Today I chat with Michel, from Enjin powered game Bitcoin Hodler. According to the Official Enjin Powered Games List it’s an unabashed celebration of the memes, history, and humor of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Hodler delights both blockchain evangelists and casual gamers looking for a challenging yet entertaining mobile gameplay experience constantly reshaped by real-world data.
Navigate the charts and accumulate crypto in challenging side-scrolling gameplay, then fly to the moon in a top-down racing style game once you’ve HODLed long enough to enter FOMO mode.
It’s playable now on any smartphone and find out more about the current $2,000 US Prize below (10,000 ENJ).
This space is full of creative and dedicated pioneers, who are all involved in creating new and exciting platforms to entertain, reward, inform, and connect us all, with a particular focus on blockchain games and the Enjin suite of Blockchain Gaming Tools. In these Meltelbrot interviews, I chat with founding game developers and creative community members of Enjin who put their time and developing skills to task within the overall Enjin ecosystem. It’s always good to hear from those we are following, so let’s find out more.
But first the giveaway, again us writers will be giving away another batch of 10 Meltelbrot/eGamers tokens to the first 10 who follow Meltelbrot Twitter, retweet this article, and add their ENJ/ETH address as a reply on this article’s tweet. Bitcoin Hodler is also offering a QR DROP if the Article receives 100 plus Retweets so everyone can win. If we don’t reach the 100 RT then there’ll be 3 prizes (hodler, spacecraft, item) given randomly to 3 winners picked by Fairpick.io Good luck, share the good news, and if we hit 100 RT get your Enjin apps ready :))
Hi Michel, thanks for chatting today. I gather you’re elbow deep in Bitcoin Hodler, and burning the candles at both ends one could say 😉 so a big thanks for taking time out to share some insight on progress. Firstly, like I ask everyone, what’s your background in gaming and / or gaming development?
Thanks for having me here today. I am overly enthusiastic about video games ever since I played RiverRade, my very first gaming experience back in the 90s when I was around 5. Could barely speak back then, but I was pretty good as far as I can tell today. Nothing has changed since then. Just bought a new console and still feeling the same thrill!
As crypto enthusiasts, with Bitcoin Hodler we decided to initiate our very first game project. Since then, I started to really appreciate every little detail in video games even more, as I now begin to understand how much hard work, love and dedication it takes to create all that stuff. I am still learning every day, as I wasn’t building games before Bitcoin Hodler, so it is a whole new field for me. Before starting this project, I was working as an R&D engineer, where a lot of technical requirements, rules, and standards permanently compete with your creativity. That aspect is basically why I really enjoy creating a game like Bitcoin Hodler. Here, creativity can take its course freely and with much less compromises . Absolutely love that!
The term Hodl, for those who don’t know, is a mistake on the term ‘hold’. It’s the idea of keeping faith knowing there’s better to come even through the FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt). After playing Bitcoin Hodler, I see you use the crypto scene and its culture as inspiration, can you tell us more about that? and how you’ve worked it into the game?
As a believer in Bitcoin, crypto assets, and their true power for our communities, I’m absolutely sure that this field is going to take over the world sooner than later. But as new markets often tend to be very turbulent, they are mainly reigned by emotions. This actually is where hodling comes into play, and over time this typo became the credo for those who didn’t want to tie their financial and intellectual commitment to some short term price movements. But sometimes it gets very painful and challenging to watch your funds melting down without taking action. And this emotion is exactly what we aim to cushion and transform with Bitcoin Hodler. It is more of an attempt to turn the passive hodling activity into a fun, exciting, and maybe a little bit of an educational experience. It is a safe environment where you can discover and learn about cryptocurrency projects, meet well known crypto characters and take a front seat in the emotional roller coaster of the crypto markets without playing around with real money.
After working with Enjin we’ve been able to link that experience to real blockchain assets and interactions, extending the players’ experience out of our gaming realm into a yet undiscovered sphere while cooperating with other exciting communities. This is where the project has taken a huge turn and made everything even more exciting.
So beyond the financial aspect, to me hodling means sticking with this incredible technology no matter what markets are doing. This is a once in the life time chance to explore yet unknown opportunities, markets and – thanks to Enjin – the blockchain multiverse for gaming.
Being one of the first indie teams to use Enjin’s tools via its Early Adopter Program, have you found there’s been enough developmental support offered to help an Indie Dev Team, such as yours, get the most out of the the new tools?
After meeting with Roger Walco (Enjin’s former VP of Communications) in Berlin back in June 2018, our journey jumped to a whole new level. First of all, we were fortunate enough to get to know the Enjin team, fantastic people with outstanding amounts of passion for what they are doing and we absolutely love that, it’s contagious. What I really like is the professional support and the openness of the team during the whole process. Although there are specific, well-organized steps to it, every project or idea is treated individually. We got plenty of space to co-create the multiverse idea with Enjin and the other projects, taking the chance to actively participate in its composition and growth. That’s a great honour and a huge opportunity for us.
As the whole concept is yet largely unexplored territory – especially the space between the games – we sometimes face developmental or conceptual challenges. For instance, if you can upgrade a character’s ability or an item in multiple games, you will need to find a way to make sure that the difficulty is balanced in order to maintain fair conditions for the players. Anticipating this kind of interactions and effects between devs, players and the blockchain ecosystem, is highly complex and even impossible to foresee for one person or party alone. Being an Indie Dev, this is why I absolutely appreciate being part of the EA programme, and for being on the forefront to discover all these new challenges and opportunities collectively with everyone else. Having highly active communication and support from Enjin is key, and they are doing a great job coordinating all the technical and non-technical aspects of this great project.
For someone that’s never played Bitcoin Hodler, what’s the best way to get the most fun and blockchain items out of the game?
The overall mission is pretty simple: Hodl as long as you can!
The basic gameplay layer might be familiar from other sidescrolling games: Try to navigate the obstacles, stay alive as long as possible and compete with the community by climbing up the leaderboard. Additionally, you can collect ingame currency and solve monkey challenges to gradually unlock special skills that improve your chances of survival. Skills like “magnet”, “stoploss” and “leverage” will positively affect your ingame balance while “Invisibility” & “fud resistance” might help you extend your hodl time in a run. After a certain time playing, the “cashout” button will become active, so you can save some of the gained bits and use them to unlock & upgrade your skills later on.
The unique feature of Bitcoin Hodler however is, that you can playfully interact with real world market data. Depending on the crypto market situation, the game can get more challenging or more rewarding. To make this happen, we query real world market data of different cryptocurrencies in realtime for direct use in our core mechanics. Here is how it works: There are coins of different currencies appearing with a red or green indicator depending on the current 24-hour-%-change of the coin price in the real world. By collecting these indicators you will get the current percentage gains or losses added or deducted from your ingame currency score. Depending on the mode of your Hodler – “bull” or “bear” – you can collect and increase your bits balance on red and green crypto days. Switching modes takes 24 hours, so you better anticipate the market accurately when deciding to switch your character’s mode.
Also the more red coins you collect, the lower your “sentiment” gets, represented by a colored bar in the top of the screen. The sentiment is an indicator of how well you are doing. Collect more green coins to increase the sentiment, or hit the candle wicks (just the wicks!) to get a little sentiment boost. Once your sentiment hits deep red, you will get “rekt” and die. You can also die by crashing into obstacles or hitting the floor repeatedly. However, if you manage to push your sentiment to the end of the green zone, you trigger the “moon mode”, where you enter a rocket and shoot “to the moon” and the game turns vertical. There you will encounter green crypto coins, but also walls of “shitcoins” that you have to dodge, and “sellwalls” you need to shoot your way through . The main purpose of the moon mode is to maximize your ingame balance. In later releases the moon mode will also be used to reach new planets, with varied gameplay mechanics and new challenges that are waiting to be solved.
The above description is the basic gameplay with no real cryptocurrency or Blockchain involved. Our goal is to provide a fun game that is playable by anyone, especially those who are not familiar with the concept of NFTs & blockchain gaming. After getting used to the gameplay and core mechanics however, the game will then gradually introduce the blockchain layer to the user. This way, we intend to provide a smooth introduction to the topic without overwhelming players who are blockchain newcomers.
Items, characters and spacecraft in Bitcoin Hodler are either fungible or non-fungible blockchain assets that are backed with Enjincoin. While most of the items can unlock the above mentioned skills directly, some of them even provide a little boost or repeated usability. Characters – “Hodlers” – are mostly represented by nonfungible tokens, that have unique sets of an ID and index. This will enable us to store token related stats, which will make every character in Bitcoin Hodler a unique entity under the control of their owner. There are several ways to get Bitcoin Hodler assets. We run challenges on a regular basis where players can participate and win. All you need to do is to download the game and start playing. As soon as a competition is active, players will be informed via push notification and an event leaderboard will appear in the menu, showing the current scores and the items to be won.
Also there is an ongoing event, called the “Drop Hunt” where you can find golden piggybanks that include blockchain items in the game regularly. Currently you will need a hunters badge (early access token) to be able to find them. You can get Hunter’s Badges on the official Bitcoin Hodler Shop. Sometimes Hunter’s Badges can also be won through our competitions. As they are fungible tokens, you will also find them on the Enjin marketplace.
There are some more features here and there, but i think this is a good starting point to explore the “Hodl World”.
Bitcoin Hodler has some really cool community characters and collabs going on, can you tell us more about that?
Since blockchain game assets are fully player-owned and have public identities, we’ve been able to allow community tokens to unlock specific features and characters once they enter the world of Bitcoin Hodler. This has enabled us to extend our user base and raise awareness, as token holders have then started to come over and playtest their newly added functions. Being able to collaborate with other games, services and communities on the basis of blockchain assets is one of my favorite features of the multiverse and the blockchain gaming ecosystem. For instance, we started to implement community items and characters from Changelly, FIO, Dapscoin, the Multiverse Brotherhood and will implement many more in the future. It turns out to be a win for all. Players can enjoy additional features for their tokens while games, communities and services can share and extend their user base. I personally believe that cross-game, cross-community features are the way to go. We currently focus our dev work to remove friction points in the process and make token collaborations even more efficient.
For future collabs with other parties, what are you looking for to implement their items into Bitcoin Hodler?
Our team is currently working hard to create tools to automate some of the collaboration aspects of Bitcoin Hodler. As a collaboration in most cases requires the ingame implementation of the token, it usually takes time and effort to add new tokens to the active inventory of the game. We’ve observed several friction points in the communication between the parties as well as in the development process which can be overcome if we are able to define a suitable set of standards and tools. Our aim is to make collaborations with Bitcoin Hodler seamless in the future so that we are able to extend our reach and the Bitcoin Hodler brand through collaborations.
The game is currently available on iOS and Android, but the iOS version requires testflight. When will it be a normal release on iOS?
Some of the Blockchain-related features are currently not supported by Apple. We are working on an iOS full release version that will meet the guidelines of the app store. From there it only depends on the review process.
What current special events are taking place in hodler?
The hunt for Satoshi’s treasure has recently begun! With a Hunter’s Badge on your wallet you can play and hunt for balloons. The first Hodler to collect 21 Orange balloons will unlock Satoshi’s treasure, called “secret glow” which is backed with 10.000 ENJ. Check out our blog and learn how you can enter the hunt: bit.ly/2RRmips
Also our Spring Bundle sale is currently active and will last till June, 20th. We have starter’s, collector’s and founder’s bundles with different combinations of blockchain characters, items and spacecrafts. bit.ly/3bKjRg3
We also have repeated highscore competitions where you can win rare Bitcoin Hodler game assets.
Being a mobile game, it’s not inconceivable to see Bitcoin Hodler being one of those that you sneak in whilst on a train, waiting for a tram, or sitting on the porcelain bus;) Where do you see Bitcoin Hodler in the next 6 months? What’s the dream projection?
The next market cycle will potentially raise public awareness for Bitcoin and people will sooner or later come across Bitcoin Hodler. In the next 6 months we aim to go for the full production release with upgradable NFTs, a multi-level system and in-app purchases of blockchain assets. We roughly estimate to reach 50 – 100k downloads this autumn. We aim to be the favourite, must-have casual game for Bitcoin and crypto enthusiasts – and we are a rapidly growing species.
You’ve been working on Bitcoin Hodler for a while and were one of the initial Early Enjin Adopters. What’s the best piece of advice you can offer for those thinking about joining Enjin’s current Multiverse application?
Stop reading this interview and join the multiverse. Don’t listen to what an early adopter would say. I am pretty sure that we are still in the beginning of a new and amazing paradigm that will change the way we build and play video games for ever. No one knows where this is going. Just get involved, get your hands dirty and let’s learn and grow together.
Well said ha! Anything else you’d like to share with the readership?
HODL it is!! Thanks for the great insights Michel, and like many others I’m sure, we can’t wait to see the innovations and fun coming out of your team’s efforts. Should others want to play Bitcoin Hodler, check out their website to download and start Hodling! Also you can keep track of future updates on Bitcoin Hodler’s multiverse adventure via the social links below.