Zilliqa’s vision for Web3 gaming prioritizes gameplay – deep dive into roadmap – SlateCast #26
Valentin Cobelea talked about Zilliqa's vision for web3 gaming, the gaming console, its mining abilities, and the built-in cold wallet.
Zilliqa (ZIL) platform is known for its scalability solution called sharding. Sharding refers to dividing the network into several smaller component networks called shards. This allows the platform to process transactions in parallel, which increases the number of transactions it can process.
Zilliqa’s Head of Gaming Technology, Valentin Cobelea, talked to CryptoSlate about separating the Gaming function from the Zilliqa ecosystem to be a stand-alone company.
Zilliqa announced its upcoming gaming console on Sept. 22. The beta version will be released at the year-end. The console will be ready for pre-order in the second quarter of 2023.
Gaming on Blockchain
When explaining the vision of Zilliqa Gaming, Cobelea said he didn’t prefer to use the term “Web3 Gaming.”
He explained that Web3 games contain a connotation that downplays the story development. Instead, Web3 games focus on “click to earn” formats where they target crypto enthusiasts who are gaming only to earn free tokens.
Instead, Zilliqa adopts the term “Gaming on blockchain,” which puts the gameplay experience in focus. Cobelea said that Zilliqa focuses on gamers rather than crypto enthusiasts. The company wants to make sure that gameplay is enjoyable and that gamers should earn profits in return for their talent and invested time.
Problems Zilliqa is looking to solve
In addition to Web3 games that fail to offer actual gaming experience, Cobelea identified other problems with the current gaming industry, which revolves around money.
Cobelea said he had been a gamer for many years and remembers the games from the 90s where users would have to pay once to purchase it and be able to enjoy it for long hours until they finished it.
Today, Cobelea says, “we’re living in the dark ages.” In the current setting, games are either paid for or downloaded for free. Regardless of how they are acquired, most ask for additional payments as the game proceeds to update characters, unlock features, or purchase skins. All these are paid for in actual money, and all these purchases are necessary if the users are looking to reach the actual content or interact with the other gameplayers.
Zilliqa stands for the idea of playing to collect funds instead of paying real money to access entertainment. Cobelea says:
“If you’re a serious gamer, great. You’re being incentivized to play because you’re earning money. If you’re a casual gamer, also great. You have the right to enjoy your game without having to invest heavily in it. It’s still okay if you don’t earn so much.”
Zilliqa currently has a Web3 war game and a survival game under development. Short demo videos of these games are accessible via Zilliqa’s YouTube account.
Cobelea also mentioned that he and his team have been working on eight more games, which include racing, arena, and mobile games. “Anything you ask, we have it,” said Cobelea, “except sports games.” He briefly mentioned that the company is not looking to invest in sports games for a few years.
Having it all
Zilliqa’s gaming branch will not stop at game production. The company is looking to grow a gamer community hub where users can connect, trade, and interact with one another. Cobelea said:
“I think the web3 community in gaming needs to have everything in one place”
The company is aiming to do just that. Cobelea says that the company aims to have it all: tools to build games, games to play, a hub platform, and the console.
“Like Valve, which released some of the most popular games like Dota 2 and Counter Strike, and then became a game publisher,” Cobelea says, Zilliqa is also looking to advance into a similar direction where it can support other developers to make their own games, and assist them in tokenomics, technology, and game development.
Regarding the console, Cobelea reminds that Zilliqa is not competing with the likes of PlayStation or Xbox simply because Zilliqa’s gaming console offers an in-built wallet tied to the hardware and enhanced mining capabilities.
In-built cold wallet
The console offers an in-built wallet for all players in a seamless, frictionless manner. As Cobelea describes it, the term blockchain only comes up in the first step, where users register with their emails and passwords only to inform them that the created wallet will be tied to their email accounts and warn them about remembering their login information.
To support non-crypto-savvy players, the console will include short videos explaining how tokens are earned, what wallets are, and what users can do with their tokens. After that, blockchain runs in the background and doesn’t complicate things much further for the players.
Cobelea describes the system by saying:
“Each account has one wallet. They’re strictly linked to the hardware you play on, whether it’s the console or the computer.”
He further continues:
” We don’t have your private key. We have the hash number generated by the private key, but not the key itself.”
In other words, the in-built wallet basically acts like cold storage, where the assets are kept off the internet when they’re not being actively used.
In addition to offering a security layer, Cobelea says this feature also aims at discouraging users from changing accounts. Users are still allowed to log out from their account to log in to another one using the same hardware as long as they pay a certain fee to do so.
“It’s the same as PS2 and Xbox. You have one account and one wallet. One user account may have multiple wallets in the future, we’re currently looking into that.”
Cobelea says these fees had to be implemented because the act of changing accounts conflicts with several security layers Zilliqa has implemented, which creates a cost for the company.
Zilliqa’s mining process is already active. Currently, only users who have Windows and Linux hardware are able to mine.
However, the console is designed to work as a “service provider for mining.” Users don’t need to know anything about the mechanics of mining, wallet types, or blockchain. Cobelea says:
“You just need to have the console, open your account, and select the automate mining when not playing option on.”
Doing this will command the console to mine ZIL tokens when the user is not playing games, which can be spent to buy more games, skins, and weapons or just be converted to other currencies.
The console’s hardware includes an Nvidia GTX 1650 and Core i9 CPU. It also doesn’t come with native controllers. Players can use any PlayStation, Xbox, or other console controllers to play games with Zilliqa’s console.