Plutonians Gameplay Vision

We all know it’s coming but what form will the Metaverse take when it does arrive?

Like anything, different groups view different things differently (can’t believe I had to write that). Gamers often confuse NFTs with micro transactions… And large game studios might confuse crypto with just another way to make money. In both cases, the community on the other side get upset and that helps absolutely nobody. Our vision for the Metaverse is different.

It genuinely pains me to read about large gaming companies failing to find their feet in our industry. It pains me because I can see that both sides are confused by the other. Ubisoft are confused with the backlash against their locked down NFT ecosystem, because in their minds they technically delivered an NFT project (“I thought this is what you all wanted!?”). By the same measure, large parts of the gaming community are super confused and angry by the poor quality of games that the crypto industry have so far delivered, and fearful that NFTs simply represent a new version of the dreaded micro-transactions.

The only people who “get it” are the poor souls stuck in the middle…

Pictured: You, “getting it”.

Someone familiar with NFTs going back to play their traditional AAA games suddenly feel empty and hollow, knowing that they don’t actually own any of their in-game items… At the same time, a gamer with no crypto experience exploring the current game offerings from blockchain companies may feel equally disappointed. This is no fault of either side. The internet never had a secure way for persistent state, and game servers have always been run and paid for by centralized game studios. Similarly, most of the games in blockchain make their games appeal almost exclusively towards the crypto community because the don’t see an easy way to convert gamers. But if we as an industry take a long hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves what kind of gamer will pay $1200 for a spaceship without any kind of game to play it in, the answer to this is clear… Slowly however, these two groups are starting to understand each other, and Plutonians aims to bridge the divide.

Like many in the industry, want to see the grand project of crypto succeed, and any success story inches us all closer to that shared goal no matter where or who it comes from. If a major game studio somehow manages to overcome their bureaucracy and launch a game that permits real NFTs, we should celebrate that! In the same way, if a crypto game releases a successful game, we should celebrate that too! In either case it brings us one step closer to the goal of a high quality, meaningful, persistent-state gaming experience.

The Plutonians team have always looked beyond that horizon. We are targeting WebGPU even though it’s not released yet, because we see being accessible in-browser to everyone is an important thing for accessibility and community. We are targeting Unreal Engine 5 even though it’s in beta, because we feel that will give us the graphics capability for a front-end truely worthy of the Metaverse. We are targeting Solana because it is the only blockchain with the capability to host a realtime gaming experience. For these reasons, Plutonians is a project that requires people who are willing to drive upon roads that have no clear end yet.

We feel that the emerging technologies that will make Plutonians possible are also the same technologies that will bring the Metaverse to life. We chose these technologies because we feel they represent the best chance of creating a Metaverse that we ourselves want to use. WebGPU is in working draft, Unreal Engine 5 unreleased, and even Solana and Phantom iOS are both technically in beta, but if you find yourself in the business of building a Metaverse game you are always going to be working on the very edge of what’s possible.

  • Solana is the blockchain that is performant enough to make a realtime action game with.
  • WebGPU carries with it the promise of great graphics in-browser, allowing a level of accessibility and freedom that native apps simply don’t allow.
  • Unreal 5 represents the best “front end” graphics we can currently imagine for our Plutonians end game…

“When you completely forget the desire to make something new, it’s not good for you as a creator — or even as a person.”

Keita Takahashi

Games are super subjective, that’s part of what makes them so great. I don’t claim to understand what makes turn-based battle games fun (for example) but you know what, that’s ok! I know they are fun because I can see and respect the communities that grow around them. In exactly the same way not everyone will understand why gameplay that is oriented around physics and developing flow is fun. I think there was an interview with Keita Takahashi in which he mentioned a coder on his team who absolutely hated Katamari Damaci, and he said the dev said he “didn’t understand why it was fun”, yet he was apparently still ready to work on it diligently enough to bring it into massive success that it turned out to be.

When developing games you always meet so many different people and different opinions on what it should be, but ultimately there is only one metric we can accurately hold ourselves to: we are compelled to make games that we ourselves want to play. Yet when developing a Metaverse game, the traditional rules of the game dev go out the window. Traditional game studios will probably have a hard time adapting if they are not willing to open their doors and allow their formula to bend a little… A Metaverse game is not a game, it’s a world. And just like the real world, it should enable the inherent creativity that is in everyone.

Till Meyer (Gameplay Design | CTO)

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VR Metaverse Game — coming soon to Solana

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