My personal background is quite generalistic. From being an avid gamer ever since I discovered video games as a child, I went from trying to become a progamer over thriving to make a living playing poker. During that time, I graduated from high school and ultimately ended up doing a bachelor’s in Latin American studies and archaelogy following my interest in ancient cultures. As I have not yet become a professional poker player after graduation, it was clear to me that I wanted to found my own startup in order to live life the way I would like to do (job opportunities as an archaeologist sound exciting but are mostly underpaid). So I went on to do my master’s in entrepreneurship, did an internship at Eversnap, a Silicon Valley based startup doing a photosharing application and graduated from the Founder Institute program which made me found my company in September 2015 under the scope of YouTube influencer marketing for video games. Meanwhile, I kept educating myself around the topic of blockchain and my fascination for it kept rising the more I understood about the potential of this new form of technology.
In 2016 I spend day and night researching crypto projects and while investigating all the projects out there, my goal quickly became to find a way how I could contribute to the emergence of this newly emerging paradigm shift towards democratic decentralization. Of the many projects that were, one particularly caught my interest: Spells of Genesis. It demonstrated that it was entirely possible to create trading cards based on the blockchain – and build a video game on top of it!
With me in our team is Enrico – he is an excellent game developer with tons of experience having worked as a senior game developer on various successful titles such as FarmVille 2 and DarkOrbit which achieved more than 90 million player accounts. He fully understands the technical aspects behind creating a great game and knows how to build it in a way that it can scale to the degree that we need for our endeavour.
Another team member is Waldemar, he is an old friend of mine whom I told about Age of Chains during one of our poker home games. As his desire always to work on creative storytelling, he found his place in our project as the one taking care of the centralized Andromeda Empire while my focus rather lies on creating the decentralized Cosmic Union of the Milky Way galaxy.
Of course, we also closely work together with highly talented illustrators which we carefully select in order to ensure the quality standard for the cards that we desire.
Tell me about how the vision for Age of Chains came about. What inspired you to make a game like this?
The last video game I spent major time playing before starting Age of Chains had been Hearthstone. I stopped playing it though because Blizzard would not let me own and trade my cards – also the neverending extensions kept diluting my deck. I just did not feel like spending any money for the extensions like other players did – however would I have had ownership over my cards this might have been a different story.
So when I discovered Spells of Genesis, it showed me card games on the blockchain were possible. However Spells of Genesis is not the classical 1on1 PvP card game like Hearthstone, Poker or Magic the Gathering which due to their competitive game mechanics are very much how I like my card games. This set the initial stage for Age of Chains: 1on1 PvP blockchain trading card video game which inevitably has certain similarities to Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering, but still be very different in its overall gameplay. And of course the best: You as a player truly own your cards and the cards are limited in supply.
What is the basic gameplay, story, and marketplace of Age of Chains? How does the game and marketplace work?
Age of Chains plays billions of years in the future, at the time where our galaxy collides with the Andromeda galaxy. Throughout time, evolutionary contrarian principles have established themselves in each of the two galaxies: The Milky Way galaxy, through the emergence of blockchain technology in our present time, has developed itself into a fully decentralized system. Blockchains strive as powerful entities within the galaxy full of peace and harmony. An example is Myriadcoin, you can read up on him here
or check out other blockchains within our universe here
. On the other side, the Andromeda galaxy accommodates a centralized dictatorship led by a megalomaniac entity thriving to rule the whole universe. Now as these two galaxies collide, we get to witness an intergalactic clash of cultures as never seen before.
As already mentioned, Age of Chains is a 1on1 PvP blockchain trading card video game. This basically means that you have a deck of cards, your opponent has a deck of cards and now you play against each other until one of the two wins. You can choose in between two factions and either fight for democratic decentralization or corrupt centralization.
Players already can collect & trade their cards on the Counterparty decentralized exchange
- the best app for Android out there to do so is Book of Orbs, though you can store your Age of Chains cards at any Bitcoin address you control.
- What are some of the barriers you see ahead for your project and Crypto Games in general?
The unclear regulatory environment is still a major burden for the industry as it makes the naturally easy funding through cryptocurrencies more difficult. We will have to see which countries implement what kind of regulations, so far, the EU seems to undertake a rather liberal approach which we of course welcome. In our case, we did not raise a million dollar ICO or something but fund ourselves along the game development with each card that we come out with. This way we avoided raising a million dollar ICO or something but now still have to struggle with efforts of complying to whatever the regulators come up with.
Tell me about your perspective on blockchain technology and games in general. Where is this all going? and why is it important to you?
Gaming is a great way to introduce people to the world of decentralization because the benefits in combining blockchain with gaming become obvious very quickly once you experience it yourself. Of course it always depends on how you integrate blockchain into your game: there are good and bad ways. In our case we use blockchain technology on various meta levels but from the technological perspective the main purpose of blockchain technology in our game is the players’ ingame ownership over their own itemry and the guaranteed scarcity of the item. These two factors combined introduce a new paradigm to the world of gaming which over time people will more and more grasp and adapt, resulting in games better and better combining the two categories of blockchain and gaming. Ultimately, I hope that blockchain games will contribute to helping the world become a better place and with Age of Chains we want to do our share.
What is your roadmap, and what plans do you have for the future for your team and your project?
As we did not run a typical ICO we did not raise most of the funds needed yet to complete the project, so we are on our way to have the last of our Series 2 cards out which people can buy in case they would like to support the Age of Chains development. Our immediate goal is to continue our funding along with our card releases until we have enough funds to complete the project. We also are thinking about raising a seed round in order to obtain the necessary funding so if you are an angel investor, we are happy to hear from you.
Once we have the necessary funds, we can increase the speed of the game development. Then we first aim for a web based prototype of the game to increase the feedback loop from our community while developing the game for desktop through Unity.
Any key dates or milestones coming up that you would like to share? Any announcements coming up?