Note: This is a living document and is subject to change as Draco Dice evolves, or for any other reason.
Problem 1: Owner agency
True ownership has become a relic of the past for video gaming enthusiasts as gaming has become extremely centralized. A console gamer might own a console game, but their ability to play the game is dictated by the license agreement and terms of service of the console manufacturer, thus creating a scenario where an individual’s owned material is functionally useless – and this is the most optimistic common scenario today. The standard is for gamers to own “licenses”, which are revocable, temporary access to download the software represented by the license for as long as the service provider supports downloads of said software. This is not ownership of any form – this is a lease wherein no rights are granted to the lease buyer.
Conditions are even more restrictive for game assets. The digital distribution platform Steam has allowed users to buy and sell game assets outside of the game itself through their marketplace, however these items cannot leave the marketplace, and Steam is an outlier – typical game assets are not exchangeable between users outside of a select few games.
Blockchain improves these conditions on the basis that users do truly own their digital assets, however, the agency a user may exercise over their digital asset is still limited to the actions that are available on the chain on which the asset resides. This leashes the value and usability of the digital asset to the condition of the associated chain.
This problem must be solved through digital assets that are not confined to a single chain, and which may be freely moved from chain to chain to chain at no or minimal cost.
Problem 2: Blockchain game development accessibility
Blockchain game development is notoriously inaccessible due to the combination of the work involved in compiling the code and assets required for a functional game and the need for smart contract development. Game development is difficult even without integrating blockchain, and is most frequently performed from scratch. Asset creation is one of the most demanding needs placed on new game developers, and even once created, those assets aren’t blockchain-integrated unless additional coding work is done and the assets are created as NFTs.
This problem must be solved through digital assets that are designed to jumpstart game development via pre-built compatibility. Existing market demand placed on such assets should also aid developers due to the fact that they are providing new utility for existing assets.
B. Draco Dice as game assets
Draco Dice NFTs consist of an array of attributes designed to offer flexibility and invite the addition of functionality for implementation in blockchain games. Every Draco Die has a rarity, material, and style – all of which are purely cosmetic elements – however, it also has a “face value” array and a “game image”.
The face value array lists, in comma-delimited format, the results which the die would be theoretically capable of producing if it were rolled. For example, the Hyper d4 from the Inaugural Promo series has the following face values array: “Haunt,2,3,4”. “Haunt” and similar “linguistic” values are referred to as Enchants, and also include “Guard”, “Immolate”, “Restore”, etc. – each of which designed to act as a proxy for game mechanics.
The Hyper d4 is capable of rolling “Haunt”, 2, 3, or 4, where “Haunt” is a substitute for the “1” that would typically exist on a die. While developers may opt to count “Haunt” as “1”, the use of imagery to suggest a special ability invites game developers to devise concrete applications for the abstract flavor. Additionally, the use of an array for face values allows easy creation of Draco Dice which have more advanced and varied face values. At launch, Draco Dice are purely based on the arrangements of face values possessed by their real-world counterparts, but future Draco Dice may include more than a single Enchant face on a single die, or non-standard numerical faces. For example, a hypothetical future d8 may have a face value array of “2,2,4,4,6,6,8,8”, or a d6 could simply consist entirely of Enchant faces with a face value array of “Haunt,Immolate,Guard,Restore,Punish,Rally”.
The “game image” included among a Draco Die’s attributes is a transparent version of the die’s visual that allows for seamless transplantation of the die into a game without the need for further visual adjustments. Upcoming game Draco Dice: Skirmish leverages this attribute in order to populate a user’s potentially-enormous inventory without the clutter of a “card” for each individual die. This ease of use in game development is especially reflective of the spirit with which Draco Dice have been designed, so as to maximize the access that new and existing blockchain game developers have to an existing foundation of blockchain-integrated game assets.
C. Draco Dice: Skirmish as a gameplay use case
Draco Dice: Skirmish is the first game to release with Draco Dice NFTs integrated in an NFT-based Play-to-earn economy. It is turn-based 1v1 strategy. Each player will connect their WAX wallet, and the game will read their Draco Dice NFTs. Then, from the read NFTs, they will select one of each shape of die to complete a loadout – meaning that they will select 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12, and 1d20.
Players then have the option of queueing into Casual Mode or Hardcore Mode. In Casual Mode, players will win “Pips”, which are a non-tokenized measure of the player’s ingame accomplishments. In Hardcore Mode, players will confirm the transfer of a random die from their loadout into an escrow Smart Contract in order to begin the match. The winner of a Hardcore Mode match will receive a transfer to claim both of the NFTs in the escrow, meaning that players can win each other’s NFTs.
Gameplay functions as follows: First, both players’ d20 roll automatically. The higher value determines which player goes first. Then, all dice roll automatically, generating random attack values based on the die’s faces. If a die rolls an Enchant, the Enchant’s corresponding special ability – such as dealing extra damage, or taking reduced damage – is activated, and the die rolls again to generate a numerical attack value.
Draco Dice: Skirmish proves the intuitive design of Draco Dice NFTs by using the “face values” NFT attribute to determine the possible outcomes each Draco Die possesses. With the above example of “Haunt,2,3,4”, Skirmish reads the die to produce a randomized value within that “face values” attribute. This is the method by which developers can effortlessly determine the scope of a randomly generated number.