Could ‘Big Time’ Change The Trajectory Of Crypto Gaming?


Could ‘Big Time’ Change The Trajectory Of Crypto Gaming?

Decentraland and Zynga alum Thor Alexander wants to change the narrative NFT in the video game industry.

As the Executive Producer of the upcoming third-person multiplayer RPG “Big Time,” Alexander is passionate about making the title feel like a “second-generation crypto game” that goes beyond the 2D experience of a play-along title. win like”axie infinity”, which fell out of favor this year after facing token price drop and a massive $622 million hack.

“Big Time” has to be different.

“One of our biggest challenges has been introducing traditional gamers to our idea of Web3Alexander said. decipher via email. “A lot of them had early experiences with NFTs that ended up being rugs/scams, which left a bad taste in their mouths.”

“Big Time” is currently on early access development and is only available to select ambassadors and creators, as well as purchasers of their VIP Passes, which can cost upwards of $4,500 depending on the level purchased.

A gold standard

As the executive producer of “Big Time,” Alexander is focusing a lot on developing his game. economy.

“That’s one of the biggest next stages,” Alexander said, adding that there is “no set timeline” for when the game will come out of its current stage of development.

“Big Time is currently in early access co-development with our community,” he wrote. “When they tell us that the game is ready, we will open it to more users.”

Alexander has been working in the video game industry since 1992, carving out several different titles like “Medal of Honor” and “Ultima X” for Electronic Arts for seven years before collaborating with Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz at Metaplace. The social gaming company was then sold to Disney, and Alexander moved on to Zynga to work on the now-defunct “PetVille” and “CityVille,” to name a few.

“The Big Time development process is a throwback to the smaller games of the late ’90s,” Alexander said. “We don’t have a massive budget or six years to build the game, so we borrowed the development processes and design thinking that was used in previous MMOs and RPGs.”

When asked where he sees “Big Time” in a few years, Alexander is optimistic.

“We would like to see ‘Big Time’ serve as the gold standard for what NFTs and cryptocurrencies can offer gamers and the gaming industry itself. Right now, there’s generally cynicism around first-generation crypto games.”

Image: Big

The players and the greed

The seasoned exec is not afraid of the army of NFT haters that seem to be rampant in the traditional gaming space, calling all the negative reactions to cryptocurrencies in gaming “a pretty normal reaction.”

“We saw a similar trend with early free-to-play (F2P) games where their thin nature allowed many to misjudge how things would play out. Fast-forward a few years beyond ‘FarmVille’ and the same core mechanics of F2P powered big hits from mainstream games like ‘League of Legends’ and ‘Fortnite.’”

But why do some players specifically hate NFTs? Gamers think publishers are “greedy,” Alexander said, and see NFTs as the next way studios “will come for their wallets.”

Also, efforts by some game studios to call their NFTs “digital collectibles” or other similar euphemisms aren’t helping, Alexander said.

“Gamers are not easily fooled by marketing buzzwords. What we need to do is show them how NFTs can have a positive impact on gaming.”

“For years, gamers have felt as if they were not getting value for the money and time they spent in the game,” Alexander argued. “[Traditional] studios are squeezing every penny out of their players, at the expense of player experience.”

With player ownership thanks to Web3, things could be different, in the right hands.

“If done right, blockchain technology opens up the world for gamers, allowing them to actually own the assets they collect in-game,” he said.

thoughts at first sight

When I logged into “Big Time,” I felt like I was about to jump into a “Fortnite” or “Dauntless” game, as the game’s aesthetics and UI feel clean and seamless. shouts epic game store material.

But I also came across a visual disclaimer: “The game is a work in progress and you should expect to find unfinished, unpolished, or downright broken content along the way.”

Well, that’s certainly one way to manage expectations.

That said, I was impressed by how many different servers the game already has online, even though it’s still in development. “Big Time” has servers in Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo and Singapore, an impressive variety of locations comparable to a Blizzard AAA title like “Overwatch.”

Strong servers are the foundation of great games and cause great frustration by players When they crumble (looking at you, “Apex Legends”).

“Big Time” network latency, which gamers colloquially refer to as ping, was also good, ranging from 12 to 50 ms in my Los Angeles test.

Image: Big

Why does ping matter? Well, low ping is essential for a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience, especially when playing an online multiplayer game that involves hitting goals. It’s especially important for first-person shooter titles like “Call of Duty” and “Valorant” and RPGs like “Big Time.”

It’s not unfair to compare “Big Time” to these strong Web2 competitors, considering Big Time Studios’ developers hail from Epic Games, Electronic Arts, Riot Games, and more. And in May 2021, Big Time Studios raised million in financing of the likes of FTX Alameda Research and Sound Ventures, Ashton Kutcher’s venture capital firm.

“Big Time” had the spirit of “Dauntless” with an aesthetic similar to “Pokemon Sword and Shield” mixed with “Fortnite”. When it comes to fighting animations and killing enemies, movements are fluid, satisfying, and require precision and forethought. It feels like a proper RPG.

While the character model graphics are arguably simplistic, the environments look good. I imagine the game runs fine even on low-end PCs. On my upgraded gaming rig and 240hz monitor, the solo play experience was very smooth, but left me wanting a bit more detail graphically.

Alexander told him decipher that Big Time Studios chose “a very stylish look” implemented to “keep our art production in check”.

And it’s fair: there is something to be said for games that don’t invest too much in graphical details so that users with cheaper PCs can enjoy the game.

Surprisingly though, neither cryptocurrencies nor NFTs played a role in my first few hours of “Big Time” gaming. If no one had told me, I wouldn’t have even known it was a “crypto game”. As it stands, the “Big Time” crypto economy poses no threat to your gaming experience.

But higher level players can embark on quests and dungeon runs that can earn NFTs. Those can sell for anywhere from a few dollars to more than $500 per item on the “Big Time” online marketplace.

Image: Big

room to grow

While it’s still in development, what do other players think of “Big Time” so far?

Jonah Blake, founder and game director at Web3 VC firm Game Fund Partners, thinks the title is off to a decent start, but it could still use some tweaking.

“I think they have the structure for a great game, but they’re early and lack the content padding needed for traditional gamers to switch,” Blake said. decipher via Twitter DM.

“I would say that the variety of enemies is very poor, the sound design needs improvement and the raids feel heavy,” he explained. “On the plus side, the world design is extremely beautiful and I think the story concept is compelling. It needs more time in the oven and probably more capital to keep going.”

Image: Big

An early access “Big Time” player who logged more than 12 hours into the game with friends said he regrets his $20,000 purchase.

“I paid around 6 ETH for 3 Gold Passes, which was close to 20k at the time,” said G.nft decipher. “They announced a game model to win a limited supply [of NFTs] during the Gold.

But anyone who held on to their expensive Gold Pass saw their chances of a return on investment diminish over time, G.nft said.

“The early investors/supporters who had NFTs ended up being diluted. The gold pass was watered down because more than tens of thousands of NFTs were produced during the Silver, Jade, and Ruby. [Passes].”

As one of the early buyers, G.nft said he felt Big Time Studios “failed to deliver” on its promises.

In contrast, Web3’s game content creator bricent has had a more positive experience with “Big Time” so far.

“We’re looking at a game that creates an ecosystem to incorporate non-Web3 players in innovative ways,” said Brycent. decipher via Twitter DM. “I think it’s powerful and with the right cultivation of story and lore, the game has a great chance of succeeding.”

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