The ecosystem of games based on Blockchain technology is enjoying stellar growth. A broad array of gaming models, from metaverses to games focused on play-to-earn mechanics, are found today in large numbers in the ecosystem
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated growth in this sector, which according to Newzoo should grow at an annual rate of approximately 9% in the coming years. If we add to this the growing flow of activity, user numbers and market volume in decentralized applications (dApps) focused on gaming, the outlook looks quite promising.
While blockchain-based gaming platforms are fun and use incentive mechanisms (each its own approach) that manage to attract new audiences to the ecosystem, more technological progress is required to achieve mainstream adoption.
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Ethereum currently has the largest ecosystem of decentralized applications, according to data from DappRadar, with +84% dominance over TVL in billions of dollars. This year, the games sector surpassed DeFi in the number of users and transaction volume. And most of these applications will become part of the "games" sector.
However, because of the scalability limitations of Ethereum, non-user friendly UI/UX interfaces and other shortcomings resulting from the rigid architecture and rather limited programming language, newbies and outsiders to blockchain technology are hesitant to make use of these decentralized platforms.
As a consequence, many end up frustrated and neglecting these decentralized gaming platforms, sometimes preferring to risk security and centralization over decentralized ownership, due to the natural resistance to complex and inefficient user interfaces.
#Substrate: Web3 for Gaming Blockchains
Since the collection of Web3 libraries has made it possible to interact with a local or remote Ethereum node through HTTP, IPC or WebSocket, developers have been able to develop decentralized applications focused on gaming through client-blockchain interaction.
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The Substrate blockchain framework has made substantial progress in the development of the Web3 Gaming Blockchain by enabling native gaming dApps to “scale” on Ethereum and new applications to be created that are compatible with the largest blockchain ecosystem.
The results are amazing and specific to the client/end user product: more powerful dynamic interfaces, and quicker loading times and execution of interactive smart contracts on the Ethereum Blockchain.
In addition, the low cost of transaction fees compared to the high gas fees of Ethereum end up hooking most newbies on blockchain technology, which is being reflected in the increasing numbers we are observing in transaction volume and users in the different dApps of the Substrate-based ecosystem.
#ParaState: Ethereum-Substrate Key Bridge
To bring these improvements to dApp development for the blockchain-based gaming sector, ParaState, a highly scalable multi-chain platform, has built a smart contract virtual machine (VM) for Substrate-based blockchains.
ParaState expands the frontier of Ethereum with its innovative SSVM Ewasm pallet, a leading standard in the blockchain industry that expands the programming possibilities of smart contracts, while providing a technological foundation in Substrate that guarantees high execution speeds in a more secure environment.
ParaState recognises that the entire blockchain industry go through Ethereum at some point to take advantage of the large number of users and applications that support it, and while awaiting ETH 2.0 improvements to arrive, ensures the problems inherent in its virtual machine will not continue to be an impediment for the success and development of all blockchain metaverses.
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From high transaction speeds to more robust smart contracts, SSVM Ewasm offers developers in the gaming sector the ability to deploy new functionalities according to the demands of players in a wide variety of programming languages, allowing the end user to experience Web3 .0 in all its glory.
The Ethereum virtual machine is also compatible with the ParaState virtual environment, which allows cross-string compatibility at both source code and bytecode levels, allowing the Ethereum ecosystem to be sustainable alongside a broad base of new development languages that include LLVM standards, in addition to Solidity.
#General example of how to build Web3 Games in Substrate
Web3 Games is a blockchain-based gaming ecosystem on Substrate. To build the next generation of the gaming ecosystem on Substrate you must install Rust:
curl https://sh.rustup.rs -sSf | sh
Initialize your Wasm Build environment:
Build Wasm and native code:
cargo build --release
If you are running a development chain from a single node, you can purge any existing developer chain status:
./target/release/web3games-node purge-chain --dev
Then start a development chain with:
Detailed logs can be displayed by running the node with the following environment variables set:
RUST_LOG=debug RUST_BACKTRACE=1 cargo run -- --dev
For multiple nodes, you only need to create a local test network with two or more validator nodes, assigning each node a name and exposing them on different TCP ports for them to be listed on the Polkadot telemetry site.
#Some examples of Web3 Blockchain Games on Substrate
In order to get an idea of the potential at the level of performance and costs when building gaming dApps in Substrate with ParaState, let's take a look at the top three Web3 blockchain games built on Substrate.
"An expandable GameFi universe where anyone can monetize their gaming and social media experiences." This platform combines gaming with the DeFi sector so that players can earn rewards through skillful play and contributions to the ecosystem combining the play-to-earn and build-to-earn mechanics.
The platform introduces elements of decentralized finance such as staking, mining, farming and a decentralized market of NFTs for the commercialization of the digital assets of the game.
Currently CheersLand has launched its first classic mini-game, Crypto Pirates on the Binance Smart Chain.
This cross-chain NFT market, offering interaction of non-fungible tokens between Ethereum and Polkadot , takes advantage of the low-cost and high-speed potential offered by the Substrate architecture to explore the use of NFTs within gaming.
PolkaFantasy offers play-to-earn game play with exclusive rewards through a simple interface using an NFT wallet, based on the culture of games, comics and Japanese animation.
Substrate natively offers options beyond traditional games. Bit.Country demonstrates how the technical capabilities can be used to take advantage of the gaming trends of the moment.
Bit.Country is a platform that allows non-technical users to build their own metaverse. Developers can use the available API to build their scalable and secure smart contract games and dApps on Substrate, making use of powerful and familiar programming languages like Rust.
Additionally, by nature, it enables cross-chain interoperability and an Ethereum compatibility layer through the industry-leading WebAssembly (WASM) environment.
The platform hopes to develop the first Bit.Country genesis metaverse in stage 3 of its roadmap to grow the community.