When it comes to games, the blockchain can be a dull beat. Call of Duty: Senseless Violence has not yet become a big hit on Ethereum, but there’s one dApp that’s won’t make you fall asleep. Hoard, a blockchain development company, has teamed up with OmiseGo (OMG) and accomplished two feats which previously seemed impossible: successfully demonstrating a scaling solution, while also not boring you to death.
Introducing “Plasma Dog,” the first dApp on the OmiseGo blockchain, and a good way to kill a few hours. Plasma Dog is a retro, 1980’s style side-scroller: you play “Officer Dog,” a blockchain-dwelling canine in a quest to capture “UTXO’s” and “Atomic swaps” while avoiding spikes, “Double Spends,” “Invalid Blocks” and other cryptographic esoterica. The game was developed in advance of DevCon 4, and is intended to demonstrate the viability of Plasma as a scaling solution for OmiseGo.
But unlike the average Atari shooter, the game doesn’t end when you turn it off; prizes collected in-game can be added to the players’ blockchain address, allowing complete, permanent possession of the virtual items.
“The coins are called “UTXOs” and they are sent to the player’s wallet in real time as Plasma Dog traverses and collect them throughout Blockchain World,” explains Chris Robison, Community Manager for the Hoard team. “When players accomplish certain achievements, those are also added to the player’s address.”
Plasma Dog wasn’t just invented to satisfy our ‘80s nostalgia, and the Hoard team regards it as proof that the Plasma child chain is a viable solution for inexpensive, high levels of transaction throughput. “Plasma Dog demonstrates that Plasma MVP can scalably process real time gaming transactions,” Robison said, in an email. “And it’s running without a hitch!”
OmiseGo is not typically considered a gaming platform, and is more targeted to banking and finance rather than jumping dogs. However, Hoard says that using the chain for in-game assets is a logical stepping stone to financial use-cases:
The partnership is match made in crypto-heaven because OmiseGO’s ambitious mission is to Unbank the Banked. Consider this: who is more “banked” than gamers? Except for a handful of blockchain-based game experiments, all video game assets ever are held by a custodian — their games’ servers.
By starting with in-game assets, and demonstrating the possibility of true ownership without trusted custodians, Hoard says that they have demonstrated the scalability of Plasma for financial and other asset transactions:
While the long term vision of the OMG Network is primarily to process traditional financial payment activities, it makes a lot of sense to begin with video games. Video games require all the same functionality as legacy finance: you need to be able buy, sell, trade, rent, loan, collateralize, incorporate (guilds), etc. In fact, in many cases video games require greater levels of complexity than are even possible in the real world.
Plasma Dog currently lives on OMG Testnet, but the game design will later be implemented into Hoard’s software development kit (SDK), providing the architecture for a future global marketplace for in-game items.
“[B]ecause Hoard will continue to leverage the OMG Network on its journey to mainnet, all Hoard games will instantly be able to take advantage of all of OMG’s fiat payment gateway on-off ramps,” Hoard says. “This means that in the future you will be able to seamlessly exchange your Plasma Dog tokens for a cup of coffee at your neighborhood cafe. Wow!”
That’s a pretty tall order, and they may be overpromising.
I’d be happier if I could finish the damn game.
The author is not invested in OMG, but owns digital assets.