This has to be the most visual AMA we've ever hosted! Catch a glimpse of the F.O.A.D gameplay, and dive deep into the conversation with Seblove, Game Director of F.O.A.D, a PvP game utilizing blockchain technology, and built on the Hyperverse.
[00:00:03.250] - Nik Kalyani
Hey, everybody. Welcome to this Hyperverse AMA LIVE stream. I have with me today Seb Alberini of Future Trash. I'm Nik Kalyani, Founder of Decentology, the platform behind the Hyperverse. I'm so excited today. Seb is a great gamer, and what he's going to talk about today is just simply amazing. It's a great collaboration between our two companies. Welcome. How are you?
[00:00:34.140] - Seblove
I'm great. How are you doing, Nik? Thank you so much for having me.
[00:00:36.750] - Nik Kalyani
I'm doing very well, and I cannot wait to share all the amazing things that we've been talking about and you've been showing me with the world. It's just fantastic. So why don't we just dive right into it? Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?
[00:00:52.370] - Seblove
Yeah, totally. Well, I'm Seb. I'm a game director and one of the founding members of Future Trash, which is actually the studio we're announcing the kind of creation of today, and our project in question is called F.O.A.D, and I have a development background. I've been building games in T++ for the better part of ten years now and really excited to show our first kind of dive into the Web3 space with F.O.A.D. So, yeah, I guess we can just hop right in, if you don't mind.
[00:01:20.160] - Nik Kalyani
Well, actually, first I'm really curious about that chair back there. What's the situation there?
[00:01:26.270] - Seblove
This guy? Yeah, that's a racing simulator that I built, actually, recently.
[00:01:31.610] - Nik Kalyani
You built that? That's cool.
[00:01:35.330] - Seblove
It's constructed. You get to pick your favorite parts from the pedals to the shifter to the actual wheel and all that. You kind of get to pick your favorite parts and then you put it together. I actually had a couple of friends come over to help me. So a couple of years later, we had this thing up and running, and the chair moves and everything. It's pretty sweet.
[00:01:51.320] - Nik Kalyani
Wow, that's incredible. Now. I visited you in LA, a few months back, and one thing I noticed is that you have an obsession with cars. So tell us a little bit about that. What's going on there?
[00:02:03.650] - Seblove
Yeah, man. I was raised driving a stick shift. My dad is a huge car enthusiast, so shout out to Carlos. He raised me right, so he showed me cars from a pretty early age, and I learned how to drive my first car, like, stalling out in the middle of an intersection, and I fell in love instantly. And so to this day, I kind of have a collection of mostly broken old stick shifts that I love driving around. You caught me in one of those. Red hands.
[00:02:29.510] - Nik Kalyani
And, I saw you perform, and you were killing it. Tell us more about that.
[00:02:35.870] - Seblove
You're too kind. I don't know if I was killing it, but yeah, you came to LA. And we actually have to have a show that night, so shout out to Jacob Dennis. We're in a band. It's definitely like a hobbyist kind of approach. By no means are we professionals, but we packed out the Viper Room in Los Angeles and Nik was fortunate enough or unfortunate enough to kind of get in the moshpit with us that night. So, that was awesome.
[00:02:55.800] - Nik Kalyani
Yeah, it was definitely awesome. I really liked it. All right, now that we know a little bit more about Seb in your personal life, let's get into what you're doing here with the game. Talk to us about F.O.A.D. What was the inspiration behind it? How did you get started with it?
[00:03:10.740] - Seblove
Absolutely. Yeah. Can we get my screen share up? And I can happily walk you through that. Everyone can do this? Yeah. Cool. So this is F.O.A.D. You said to make it scrappy, so this is kind of as scrappy as it gets presentation wise.
But F.O.A.D actually was first and foremost created by two of our founding members as a solution to a problem that we saw in the Web3 industry, which was that as we had these 3D models and NFT drops kind of coming about after the pixel art craze, we kind of moved into these highly-rendered pieces of artwork. And we found that the turnover rate for actually producing that art was pretty lengthy and pretty cumbersome because you'd outsource to a studio.
The studio would generate the art, we would take forever to render. And you have this end to end latency, so to speak, of getting these things generated. And so very clever technical artists on our team - shout out to Nate.
He thought of a way to kind of make modular procedural art within Unreal Engine 5. And that kind of cuts down that entire process by which you have to render things out because Unreal is very good at cranking out visuals just like this in real time, on the fly, and we can produce hundreds of thousands of these things in real time.
[00:04:22.620] - Nik Kalyani
So let me interrupt you. You used the long phrase there. Can you break that down for us, please?
[00:04:28.310] - Seblove
The procedural part?
[00:04:29.670] - Nik Kalyani
[00:04:30.400] - Seblove
Okay. Yeah. So basically, these are F.O.A.Ds. They're fun anthropomorphized units. And they're built up of a ton of components. Everything from the handle material, the actual F.O.A.D body type, the key chain that you see here, the stickers, the face, basically upwards of 15 attributes. To build these things up, Nate devised a system that basically builds these from scratch in real time and basically enables us to pump out these designs on the fly.
And they mostly look pretty good. Right? So instead of sitting there and kind of handcrafting these models, we're able to pump these things out into tens of thousands. And they're game ready, which is the best part.
So this is built directly in Unreal 5. We will dive into the actual Engine footage in a bit here, but it's pretty potent stuff. But, yeah. So we came up with this tool and this IP of these really fun, goofy, destruction, chaos-fueled grenades became the IP that was the proof of concept for that what would have been a PFP project, but that very quickly transitioned and as soon as we saw these guys, we wanted to drop them into a game.
And so what started as a PFP project actually very quickly developed into what we consider a lifestyle brand at this point. So, everything here, all the little details and the more explicit bits, are very much the cultural representation of F.O.A.D. We're really excited to kind of unveil this. This is actually our first kind of stepping stone in terms of having like an outward facing unveiling of the actual code project. So really excited to show you guys this stuff today.
[00:06:07.570] - Nik Kalyani
Cool. So maybe we can talk a little bit about the game itself and the gameplay and the mechanics of that. Can you walk us through some of that?
[00:06:16.020] - Seblove
Yeah, absolutely. So I'll start by saying that this is actually per Nik's request here. From the beginning of our partnership, I think he made it really clear that we want to build in public and not shy away from kind of showing game footage and showing off things even if they are premature or underdeveloped.
And, I think that what we've become very accustomed to, especially at the height of this bull run, was a bunch of projects that were selling you NFTs and making you promises and even selling you tokens, but never actually showing anything for it. And, a lot of those games, I can promise you right now, will never come out. And so instead of following that same kind of script, we want to flip that on its head and start with the gameplay before we sell you a single entity or we convince you that our projects is worth your time or your consideration.
We are going to start with a gameplay and really go from there. In spirit of your suggestion, we are building in public, and this is three months of full time development. So I'm not trying to disclose it, but by no means this is finished.
[00:07:13.540] - Seblove
I would say this is like 70% of the way toward our final look, but yeah, we really just want to wow, show off what we've been working on.
[00:07:22.290] - Nik Kalyani
This is so cool.
[00:07:23.830] - Seblove
Yeah. So this is a F.O.A.D In real time. And I talked about how we were able to create these things on the fly and kind of generate them indefinitely. So as an example of that, I can just sit here all day and generate new F.O.A.D, and it'll use that procedural system and they all look pretty sweet, at least in my opinion. So everything from the stickers to the shoes to the key chain to the handle material, the facial expressions, everything is procedural and it's pulling, obviously, from a pool of attributes and you'll never get to the same post.
[00:07:54.390] - Nik Kalyani
So, Seb, this is so mind blowing. I have to ask the question. This is a standalone app. Is it?
[00:08:02.970] - Seblove
Funny you ask so this is actually going to be a full browser game and we are building these assets and the systems in place using Unreal 5 to be able to play this in browser and it will platform agnostic. So it'll be utilizing some type of cloud computing.
[00:08:16.530] - Nik Kalyani
Wait, sorry, this is all going to be in the browser in real time?
[00:08:22.920] - Seblove
[00:08:24.750] - Nik Kalyani
That is mind blowing.
[00:08:27.270] - Seblove
Like how real time on Unreal 5 is really making us look better than we are as developers. So basically Unreal 5 kind of rolled out with the pixel streaming inherent to the design where it's actually built in and you're able to basically set up an AWS server, school up a server and be able to actually have cloud computing on the server. And all you need as the end user is a decent WiFi connection and it will look like this. Platform agnostic. And that also includes mobile.
So your graphics card, your computer, you don't need like some Titan rig to be able to run this game. But yeah, I would love to walk through kind of like what the actual mechanics are here and what this kind of captures the feel and the look of the fold world that we're trying to build.
But the end of the day there needs to be gameplay. Right? I think that's also too sparse in this industry so far where there's actual fun game loops to be had. And so basically what we're planning here is what we like to call Fall Guys on steroids. Have you heard of Fall Guys, Nik?
[00:09:22.210] - Nik Kalyani
I have not, but I'm not a gamer so don't hold that against me.
[00:09:25.150] - Seblove
Okay, that's all good. Fall Guys actually had a recent resurgence. It is a free-to-play game now. It is basically a party game, series of mini games where you load a bunch of players onto a server and you have like a Battle Royale system through a series of mini games you parse out. If you do well, you make it to the next stage. If you do well, you make to the next stage. Eventually there's one man left standing and that's one woman less standing and that is the Battle Royale kind of model.
Right, but it's centered around these mini games and so we want to build Fall Guys on steroids because it is a very successful play model.
The game sold over a million copies to this day and we really love what they did and it's a point of inspiration for us. However, we want to turn that on side and kind of build Fall Guys that centered around the ability to explode, right? Because you are grenade after all. So I can run around this map, things are fully destructible and you can kind of see the collateral damage you can cause here.
[00:10:16.020] - Seblove
But effectively we want to build a Battle Royale system with a bunch of mini games all centered around this destruction mechanic. So, let's say we load 40 F.O.A.Ds onto a server, right? And that basically is the starting match. And the first map, the win condition might be, let's blow up the entire map, right?
And so we're all running around, we're talking for position. At its core, this is a 3D platformer, so you can be docking for position and trying to find the biggest points of interest to kind of unleash your explosion and rack up destruction points, right? So let's say this bank is like, it's glowing red. I know this is valuable. It's a high value target. I'm going to get over there as soon as I can, blow it up and get all those destruction points racked up. So once the map is fully destroyed, let's say we want to aim for a casual five minute game experience. If I place in the top half of that, I make the next mini-game.
And so the way the map is constructed is going to be utilizing a lot of procedural elements as well. I keep saying procedural, so just to clarify what I mean by that, it's like using a system to build the thing in real time, as opposed to having a hard coded level. So, like, Super Mario has hard coded levels, but Super Mario Run on the mobile system is based on procedural algorithms. It's basically building level out in real time. So we really want to take advantage of that. It basically creates a new, refreshing play space every time you play the game.
So you'll never see the same map twice, you'll never see the same F.O.A.D twice. And we really want to keep those win conditions and the mini-games fresh and fun.
[00:11:43.890] - Nik Kalyani
Wow. All of this is happening in the browser. I'm just looking at the effects when the explosions happen and it's unreal. Like, you've got one F.O.A.D going along there, but you have like five or ten of these and the explosions, it's going to be mayhem.
[00:12:06.490] - Seblove
Absolutely, yeah. Thankfully, because of the cloud computing set up, all that stuff is happening on the server and we're just streaming of the data.
So it's not like my graphics card will be responsible for having all these explosions happening at once. We just kind of get to make things pretty and yeah, it's going to be really fun to make. So you can see down here, this is kind of like one of our little narrative elements that we're trying to build around. So because it is a still web3 game, you're going to need to have, like, your staking and those types of blockchain-centric activities and mechanics.
But we don't want to just have them be like point and click interfaces. We want to have, like, narrative elements. So down here, we're planning the space that's kind of like the F.O.A.D acid bat. Or I'm able to stake Tokens down here and potentially get Fox out of the acid bat, but it's still draped in this kind of fun narrative encasement if that makes sense.
[00:12:55.730] - Nik Kalyani
Yeah, I love it.
[00:12:56.630] - Seblove
Everything's got to be narrative, right?
[00:12:58.120] - Nik Kalyani
Yeah. Instead of using a direct UI, you have like, metaphors that are in context of the game so you don't get out of the immersive game environment. I think that's pretty freaking cool. Yeah. You've talked a little bit about the gameplay and the game mechanics and all that, and you've mentioned a little bit about Web3. So, let me step back first and ask you why even bother to have any Web3 angle to it before we get into the 'how' part of it?
[00:13:29.890] - Seblove
Super valid question. And I think that if we weren't able to answer that as like a game studio or as a team, it really beckons the question of why not just a Web2 game, right?
[00:13:38.690] - Nik Kalyani
[00:13:39.320] - Seblove
Why Web Three? And I think there's a ton of answers and there's probably one that people have heard already, which is like, you really want to own your assets, right? And so if all things were equal and we could play the same games we played a day in mass, such as War Zone, Apex Legends, PUB-G, except everything is the same, except all the skins you buy are transferable and in a wallet.
I think most people would take that deal if everything else is the same. Right. So there's a natural, I think, gravitation toward actually owning those assets. And instead of having a bunch of skins sitting on a game that you spent six months playing and then never thought about again, there is something to be at least transferred after the fact, right.
You can kind of recoup your investment or move as assets into something that you're now interested in. So there's something there. But beyond that, I think that there's a much bigger question at hand, which is like, how does Web3 allow us to bring in new game experiences that aren't available on Web2? And so for me, for example, in F.O.A.D, we're going to have a ranked mode where you're able to kind of ante up tokens and risk monetary value with the expectations of the level of skill, and the competition will obviously raise with that, but then I can take the heap. So we all ante up five tokens, let's say, and I take the whole thing if I win the thing if I win the game, or I can break even if I play in the top ten.
So for me as a gamer, if I could play War Zone right now and everything else is the same except I get to ante up $100 before the game starts and take the whole stack if I win that game, that just makes more so more fun. I would take that deal right now. Right. But for the masses, there's obvious ownership.
There's a huge amount of effort we put into building these entities up in terms of making them customizable. So all of those attributes that I mentioned upwards of 15, you're going to be unlocking and leveling up your phone and unlocking these attributes. And those attributes are actually dynamic. So you can speak more about this later in Smart Contract, but I don't know what attributes I will have available to my phone until I've leveled them up from zero to 100. And so there's a perpetual unboxing experience there and it really offers a level of authorship to each person's phone that I don't think is achievable in any other context.
[00:15:52.580] - Seblove
So again, the technology is supporting like a new game experience because what we find is that people are extremely proud of their in-game achievements and they wear these badges of honor so proudly. Whether it's the way you build up your gun in War Zone or the scan that you got from season one of Fortnite or your oddball build in Elden Ring, there's always something really fun and engaging and players love showing that stuff off.
And this just adds another layer of customization and authorship to those same assets that you're otherwise interacting with. A lot of people are very anti, especially the core gamers, and that's part of the course with any disruptive space. But we really do believe that we're onto something here and that this is like another level of engagement using the technology.
[00:16:39.910] - Nik Kalyani
Yeah, absolutely. And to kind of speak about this in sort of Web3 language a little bit, what you're talking about here is that the foods are essentially NFTs and you would have the ability to, when you are ready and you want to move on, you could potentially transfer them to someone else, whether through a marketplace or directly, therefore opening up the game in a multitude of ways. So this actually also presents the very alluring possibility of if there is cooperation between game studios moving assets intelligently between games in the future.
[00:17:25.760] - Seblove
Yeah, absolutely. I think that as this version of space kind of takes more shape and becomes more intuitive for the end user and probably more consumed in mass, it only makes sense that these games start combining forces and make it so, like, hey, this transferability is like prime for not only user generated content, but like cross game compatibility.
And so a great example of that actually is not on Web3, but a game that just came out multiverses, which is like absolutely taking the industry by storm right now. It's just a crossbreed of all of Warner Bro's IP and people are going crazy for it because it just opens up the door for this creativity and kind of these new experiences because like, oh, I like this game, I like this game. They're both on Ether. They're both on Polygon. Let's make a collaboration piece here. Let's make these things work together. Why not, right? It's a really, really awesome process.
[00:18:14.540] - Nik Kalyani
Absolutely. Our teams have spent a lot of time kind of talking about the back-end aspect of it, the blockchain aspect, of it. And I want to spend a little bit of time kind of helping game developers who are just sort of getting into Web3 understand what we are doing and how we're going to approach it. So this is where I want to tell a little bit about the Hyperverse. So the Hyperverse is an open, decentralized, you could call it a marketplace for on-chain smart contracts.
[00:19:34.040] - Nik Kalyani
So when I look at this game and what you're showing here, it's very clear that as a game developer, there is value being created here and the value is in the thought you have put into the game mechanics, the user experience for the gamer and of course, all the visually stunning or as one commenter said, unreal experience. But there's the other part of the game, which is the value that comes on the blockchain, the smart contract piece of it.
How are these assets tracked, how are they stored? Ordinarily if you were to go to a marketplace like OpenSea or Foundation etc, and get an asset, that experience is super boring. Here we are going to create a really great experience for the user and the way we're going to make it possible is by having a real tight coupling with the front-end and the back-end.
But the Hyperverse provides all that abstraction. So as game developers, you basically have given us direction on like "this is kind of what we want to do," and what our team has done is essentially abstract that into these smart modules. And here's where it gets really exciting.
[00:20:53.780] - Nik Kalyani
When you started off, you talked about how we want to do this in the open. It's a new kind of way, right? So not only are we talking about doing development in open, but we are also making it so the smart modules that are the core of these are available to other game devs. So they can in turn come up with their own mechanics, their own user experience and just build quickly off it. So I think that is both novel and revolutionary and I'm just super excited.
And actually I'm very grateful that we are having this collaboration because I think it's going to make it possible for many game devs to achieve their goals of having a shipping game, publish a game without as much effort.
[00:21:37.550] - Seblove
Yeah, absolutely. And I can't speak enough about how nice it's been to be able to work with you guys because we are Web2 developers first and foremost and we are transitioning to the space and just having the wherewithal and the ability to even make like airtight immutable code that we can rely upon and other developers can then rely upon into the foreseeable future I think is super invaluable because as a developer like myself.
We come on board, we might have someone learn Solidity. But at the end of the day, if we can focus on the stuff that makes games really fun like this and then rely on you guys. Or rely on existing code that is scalable to actually do something simple like authorization of the ownership of an NFT or transference of set assets to wallet after the game is over. Those types of loops and like the seamlessness with which you guys are providing it for us. It just makes everything so much faster and easier. It's incredible.
[00:22:29.960] - Nik Kalyani
Yeah, that's cool. Falfanso says, "that's super cool bomb!," and yeah, it's like super cool. I'm just really excited about it. All right, so let's talk a little bit about where we are in the development cycle here and what the plan is, what's the roadmap. Let's get into that a little bit.
[00:22:48.290] - Seblove
Yeah, absolutely. So as many people in the space are kind of withholding NFTs drops right now due to market volatility and just the fact that it's a little bit scary. A lot of people got burned right, in the last few months and so dropping some giant NFT drop without utility, I would view as a very risky kind of approach. So we are full heads down on building this game out and we're on track for a season one launch of quarter one next year.
We're moving very quickly. We have a small team but a very potent team and we can crank out assets and gameplay relatively quickly. This is two and a half months of full time development, most of which went into the art. So I feel like we're moving very quickly. We're on pace, but we might just time it where the NFT drop comes out with the game and it's all native to the app, hop in on F.O.A.D, play a few games for free, and then if you decide you want to be an NFT holder, it will be very approachable. We're never going to have the Axie problem, we're avoiding all that.
[00:23:43.190] - Seblove
The price of each NFT will actually be on the US dollar conversion. So we'll always be an approachable game space and we really want to make it as easy as possible to get in the door. But yeah, schedule wise we're looking at Q1 next year to be able to play like Season One of F.O.A.D.
[00:23:58.190] - Nik Kalyani
Now we've talked about the NFT and earlier you hinted at staking etc. So, what's that angle? There are other layers of tokenization that this game is going to have.
[00:24:09.130] - Seblove
Yeah, absolutely. We don't want to go too crazy in detail on the token because these things are in flux and quite frankly, no one has figured out the perfect model yet. Right? We're all just trying to improve on the last iteration. Yeah, absolutely. Because this is Web3, we get to take advantage of things like this where, hey, I want to passively stake my F.O.A.D and get different rewards or structural rewards as a result of that.
Right. And so whether it's in the F.O.A.D Acid Bat you're staking the actual token to get parts or you're sticking your phone itself and offering it to the F.O.A.D Bot Army, there are reward structures in place for those types of loops as well. So as any game, when it launches, you need to have some type of AI to fill games, especially in the Web3 space where a large player base in Web3 is like 2000-10,000 thousand DAU. in Web2, that's like nothing.
But we're in a very new space here and so as these things are kind of emerging, I think it's important to have AI. And we thought, what more fun way to establish AI than staking your phone and offering it to the Bot Army for rewards.
[00:25:16.920] - Seblove
If you're not necessarily someone who wants to play the game, you're not a gamer, but you like the brand, you like the IP and you want to be involved. Can own a F.O.A.D to stake the Bot Arm. Right? So we're just offering a bunch of fun kind of options for all walks of life and trying to cast as wide a net as possible.
[00:25:31.970] - Nik Kalyani
Yeah. Olaski says, "So crazy eyes!", I've just looked at some of the art and all the different personality traits and all that and they are so awesome, like so creative and so interesting.
[00:25:51.610] - Seblove
Yeah, I appreciate that. Thank you so much.
[00:25:52.790] - Nik Kalyani
Yeah. Before we leave that, I just want to talk a little bit about the actual innovation that is there around the attributes. And we talked a little bit about leveling up etc. So it took quite a bit of engineering, but we've got this going on the smart contract, where essentially what we have is that each time you level up a different set of choices for attributes, visual attributes, become available to you. So talk a little bit more about how you came up with that idea and what's the genesis of this.
[00:26:32.250] - Seblove
Absolutely. Yeah. I kind of touched on this earlier, but I really think that without utility, all future NFT two drops will kind of get swallowed up by other NFT drops with like genuine utility. Right. And so we wanted to take that and just run with it all the way.
So like utility for days, if you will. We want you to be able to get a F.O.A.D and be incentivized to own and take care of it and play the game with it because of this super deep kind of customization that we're building around these things.
And so you and I personally worked very hard on this. We came up with a structure where this is a wireframe, by the way, very rough, but it'll scan my wallet. These are all the F.O.A.Ds I own. Let's say I want to customize Hellbound Daddy right now and I want to make some changes to my F.O.A.D. So I'll go here, hit the craft button, and here you can kind of see these are all the kind of attributes we talked about. So the material body, which is like the texture of this F.O.A.D, the material handle, which is the texture of this handle, the keychain sticker, so on and so forth.
[00:27:33.370] - Seblove
But you can see that these are locked behind levels. And so I actually have to play with my phone and complete quests or daily activities or just play matches with my phone to unveil these attributes. And so until I get to Level 5, I don't know what this might hold. And for all I know, maybe my common F.O.A.D Actually has a super uncommon attribute at Level 25.
And I don't know that until I get there. Right? And, so I think you can talk to this about how you achieve this, but there actually is true randomness there, right?
[00:28:00.640] - Nik Kalyani
Yes, there's definitely true randomness. And I just wanted to highlight that this UI is beautiful, but it is actually backed up by a real smart contract. And so doing that is by itself quite an achievement. I'm very excited about it. And so, yeah, what we needed to do in this here is make it possible to achieve randomness without relying on an external oracle and things like that. So it's been crazy, but I think.
[00:28:33.910] - Seblove
We are there, absolutely. And I think it's worth noting that there's a lot of care taken with these things because let's say these things aren't truly random and you could kind of reverse engineer that smart contract and that isn't airtight. Now you have a gamified system and it blows up your whole rarity scale and it just kind of blows up the whole novelty of it. Right, so airtight code is very important.
[00:28:52.660] - Nik Kalyani
There, right, yeah, absolutely. We can't have it where someone who we can't have it, like, for example, in the client side where someone can just go and reverse engineer it and look at it and like...
[00:29:05.280] - Seblove
Yeah, absolutely not. Well, more to the specifics of what you can do here. So I can go to my sticker slot here and it will scan my wallet for the stickers I own. So the stickers are actually composite, so they are actually their own NFTs and they are applicable to any F.O.A.D if the F.O.A.D meets the level requirement for that sticker. Right? So whereas the material body that we run before is inherent to the F.O.A.D, and not transferable amongst F.O.A.D, what is available to this F.O.A.D.
These stickers are actually available to all F.O.A.D, right? One, we think this is an awesome opportunity for user-generated content and artist collaborations because effectively anyone can pump out a series of PNGs and we can immediately transfer that to game data and be able to pace these things across the roads.
So we love this open ended kind of UGC option here. Also, guild integration worth noting so if anyone's here familiar with the Web3 guilds, you could rock a YGG or your favorite guild sticker as you play these games and get potentially token rewards as a result of that. So I'm not level ten yet. So I can't equip Sweet Death.
[00:30:07.530] - Seblove
But I am high enough level for Alien so I can see what that looks like on my F.O.A.D. Hit the craft button. Get details about how that will affect the F.O.A.D, craft it play a fun little mini-game where I smash my phone over the head with a hammer while we craft this beautiful sticker and voila that sticker is on there forever.
[00:30:27.910] - Nik Kalyani
Nice. And it should be noted that what you've just demonstrated there is essentially a composite NFT. It's an NFT that consists of other NFTs and those stickers can be yanked and transferred to someone, they can be sold or you can just swap them out etc.
And I think that is also something very novel and interesting that you can sell an NFT as a composite, the whole F.O.A.D or you can sell or transfer it as individual things there. So there's a question from MediocreChili - does utility also mean F.O.A.Ds will be transferable to future F.O.A.D titles?
[00:31:09.490] - Seblove
Oh, absolutely. I think that's part of the course in this space, right? Let it be known though, we do plan and we have every ambition in the world to build this game out for a long time coming. I think whether it's this F.O.A.D exact title as it sits with a PvP Battle Royale or something broader, these assets will absolutely live on in the F.O.A.D universe indefinitely and we plan and have every ambition of supporting them well into the future.
So transferability is like an absolute non-starter. If there's ever a F.O.A.D sequel, you better bet that you can take this guy in there as well, right?
[00:31:43.080] - Nik Kalyani
Yeah, absolutely. Blowing up stuff is never going to go out of style - in games! Just to clarify!
[00:31:52.930] - Seblove
Solid clarification. Also worth noting though, which is really cool on the server or on the game side of stuff, we basically have an ability to create this F.O.A.D, right? Which is like this very complex set of variables and parameters and recreate it an engine in real time with just an identifier.
So no matter where you place the sticker and no matter what craziness you've done to your phone, whether it's like an insane iced out hotdog keychain or some crazy pink shoes, no matter where you hop in, it will be able to render that way in real time as it would be transferred on the market or otherwise, if that makes sense. So keeping everything in real time is pretty important to us as well.
[00:32:29.890] - Nik Kalyani
That is just amazing. Just looking at what you've demonstrated here, I actually agree with Kevin. It's like explosions, like big time, amazing stuff. So give us some insights into your team and how you go about building this. I'm sure our audience would like to know what goes into creating a game like this.
[00:32:59.390] - Seblove
Absolutely. We are very fortunate to be surrounded, I can speak for Kevin and myself, we are two of the co-founders as well, but we are surrounded by some of those talented people I've ever personally worked with. And I just feel really lucky every day, like our technical artist, our lead designer, everything our guys are doing, particle effects. We have a really talented team and we do feel the utmost confidence that our art and the IP and the branding is very strong and they think that that's our strong suit. But on the day to day, it is really a very small team.
There's six of us working on this full time right now and we've cranked out , what I think is pretty solid progress in two and a half months. But the day to day is basically mostly just making jokes in Slack and sharing fun stuff that we're all working on. We're all very resourceful. I've even broken out the coding gloves for this one and tried to contribute as best I can, which I haven't done in almost two years now. So coming out of retirement for this one. But yeah, it's a really fun small group.
[00:33:58.050] - Seblove
We plan on scaling up as needed, but never before that point. Right. And keeping things tight and trying to do a small team, big splash kind of approach, if that makes sense.
[00:34:08.280] - Nik Kalyani
Yeah, I absolutely love what you're doing here. The game is amazing and it's something that I want to play and it's actually the first time I'm like seeing a game that I'm like, "okay, it's simple, exciting and immersive and engaging," and I think it's going to be very successful.
And what's more is because of the fact that we are doing this in the open and we have the modular architecture in the back-end, it will inspire, I feel, other developers to also jump into the space and we should really see much more creativity in this. And I'm excited about that because the more we desperately need to simplify the user experience in Web3 so more users can understand what it's about and understand its power and beauty and just simple things like how the wallet integration works and doesn't take you out to some dialogue or something like that.
Those are the kinds of little touches that make a big difference and I think it's going to matter quite a bit. So John here asks - what's most exciting about building on blockchain for game developers?
[00:35:22.150] - Seblove
Oh, I can answer that for sure. So I actually think there's kind of a funny phenomenon happening where in Web2, specifically as it relates to competitive shooters and competitive multiplayer games that are played in mass, we've had like a pretty stale market for about four years now. That being said, what I mean by that is that the same games that were popular four years ago are popular today and they basically just keep rolling out new seasons, new skins, new characters.
And I really think there's an obvious reason for that. And the fact is, it is so expensive to build a Web2 game and you have these inflated kind of entry-level to get in. It's so expensive for small developers that it's not worth it unless you kill it.
And to actually compete with these big dogs like War Zone, Apex Legends, these huge games, you need to have like an absolutely viral hit, smash hit, right, to even recoup your investment. And, so it's scary for smaller developers to kind of make creative new IP. And that's kind of why it's stagnated right now. It's kind of a stagnant market and there's nothing new and fun to play.
[00:36:21.480] - Seblove
So from my perspective as a smaller development team, we are in a space where creativity and doing something new and different is like warranted and absolutely necessary for the industry to move forward.
And so to even play a small molecular role in that transition is just such a fun kind of emergent space and we're just really excited to be able to do something creative and new that hasn't been done before. And because it's Web3, we don't necessarily have to have 200 million players to make a splash.
This is a new space and we don't have this massive uptake of new users. But we would love to be part of that process where we get to that point right, and make it more intuitive, like you said, and make onboarding easy.
[00:37:05.170] - Nik Kalyani
Absolutely. And you're blazing a new trail here and you're making it possible for indie developers who don't have massive budgets or even if they're just getting started to get into the space and really find success very quickly. So Mehrav asks which blockchain platform this game is building on, so I can actually fill that one.
So one of the interesting things here is that we are at a point right now where we have obviously well established platforms like Ethereum, but there's also other L-1 and L-2 contenders. So right now we are going through the process of really evaluating exactly which protocol is best and most responsive and lowest in terms of gas.
So we are figuring that out and we have a few contenders right now. But since the video is going to be long-lived. I would rather just wait until we have made a decision before we kind of talk about that.
But more than likely it will be on a platform that is fast, cost efficient from a gas standpoint. And yet has an already established footprint or is on its way to establishing a footprint.
[00:38:32.270] - Nik Kalyani
So, Seb, we've talked about the game, we've talked about the roadmap, we've talked about your team. Let's talk a little bit about if there are developers out there or people who are interested in sort of working with you at the alpha, the beta stage, etc, where do they go, how do they connect with your team and start participating in playing forward and giving you feedback?
[00:38:52.790] - Seblove
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for bringing that up. We have a Discord that we just started. I absolutely implore everyone here, whether you're watching it live or retroactively, please come say hi and take part in this journey as we kind of build out these playables and do very public play tests and kind of build absolutely everything in the open. That's a double-edged sword, right? Obviously you don't want too many cooks in the kitchen.
However, we do truly believe in marketing with the community in mind and building this thing out with the community in mind. We also have a live Twitter for the Future Trash actual studio, so drop by there for updates. And then the Discord and Twitter are both up and running and we plan to have playables and a closed beta within the next two and a half months.
And if you want to be part of that, we will have signups through those mediums that I just mentioned.
[00:39:46.230] - Nik Kalyani
Awesome. Well, this was a very exciting conversation. Learned a lot here myself, even though I've been working with you. Some new stuff here.
And we are going to do this again, and we're going to do this with other members of your team, other members of the Hyperverse team, and we're going to regularly give updates and get feedback from people and make sure that we build the most kickass, the most awesome game experience possible for people out there. So, any closing remarks?
[00:40:17.550] - Seblove
Thank you so much for having me. Thank you for taking the time. We are super excited to be working together and I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity here.
[00:40:24.480] - Nik Kalyani
Yeah, me too. I think this is a great collaboration. Your team is exciting to work with and this is very novel and I think we're going to open up some doors for other developers and that really excites me. So thank you so much for joining me and thanks everyone who joined us LIVE and who are watching this recorded. Have a great day and we'll see you again soon. Bye bye.
[00:40:51.750] - Seblove
See you guys.
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