It’s hardly a secret that the NFT gaming sector has seen astronomic growth in recent months. Actually, if we compare the end of 2020 with the end of 2021, there has been an impressive 46-fold increase in the number of daily unique wallets interacting with game-related smart contracts. And the best part is that this is really just the beginning…
Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about one particular blockchain game, titled Cradles: Origin of Species. So, what’s all the buzz been about? The seemingly rookie studio behind the project, DRepublic, is aiming to push the limits of NFT gaming by implementing wholly new gaming mechanics. The twist? They are introducing new-generation tokens that can perish over time. 🤯
But can time and entropy be married with NFTs – originally meant to last forever? And is there infrastructure already in place to make that happen? Let’s dive in.
ERC-3664: The ultimate game NFT standard
One could hardly find an industry more dynamic and savvy than gaming, so there’s no wonder that it’s been working hard to advance new innovations. If you haven’t heard about gNFTs (gaming NFTs) yet, buckle up because you’re in for a ride.
According to research, developers in the UK and the US are increasingly leveraging the perks of blockchain technologies, with 47% of them already incorporating NFTs in their video games. But unfortunately, this hasn’t always been easy.
The traditional Ethereum-based token standards, including the most innovative ERC-1155, limit developers to very rigid boxes. To be able to truly unleash their imagination within the world of blockchain, the gaming industry has pushed for the creation of the latest standard, known as ERC-3664, a massive enabler of gNFTs.
The main characteristics of ERC-3664 include being transferable, upgradable, changeable, and even evolvable over time. The tokens are modular, meaning they can be combined, taken apart, or put together in many different ways. This means that ERC-3664 was specifically designed to enable gamers to complete diverse actions on items and props through smart contracts directly.
With Cradles, the creators quickly realized they couldn’t support operations for game items, such as adding new characteristics, upgrading, or destroying the object with ERC-1155. Recording the many attributes of an item – such as attack power, upgrades, or even aging – on smart contracts would be impossible. That’s why they turned to ERC-3664, which is much more agile.
Your NFT dying might be a good thing…
Just like many blockchain games, Cradles leverages its native token, the Cradle Coin. But what makes its ecosystem unique is that it utilizes the blockchain generation speed to replicate the continuous passage of time. There are many different worlds in Cradles, and time passes at different speeds in each. While players can use the coins to buy time crystals and other NFT items, the energy of these slowly withers with time. ⌛
With time being a new variable, players gain a new responsibility. In fact, it’s up to them as a collective to ensure the whole world’s ecosystem operates smoothly and doesn’t descend into chaos. Chaos is actually a mode that can be reached within the game – when it happens, all players could lose access to the benefits and staked coins for a certain period of time.
Why are these dynamics so interesting? Well, the concept of time introduces a new engaging gaming model that triggers new emotions and pressures. It’s obvious that if characters can die and items can decay over time, it only adds another dimension to gaming – one that is more in line with the order of our physical world.
This ERC-3664-enabled innovation may start in the gaming world, but it won’t stay just there. The concept of easily changeable attributes and even aging could be applied to other areas of NFTs too. Ultimately, this could bring unprecedented flexibility into different applications, from certificates that are only valid for an amount of time before requiring an update or gifts that have to be used by a particular date.
It’s already obvious that there are many exciting things ahead. To keep yourself informed, read our blog. 💪