Illuvium with Kieran Warwick and Aaron Warwick
Illuvium is a decentralized, NFT collection and auto battler game built on the Ethereum network. Integrated with the hyper-scalable Immutable-X L2 solution, players of Illuvium gain access to zero gas fees for minting or exchanging of assets as well as sub-second transaction times, all with user maintained custody.
Eric: Welcome guys! How are you today @Kieran_Illuvium and Aaron ?
Patrice: Welcome 🙂
Kieran: Hey Eric, doing well, thanks for having us on!
Aaron: Hi Eric, happy to be here!
Eric: Where you guys at today? hows the weather there?
Aaron: We are both in Sydney and it’s midnight so it’s pretty dark out. But since we’re in summer it is still quite hot and muggy. But we love it.
Patrice: Heard it’s a super hot summer so far but I think the excitement here is hotter! everyone’s looking forward to Illuvium 😃
Kieran: Not as bad as previous ones! We’ve had some crazy summers over the past few years. Lots of bushfires 😕
Eric: So please tell us about your background and your journey to discovering crypto.
Kieran: My name is Kieran Warwick, co-founder of Illuvium. My first exposure to crypto was back in 2016 when our other brother (Kain Warwick, SNX) and I started the first over the counter crypto exchange in Aus. I was in-charge of onboarding a number of new bitcoin exchanges, and quickly became fascinated by the space.
Aaron: I’m the other co-founder of Illuvium. I mostly work on the game design and story aspects of Illuvium. I’ve been designing systems and games since I was a kid. I love math, logic puzzles, and twist endings in movies. Kieran introduced me to the crypto space, which is interesting considering our older brother Kain has a huge coin. Hopefully we can give everyone a deeper insight into the game.
Eric: Awesome background. So what is Illuvium?
Aaron: Illuvium is a RPG collection game mixed with the auto-battle genre. You travel around in a vast beautiful world, then fight and capture creatures we call Illuvials. We couldn’t agree on whether to build an RPG game like Pokemon or an auto battler like Teamfight Tactics, so we merged them together and put our own unique spin on it. And Illuvium was born.
Eric: Sounds fun already. so what is the blockchain aspect of the game?
Aaron: In a normal game all the data is stored on the server, which means you never truly have ownership of the things you collect. Like many other block chain games, in our world when you capture something you own it. Permanently. The main collectible is the Illuvial NFT which represents the creatures you fight, capture, evolve and bond with them. We also feature a mining and forging system where players can create armor and weapons to help them fight in the world, because on Illuvium it isn’t just the creatures that do the fighting.
Kieran: We also wanted to tap into the huge amount of DeFi users who are looking for yield farming opportunities as this is a great way to bootstrap liquidity in a protocol.
Eric: What can gamers do in Illuvium thats Defi inspired?
Kieran: The yield from our token is split up into farming, which is standard for the DeFi space, and In-Game yield where players earn a portion of our tokens through their actions in the game, such as tournament battles, quests and daily challenges. Another aspect of the game is the ability to wager on your battles in the leviathan arena. Which will be my favourite place to play. High risk, high reward is what i’m all about. Like most DeFi investors.
Eric: Very interesing. im real life grinning here. Aaron please tell us the inspiration of the game and character designs?
Aaron: We wanted to build a modern day Pokemon so immediately we knew it would be a creature based game. We have been really inspired by extinct animals since we were kids and so we thought it would be cool to use them as a platform to start. And then crank them up to 11. The idea behind the story came from a lot of places, including a story that I have been writing for the last few years. Kieran also added a lot of cool ideas and we have iterated on that ever since. I can’t get too deep into the lore, but I think everyone will enjoy it.
Eric: Nice. So what is the token called and what else can it do besides the utiilities mentioned above.
Kieran: The token is called ILV and it represents ownership of the DAO. The DAO will distribute the in game payments to the token holders so it will act as a passive source of income as well as the growth in the value of the coin. It will also give owners the ability to vote on various aspects of the game such as game play elements, market fees, expansions, and much more.
Eric: Will there be breeding aspects to it?
Aaron: One thing we designed into the game at the very start was the idea that it would be a completely data driven system. This means that creating new abilities and such can happen very quickly. We hope to be able to have token holders vote on things like balance patches. We have a cool way of dealing with that but I can’t release too much on it right now.
As for breeding, in our game we have a Fusion system that allows a player to mint a new more powerful illuvial by combining three of the stage below.
Eric: Nice. How big is the team now?
Kieran: The team has grown fairly quickly, we have 35 in total and are looking to bring on approximately 5–10 more prior to launch. The challenge is finding the calibre of people we need to create a AAA game but if you’ve been following the Discord you would see that we have hired well 🙂
Eric: When will the game be released and on what platforms? Aaron can you share any pictures from the game or concept art?
Aaron: We are aiming for a Q3 release this year with new regions and Illuvials being released all the time. The game will initially be available on Windows and Mac but we do plan on releasing for mobile next year.
Q: Do you have any plans on releasing the game to the mainstream stores like Steam, Ubisoft, Epic Games, GOG, etc.?
Aaron: This is not likely, at least for the first launch. This space changes fast so I can’t say that we never won’t.
Q: What opportunities does this project gives to users who don’t have gaming experience? Could you benefit from this project with out games involved?
Kieran: While we strongly encourage users to play the game, if you didn’t have any gaming experience and wanted to bypass playing you could simply purchase ILV and stake liquidity in the protocol giving you access to a portion of the rewards.
Aaron: This project is solely a game based project backed by DeFi tokenomics. If you don’t want to play the game, but instead see it as a solid investment then you can do that. One of the rewards for people who want to invest AND play is that some of your rewards can be taken as in game currency.
Q: The concept behind Illuvium game is very unique and amazing, so between crypto users and non crypto users, which category would you choose as your target audience? Or will it be possible to focus on both categories?
Aaron: The target audience in the initial phase is crypto users, but we feel that crypto is coming to the mainstream this year and SOMEONE is going to be the cause of that. Might as well be us!
Q: What deadly features does illuviumio have? how the intention to open projects and products to the community, researchers and enthusiasts, so nothing will stop this and continue to be improved.
Aaron: To begin with we are focused on making the first game and then slowly building the lore and story with that. There really isn’t anything stopping anyone from creating something that uses our tokens as the user is the one who owns them, not us. That being said we strongly wish to collaborate with the community and will definitely open up the IP for licensing at some stage in the future. Gotta make sure your Illuvium fanfiction is cannon!
Q: “Welcome to the world of Illuvium. A shattered land of beauty and wonder. Travel the vast and varied landscape hunting dangerous beasts, then capture them to battle in the arenas or trade them via the Illuvials exchange”. I’m really inspired by this story, can you tell us how the idea behind creation of Illuvium came to existence? Is there any blockchain game which you are looking up to?
Aaron: The simple answer is, not really. Kieran is much more experienced in the crypto space, and I’m much more into the actual mechanics of it. So while he is really good at knowing which parts of which projects to learn from, the game itself and the story is not really blockchain inspired. I started writing about 6 years ago for fun, and the world I created kind of… was made for Illuvium without actually being what Illuvium is now.
In the gaming world I fell in love with Myst at an early age, and while our game is nothing like it, I think it has some elements of mystery and abandonment that I find really invigorating. In our world you are stranded on an alien planet and cannot really be sure exactly what is it.
Kieran: This is a line of Illuvials that we haven’t shown the public before 😄 Aaron will provide a few more concepts as well.
Q: What’re the Algorithms and technology which are used by Illuvium for fast, High security, and scalable transactions?
Aaron: We are launching on IMX which is a layer 2 platform by the makers of Gods Unchained. They use some really clever math which was created by brains at Starkware which allows our game to have the same security as any layer one game. We also have some clever people on our team that are incredibly anal about network security and I’m sure that it will be like Fort Knox.
Q: What are the roles of Shards and Illuvial classes in the Illuvium gameplay? Can you give us an overview of your game mechanism?
Aaron: A Shard is effectively identical to a Pokeball, which makes it easy to explain (except it visually shows you the Illuvial stored, as well as their attributes. So I’d like to think of it as a better Pokeball.
Classes are one of two parts of our synergy system. (The other is Affinities). A class is a rough descriptor of what style of Illuvial it is. There are 5 classes. These can be combined to create another class that has the attributes of both. In game they act to tell the player which attributes will grow as the Illuvial levels. For example the Fighter class gains attack damage with levels.
There are so many gameplay aspects we haven’t gone over yet, I’d be here all night and then you’d have nothing to surprise you. =)
Q: 🔴 What have you already done & still try to ensure longevity of the project?
Are @illuviumio a global project? Can everybody use your services from all over the world?
Kieran: The first thing we did when starting the project was try to work out how we could get it to be a long term proposition. One of the issues with many of the NFT projects we saw was that they really didn’t have any utility. The gaming projects were better because not only did you have the art, but you also had the fun of the gameplay aspects. However most of the games are severely lacking in the art department. By creating characters that we feel are truly collectibles we know that there will be longevity. Aaron has also put a great deal of effort into creating the storyline which players will slowly uncover over time. I basically told him in the beginning if you don’t write this in a way that it can become a motion picture, then start again :P!
Because of that we started to design the game around the idea of the underlying tokens being used in a number of different games, as well as creating a backstory for the world that we could flesh out over time.
Q: How to get NFTs to trade without paying gas and is it necessary to have a unique L2 token to buy, sell, send or receive NFTs?
Kieran: No. In our game you will be able to pay in one of two ways. With ETH, which is the standard payment method for IMX, or with sILV which is a special token we have created for investors in the project that they can use in lieu of their yield rewards for backing the project.
Q: When you go forth into the wild will you have all your captured Illuvials with you? Allowing you to rotate out members of your team to optimise as you explore, or swap injuries out?
Aaron: Yes you will. Shards are stored in a handy location that some might have worked out if they are really engaged in our discord. And it isn’t just handy for storing things like your mined items and shards. It also gets you out of battle if you have lost (we wouldn’t want anyone eaten on their journey). If one of your Illuvials is damaged too much it will have to get rejuvenated but there are a lot of ways to do this, and not all of them cost money.
Q: The idea of the ILLUVIUM project is really unique and incredible, how did this idea come about?
Aaron: We’ve answered a lot about the ideas and how they came about, but I really do feel like there is something about this project that I can’t put my finger on. Early on Kieran and I even had conversations about who had the main idea for the game. I really don’t know. Everything feels like it lined up for us to be the ones to make this, and so we are. I love working on it every day, even when I’m doing 6 hours of spreadsheets or flow charts.
Kieran: While not a unique feature, there are very few blockchain games with high quality graphics that you see in AAA titles. In addition to that we have some features for the auto-battler design that allow us to do some crazy stuff. The system is designed to be completely data driven. You can literally create new Ultimates and Attacks without any code. It’s all just data. This will speed up development and allow us to use neural networks to automate some of the balancing tasks 😉
Q: What kind of different knowledger and skills will be needed to master the game?
Aaron: Many of the same skills required for Auto battler games. The main point is to create a team that works well together. In the ranked arenas you will have to understand a lot about how the Illuvials interact. If anyone has played Chess.com’s new Chess Automate game mode then you’ll have a bit of an idea. Ours is like that on steroids.
Q: There is fierce competition in the finance industry. Obviously, there are other projects that look like you. How will ILLUVIUM deal with its rivals? Do you have details to guide users to you?
Kieran: You might need to join our Discord to check out our leaks channel. I personally haven’t seen artwork quite like ours inside a DeFi game before. But happy to be proven wrong 😛
Q: The name Illuviumio seems to be very interesting. Does it have any story behind it? Can you share us with the inspiration for approaching to this name?
Aaron: The name does have a meaning. I am pretty sure that some users on our discord have figured it out, or will do so soon. But I will leave that one up to people to discover when they play the game. The story of our game will actually be one that players unearth over time. Not much will be known when the game launches. I will say that there will be SOME surprises in the game that not even Kieran knows about yet.
Q: At the moment Ethereum Network has many problems scalability issues, high fees, slow speeds etc
Why did you choose to build your project on the ERC20 network over the other networks that more fast and scalable?
Kieran: We are launching on Immutable X which solves a lot of these problems. There will be no gas fees for trading and minting, and sub-second transaction times. Ethereum, as a network, is great. It’s super secure and mature and gives us the confidence to know that our game is going to be a hit.
Q: What are the types of users on your project?
How do you keep all users to stay with your project for the longterm?
Kieran: We want to attract a healthy mix of DeFi gamers and centralised gamers. We plan to add a number of expansions to the game such as clans and raids. We also plan to release new character sets every 3–6 months.
Q: My question is about your long term marketing plans. How, or through which big partnerships do you plan on utilising to pass your product onto the normal consumer — especially non-crypto people?
Kieran: In the Crypto space we plan on partnering with a number of large communities such as SNX, Aave, DODO, Barn Bridge and many others to offer Flash Pools for liquidity mining. This will give those coin holders the ability to stake their tokens and earn ILV, which gives those communities exposure to Illuvium, and hopefully turns them into players.
Outside of the crypto space we plan on engaging a number of high profile YouTubers to offer NFT giveaways. We think that once they see the potential of a AAA game on DeFi it will make sense for them to jump across from centralised games to decentralised games such as ours.
Q: 🔴 Could you please provide some info about your Roadmap and how
@illuviumio is progressing so far??
What is the current stage of @illuviumio project development
Kieran: We’ve just closed our private funding rounds which gives us enough runway for the next two years of development and our public sale will be launching late next month through a Balancer Smart Pool. Regarding development we are on track to have our first demo out at the end of this month, with a Closed BETA coming late Q2. Launch is scheduled for sometime in Q3.
Q: ✅ For which mobile operating systems will Illuviumio be available?
Kieran: Illuvium will first be released on PC and Mac. We have plans to release a mobile client, but that won’t come for some time. The game originally started as an in-browser game so we’ve always planned on having assets that are ready for mobile. But now that we’re focusing on desktop to start, we can make sure that we offer a truly amazing experience.
Q: Gamers are usually very happy playing games & expect rewards from games. then how do gamers get prizes from the Illuviumio game? Are there various ways to get rewards from Illuviumio Games?
Kieran: A significant portion of our yield rewards are issued in-game for things such as ranked battles, tournaments and daily tasks/quests. This encourages staker’s to play the game and not just passively stake their coins to earn yield.
Q: What protection do you have in case of server crashes or other problems? Do you have any protection mechanisms against cheaters?
Aaron: Our game uses an AWS Serverless architecture. We are pretty safe from crashes. The way we can do this is fairly complicated, but the crux of it is that our battle mode is fully deterministic and runs as a simulation. There is no instance of Unreal Engine running. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but I’ll leave it there for now.
This is a line based on an extinct beetle. Without textures.
Q: Can’t this game done without a token? What’s the main usage scenario of your token?
Kieran: Firstly, love your username! To answer your question though — It could have been built without tokenomics, however, we wanted to tap into the large amount of liquidity that is flowing into DeFi projects, and yield farming has proven to be the best way to bootstrap liquidity.
Q: Your website still not ready….
Where can I find more information about your project?
Kieran: Our website is still in development and will be launched next week. In the meantime we are posting all of our updates on our Medium page and within Discord/ Telegram. The link to our Medium page is here: https://illuvium.medium.com/
Eric: Thats a wrap! Aaron pls invite ppl where to follow Illuvium.
Illuvium - Medium
Ownership is vital to collection games. If you don't own your collection, the entire value proposition falls apart…
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Sorry we couldn’t get to all of your questions, but there is still plenty of time before launch and I’m sure we’ll have more opportunities to answer. =)
Eric: Thanks @Kieran_Illuvium and Aaron for this awesome AMA session!
Patrice: Great session! so much interest and very detailed answers. you guys actually answered a lot! Can’t wait for this to launch 🙂
Kieran: Thanks @ERCSU, and thank you to all your members for the in-depth questions. We hope we answered enough, we weren’t expecting so many!