How the CryptoKitties team plays the game they helped build
We’re updating our policies on how our team members can play CryptoKitties
From the moment we decided to bring breedable, non-fungible, and verifiably special cats to the blockchain in July 2017, those of us tasked with building CryptoKitties were faced with two distinct and substantial challenges:
- how to design a super cool game the community would love to play, and…
- how to preserve the sanctity of its in-game economy.
The former is a conundrum hardly unique to us — every game developer wrestles with how to get people to play their game.
The latter, on the other hand, is a less common hurdle. There’s an undeniable financial component to CryptoKitties; players have exchanged substantial sums via the platform by buying and selling their Kitties. To some, these cats will always be investments.
How, then, do we provide an autonomous environment for that commerce to thrive, free from anyone with access to confidential game information?
Our original Play Policy for team members
We initially chose to restrict the development team’s ability to play the game. This meant certain members of the CryptoKitties team — those with access to privileged information that lent them an unfair advantage — primarily experienced the game in a test environment.
The rest of our team was required to follow a strict set of policies governing how they interact with the game.
Our intention as stewards of CryptoKitties has always been to do right by the community. Instituting clearly-defined restraints, which meant abstinence in some cases, is how we thought it best to accomplish that.
The tradeoff, however, was that some of us couldn’t play the game in the same way our community does. Of course, the team’s work up until this point hasn’t been done entirely in the dark — far from it. They’ve had clear insights into how to continue evolving CryptoKitties and done a great job shepherding its growth. But the game’s highs and lows, best experienced in a live CryptoKitties setting, have been a blind spot for some team members.
We decided to address this.
The updated CryptoKitties Play Policy and Code of Ethics
We’ve updated our team’s Play Policy and made our Code of Ethics public so we can be kept accountable to its principles. We will always strive to keep ourselves accountable, too.
Moving forward, all members of the CryptoKitties team will be active in the game. What they can and can’t do in the game is clarified within the Code of Ethics.
The integrity of this game means everything to us –– but so does improving it. Having our entire team actively playing CryptoKitties will result in an even better game. The better we understand how our community interacts with CryptoKitties, the better CryptoKitties will be.
That’s why we’re doing this. Since the beginning, we’ve grappled with how to offer the best game possible. We don’t assume that every decision we make will be the right one, but we do intend to be transparent about mistakes, learn from them, and ultimately make the next choice a better one.
Written by Mack, Bryce, and the rest of the CryptoKitties team
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What are your thoughts on playing CryptoKitties alongside the team that built the game?
Comment below or send us your feedback and suggestions via email or the CryptoKitties Discord.