How Cartesi is Changing the Game: Introducing Cartesi Texas HODL’em

A solution for complex decentralized turn-based games

Cartesi
Cartesi
Jun 29 · 13 min read

Introduction

As one of the largest industries in IT, online gaming is estimated to currently attract 1 billion users worldwide and generate USD 18 billion in revenue. However, as enticing and entertaining as these games are, the current model generally revolves around centralized servers controlled by the software companies that develop them. As such, users often invest an unbelievable amount of energy and time in these games, exposing themselves to be left in complete disarray if the company shuts the game down or changes the game’s rules in a way that is harmful to the player. For instance, users sometimes spend sizable amounts of money to acquire game assets, only to watch them become useless in the blink of an eye.

Use case: Poker (or any turn-based card game)

To better illustrate the scenario presented above, we will now more closely examine the concrete use case of a decentralized Poker game.

Cartesi’s solution

Now that the real use case of implementing a decentralized Poker game has been laid out, let us present Texas HODL’em, a fully working solution to the problem in the form of the classical Texas Hold’em variant of Poker. This solution has already been implemented by the Cartesi team, and showcases the power and potential that its unique technology brings to the blockchain application space.

Overview

First of all, as discussed in the previous session, the basic decentralization of the game is achieved by using a Mental Poker algorithm. Here, Cartesi allows us to take advantage of an existing well-known cryptographic library called LibTMCG, which is written in C++.and provides a toolbox of algorithms derived from advanced academic research.

Architecture

To better grasp how all of this works, let us take a look at the main building blocks of the solution:

Generality for turn-based games

If one takes a closer look at the architecture described above, it can be seen that this solution effectively decouples the logic that is specific to Poker from a more general framework that is capable of mediating and validating the results of any turn-based game.

Notes on design decisions

First of all, it should be emphasized that Texas HODL’em is intended as a showcase of Cartesi’s technology and its potential, and is not a consumer-ready product at this stage.

Conclusions

Texas HODL’em is the very first fully decentralized Poker game that runs on the Ethereum blockchain, and we believe this represents a real breakthrough achievement for blockchain applications in general. Moreover, specifically concerning the gaming industry, the proposed architecture opens up the possibility for the immediate development of a wide variety of decentralized turn-based games, from chess to complex battle strategy games, and often without needing to code a single line of Solidity. We believe this showcases the power and potential of Cartesi to help bridge the gap between blockchain development and real world applications, and bring decentralization to its full potential.

What’s next

At the moment of writing, we are finalizing the integration of the Texas HODL’em web application with the other modules of the solution. Nevertheless, each part already runs by itself: the TurnBasedGame contracts trigger a verification using Descartes, the Mental Poker Engine and its cryptography can run a full game both in the browser and in a Cartesi Machine, and the application UI is ready. You can check it all out right now on Cartesi’s public repository on Github!

About Cartesi

Cartesi is a multi-chain layer-2 infrastructure that allows any software developer to create smart contracts with mainstream software tools and languages they are used to while achieving massive scalability and low costs. Cartesi combines a groundbreaking virtual machine, optimistic rollups and side-chains to revolutionize the way developers create blockchain applications.

Cartesi

Smart Contracts Taken to the Next Level

Cartesi

Cartesi’s optimistic rollups are evolutionizing smart contract programming by allowing developers to code with mainstream software stacks. Noether is Cartesi’s side-chain that’s optimized for ephemeral data, providing low-cost data availability to DApps.

Cartesi

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Cartesi

Smart Contracts Taken to the Next Level

Cartesi

Cartesi’s optimistic rollups are evolutionizing smart contract programming by allowing developers to code with mainstream software stacks. Noether is Cartesi’s side-chain that’s optimized for ephemeral data, providing low-cost data availability to DApps.