Welcome to Vulcanverse
What would your life be like in a world of magic, fantasy and adventure? Welcome to VulcanVerse, an interactive 3D virtual world where you can forge your own destiny.
What is VulcanVerse?
VulcanVerse is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) where players create their own adventures, interact with others and buy land to design their own buildings, products and services. Essentially, it’s a virtual world built by the players for the players. By owning and improving their land parcels (each sized 20m x 20m and represented by non-fungible tokens, NFTs), players are able to move up the seven “Tiers to the new Olympus” levels. Reaching a higher rank gives you access to new features, building tools and Vulcanites (collectible NFT creatures that accompany you along your journey).
The game is built on the VeChainThor blockchain and enables users to integrate smart contracts to create events and provide services for others. An artist, for example, could design and upload their own assets and use a smart contract to organise competitions or or build a pay-to-enter gallery or museum displaying their artwork. Below is a video showing a concept of the land builder that users would have access to as they develop their land parcels:
Sample building blocks for the Land of Arcadia
What makes VulcanVerse special?
The concept of creating virtual worlds on the blockchain isn’t new. Projects such as Decentraland, CryptoVoxels or MegaCryptoPolis are already running on the Ethereum and Tron networks, however, VulcanVerse differentiates itself by introducing unique features (as documented in Vulcan Forged’s medium post). In this article, we analyse the significance of some of the more important ones.
1. Complete standalone application
Instead of running on a web browser, VulcanVerse is played via a downloadable standalone application. This allows the game to use better audiovisuals without lag and can potentially enable players to use some of the inbuilt tools offline. A land owner, for example, might be able to use use the scenery builder to design new assets and sync the work the next time the interface goes online.
2. Content depth, fantasy background story and lore
“At the dawn of adventure games, stories were practically non-existent, characters were heard from but rarely seen, and the measure of a game lay almost solely in the mental challenge it presented. Those days are over.” – Robert “Bob” Bates, American game designer
VulcanVerse is a fantasy universe full of lore and history. The world is split into 5 different arenas; each with its own narrative, development paths and mythical creatures; and all linked by a common topic: the Vulcan Gods. This is important as having an overarching narrative connecting all the VulcanVerse elements helps to engage and immerse the players into the game. It gives the everything a meaning and encourages users to co-create the story and become part of the world. This is the reason why game publishers create stories for their adventure games and why VulcanVerse’s partnership with big names such as Jamie Thomson, Dave Morris and Ian Livingstone can make the game more exciting and entertaining. In their own words:
“VulcanVerse is not just a world but an immersive world of fantasy where every element, piece of land and vulcanite has its own piece of lore attached”
VulcanVerse is divided into the Land of Hades (The Underworld), the Land of Ourea (The Mountains), the Land of Arcadia (The Grasslands), the Land of Notus (The Deserts) and the Land of Vulcan (Neutral territory)
Land of Arcadia – The Grasslands
3. Choose from four different types of land
Aside from the Land of Vulcan, players can choose any plot of land they wish to own. The type of land dictates the materials, building tools and Vulcanites players are entitled to and, while users can create their own assets, “VulcanVerse universal laws” will ensure that only the designs that fit and are consistent with the land’s overall theme are uploaded onto the game. To avoid breaking immersion, for example, a player will not be able to build an Arcadia looking structure in the Land of Hades. In a way, dividing the world into different territories creates “clans” with which players can identify themselves with. Being part of the Land of Arcadia, for example, can create a sense of belonging towards the land which consequently can encourage land owners to support and interact with others from the same quadrant. If a competition between the Land of Arcadia and Hades is released, for example, users from the same land will be incentivised to coordinate and collaborate with each other. Having different lands also makes the game replayable as once you’ve reached the seventh “Tier to the new Olympus” you could decide to buy another a plot of land in another quadrant and start from scratch.
4. Vulcan City: the neutral territory
Players will be able to visit Vulcan City in the the middle of the map, a territory that will remain neutral and be used as a gathering plaza to release new features, organise special events and festivals, and give VeChain contributors a space to build tools that benefit the community. Vexchange, for example, will have a bank where players can swap tokens and VeChain101 will likely have a radio tower to broadcast news and updates. Imagine if you could also have a coliseum where you could have vulcanite frenzies with other players, attend virtual concerts or watch a livestream of Sunny with other players. Wouldn’t that be cool?
5. Seven “Tiers to the new Olympus” and VTHO tokenomics
Land owners have a wide selection of terrains, items, building tools, animations and special effects they can choose from. However, access to them will vary depending on the rank of their land. To level up, you need to:
- Meet specific predefined experience requirements
- Make a ‘Sacrifice to the Vulcan Gods’ (in effect burning a specific amount of VTHO)
- Pay fixed monthly upkeep costs (in VTHO) to maintain your land level and avoid being demoted (the higher the level the higher the upkeep cost)
Having different levels helps to keep players engaged and enables VulcanVerse to offer rewards to the more committed players. Land owners who reach the new Olympus, for example, could be awarded special NFT treasures or Vulcanites, be added to a hall of fame or other potential benefits. One key aspect about the “Tiers to the new Olympus” is that every one can play at their own pace. According to the VulcanVerse team, they don’t want to force players to do something such as unnecessary gaming aspects that they don’t want. Landowners are free to enjoy the game by leveling up, by building on their lands, participating in vulcanite events, designing their own assets, exploring the world and many other ways.
“We don’t want to integrate gameplay that affects everyone that doesn’t want to be involved in the gameplay. Some people may want to just buy land, level up, have fun exploring, talk to people, etc.” – Jamie, founder of VulcanVerse, VeriArti and Vulcan Forged.
6. No need to deal with crypto
While games such as Decentraland use their own MANA token with ETH for gas, VulcanVerse is fully powered by VTHO. This enables players to trade assets in fiat currency thanks to fee delegation. It also makes the game more user friendly for the general public. Being able to avoid cryptocurrencies should make it easier to appeal to a broader audience. (Obviously, the cryptocurrency element will be there if people want it)
Vulcanites are the pet creatures of Vulcanverse. Each of them is unique, has a tailored lore and set of skills (that can be powered up to a cap), and is exclusive to its land area and level. Owning higher tiered land grants access to Vulcanites with higher skill limits. While VulcanVerse is all about world building, introducing Vulcanites opens up a wide range of additional functionalities and game modes. They can be used to forage materials, compete for exclusive NFTs during treasure hunts or participate in community led mini games and side-quests. To balance world building and interactivity, they provide benefits for their owners and help them level up but cannot be used to negatively affect others (e.g. they cannot attack players unless it’s part of an event). This avoids players that only want to explore and build their lands from being forced to interact with Vulcanites. It is also important to clarify that, while Vulcanites are part of the VulcanVerse universe, they can also be stored as NFTs in a standalone Vulcanite dApp. In the separate Vulcanite portal, players can view their Vulcanites’ stats, explore which ones are available at what levels, browse other players’ Vulcanites and trade them as 2D game cards in the marketplace. In essence, their presence in VulcanVerse is a 3D representation of the Vulcanite game cards.
Arachnilix, a LVL.2 underworld vulcanite – appearance in the Vulcanite dApp
Vulcanite – appearance in VulcanVerse
The VulcanVerse is not the first sandbox video game on a blockchain, however, it is also not your typical “builder strategy” game. With 5 different arenas, mythical creatures and unique background story and lore, it provides players with a fully immersive fantasy role-playing experience. The 7 “Tiers to the new Olympus” give players a goal to aim for and the demand for VTHO, inbuilt marketplace and smart contracts capabilities encourages users to find innovative ways to build an in-game business. Shoe designers, for example, could recreate a virtual version of their shoes for their purchasing customers to use with their avatars. In my opinion, the decision to use VTHO is wise. Being able to use fee delegation and maintain relatively stable costs will help attract players from outside the crypto world. Why build another token when there is already a ready to use one?
VeChainThor is known for its supply-chain applications but the network is capable of doing so much more. During his interview with Catherine Coley, Sunny highlighted VeChain’s potential in the gaming and entertainment industries; VulcanVerse is an ambitious project that can prove him right.
The game is scheduled to be released (beta) in Q4 2020. However, given its large scope and the many exciting concepts the team plans to develop, it will likely be an ongoing project that will continuously evolve and have increasingly more functionalities. The sale launch of its 10000 plots of land will be announced by end of Q3 2020 and new landowners will receive a free LVL1 vulcanite with their land. With the launch date fast approaching and following the recently released sneak peeks, I am curious and eager to see what the end product will look like. Hopefully it will be up to the high expectations.
VeChain101 is a strategic partner of the VulcanVerse.