Time to rethink FOMO games. Again.

Eska Roy
Eska Roy
Feb 24 · 8 min read

You’re shaking off the last colds of Crypto-Winter.

Your portfolio is looking green again.

You feel rising optimism all around, fueled by the likes of EthDenver.

There’s no greater time than to resume gambling irresponsibly.

Enter the Slugroad: https://snailking.github.io/slugroad

(What, did you think this was going to be an ad for Fomo3d?)


What: a new FOMO game, on not only 1, but 3 blockchains at once!

Where: ETH, POA, xDAI.

When:

  • Friday the 1st of March, 9 PM UTC for the ETH track
  • Saturday the 2nd of March, 6 PM UTC for the POA track
  • Sunday the 3rd of March, 3 PM UTC for the xDAI track

Why: ahh, now you’re asking the right question.


STARTING AT THE BEGINNING

A steadfast follower of snail games such as you, dear reader, is surely aware of SnailThrone. To jolt your memory: https://medium.com/@thesnailking/snailthrone-the-new-fip-game-on-ethereum-dedff7660e98

The SnailThrone combined aspects of pyramid, idlefarm and fomogame. Previous issues with the formula were identified, and solved.

But then, there’s the beauty of smart contracts: as you fix one problem, new challenges emerge.

For SnailThrone in particular, the FOMO aspect dimmed out after the initial rush. The game did many things at once, leaving too little incentive for the FOMO jackpot.

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Don’t let that turn you away from SnailThrone. Another aspect of the game is much more successful: dividends from all other snail games.

So far, Snail holders have received a collective 15% of extra ETH. And this will continue as more snail games come out.

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Let’s focus on Slugroad now.


PYRAMID VS FOMOGAME

What’s the difference between a pyramid and a fomogame?

It could be a trick question. Their mechanics are largely similar.

In both games, you get tokens entitling you to dividends from further buys.

The difference lies in what you can do with these tokens.

In pyramids, you can sell them back. In fomogames, you keep them for a given amount of time (be it until the end of a round, or forever).

This is a key difference: by removing the ability to sell, fomogames free up a large amount of the ETH that would be saved for these sells.

That ETH can be redirected towards dividends and the fomopot.

However, we reach one of the problems mentioned in the SnailThrone article: with a perpetually rising price and no upper bound on dividends, a Fomogame is all about getting in first.

There’s no strategy to the game, beyond hoping there’ll be enough people falling to greed after your own buy.

How do we turn this into a real strategic choice?


There’s another characteristic of both pyramids and fomogames we haven’t mentioned in the past.

Well, it’s more of a psychological trick.

In one word: reinvest.

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Most pyramids and fomogames will allow you to “reinvest” your earned dividends, netting you more tokens.

This concept plays on our ideas of traditional finance. We’ve all heard of compounding interest. If getting 20% of 100 ETH is good, getting 20% of 120 ETH is even better, right?

Big mistake.

Compounding your investment makes sense in the case of *actual* investments.

Companies producing real value, which results in growth.

(Or at least, who can fake it convincingly enough to be part of the economy for a while.)

The situation is different in a zerosum game where the mechanics benefit early adopters.

“Reinvest” is a trick to lure you into putting your money back in the system before you’ve even taken your initial out.

Players who get in first profit, and you’re left holding the proverbial bag when the flow of money dries up.

Can we change “reinvest” from a scam to a legitimate tactic?


THE SLUGROAD MODEL

Buy Slugs (tokens). Get divs from them. Keep your Slugs forever.

“Forever?”, I can hear you think. Wouldn’t that repeat the early adopter problem?

That’s if the Slug price only rises.

(Also, it’s not necessarily forever forever. More on that later!)

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Slugroad is played in rounds (called “loops”). The price of a Slug adjusts with the current jackpot (“loopChest”), but is then divided by the loop number.

The further we go in the game, the less you have to spend to get Slugs.

Going big right away could get you dividends from everyone else, but at the risk of watching everyone else hold on until the next round, and see your share massively diluted.

Waiting for the next round might net you more Slugs, but might also make you miss out on early divs should many players buy first.

No more get early and win. The game becomes a balancing act.

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With this, we can also take care of reinvest.

Slugroad lets you “Skip Ahead”, using your rewards to get more Slugs… As if you were one Loop into the future.

In other words, there’s a material advantage tied to reinvesting. Rather than a trap for the gullible, it becomes a worthwhile bonus to increase your stake.

Only the rewards you earned in the game can be used to Skip Ahead. This puts a natural upper bound on the above bonus.

With that, even withdrawing to your wallet becomes a meaningful action: if you take out your rewards, you give up on getting more Slugs at a privileged rate.

In short: for a similar level of risk as before, the payoff multiplies.

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Now, if you’re paying attention, you might think: the above changes aren’t enough to fix the early adopter issue.

We’ve fixed the problem from loop to loop. But within a loop, it still makes sense to be the first to buy.

Remember when we said “the price of a Slug adjusts with the loopChest?”

That’s right. It rises as the loopChest rises… and lowers as the loopChest lowers.

And in Slugroad, winning the round isn’t the only way to drain the loopChest.

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Let’s talk about Loops.

In the beginning, the SnailGod created a Lambo. Now the Lambo drove over formless and empty plains, darkness all over the surface.

Then Slugs said, “Let us hijack it”, and they hijacked it. Slugs saw driving a Lambo was good, especially putting a pedal to the metal.

A new Loop starts with the Lambo driving at 100 MPH. Then, it gradually accelerates at a rate of ~5.35 MPH, to a maximum of 1000 MPH.

At 1000 MPH, it enters Hyperspeed.

Hyperspeed is a special mode during which the current driver drains the loopChest. This lasts up to 1 hour, at which point the Lambo can “Time Warp”: giving the full loopChest to the driver, and starting a new Loop.

Anyone can hijack the Lambo by buying at least 200 slugs (whether through a buy, or a “skip ahead”).

Another way to become the driver: throw slugs at the Lambo — a sacrifice of 200 slugs.

If the Lambo is hijacked before Hyperspeed ends, the previous driver gets no reward. A driver has to “jump out” to secure their gains. In doing so, they forfeit their claim on the Lambo.

Finally, every driver accumulates miles as they drive. Once they relinquish their seat, they can trade miles in batches of 6000 for 1% of the loopChest.

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We’ve dropped several game mechanics on you. Now to go into their purpose.

There’s two ways through which the loopChest can lower during a Loop: drivers jumping out during Hyperspeed, and players trading miles for rewards.

The longer a Loop goes, the more miles drivers accumulate, and the more likely the loopChest is drained partially.

It could even be possible for the loopChest to be drained so much, later players would pay less for their Slugs than early adopters!

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By now, you might note just like the loopChest, the amount of Slugs doesn’t only go up.

While you keep your Slugs for as long as you want, there’s the option to burn them to get back in the driver seat.

In essence, you get two shots at the pot for the price of one: first when you buy in, and then at your convenience.

There lies another tradeoff, between keeping Slugs for dividends, or trading them for the many ways you can get extra rewards: accumulating miles, draining the pot, and holding the wheel until you win it entirely.

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For the most part, we keep the simplicity of a Fomogame, where actions are limited to buying, reinvesting and withdrawing rewards.

We throw in an extra “second chance” to win the pot, for players willing to sacrifice their tokens.

Through new parameters, we change each of these actions into meaningful choices, with their pros and cons.

That’s it for the game mechanics. Onto the next point!


MULTI-NETWORK RELEASE

As mentioned earlier, Slugroad will release on three different blockchains.

On each blockchain, the respective smart contract is a track.

There’s no interoperability between tracks. However, game numbers are tweaked to create different experiences on each network.

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On Ethereum, most of the incoming ETH will go to dividends.

With a large seed feeding the loopChest, and slower transactions on this network, this track is intended as a slow burn version.

The Ethereum track also pays 10% of its incoming ETH to the SnailThrone, as with other Snail games.

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On POA, the lion’s share goes straight to the loopChest.

Designed for an explosive start right away, the POA track will reward whoever battles for that first win.

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On xDai, we attempt to strike a balance.

Fitting the network’s theme of stability, the xDai track funnels a fair amount of xDai into the slugBank.

We haven’t mentioned the slugBank yet, have we ?

To make sure the game doesn’t peter out right after the first round, incoming crypto doesn’t go straight to the loopChest.

Instead, we split it between the loopChest and the slugBank.

The slugBank acts as a reserve pot, used once a round ends. Half of the slugBank refills the loopChest.

Hence, there is always incentive to play the long game on all three versions; but especially on the xDai track, which will give the slugBank the greatest allocation out of all three tracks.


CONCLUSION

Slugroad aims to keep the appeal of Fomogames:

  • simplicity
  • endless divs
  • a deterministic lottery

Victory isn’t as binary as in traditional Fomogames, where bots watched the end of a round to snatch the whole pot. Players can drain the loopChest bit by bit, giving incentive for active decisions as opposed to automation.

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Our standard disclaimer, as always: like all games of this type, Slugroad is zerosum.

Don’t play with more than you can afford to lose!

Slugroad includes upper limits on buy amounts: on the ETH track, no more than 1 ETH at once. On Poa, no more than 500 POA; and on xDai, no more than 40 xDAI.

While you could play with more by buying through several transactions, we encourage you to see these limits as a hint for the upper range of what you should be spending on these respective tracks.

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Tune in next weekend to hijack the Lambo.

In the meantime, feel free to join us on Discord or follow Snail news on Twitter.

Discord: https://discord.gg/JU8P4Ru

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EtherSnailFarm

Thank you for reading!

Eska Roy

Written by

Eska Roy

Chasing my lifelong dream of making snails/eggs themed games on Ethereum and POA

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