A Dark Forest New Year’s Community Round: Death of the Universe

Published in
5 min readDec 30, 2021


Art by komosotweets.

Welcome back to Dark Forest!

dfdao and friends present: ☠️ Death of the Universe 🪐, a community round which will begin on Saturday, January 1, 2022, at about 12 pm PST. The round will end on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 at 11:59 pm PST. Gameplay will occur at game.dfdao.xyz.

The round theme and name were decided via community vote, which was the first ever use of Dark Forest points for a governance decision. 17% of the v0.6.4 scorers participated!

This article contains information on the round objective, changes to game mechanics, player eligibility, and whitelisting instructions. Information about how to make sure you’re eligible to play is in the final section.


In this round, the universe is dying: the radius is shrinking and planets can be destroyed by other players.

To simulate the chaotic nature of the Death of the Universe, for the first time ever, there will be 3 separate scoring functions:

  1. Finding artifacts and extracting silver from spacetime rips (similar to v0.6.2 and v0.6.4).
  2. Owning a broadcasted, not destroyed planet lvl 3+ based on proximity to the center of the universe (similar to v0.6.3).

3. Destroying the most planets, weighted by rarity (boom).

For each scoring function, the top 7 players will be rewarded with dfdao POAPs. However, only one of these leaderboards will be awarded prize NFTs.

The decision about which scoring function receives NFTs will be decided in-game: whoever owns the level 9 space-time rip located at (0,0) by the end of the game will have the ability to choose the winning scoring function. This final vote will only be possible once the round has ended.



The ruleset is the same as v0.6.3, except for the following changes:

  • The speed will be 5x the base speed.
  • Planets can be broadcasted every 30 minutes.
  • The universe will start at an initial radius of 400k and shrink to a radius of 80k.


  • Artifact and silver scoring is unchanged from v0.6.2
  • Proximity to the center of the universe is simply the radius of a planet.
  • Destroying a planet is worth 4^planet level points.

Destroying planets

A planet can be destroyed if:

  1. It is owned by another player;
  2. The energy arriving at the planet is twice the amount of energy the planet has when the attack arrives.

This has the same effect as the Black Domain artifact.

  • Check out a demo here.

Shrinking Universe

The area of the universe will shrink at a near-linear rate via this algorithm.

Moves cannot be to or from a planet that is outside the radius.

Note: This required modifying the move zk-SNARK, which previously only prevented moves to planets outside the radius, not from.

Players can only spawn in a location that has a radius between 75% and 50% of the current radius.

This will provide a measure of equality in spawning while still giving people a chance to explore towards the center and away from the center.


Players will be warned with a purple highlight if their move will destroy an enemy planet at that planet’s current energy level.

The leaderboards will be retrieved via subgraph queries.

Finally, no whitelist keys will be sent by e-mail for this round. Instead, eligible players will have their wallet addresses directly whitelisted into the game. For more details on this, read the next two sections of this article.

Players who are whitelisted will automatically receive $0.15 xDai to start the game, courtesy of POKT Network.

Who is Eligible to Play?

As promised, any player who scored at least 1 point in v0.6 Round 4 of Dark Forest will automatically have the burner wallet address they used in v0.6 Round 4 whitelisted into the game. You can simply visit game.dfdao.xyz, add your address, and the game will load.

New players and players who have lost their burner wallet addresses from v0.6 Round 4 can join the dfdao Discord to request up to 3addresses for entry into the game.

Whitelist Keys for New Players

If you are a first-time Dark Forest Player, if you did not play in v0.6 Round 4, or if you lost track of your burner wallet address from the round, you can request access to the Death of the Universe by taking the following steps:

  1. Join our Discord server.
  2. Visit the #join-whitelist channel.
  3. Type the command “-join” followed by up to three addresses you would like to be able to play the game.

Once you’ve done this, a discord bot built by Velorum will add your addresses to a .csv file that we use to enable access to the game.

We will run the whitelisting process just before we launch the community round, and then periodically once or twice a day until the round is over. To maximize playtime, please submit your request to our server before the round starts!

Please note that the amount of addresses that we approve to play depends on the volume of requests we receive. We can accommodate a lot of players, but if we end up getting inundated with requests, we will revert to making a random selection of players to whitelist from the request list.

See you in the Dark Forest.