NFT Flip

Today marks the end of the week 1 Star Atlas NFT sale, and I’ve been trying to figure out what sort of plan I’m going to put in place. I spent some time this morning trying to figure out how many I would have to sell in order to flip my way up the ladder. I calculated what it would take if I was able to get 200% and 150% of the original purchase price. This is if I wanted to have two of the fourteenth poster, one I could sell.

The game theory on this one is hard to work out. We’ve got both Solana and Ethereum mainnets, and no way to bridge assets from one to the other — yet. I assume the Star Atlas bridge will be one-way, but haven’t confirmed that yet. They also haven’t launched the market yet, so OpenSea is the only real place to sell them at this time.

If I hold to my risk profile, I’ve got enough funds to buy a dozen of the first three posters, but that doesn’t account for gas costs to manage the sale, or bridge costs if I eventually have to send them over to Solana and put them to use. It’s a risk, and I’m not sure quite what I’m going to do yet.

There have been a few thousand posters sold on the Solana marketplace, but only a hundred or so on OpenSea. I think Opensea is more likely to appeal to people who are interested in the NFTs so much more than the in-game items. And the starting cost for fourteen posters is only $900, so I think I may go ahead and move forward with that now and see what I can do.

SAIA Dao launch

We are truly living in the future

Well, I feel pretty good about things. I managed to summon SAIA Dao last night with fifty members. I may have padded that with one or two friends without their permission just to make that a nice round number, but anyways. I don’t even know how many hours I spent on the proposal itself, trying to get people on board, and just shilling the hell out of it in the official SA channel, but I think it’s going to work out OK.

I decided on a proposal velocity of twenty-four, since that will allow us to process new member requests and tribute proposals (dao funding) at a pretty quick pace over the next few weeks. Voting periods are five days and grace periods are two. I made one small flub, and didn’t notice that the primary token is not xDAI, but wrapped xDIA. Wrapping it is pretty easy to do via WrapEth, so it’s just a minor annoyance.

DaoHaus has a number of boosts available, including a Discourse subtopic, which will save some money to start with and allow us to break out some of the formal discussions out of Discord. The Discourse server is configured with cryptoauth.io, which allows one to login using their Ethereum address or an NFT. I had not previously heard of cryptoauth, but seems like an awesome project that replaces OAuth and uses ethmail.cc (another awesome service that I’d never heard of).

These type of services, using NFTs and Eth addresses for authentication, really open up some interesting possibilities. Star Atlas is using NFTs for their game system, we already knew that ships and loot would be tokens, but a look at their Genesis rewards indicates that they may be used as some sort of credentialing system for rank.

This brings up some interesting scenarios for guild management. Services like Collab.Land allow you to create token-permissioned chats in Discord using ERC20, 721s, or POAP tokens. It can basically allow server roles based on tokens in your wallet. Completely fascinating.

And if that wasn’t completely bonkers enough for you, here’s an NFT Discord Bot that allows you to mint an NFT by uploading a file to Discord. You can create multiple copies, send them to other Discord IDs and move them to mainnet. It runs on a sidechain called webaverse, which is a “virtual world built with NFTs”. These possibilities are incredible.

As far as the xDAI chain goes, it looks like the most developed project out there for creating NFTs is Cargo, which has pretty slick project management and token creation tools available. I messed around with it a bit last night, but didn’t really get around to doing to much with it, but you can embed audio, video, 3D files within the NFT as publicly available files, or lock private ones that are only accessible to the owner.

Basically, to sum up a pretty winding post, we could use Cargo to mint membership or rank NFTs for the Interstellar Alliance members, and use them as keys to unlock access to forums or provide other permissions within Discord or other applications. This type of stuff is part of a broader conversation that’s been going on with identity and web3 that’s pretty cutting edge.

If we are going to build truly permissionless, decentralized systems, then we’re going to need new identity services that don’t rely on Gmail, or Facebook, or even our state-mandated IDs.

Space Corp

Decentralized Autonomous Corporations in Space Atlas

TL;DR: Read the DAO NFT Pool proposal here.

So yesterday we wrote about airplane crashes, now we move to space ships. Yesterday I became aware of Star Atlas, a new space-themed MMO that is launching soon. It’s like EVE: Online, or Star Citizen, but it incorporates blockchain mechanics and will run on the Solana ecosystem.

I’ve been a gamer for decades, and I’ve always loved space fighters, going all the way back to XWing vs. TIE Fighter and Wing Commander. I spent years playing EVE, but it was a huge time suck. I made a personal decision to scale back my gaming activities some time ago, as I figured that I wanted to spend more time playing the game of life. I still enjoy the occasional causal game, but I purposefully stay away from AAA open ended games, especially MMOs. I’ll admit that my personal and professional life has benefited from this decision tremendously. I treat investing and crypto as a game these days, running up my score via trading and yield farming. It’s much more lucrative than playing in imaginary worlds, and was one of the main reasons that I shied away from games like Elite Dangerous. Spending an hour of my day flying a trade mission across a dozen systems just did not seem like a productive, let alone enjoyable, use of my time.

This Tweet came across my TL yesterday and took up most of my day. The game is still in production so I read through the whitepaper and was seriously impressed. It seems to be iterating on all of the latest and greatest games of the last couple years: EVE, Star Citizen, Elite Dangerous, and No Man’s Sky, among others. It incorporates much of the game play mechanics that you would expect from these games, but then merges with with blockchain tech: in-game currencies, governance tokens, NFTs, and a defi ecosystem that includes lending, AMM and yield farming. As you can expect, I am very excited to see how this plays out.

The game is launching in several phases, the first will be the Galactic Asset Offering (GAO) in which in-game assets will be sold as NFTs on Opensea. Mining, staking and yield farming will be available during this time, but the assets won’t be playable until phase two, when an MVP browser based mini-game will be available. The target is July. There will another phase, a shipyard-configuration module before the final pre-sale before launch. There’s no ETA on when that will launch, as far as I know.

Prior to the GAO will be this ReBirth: Genesis NFT sale. It’s fascinating. They’re going to sell a series of thirteen meta-posters, each one available per week. The price for each series will go up, and they’re divided into tiers that will unlock certain rewards or in-game bonuses. On top of that, anyone collecting all thirteen NFTs will be able to claim a special fourteenth NFT. Details are the NFT rewards are light right now, but I can imagine they’ll be sufficient for the investment.

Obviously, I’m not willing to spend $524,000 on a series of NFTs, but I assumed that there was some group that was. I had read about a DAO that had bought an NFT for $5.4 million, so I went looking to see who was actively fundraising to pool resources.

I popped on the Star Atlas Discord and quickly found a guild named Interstellar Alliance, and found a dao/pool discussion already ongoing. No one was putting any serious proposals together, so of course I went to work and started writing.

The general idea is to use a DaoHaus/MolochDao guild to pool resources. Stake in the DAO –shares — will be proportional to investment. Ultimately, the goal is to purchase all thirteen NFTs to earn the last one. From there the dao can vote on what gets done with them afterward. This could be a speculative play, to sell the collection off or to farm rewards that come from them. The collection can be bundled and tokenized in a way that they can become tradable, or the assets can eventually be bridged over to Solana for use in game. Those details will have to be worked out later, as I’m primarily focused on putting together something that can be done in a trustless manner. There’s been much interest in the proposal, and we already have 19 pledges for a minimum total of over $39,000. We still have a ways to go, but we have enough interest to move forward. I think there will be enough excitement once things start moving that we’ll have no problem finding full funding. For now I’m focused on Kovan testing to make sure that I understand the gas costs needed to operate DaoHaus and Gnosis, and working out additional details with the community.

This project really fascinates me. It bridges daos and smart contracts, speculative investing, community management, and opens up an opportunity to learn how to dev on Solana, (and learn Rust). I’m going to be digging into this over the coming weeks to see whether operating or being a part of one of these in-game DACs could actually become a viable career. Imagine, playing a video game and making enough real-money revenue to live off of. It sounds like the future.

Gaming for dads

I have been a gamer literally all my life. I remember my dad’s IBM PS/2, it had a game that taught me to type, it was like missile command but letters were falling from the sky: a, d , s, f then later: j, k, l, ;. There was another that I was horrible at, it was a robot that turned into a jet and flew around in some underground cavern with enemies. Then came the Nintendo, the Gameboys. Final Fantasy and Mario Brothers. The second-gen consoles, then back to the PC and simulators. Practically taught myself to fly a plan for real — I have the video to prove it! — and still waiting for an opportunity to take a car out on a real track.

The height of VGA excellence in 1987. I was eight.

Anyways, I don’t have time much for games these days. Not with the side hustles and other projects going on. What I have enjoyed is playing games with the kids. I’ve managed to avoid most of the Candyland and Chutes and Ladders type of games, for the most part. I taught the older one to play Carcassonne. Not that she’s good at it, mind you, but she can at least get the hang of it. Forbidden Island was another that she likes to play, although it’s mostly me directing and doing most of the work. So of course I went out and bought Pokemon for eldest’s last birthday, and ran through a couple games. Takes practically 90 minutes with all the setup and stuff, which is hard to do with the little one wanting to have a hand in it. So I put on the computer version, and so far we’ve been pretty good with that. Safe, from a parenting perspective, but the Pokemon show, and the books, are about the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. Not to mention the other copycat shows with things like fighting tops and whatnot that are all designed to sell crap to kids. Of course, G.I. J.O.E. and He-Man were just as bad, but we’ll leave that for another day.

So anyways, I decided to let the eldest start taking a play through some of the games on my Steam collection. I put on some simple, E for Everyone things that I thought she would enjoy, and she eventually took to Hexcells, a great logic puzzle game, and has been playing through that for the past couple weeks. Just an hour on Saturday or Sunday. Eventually she started getting up early during the week, doing her chores without asking in order to play for fifteen or twenty minutes before we go into daycare.

Well earlier this week I heard about WOW Classic getting released this month, and I thought I’d see how well she did with that. We had a bad experience with Minecraft where she kept getting killed by zombies and got really frustrated and I had to cut her time short due to a tantrum, so I wanted to keep a close eye on her and see how well she could do with a close eye on her. So I created an account for her, enabled parental controls, — no chat, time limits — and let her play Hearthstone while WOW downloaded. She got the hang of it after an hour. Not that she was very tactical about it, but she managed to play through the tutorial and and a few practice rounds with me peeking over her shoulder and explaining things. So I thought everything was cool.

We took a break and I told mom what we were up to, and BOOM!! Big fight. “World of Warcraft is not appropriate for a six year old!” “Well, maybe, but I’m gonna watch her and play with her and see how she does.” “World of Warcraft is not appropriate for a six year old!” “Well, I turned off the chat and put on a time limit so…” “World of Warcraft is not appropriate for a six year old!” And things just went downhill from there until I was repeating back “World of Warcraft is not appropriate for a six year old”.

So we were done with games for the day, so I cooked dinner, went outside with the kids to let them play while I read, and they went inside while I finished reading, cleaned up, and snuck in an ice cream sandwich. I went inside, to find the three of them sitting on the couch, watching Jupiter Ascending, with guns and shooting and blasting and torture and all kinds of other stuff.

I just sat on the couch and read my book till it was time for baths.

Game(r) development

So I’ve been playing a whole lotta HearthStone lately. A lot. I’ve been using Icy-Veins for basic decks and card descriptions to up my game, and although I haven’t gotten anywhere near legend ranking, I have been doing pretty well. I started tracking my game history in OneNote, tracking the cards my opponents have played against me to try and some good openers. I’ve been somewhat limited with my success as I refuse to pay for decks and have been spending all of my gold to buy Naxxramas wings, (I’ve just started the Construct quarter,) and I did find an interesting project that will automate that for me. It’s called Hearthstone Deck Tracker, and in addition to showing me which cards of my deck I’ve drawn and which ones remains, it will also record my opponent’s plays and will even allow me to export them into a deck of my own pretty handy. This tracker belongs to a series of programs which have sprung up that utilize Hearthstone’s debug log to pull this information. Another one is a tool created by Elie Bursztein and his wife used data collected from over 100,000 games to predict what card you opponent will play next. They gave a talk at Defcon where they demoed the tool as well as some of their research on valuing Hearthstone cards, but apparently someone from Blizzard was in the audience and convinced them not to release the tool for fear of ruining the game. One of the things that their tool did have was a tracker that shows card, hand and mana advantage between your opponent, and that does look like something that could be integrated into the Hearthstone Tracker, which is written in C. I’ve been delving into the source code to try and and figure out if I can make any contributions to it.

HearthStone was actually created with the Unity3D development platform, and I’ve been playing around with that lately, having finished several of the tutorial projects with it. I don’t really have too much interest in developing a full fledged 3D game, but it has real object-oriented scripting, unlike GameMaker, which doesn’t fully implement OO methods. Unity seems really powerful, and I’m looking forward to delving into it a bit more and seeing if any projects come from it.

I’ve also been inspired to add to my real life collection lately. Reading the blog on the site https://wischweiz.wordpress.com, I was inspired even more. Every time I’d go into Barnes and Nobles I’d drool over the Android:Netrunner and other strategy games, and a few weeks ago they had copies of Summoner Wars on sale for half off, and I had to go back and pick one up. It’s a cool game; I’ve only had a chance to play a few games with a few friends, including a 2v1 match that ran on way to late and ended in a draw. And I also caved in and bought A:NR off of Amazon and have played a few games with it. I’ve probably spent more time teaching it to other people than I have playing it, but I found that there’s a version of it on OCTGN, which is like VASSAL on steroids, and I’ve had a couple good matches on there. The best part is that OCTGN and the modules are open source, so I can look through the Python code to see how the game mechanics were implemented. Fascinating stuff.

Halfway between the polished gem of Hearthstone’s Unity engine and the arcane workings of OCTGN/VASSAL games is HEX, a Magic:The Gathering clone that is currently in beta. The mechanics of the game seem strong, but the graphics and the game flow itself seem rather clunky. I’ve only played two games against AI thus far, but the interface has a ways to go yet. I don’t really recall how M:TG online plays in comparision, but it seems like the amount of clicks passing back and forth between players each turn is way to much. One thing I’ve yet to figure out is whether all the cards in Hex will be available by grinding the game, such as in Hearthstone, or whether certain cards will only be available through real-money decks, as I hear was done with the latest Dual of the Planeswalker version.