What the hell is BitBums?
Ever had your face smashed up with a retro Atari keyboard by a homeless nerd shilling fake internet money, while other nerds in weird dog t-shirts throw improvised pop can ninja stars at you?
No? Well, that’s basically BitBums.
BitBums is a web based RPG game, commonly referred to as a ‘tick-based game.’
You can find the site at https://www.bitbums.net/
What is BitBums about?
The game is a satire in which players take control of a character who sold all their possessions at the height of the Bitcoin boom. They quit their job, sold their house to live in a van and put all their money into buying more Bitcoin.
When the Bitcoin market crashed, your character was still a true believer. They drove around in their van until they found a collection of other “BitBums”, nerds, geeks and hard-core libertarians alike, living in a cardboard city in an underpass beneath the highway.
This “CryptoCity” was filled with true believers, who had built their own society and economy run on their own cryptocurrency called “Bottlecaps” and a healthy love of fighting, and a weird table-top game called “Tiny Soldiers 30,000.”
You start off in CryptoCity with little to your name except some pretty useless fiat currency. Your goal is to fight, learn, steal and grow your way to the top. Build makeshift mining rigs out of random scrap parts you find, and become the richest, most powerful and all around coolest BitBum.
Don’t worry if you aren’t yet powerful enough to fight other players yet, there are of course an army of endless, evil, NPC shills based on all your favorite (and least favorite) crypto stereotypes, ready for you to battle at a moments notice.
You’ll also take part in a tabletop empire management mini-game called “Tiny Soldiers 30,000” to build buildings and capture territory within CryptoCity to give your character powerful buffs.
Hey! You made fun of my favorite cryptocurrency, which is actually super awesome because of reasons X, Y and Z!
Yup. That’s how satire works. We make fun of everything, even the good cryptocurrencies — which your favorite one totally is, no doubt about it!
Umm… but I don’t know anything about cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin or Blockchains?
That’s totally ok.
No knowledge of them is required to play BitBums. You may miss out on a few of the jokes that make fun of crypto culture, but you can still play the game.
You’ll earn things like Bottlecaps and other crypto rewards throughout the game, these work just like points, gems, or other premium upgrade currencies you find in many popular online and mobile games.
The only difference is that because these items will be tokens, you’ll be able to securely move them out of the game, buy or sell them on secondary markets, and even transfer them into our other game publications.
What if I do know about Crypto?
Well then, you’ll love this game even more. During our Alpha and Beta the game items and currencies will be stored in a centralized database as we work on balancing, security and anti-fraud measures. But, long term, the game’s assets will move to be decentralized:
- Bottlecaps will be a cryptocurrency token ERC-20.
- Rare items (weapons, armors and ‘rig parts’) will be represented by a series of ERC-721 tokens.
- Avatars, titles and other cosmetic items will also be NFT tokens, making them entirely unique collectible items.
When can I withdraw or deposit items?
During the game’s Alpha there will be no withdrawal of assets. Later in the Alpha, we may allow the depositing of some cryptocurrency assets for testing purposes. These testing opportunities will be limited to Alpha users who are also “Donators” or “VIPs”.
During the early stages Closed Beta, we’ll start the ability for all users to deposit supported cryptocurrency assets including a number of ERC-20 assets. Users will be able to use these assets to pay for premium services (such as Donator or VIP status), purchase premium currencies (Points), interact with certain in-game merchants who only accept cryptocurrency, or trade them on the market for other in-game currencies (such as Points, Fiat, and Bottlecaps).
Later in the Closed Beta, users will be able to purchase ads on BitBums using Points or Bottlecaps.
During the early phases of Open Beta, we’ll begin to allow users to withdraw assets to their wallet. This will start by rolling out to VIPs, then Donators and finally all users.
What is the current state of the game?
Currently, we plan to begin the Alpha test of BitBums in Q2 of 2020.
We’ve set milestones in place for the transition from Alpha to Closed Beta, and will roll the game over to a closed Beta whenever those milestones are achieved. However, in order to be fair to our Kickstarter supporters, we will not open up to Closed Beta users any later than 6-months from the launch of our private Alpha.
As with our Alpha, our Closed Beta also has a set of milestones that need to be achieved prior to our Public Beta. Our Closed Beta will continue for no more than 12 months before becoming a Public Beta. However, users will be able to buy early access to the Closed Beta at any time, although it will cost roughly 2.5x the cost of access purchased during the Kickstarter and will not include any of the perks.
Our Public Beta will be the game’s longest phase of development and testing. Any players may join at this point, but, should understand the risks of using a Beta game. We expect the time from Public Beta to Stable 1.0 to be a period of roughly 12 to 24 months, but, there is no firm cap on the official roll out to Stable 1.0
Alpha, Beta, Stable — What’s the difference?
In an Alpha test phase, only the basic mechanics and features of the game exist. In fact it is considerably the shell of the game, and lots of future features simply don’t exist. Bugs are frequent and expected, and roll backs and edits often need to take place when solving challenges. Players who join Alpha tests get to help shape the direction of the game, and provide early feedback. Since there is the chance of progress loss and item loss during an Alpha test, we also reward users by drastically discounting any paid items and creating unique collectible rewards for Alpha players. Players who join Alpha games love to be involved, help set the tone and love a healthy dose of risk for the best rewards.
In a Closed Beta, a number of new features and integrations exist, but they are still considered highly buggy to the point that it would be too frustrating to the average player to play the game. The rewards and perks for being a Closed Beta Tester are good, although not as good as being part of the Alpha stage. Players who join in a Closed Beta prefer a slightly more refined experience, but can still tolerate a fair amount of risk, bugginess, brokenness and roll backs.
In a Public Beta test phase, most of the initial launch features that are planned are in place and considered stable…ish. While bugs are still likely to be found, they are the exception rather than the rule. Beta tests are the final test before going live, it’s basically like saying “Ok, I think we’ve got everything in place, but we probably missed something so help us find it!” There are minor rewards for being part of the games Public Beta, as there is still some risk of broken features, rollbacks or loses. However, at this stage the main changes are often balancing changes that may be frustrating to players who spent time optimizing certain stats, only to find them not as useful as before.
Stable is when the game is production ready and any major issues have been worked out. Only minor bugs should appear from here on out.
There are major advantages to playing games during the Alpha and Beta stages, but, some players don’t like the risk of drastic changes, or can’t stand bugs or broken features and so may opt to wait for stable games.
Is your Alpha and Beta continuous?
Yes. Any progress players make, or items they collect during the Alpha and Beta will kept and carried forward to the full launch.
Won’t Alpha and Beta players always be the best then?
No. While Alpha and Beta will offer a number of perks to players, there are also some limitations in place to prevent Alpha and Beta players from entirely monopolizing the game. These include level caps, limits to the amount of territory players can control, and limits to the number of mining rigs a character can own.
Plus, a number of important features won’t be released until after Stable 1.0 and Alpha and Beta players won’t have a head start in those.
You mentioned “Paid Items” is BitBums just another Pay-to-Win game?
Online games are a tough industry these days. The tick-based games of the past used to make their living off of desktop ads, which isn’t a feasible business model anymore and so many switched to micro-transactions.
Creating revenue from a game with microtransactions while not disrupting the power balance of the game is tough, but something that we at BitBums take very seriously.
While players will be able to purchase items and memberships in the game, we’ve committed to a few key guidelines to keep this fair:
- The monthly Donator membership which gives the most perks of any paid item will be affordable.
- A higher priced VIP subscription will allow players additional perks such as API access, guild messaging credits, the ability to be a leader or vice leader in a guild, and other such features that are nice to have but not overly advantageous in terms of the raw game mechanics.
- All game items and functions related to player energy that are purchasable using real life money (via Points or crypto) can also be purchased with in-game money you can earn.
- Anything that players choose to buy should have diminishing returns. (i.e. If you buy 10 paid items, it may only be 3x as useful as if you bought one.)
- Our biggest focus of paid items will be cosmetic items.
- Paid items will never be needed to unlock any part of the game.
- The game will strongly reward activity/online time and effort to offset any pay-to-win scenario.
- I will let players buy a soul crushing ratty Bitconnect t-shirt that lowers their own defense by 50%.
How does BitBums work?
In BitBums players gain “Energy” every “Tick” (5-15 minutes for free players and 2–10 minutes for Donators & VIP players depending on a players skills). This energy is stored by the player until it reaches the max amount they can hold.
The energy that a player has can be used for a number of tasks:
- Learning (increasing skills)
- Fighting other players (to gain experience and money)
- Fighting NPCs (to gain experience and prizes)
- Rummage (to try and find scrap parts)
- Exploring (exploring the city)
- Quests (to complete components of quests and adventures)
- Building Mining Rigs (to earn Bottlecaps)
- Repairing Mining Rigs
- Managing their army in Tiny Soldiers 30,000
- And many more features to come.
What is the goal of BitBums?
That’s a little bit different for each player.
Some players will compete to be the highest level, or the strongest BitBums, others might compete to be the richest, or have the best Tiny Soldiers army.
Since BitBums is on a blockchain and allows for the easy sale of in-game items, some might play it to earn some extra beer money.
Last, and probably least, some people will actually play it for the community that clusters around a web based satire about nerds fighting for Bottlecaps.
Can I Play BitBums on Mobile?
You can damn well try!
We don’t currently have official mobile support, yet. A mobile version of the website is on the way, and mobile apps (with more extensive graphics and animations) is planned for the future, but won’t be on our active roadmap until after the stable launch.
Let’s be reasonable though, unless you’ve been living under a rock or in the medieval ages then you’ve got a smart phone or tablet that has full browser support and you can play this just fine.
Do I have to worry about any KYC/AML or legal stuff?
At this time, we have no reason to believe that BitBums represents a money services business in any jurisdiction. Especially during the early stages of the game where items and currency can not be withdrawn or traded.
In the unlikely event that some state, regional or country specific laws prevent players in that country from using BitBums we will provide a settings toggle for those players to play in “Non-Chain Mode” which will disable the features that prevent play in that jurisdiction.
What currencies can be used in BitBums?
Players will interact with, learn about, and earn a number of different cryptocurrencies playing BitBums. Different tasks will require different cryptocurrencies which players will be able to either earn in the game, deposit, or buy using in-game resources from the Resource Bazaar.
NPCs and upgrades for mining rigs and items can require:
- Fiat (our in-game currency)
- Bottlecaps (our in-game cryptcurrency)
- Points (our in-game premium currency)
Tiny Soldiers 30,000/Kingdoms may require currencies including:
Player operated shops may accept any supported currency.
Our in-game store for purchasing Points, Donator Subscriptions, and VIP Subscriptions will accept hundreds of other coins and ERC-20 tokens.
While cryptocurrencies are part of the resources needed for late game upgrades, they are fractional amounts of a currency needed, can be earned within the game, bought for in-game resources and are not necessary for progression within the game.
Is BitBums having an ICO/Pre-Sale?
Not in the traditional sense of ICOs.
BitBum, like many indie video games, will be hosting a pre-launch crowdfunding campaign.
The campaign will be available both on Kickstarter (for payments using credit cards) and on our own store using cryptocurrency.
For contributing to the crowdfunding sale players will receive perks such as early access, discount donator or VIP time in the game, custom cosmetic items and early access lootboxes that main contain some items and cryptocurrency.
Each sale will also offer a few unique perks, just to keep things interesting!
Does the Pre-Sale need to succeed for the game to launch?
Nope. We’ve been in development for 1.5 years and are sufficiently self-funded for our launch.
If the pre-sale is not successful, we simply won’t be adding in our stretch goals and players won’t unlock any of the unique one time perks.
Your marketing and your staff seem rude and flippant!/You made fun of my project!/You hurt my feelings!
Satire. Our tone is flippant because satire.
We love crypto. We think it’s rad. But, we also think it is hilarious to see a multi-billion dollar industry stem from magic internet money, started by a guy no one knows, filled with moons and HODLs, and the idolization of a Doge.
That’s awesome. But, it’s also funny and kind of crazy. We should always be able to laugh at ourselves — especially when we’re doing crazy things.
If we can’t laugh at ourselves, that suggests what we are doing is not crazy and awesome, but we’re actually worried about it.
So stop worrying, drop those bags, and come play a game where you can laugh at yourself and one another.
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Maybe you have to beat him to find out?
I have more questions!
Great — but, I’m out of coffee. So for now, write them in the comments below and one of my underlings…I mean, colleagues, will get back to you shortly!