Ethercraft | Blockchain Gaming

Blockchain technology is a very new thing and it is quickly starting to take off. Companies are starting to use it as a payment method and people are hearing about it consistently on the news. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn't heard of Bitcoin and how much it is worth. The problem, I have said all along, is that mass adoption is very hard to achieve. People do not want to hear the ins and outs of how blockchain technology works, as in some cases, it is very hard to understand and when people do not understand, they do not want to use it. To help with understanding, and to help nourish growth, more use cases of the technology have to be explored. One of these use cases is gaming

The gaming industry generates, on average, $100billion in sales every year from downloadable content, add-ons, and items. Purchasing skins and accessories for games is something everyone will be familiar with. Parents all around the world, even though they aren't directly involved in the games, will have heard the phrase "Can I buy a skin for Fortnite?" from one of their kids. The problem with this is that once you purchase an item, it is locked into your account. Just like the account you create, these skins are not your property. Arguably you can sell these products on, but this is usually against the terms of service. So that £20 addon you bought, but do not own, is sunk into a game and the money is in the hands of the game developer.

One game that I've been following for a while is Ethercraft, a role-playing game on the Ethereum blockchain, where, unlike traditional games, you own your character and all of the items on it. This is done through the use of an Ethereum wallet. Each address can be used to create one character and all transactions, be it purchases of an item or some other type of contract interaction, will be carried out and attributed to this address on the blockchain. The beauty of this is that the person who owns and has access to this address is the only one who owns the character and its derivatives. 

So, with all of the technical stuff out of the way, we can have a look at the game itself!

As mentioned, Ethercraft is a game hosted on the Ethereum blockchain. It has been in development for a few years now, and progress is starting to really pick up. Currently, the game can be tested on the Kovan test network which can be accessed using the in-browser Ethereum wallet, Metamask. Simply head over to their website, and connect your Metamask wallet by clicking on the "Open dApp (Kovan)" button. I've posted an article about Metamask before and how to use it if you are unsure how to install and carry out basic functions. 

In order to interact with the Ethercraft contract, you will need some KETH (Or Kovan Eth). This is free Ethereum that is only useable on the Kovan Test Network and allows developers and testers the ability to test the functionality of a dApp, without having to pay real money. Each transaction costs gas (the fee used to pay for transactions). so this is an invaluable tool for the aforementioned people. Free KETH can be claimed every day at the Kenj Faucet using your Metamask address as the recipient.  Make sure Metamask is running on the Kovan Test Network and not the Ethereum Main Network. 
With your newly acquired KETH, you are ready to jump into the game. 

You will need to connect Metamask to the Ethercraft website so that Metamask has permission to communicate back and forward with Ethercraft. Metamask will automatically pop up asking for you to do this. Once you click on the "Connect" button, you are good to go. Any websites that you connect to with Metamask will be done this way. You can manage any websites that have permissions by clicking on the three vertical buttons on the Metamask app and then clicking "Connected Sites".

Your first task will be to create a character of which you can choose either a default, which uses less gas to create or a random one that is geared more to specialist build, but with a higher gas price. 


After creating your character you will be loaded into the main game screen. The controls are simple and easy to learn. Clicking and dragging will allow you to move around the world map and using the mouse wheel will enable zooming in and out. 


As mentioned earlier, the game is still in development but some features, such as combat can be tested. This is a great way to see how blockchain gaming will function and how any items you collect are stored on your Ethereum wallet. You can jump into the combat by clicking on the blue portal by the eastern part of town. 


Once you click on the portal, a new window will open in the bottom left-hand corner. This will show the things that you might encounter in the dungeon, along with some cool information about it.

When you are ready to enter, click on the big blue portal image to open the stats allocation screen. You can change these to suit yourself, but make sure they add up to 100%. Click the blue portal image again to start your adventure. Metamask will open up and you will have to confirm the transaction. Once the transaction has been confirmed, the dungeon will load. 

Depending on the load of the Ethereum blockchain, this might take a while. 


As you traverse the dungeon you will likely encounter enemies. If you defeat these creatures, you will have the chance to receive some cool loot. Loot will also be randomly collected as you explore rooms, but this is random. Enemies aren't the only thing you need to watch out for, as traps are also littered around these areas. 


During my adventure, I was unfortunate enough to be slain by a Skeleton. If this happens to you, which is very likely, you will have to create a new character. 

When you die you will lose your items, but any experience you might have gained will be kept on your character. The experience you accumulate can be used to use the magic chest, which is stored in your house (It's located in South-East of the town, in between two other skinny houses). I was lucky enough to gain 123 experience points, so with it, I purchased the Meteor Hammer from the chest.


Naturally, after I purchased my new weapon I headed straight back into the dungeon to exact my revenge. Unfortunately, I was attacked by a stronger skeleton warrior and it killed me and I had to start over again! 

Ethercraft is a great example of how games might work on the Ethereum blockchain and is something I will continue to follow closely. 

Do you think that blockchain gaming is something you might venture into? Let me know over on the social media links below. I'd love to know your thoughts on the combination. 

Connor

Statement: Nothing to disclose

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