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NFTs and the Blockchain - What the hell is all this?


squirtle
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@Fry CrayolaIndeed, that's very much a solution looking for a problem; in fact, if you want to see the whole "scarcity and fractional transaction earnings" process in action on a games platform, you have to look no further than Steam itself and its trading card system. If Valve wanted to implement a second-hand sales system there's nothing stopping them; the issue is that they don't want to (because they see control of first-hand prices as a far bigger benefit than gaining fractional earnings of second-hand sales), not that the technology hasn't been there to support it.

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33 minutes ago, Fallows said:

NFTs could quite easily enable a second-hand/trade-in market for digital games. As a publisher you mint a batch of however many of them, creating scarcity, and each time one of those games is traded between individuals 10% of the transaction goes back to the publisher.

Thanks to the blockchain the transaction wouldn't even need a middleman like Ebay. We could trade these in our trading forum, with ownership passing over instantaneously. No more middleman fees, just a commission going back to the original owner.

As an indie developer you wouldn't even need a publisher. You're the sole custodian over your works.

This could be easily enabled now, without NFTs. It's not a lack of technology preventing this.

 

1 hour ago, Uncle Mike said:

Not that I'm lobbying for NFTs or anything, but why wouldn't you use them for non-unique art? That's precisely a thing it enables, isn't it? Like, you "mint" a thousand of them.

Because it's cheaper just to host them and give your own receipt when you sell it.

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17 minutes ago, SozzlyJoe said:

What links the token to the object being sold? I guess it could be a URL, but what if whoever really owns the URL changes it? What's to stop someone making a second token for the same thing?

Nothing really, just trust

https://www.vice.com/en/article/pkdj79/peoples-expensive-nfts-keep-vanishing-this-is-why

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38 minutes ago, Fallows said:

NFTs could quite easily enable a second-hand/trade-in market for digital games. As a publisher you mint a batch of however many of them, creating scarcity, and each time one of those games is traded between individuals 10% of the transaction goes back to the publisher.

Thanks to the blockchain the transaction wouldn't even need a middleman like Ebay. We could trade these in our trading forum, with ownership passing over instantaneously. No more middleman fees, just a commission going back to the original owner.

As an indie developer you wouldn't even need a publisher. You're the sole custodian over your works.

 

 

I've thought about this for four seconds and am quite confident it's the worst idea I've ever heard. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

Setting aside that you don't need NFTs to enable second-hand sales digital games - why the need for scarcity? 

 

In order for digitisation to mimic their physical counterparts, without the environmental fallout associated with both production and logistics.

 

There is no need for scarcity, either. That's entirely up to them. They could sell on Steam if they don't mind paying a cut to a middleman.

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Second hand digital game sales would be a disaster for indie developers, surely? There's even less incentive to make short-form games if people are going to smash through them and sell them for 25% of the RRP on the day of release.

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7 minutes ago, K said:

Second hand digital game sales would be a disaster for indie developers, surely? There's even less incentive to make short-form games if people are going to smash through them and sell them for 25% of the RRP on the day of release.

 

What if they're making a small cut each and every time a trade takes place, effective forever? That's precisely why you would limit the production to 100,000 units, or so. What if the game garners a cult following and ends up 'rare', so lots of people holding it an not letting go? The odd sale would appear and go for 5-10x the original RRP (Not unlike NGPC games), with the developer making a 10% cut.

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1 minute ago, Fallows said:

 

What if they're making a small cut each and every time a trade takes place, effective forever? That's precisely why you would limit the production to 100,000 units, or so.

 

As opposed to making an unlimited number of games, where you get 70% of the sale price (if you self-publish)?

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4 minutes ago, K said:

As opposed to making an unlimited number of games, where you get 70% of the sale price (if you self-publish)?

 

That would also be an option. My idea isn't going to make Steam go away.

 

 

2 minutes ago, phillv85 said:

I don't really know a great deal about NFT's, I have little interest in them unless they're going to invade my game space. What about NFT's, if anything, would stop piracy of an artificially scarce digital game?

 

It would have to perform random ledger checks throughout the game, so DRM lite. Piracy could potentially be over with.

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2 minutes ago, Fallows said:

 

What if they're making a small cut each and every time a trade takes place, effective forever? That's precisely why you would limit the production to 100,000 units, or so. What if the game garners a cult following and ends up 'rare', so lots of people holding it an not letting go? The odd sale would appear and go for 5-10x the original RRP (Not unlike NGPC games), with the developer making a 10% cut.

Why is that better than the seller simply setting their own price for an unlimited number of sales, and taking a larger cut in the process? Making something artificially rare is going to make things worse for everyone involved. I can't see any benefit for me if I had to pay ebay prices for rare physical games, instead of just buying the Castlevania Advance Collection or whatever for £15.

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Just now, Fallows said:

 

That would also be an option. My idea isn't going to make Steam go away.

 

 

 

It would have to perform random ledger checks throughout the game. Piracy could potentially be over with.

 

Ah interesting. Now preventing piracy could definitely be a good thing. Any idea how intensive on systems or the blockchain ledger checks would be?

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Just now, phillv85 said:

Ah interesting. Now preventing piracy could definitely be a good thing. Any idea how intensive on systems or the blockchain ledger checks would be?

 

Algorand is extremely light-weight, near instantaneous, and carbon-negative. There'd be zero impact on the gaming experience, I imagine.

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This isn't going to kill off piracy. Games that have a genuine need to be always-online like Destiny or Fortnite tend not to get pirated for obvious reasons, and people won't want single-player games that need to contact a server for you to be allowed to play them. 

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5 minutes ago, Fallows said:

It would have to perform random ledger checks throughout the game, so DRM lite. Piracy could potentially be over with.

Full fat DRM is always circumvented in time for pirated games, and I'm sure "DRM lite" would be in no time too. Some existing DRM also requires server checks, just not to a blockchain, and people already kick off about offline games requiring a network connection.

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2 minutes ago, Mogster said:

Why is that better than the seller simply setting their own price for an unlimited number of sales, and taking a larger cut in the process? Making something artificially rare is going to make things worse for everyone involved. I can't see any benefit for me if I had to pay ebay prices for rare physical games, instead of just buying the Castlevania Advance Collection or whatever for £15.

 

I've no idea. I've not done the tokenomics. I do know that there are lots of people that collect physical games, which are limited in number (and vary in condition). When those games change hands it's Ebay, Paypal, and the shipping companies that take their cuts.

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2 minutes ago, Fallows said:

 

Algorand is extremely light-weight, near instantaneous, and carbon-negative. There'd be zero impact on the gaming experience, I imagine.

 

Thanks, it's interesting to hear how some of this stuff works without diving into a 10 hour youtube video with acronyms being flung at you. 

 

I still don't see anything new that doesn't have existing tech in place, but at least I understand how they may now integrate this.

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Another question, and maybe I'm wrong, but as it stands you'd have to buy these games using crypto wouldn't you?

 

So on top of Ebay prices to play some game second hand because its rare then the price fluctuates further due to whatever crypto you have to use to buy it?

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7 minutes ago, Fallows said:

 

I've no idea. I've not done the tokenomics. I do know that there are lots of people that collect physical games, which are limited in number (and vary in condition). When those games change hands it's Ebay, Paypal, and the shipping companies that take their cuts.

Absolutely. I've recently sold off a bunch of my old games as well, including a copy of SotN for a silly price. I wouldn't want to have to pay that price for the game myself though, and if a game is available digitally for a sensible price then why would you want to pay more for exactly the same digital experience linked to an NFT? Digital re-releases have been a brilliant way to make otherwise rare and expensive games available again, and they generally don't require an online connection to repeatedly confirm that you do indeed own the game you paid for.

 

Currently, indie devs have a number of stores they can sell their games through which all give them a majority cut of the sale price to varying degrees, and of course they can sell independently if they have the means and are happy to pay for hosting. They can set their own prices for all of these to make sure their cut is high enough.

 

I should add that I'm not completely against the concept of NFTs in principle, but I've yet to see a genuinely good implementation of them.

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17 hours ago, K said:

NFTs aren’t inherently bad, and there are some potentially useful applications. Like, I can see how they could be used for making it easier to manage usage and administering payments for the use of an image or similar - so if you’re a digital artist or a photographer, then that could be useful.

 

Most if not all uses of it at the moment are based on speculation, which is not particularly productive. Once the initial gold-rush fervour dies down then I can see something interesting emerging, but for now it’s all pretty unseemly and a bit scammy. 

 

I think this nails it. It's patently obvious there's a bubble going on. The alternative is that people actually believe their receipt for a cartoon monkey picture that is freely available for anyone else to use is inherently worth thousands of dollars. Even the rubes pumping up the bubble don't believe that - if the price crashed tomorrow I don't expect many to take a philosophical view that "it was worth what I paid, to me." The market is being driven by amateur traders taking a position on things they've been led to believe will only ever appreciate in value. And that's a tale as old as time.

 

Only after the bubble bursts will the actual inherent value of the technology/concept become apparent, separated from the tulip/south sea/dot com hype.

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