MLB Champions™ — An NFT Game Built on the Ethereum Blockchain
We are very happy to see all the excitement over our upcoming crypto game, MLB Champions™! We put in a lot of hard work over the last year to make this happen, and I’m looking forward to launching the game in the coming weeks.
Official details about the MLB Champions™ gameplay and the NFT collectibles themselves will be coming out soon. In the meantime, I thought I would take the opportunity to answer several Non-fungible Token (NFT) related questions I’ve seen come up in the community chats and social media. The following are answers to some of the most common questions I have seen as well as details on how our MLB Champions™ Figure NFTs will work.
Is this going to be an NFT game or just collectibles?
That answer is easy. This will be an NFT collectible game. However, we will provide more details about it soon in a future post. One benefit to NFTs is their ability to provide portability between different games. With this in mind, we have plans to create multiple games that can utilize the MLB Champions™ Figures we will be releasing.
What type of NFTs are these?
Our MLB Champions™ are built on a variance of the ERC-721 standards, but they maintain full compatibility with it. The owner will have complete control of the MLB NFT once it has been purchased, and we, the developer, will not be able to prevent a user from trading, selling, viewing, or “hodling” their MLB Champions™.
Each MLB Champion is represented by a procedurally generated 3D model of an Official MLB Player or event. These Figures will have unique visual traits and attributes that will contribute to MLB Champions™ gameplay and rarity (more details about gameplay will be in an upcoming announcement).
What makes MLB Champions™ special?
The following points are an explanation of how our MLB Champions™ are designed to provide True Digital Ownership™.
- Immutable Ownership: Yes, all MLB Champions™ will have a unique immutable reference written to the Ethereum Blockchain. Once ownership is transferred to a user’s Ethereum address, the smart contract will only allow that Ethereum address to perform transactions with that NFT.
- Digital Sovereignty: Yes. As a fully compatible ERC-721 asset, owners will absolutely have full control over their collectible. While we do have one specific case required for gameplay that prevents transfer of ownership during game play, that is still something a user will have direct control over via our smart contracts. This limitation is there purely to ensure that only one, single player can use an asset for gameplay at any given time.
- Portability: Yes. As stated above, our MLB Champions™ asset is a fully compliant ERC-721 item. Ownership and details about the asset will be recorded to the blockchain and will be available as long as Ethereum exists (at least 6,714 years, for you math enthusiasts out there). Using the information stored for the NFT asset and the Ethereum event history, various apps can be made in current or future platforms. The NFT data will always exist, and the user will have the ability to develop applications for it. We will also provide public APIs, reference documentation, and support infrastructure to allow other dApps the ability to read and display MLB Champions™ assets.
- Provable Scarcity: Again, yes. Each ERC-721 NFT asset will be tracked on the blockchain along with its unique details and team information. It is possible to parse the chain data for all assets in existence and group assets by traits. With this, users can independently verify collectible rarities and quantities. Another aspect of scarcity is defined limits and controls on how many of each collectible can be made. For this, we needed to take an approach that provided us the ability to create gameplay and new collectible computations off-chain. (I will get into more detail about this in the scaling section below). However, to ensure scarcity and prevent future inflation of MLB Champions™, we did create an enforcement feature in our smart contracts that will be triggered on a seasonal basis. Enforcement in enacted at the end of every season via an irrevocable lock that is set on the master NFT contract. This lock prevents us from minting that specific season’s collectibles again, which means at the end of the 2018 season, all the 2018 collectibles that can exist will be fixed at the current amount. This is actually a step up from the physical collecting world, where reprints of specific items can be made to look identical to the original. Thanks to the nature of the blockchain and the enforcement locks we are implementing, these 2018 MLB Champions™ will be 100% unique and not duplicatable in the future.
How do we plan to scale without breaking Ethereum?
This is a question we have given a lot of thought to over the last year of working on this project. We are all aware of the limitations of Ethereum and saw firsthand how Crypto Kitties at one point took up 20% of all transactions. Early on, we decided to develop MLB Champions™ with an off-chain approach for gameplay and asset generation.
When we began development of MLB Champions™ we knew from the start scale would be an issue we would have to tackle. We looked at solutions such as Enjin & Loom, two great projects, but neither had launched and/or been tested at the scales we are expecting. After doing some additional research our team decided the best approach would be creating a scaling solution of our own.
For our implementation we decided against developing a new type of db/side-chain technology and instead stuck to the battle tested / scalable modern application development cloud infrastructure. By taking this approach, we were able to shift the majority of our gameplay mechanic and crypto variation generation off-chain. This allowed us to make the on going playable aspect of MLB Champions™ transactions free! Users will only have to pay gas for the generation of their new collectibles, but they can choose to do so when it’s convenient or gas-efficient for them. To facilitate this, our solution incorporates the use of oracles, event-driven requests, and transaction batching. You can see an of example of this below:
John Doe has completed an MLB Champions™ game session, and since he was the winner, he is rewarded with various MLB Champions™. Those rewards are generated off-chain and displayed to John via the web app. John knows he will be playing again soon, so he decides to wait until his next game before claiming his rewards. After his next game, John has 4 new MLB Champions™ waiting for him. He decides that gas prices are good and places the request (via the smart contract or our web app) to claim all his Crypto rewards. At this point, Lucid Sight’s oracle server sees John’s request, verifies that John did win his games, and references what type of reward John will be getting. It then queues John’s rewards to be processed in the next batch of transactions. After a period of time, the oracle server processes John’s request plus 5 other rewards requests that came in during this transaction window. John will get an email notification of his newly available collectibles and can then use them in future games if he chooses.
Here are some key points to take away from the above example:
- Lucid Sight’s off-chain solution has the ability to batch requests for multiple users into a single transaction.
- Since transactions can be batched, Lucid Sight can spread transaction load overtime, mitigating high gas costs at peak hours.
- The player can request rewards individually or as a group to save on gas costs.
- The logic that generates traits is handled off-chain, which saves a significant amount of gas and computational requirements on-chain.
- Gameplay does not have ongoing transaction costs. (More specific information about gameplay will come in future announcements.)
I would like to mention one additional aspect of our off-chain solution. While MLB Champions™ was our first app to utilize our off-chain technology it will not be our last. After developing this solution to help with scaling for MLB Champions™, we saw the potential this technology has for implementation of more robust types of games. So the same scaling solution we developed for MLB is also our off-chain tech being utilized in the development of our new titles, CSC — Crypto Space Commander (a space-themed combination of Diablo 3 and EVE Online with an ETH economy) and Cryptic Conjure (the first Unreal 4 game to utilize blockchain to enforce gameplay features).
As we round third base toward launching MLB Champions™, we at Lucid Sight are extremely excited to bring you the first blockchain MLB memorabilia and are excited to see what the future brings to this space. We have done our utmost to create a product that provides True Digital Ownership with proveable scarcity, portability, and extendability. Now we look forward to putting MLB Champions™ into your hands and watching how you, the fans, interact with your favorite players and teams in a whole new way.
Collect your team and checkout the game at MLBCryptoBaseball.com.
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