As VR devices begin to pop up increasingly inside homes of varying sizes, game companies and developers are searching about for mega projects that will be sure to keep people ‘going in’. That’s to say, not just stimulated by quick gaming shocks or kicks, but by more creative and evolving spaces, more longer-lasting, community-driven, and more lucrative ‘alternate’ worlds. These can arrive now with their own crypto-driven marketplaces for unique in-game items. After all, in-game purchases are a major stream of revenue (especially with free-to-play), and now cryptocurrency has arrived in the nick of time (for VR).
Blockchain or DLT can enable digital items in games to be unique, collectable and ‘owned’, and for tokens and value to flow quickly between users, without even going through a bank.
Yep, we’re sure to see some fine creations with these developing (and decentralised) technologies merging, and in fact some are already here…
Perhaps you’ve already heard of Decentraland, an ambitious project for mature VR users where you can build and own virtual land (with real value thanks to a crypto-driven economy). However, these sort of projects can suffer from feeling quite ‘up in the air’ or abstract without anything binding them all together. It’s the same for MMO role-playing games. Eventually development diminishes as players tire of the sheer scale and abstract nature of it all, with player numbers dwindling and losing interest due to the promise of the next bigger and better concept or scenario.
With Decentraland, at least, there’s the more interesting architecture underlying it and the user-based involvement in its development and evolution. Its real, tokenised economy allows value (MANA token) to be transferred from within its confines back out into reality, into real money. For one of the first times ever, digital assets possess this real value, so long as the platform they exist in continues to thrive. Since Decentraland lacks any centralised entity, it also stands a good chance of truly evolving and not collapsing as companies tire of developing it. It could actually become a useful space too.
But, how about tethering something like this to an exciting, involving game concept or world, too?
Integrating games with ‘alternate worlds’: For ‘fun and for profit’
How do you get hardened gamers to switch from traditional, ‘set-piece’ game experiences to these looser, ‘alternate’ open (and creative) worlds?
Minecraft comes pretty close with its building emphasis but it has a young player-base and Second Life always had a very loyal following. The latter is responsible for a lot of constructive development and ideas within virtual worlds.
Perhaps it’s now just a matter of time before Rockstar Games (creators of Grand Theft Auto Online, that ultimate, creative gaming sandbox) will knuckle down to create an MMORPG in VR… Again though, questions arise as to what concept will bind such a project together this time? Isn’t that one just too much of a game? What will prevent the world from diminishing to be replaced by something else? Can GTA ever become boring to new players? The answer is yes, it will, because the stories or the expansions have dried up as developers move on to other projects, or because the players no longer find it fun or exciting and have simply tired of the limits to that ‘sandbox’. It’s not growing anymore, in the hands of those who visit and intermingle there. Its existence relies too heavily on the authority of Rockstar Games, which hasn’t been a bad thing, as players have made up their own stories and achieved amazing feats of game-play, within its city-world borders.
Such players then start to realise that it’s all a bit abstract, or no longer brings them any value in return, in terms of skill-learning, community interaction or confidence increase (at least, not value they can transfer away to reality) and also because there is no real financial motivation to keep participating or being creative. Also, not everybody are fans of Fortnite and its one – albeit very successful – multiplayer mode.
Perhaps for virtual worlds to truly flourish, they must become these ‘alternate’ worlds, and their gods must not abandon them. Even better, the gods must be the actual players of such worlds themselves, just as with real cities, real worlds…real life. And that means they must be able to increase their value in the game, and transfer it, out of whatever ever-changing – relevant – ‘alternate’ reality it happens to be…
BeachHead 2020: ‘Play. Prosper. Protect.’
BeachHead 2000 found success as a simple first-person shooter where you defended a beach. VR in its current form is also more about these transient settings and experiences. However, the next BeachHead dev. team seem to have woken up to blockchain technology and gaming, with a desire to extend their Beachhead concept…a lot…more…
Welcome to BeachHead 2020, or BH2020VR, where you will not only fight to protect a world under constant attack, but also get to ‘live’ a second life, buying and selling and working to make such a world, a better place. The copy, or blurb, on the site provides the only real insight at this stage, claiming that it’s ‘a bit like the Sims’, only with real money and products.
[IT] IS THE FIRST EVER ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCT THAT INTEGRATES GAMING AND A VIRTUAL REALITY WORLD WITH ITS OWN CRYPTO-ECONOMY WHERE EVERYONE CAN PARTICIPATE AND PROSPER. BH IS AN ALTERNATIVE REALITY WORLD PARALLEL TO OUR OWN AND POWERED BY DECENTRALIZED CRYPTO-ECONOMICS. IT IS A TRULY IMMERSIVE MULTI-REALITY VR EXPERIENCE COMBINING COMMERCE, ENTERTAINMENT, AND GAMING IN ONE GIANT EVOLUTIONARY STEP. EMERGING FROM THE MUCH LOVED BEACHHEAD VIDEO GAME SERIES, BH202VR FUSES THE FUTURE-SHAPING POWER OF BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY WITH THE GAME’S OWN DEEP HISTORY OF OVER THREE AND A HALF DECADES.
A World of Opportunity?
It sounds like a good union. And it’ll be even nicer if it really does end up being ‘open to everyone’, or where everyone can begin on a level playing field by choosing to earn their way in the game. This would be a cool concept tapping into a growing trend, where blockchain and crypto can now enable games-makers to actually offer something for free initially, (without ads), before letting the game economy (with its native BHT token) start to reward and empower players. This will include the option to upload one’s own content and even set up businesses, probably mostly relevant to game-play customisation or experience.
I’m not so sure about the ‘Unlimited Gameplay’ option. It would be even better if everyone had no other choice but to earn their way.
IF YOU DECIDE TO PROVIDE CONTENT TO OTHERS, BEACHHEAD 2020 WILL ALLOW YOU TO EARN INCOME, BY PROTECTING THE CITY, OR BY SUPPLYING DEFENSE WEAPONS AND MUCH-NEEDED RESOURCES TO THE BEACHHEAD DEFENSE FORCE (BDF). LIKE IN THE REAL WORLD, HEROES ARE REWARDED, BUSINESSES ARE COMPENSATED, AND EVERYONE IS WELCOME. COMPENSATION IS PAID USING THE SAME, EXTERNALLY LIQUID CRYPTOCURRENCY UPON WHICH THE GAME IS BOTH FUNDED AND ITS ECONOMY IS OPERATED. BY STAKING THE BHC TOKEN, ANYONE, FROM LARGE RETAILERS TO INDIVIDUALS CAN SET-UP SHOP IN BEACHHEAD CITY. EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING IS FOR SALE. THIS ISN’T JUST A GAME ANYMORE; IT’S THE BEGINNING OF A NEW WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES NEVER SEEN BEFORE.
There’s a lot of ambition and a lot to chew over here, and how it plays out will depend both on what the ‘gameplay’ has to offer, as well the world-interfacing elements and how they really might capture (longer)-term interest (and speculation).
It will be very interesting to see what becomes of this groundbreaking ‘confluence’ or integration of technologies that seem certain to continue an exciting trend; one that is bringing the gaming world much closer to the real world than it’s ever been before… or vice versa…
The BHT token will be a dual blockchain token (ETH and XRP).
Check out the full video (links to YT):