There’s trouble brewing in the red-light region of Decentraland called District X.The ongoing dispute between the leader of District X and a group of community members came to a head with the Decentraland DAO asked to weigh in on the district’s future.
Decentraland districts are collectively owned areas on the map built around a particular theme, in District X’s case: adult content. However, it’s seen little development in the five years since it was established.
Member Morph submitted a proposal on April 12 that the DAO and the Decentraland Foundation should ask OpenSea to mark the district’s land NFTs as stolen until a solution can be found for the issues in the District X community.
Morph alleges that the District X custodian, RobL, took the role without contributors’ input and his Wyoming-based LLC called District X Land Holdings controls the multisig wallet that holds the district’s land. He claims the district pivoted from its original intent, while little development has occurred, and “the worst offense” is that RobL allegedly attempted to sell the entire district.
Morph’s proposal has two more stages to go through until it passes. A preliminary vote showed 73.94% of voting power allocated to support it. He tells Cointelegraph that it “was great to see the community come out and make a majority decision.”
However, RobL denies Morph’s claims about how he had handled the district’s land, telling Magazine:
“There was a claim that I somehow marketed the district for sale, which is also nonsense.”
“However, just to be clear, selling districts is not illegal. Many district owners have over the past two or so years sold their districts,” he says, clarifying that he himself has never sold any.
The view from District X Tower in Decentraland. (Decentraland/screengrab)RobL says that his voting power in the DAO alone is enough to prevent the poll from passing. But even if it passed the final stage, he believes it would not be enacted.
“Why? Because [the] Decentraland Foundation and the DAO all know full well the proposals are filled with misinformation and are at face value patently false… Moreover, Decentraland DAO has absolutely no control over OpenSea,” he says.
The Decentraland Foundation says it’s an external party to the situation and is not involved in the matter. At the time of writing it has not been called on by the community to participate in the proposal.
District 9 director’s vision for blockchain game like an immersive film
One upcoming shooter to watch for later this year is Off The Grid, the first title from indie studio Gunzilla Games.
A cyberpunk-style battle royale third-person shooter, the blockchain game is set on the fictional Teardrop Island in the Pacific Ocean, where corporations battle for resources.
Midtown Harbor will be one of the places featured in the game. (Gunzilla Games)Filmmaker Neill Blomkamp of District 9 and Elysium fame is on board as chief visionary officer. Gunzilla Games co-founder Vlad Korolov tells Magazine that Blomkamp is helping turn the game into an interactive player-driven movie.
“Unlike other battle royale games out there, Off The Grid is being developed as a narrative-driven game that will immerse our players into the universe we created.”
The game will be free-to-play with new in-game items regularly added for players to collect and will be available to play on Xbox, PlayStation and PC. Korolov says the game runs on Avalanche subnet Gunz blockchain, but the aim was to make “the experience for our future players as familiar as any other traditional game on consoles.”
The announcement follows the release of several other blockchain shooter games, including Undead Blocks, and Korolov says that shooting things could be the key to mass adoption.
“Shooter games are the most popular genre in video games today, uniting over half a billion users. It’s only natural that developers and gamers alike want to explore their potential in the Web3 space with a genre that already has such a strong user base,” Korolov explains. “While they may not be easy to master, shooter games are easy to learn, pick up and play.”
“They provide an accessible entry point for new users to explore the true benefits of Web3 gaming, such as decentralized in-game item trading and player-owned economies,” he adds.
Vulcan Forged showing “no mercy” to autoclickers
Vulcan Forged is cracking down on autoclickers, according to a Discord post on April 10.
It said it had received reports that some players were using autoclickers with its new in-game foraging system and vowed to thoroughly investigate, adding, “Offenders will be shown no mercy.”
Autoclickers, which mimic mouse clicks to game the system for rewards and cryptocurrency, have long been an issue for Web3 studios. Adam Bendjemil, head of business development at BNB Smart Chain, tells Magazine that games offering daily rewards and other financial incentives are a prime target for autoclickers and warns they can skew the tokenomics of a game.
“If the game is unbalanced, unfortunately, the game is going to die. Players won’t be interested in playing it, and [this] benefits no one but the person using the clickers.”
Although studios can do things like blocking IP addresses or adding captcha verifications, they are constantly battling against ever-adapting, ever-more innovative bots.
“They’re very smart people behind [the bots], so it’s a tough battle. As of today, it’s still a problem,” Bendjemil adds.
The use of bots also presents an issue when it comes to gauging Web3 player numbers. It’s a problem Pedro Herrera, head of research and analytics at DappRadar, understands only too well. But Herrera notes that as Web3 games become more complex, we’re likely to see fewer bots, as it’s just not worth the bother.
“If you’re playing a first-person shooter, you won’t be able to program a bot. I mean, you can, but it’s not worth the effort… But definitely, idle games are the ones that will be exploited. RPGs, FPSs [and] MMOs will be very difficult to exploit in that manner,” he says.
Aurory’s Adventures game: “Pokemon meets The Matrix”
Aurory Tactics came out last November. (Aurory/screengrab)The team at Aurory is aiming to roll out its new game, Adventures, next week.
Aurory head of production and executive producer Jonathan Campeau tells Magazine that in “version zero” of the game, players will be able to visit lands and capture creatures called “Nefties” through battles. Campeau says, “The slogan that I used at GDC a lot for what Aurory is is ‘Pokemon meets The Matrix for the Roblox generation.’”
The highly-anticipated launch follows the release of Aurory’s first game, Tactics, in November last year. But Campeau says that Adventures is likely to appeal to a broader range of gamers.
The limited rollout next month will be followed by a full public launch by the end of the summer.
NFT Worlds respawns and starts again
“I would love to have schadenfreude where Minecraft has this whole story 10 years from now where they banned this group that was building a game on it and then that group went and built the replacement for Minecraft. That would be very entertaining to me.”
So said someone in a Twitter Spaces on April 20 when the team behind NFT Worlds sat down for almost two hours to talk with its community about its plans for a rebrand after a difficult year.
Their troubles started in July when Minecraft creators Mojang Studios said that NFTs and other blockchain tech were not something they would generally “support or allow” on their servers.
The move was a blow to NFT Worlds, whose entire gaming system was built on Minecraft, and forced it to pivot to its own soon-to-be-released game engine.
NFT Worlds’ zombie mob versus Minecraft’s. (ArkDev/Twitter)So, has Minecraft inadvertently spawned the monster that will eat it? NFT Worlds believes that Minecraft has lost its spark and, particularly since it was bought by Microsoft, hasn’t been as innovative as it once was.
It thinks that it can create a better alternative that will make it easier to create servers and mods, as well as allow Web3 integrations.
“We’re here to build what we wish Minecraft had become, had it continued on its innovation,” said ArkDev on Twitter last month.
With the coming of the new NFT Worlds on the horizon, I wanted to dive deep into why we believe there’s a perfect storm brewing where @nftworldsNFT can become “The next Minecraft”.A bold claim sure, but bear with me as we dive in… This is going to be a long one.Thread 🧵👇 pic.twitter.com/pFdoiZUZXP— ArkDev.wrld | NFT Worlds / MetaFab (@iamarkdev) March 29, 2023
The Sandbox: Irish pubs and underground cities
I spent a lot of time collecting plungers in The Sandbox’s Rabbids game last September. I have now upgraded to other items.
The platform rolled out its April Festival at the start of this month, and there’s still time to check it out before it closes on May 2.
The festival features The Sandbox’s typical mix of brand collaborations, creative builds and cultural projects. While the client can be a bit slow and buggy at times, I’ve always liked the attention to detail in the different games.
Collecting shamrocks in an Irish pub. (Screenshot from The Sandbox)First, there’s a really cool build called Chongqing Underground City based on Cixin Liu’s short story The Wandering Earth. The first quest involves collecting 88 dumplings scattered around the scene. As with a lot of The Sandbox builds, it’s full of NPCs, which gives the impression there are a lot more people there than there actually are.
That said, being alone in a crowded room is slightly preferable to the monstrous bulging peopleberg that occurs when everyone tries to spawn into the same place at once.
A Hell’s Kitchen demon and I observe a congested spawn spot. (Screenshot from The Sandbox)But in an attempt to make the metaverse less lonely, I tried to get my grandad to take a look by visiting The Shebeen, an Irish pub. Because why open your front door and walk 100 meters down the road to an actual Irish pub in Ireland when you can collect shamrocks in a virtual version of one online?
Besides, The Shebeen has way more flags, a deer with glow-in-the-dark antlers and a beer garden that doesn’t smell like a graveyard for every cigarette that has ever been smoked.
He looked for a grand total of about five seconds, said “that’s nice” and went back to watching the Manchester United game.
What’s coming up
Crypto Unicorns has released two Team RPG prototypes to community members. Match-3 and Auto-Battler came out on April 13 and are accessible to those with a MetaMask wallet containing five or more unicorn NFTs.
The Mutant Ape Yacht Club is getting its own game. Novel Labs and Faraway announced this month they are working on Serum City, a city-building game that will star Mutant Apes. It’s expected in Q3 this year.
Unioverse will launch an alpha of Proving Grounds on April 26. Those who sign up before that day will get the chance to play the game and use their Reyu NFTs as avatars for the first time.
Got gaming gossip, Discord drama or underappreciated projects you think I should be writing about? Please direct all tips, tricks and tirades to me on Twitter at @quinnishvili.
Callan Quinn is a British freelance journalist covering crypto and tech. She has worked as a business journalist in China, the UK, Somaliland and the republic of Georgia. Previously, she was also an NFTs, gaming and metaverse reporter at The Block.