Season two of Galactic Hubs saw a number of projects placed under development and grants green-lit, among them Trilium Quest and Battlefleet Armageddon, the latter a refactored web2 mobile auto battler wherein players navigate the cosmos, strategize and participate in thrilling interstellar warfare.
Having been in the works since early 2023, the launch of Battlefleet Armageddon has been keenly anticipated by Alien Worlds Explorers, not least because it was created by a rockstar team with vast game-building experience in Mercury Forge. “We have been running a traditional game studio for around six years now and have experience of a pretty wide range of projects – console, web, mobile, metaverse, some crypto work as well recently, of course. We’ve probably worked on 50 titles all in,” says the studio’s co-founder Aaron Yuan.
From Web2 to Web3
Having witnessed the growth of the blockchain gaming ecosystem in recent years, Aaron and his team started developing concepts geared towards a web3 audience. But does pivoting from traditional gaming to its blockchain counterpart demand an entirely different approach?
“I think crypto is a bit different, in multiple ways obviously – there’s a mechanical difference, but I think for a lot of people the expectations of the community are different as well,” says Aaron. “There is a difference in the way the community engages. That’s something that we’re learning right now.”
The attraction of blockchain-powered games is easy to fathom, and the mini-manifesto published on the Mercury Forge website will be music to the ears of players, with statements like “digital assets shouldn’t disappear when a game’s servers shut down.” But what brought Mercury Forge into the orbit of Alien Worlds in the first place?
From the very inception of the project, we were thinking in terms of multiplayer, and how the story would emerge naturally from engagement between players. So we talked with a member of the Alien Worlds team and it was a very interesting conversation. They saw what we were working on, which was an early version of what we have now, and we had a lot in common in terms of the vision we wanted to achieve. I feel you guys had already done many of the things we would need right inside of the universe, and it just seemed like a great match. Truthfully, we have explored other ecosystems but the match was just not really exactly right.
“Interestingly, we actually had some interactions many years ago – maybe five years ago, if I recall correctly – with some folks at Wax. So I was already familiar with parts of the Alien Worlds ecosystem.”
The Appeal of Asynchronous Auto Battlers
The core mechanics involve linking Battlefleet Armageddon to the wider Alien Worlds ecosystem, and now the free-to-play game is available via the GooglePlay and Apple Stores. An exciting asynchronous auto battler set within the Alien Worlds Metaverse, players get to control a fleet of ships from different factions and wage war against opponents from around the world.
“What’s truly interesting about the asynchronous auto battler genre is that, on the one hand, it combines this tactical depth that you have with auto battlers, but on the other hand, because of the asynchronous nature, it effectively allows an infinite number of concurrent players,” enthuses Aaron.
“One of the key problems to be solved in crypto gaming is the problem of low concurrency. The web3 gaming community is just much smaller than the web2 gaming community and user acquisition is often much tougher. What that creates is a lack of concurrency. For many games, especially multiplayer games, concurrency is extremely important.”
Aaron cites the example of Deadrop, the first-person shooter (GPS) vertical extraction game from Dr. Disrespect’s Midnight Society studio, which requires many players to be live at the exact same time.
What really drew us to this genre, why we think it’ll be a great fit for crypto, is that you can have a competitive multiplayer game which is very important to drive community. But at the same time, any player that’s ever played the game, their moves and set-up are locked into the system and they synchronize with everyone. So you’re essentially taking your total ever player count and turning that into your concurrent player count. Fundamentally, you’re playing against the ghosts of other players and against their play history. But because the game is structured in this special manner, it feels as if they are playing with you. So you get this sense of an extremely populated universe which is necessary to make multiplayer work.
When asked if there are any games that Battlefleet Armageddon can be compared to, Aaron likens the release to League of Legends spinoff Teamfight Tactics and Valve’s Dota Underlords, titles he describes as being on the forefront of the auto battler genre. A comparison that is likely to build even greater anticipation for the release – particularly since Alien Worlds NFT holders automatically unlock access to ultra-premium ships and upgrades according to the rarity of their token (in short, rarer tokens equal better ships). Those who don’t possess an NFT, meanwhile, can still roll to try and acquire premium crafts.
There are other ways in which Alien Worlds Explorers are incentivized to play Battlefleet Armageddon, such as through a community hub that gives players direct voting power over the game’s roadmap and the prospect of earning in-game currency that can unlock boosts, ship packs, and fleet upgrades.
“I’m really looking forward to hearing from the community,” says Aaron. “I think what’s special about Alien Worlds is that it’s a collaborative effort between not just projects but also players. I hope they enjoy it, and I’m excited to build it out together with everyone.”
Battlefleet Armageddon is available to play right now, from the GooglePlay and Apple Stores. If you hold an Alien Worlds NFT – or even if you don’t – you can get up and running in no time. Why not check it out?
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