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Building the First Homebrew Cartridge for Treasure, the Decentralized Game Console

Ali Husain (@thechaingamer) is the Founder of Ruffion Reborn and Into the Dungeons who is actively building games leveraging MAGIC within the Treasure ecosystem of games.
In this edition of The Compass, we are excited to feature Ali as a guest star to provide his perspectives on how he is approaching building the very first homebrew cartridge for Treasure. So strap in and read on to hear his story!

Setting the Stage
We’re early. Like really early. Not only that, but we’re in a space where stability doesn’t exist. This is likely because the ecosystem is still in its infancy.
With the crazy bull run we had last year, you could have spent 8 ETH minting 100 BAYC and made 1,500 ETH ($60MM), and now with the bear market, that 1,500 ETH is probably down to 800 ETH ($12.3MM). The bear market is usually a good time for reflection and we should focus on why we’re really here.
Personally, I want to build a strong foundation for Web3. Whether it’s products, or games, or anything else. The concept of decentralization really appeals for me, and though I don’t believe we will magically have this perfect new internet all of a sudden, I do believe that it can be better than what we currently have. Even if only slightly.
I’m involved in several projects which I feel will provide real utility.
Here are three main ones I’m working, and one that’s a secret for now. :)
  • Navigate: An ecosystem that allows users to collect data, share it with Web3 builders that use it as fuel for new, exciting apps, and get rewarded for their contributions. Navigate is currently working on its first app, Navigate Maps, which allows users to collect drone, dashcam, gps & other data to create a high-fidelity map of the world.
NVG8 is capturing the world like you’ve never seen it before!
NVG8 is capturing the world like you’ve never seen it before!
  • Into the Dungeons: A world I’ve been building over the last 3 years. Stories, video games, music, and more. An IP that’ll be native to Web3.
  • Ruffion Reborn: A NFT project that’s been in-progress for over a year now. A contribution I wanted to make to the NFT gaming space. This is the project we’ll talk about in this article.
Building a Blockchain Game
A turn-based tactics game, inspired by the likes of Final Fantasy Tactics & Fire Emblem, Ruffion Reborn is a PvE/PvP game where players build a party of 3 Puppers, equip them with gear and choose from a deck of 9 cards to face off against other teams in PvE and/or PvP combat.
Ruffion Reborn. A turn-based tactics game for Treasure!
Ruffion Reborn. A turn-based tactics game for Treasure!
There were many different ideas I had for what Ruffion Reborn should be, and looking back, I’m glad I didn’t rush to release anything, because I learnt a lot over the last year by being involved in this space.
From seeing the rise and fall (hopefully temporary) of Axie Infinity and the coining of the term play-to-earn which quickly became play-and-earn. Witnessing dhof releasing Blitmaps and then Loot, which led to an explosion of derivatives, and the birth of TreasureDAO. It was a wild ride!
Seeing how TreasureDAO grew has been very educational for me. A lot of loot derivatives ended up being rugs and though Treasure didn’t have an easy start, I particularly loved how it found a direction, (I personally become quite heavily invested in TreasureDAO over the last year), iterating and evolving over time and the eventual vision that appeals to so many. I knew this was an ecosystem that I wanted to, not only be a part of, but also contribute to, in some way.
I mean who wouldn’t want to be a part of the “Nintendo of the Metaverse” 🤩!
Adding a Unique Cartridge to the Treasure Library
I love collecting games and in the digital age we have less control and ownership over the games that we play. Our collections are either tied to our Steam account or Apple IDs, and these games can be removed from the respective stores at any time. On top of that, a lot of multiplayer games are at the mercy of publishers keeping their servers up and running. Far too many games, that had vibrant and loving communities, BattleForge, Duelyst, etc. have fallen victim to this.
Just like that… lights out.
Just like that… lights out.
Ruffion Reborn needs to be a game that is owned by its players. If there are two players in the world who want to play the game, and no one else does, they should be able to do so. If a member of the community wants to branch off and create a new mode for the game or take the assets and create a completely different game with them, they should be able to do it. And for the video game historians among us; if someone wants to see the history of all the competitive matches ever played since the game launched, they should be able to see those records!
This is what decentralization in games means to me. This is what I want to be able to contribute to the Treasure ecosystem. The first homebrew cartridge, that can morph into whatever its community wants it to be. There needs to be a lot of flexibility and tools built into the framework in order to support something like that, and that’s what my team and I are focused on doing right now.
New Utility in the Treasure Ecosystem
With Ruffion Reborn, there is already a playable demo that is available to any player who is interested, without owning any NFTs. This was one of the core things that I wanted to focus on. There are too many instances of projects that promise wonderful things on the roadmap while collecting all the funds upfront.
I wanted to give the community a baseline of what to expect and then build towards the goals I have for the game (and what I want it to contribute to the Treasure ecosystem).
A Fun Game with a Passionate Community
First and foremost, the game needs to be a fun game that attracts and retains players. Only if there is a passionate community, even if it is small, around the game, will we succeed in the goal that we have set out for Ruffion Reborn. A game that will be owned and taken forward by its community.
An Opensource Godot Project
The Ruffion Reborn’s demo was built in Unity. The objective was to create a single player PvE experience that would let the community get a feel for what the game would be like before they minted anything.
The actual game, however, will be built in Godot. We are currently working on porting the current functionality to Godot as well as building out the multiplayer component which will involve some on-chain + IPFS interactions. It will serve as an example for other projects in terms of one possible architecture that can be used for turn-based games.
Since the project will be opensource, and all the game art will be CC0, Ruffion Reborn can be a great starting point for anyone who wants to mod the game or build their own cartridge in the Treasure ecosystem using a fully playable game as a starting point.
Utilities for Ruffion Reborn
Since the purpose of the game is to make it easy for the community to add more gear and cards to it, we’re creating tools that will make it easier for aspiring game designers, artists and other community members who want to dabble in game development or design to easily implement their ideas and contribute those to the game, taking it in the direction they want.
A Game with its History On-Chain
We’re currently working on the architecture of the multiplayer component of the game. The objective there is to ensure that the game’s history is preserved using a combination of data stored on-chain and IPFS. Match histories, patch notes, etc.
Integration with Treasure Cartridges
Treasure Games. Many more to come!
Treasure Games. Many more to come!
Another key goal with the project is to include at least one functional integration with existing Treasure Cartridges. Life, Legions, Smol Brains, etc. are all examples of great TreasureDAO projects that have great lore and fantastic communities. Tying that in with Ruffion Reborn both from a lore and cross-functionality perspective will help enrich the ecosystem and help others who want to do the same.
The Road Ahead
For the all the reasons listed above, I think Ruffion Reborn will be a valuable addition to the ecosystem and enable players to self govern and balance the game over time.
The primary vision as I stated previously, is to use the concept of decentralization and implement a practical example of how it can be used in terms of games, and how it can promote others to create on top of it!
One of the most popular games of all time, League of Legends, exists only because of the custom map editor in Warcraft III, which gave birth to Defense of the Ancients (Dota), and led to the creation of League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Dota 2 and Heroes of the Storm. All because of a custom map editor and players who wanted to experiment and build something.
Sadly, Blizzard’s new license doesn’t allow for that sort of innovation anymore. Any custom games created automatically belong to Blizzard.
Stay awhile and… read.
Stay awhile and… read.
We need to have more games that allow for innovation, for players to unleash their creativity and benefit from it. A more recent example was the advent of AutoChess, a custom Dota 2 game that led to Valve creating their own variant, Dota Underlords and Riot Games developing Teamfight Tactics. It pushes the entire industry forward.
We need to use decentralization to make it easier for community members to innovate and create new and exciting games. We need to ensure that games in the modern age will be preserved and playable by anyone who wants to play them.
It is my hope that Ruffion Reborn will be the first step in that direction, and I cannot wait to see what the community does with it!
I own a bunch of $MAGIC & TreasureDAO NFTs - Legions, Smol Brains, BattleFly & some more. You can look at my Arbitrum holdings in my wallet: thechaingamer.eth
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