Presented by Gala Games
What does the future of gaming look like and what do game developers need to know about the ever-evolving technology powering the future of play? In this Q&A session Jason Brink from Gala Games joins Game Developer publisher Alissa McAloon to explore the evolution of tech and discuss Gala Games’ “fun-first” approach to creating games that use programmable assets and blockchain technology.
Brink, the President of Blockchain at web3 publisher and developer Gala Games, explains that the player-facing benefits of utilizing blockchain technology and programable assets in games include increased ownership, both in the tangible and intangible sense. That, in turn, increases engagement and creates a compelling–and fun–gameplay loop that benefits both players and developers.
“The first major benefit that you see from having programmable assets and digital assets that can actually be owned by players is that increase in engagement and being able to know that the thing that you have in that game is actually yours,” explains Brink. He explains that this is evident in one game Gala is partnering with called Spider Tanks, made by the Netherlands-based studio Gamedia.
“In Spider Tanks, you can upgrade assets, you can put time into these assets, you can use them in play, collect items, and then make them better. And there is a potential earning component to that that makes it so that as your tanks get better, you get more that you can put together and build four more tanks,” continues Brink. “It creates this really cool loop that the players really enjoy getting involved in.”
Making the Move From web2 to web3
One point Brink returned to many times throughout the chat centered around what web2 developers might need to know in order to make the leap to web3 and better understand how the technology fits into the broader game development world. He notes that he understands the roots of skepticism and is eager to break down some of the perceptions created by the early days of web3 games, including the reputation surrounding NFTs.
“I think that we as an industry, and I know that game developers everywhere out there will agree with me on this, we have to get away from terminology like NFTs, because it’s just so weird. It breaks immersion and it doesn’t feel fun,” explains Brink. “At Gala Games, we are fun first and fun forward all the time. So for us, we look at these as digital assets, but we try to stay away from calling things and NFTs unless we absolutely have to.”
That being said, Brink and Gala Games are eager to help interested web2 developers learn more about web3 games and even transition their titles into this space. The company recently made a strategic choice to pivot toward publishing games from external developers, while still doing some of their own development work on the side.
“We found that by working directly with external developers, were able to leverage their unique skill sets to build things that we don’t necessarily have in-house, and at the same time provide them with skill sets that are very unique to us,” explains Brink. “This is where I believe sort of the secret sauce of all of this comes in, because it’s only through having two different groups synergistically working to advance the same plan that you’re able to receive the maximum benefit from that.”
“And,” continues Brink, “More people entering the ecosystem means more players and more games. All of that is good for everybody.”