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AMA Highlights: Bluzelle

By Daniel Dal Bello, Director.
January 21, 2022–7 min read.

On Thursday 20 January, we welcomed Pavel Bains of Bluzelle into the Hillrise Group Telegram chat for an AMA about Bluzelle’s technology and ventures into the GameFi environment.

You might recall Bluzelle as a prominent name just a few years ago, well they are still around and innovating with their current ecosystem to foster growth in the GameFi movement.

In this post, we have compiled key questions and answers from the event.

Daniel Dal Bello
Hi Pavel, firstly welcome and happy new year. It has been interesting to read about the current status of Bluzelle, as this is one of the names I remember well from the 2017/2018 days — a lot of people weren’t around back then.

Could you start us off with an introduction, some background on the original vision of Bluzelle, and a lead into where you are now?

Pavel Bains
Hi everyone. I’m the CEO and co-founder of Bluzelle. Yes, we are one of the “old” projects in crypto-terms.

Originally we were focused on decentralized storage for Web3. But over the past 8 months we started slowly moving more into content and creators.

We have a tech that is flexible and interoperable. Plus my background is from gaming — I used to with with Disney, EA, and Nintendo.

So we’ve moved Bluzelle to be a GameFi blockchain.

Daniel Dal Bello
GameFi has been a great movement to follow and we have been quite involved ourselves. Before getting into all of that though I would like to revisit the original position of Bluzelle (briefly). We know that you have a longstanding history after being founded back in 2014.

I think it is important to understand where you’ve come from before we get into your current position in the market.

What was the original purpose and market position of Bluzelle? You mentioned your background, was that primarily why you changed your direction to become so focused on the gaming niche?

Pavel Bains
We started in 2014 as a scrappy company doing development work in blockchain. We continued that way for a few years until we figured out what we really wanted to be. Then in 2017 after doing work with the banks in Singapore, we realized that if blockchain was really going to be big it needed decentralized storage to complete the stack. So we dove into that.

Seeing in 2021 NFTs growing and projects like Axie showing which game mechanics can work in cryptocurrency I took a deeper look. After all I come from consumer entertainment.

Seeing that we didn’t have as strong a lead or edge over other storage providers, I saw GameFi as something we can really carve a space in.

There are a few reasons why.

  1. We have a fast blockchain. ETH gas fees aren’t good for the next wave of users.
  2. We can provide storage for game assets.
  3. As a Cosmos chain we can target Terra and Cosmos ecosystems and bring games to them.
  4. As an Cosmos system, we can aggregate DeFi protocols like Mirror and Anchor into our games.
  5. We know how to make great games.

Daniel Dal Bello
I feel like the gaming niche is now beginning to become crowded. What is your USP for developers and studios when it comes to your communication as ‘The Blockchain for GameFi?

Because we have other similarly focused chains and ecosystems like Chromia.

Pavel Bains
Bluzelle is a blockchain for GameFi with its ability to produce high quality games, protect players NFTs, and leverage DeFi yields with its 10,000 TPS Cosmos-based blockchain.

You need all the above to have a successful game.

Daniel Dal Bello
You are actually developing your own game in partnership with an external studio. What was the motivation to create this style of card battle game?

How much involvement do you have in the development process — as it is built externally?

Pavel Bains
Hiring up people in the game space is difficult for regular games. Now imagine getting that great talent for crypto-games. It’s going to take a VERY long time.

I know how to manage studios and games. To move quickly, I brought on another team to work with.

I’m heavily involved in the product. I’m the Executive Producer and am on it daily.

Card Battle game was chosen because:

  1. It’s easy to pick and play by anyone, but also tough to master.
  2. We can produce it quickly and get it to market — we’re talking 4–6 months vs 2+ years of other types of games.
  3. With this type of game we can quickly tweak and fix it to keep players engaged.

Daniel Dal Bello
Going on the talent point you have made, what do you think about companies like Animoca Brands with a big part of their strategy being about acquiring studios? Like Pixowl (The Sandbox), like Blowfish (Phantom Galaxies).

Do you see a path to collaborate with them? Are they creating a monopoly on gaming and talent?

Pavel Bains
With a warchest like they have, the only way to grow is to acquire studios. Microsoft just bought Activision, and I never thought this would happen.

History has shown you can never get a monopoly on creative talent.

Hollywood, music, etc. Big studios buy smaller ones, but newer studios pop up and talent keeps coming.

If anything, I’d be worried if I was a big studio buying talent. Eventually it kills creativity and then the explosiveness comes from elsewhere.

Look at Hollywood. I think we can all agree that the lack of creativity has been a major problem now for 10+ years.

Daniel Dal Bello
You talked about development time being a factor for the genre/design of Denomination. The roadmap for this game stretches out to the end of the year.

With that in mind, how do you go about building a player base and making the game engaging throughout the year as you go through from prototype to full release?

Will you be collaborating with any Guilds for this game?

Pavel Bains
Yes, we’ll work with Guilds. Right now I’m focused on getting the first demo, trailer and tokenomics done. With that I’ll feel we are in a good place to work with Guilds. Doing it too early isn’t going to work.

Our game will always be in development as you keep adding layers and tweaking.

Keys to engagement are:

  1. Launch the game play walk through and trailer to bring players into Bluzelle to learn more and follow along.
  2. Launch a playable version in months so people can interact, give feedback, and keep updating it every month.

George Pagonis
Hi Pavel, can you take us through your BLZ token utility and has it changed over the years especially with your change of direction for the project?

Pavel Bains
Currently we’re reworking these as it relates to the game and the future services on Bluzelle. It’s too early to let out but we’ll show those pretty soon.

Daniel Dal Bello
Future DAO and the buyback (utility) is interesting to me, what is the structure of the buyback?

Pavel Bains
Those are being worked out, but as we earn transaction fees from the game and sell NFTs, we’ll use those to buy back BLZ to burn or re-distribute to holders.

Daniel Dal Bello
In the last half of 2021, you released Bluzelle R2 which included among other things full mainnet migration for your storage application.

Can you tell us more about this and how much use has this product seen so far?

Pavel Bains
Bluzelle R2 is for redundancy and replication. We found that current storage providers in Web3 weren’t offering replication instantly. It was decentralized but still didn’t guarantee availability.

We fix that. We ran into some problems in terms of how projects were set up. They were already connected to IPFS. So our team did the right thing by going where the customers are. So they’ve been working on an integration with IPFS.

Why is this special? Well projects that are already using IPFS, with one line of code, can connect to Bluzelle and get the replication they need across all our nodes.

This is great for the user and for Bluzelle as we don’t have to spend so much on R&D and more. We put IPFS on steroids.

Angry Magpie
Hey Pavel, where would you like to you see Bluzelle in the future? Is the plan for yourself to build more games after Denomination?

Or would you like to see other game developers/studios build their own games and use the Bluzelle blockchain?

Or is the focus on both? Curious to understand the long term vision!

Pavel Bains
Great question. First is to build our own game to prove out the whole system and drive attention to Bluzelle. Then have other games use our chain.

We will continue to make games too after the Denomination. We see ourselves being like Epic Games. We produce games (Fortnite) and have people use the engine (Unreal).

Daniel Dal Bello
Your documentation describes aggregating DeFi products so players can lend, stake and earn yield on their in-game assets. Is this live at the moment?

We are seeing new GameFi titles now starting to integrate lending of in-game assets directly into marketplaces within the games themselves.

Pavel Bains
Not yet. That will come with the release of tokenomics and sales of the first NFTs, and the first playable version of the game. So we are a couple of months away from that.

Daniel Dal Bello
We somewhat covered it here just before but, and to finish off the conversation, what are some upcoming developments and milestones you are looking forward to as we continue into 2022?

Pavel Bains
Thank you ser, thanks everyone for coming.

  1. Release of new tokenomics
  2. Release of game trailer
  3. Upgrade to Cosmos Stargate
  4. Release of Denomination Alpha
  5. Release of Denomination Beta

Hillrise Group supports ambitious Web3 startups with early-stage venture capital and fundamental research.

Bluzelle is a decentralized storage network for the creator economy and a blockchain for GameFi.

Connect with Hillrise Group
https://hillrise.group
https://hillrisegroup.medium.com
https://twitter.com/hillrisegroup

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Fundamental research arm of Hillrise Group. We bring simplicity to complex technology.

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Hillrise Group

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Hillrise Group is a blockchain-native venture capital and consulting firm supporting emerging Web3 startups.

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