Game3.js Newsletter #6

From KERNEL 🌱 to APOLLO 🚀, A Smart Contract Interface, and Today's Accidentally Open-Source Game: Infiniminer

Welcome to Issue #6 of the Game3.js Newsletter!

We started Game3.js with a vision:

5 to 10 years from now, what will fully realized Web 3.0 games look like?

Today’s blockchain games are just the early iterations of Web 3.0 games. A fully realized Web 3.0 game will need to be more compelling than web, mobile, console, and VR games. Their virtual economies will need to have the same utility as those of sovereign fiat currencies. They will need to provide more meaning in people’s lives than just being a vehicle for intrusive ads and forced in-app purchases.

To achieve this vision, we need to bring in more builders, and make it as easy as possible for them to start building games in this new Web 3.0 world.

Game3.js aspires to be the game framework that will lead the way 🔥

Thank you for joining us in this quest!


This newsletter started during Gitcoin’s KERNEL Genesis Block 🌱, an 8-week program where we met some of the smartest, most welcoming, and overall really just the best people working on Web 3.0 today.

It was an honor to be mentioned as one of the appreciated junto hosts and mentors!

Our technophilosopher Andy Tudhope created a syllabus not only for the KERNEL fellows, but for anyone building social and technological systems. I believe it’s a masterpiece that should define the Web 3.0 movement for the years to come.

Here’s the KERNEL syllabus, I hope everyone takes some time to read it 💖

The KERNEL Genesis Block has been home for game3.js for the past 8 weeks, and it’s bittersweet to finally be moving on.

With every ending is a new beginning though. The next step in the Game3.js journey is Filecoin’s APOLLO Program 🚀!

We believe that decentralized storage is another piece of the puzzle in building the next frontier of games, and we’re hoping to explore the technology more with the APOLLO fellows. Game3.js has actually already started working with IPFS for saving game replays, but we can already see a lot of other possibilities with peer-to-peer data architectures. We’re excited to be part of APOLLO and can’t wait to jam with our peers!

A Smart Contract Interface

Game3.js work continues on! After presenting our MVP in KERNEL’s Midway Expo, we’ve doubled down on fixing bugs and fleshing out both player and tournament organizer flows.

One significant addition is our brand new Smart Contract interface, currently being used in the Create Tourney tab. From here a Tournament organizer can set the parameters for his tournament, and test out other smart contract calls.

We’re getting ready to pushing out a playable alpha, and we’ll be sending out invites once we’re ready. We’re almost there! 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

Today’s Accidentally Open Source Game

Every week we’ll highlight an open-source game and imagine how they can be improved by decentralization and Web 3.0.

Infiniminer by Zachtronics

I’m a huge, huge fan of Zach Barth and Zachtronics’ games. Zach’s games are tightly designed puzzle games which have a focus on logic and programming—games like Spacechem, Opus Magnum, Infinifactory and Shenzhen I/O are just some of his brilliant creations. (Side note: All game designers should download this amazing game design resource and history of Zachtronics games: ZACH-LIKE)

Zach Barth was also the pioneer of the block genre popularized by Minecraft.

Infiniminer was the first game with mechanics centered around digging and mining. It wasn’t the commercial success that Minecraft was, but people really liked the game. They liked it so much that they decompiled the source code to make mods, and made it open-source. Zach wasn’t really incentivized to keep working on the project, and moved on.

The block genre is a rich space to draw on, and blockchain games like Cryptovoxels and The Sandbox have started to build Web 3.0 systems in the same vein. With both games, selling virtual real estate to players is a core monetization strategy.

Continuing on our theme of APOLLO and decentralized storage though: what if virtual real estate wasn’t a centralized resource, but is freely available? In Minecraft’s early days, players used to set up private servers themselves, and anyone who knows the server’s IP address can easily join it.

What if we incentivized private servers the same way we incentivized miners in an ecosystem like Filecoin? What if we made mining more fun, where we install an instance of a block genre game on each IPFS Desktop, and every node we connect to in our IPFS network is an actual blocky world?

Imagine clicking on a peer on this map, which would open up the blocky virtual world of that IPFS node. Minecraft Earth, IPFS-style!

Thank you for reading! If you would like to contribute to game3.js or have any questions, please reach out via Github or Gitter. To keep receiving Game3.js updates, just click the Subscribe button below.

Cheers and see you next issue!