Update March 11 2018 : Github repo for the project https://github.com/jimmyadg/Cryptonopoly
Update Fed 26 2018 : Continuous blog post at http://portfolio.newschool.edu/shihy/2018/02/26/thesis-2-self-evaluation/
If you just want to see the latest progress on the project you can go to the link above.
While I was trying to design a simple working prototype for my blockchain cryptoeconomic game, I ran into a few obstacles. First, I have designed three player roles, User, Validator, and Developer, but I couldn’t figure out specific player rules for each player roles. Second, I couldn’t figure out a simple and efficient game mechanism to keep asset flowing and carry out the game play. Lastly and the most important one, I couldn’t identify challenges in the game play, which I don’t have a concrete achievement or wining mechanism for players to enjoy the gameplay.
I decided to start from scratch to design a new gameplay for my prototype. I started out by laying out few important blockchain concepts that I want to reflect through the gameplay, which are the importance of teamwork, the importance of contribution, and the importance of having network equality. These are the concepts that I want to convey to my users through the gameplay. I started to research for current precedents that have already incorporated these concepts into the gameplay and I found two games that have these mechanism, which are Werewolf and Socialism the board game. Werewolf is a popular game that involves a minimum of 4 players and above to play. The gameplay is the following: (sourcing from https://www.playwerewolf.co/rules/)
Werewolf Game setup and rules:
Assemble a group of players. An odd number is best, although not absolutely mandatory. There should be at least seven players.
You should have an equal number of cards to the people playing. You should always have 1 Seer, 1 Doctor, and 2 werewolves and the rest of the players should be Villagers. If you have a large group (16+), you can replace a Villager for an additional Werewolf.
Shuffle the cards and hand them out, face down. Each player should look at their card, but must keep it a secret. You can learn more about what each character can do here.
The game proceeds in alternating night and day rounds. Begin with nighttime.
At night, the moderator tells all the players, “Close your eyes.” Everyone begins slapping their knees (or table) to cover up any noises of the night.
The moderator says, “Werewolves, open your eyes.” The werewolves do so, and look around to recognize each other. The moderator should also note who the werewolves are.
The moderator says “Werewolves, pick someone to kill.” The werewolves silently agree on one villager (It’s critical that they remain silent). The other players are sitting there with their eyes closed, and the werewolves don’t want to give themselves away. Sign language is appropriate, or just pointing, nodding, raising eyebrows, and so on.
When the werewolves have agreed on a victim, and the moderator understands who they picked, the moderator says, “Werewolves, close your eyes.”
Now, the moderator awakens the Doctor and says, “Doctor, who would you like to heal?” The Doctor selects someone they’d like to heal. The person chosen (which could be himself) will survive if the werewolves chose to kill the them. If someone was killed, and then saved by the Doctor, the moderator will let the village know by saying, “Someone has been saved”, at the beginning of day time.
The moderator says “Seer, open your eyes. Seer, pick someone to ask about.” The seer opens their eyes and silently points at another player. (Again, it is critical that this be entirely silent — because the seer doesn’t want to reveal his identity to the werewolves.)
The moderator silently signs thumbs-up if the seer pointed at a werewolf, and thumbs-down if the seer pointed at an innocent villager. The moderator then says, “Seer, close your eyes.”
The moderator says, “Everybody open your eyes; it’s daytime.” And let’s the villager know who has been killed. That person is immediately dead and out of the game. They do not reveal their identity.
Alternative rule: After you die, you reveal what role you had.
For the first day, go around and have everyone introduce themselves (Example: Hey, I’m Matt. I’m the baker here in town, and I’m a villager.
Daytime is very simple; all the living players gather in the village and decide who to kill. As soon as a majority of players vote for a particular player to kill, the moderator says “Ok, you’re dead.”
Alternative rule: To keep the game moving along, you can put a time limit to how long a day is, and if the village doesn’t chose someone to kill, they miss the opportunity.
There are no restrictions on speech. Any living player can say anything they want — truth, misdirection, nonsense, or a barefaced lie. Dead players may not speak at all. Similarly, as soon as a majority vote indicates that a player has been chosen to be killed, they are dead. If they want to protest their innocence or reveal some information (like the seer’s visions), they must do it before the vote goes through.
Once a player is killed, night falls and the cycle repeats.
Moderator note: Continue to wake up the Doctor and Seer even if they are no longer alive.
The wining objective of the game is when villagers successfully eliminate all the werewolves or when werewolves successfully eliminate all the villagers. Winning the game requires teamworks, which this is a perfect gameplay that has some of the functions that I am looking for.
The second existing gameplay I am looking into is a board game called Socialism- The Game. It is a set of add-on rules to the existing board game, Monopoly. However, I couldn’t find any documentation of the Socialism add-on gameplay online, so I ordered a set of the gameplay on Amazon and I am still waiting for it to arrive. (sourcing from https://www.socialismgame.com/)
After researching existing precedent, I started to develop a new gameplay mechanism. This time I decided to make a paper prototype first to reduce the complexity of the game structure, also it is easier for me to test and iterate the gameplay mechanism without having to deal with lots of coding. I called this prototype the Blcokchain Trivia. It requires four players to play the game, three good player and one bad player. The game role is randomly assigned at the beginning of each new game. There are 24 tokens total in the game. Each good player is given 1 token at the beginning of the game and the bad player is given 10 tokens at the beginning. I had tested a few token distribute options before settling on the 3:10 ratio as I found it to be the most efficient setup that keeps the game at a reasonable duration. To win the game as a good player, the good players must work together to accumulate a combined token amount of greater or equal to the token amount that the bad player has, which reflects the idea of network equality in cryptoeconomy. At the beginning of the game, when there is still tokens in the Pot, which is the place that holds the left over tokens after giving each good player 1 token and the bad player 10 tokens, a player get pays one token each time he or she successfully answer correctly to the trivia question from the pot, and the player doesn’t not have to pay penalty if the answer is wrong. When the tokens in the pot are all given out, players will start getting paid by the opposing side for each correct answer and will have to pay penalty to the opposing side for wrong answers. For example, after the pot has no more tokens left, if player 1 answers the correct answer, the bad player has to pay 1 token to player one, and if player 1 answers the wrong answer he or she will have to pay one token to the bad player. If a good player runs out of token, the other two good players can choose to rescue the player by giving any amount of token to the player, or they can choose to not give the player any token and the player will then loose the game. If all of the good player runs out of tokens, then the bad player wins. The trivia questions will all be blockchain related, but I am still working on the question list some currently I am using a trivia question site as a temporary question source to test the gameplay. The playing order goes like this. Good Player 1 asks Good Player 2 and Good Player 2 answers Good Player one, Good Player 2 asks Good Player 3 and Good Player 3 answer Good Player 2, Good Player 3 asks Bad Player 4 and Bad Player 4 answer Good Player 3, Bad Player 4 asks Good Player 1 and Good Player 1 answer Bad Player 4, and the cycle continues. The question asking order is designed in this way so that Good Players 1 2 3 can work together as a team and ask easier questions to each other so they can earn tokens faster to win the game.
I will test the game I have now on Monday for user feedbacks, I will complete a list of blockchain related Trivia questions in two weeks, and I will incorporate elements from the board game, Socialism, after I receive and play the board game.
finish blockchain trivia questions
more user testing to improve reward/ penalty rules
finishing determinating game starting token supply per player type
finishing determinating the total token supply
clean up game rules and blockchain trivia questions
start development for the digital version of the game
Work on the graphic of the game so it can at least look like a college project
Main obstacles for my project to be polished and finished:
Having a good “game balance” in the game so that both side of the
players can feel challenging to win.
Having a good game mechanism so that the gaming duration is reasonable