Ether Kingdoms Interview with Mopsik Mopsik
*Note- Interview was conducted entirely online, a very cool experience and personal first for me!”
A detailed analysis of Ether Kingdoms can be found on the ccinews website here, however, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mopsik, Chief Implementation Officer for Ether Kingdoms. This interview again was conducted entirely online and was quite a joy, I was able to sign up and participate in the game while interviewing Mopsik.
This interview was conducted from October 30-November 12 and during that time up to and including now, I am actively mining my IMPs! It is a lot of fun, incorporates Metamask for ease-of-transactions and the new features discussed in this interview that are rolling out are going to be extremely exciting for game players like myself.
I truly look forward to the additions and enhancements of the game and on a personal note, I absolutely love that no ICO was conducted, simply airdrops to a dedicated group of community members… brilliant!
This is Mopsik from Ether Kingdoms game (imps.me)
Good day! Thank you for reaching out. I absolutely love the project, I’m a big believer in tokenizing games.
[In reply to Ben]
Thanks for the kind words 🙂
Today works for me regarding the interview.
Outstanding, let us get started and please let me know if you want to cover something specific.
Well, I personally believe that the trend for the “blockchain-gaming” is over. Now it’s time for tokenized games. The audience does not want another clone of Cryptokitties, people want some real gameplay. And it doesn’t matter if it’s based on smart-contracts or centralised architecture.
I agree with you, when I play games I am looking for something well-developed that can bring me new and exciting adventures rather than performing monotonous tasks. This Ether Kingdoms seems to have some real depth to it!
Do you have a team page on your website? I cannot find your title and want to introduce you properly.
Yeah, that’s another reason I prefer text interview over the video 😄Our team is anonymous. You can call me Mopsik, Chief Implementation Officer.
I think this is really cool actually, was it a deliberate part of team strategy? So many people demand to see LinkedIn profiles and whatnot. It is nice to just be judged on the project you are working on and cutting out the fluff.
You’re absolutely right. Also all our team is from Russia and Russian names could be even more repulsive than anonymous team 😄 We’re planning to go public, but later, there is a lot of work on the product before we can proudly announce that we are the guys who’ve created IMPs.
Well you all have certainly made some great strides thus far! Is Ether Kingdoms web-based only or is it downloadable for mobile devices?
Currently Ether Kingdoms is only web-based, but we’re planning to introduce a mobile version in Q1 2019.
We’ve decided to create a “fork” of the game without ERC20 tokens, instead of this we’ll have soft-currency that can be purchased as an in-app purchase. The code name for the mobile game is “mimps”. It’s like mobile IMPs or mini-IMPs. Unfortunatelly current stores policy doesn’t allow use crypto-currency in games. Though we’ve decided to make the artifact you obtain in the mobile game also accessible in the desktop version. That’s, in my opinion, the only workaround to pass through app store moderation 🙂
That makes perfect sense, I see in the white paper things like artifacts run on ERC721 standards. Can you touch on why these particular items utilize a different protocol than imps?
Yes, ERC721 is a standard for Nun-Fungible Tokens. That allows us to make all artifacts different.
ERC20 tokens are fungible, that means they are all the same. Imagine a handful of dimes. That’s ERC20 tokens; While each of the ERC721 is like collectible quarters, with different States on the reverse.
Actually the hype for cryptogaming started with ERC721 tokens, it’s the same standard for CryptoKitties.
One very unique thing I see is that Ether Kingdoms is not having an ICO at all. I see there are 13 million IMP in existence. Can people purchase IMP on secondary exchanges or is it only acquired in-game? If so, what does the revenue stream look like for a gamer?
That’s right, the project was initially funded by the founders. Initially tokens were distributed through the airdrop, we’ve had 2 rounds of the airdrop, about 1 million tokens were distributed for free. The tokens are tradeable on Mercatox and Livecoin exchanges currently. You can get IMPs from there or buy directly from the game.
I know at least 3 strategies for players to make a profit on the game. They all can be combined together.
First is simple and boring. Just purchase some IMPs, get to level 100 and load all your IMPs and mines. Than you can forget about the game for some time and just enjoy PoS mining.
Second one is more risky but way more interesting. You can acquire some artifacts on external exchanges, for example this bundle on OpenSea – https://opensea.io/bundles/ollo (By the way, you may notice that this bundle includes CryptoKittie, that’s because you can use your crypto kittie as an in-game pet) and then go for some PVP fights to capture IMPs from other players.
And the third way to get some profit on the game is to participate in the Leaderboards each week, to get a reward in IMPs + free artifact for participating.
As for money stream for the game, our monetization is mostly based on the IMP tokens we sell through the game. We also “sink” IMPs from players with a 10% commission for each fight and selling the artifacts for IMPs. That allows us to maintain a certain amount of IMPs to support the eco-system.
That is fascinating, so the imps are really designed to circulate in-game and if people do need some, they can pick them up off an exchange and bring them back into the game. Speaking of Ether Kingdoms, this is the first time I have seen a consensus mechanism built directly into a game. How exactly does PoS work in-game?
Actually, our PoS mining is not really a consensus algorithm. All the IMPs are in fact pre-mined and stored on one wallet (core game wallet – https://etherscan.io/token/0x48ff53777f747cfb694101222a944de070c15d36?a=0x6b89caa6276b83c2755baf2f41acafec4b07d9aa)
Our server distributes mining rewards among the players, all the account balances are “virtual” IMPs.
When a player wants to withdraw tokens – we reserve a specific amount on the wallet and then server transfers IMPs from the core wallet to player’s wallet.
Let me explain a bit more about our specific architecture:
When we were working on the Ether Kingdoms concept, the first blockchain-based game—CryptoKitties—was at the top of its popularity. So, we initially thought of making a game that ran completely on a blockchain. We looked at this concept from every which way but eventually came to the conclusion that it would need to be a game based on hybrid architecture. This means that all game logic is implemented via our servers, while smart contracts are used only to deposit-withdraw tokens into-out of the game, and buy-sell IMP for ETH. As such, Ether Kingdoms isn’t a blockchain game, but rather a tokenized browser game.
This approach lets us implement any features into the game without worrying about how quickly can this or another chain-link function at any specific moment. You may think this would create trust issues. We did when we first came up with this idea. But as it turns out, the fact that the project isn’t fully running on blockchain isn’t an issue. Even truly blockchain games, such as the already mentioned CryptoKitties, don’t validate all their contracts on EtherScan. Meaning, they keep their architecture closed. People trust the developer’s reputation much more than blockchain.
Where did the concept of the game come from? How long has it been in development and are there plans to further develop it and/or other games down the road?
We also have huge plans for further updates. Next week, we will introduce the first global boss. Players will need the entire server to try and kill him! Before the year is over, we want to implement a ton of other features, such as clans, new matching system, brawl, and many others. At the beginning of next year, we plan to develop and release the Ether Kingdoms mobile app. Right now, we are just concentrating on exciting and engrossing gameplay, since the market’s trend has moved away from blockchain games and is now oriented more towards skill-based games, where players can make money. The wider audience wants to see the “game” part in crypto-games, and not just collectibles. We want to be the leaders in this movement.
How does the ERC721 platform integrate with the ERC20 system in terms of in-game attributes?
Easily, that’s 2 different smart-contracts, one for ERC721 – https://etherscan.io/token/0xf766b3e7073f5a6483e27de20ea6f59b30b28f87
One for ERC20 – https://etherscan.io/token/0x48ff53777f747cfb694101222a944de070c15d36
All the in-game actions with tokens occur on our server.
How many people are on your team? I know they all want to be anonymous 😎 how long do you all plan to stay that way?
We currently have around 12 people in our core team.
By the way, not all our team members are anon, 2 of our managers recently was at Crypto Game Conference in Minsk, Belarus – https://twitter.com/imptoken/status/1052836871011586049
That was the largest crypto-game conference for entire CIS and Russia, so we have had to be presented there!
As we pointed in our roadmap, we’re planning to announce our further big plans in the Q2-Q3 2019, that’s the time when we’re going to publically present the rest of the team, including me.
Has the company stayed consistent to the roadmap?
Yeah, we’re trying to! Our anonymity actually makes us work harder—we constantly have to improve our product and stay in touch with our players. If we don’t, no one would trust us and we’d end up nowhere.
Can someone purchase IMPS in-game without going to the exchange?
Sure! We currently offer a starter pack for everyone who’ve completed tutorial. The price is 0.39ETH and this pack contains 1000 — 2000 IMPs + one powerful weapon (ERC721 artifact). We also sell IMPs directly from game via smart-contract couple of times per week. We usually set the prices 10-20% above exchanges to stimulate the token volatility on the market.
Also, I love masternodes as well! Does IMP have any intention of creating a staking or MN solution down the road?
We also do love masternodes. You can find many similarities in our mines and masternodes 🙂
Though we’re not going to touch our current mining conditions / technology until the end of IMP emission.
And when will all IMPs be in circulation?
Around 1 year from here. We also will do halving by the end of this month, when 3.5 million IMPs will be in circulation.
So the distribution if IMPs will halve at the end of November?
We will halve not the amount of IMPs in circulation, but the emission rate. So in-game mining will not be that profitable, the maximum profit will be 0.5% per day.
Are there any other topics you would like to dive deeper into? Perhaps some in-game features like battles and playing with friends?
Regarding playing with friends – we’ll introduce clan mode soon that will allow a player to join in clans and fight with other clans. That will be the part of update 7.0, which is planned by the end of January.
In next update (ETA is December 30th) we’ll also introduce absolutely new playing mode, some kind of global map where you can battle other players to capture different objects like castles, farms etc.
Are there referrals planned for recruiting people to your clan?
We’re considering clans as a relatively small group of players, like 5-10 people.So no referrals 🙂
Ok good to know! So the world is going to expand and people will be able to develop their IMP kingdom coming soon?
Yes. Our current focus is gameplay. We want to make our game really interesting for all players.
That’s awesome! As a gamer myself, I truly appreciate a deeper level of gameplay.
So is it safe to say players can expect new and exciting things on the horizon in terms of game development?
In summary, Ether Kingdoms is a truly unique take on the PoS model and gamification of the blockchain. It has been a ton of fun for me personally, it literally is passive income and as mentioned in the interview, there are three different ways to earn more IMPs. As a strong believer in PoS and masternodes, Ether Kingdoms brings a true game to the forefront making it so much more fun and interactive that staring at a staked wallet. The game can be played anywhere as long as you have Metamask installed as a browser extension.
I hope you all enjoyed the interview and look forward to playing Ether Kingdoms with you, my fellow CCI community members!