio offer complete solutions to make only one code and publish for all platforms. Steam, a distribution platform, allows you to make available your game (software, video, book ...) for all platforms. Side users, it is transparent, the publisher side of the game/software, it is done through different repositories (storage space) for each OS.
Nvidia, the manufacturer of motherboard and graphics card, also offers a solution to this problem, which goes through the cloud: GEFORCE Now. Based on its famous range of graphics card, it allows playing games in a fluid way, for which your PC does not have the necessary resources physically. You will find the technical details on the site that NVIDIA has created, GEFORCE NOW.
Many other studies and proposals were, unfortunately, lost when the group dissolved. However, the studies and agencies mentioned that I was able to find online, and these discussions in which I participated, was born Ark Tribe.
A new think-tank axed on Steem
I have been thinking that while Blockchain Gamer lost its steam because of the diversity of blockchains involved (everyone had more or less come to defend his/her own blockchain) and eventually died because everyone went his/her way about blockchain, I could recreate that think-tank and progress.
The aim this time would not be just to discuss things and conjecture on what could be, but to discuss specifically about games on the steem blockchain, and make thorough documentation of the + and - of the current Steem for games on mobile or desktop, and to make documentation on how one could go.
The clear goal would be to come up with something that your everyday programmer, who doesn't have much experience with blockchain could go, and why he could pick the Steem blockchain to make his next indie or AAA game. To present easy solutions, and to see what is a big no-go, what problems one would have around using steem for games which aren't web-browser based, this might be a key to driving even more non-blockchain involved industries & people to steem.
So, tell me what you think please, comment, and tell me if you'd like to be in this think-tank!