ValteFri, Dec 10, 2021 6:56 PM
DeFying Gravity: Splinterlands — Profitable Card Game on Hive
In the new episode of DeFying series where we take a closer look at the new crypto projects, we continue discovering the most interesting and useful blockchain-based games. This time, we’ll talk about a blockchain card game that already beat the others in the daily users' thanks to the chance of getting an income with minimum investment.
What is Splinterlands?
Splinterlands is a play-to-earn digital collectibles game developed on Hive blockchain and formerly known as Steem Monsters. The game follows an easy principle — the users get to collect the cards, each of them having various qualities and powers, and then use the cards to battle with others. It requires a strong set of cards but also playing skills. Every win brings profit to the player in the form of tokens.
Each card serves as a unique NFT and can be stored, traded, and exchanged on the marketplace at any time, with all the operations being recorded provably and publicly. Unlike most of the projects that claim to also be blockchain-based, Splinterland stores in blocks not only gaming items but any action on the blockchain. Thus everything in the game is public, verified, and provable. It allows users to see how many items of each specific card exist, existed, and will ever exist, and also allows them to completely trust the results of any matches and tournaments.
Hive is a decentralized immutable ledger. It uses delegated Proof of Stake Consensus, allowing it to process more transactions than Ethereum without any gas fees. Using Hive benefits in the transaction speed and prices.
Hive blockchain already has a big number of users and use cases, including numerous dApps running on it. On top of free and fast transactions, Hive offers several recovery options and easy-to-read addresses unlike the usual combinations of the symbols which are impossible to memorize. And as it’s a blockchain game, literally, anyone can participate without the need for any permissions. Even the development team has no option of changing the data, ensuring integrity to the game and safety to the players.
All the data on Hive can be seen and reviewed through independent Hive blockchain explorers. To go even further, advanced users can run the node using the open-source database on Gitlab.
How to Play Sprinterlands?
Spinterlands is available for playing without additional download of desktop application software. But for those who prefer using a smartphone, a new app was developed recently. Though the basic (free) version allows playing for fun, the users who want to compete for the real rewards (tokens and other cards) have to obtain Summoner’s Spell Book, which is available at the in-game marketplace for only $10 and can be bought with PayPal or other cryptocurrencies.
Getting the Spell Book, changes the whole gaming experience, as from that time on users can choose a unique username which will be recorded on the blockchain, provide the blockchain keys, and makes it possible to earn assets while playing.
Splinterlands' gameplay includes many random chance events: from opening the booster packs to some randomly generated battling options prior to a user selecting their deck. It is achieved by using a pseudo-random number generation mechanism based on unpredictable blockchain data.
To play, the user needs to choose the “Battle” option, either in ranked or practicing mode. In the ranked mode, players compete for the higher positions of the leaderboard, as the higher rankings allow them to receive better rewards. Splinterlands’ algorithm randomly matches players with a similar rating and provides random game settings.
The duration of each game is limited to a few minutes, so the players should manage to create a team in the form of a card deck according to the randomized parameters. Once the card selection phase is over, the battle begins automatically following predefined rules. The goal is to destroy all of the opponent’s cards before they do so to your cards.
The first one who does it is considered the winner and receives the victory points (which let the user climb to higher ranks) and rewards (tokens). Additional rewards can be earned from completing daily tasks and finishing the season as select ranks (the higher the rank, the better the rewards). Players can also participate in tournaments with the shared prize pool provided by multiple sponsors.
There are 5 different types of keys in Splinterlands, providing permissions for the different aspects of the game. The master key is used to generate the other key types, including:
- Owner key — the most powerful key, necessary to change the username, recovery key, and additional options;
- Posting Key — allows to publish non-monetary transactions on Hive blockchain;
- Active Key — is needed for the token (HIVE, Hive Engine, HBD) transactions in the game;
- Memo Key — is used for sending encrypted messages within Hive blockchain.
In fact, all of the keys might be needed only by the advanced player with a big number of cards. The usual player will only interact with the Posting Key and the rest will be just stored on the blockchain. More experienced players can enable the usage of the Active Key in the settings and use it to transfer valuable assets, for example, cards and packs.
The game has 2 different digital assets powering it: Splintershards (governance token) and Dark Energy Crystal (in-game currency).
Splinterlands launched its native governance token Splintershards (SPS) at the end of July 2021. SPS’s main use is as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). Before the launch, 6.6% coins from the total supply were allocated for the private sale helping the project to attract $3.6 million. It also brought over 50 000 new users to the game in just one month.
SPS is used as DAO on Binance Smart Chain (while the game itself sits on Hive) and gives players a chance to define the future of the projects and affect development direction. Moreover, owning SPS tokens allows the user to propose changes, for example, new tournament schedules, new battle settings or even changing the inflation pool. The DAO is planned to start in the first quarter of 2022.
Splintershards has a total supply of 3 billion tokens, 13.3% of which is allocated for the annual airdrops for the holders to encourage them not to sell the asset.
Dark Energy Crystal
This digital asset is used as a measure of payment in the game to power its economy, can be earned by winning a battle or received after conversion of the unused cards. The token allows buying the items in the game, including the users’ cards. Additionally, the asset is available for trading on external platforms. As the game will get more features, the DEC token will have more use cases and utility.
Even though the game doesn’t offer complicated gameplay and playing mechanics it attracted a lot of users, gained investments, and even reached the tops of the charts.
By September 2021 Splintershards became one of the most played blockchain-based games according to the daily user count as it surpassed 260 thousand everyday players, achieving those numbers in no time — in July the game was played by 10 000 users every day, 90 000 in August and almost 3 times more in September, which can be explained by the NFT boom happening in the same time frames. Now, Splinterlands sees roughly 450,000-500,000 daily active users.
Splintershards offers players a chance to get NFTs with the real organic. This NFT later can be traded, making it attractive not only for gamers but also for crypto enthusiasts. If it won’t be outperformed by any other upcoming gaming project, Splinterlands might reserve its own honorable place in the new world of blockchain gaming.