Want to build a game for Etherplay?
Etherplay's web portal
The goal number one of Etherplay is to provide a new place for game developers that allow them to express their creativity for the benefit of the players. Etherplay's web portal offers a selection of games running as part of regular competitions. Players compete for the highscore and pay small amount (in the form of cryptocurrency) for each attempt, akin to the classic arcade machines. At the end of each competition, top players get rewarded with real money (crypto currency) generated by each attempt and get to be listed on a secure worldwide leaderboard.
This business model avoids the pitfalls of freemium model (which monetise on every screen) while still offering players a low barrier to entry. It also encourages regular game updates (the best part of freemium games) keeping players engaged.
Etherplay also allows developers to provide engaging free versions of their games so hesitating players can get a taste of the experiences before hand. These free games could be of some past version so that paying players get a unique priviledge by accessing the most recent versions.
Currently Etherplay has the following fee structure :
for 1 unit paid to the platform
- 0.75 goes to the jackpot (that will be distributed among the top players of the associated competition)
- 0.25 goes to the platform (platform fee = 25%)
from the 0.25 platform fee as 1 unit:
- 0.70 goes to the game developer (developer share = 70%)
- 0.30 goes to Etherplay
In other words: for 1 unit paid to the platform:
- 0.75 goes to the players
- 0.175 goes to the game developer (0.25 * 0.70)
- 0.075 goes to Etherplay (0.25 * (1 - 0.70) )
These are not set in stone and depending on how the platform performs, these could change but the "developer share" will never be lower than 70%.
We aim at providing games for as low as 0.25$ per attempt. We expect this value to be set per game based on Etherplay and the game developer preferences though.
In such case (0.25$) and assuming 100,000 attempt per weekly competition:
- top players would get rewarded 18,750 $ (100000 * 0.25 * 0.75)
- the game developer would get 4,375 $ (100000 * 0.25 * 0.25 * 0.70)
- Etherplay would get 1,875 $ (100000 * 0.25 * 0.25 * 0.30)
Remember though that this price will be denominated in cryptcurrency and thus at payout time (when competition ends and after the score get verified (in the next few hours) ), the value might be vastly different due to crypto currency volatility against traditional currencies)
What is unique about Etherplay
This skill game business model is not new but Etherplay brings various innovation that makes it unique:
- the selection of games Etherplay aims at is more varied and more in line with the vast selection of indie games out there, encouraging innovative game design and story based games.
This is in contract to current skill game platform which focus mainly on games heavily influcenced by luck (think candy crush) and basic gameplay.
Note though that games still need to be competitive, highscore based and allow for a wide range of score. The game challenge also need to be randomized for every attempt to not encourage players to play offline and fabricate the perfect moves ahead of time. For example a fixed level platformer would need to have some randomized enemies or other non predictable elements.
- Etherplay's games are made by third-party developer. We are an open platform and are welcoming any new developers with an SDK and support.
- Game developers keep their IP and can leave at any time if wanted. The only condition is that running competitions need to finish before a game developer can remove its game completely from the platform.
- Etherplay's operation is transparent. All competitions' data is available to watch by players and developers alike.
We are considerring though to later offer a market place for skilled players to sell their replay but the same idea remain: Etherplay's system is not being intentionally opaque.
- Etherplay leverages the growing market of crypto currency users
- Etherplay's players do not need to register to play
While other skill games platform allow this for the free version of games, Etherplay, thanks to blockchain technology and the associated ecosystem allows players to participate in a competition without requiring to set up an account with Etherplay. This means their funds is not at risk and can be freely moved. On the other hand players obviously need to have a crypto wallet.
The benefits for game developers
- emerging crypto market with new from of monetisation
- game design is not limited as in a freemium model by the need to monetise every screen of the game. As a result, players get a nicer experience and game designer can focus wholly on the fun part of the game.
- This model also allow game developers to provide episodic content (ideally for every new competition every week, or even more frequent if possible), either in the form of new level/story or new parameters for each competition.
- The platform is open to games of different scale. Small to big studio can build games for Etherplay.
The benefits for players
- very low barrier to entry for crypto currency enthusiast (no account to create)
- selection of games are varied
- games provides the full experience from the get go. No monetisation popup.
- Skill players can potentially earn from playing
In regard to that last point, note that in most countries if not all, players under the age of 18 are not allowed to participate in such competitions if they can get rewarded real money.
While for the short term, Etherplay will not allow these players on the platform, we expect, as the blockchain ecosystem will mature to be able to block these players from cashing out based on their age but still allow them to participate. The money paid could then be sent to charity of choice or be sent as an extra tip to the developer of the game played.
Feedback is more than welcome
Note that the platform is in its infancy and we welcome feedback and ideas. We want to make the best game platform out there and welcome ideas from players and developers alike. Do not hesitate to drop us a line at email@example.com
In order to create a game for Etherplay, there are few things to keep in mind:
Game need to be verified on our backend, this means a game need to be replayed as exactly as it was played by the player
In Other words :
- all inputs (touch, ...) need to be saved and given back as a string (and send as part of the player's score submission).
- The size of this data needs to be kept small
- Randomness need to be deterministic (seed based) : Math.random is not allowed
- The update loop need to be executed with a fixed delta
- special care need to be taken in regard to float precision issues (using a fixed step solves some part of it but node.js and chrome for example can have different float behaviour)
- static variable or other global state changed need to be avoided or cleaned after every end game so multiple games can be played without side effect affecting second plays or need to reload the page
The above list is true regardless of the technology involved.
In term of Sdk code and api, we are currently still working on it but it should consist of a few function calls and will solve some the point mentioned above automatically.
The game session (that runs the actual game) will run independently from the game shell (menu screen, settings screen, highscore screen, game over screen,...). This will avoid potential state bleeding from screens and game, as well as avoid previous game state to affect new games since for every attempt the game will be restarted.
- One that execute and present the shell with its various screen and buttons. You can code it as you wish since the replay do not need to verify the execution.
- The other code path will be the actual game. Here inputs will need to be driven by etherplay's api. Similarly randomness will need to be generated via etherplay's api. The code should also be exclusively driven by etherplay fixed delta update loop. Renderring could be more flexible but extra care should be taken in that case to ensure perfect replayability.
We are currently working on the api and will update that doc once it is stable.
If you have question in the mean time, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to hearing about your games ideas and help you publish it on Etherplay!