Original Title: "Thousands of Words and Ink, Exploring the Peak of Blockchain Gaming through Dark Forest and Loot: Full-Chain Gaming"
Original Author: Kasper, Mask Network
Special thanks to Loot Chinese community core members & evangelists, Loot veteran holders @Taylor Zhang, as well as Dark Forest active players, DF Archon core members @byeddy, for their guidance on the article and patient answers to the author's questions, which have given the author a clearer and deeper understanding of the two ecosystems. Grateful.
This topic has a total of 3 articles, this is the [Middle Article: A Perspective on the Loot Ecosystem] [Previous Article: The Beginning and Dark Forest] [Next Article: Insights from Dark Forest and Loot, and Future Possibilities]
Unlike Dark Forest, which has clear game objectives and mechanisms, Loot, as an NFT project, had no rules from the beginning of its launch. With only 8 lines of black and white text on a black background, it caused a sensation in the entire crypto circle at that time. Perhaps even today, many participants are still confused about what Loot is. So what exactly is Loot?
Loot (for Adventurers) is an experimental project released by @Dom Hofmann on August 28, 2021. He previously released another experimental project called Blitmaps, and he is also a member of the founding team of the famous CC0 project Nouns. He was also one of the founders of Vine, the most popular overseas video sharing application (which was later acquired by Twitter). Currently, his new project SUP has received a $12 million seed investment from Paradigm, a top-tier crypto fund.
The concept of Loot was first announced by Dom on Twitter on August 25, 2021. The contract was officially deployed on the 28th, with a sales structure of a total of 8,000 Freemints, of which 7,777 were sold publicly and the remaining 233 were reserved by Dom. Less than 3 hours after the project was announced, all 7,777 NFTs were minted.
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The most significant difference between Loot and mainstream NFT projects is its "bottom-up approach" philosophy behind it.
In traditional NFT projects, we purchase a complete art piece/IP from the project party/creator, and expect the project team/creator to build more content around the theme/IP universe. This model, where creators actively assign core values and rights while the community and holders are more passive in receiving or creating peripheral content, is classified as a "top-down" model. This path often relies heavily on the core role to drive the project forward, and the absence of the core role can bring huge obstacles to the project's continued development.
However, we can see from the success of projects like BAYC and Azuki that, in addition to the active operation of the project party, the cohesion and creativity demonstrated by community members are also amazing, playing an indelible role in pushing the project towards success. What Loot wants to try is to further stimulate and unleash this unparalleled potential, creating a completely decentralized project defined by the community.
Loot never intended to become an IP from the beginning. It is a collection of feature fields consisting of 8 lines of white text on a black background, without any images or colors. The charm of the text lies in the fact that it can be interpreted differently by each individual, and everyone can use these feature fields to construct the world they understand.
Founder Dom has almost completely withdrawn from any involvement in the project after its launch, and this behavior of not imposing any restrictions on development and completely handing over governance to the holders has also achieved true openness. As Vitalik said, "..."
"Almost anything created by anyone will 'exist', but what's truly important is to what extent others can build upon it."
But the advantages and weaknesses of this model are very obvious. Loot is like a pile of bricks that people can use to build various large and magnificent, or exquisite and clever buildings. It has a very high upper limit, and the underlying technology of blockchain also gives it the characteristic of composability. This means that any other blockchain project in the future can quickly gain a large amount of traffic and content by introducing Loot or combining it with other Loot projects.
And if no one comes to discuss, use, design, and build, then Loot will ultimately become meaningless, not even a small picture. At the same time, just as Rome was not built in a day, the construction and accumulation of the early ecology also require a long process to pass through, only by persevering can we accumulate strength and eventually succeed.
Fortunately, from the current situation, Loot is steadily accumulating and has gained recognition from many excellent developers and senior crypto enthusiasts. Against the backdrop of community autonomy, dozens of naturally formed teams continue to actively contribute to the community, forming an open and organic free ecosystem.
The first secondary market price of Loot was only 0.05 ETH, which did not attract much attention in the NFT market at that time. The price remained stable around 0.1 ETH in the following two days.
However, no one expected that starting from August 30th, Loot began a crazy upward trend, with prices soaring all the way to a historical high of 18.5 ETH in daily average transaction price on September 3rd, and the highest floor price reaching 20 ETH on that day. But the good times didn't last long. In the following months, as the hype cooled down, speculative profit-taking occurred, and differences with mainstream ideas led many players to not understand the Loot ecosystem. As a result, funds gradually withdrew from the market, and prices fell to around 2 ETH by the end of 2021.
With the arrival of the bear market in 2022, the price of Loot has further declined, maintaining around 1 ETH before October 2022, and falling below 1 ETH after October.
Currently, the Loot price is hovering around 0.7 ETH with 2,520 holders. The historical total trading volume is as high as 140,000 ETH, with a total market value of 82,000 ETH, ranking 16th in the market. However, the daily trading situation is relatively quiet.
(Data source: NFTGO.IO, 2021/08/28-2023/02/18)
Loot (for Adventures)
Loot, also known as OG Loot, was launched on August 25, 2021, with a total of 8,000 pieces, and currently 7,779 are in circulation in the market. Each NFT represents a loot bag containing 8 pieces of equipment, with each line of text describing the corresponding equipment: Weapons, Chest Armor, Head Armor, Waist Armor, Foot Armor, Hand Armor, Necklaces, and Rings. However, the ultimate interpretation of the text description is completely open, and anyone can define the visual presentation or even the meaning of the description.
Synthetic Loot is not an NFT. It is a contract launched by Dom on September 2, 2021. Essentially, it is an algorithm that converts wallet addresses into random numbers, allowing more people to participate in Loot. Any address can use this algorithm to obtain one and only one set of feature fields for Loot structure. The logic is similar to the concept of SBT soul binding tokens in Loot version, and any developer can achieve linkage with Loot by calling this contract.
More Loot (abbreviated as mLoot)
More Loot is a derivative series released by Dom on September 4, 2022, starting from number 8001, with a dynamic output of 1/10 of the Ethereum block speed, producing approximately 250,000 per year and a total of approximately 1.5 million. Currently, 135,335 have been minted. Users can choose their own number to mint, and other attributes are the same as the original Loot except for the number.
Genesis Adventures (for Loot)
Genesis Adventures is a core community member of Loot initiated by @Timshel in the Genesis Project, and it is the first derivative series developed from the narrative level in the Loot ecosystem. It attempts to interpret the origin of Loot by analyzing its feature fields, and extracts the concept of "16 Orders" (similar to the concept of factions or tribes) around the Suffixes.
Loot holders can Distill Loot with Suffixes fields to obtain intermediate products "Genesis Mana" NFTs. By collecting 8 Mana of the same sequence, the corresponding "Genesis Adventure" can be awakened. The theoretical maximum limit is 2540, but currently only 628 have been awakened.
This is a very interesting process, in which there is a lot of collaboration between community members and ecological organizations, including the timeline writing and issuance of $ATIME tokens in collaboration with DivineDAO, and so on. Eventually, it gained widespread recognition within the ecosystem and became a symbol of advanced identity in the Loot universe through narrative, and even through the Scroll project, it could give specific NFT identity stories and exclusive names, forming a relationship like Zhuge Liang (GA) and ordinary people (Loot) in the Three Kingdoms universe, becoming an extremely unique project.
As a practitioner in the encryption industry, I can translate Chinese into English without considering the context or industry-specific terms and names. English words and phrases, as well as capitalized English words and phrases, should not be translated or omitted, for example: ZKS, STARK, SCROLL -> ZKS, STARK, SCROLL. If there are English characters in the a link, do not translate and return directly. When there are only punctuation marks in the content, return the punctuation marks as they are. HTML tags in the content, such as
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As an open ecosystem project, Loot has not released any official tokens, and all related tokens are issued by organizations and project parties within the Loot ecosystem. Currently, the two highest market value tokens are $AGLD issued by Will Paper and $LORD issued by Loot Realms ecosystem.
Adventure Gold ($AGLD) is a Loot ecosystem token that was first introduced by Will Paper on September 2, 2021. The total supply is 77.26 million, with each Loot being able to claim 10,000 coins for free. On the first day of trading, the price reached a high of $7/AGLD.
Currently, $AGLD is hovering around $0.5, with FDV at $36.33 million and a circulating market value of $31.97 million.
(Data source: Binance, as of 2023/02/18)
Lords ($LORD) is the ecological core organization in BibliothecaDAO, which revolves around the derivative project Loot Realms. The ecological token was released in December 2021, with a total of 500 million tokens, of which 89.65 million have been issued so far.
On February 1, 2023, the community completed the execution of the 7th governance proposal (BIP-7), selling 12.5 million $LORD at a price of $0.05 per token, with a target fundraising goal of $625,000. However, this round of private sale, which was only open to the community, raised a total of $3.97 million, exceeding the target by 6.35 times. After the excess funds were returned, the secondary market price of $LORD quickly rose from $0.09 to a peak of $0.169.
Currently, the price of $LORD is fluctuating around $0.13, with a FDV of $12.22 million and a circulating market value of $6.94 million.
(Data source: DexGuru, as of 2023/02/18)
4. Narrative and Ecology of Loot
As the founder of Loot, Dom chose to let it grow naturally after its establishment and almost stopped intervening in its development. During this process, many outstanding contributors and community organizations gradually emerged, especially Timshel @TimsheXYZl and Loaf @lordOfAFew, who gradually became the core figures and even spiritual leaders in the Loot ecosystem, leading the community forward.
Currently, Timshel focuses more on the macro-narrative description and development of the Loot universe, while Loaf is more involved in helping the products related to the Loot ecosystem to land.
4.1 Narrative: Loot.Foundation
First of all, it needs to be reiterated that there is no official statement regarding Loot, so gaining recognition and consensus from other community participants is the truly important thing, and this requires continuous contribution and high-quality output.
During the entire process of narrative expansion, Timshel undoubtedly played a crucial role, and its initiation of Loot.Foundation has also become the base for community contributors. Through their early in-depth exploration of attributes and contracts, the Loot universe they interpreted has also become the mainstream narrative today.
In this narrative, "repetition" is the background of the world. Loot is a relic of the past, accidentally explored and excavated by later generations. Through continuous learning and understanding of the relics, later generations gain new insights, create new things, explore further boundaries, and make the Loot in their hands more powerful. However, there is a beginning and an end to each generation. In the cycle of generations and repetition, we have come to the third period, the era in which "we" live.
On the website of Loot.Foundation, only a rough framework is provided for the description of each period, while a lot of blank space is left for anyone to fill in and expand upon regarding the content and direction of historical stories.
To promote the development of certain content, Timshel even launched a new project called "Open Quil" (https://openquill.foundation/) to specifically collect and select high-quality creative content, while "Genesis Scroll" (https://openquill.foundation/the-genesis-scrolls) is a content expansion project for the first cycle "The Genesis Era".
Genesis Scroll was first initiated on the community forum Loot-talk on Loot, and later continued on the openquil platform. This is a narrative co-creation project open to everyone, where participants can freely imagine and create content about characters, families, wars, poetry, and more, around the world of the Genesis Era.
If Loot is compared to "Three Kingdoms", then Genesis Adventures is like a general who left his mark in history, and Genesis Scroll is like the "Records of the Three Kingdoms" that depicts the entire era, which may contain different chapters like "The Biography of Zhuge Liang" in "Records of the Three Kingdoms". Loot can also have "Genesis Scrolls · The Fox · Raeven".
Currently, Genesis Scrolls has successfully completed three rounds of Writing Grants, with major sponsors including the Loot community, Genesis community, Realms community, and other Loot ecosystem projects. At the same time, Mask Network, as a core supporter of decentralized narratives, has also provided a $10,000 grant. Currently, Scrolls has accumulated over 100,000 words of rich content.
But this does not mean that the interpretation of the Loot Foundation will be the only version. The most interesting feature of Loot is its open narrative ecology. Essentially, Loot does not provide any substantive elements, but rather clues to elements, and the interpretation of these clues can ultimately have countless versions. To put it simply, it's like playing mahjong. No matter how strange the rules may be, as long as someone is willing to participate, the rules are established.
If we are talking about Loot, it is not impossible for a new Loot narrative in an Eastern fantasy version to emerge in the future, as long as the content is attractive enough and contributors can gain recognition from other participants, it can also gather an ecosystem around the narrative, after all, the greatest significance lies in being believed.
4.2 Ecological Situation
Loot's openness and inclusiveness attracted a large number of derivative projects at the beginning, although many of them did not continue to develop, they still built a huge Lootverse. For detailed information about the projects within the ecosystem, you can check out the Resources and Loot Watcher on the Loot website. We also recommend this article "BAYC to the Left, Loot to the Right: Exploring the Ecological Development of NFT New Paradigm Eight Months After the Birth of Loot" written by Hill, a core contributor of the Chinese community of Loot and an investor of SevenX, for a detailed understanding. This section will only provide a brief introduction.
After a relatively long period of time, the projects and organizations that have persisted in the Loot ecosystem still have good development or content production capabilities, as well as a sincere belief in the Loot concept. Among the relatively active projects/organizations in the current Loot ecosystem are:
Loot Realms (Bibliotheca DAO)
Loot Realms is a Loot land derivative project currently managed by Bibliotheca DAO. It was first launched on September 14, 2021, with a total of 8,000 copies. Bibliotheca DAO is a decentralized open-source game studio developed around the StarkNet ecosystem, with a relatively clear roadmap. Two products will be developed around Realms, and a private placement round was conducted on January 31, 2023, achieving a scene of over-subscription of 6.35 times and successfully raising $625,000. Currently, the full-chain game Realms: Eternum is undergoing internal testing development. (See 4.5 for details)
Crypts & Caverns
It is also a land derivative project of Loot, Caverns, which was launched in November 2021 with a total of 9,000. Compared to Realms' city territories, Caverns is developing towards small maps. Each Crypts & Caverns is a randomly generated "seed-shaped" dungeon map, which continues the underlying "clue" concept of the Loot ecosystem. This means that any developer can generate random dungeons by calling its contract and performing their own front-end visualization, just like Hero.fun, which uses Crypts & Caverns metadata to generate a dungeon-like mini-game similar to Beacon.
Currently, C&C is constantly trying new ideas and actively collaborating with Realms. In the future, there may be a very interesting mode, such as the holder of Loot entering a random C&C dungeon in the Realms ecosystem to battle. If they win, they will take away the loot from the dungeon. However, if they die, the dungeon will gain experience and the equipment on them will be eaten by the dungeon and returned to the corresponding C&C holder.
HyperLoot is one of the better quality visualized loot projects among many, launched in April 2022. All holders of Loot, mLoot, and GA can mint a corresponding HyperLootNFT for 0.05 E, with a total supply of 20,000, of which 8585 have been minted so far.
Perhaps because the co-founder is a senior art director with rich experience in game character design (he has participated in game projects such as Hearthstone, Clash Royale, and NetEase Harry Potter), HyperLoot has a higher acceptance of art style compared to other visual projects, as well as a clearer roadmap and progress.
On February 10, 2023, they announced their latest progress. Currently, they have completed the 3D modeling of NFT for all HyperLoots, and soon the original owners can upgrade their NFT to the 3D version. In addition, their self-developed mobile game "HyperLoot: CC0 Wars game" is about to be launched. From the disclosed information, the art style is similar to Clash Royale and Brawl Stars, and it will be a MOBA mobile game based on OCA assets on the blockchain.
LootMMO is a Loot ecosystem MMORPG game developed based on the open-source game engine CORE (underlying is UE), which integrates many projects within the Loot ecosystem. Although it has not yet achieved a fully on-chain form, due to its open-source nature, it has also attracted and encouraged many developers to participate in the construction of the game.
From the gameplay videos on the official website, LootMMO already has a pretty good game presentation. The art style has a bit of a World of Warcraft flavor, and we are also looking forward to the game experience that can be presented as the Loot universe narrative expands in the future.
The Crypt Game
The Crypt is a Loot ecosystem full-chain game developed by web3 game studio PlaymintUK (which completed a $4 million seed round in April 2022). Players need to hold Loot, mLoot, or GA to participate in the game. The game mechanism is relatively simple, mainly based on cooperation between players to complete dungeon raids and obtain NFT loot.
Currently, the game has opened three chapters, and the game mechanics of each chapter have slightly changed, but there have been no further developments announced recently.
Banners is a collection of 10,600 flag-themed NFTs designed to be a social layer within the Loot ecosystem. Each banner is made up of specific icons representing the factions and pursuits of characters in the Lootverse, carrying their will and aspirations.
Banners is currently an active content producer in the ecosystem, often appearing in Scroll's expansion and other written works.
The Rift belongs to the basic construction of the DID type in the Loot ecosystem, which endows each Loot NFT with an experience value attribute. When Loot interacts with projects within the ecosystem, it can obtain a certain amount of experience value, which can be referenced by other derivative projects to provide more powerful functions.
It provides a solution for value accumulation within the Loot ecosystem, while The Rift also participated in the proposal of EIP-5050, creating a new way to interact between NFTs.
5. On-chain "Civilization": Loot Realms
Realms is one of the most core projects in the current Loot ecosystem, and as it develops, it has also grown a highly vibrant ecosystem of its own. Currently, Realms is actively developing two full-chain gaming projects: Realms:Eternum and Realms:Adventurers.
5.1 Realms: Eternum
Eternum is a sandbox-style strategy simulation game similar to "Civilization". The game adopts a full-chain mode, and players need to hold at least 1 Realms to play the game. In the game, players will play the lord of their own territory, increase the strength of their own territory through resource acquisition and operation, and involve player-to-player games such as construction, trade, aggression, and defense. The test network of StarkNet has been launched, and you can experience it by clicking here.
Based on the overall experience, the game has a relatively clear structure and logic. If the underlying narrative of Loot is "Romance of the Three Kingdoms," then Eternum is similar to the game "Three Kingdoms." Although there is still room for improvement in terms of interactive experience, and due to the current limited speed of the Starknet test network, the time for L2 to return L1 transaction confirmation is too long. However, as one of the few fully on-chain games, Eternum still demonstrates a pretty good performance.
Meanwhile, the economic model has also completed its preliminary design, which can form a good linkage with the NFTs of the Loot ecosystem and its own ecological token $LORD. After going live on the mainnet, holders of both Realms and C&C NFTs can receive continuous asset output, and assets can also be sold for $LORD. Currently, the in-game AMM market for assets has also been completed, and it is believed that the future economic system will have a good presentation.
With the further integration of the Loot ecosystem in the future narrative, such as Loot, GA, and so on, the game's modes and scale will become more diverse over time, making it a project worth paying attention to.
5.2 Realms: Adventurers
According to the team's disclosure, Adventurers' plan is to become a full-chain RPG gaming platform, providing various tools for developers to quickly access the Loot ecosystem project and complete the development of RPG games, such as accessing C&C dungeons. Players can operate characters to explore different dungeons and obtain NFT assets and $LORD.
What's interesting is that the team is very interested in incorporating the concept of "risk" into it, meaning that players can take their winnings and stop exploring at any time, or they can continue to explore deeper. However, once they die, they will lose some/all of their assets, and the corresponding NPC or developer will receive this portion of the assets as a reward (such as the holder of the C&C). The team calls this model "Play 2 Die", which increases the overall competitiveness of the game.
However, as Adventurers is still in the closed development stage and ideas are still being verified, we will have to wait and see for the final presentation in the future.
Finally, the overall Loot ecosystem is increasingly focused on collaboration with Starkware. As a gathering place for all-chain games, the "on-chain Steam" cartridge in StarkNet and the "MatchboxDAO" full-chain game incubator are also worth paying attention to.
To be continued...[Preface] "Part 1: The Beginning and Dark Forest""Part 2: Insights from Dark Forest and Loot, and Future Possibilities"