Letter to Derby Stars Community — from Sean Hahm, Executive Producer
Hello, Derby Stars Community.
It’s Sean Hahm, the Executive Producer of Derby Stars.
First of all, I would like to thank you for supporting Derby Stars. We have successfully executed Polygon migration and Random Box Event. Thank you for all the attention.
More than a year has passed since we first introduced our project. Many things happened along the way and let’s be honest — the market is not in a good condition and many GameFi projects have not survived.
Some might say “it is not the best time to launch a game”, “the market looks bad and many projects have failed or been postponed indefinitely”. Yes, I fight with those doubts too.
Yet, Derby Stars survived and we are about to launch the game just as we promised.
I’m writing this letter not only to show my personal gratitude to our community but also to share my personal story — how I started this project and how I developed my dream for +20 years. The letter might be a little lengthy and somewhat emotional but I just wanted to show my strong affection for the game.
So, please follow me.
How It ALL Started
Yes, that’s me — young and fresh. Everything goes back to when I was in college. I was a typical college student who stayed all night to play video and computer games. With my life-long friend and best business partner, Byungdae Jung — current Tech Director of Derby Stars — we played so many great games together. Among those games, Derby Stallion — a Japanese horse racing game — was one of the best games I played and it was the game I spent most of my college years playing. (please don’t ask about my GPA😂)
Derby Stallion was not just a horse racing game, in which you just guess and watch which horse would win the race, but it was a business simulation game. The players have greater control over every aspect of horse racing — managing the stables, breeding, training, trading, etc.
When I first encountered this game, it was nothing short of mind-blowing. From that moment on, I was determined to create a game that gave players ultimate control and freedom to enjoy it however they desired. I envisioned a game that encouraged users to find new and innovative ways to have fun, rather than simply offering more content.
At that time, I was just one of many gaming geeks who always hung around with friends and played video games, but later on, I got closer and closer to the dream.
Pathway to Derby Stars
After unforgettable memories with Derby Stallion, I always dreamt of making a horse racing game someday. My dream came true sooner than I though. It was in 2011 when I made Derby Days at Com2us with Byungdae Jung, who enjoyed Derby Stallion together!
With Derby Days, we were able to take a big step forward in the world of horse racing games. The players could become the ranch owners, raise their horses, and send them to horse racing games to earn money. It quickly became popular in South East Asian countries and South Korea, proving the market’s interest in such a game.
I was happy to see so many people enjoying my game; however, after we ended the service, all the hard work of me and my team, and of the players who had invested their time and money into the game, was gone. This was not the game I had envisioned when I was in college — one in which players had full ownership and control over their gaming experience.
Also, the game itself was not satisfactory. I knew I could make a better horse racing game, in which racing gets more exciting by applying various factors that can change the result at any time. I wanted to give the users more control over the result of the racing.
It is scientifically proven that eating a little bit makes you more hungry. Derby Days did the same to me. I couldn’t stop thinking about making a better horse racing game, and it was the same for my teammates.
It’s Always the Players who Complete the Game
What makes a good game? This was question that remained in me after the making of Derby Days.
The answer came in quickly and it was simple: Players.
It’s the player that completes the game; but the problem with current game industries is it’s always the company that owns all the asset and decide what to do about the game. Players spend their money and time but nothing can be owned by the players. Also, players have no voice in making and managing the game. I always hated the top-down system of Web2 game industry
What if users can get more control by choosing the race track, weather, horse riders and even their outfits for the better performance of their race? More importantly, What if these assets are owned by users and eventually the game economy and development will be governed by the users as well?
Also, when you build a game, you’ll actually hear so much feedback and advice. A good game is created when the developer cares about the voice of users. Yet I have seen so many times that the game company fails to listen to the users and to meet their needs. Many times, users’ requests and questions are not answered, and users have nothing to do.
Thus, when I encountered this idea of Web 3 game or GameFi, the concept of ownership by the players was very appealing.
I wanted to create more than just a game with in-game items and currency as NFTs and tokens — I wanted to build an ownership economy that empowered players to actively contribute to the game and share the upside of their contributions, and ultimately, granting them power to own and control the game through an ecosystem. This would create an even more immersive gaming experience and introduce new levels of value — not to mention the ability to own the game assets forever and take advantage of their composability.
In Web3 games, gamers are not just users or players but long term partners who try to find the best way to build better game. Thus, the community is encouraged to succeed together.
Here Comes Derby Stars
Derby Stars is the game of my dreams and hopes. I’ve put everything I learned from +20 years of experience in the gaming industries and all the possibilities I saw in blockchain technology.
Derby Stars allows players to directly raise, breed, and race their horses, in a manner similar to other management games, providing an overall experience of controlling and growing the horses, as well as an overwhelming graphical experience from a long-standing game development and design team.
We are doing our utmost to create the most fun and exciting horse racing game. Yet, it is the players who will truly complete Derby Stars. We will provide an unparalleled level of security and transparency, meaning users can trust and be confident that their horses are being treated fairly. Players will have the freedom to breed and train their horses.
The players can own all the assets they make in the game and will have the power to use them however they wish. We are always listening to the players’ voices and share updates on our progress through townhall meetings and AMAs. (Check our recent townhall meeting recap)
All these years, I’ve loved horse racing games and I wanted everyone to know how fun it is! As it takes a long time for star light to reach the earth to shine before our eyes, it took more than 20 years for our team to finally get close to our dream. Despite the tough times and unfavorable circumstances, my team and I have never abandoned our long-awaited dream.
As promised, the early access of our game will be available on February, 2023. You can watch the play walkthrough of the M6 build of the game on Youtube while you are waiting. I’m incredibly grateful that our community has put their faith in our project and become part of it; after all, Derby Stars is a community-driven project and we will always communicate with our community every step of the way.
Hope you all have a wonderful New Year! 2023 will undoubtedly be the year of Derby Stars.
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About Derby Stars:
Derby Stars is a horse racing metaverse game where players can breed, grow, build and trade. It is a first-of-its-kind AAA play-to-earn game on Polygon blockchain. Built by a team of game veterans, Derby Stars aims to provide a high-quality player experience never seen before in an NFT game.