Michael e-sat down with James Mayo from 8 Circuit Studios to chat about Blockchains, their two new games and his studio is merging these two ideas.
Check out their website here.
Michael: You’re pushing some cutting edge ideas with your new games, utilising the Ethereum Blockchain to enable players to “Truly own” their digital content, what’s been the biggest barrier so far?
James: On the technical side, the biggest challenge is figuring out how to use a blockchain in a way that respects their current inherent limitations (like performance and transaction costs). But the hardest barrier to overcome is one of usability – wallets, tokens, exchanges, private and public keys – as a new user, navigating the requirements to unlock a blockchains’ power (like truly owning digital content and digital assets) can be daunting and overwhelming. Making blockchains accessible and easy to use is our number one priority right now and that approach requires a lot of very careful design.
Michael: Where did the idea for all of this come from?
James: The idea for the metaverse came about thanks to many of our team members’ love of sci-fi – and of course the work of Gibson (Neuromancer) and Stephenson (Snowcrash and Cryptonomicon). The last piece of the puzzle to make the kinds of connected worlds possible in those creative works is the blockchain. Now that public blockchains are here, connecting various digital realities is finally achievable in a way that wasn’t really practical before. Gamers needed a global digital currency so that we could transmit value to each other within a few seconds or minutes. Developers needed a way to ensure “digital scarcity” so that unique items and characters can be created without a requiring a third party (like a publisher) to enforce their authenticity. Blockchains do both (among many other things, which we hope to be demonstrating in the near future!).
Michael: Are you working towards eventually building your own “Oasis”?
James: We are working towards building our own metaverse indeed! But we don’t want to stop there…eventually, we want to make it not just possible, but easy for everyone to build their own metaverse (or at least their contribution to it). This is our long term vision, but the first step is introducing blockchains to everyone through games.
Michael: Your team has some amazing experience across the board, what has been the hardest part of forming 8 Circuit Studios?
James: One of our development philosophies is to use our experience to help us prototype features and iterate on game design quickly. With this in mind, probably the hardest part of forming 8 Circuit Studios is having a good portion of the team working remotely. While there are a lot of great tools to help make communicating and developing remotely as easy as possible, there is just something of a force multiplier when we are all collaborating together in the same place. That said, we probably wouldn’t have all the amazing people working with us from their preferred locations if we had to work in one spot. And besides, I think working remotely is a trend we’re going to see a lot more of…so we want to get good at it.
Michael: Alien Arsenal: Battle for the Blockchain is built for Mobile, and D-PARC for Windows PC. Are you going to explore console games in the future?
James: We are exploring console games, indeed! In fact, D-PARC may be a great candidate for just such an initiative.
Check out the trailer for D-PARC below:
Michael: Favourite Film?
James: The Matrix…of course!
Michael: Favourite place in the world?
James: My favorite place in the world is a small remote lake nestled high in the Cascades (a mountain range east of Seattle) called Jade Lake. I’ve only been once, but it is one of these ice cold mountain lakes that is about 30 meters deep but you can see all the way to the bottom like you’re looking through crystal.
Michael: Have you ever been to New Zealand?
I have never been to New Zealand but I cannot wait to visit.
Thanks so much to James for taking the time to answer our questions and share more about what they’re working on with us.
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