Meltelbrot 55 – Age of Rust – Join the 1.8 million US prize pool!

You probably have heard about Age of Rust recently. It’s about to launch on Steam and is a blockchain game with in-game loot currently valued over 1.8 Million US. Yes. If you are someone that has stumbled across this scrawl, blockchain gaming allows for making money just for playing. It’s dubbed ‘play to earn’ but some take this idea to the next level. Age of Rust isn’t your grind boring gameplay to earn, and I won’t name examples, not an axis I want to cross, but with this game, you have to solve riddles within a beautiful AAA looking sci fi dystopian world. Don’t just earn, earn and enjoy the experience.

Lets ask Chris Loverme more about it, who is the pioneering game developer and creator of Age of Rust.

Thanks for taking the time to answer Chris. Having followed your game from the get-go, it’s super exciting to see where it’s at. For those that don’t know, what is ‘Age of Rust’ all about? and most importantly why should we play?

Thanks, I appreciate all the kind words and the opportunity to talk to you again. Things are going well despite a rough year for everyone with the pandemic and the challenges everyone has had to overcome inside and out of the blockchain community.

So Age of Rust, is an adventure game set in a dystopian future, where you explore to uncover clues to help you solve puzzles that not only expand the story as you go. Players can also claim bounties which are backed by cryptocurrency, in this case Enjin coin, for solving puzzles.

I think that players will want to play the game for a few reasons, first I think that it resonates with gamers who have a bit of nostalgia for the older adventure games. It often gets compared to Myst or Zork for its puzzley-narrative style that might be an emotional touchstone for some gamers.

Second, I think by adding the crypto aspect to the game, it might get newer gamers to hunker down into a genre of game that they might not have necessarily wanted to explore before. There’s also a bitcoin treasure hunt built into the game that might be of interest to some of the more savvy adventure gamers. 

How can potential egamers get involved now?

First, gamers can head over to steam and add the game to their wishlist. Another thing is that, we have a beta version and you can ask to request access to join the Age of Rust Playtest. It’s also a good time to head over to Opensea or the Enjin marketplace and pick up the mission cards. These are tokens which unlock some of the areas with puzzles that have the higher valued bounties associated with them. For season 1 of Age of Rust, gamers will want to pick up Mission tokens 1, 2, and 3 for sure. 

What’s your favourite AOR Blockchain Gaming Asset?

My favorite asset is Resistance Radio which is an asset that players can use to get clues and hints for some of the puzzles for the levels in the game. The radio plays a bit of a dystopian cyberpunk modern 80s selection of music between broadcasts where clues and hints are given out in code phrases, like from the movie Red Dawn as well other popular culture media. 

Radio…live transmission ha. I suggest some joy division! Considering the AOR prize pool being 24 Bitcoins & 370K Enjin, what was your ‘a-ha’ moment to want to buy BTC, and then create a game with Enjin?

For me, I’ve always been interested in Bitcoin, I got into it back in 2013 and started creating little fun games for the community since then. Word of mouth grew of the little games popular with the ARG and text-adventure community and Enjin reached out to me in 2017 about the possibility of creating a game for using Enjin coin in a game. There was a bit of a mental shift from going from using the tokenization system on Bitcoin, which was Counterparty over to Ethereum, but the possibilities with Enjin were limitless and sometimes you need that open horizon to be creative. 

From chatting before, I know you’ve worked for NASA, do you think your space colleagues are starting to catch up on what blockchain technology can offer to space?

Oh for sure, crypto and cyberpunk at its heart have always been part of the MIT and Caltech subculture, so I know there’s a vein of that which runs through the JPL/NASA organization. Blockchain technology at its core has a lot of properties that are going to be very useful in the future for the space program. Will the mars rover be paying with cryptocurrency for a charge-up from a Tesla charging station if its solar cell get dirty after a storm? Probably not anytime soon, but I think that the fundamentals of decentralization and proof of work or stake have a place in the space program.

What’s your thoughts on Elon Musk and his pro-bitcoin Twitter bio, and even doge tweets?

It’s interesting because there’s this counterculture within the cyberpunk community of greed and capitalism that sort of rubs people the wrong way with deep roots in crypto. I sort of think that Elon is only half serious about crypto, especially with Dogecoin since it’s more a community coin than an investment asset. I do think he’s serious about Bitcoin though, but I also think he’s somewhat skeptical as well about the long term aspects of cryptocurrency. 

From the press shots your AAA graphics are spectacular, what game engine are you using with Enjin Integration and why?

Thank you, the graphics are something that has resonated with a few in the indiegaming community and I’m very appreciative that people have taken notice of them. Right now, the game is being developed in Unity’s High Definition Render Pipeline engine. We started the game with the standard pipeline then converted over to “HDRP” about this time last year to take the presentation of the graphics to as close to AAA as we can get it.

An undercurrent space is all about disrupting something that needs changing, in the current blockchain gaming space, true & fair ownership is a part of that disruption – how do you see the overall Enjin blockchain game space expanding this idea into the mainstream?

I think it’s going to solidly move into the NFT culture by rewarding players with more of an experience around collections, unique items, and upgrading and building those items up. I think that the current space of “e-sports” type earning to play isn’t going to really pan out between gamers and the blockchain gaming space. I’m sure that will always be a niche, but I think the larger pool of “normie” gamers will be more interested in the culture of building the collection of tradable, stackables, and upgradable than the reward-based aspects. 

Ethereum gas fees has been the Achilles Heal for the last while in the scene. Being a game dev, and having even more skin in the game, it must have impacted you a lot more. Can you tell us what’s kept you building on the Enjin network for the last while?

Yes, the situation with the gas fees had really iced up the wings of the Ethereum gaming blockchain space. In the short term, I’ve had to code in a couple of workarounds, like temporarily doing the puzzle bounties off-chain rather than sending them to player’s wallets. With Enjin Jumpnet out, a lot of the temporary scaffolding that has been built for the game is flexible so that we’re able to go back to the blockchain easily. 

How is the transition to Enjin jumpnet working for your project? From a collectors perspective it’s nice to trade NFT so quickly, and with no cost is a massive step forward.

Since Age Of Rust mostly works by sending NFTs to players for completing puzzles, mainnet ended up being way too expensive from a scalability perspective. The irony here is not lost on myself, because one of the main reasons why the project moved from Counterparty (on the bitcoin blockchain) to Ethereum was for the transaction fee situation. Anyway, JumpNet is something that I’ve been really looking forward to for a long time, because it will really be the foundation for what the game is originally designed to do, reward players with NFTs without costly tx fees. Enjin has some new code that they’re going to release soon, but they don’t have a firm date for it, so waiting on that to move forward with the final release.

For those that have read this far, what’s the best tip you can give to play AOR and get a hold of that sweet BTC/Enjin loot?

Pay attention to the subtle clues and look everywhere you can in the game. What seems like a simple note or marker might be the start of a trailhead to fortune and glory.

FAQ

Any current events?

One of the things that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time is update the artwork for the cards. So that’s something that’s taking place now, the artwork is being swapped out from the old artwork which was low resolution to something high resolution for the cards. Some people have taken to Age of Rust not for the game aspects, but simply to collect the art, so I wanted to up the ante on the artwork for the cards so that collectors could enjoy the art from a new perspective.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us, it’s a crazy world we are currently living in, disruption in all facets. With such change, what words of wisdom can you impart?

Absolutely, thank you and your readers for taking this journey with us. I think Carl Sagain said it best, “Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.”

How will we reach those stars?
Age of Rust Early Pre-Alpha Demo

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