Welcome to the KittyVerse: KittyBattles and KittyHats

We’re so thrilled with the experiences our community members are building up. They let you bring your Kitties into their games, and provide accessories and satellite experiences for Kitty owners. These innovators are part of our ever-expanding KittyVerse, and we want to help showcase what they’re doing. That’s why we’re starting a new regular blog series where we shine a spotlight on KittyVerse projects, giving you insight into what they’re up to, and how they got where they are.

Kitty Battles

The fluffiest battle game in the arena, KittyBattles, asks you to pit your roster of ferocious felines against other teams — but all the moves are adorable attacks like Nap Time and PillowSmack.

They just launched their first public alpha, where almost two hundred attendees spectated as thirty players battled Kitties in the arena. The technology is in an incredibly stable place for an alpha test, and the results of the trial are leading them to some minor tweaks and changes, but they were thrilled to see how few bugs they ran into.

Their biggest priority now is to make the whole experience just a little bit prettier (maybe we inspired them?). They’ve hired a community artist on contract to create awesome new graphics, as well as design the items that they’ll be incorporating into the game.

They heard a lot of feedback from the community, and they can’t wait to work that feedback into their next iteration. The biggest change will be an adjustment to their skill tree — they want to add balance, and ensure there won’t be instant winning combinations. Right now, having two healers and one DPS turned out to be a wildly powerful strategy.

The community seems to really enjoy matches that come down to the wire — one recent bout had the winner standing with only 50 remaining health on a single Kitty! Based on feedback from matches like those, the KittyBattles folks want to keep the battles quick and engaging, so they’re cautious about balancing innovation with current successes. Their next iteration will include updating graphics and UI and an introduction of a skill tree, skill points, and levels.

They also plan to introduce their own ERC-721 items that Kitties will be able to equip in battle. Buying items will let you collect prettier versions of the same items you’ll be able to earn through game play, making sure it won’t be a pay-to-win scenario.

One really unique feature of KittyBattles is that it takes place completely off-chain. Obviously they’re using blockchain assets (our Kitties), so they require a MetaMask login to confirm that players own tokens. But after that, there’s no interaction with any cryptocurrency or blockchain. They are (we believe) the first off-chain game to employ this model. They made the decision because they wanted real time battles, and that’s not possible on Ethereum today. Plus, it means that players don’t have to pay to participate in the fights. You heard that right — KittyBattles is one hundred percent free to play.

Once skills are settled and items are done, the team is considering moving towards a hard launch. But, they follow the philosophy that games are never really finished, and a launch isn’t as important as constant iteration. So you might as well dive in and start playing now! You’ll be able to say you knew them when.

KittyHats

If you don’t have a KittyHats accessory yet, you don’t yet know the definition of cute. These tokens, which you can buy with ether, are costumes and accessories that stack on top of your own CryptoKitties. Accessories are visible through the KittyHats website or on the CryptoKitties website itself (as long as you have the browser extension). You can have a look at the adorable top hats, monocles, and sneakers the KittyHats team created, but don’t stop there! There are a whole whack of new items that have just hit the market.

They had tiny boxes before we did! Well, big boxes.

Plan to visit the opera? Your Kitty can don a white tuxedo. Does your Kitty just scream premadonna? Why not try the ballerina outfit on for size? Love the “Under Construction” cat that shows on the CryptoKitties site when we’re in maintenance mode? Now your Kitty can be a Construction Cat too! And the best part is, you can preview what the outfits look like before you purchase anything. Just sign in to your MetaMask account, visit the website, and away you go.

This update was really championed by community members mh10k, ParanoidLunatic, and BxKat. It wouldn’t have been possible without their hard work (and artistic prowess!).

The process behind the creation of each unique KittyHats token is pretty cool. Designs are submitted by the community, and then moderators and other community members provide feedback and help iterate until it’s just right. Once that’s done, the designs are formally submitted, and the KittyHats team chooses which ones will be added to the update. They do that by assessing how well the item fits into the fiction and style of the KittyVerse — though it’s rare for a design that’s passed the iteration phase not to make it on to the update. Profits are split 50/50 with the artists, with KittyHats’ cut kept mostly for paying the costs of deploying contracts. If you’re interested in getting involved, they’re always looking for more artists! Just head over to their Discord server, and share some ideas in the #artwork or #art-requests channel.

If you do that, you can watch the artist iteration process yourself, but here’s an example with the recent addition of halos to the hats category:

User BxKat wanted to create a halo for their angelic Kitties. So they made a super cute angel hat.

The moderators really loved the idea! BxKat had been worried a halo without a headband might feel like a biological element, which would violate a KittyHats policy not to step on the toes of possible future CryptoKitties updates. To make sure that KittyHats are a great companion to CryptoKitties, rather than beating us to the punch, the KittyHats team ensures that all of their additions are physical. Cats can’t buy wings, but they can buy costume wings that are worn on straps. They don’t have glowing golden eyes, but they do have groovy sunglasses. A halo isn’t biological, so the KittyHats team told BxKat they could remove the headband part if they wanted to. So, we got a second iteration.

This removed the headband, and added a groovy glow to give the Kitty’s halo that truly heavenly look. It was a big success and everyone really liked the design, but wait! It’s not always that easy. Designers have to keep in mind the modular nature of these Kitties. What if their hair was higher or lower? Would the halo be a little too close? With that feedback in hand, BxKat made the final version of the halo, which is available in the marketplace today!

So that’s what’s new in KittyHats! Have a look at the new updates, try them on your Kitties for size, and don’t forget you can see those additions directly on the CryptoKitties site if you install the browser extension!

But most importantly — have fun. The KittyVerse is plentiful, and getting fuller by the second. There are a hundred ways (well, at least thirty) to take your Kitty to the next level. And we’ll keep introducing you to more.

For now, you can head on over to the CryptoKitties Marketplace and get a Kitty of your own to take to the ‘Verse, or use the ones you already have to start exploring today.