Every old school hardcore gamer remembers the games built by the now famous Paradox Interactive and their Clausewitz engine. The 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) game mechanics represent to many the ultimate gaming experience. Since the times of Master of Orion, the strategy sub-genre grew immensely and it was only a matter of time until a Web3 enabled game in this niche appeared and took its rightful place among the giants.
Interstellar Asteroid Mining
4X titles, especially the MMO kind (such as EVE Online) have attracted some of the most devout player followings and Influence seems to be exactly what we've all been waiting for. So, what's it all about?
In Influence, players manage their own asteroids and ships (as well as ship crews), build infrastructure, discover technologies, trade and combat other players to expand their influence across the asteroid belt of Adalia. The number of asteroids is finite and amounts to 250,000, where each asteroid consists of an unique combination of resources, allowing players to mine resources and refine them into materials, using them to build up asteroid infrastructure and participate in the galactic economy.
This kind of an approach to a Web3 game is definitely one of a kind, focusing on the realism and complexity of intergalactic travel. For example, the asteroid belt orbits the star Adalia, requiring players to calculate travel expenses whenever they take their ship from their asteroid to another. Since there are no NPCs in Influence, all interactions that players have with the game, from resource mining and trading to acquiring skills and experience all play into the dynamic system within the asteroid belt and reflect upon other players in the game.
But the buck doesn't just stop there - if we take a gander at the game's tech tree, once the Discovery edition comes out technologies will be procedurally generated, allowing players to come up with utterly unique tech and corresponding items. Additionally, all characters, or crewmates in the game will have a personal log in which you'll be able to write stories which will be written on-chain, remaining forever a part of Adalia's history.
Oh, did we mention that all actions within the game will be on-chain?
To Travel in Space, You Gotta Have Some SWAY
The Web3 aspect could not be complete with some tokenomic shenanigans, so we have to take a minute to talk about the in-game tokens, SWAY and INFL.
SWAY is an ERC20 compatible token which is used as in-game currency in Influence with unique functionalities, as well as philosophical (yes, you read that right) tenets. In the words of the development team, SWAY will allow for a single point of entry into Influence, facilitate in-game trading, provide means for players to play and earn, ensure a fair distribution based on active participation, as well as limiting speculation and volatility.
INFL, on the other hand, will be your traditional platform governance token, however, its internal mechanics and distribution will be directed at active players, bootstrapping and bolstering the player community and will be launched only after the Exploitation version of the game comes out.
When Influence, sirs?
In its' current form, Influence is in beta, but the first playable feature called Crew Assignments has been live since December 2021. Crew Assignments is your run-of-the-mill text based RPG, where players who own crew members get a chance to start their adventure by making branching choices about who they are and what they do. The beta already contains a GUI of the Adalia asteroid belt, where you can explore the vastness of space and even try out the flight path tool to see how these calculations will look like.
The first full release of the game will be called Exploitation and is set to come out this summer. The release will enable asteroid owners to start mining and building in preparation for the next release and creating a foundation for the future game economy of transport ships and shuttles, fuel generation, mining equipment, refining and manufacturing installations.
The next release will be Discovery, targeted for late 2023, introducing advanced technologies, ships, building and modules and skill trees, allowing for player specialisation in the profession of their choice (miner, merchant, scientist, engineer, etc.) The last expansion called Conflict still doesn't have a set release date, but we already have some details on what it will consist of. As the name says, this last release will enable PvP play which will initially be turn based. According to the team, since 'there ain't no stealth in space', players will know near-exactly where other players are in the belt, however it'll be much harder to know what they're flying or carrying, making those pirate runs as exciting as in the games of yore.
BlackPool Apes to the Bridge
Since we're really excited by what the game already offers, as well as what the team is building in the background, we've acquired the 30th largest asteroid within Influence and are now one of the largest land owners in the game. To put this in perspective, the sheer size of this asteroid will include literal thousands of players on the surface, building, trading and earning.
In the words of our fren and Head of Partnerships and Community at Unstoppable Games, Jean-Paul Faraj:"In this new world of gaming, DAOs such as BlackPool are able to create sustainable and lasting impact on thousands of people’s lives. Their participation in Influence is another step in the direction of creating a more equitable and free gaming environment, where players, owners, and gaming studios can all work together to build a lasting and enjoyable experience for all. From the time spent talking with them, their team is sharp and ready to take on any challenge that is set in front of them. If I had to put money on it, I believe that they are a force to be reckoned with come launch of Influence."
Get ready, Apes - and see you in space!