This discussion delves into the decentralized aspects of blockchain games, the infrastructure of Web3, and the endeavor to create fully on-chain games. Despite claims of decentralization and trustless ownership, most crypto games exhibit only partial decentralization, with game logic and data often residing in central locations despite assets being stored on the blockchain. The CEO of Lattice, Ludens, acknowledges that even in 2023, blockchain technology must evolve further to handle the transaction demands of the gaming industry.
The notion of creating fully on-chain games is likened to early computer game development due to current limitations in blockchain capabilities. While some games employ a hybrid approach to engage users who are unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies, like Aurory’s Syncspace, which allows assets to exist off-chain, technical complexities of cryptocurrency wallets can deter broader adoption.
Some pockets of innovation are emerging, exemplified by “autonomous worlds” where player-driven development occurs. However, these autonomous worlds are still in their infancy. The rise of Web3 games encountered challenges stemming from the industry’s newness and the initial focus on token investment rather than gameplay. This approach led to the popularity of play-to-earn games during the crypto bull market, but many such projects faced decline once token values dropped.
The shift toward fully on-chain games involves developers aiming for autonomous, on-chain optimization. These games store assets, logic, state, and data on the blockchain, differing from Web2.5 counterparts that often use cloud storage. Notably, blockchain ensures an accurate representation of the game state and enables open composability, akin to DeFi, facilitating cross-asset swaps.
The emergence of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) within games, like Dark Forest’s DFDAO, enables community collaboration and innovative modifications. This decentralized creativity has roots in Web2, as exemplified by franchises like Dota and Counter-Strike that originated as player-developed mods.
The discussion also highlights challenges in the on-chain gaming industry, including the lack of standardized game design guidelines for blockchain ledgers. The growth of on-chain gaming’s scalability relies on enhancing chain infrastructure. Overall, the journey toward fully decentralized and on-chain games is underway, with technical advancements and innovative approaches shaping the landscape.