Approach and Philosophy
From an engineering perspective, Star Atlas is designed to be a collection of decentralized gaming systems using the Solana blockchain to tokenize the digital ownership of in-game assets, with the following principles:
- 1.Star Atlas should never take direct custody of a user’s digital assets
- 2.The authoritative state of the video game should be derived from decentralized on-chain programs
- 3.No game mechanic which has economic implications should execute on a centralized server
Because of the difficulty involved in operating game logic on the blockchain layer, most studios in the blockchain gaming space follow a closed access model. They take custody of their user’s tokens into a game-owned wallet and allow logic executing on centralized servers to determine game state outcomes.
Similar to centralized cryptocurrency exchanges, centralized blockchain game servers expose risk inherent to web2 gaming solutions. Exploitation of game bugs could lead to the loss of a user’s assets, or even worse the collapse of the game’s digital economy.
ATMTA, Inc. (“ATMTA”) fully embraces the capabilities of blockchain protocols in order to bring their entire value to Star Atlas. Our approach is to create a set of both proprietary and generic blockchain systems which allow game mechanics to execute on the blockchain layer.
- Player experience points
- Loot / item drop tables
- Game reputation
Proprietary systems which will allow Star Atlas game mechanics to execute on the blockchain, for example:
- A coordinate system to track the location of game entities e.g. planets, player ships, NPC traders
- Player-versus-player engagements in space combat
- Quests and missions which ask the player to discover, retrieve, explore, or fight their way across the galaxy
The utility of in-game items requires the game mechanics to be fun, engaging, and replayable. We do not compromise in the quality of product users expect. Instead, ATMTA is creating an experience that is aware of both the capabilities and pitfalls of blockchain technology and is tailored to fit.
The approach to game design includes two layers:
- 1.A grand strategy gaming experience which executes on the blockchain layer
- 2.A social experience delivered by traditional game servers
The core video game loop is that of a grand strategy game. In this experience, players have the opportunity to participate in missions, earn rewards, and grow their wealth inside the Star Atlas universe. With this style of gameplay, a high server tickrate is not necessary for a full and engaging experience. Solana publishes new blocks approximately twice per second, which is more than fast enough to facilitate the entire game design.
Because these types of economic-impacting mechanics execute and are controlled on the blockchain layer the value of the player assets will persist for the life of the blockchain and are not contingent upon the continued maintenance of any corporate entity.
The social experience is delivered in real time where players can interact with each other in a digital universe powered by traditional game servers. Data can be read from the blockchain in real time to validate the ownership of assets, and then players can use those assets as part of their experience. This might look like racing around the solar system in your favorite spaceship or decorating your habitation with tokenized collectibles.