Chibi Fighters – an interview with creator Garry Runke

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At Crypto Bit Games we’ve had the honor of interviewing a wide array of people and organizations who are innovating in the fledgeling crypto games market. The one thing that’s been crystal clear is that the crypto games space is an innovative, pioneering, and extremely exciting arena. And if you had any doubt about that, then our interview with Chibi Fighters creator, Garry Runke, will certainly convince you.

We had a chance to connect with Garry, and learn all about Chibi Fighters and his incredible story so far.

Can you tell me a bit of background about you and your team? What inspired you to get into blockchain / crypto games?

I am Garry Runke. I worked at Weta Digital for several years as Senior 3D Artist. Of course being surrounded by geeks, crypto was brought to my attention. Back then a bitcoin cost 7 cents, if you can believe. Great times. I think my life pretty much changed when I got my first ASIC miner and when my account worth 15 million USD got hacked. These two events had quiet an impact on my life. Wish they had Ledger or Trezor back then.

Me for myself am in for good, I love crypto, the concept is great, the potential endless and everything is just starting out. I see it as the gold rush of the 21st century, sure it’s currently tanking, but all the ideas and investments are already in motion. The next wave will come and I think it will be quiet something.

I created a couple iPhone/Android apps, games, but it was way too late in the game. Crypto Games are brand new, the market is still available, giants didn’t swallow it up and make it unusable for 90% of developers, communities form, new networks appear on a daily basis, it’s a new kind of community in the making. I don’t think it gets more interesting than that.

Then there is Asa the 2D Artist in Japan, I don’t even know his full name, send him money, get awesome work back.

Rosemary the Lore writer, she is quit awesome.

There is CCashwell, the creator of Mythereum, he helps when problems reach a certain threshold, he is really good.

And then of course people like TheHermitMonk, irrationalfire, JBDoge, doublejump, Sanko. They mod on discord, help fix the game, and dozens of awesome people that believe in Chibis.

Tell me about how the vision for Chibi Fighters came about. What inspired you to make a game like this?

It was the 2D artist, when I saw his craft I was like: Yup, that’s it, I quit. I just know that these Chibis need to be put in a battle game, this can be something. And since I am a man of extremes I did actually quit my day job, bought a server for the next 2 years and off I went.

What is the basic gameplay, story, and marketplace of Chibi Fighters? How does the game and marketplace work?

Story: Chibis live on this magical, mystical island. There is the Glass Pool in which new Chibis seem to be born, right next to the Great Crystal Cave in which the Prime Sage Mizuchi lives. He granted Kami Kojiki the power to bring balance to the island torn by war, battles.

Marketplace: I am in close communication with OpenSea and rarebits to get Chibis integrated on their places as smooth as possible. I decided to remove the sale/auction function from the Chibi main contract (which actually consists of 5 contracts, each about 800 lines of code) to free up space for new Chibi functions.

Gameplay: My main vision for Chibi Fighters is that they are collectible figures. They are not meant to be that thing, or can do this. They are more like a toy figure, what you make of it, can be anything. But before I go into that, here’s the main Chibi Fighters concept:

CryptoKitties, breed, fuse, trade, buy. The usual. Only difference is that fusion creates cool new random Chibis that might even be worth more than Gen0 Chibis.

Gen0 Chibis can be bought with Ether. They will cost about 0.1 ETH and only 30 different models are available. They come with different facial expressions and weapons, so technically add up to about 1000 different models. The only benefit you get is that they have clean DNAs, no additional generation based cooldowns. We much rather want people to fuse Chibis, that will allow for more player to player interaction and the Chibis look way more random. Technically around 2.3 billion variations are possible.

That is initially though, I want to release way more than these 30 initial models.
Each Chibi has a rarity and 3 traits. These can make the Chibi lazy or battle hungry, basically affect the cooldowns. Or they can be mysterious, not discovered yet, hold that idea for a sec.

Then there is the battle stage. That also is split into two parts. Brawls and Ring of Death matches.

Brawls will cost a little money since they are on chain and we need to solve them, so to not go bankrupt there will be a fee involving them. However the Winner will get the entire Ether each player takes into the brawl.

Let’s say one players decides to go into a brawl. He will set 5 moves of his Chibi and send it off with 0.005 Ether, currently the lowest entry, it will be shown in a looking for battle queue.

Another player can take on that match, also has to send that amount of Ether, set his moves, and off in the solving queue they go. This will be done in regular intervals by our server. Since we do need to encode and decode the moves we do hope to make it impossible for players to cheat. But, that’s why we need the fee, since we need to write quiet a bunch back to the chain. No Chibi dies.

Ring of Death: Same exact thing, BUT the loser also loses his Chibi. It won’t be burnt, but tagged dead and there is no coming back from the dead. You are still able to sell a dead Chibi, like a trophy if you will, but it can’t fight anymore.

However these battles will go into a season. Let’s call it Season 1 for now. This will be solved on a not determined yet schedule. Let’s say once a week. 10 people are crazy enough to have entered the Ring of Death at the end of the week. An additional pool of Ether will be set for the Season (flexible, it can grow if too many people enter and dilute it too much). Once the season finished, a switch gets flicked and the next season starts, locking the previous season, it’s Ether (can still be added though) and battles.

Now if we find someone, a youtube channel could solve these matches live. But that’s future dreaming.

For now it will work like this: 10 Battles are in the queue and 5 Ether in the Season pot. In each match, the winner gets the winning pot (again, both Chibis need to enter the match with at least 0.005 Ether) and the 5 Ether are divided by 10 Battles. So the winner gets an additional 0.5 Ether.

The winner however, loses his Chibi. Nothing for him but tears.

Free to play Ok, lame, that costs money, yes, so what I definitely want to see at launch are free to play brawls on our server. These will not cost a cent and all you need is a Chibi, this can be a fused one, which might sell for a lot less than a Gen0. And if all goes well they will be realtime, too. This is currently in the works and hopefully by the end of the week already available for our alpha testers.

Mysterious traits: These traits have impacts like cooldown after fusion and battle. But now get this, we have 3 traits and 1 rarity attribute. Technically this gives us 3 Parameters and 1 Multiplier. And voila, you could cross game battle with let’s say Mythereum! Another crypto based game. Wait what just happened?!

API: This is where the toy figure idea comes into play. I will thoroughly expose our contract ABIs and server API to make it possible for anyone to build their own game on top of Chibis! Of course you will need to know a thing or two about programming, but once I have a little more time I would like to make a little example with a cosmetic contract that would show how you can build upon Chibis, so hopefully people that are not 100% coder, can also google/guess their own game together.

What are some of the barriers you see ahead for Chibi Fighters and Crypto Games in general?

Time. A day has not enough hours. I literally wake up, work until I fall asleep, repeat. If not once in a while someone would force me into eating something I’d probably be dead by now.

The one concern I have is syncing. I started with the notion of having everything on chain and read from the chain to not be bothered with mysql etc. But reality showed it is just not viable. The only “bigger” scale solution is a DB that keeps syncing with the chain. That way filters of all sorts are possible and interaction in general is faster and better, also things like leaderboards don’t cost money when you want to enter a value! However we will not offer paid battles on our server. Paid stuff is on chain only.

That’s what I also see as the biggest issue for crypto games. I mean 99% of them don’t even try to hide that they are nothing but a pyramid scheme, which is fine, I mean crypto, as long as all participants understand that I am not here to judge. But when even simple games cost money over and over and over again. E.g. renaming a Chibi on Chain is 3 cents. Sure it’s not a lot, but would you ever play a “normal” game that asks you for 3 cents when you want to rename your Character? Oh wait, isn’t that 20 bucks in WOW, haha, bad example.

For games, I do see the blockchain like ethereum and eos as host for the Characters and things involving money. But anything else only makes sense off chain. But well, combine both worlds and have something awesome, that’s what I want to get out of Chibis.

Tell me about your perspective on blockchain technology and games in general. Where is this all going? and why is it important to you?

See above. In terms of blockchain technology, I see dozens of proposals and ICOs each day where I wonder: how do they even want to do that? and poof, belly up, dev gone, couple mills vanished. Hm, I see, that’s how.

98% of the companies that sprung up at years end will go belly up, no doubt. But the ones that will survive, they will create an entire new market segment.

No one really knows where this is heading. Back then Bitcoin already was crazy and now Ethereum, EOS, NEO .. no one knows what will happen. But one thing is for sure, where there is money, there is a will.

To me it’s important because this is starting a new era. You can fund a company without banks, you have a stock market that isn’t on wallstreet, this entire corrupted business world could be flipped upside down.
This is what excites me.

What is your roadmap, and what plans do you have for the future for your team and for Chibi Fighters?

A youtube channel would be nice. Ring of Death matches should be something special and need a commentator.

Extending the free to play area, leaderboards, cosmetics, more Chibis, more weapons, more game modes.

Advertising options? If facebook closes a door, open another 🙂

Cross game gameplay.

Maybe even adding an entire RPG-ish type module.

Any key dates or milestones coming up for Chibi Fighters that you would like to share? Any announcements coming up?

April 30th is founder release. Meaning anyone that bought a Founder Chibi Token up until then can start playing the game and swap their Chibi for a Founder Chibi.

A founder Chibi has a special tag, glows a little and has 1 out of 10 unique weapons never available after launch (founder in general won’t be available after launch, ever) and they come insanely cheap 😀 This is to get a player base.

May 12th is official release. Anyone can buy Chibis and have fun.

For more information about Chibi Fighters, visit the official Chibi Fighters website here, or connect with them on twitter. Chibi Fighters will be going live with their founders release at the end of the month, so stay tuned.

Got any comments, corrections, or new info? Get in touch!