Dapp.com AMA: Episode 7 | Highlights | Jeff Zirlin, Growth Lead of Axie Infinity

2019-01-12 12:00:18 · 3553 views · 8 min read


We thank Jeff for doing a great AMA session with us, although we experienced some technical problems at the beginning. We especially thank our Dapp.com and Axie Infinity community for giving us great questions. Almost everything was covered, from Jeff's best day of his Axie life to the future of blockchain games, from game design to the scale. We even covered Jeff’s favorite energy drink and his best furiend.



Dapp.com: Welcome Jeff to Dapp.com AMA! Before we start our AMA today, please tell us about yourself, what's your background.

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: Hey! thanks for having me :)

I got into the space because I was quite interested in the potential for non-financial dapps, particularly games, to return power to users.

CryptoKitties was the first blockchain game I played-- I made a lot of amazing friends and connections in that community that ultimately led me down a path where I had the opportunity to join the Axie team!


Q1: Does the members of Staff / Core Ever Sleep? @Zakke

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: We have pretty strange sleep schedules :D Our players are always awake so it's hard to sleep sometimes.

Q2. And if not, what’s ur favorite energy drink ;) @Zakke

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: Double Espresso!


Q3. Hi Jeff, thank you for joining the dapp.com AMA session! What do you think is the most challenging part of your job? what is the most enjoyable? Thank you so much! @Ceciliali

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: Hey Cecilia! Because the space is so new-- the infrastructure for facilitating seamless gaming experiences on the blockchain is still being built. I think the greatest challenge is balancing working on solutions that will make Axie Infinity a smooth experience while also developing fun gameplay features!

The best part of working in this space is interacting and bonding with our amazing community!


Q4. Hi Jeff, I‘m new to crypto gaming but I definitely see its potential of growing big in the next couple of years ^^ Here're my questions for you, looking forward to your answers:
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? would you still see yourself in the Axie team or crypto gaming industry? How do you build and develop a large community? what do you consider a "good" community is? Thanks and have a great day! @jay.hellers

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: 5 years in the blockchain space is like 5 decades but I hope that in 5 years, the world of Axie Infinity (Lunacia) will be an immersive universe that hundreds of thousands, if not millions of players can enjoy together.

Building a large community is all about communicating with your players and empowering them to become evangelists themselves. A good community is a place where everyone feels comfortable speaking their mind, being themselves, and bonding over shared interests.


Q5. Hello, I'm a big fan of Axie! My question is, how do you see the future of Axie Infinity and blockchain games in 2019? Thank you! @zlrxmdnqr

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: In 2019, Blockchain games will more closely begin to resemble conventional games in their user experience— the key difference will be the increased agency that players in these universes possess— from being able to monetize their time spent playing through tokenized rewards programs or being able to trustlessly and permissionlessly exchange and sell their in-game assets.


Q6. Hi Jeff, thank you for the ama, here are my questions: When and how did you get into the crypto world? Why did you decide to join Axie Infinity? @cyptoxisfuturex

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: I purchased my first ETH in August of 2017.

I started to get more involved in the space through CryptoKitties where I was pretty active in the community and helped out with an early 2nd layer experience called KittyHats.

I decided to join the Axie team because Trung and Masamune, the Co-Founders, had an amazing unified vision regarding Blockchain games and adding utility to the ERC 721.


Q7: Hey Jeff! Thanks for doing this AMA. What advice would you give to a newer game designer about getting involved in dapp development? @Jun Gong

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: I think any potential dapp developer needs to think really hard about how they can leverage blockchain to make something that wouldn't be possible with a centralized application.

For example, we believe that only certain types of games are fit for the blockchain and we are building Axie Infinity with this in mind.


Q8: Hi, although I find many things about Axie Infinity unique, there is one thing that really has always stood out to me from a business perspective. In a day of cash-grabs and ICO crazes, you guys have chosen a different approach.

What can you tell me about the challenges of funding the game through token sales as you have, versus purely through an ICO or other routes we are seeing with other games, and what benefits does it give AI? @HoldenSports

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: So I actually think ICOs can be ok, but I believe that adding a token is something that most teams should do later on in the development process when they already have a community and working product.

We were fortunate to have a really strong base of users that believed in us early last year and that's been key to funding our development so far.


Q9: What do you do when you're not working? @steveygrams

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: I like playing sports like basketball/squash. I also love to read, and when I'm in the states I love hanging out with my beagle/border collie :)


Q10: Will Axie be attending any events this year? Hope to see you in my city! @steveygrams

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: What city do you live in? Yes, we'll be attending some events related to Blockchain games and Non-fungible tokens!

Q11: What's your personal goal? @steveygrams

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: I want to live a life I'll be proud to look back on when I'm older :)


Q12: What would you be doing, if you were not with Axie? @steveygrams

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: I think I'd be working in the Blockchain space somehow-- backing a project that I really believe will return power and agency to users.

Q13: Are you still collecting fossils and stuff? @steveygrams

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: I'm still really interested in Insects and Fossils-- I try and go collecting with my father a few times a year!


Q14: Hello Jeff. "Axie" is very cute and mysterious. What Axie is your favorite? - type, body parts. Thank you. @PanPee

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: I like Reptile Axies! Gecko Eyes and Red Ear (turtle shell) are my 2 favorite parts :)


Q15: Hey Jeff, just out of curiosity, are you a hardcore ethereal fan? If so, guess Axie won't convert to other platforms, is that right? On a serious note, any plans on Axie going mobile? Would love to breed some Aixes on my phone! @Adrian T.

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: Hey Adrian! You can actually play Axie from a phone through a mobile web 3 wallet like Trust Wallet. That said, we're currently working on an Axie Infinity Mobile App!


Q16: Hello Jeff, Axie has integrated with Loom, do you think sidechains like Loom will help crypto gaming scale? Thank you. @Janette_Krypto

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: Yes, we believe that sidechains will play a major part in helping Blockchain games scale while retaining secure ownership!

The Loom team is amazing-- their tech is quite far ahead of similar solutions.


Q17: Hi, great to have you here! What makes Axie Infinity stand out from all the other indie games? What will be the crypto gaming trend for 2019? @Coach Smash

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: Axie Infinity really empowers its community to be true stakeholders in the game. Players can earn crypto alongside us, the developers, as the game spreads. Games like Pokemon are actually built around collecting, but a key component of any collectible is being able to freely trade it-- so we believe that blockchain adds the key component missing from other collectible creature games of the past.


Q18: What will be the crypto gaming trend for 2019? @Coach Smash

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: We'll start to see the quality of blockchain games increase and the game economies of these universes will become increasingly scrutinized.


Q19: How did you guys come up with the name Axie Infinity? And how do you name each of Axie? @Sloooow

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: 1. How did you guys come up with the name Axie Infinity? And how do you name each of Axie?

So Axie is actually the name of a baby Axolotl-- a salamander that stays as a juvenile for life. Axie #1, puff resembles an Axolotl so that's where the name stems from. We only name exclusive Axies like our mascots-- our players can name their Axies whatever they want!

Q20: Will you guys do customized Axie? Like CryptoKitties did for those influencers? Maybe Axie Jeff or something hehe. @Sloooow

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: Yes, we already have a few custom Axies-- Axies based off real people could be something we consider in the future!

Q21: Will you tell us about your team? How's the team vibe? @Sloooow

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: The team is amazing-- everyone is very high energy and committed to the product. I also think we have a lot of empathy for our players since we've all been gamers for most of our lives and a good percentage of the team have been involved with Blockchain games since the early days of the space.


Q22: You know the Ether price is falling down, what do Axie do to survive in the market? @milovibes

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: Although the ETH price has fallen, the Axie ecosystem remains vibrant and relatively unaffected. We try and not focus on price and prioritize improving our product and expanding our community!


Q23: Will you ever think about moving from Ethereum to EOS, Steem, or Tron? @milovibes

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: We're currently looking at cross-chain solutions so that we can introduce Axie Infinity to dapp users regardless of their favorite protocol.


Q24: Besides Decentraland, who else will you collaborate with? What's the 3-year plan for Axie? @milovibes

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: We're always looking for strong teams to work with. Loom Network, 0x Protocol, OpenSea are all projects that we'll be working with to move the space forward not to mention dapp discovery platforms like Dapp.com!


Q25: The last but not least, what's the best day of your Axie life so far? @milovibes

Jeff Jee Ho Zirlin: I think my favorite day so far was the day of the launch of our closed beta-- it was amazing to see people battling their Axies and having fun after so much hard work and anticipation!



In the end, Jeff picked out the best questions and these users will get a free Axie:

@Coach Smash






Congratulations and thank you Jeff and Axie!

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