Inside Asteroid Rush: An Interview with the Developers

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Today I have the pleasure to talk with the developers of the upcoming MMO strategy blockchain game Asteroid Rush. In our previous article about Asteroid Rush we described it as a “Smart game for smart players” and now is the time to get some insights from the game!

Without furthe ado, let’s get to the interview!

Alexei, How did you come up with the Idea of Asteroid Rush?

In 2016 I received an order to develop a concept for a relevant game for smartphones. By that moment I already had worked on 7-8 projects for PC, social networks and smartphones, and more than 10 other unfinished projects.

I saw how successful projects were created, and how interesting projects fail, this experience helped me to deduce a couple of rules for creating concepts.

The main factors are simple ones, the context in which game is created and the content that it contains.

At that time the most interesting trend was private space exploration; multi-stage rockets and new shuttles were being designed and created, and it seemed like we were closer than ever to set foot on Mars. A couple of startups which studied the possibility of asteroid mining also appeared. This was a really inspiring idea, which easily captures the mind of everyone who is interested in how cosmonauts will develop and evolve in the future.

This is how the primal conception of the Asteroid Rush came to be. From then on we developed it so that it should be a team turn-and-base strategy game and the teams should fight each other for control of resource-rich Asteroids using mechs, the team who wins would then obtain the right to mine that asteroid.

We all know how difficult and highly competitive mobile game development is, and what the budget such a project requires so we were able to prepare ourselves quite well. In the first phase of development, we reached the level where we had the player-server connection, matchmaking, and team battles.

By that time the team where I had been working went through a big change, some new people who were professional in blockchain development were hired, so shortly, under the pressure of the rapidly developing blockchain technology, the general vision changed and we began to develop something that represented the actual vision of Asteroid Rush.

Ultimately, all of the players are working and fighting for one reason – to earn as many rare resources as possible. Because all resources are stocked on the blockchain, all these battles become more important and thoughtful. And here we come to the current stage, with the project in the alpha stage and big expectations around it.

How many people are currently working on Asteroid Rush Can you give us some info about your company?

AR Inc. is a small team of dedicated members consisting of professionals in game development and in blockchain development. Some of us are ‘young blood’, and some have over 10 years of experience. You’re able to find out more about the AR team on our https://asteroidrush.io/team.

In the spirit of working with a decentralized blockchain, we are a fully remote team, so we use Discord, Jira, Miro Whiteboard and other online tools to build a solid development process.

Can you give us more details about Asteroid Rush? What features/elements will the game have? How can someone profit by playing? And most importantly, is it going to be fun?

Asteroid Rush – is a MMO strategy with PVP and economic simulator elements. We are planning to release:

  • Colonists generator based on blockchain (outlook, perks, level-up system)
  • A unique asteroid generator that also distributes resources on them.
  • Mining of resources in special expeditions.
  • Quests and special missions.
  • PvP between players
  • An opportunity to earn Pi-Astro by selling resources to Earth and its colonies

Will it be fun? We are sure of it 🙂

Have you explored other options other than the EOS Blockchain? Why did you choose EOS for your game?

Before we started the development, we had done research about how well prepared the main existing blockchains are for the development of a highly loaded MMO strategy game we ended up looking at Ethereum, EOSIO, Graphene, and Exonum. We found that EOSIO gives us the best opportunities – it is fast, it allows us to conveniently implement UI components, they have good SDK, and the best system of development for smart-contracts. To be frank, there are dozens of other factors, but ultimately EOSIO was our choice as it could provide what we needed in the best way.

Are we going to see the Pi-Astro token in exchanges, will those tokens be redeemable for EOS?

Yes, Pi-Astro tokens will be available in exchanges for EOS, ETH, BTC, but we still are not sure if they will we be present on outside markets or we will create another form of our exchange. There are different models and we are currently trying to find one which will be the most effective and convenient for users!

Pi-Astro token from Asteroid Rush

How is development going? Have your team encountered any difficulties with blockchain integration?

Some difficulties are traditionally linked to environment development. Despite the fact that EOSIO had more than a year, the instruments of development are not still in the final phase.

The code we wrote at the beginning of the development was not compatible with the new version. But it was for the best as we had improved a lot of our ideas by then. At this stage, there are not many big changes in blockchain, but Block One is focused on increasing the level of commodity for developers.

Another difficulty was the fact that we needed to develop the proper architecture of the app. All examples of smart contracts which we found were too simple.

In our case, the game logic is decomposed in a couple of smart-contracts for the division of responsibility, wherein we have a couple of smart contracts which is composed of many classes. The huge experience in software development allows us to use software design patterns when writing of the smart-contracts.

The Pre-Alpha is scheduled for Q2 2019, is that target reachable? Are we going to play Asteroid Rush soon?

We are aiming to finish and test all the features of pre-alpha version by the set date, however, game development is not an easy task – and the added blockchain integration requires us to really polish the game economy from the start.

In Asteroid Rush, AR Inc. is a decentralized governance system, do you believe a similar decentralized system could work in real life? In a government for example.

That is a question for the future. But we do believe that blockchain could provide people with the means to create those decentralized governments, as one of the main government functions is the management of finances while keeping them safe. A blockchain based solution could be used here to improve the existing system.

Will the game be free to play?  If not, do you plan any airdrops or giveaways to attract more players?

Our game will have a hybrid model, where free-to-play will be partially released. You will be able to play the game totally for free because of AR Inc, which will give players at the beginning their starter colonists, crew, and a couple of patents for asteroids. But asteroid mining is a costly business and the starter packs will not contain the best asteroids. In order to mine asteroids of beta and alpha classes, the player will have to invest a little bit. Those who join us at the pre-sales will receive a substantial handicap.

In the game description, we can read the following: Each player can contribute to project development by obtaining Founder Tokens and investing them in common goals to become a co-founder. Can you explain further the particular feature?

Founder Tokens will show the player’s status, his position in the rating of prospectors, and more importantly, they will be needed to reserve the containers with resources on the Earth and colonies’ ships, and finally for contributing to Asteroid Rush goals. That one will work as the long-term investments in the development of the new features and additional content in the game. By playing and earning Founder Tokens, then investing them in common goals, players will increase their own awards which they will obtain in additional content. For top-investors, there will be a couple of unique awards, like to earn a percentage from all expeditions on some special asteroids.

Miner Card in Asteroid Rush

Where is blockchain going to be in gaming, 10 years from now?

We think that blockchain will be implemented in all aspects of games which is linked to the game economy. Imagine an auction, like one from World of Warcraft, the players there are trading unique items and resources, the value of each item is not based only on how rare it is, but also on how much time the player spent in order to obtain it. Now imagine a record that contains all of the actions that the player took with that item, it would be a record of the player’s achievement, but that would then all be available to be seen freely by all other players.

Features like this will be the first step to the real “virtual property” and “players’ identity”

What would you like to say to the community?

How long have you been searching for a real game based fully on a blockchain? Almost 100% of the games who try to convince you that they are using blockchain are not the real games, but just time-killers with bits of your information stored in the blockchain. We are offering you the possibility to see the full potential of blockchain technology in games. Things such as a truly free market, generating of the colonists, and founder tokens, producers’ node and governments. Players will be able to choose their own path when developing their base. Yes, the base is your common hub, and its development depends entirely on the player. We are not just developing a game, we are trying to create a real blockchain strategy with working social elements! Do you want to make it with us? We welcome everyone!

Thank you, for your time to share all these great insights from the game and of course, I would like to thank our users for reading this interview! See you all in the universe of Asteroid Rush!

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