A Quick Lap with Battle Racers — Steemit
Summary of my Beta test with Altitude Games’ Battle Racers
There is something fitting about an arcade racing game built on top of a blockchain that uses gas to fuel its transactions. I mean, kitties and punks are cool, but a tokenized race car sounds just a bit more exciting. Thankfully Battle Racers is here to solve this problem and I took it for a test drive to see how it performs at this early stage of development. This Quick Lap will go over just the basics of what Battle Racers has to offer and will be followed up by in depth analysis into Battle Racers economy and features as the project progresses.
What is Battle Racers?
Battle Racers is a fast paced arcade web browser racing game being developed by the seasoned team at Altitude Games. The collectible car game is hosted within the metaverse of Decentraland, an in development VR universe running on the Ethereum blockchain. On a very meta level it is really a game within a game that is accessible on its own from any browser that is web 3 enabled. Battle Racers is free to download and only requires that you have a web browser with either Metamask installed or be using a web 3 browser such as Trust Wallet.
What can I do in BR?
Battle Racers is at its core a game about collecting, building, racing, and of course, battling cars. It feels like a combination between Ironman Ivan Stewart’s Off Road and the slot car racing games of the 1960’s, in a good way. The basic premise is that players purchase crates that contain random car parts that are pieced together to create cars with varying looks and stats. Players can pay an entrance fee to race their Frankenstein vehicles against each other for glory and of course, more car parts and weapons. There are thousands of unique car combinations, each made up of parts with unique stats and appearances. Experimenting with different combinations of parts will be instrumental in determining the meta strategies in the end game of Battle Racers.
Is it a Blockchain Game?
BR and Decentraland are based on the Ethereum blockchain, which is a fancy way of saying the race cars that you build and win are permanent, unique, cannot be duplicated, and most importantly CAN be sold and traded to other players. Players collect car parts and combine them into cars that reside on the Loom sidechain. Players can take these cars on the practice track for free before minting them into permanent ERC-721 tokens that can be used to race in entrance fee gated races where you can win rewards and improve your standing on the leader boards.
Layered on top of the cars and their unique stats are weapons and items that can only be obtained through winning races. These items are described well in this article by NurdADD and consist of different types of rockets, traps, and boosts. Players can use these items during the course of the race to strategically outsmart their opponents, combining the stats of their vehicle with the exact items they think will give them an edge over the other three competitors.
Why is It Special?
Normally playing a blockchain game like Battle Racers would require you to have an Ethereum wallet pre-loaded with ether before you could even try the game out. BR changes that with their practice tracks that are free to play. This allows you to experiment with different car combinations that you create without having to endure the endless transaction fees you experience in many other Dapps. It also allows people that stumble upon this blockchain game to not even realize it is hosted on a blockchain at all, boosting the on boarding potential massively.
Battle Racers also has a item centered economy where players are encouraged to open as many crates as possible to maximize their chances of getting rare items worth a higher value. This is different from the economies of games like Cryptokitties or Axie Infinity where breeding the right pairs can yield better results. Instead, the focus in Battle Racers will be on opening crates to obtain the parts you need to win races and further outfit your vehicles.
Since weapons and items can only be obtained by winning races, cars that have a proven track record will most likely fetch a higher price on the open market. Minting a car into a token will cost a fee and will combine four unique parts into one car token. This has a dual effect of taking items out of the economy and also setting a base value for a minted car, helping to ensure a stable base price for the items. There is also an entrance fee for any race which means that items and weapons will also have an inherit base value, although it is not clear whether items will be trade able to other players. Battle Racers appears to have a healthy economy driven by demand and a limited supply that is throttled by the price of crates, randomness, and the winning of races. In addition, the unique symbiosis between Decentraland and Battle Racers means that owners of land within Decentraland can host their own custom race tracks and possibly earn revenue from the entrance fees for races.
Well, how did it Handle?
Battle Racers is as fun as it is intriguing. When you first load up the game, by simply visiting a web address, you quickly see that playing Battle Racers is more involved that just selecting a car and clicking race. Playing Battle Racers means taking control of a 3d avatar and navigating yourself in a fully realized 3D environment where you interact with other racers as well as other players exploring the world of Decentraland. This adds an interesting social element that should make for some entertaining tournament, streaming and commentary opportunities.
The graphics are a little rough around the edges, which is to say the team has done an absolutely amazing job given the limited resources you are given to create any experiences within Decentraland. Within these limitations BR manages to show great detail in the appearance of the cars, tracks, and the overall look of the racing arena. Most surprising to me was how smooth the movement of the race cars was on the tracks and the responsiveness when using items during races. There were graphical glitches and slowdown, but not nearly to the level I would expect to see in a blockchain project at this stage of development.
The racing itself is automated and is similar to how Crypt-oink or Axie Sushi Races performs. The real strategy comes from the chemistry between the car you create and how you use the items you select. Since finding the weapons and car parts you need will involve lots of skill, trading and luck the racing should have an added element of suspense. Learning to time your boosts just right and having the patience to save your shield for the perfect moment will be key to survival in Battle Racers, but I expect the meta to change drastically as the team expands the items available in the garage.
I found myself spamming my items every time they became available and there was definitely some bias towards boosts and shields, but the game play loop felt rewarding and the experience was fun and engaging. As long as the team at Altitude Games takes the time to balance and tweak the cars and items , I think they have a solid racing game.
What else should I know?
Battle Racers has an upcoming item sale starting on the 15th of May where they will be selling crates with car parts that will only be sold during this pre launch event. You can participate in the pre-sale by using my referral link or by navigating to the pre sale page from the Battle Racers website from any web 3 enabled browser. CryptoBlockDan has a great breakdown of the various crates that will be sold along with an analysis on how you should spend your Eth if you decide to take part. More information on Battle Racers can be found on their website although I strongly encourage you to check out their discord channel to meet their friendly community and developers. I will see you all on the track when Battle Racers launches later this year!
Notice: nothing contained here is financial or investing advise. This is just the opinion of one DApp gamer and blockchain enthusiast.
Originally published at https://steemit.com on May 11, 2019.