September 2021 update
What. An. Experience! A bit nerve-wracking at times, especially given the insanely tight deadlines for game development and the urgent need to get things done right. Nevertheless, we can confidently say that the 1UP platform’s scaled up development has exceeded our initial timetables and expectations!
As with many daring projects, we set off with a clear goal and well-accounted-for variables. Despite a few hiccups along the way, we’re excited to share a summary of our progress so far! Without, of course, revealing any emerging trade secrets…
We want to tell you as badly as you want to know the details, so we hope that what we can reveal can tantalize your palate until a later date in the near future.
1UP kicked things off with a 2D, Battle-Royale concept based on classic retro games that we all know and love. Easy, right? Bring Mario and friends to the blockchain, and anyone can recognize the engaging latent value of competing against your friends using familiar faces.
However, we quickly realized that optimizing the platform for one game mode would mean programming ourselves into a corner. In short, we ran a lot of testing to discover optimal potential approaches — measure twice, cut once, as they say.
So if you like RPGs, dynamic gamified staking capabilities, and customizable options for multiplayer leveling systems, then we’re pretty sure you’ll love what we’ve been up to with 1UP.
We’ve identified three components to our development process while working together. Divide and conquer, right?
The Main team handles the overall development and business strategy. Think: the office arguments without a clear strategy… yikes. Iteration after iteration, 17 hour long, mind numbing research and brainstorming sessions that very few could keep up with.
Team 2 handles the game code, networking, and storage challenges. Think: OG gamers with Hawaiian shirts.
Team 3 handles the smart contracts and front/back-end web development. Think: Shadowy super coder Zoomers that still respect old school games.
“2D graphics are easy! I can run Donkey Kong on my Tesla. What’s the issue?”
While porting DK to your Tesla remains objectively awesome… Unfortunately, nobody has ported it to a RPG styled real-time Battle Royale game and connected it to a blockchain network. Until now! Which entails a bit of time.
Drawing things by hand proved… cumbersome, to say the least. Most 2d classic games work of spritesheets with individual frames drawn for every character interaction.
The 1UP platform will have multiple worlds/themes giving players choice and variety. Within each world are dozens of characters. With the amount of characters, weapons and multiplayer interactions, we would need hundreds of thousands of frames drawn by hand. A process that could take up to a year and a lot of manpower.
We then settled for the next best option. Spine Animations and rigging, to bring static images like the one above, into the 21st century… Unfortunately, now they move like characters from The Grudge. Too robotic and ultimately didn’t fit our fast paced combat system.
We found the middle ground — create custom 3D models that function and look like 2D characters. Think: Super Smash Bros 64. We changed the 2d graphical characters we originally had for 3D modeled characters. This will cut our animation and graphical workload but would slightly increase the time it takes to initially create each character. Once created, it drastically decreases the time it takes to animate and customize.
The more we tested out the system the less we spent in development time, creating a more stable and better suited platform for future expansion of the game. Animations are now smoother and more fluid, collisions work better, replacing new content is faster and the best part is the unlimited customization options for things like weapon skins, armor, clothes etc.
While we work hard on improving and expanding the old engine into a modular engine, we are also working in parallel on our in-house marketplace, a NFT store where users can buy NFTs that have usability in the game. Hats, characters, character skins, power ups etc… basically everything you need in-game will be available in the future on the marketplace.
The marketplace will allow players to upload their own graphics that are usable in the game, through a streamlined process that follows certain specifications for the graphics to work within the platform. These assets can only be used within the game platform and bought and sold on our marketplace.
Our new graphical asset and RPG system will directly impact the success of the NFT marketplace we plan to launch. Customization options means more sales potential for the marketplace which for us would mean critical development funds to constantly release updates and product improvements. In the end, a better performing product with higher revenue growth over the long term will directly impact token holders and the development team.
Along with an improved graphics system, additional considerations arise when porting classic games to a blockchain environment for the first time. How do these graphical assets interface with NFTs? What parameters generate new, potentially game-altering NFTs?
We are getting closer and closer to a more refined solution. Nothing is perfect, but if there’s room for improvement for the most potent use cases in crypto, we are actively on top of it.
Plugging and Playing
The 1UP team has worked diligently to improve the platform’s front-end interface and optimize the game functionality.
Users can deposit their 1UP tokens using their Ethereum, Binance, or Polygon wallets in exchange for EGGS, a form of in-game points. This process entails creating a unique profile on the 1UP website, through which users can engage with the game client installed on any windows machine or android mobile device. The marketplace user dashboard will also allow them to cash out their earnings and winnings from gameplay on the platform.
If a user forgets their password, they can simply reset it by connecting their wallet. However, users retain full control of their private keys — should they lose their wallet, their funds remain lost to oblivion! Not even Mario can penetrate that blockchain-secured castle.
Insert Quarter, Play Immediately!
When users purchase EGGS or NFTs on the 1UP website, the platform stores their data both offchain and on the blockchain. This process allows users who purchase NFTs or EGGS in the online website marketplace to access their benefits in-game instantly.
Choose Your Gameplay
1UP will boast several game modes appealing to both casual and highly competitive players. Free Play allows users to hone their skills without putting any tokens on the line.
Betting Mode allows players to put skin in the game in the form of EGGS, betting an amount against other players in live gameplay.
You’re Finally Awake…
Want a blue mohawk? Sure. Cloud’s sword from FF7? Why not? Character customization on 1UP now entails a full store and inventory system.
Have a health potion. 1UP’s RPG elements now allow characters to maintain persistent statuses via our proprietary STATS system. Items now have a material impact on in-game characters in certain gameplay environments.
By introducing a straightforward survival gameplay format with RPG elements, we successfully pay homage to one of the earliest styles of online games while unlocking a seriously fun and more engaging method of gameplay.
Worried about your health bar? Throw on some armor, but it’ll slow you down. Play fast and loose? Equip some hastening boots, but whatever you do, don’t trip. The choice is yours!
With this scaled up development schedule, we would already make immense progress on the 1UP platform, but that doesn’t mean we plan on slowing down whatsoever!
Things like 2D in-game farming, where players can work together to farm, buy and trade land, and hunt down pesky monsters, present hours of fun and earning potential for users.
We’re working on PvP team battles, and the potential for any project or group to create their own custom game room lobbies to hold tournaments.
Oh! By the way, the 1UP network can now support 50 player sessions sustainably. Next up, 100 player sessions.
Finally, we’re working on an NFT marketplace, working hard to optimize the interface to allow the purchase of cosmetics, important game-altering items needed to optimize your gameplay experience, all with the click of a button!
1-Up Team Reflections
We started with “Mario on the blockchain, simple interface” and quickly evolved as a project to “Oh… OH, we can do better!” Keep in mind that while we are learning and growing from scratch and the ride might be a bumpy one, it will also be highly rewarding. Speaking with our amazing advisors, investors, and partners — we’re not alone in finding far more latent functionality and potential than we ever thought possible.
With that said, the 1UP team remains fully committed to our timeline, community, and long-term viability of the platform. As such, we cannot in good faith turn our backs on the immense value that we have proactively identified as a community.
In order to get the beta out on time, we lowered the scope in terms of graphics and certain functionalities. We will release a working product and allow users to test out our system for a period of time. Then add functionalities and graphics as large updates to the platform. Within 2 months of the release of the platform’s Beta, 1UP will conduct an exclusive NFT sale that will facilitate the full development of the platform. Simultaneously, on-chain and cross-chain functionality continue to improve as the markets roar back to life.
As of this update, our teams have given us a timeline of around 5–6 weeks to release a fully playable demonstration of the platform’s evolving functionality. HODL on until then… you only get to participate in the first-ever real-time port of a 2D battle royale game to a blockchain environment once — no extra lives in this opportunity.
As we develop the system, the concept and approach to technologies used is getting more and more refined and stable. In turn making the team’s morale higher, as every aspect of the project is better and more achievable than before. In short, the time spent researching and developing has led to a more refined vision and focused development effort.
We’re deeply thankful for our amazing community, humbled by your continued support, and more optimistic than ever to deliver to you the most amazing blockchain-based gaming experience you deserve!
Stay tuned for our next update!