We would like to thank John Butler, founder of CryptoMiner World for doing such inspiring AMA session with us. He talked about everything from ETH price plunge to dapp game community, from app game to idle game. Who would know he was an actual Bitcoin miner back in 2010?
Here are the highlights of the AMA just in case you missed it.
John_CMW: Sure, so I guess I will tell more about me, outside of my dev world. I am big into wandering, adventure, traveling. My wife and I want to try to travel to as many different countries/cultures as we can. I just love to experience new places, people, foods, cultures. One small thing I do in that respect is when I got to a restaurant I usually tell the waitress/waiter to surprise me and give me what is their personal favorite from the restaurant. Another thing about me is I really like racing cars. I grew up with Gran Turismo, and I have loved racing ever since that. I get to live out one of my childhood fantasies when my wife and I were in Germany for 2 days. I got to race a car around the Nürburgring. It was amazing. Okay, onto the questions!
John_CMW: To me, game design is the single most complete form of artistic expression and storytelling. It allows you to express, static visual images, moving visual images, music, sound, etc, all with the ability to allow interaction from the users. When I start designing a game I often start with thinking about the overall feeling I want to evoke in the user.
John_CMW: I would say what has helped me the most is creating a strong relationship with your community. This is time-consuming, and no amount of money can do this for you. But it is very important. That and honesty, transparency, and willingness to listen to your community. The ability to see that you, the game designer might be wrong. But what's even harder is to listen to your community and go against what they ask for, because you know it will make for a worse end product. Doing that but still being respectful, is a hard thing to manage.
John_CMW: The future plans are just to get to release. This is my full focus and effort.
John_CMW: Hey Rich, what drove me to do a dapp this time and not another traditional game was I have always wanted to work in the forefront of a cultural shift. I had been following crypto for almost a decade. I even mined Bitcoin way back in college, I think 2010ish. The hard drive that I did that on is long long gone, but that's a story for another day. Unfortunately, I am no BTC millionaire... lol. But when I started hearing about applications being built on the blockchain I started to wonder if I a game could be made! Then CryptoKitties burst onto the scene, and less than a month later CryptoMiner World started to be worked on! It has been an exciting, stressful, scary ride on this new, unproven world of dapp games. Totally what I signed up for!
John_CMW: In terms of the actual game, the limitations of what can be done with Ethereum. This drastically limits gameplay options. Having to make all changes on the blockchain and having the user have to pay to make those changes is a big challenge. But I think the more restrictions you have in the designing process, the better the results. Restrictions force creativity.
John_CMW: Hey Violet, sorry that I am over the time limit. If any of you are from my Discord community you will know that I like to take my time with the response. I am quite detail oriented, and I want to give my full attention to every person that seeks it. I will keep going through the questions and answer them all.
Thanks! Yeah, the one man band thing has been really awesome. In some ways, I miss it, as it lets me control every single aspect of the project. But having a team has been great in the amount of things I could get done. Plus my solidity developer is so amazing, he has allowed me to not stress about security, or mess ups in the most important part, the blockchain. So while I know a bit of solidity coding, to get to the level of expertise that he has would take me a long time. I also love designing a system, telling my team about it, and then a day or 2 later seeing this idea, realized. It is very very cool! I also love when the team works together to solve a problem. I am so used to working alone all the time. It's refreshing having many minds trying to solve one issue together!
John_CMW: We have definitely looked into EOS. And we continue to keep an eye on it. A port, or allowing EOS users to join in, in one shared world are ideas we are considering. But the launch of CMW on ETH is our top priority right now.
John_CMW: In 3 years I think CryptoMiner 2nd World (working title) will be out. From the initial idea of CMW, it has always been that this first world will come to an end. Everything will be mined, and the Gems will move on to the next world. This was done by design to create urgency and a finite end that users could shoot for. A collective goal. And that is the World Chest, which will hold a minimum of 2,000 ETH. But it is also important that all the Gems and items do not become obsolete once the chest opens. This would really hurt the value of the in-game items, and could kill the game before the World chest is opened! Creating sequels fixes that issue, but it also allows us to incorporate new technologies, and make design changes based on what we learned from the first world!
As for other NFT games, yes actually this is something that is unique to all dapp games that I am super excited to explore. Bringing items/tokens from other games into CMW. Because users own the items outside of the games they are from, it opens up a lot of possibilities that are not present in traditional games. For example, You can bring your CryptoKitties over and have them help your Gems mine faster! Some really cool potential is there, that we are excited to explore!
John_CMW: Hey Lidiia, thanks for the questions. Yes, this is a very important question and one that hits very hard for me, as the sole business owner with loads of debt form this project. But a very positive thing that I see is, the amount of ETH and users in the dapp game community does not really change much. When prices go up or down, the amount of people and the amount of ETH they put into dapp games is pretty consistent. And actually, this most recent price plunge, caused an increase in the amount of ETH being spent on games. So this is a great sign. As long as the business can absorb the price drops, it can survive. It is not easy, trust me. I am kept up at night worried about if the price of ETH can cover the bills. But the ones that can stick it out, I think, will be rewarded greatly.
John_CMW: CMW has been designed from the ground up to be a long-term project. We planned for world one to take 12-18 months. At that time CMW 2 will be out, and the mining will continue. CMW the series will be around as long as people are interested in it. It will be constantly evolving, just getting more and more awesome :)
John_CMW: I sort of touched on this in respect to having an end goal that keeps all players focused on. But another way we do this is the price of entry never changes. 0.02 ETH is all you need for a plot of land. And if you are patient that is all you really need to have a chance of finding the key that opens the World chest. A lot of dapps have a runaway problem with prices. Players have to spend more and more to stay relevant. CMW is not designed this way. Putting more money in increases one's odds. But it does not make them the master of the game, this is not a pay to win game. Some people might see this as punishing Whales, which is bad. I think most game creators are worried about this. But limiting Whales power will actually allow the Whales to make more money in the long run. I don't want to get into too much detail here, but if you are interested I have talked about this in detail in our Discord server. But in short, it allows the game to last longer, bring in a bigger player base, which creates a healthier game economy.
John_CMW: The team relationships are great. We all work remotely so no physical workspace collaboration yet. This is what I want to work up to. But going all remote, lowers the overhead and allows me to stretch the finances a bit more. We have 2 people in Ukraine and one that moves from the UK to India. It has been awesome learning a bit about their cultures!
John_CMW: Hey Cyptoxisfuturex, I think a good idle game should make you feel like you are responsible for making a system do work for you, without you needing to have constant input. I think another aspect that makes a great idle game is making the player excited to check in every day, if not more than once a day. To do this one thing that is needed is the game rewards players that are pretty active, but also makes less active players not irrelevant. For example, if a player checks in 1-5 times a day, and makes small tweaks. This will give them an edge on the competition. But someone that takes some time to set up their game well, can go without checking it for days or even weeks without feeling like they got nothing done.
John_CMW: Hey Proof, thanks for participating in the AMA! I got into the Crypto world in 2009 (I figured out the date after saying 2010ish in a previous answer :) ) My friend basically set my computer up to mine Bitcoin. I had no idea what it was at that time and after a month or 2 of accumulating 100 or so BTC, which was worth $0.00001 or something, I stopped mining. Years of moving around and building new computers, made that hard drive long gone/wiped. Ugh... it still bums me out, haha. That was my start, but around 2015ish is when I started to actually realize what it is, and the power it has (and also when I started frantically trying to find that hard drive that I had mined on all those years ago.) I started CMW because I wanted to be a part of this emerging industry. (I answered in more detail in a previous question)
John_CMW: I know this is sort of a boring answer, but CryptoKitties. They were the first successful dapp game, sure. But they did SO much right, right out of the gate. That is really really hard to do. I mean the website is extremely well designed. The subtle skill in breeding was very well done. Sure there is not much gameplay, but being the first one I think they were actually smart, not dumb, for dialing back. Less is more. Making an extremely simple game, at a glance, but having layers of complexity underneath is hard to do. But the industry has to evolve past that. The countless CK clones out there don't do anything for the dapp game community. We have to push past CK and make bigger and better games. CMW will do just that.
John_CMW: I released 2 games on Android and iOS, Grumpy Monkey and Yin Yang BANG BANG. Unfortunately, they are not in any of the App Stores anymore. Over the years they needed to be changed and tweaked to conform to the ever-changing requirements of the stores. And It did not make sense financially to keep updating them as they were generating no sales years after a launch. You can see their trailers and other info on my press kit page. And if you want to play them, and have Android I can send you the APK :D
My 3rd game never made it to release, my first 2 games were not financial successes and I had to put the 3rd game on hold while I tried to fix our financial situation. I took a break from game design, became a chef on private yachts and saved up enough to start diving again. I was gonna start up the previous project, but CK came out and I got excited about working in this new industry. Here is the Dev log of the 3rd game.
John_CMW: CMW has changed a lot from the initial idea. At the start, it was going to be more of an active miner. Click, mine, click, mine, etc similar in a mechanic to Cookie Clicker. But there was going to be a skill element to it. There was going to be a bar with a moving line that you had to click at the right time to mine better. Like a golf or bowling game. The Gems were actually your helpers, they would add buffs to your minging, not doing the mining for you. Well, some were going to mine solo, but about half of them would do things like slow the moving line to make it easier to make a "perfect" hit. Others would allow for two hits if you click fast enough in a certain zone of the bar. Stuff like that. But the limitations of the blockchain, requiring every action to be logged, changed the game quite a bit. But with the progress being made with side chains, I could see things like the original design to make it into CMW 2!