Verses AMA w/ Game Designer Billy Moreno - May 23

Billy discusses making Verses, design challenges, blockchain in gaming, and more.


1. <a href= "#1">How long have you been working on Verses?</a>

2. <a href = "#2">Tell us more about your game design history.</a>

3. <a href = "#3">How does your past work carry over to designing Verses?</a>

4. <a href= "#4">What makes Verses different from other TCGs?</a>

5. <a href= "#5">What are the difficult aspects of making Verses? </a>

6. <a href= "#6">So what was your path to blockchains and NFTs?</a>

7. <a href= "#7">How will games benefit from blockchain integration?</a>

8. <a href= "#8">It’s a question about blockchain integration into the gaming space. </a>

9. <a href= "#9">What do you think the post-blockchain gaming world looks like?</a>‍

10. <a href= "#10">What games are you playing lately?</a>‍

11. <a href= "#11">You can find Billy’s music here.</a>‍

Billy Moreno 


I’m doing well, having some fun meetings today, and the project is doing well, so that’s always good.

Andy Wilson


<div id="1" class="anchor">How long have you been working on Verses?</div>

Billy Moreno 


The first time I interacted with Verses was I think September or October last year, for about a month. I kind of had a quick run with the project. I wasn’t looking for full-time work. And it was the first time we kind of both reached out to each other. Me and the Verses team, we wanted to see how we liked the experience of working together. And then that went really well. That was exciting.

And then back to I think in March… Man, time, I think I'd been there about six… I have no clue how to measure time and I've been there for some number of months. that I think is like four months. I didn’t expect to get tripped up on that specific part. But yeah, I was ready to work full-time on a project and this one was very exciting to me and fortunately the timing lined up.

Andy Wilson  


I'm the same way with time. Like whenever I'm speaking with my doctors and they say “Like okay, and you have an appointment like here and there.” and I'm like “I guess, if that's what it says on the computer. I guess I'll be there.” So we just talked a little bit about your story of finding your way to the Verses team. And so my next question is. 

<div id="2" class="anchor">Tell us more about your game design history.</div>

Billy Moreno 


I connected with the people I know working on Verses through Magic the Gathering and competitive play. And that's how I got started in game design. The first game I worked on way back in 2006 was called Chaotic TCG. And it was like an early ambitious attempt to have like a collectible card game with digital and tabletop play, it was years before Skylander did that with their video games. We were a design studio hired onto that. So we got to really focus on the design part while they were figuring out the brand. And that was a fun way to get my toes in.

After that, it was a lot of card games so I got a chance to work on Magic for a couple of years. Got to lead some sets there, got to be on a lot of sets, and work with a lot of great designers. Then I ended up at Activision working on a collectible card game for Skylanders and seemed like a really natural fit. So we built that game, got it to soft launch, and worked on another Magic digital game that's actually in beta right now. Spellslingers, it's kind of like reimagines magic similar to Hearthstone, meaning it was designed in a digital world first. And then the last one that I worked on most recently that I left the project earlier, but I had fun working on it while I was there, Niantic has an NDA game that's made in a soft launch but in some level of being out there.

Andy Wilson 


There are a lot of magic designers on our team.

Billy Moreno 


There are a lot of magic designers in the business.

Andy Wilson  


Oh, that's an interesting point. I hadn't I hadn't really thought about that, that maybe you just bump into Magic designers kind of anywhere you go in the TCG world.

Billy Moreno 


In the CCG world but if you think about mobile games too, Magic was early, early into the microtransactions game and very successful at it. So designers working on Magic, even tabletop, had a lot of the skills needed for balancing modern game ecosystems.

Andy Wilson


I have a question about how a lot of the previous games that you've worked on.

<div id="3" class="anchor">How does your past work carry over to designing Verses?</div>

Billy Moreno 


I’ve worked on a lot of card games. And that's a core part of the Verses experience that we're designing. I've worked on card games with enough different things going on at the end of the cards. The Skylanders battle cast game was more of like a 3D Pokemon where you were picking a character who was in front and you know, they get hit and It's like a character standing off against each other.

So I'm ready for the breadth of storytelling and gameplay presentation that Verses is striving for, even like to build to use everything we know about cards and how well they work as game pieces to build a really rich world. I've gotten lots and lots of cracks at working on those kinds of problems and it's definitely showing up.

Andy Wilson  


I think what's interesting about Verses is that it's a unique twist on the card game concept right? I feel like with a lot of card games, it's just like cards to a board but with Verses we're really trying to expand far beyond that and expand what it means to play cards and what a card can do if that makes sense.

Billy Moreno 


Yeah, I think what you’re pointing at is what a world looks like when a player interacts with it using cards. Because we've learned a lot about how to make card games over the years and there are lots of different things you can do with them and you can look at a lot of great games. And we've learned a lot of things to do with a kind of more simulated real-time world environments. Where like, people look at it and there's a lot going on. But you look at the world and it makes sense, right? It feels right.

And so you can understand what's going on, like cards you have to read them and break them down into game pieces and they work really well for that, and then put that like a real game 3D real-time game environment. And having everything just play very naturally if you put it together the right way. And so like we've got this really exciting project of putting the two together in a way that I haven't seen.

Andy Wilson  


Yeah, that's something that I think is pretty unique to Verses. And someone had asked the question, “What makes Verses stand out compared to other card games?” And why is it not just another TCG? I liked this question and it really resonates with me because I feel like a lot of times people look at a card game and they think “This is just a magic clone or this is just like a Hearthstone clone” but when you look at Verses I don't get that feeling. I feel like I'm seeing something really new, fresh, and different and I'm kind of wondering if maybe you could expand on this, being that you're on the game design side.

<div id="4" class="anchor">What makes Verses different from other TCGs?</div>

Billy Moreno 


Yeah, I think it's interesting when you look at it from different angles, right? Because in some ways, our goal, while working on this is to find and recognize game design solutions that people have tried and worked for different situations right? And then we have to be smart about reusing solutions and putting together the Lego pieces that work to solve problems. And I think we're doing a really good job of that. 

And what it’s letting us do is focus on what problem, and what game are we actually trying to make for people and what experience are we actually trying to make for people. And it's one where the cards connect to a real-time 3D world in a way that feels very satisfying. very manageable. That gives you a sense of progression, journey, predictability, and surprise. And that works like you would expect a card game too, but also like you would expect a 3D environment too.

Andy Wilson  


I think it's really interesting what Verses is doing, but it's also like there are some challenges with it. When I first tried to describe to friends that it's a card game, but there are no cards on a board. It's like you got characters walking around and using cards to do stuff. I

They’d look at me confused. And then like once I kind of explained it to them a little more eventually the light bulb would go off in their head. I could see it on their faces and they’d say “Oh that's really cool.” Trying to do something new in a groundbreaking way is difficult. 

<div id="5" class="anchor">What are the difficult aspects of making Verses? </div>

Billy Moreno 


Some personal challenges for me was coming in a couple of years into the project. There was a lot of world-building and design work being done on the project before I arrived. I found myself often, but less so these days, but finding myself often in conversations, where me and other designers would be kind of discussing something or getting ready for a playtest. 

Should we try the rule like this or that? Or putting a lot of energy into making a choice right now and having some push and pull and pros and cons and then me realizing “Oh they're assuming the game works differently.” 

I’d wonder if we’re assuming things going in real-time, or are we using a turn structure to test different ideas? And a lot of times my assumptions didn’t match everyone else’s. Like they're just thinking about it right now with a different assumption than I am. And then I gotta get back on the same page. Or we got to check about the page we’re on for that level first, like and so that was a challenge integrating with the team and kind of figuring out what people understood already. 

Having to figure out what some people understood about the game other people didn't. And so just going through that, and figuring out how to talk about the game or making. And then when we're making the game, it's like the challenge of well… You look down at a problem that you're dealing with right now working on the game. 

And you entirely focus on it on purpose, and you start to look at everything in a way that's very centered on that problem. And that's good when you're figuring out the problem and it can be challenging when you forget that you're juggling a bunch of other problems at once. And so it's just this, like, constant. It's like adjusting and even wallpaper or something. Or like a sheet where you're constantly straightening one edge and then you have to go back to the other edge, and then go back to the other edge, etc.

You know, you got to lift your head up and check back in like, are we still on the same page about what game we think we're heading towards? You spend most of the time working on a game, not being with the game that you're making, right? Not with the game that people are going to have.

Andy Wilson 


It's like there's like a bunch of errors and sub-problems within the game that we need to solve in order to put all the pieces together to make the game.

Billy Moreno 


The problem is there isn’t even a game. It's not like when you work on something like magic where there's like, for most of the existence of magic there's always a game and you're tweaking and adding stuff. 

But our game is like a theoretical game we’re like building in terms of like these rules that we change and experiment with to put this together. We’re putting it together, then pulling it apart. There's nothing here that is fixed, except for our kind of conviction or decision whether we feel it's the right choice, right. 

Like Magic has things, for instance, as a game and many other games they have things where it's like, in hindsight, maybe not the right choice, but that's what we've got. Right? And we're not there yet. We don't get to say we just have to live with that decision. So it's the challenge of deciding things at the right time in a way that you can keep moving toward the game you want to make. Without actually being with that game until the end.

Andy Wilson  


Because it's like the thing that you're working on is always constantly changing and shifting and then every time it shifts you have new questions, new priorities for this new concept. And then you work on that and then you kind of land on something else, and that changes everything again. 

It's the difference between making a game from scratch from the very beginning compared to coming on to an established project. Like you know, like Magic, for example, you come on the Magic and there's been magic around for over 20 years and you're already working on a game that's been going for 20 years, where now you're at the very beginning. So you're building it from scratch and you're also trying to try to avoid making rules or decisions that you'll regret later or may provide like design obstacles or unfun experiences way down the line. But you know, we're not down the line yet. So you can't perfectly predict everything.

Billy Moreno 


And you gotta start making choices now or the team can't move. It’s like alright, we're the Fellowship of the Ring, right? And launching the game is putting the ring in Mount Doom, right? When you read the books, like for 900 pages, you're not at Mount Doom, putting the ring in it. 

That's not what you're actually experiencing as a team making a game. Right? You're going on this journey of like, how do we make sure we get to the place with the resources we have? Right? Like, who's in the fellowship and what are they doing? And we’re communicating because you're never there. We're always like, it's always a project of going on the journey the whole time you're making the game that you got to somewhere.

Andy Wilson  


That's such an interesting comparison. Because it's like the idea of okay, like the solved game when it's finally made. It's putting the ring in a mountain doom. But before you do that, you have to go down this river that's hundreds of miles away from Mount Doom, and you have to climb this mountain that isn't Mount Doom and you have to get stuck in a spider cave. Like all of these different obstacles that are not on Mount Doom and isn't putting the ring in the mountain in the fire.

Billy Moreno 


You got to spend some time with Tom Bombadil.

Andy Wilson 


You’ve gotta have the guy who knows how to use a bow and arrow and you have to figure out who that guy is.

Billy Moreno 


Can he get along with the other one that has the other skill and they have some immediate tension? Can they figure it out? Like yeah, no, it's a journey of fellowship. Like you're trying to get there. So it's those challenges of like, you know, if we put a big, ambitious, target for ourselves out there. We're trying to make a big, big experience.

Andy Wilson  


The bigness of the project is something that I really like about the project, you know, especially someone who does more on the marketing side when I think of Verses I think of the game, but I'm also thinking about when we are going to have Para Funko dolls or whatever? 

Billy Moreno


I just want T-shirts now.

Andy Wilson


I agree, I want a T-shirt. Certainly, we can make t-shirts happen, it’s gotta be possible, it can’t be that hard.

Billy Moreno


And I think the world-building is in great shape to make T-shirts that do what we want, and that people would like to get on board. I think we could talk about what we're doing. Like we think we could be bringing that to the people.

Andy Wilson  


I usually think that something's probably a good idea when it excites both the people inside the company and outside of the company like, you know, fans of Verses and also staff Verses think it'd be really cool to have a Verses World Book. We think it'd be really cool to have comics. And these are all things that we're working on. The World Book project is like a very big project that narrative is working on and they've made a lot of progress ever since the workshop, right? But whenever you get that mutual sense of excitement, that's when I think okay, this is we're onto something here.

Billy Moreno 


Yeah, so do we need some people on the outside to ask where the Verses t-shirts are? So we can be like one plus one.

Andy Wilson 


Right? Listeners hint hint. I kind of want to shift gears a little bit because so far we've been talking about game design, and I want to shift into talking more about blockchain and NFTs.

And I guess I want to start with you know, what's your blockchain NFT origin story? I think everyone kind of has their own story of their own journey that they took to learn about this technology. And we all had different aspects of it that excited us in different ways, you know, moments where light bulbs went off in our heads. 

<div id="6" class="anchor">So what was your path to blockchains and NFTs?</div>

Billy Moreno 


I had a pretty early experience, but not super early. I was at Wizards from 2008 through 2011 when I started hearing about, reading about, researching, and pretty quickly bought my first Bitcoin or made my first purchase. Working with other game designers, it was a great time to like, talk about the design of it like everything we noticed about like, oh, like as a just thing in the world what does this do? How does it work? What can you build with it? As a technology solution, I was really interested in the kind of proof of work concept and the way that was algorithmically built in and also like, kind of contractually built in. 

I'm a natural abstractor. So like, I don't look at the coin and be like, “Oh, this sucks because whatever.” I just kind of turned it into some abstract version of itself, like, oh, it's really cool that you can program how the production of this currency works, right? Like people can see like, oh, Bitcoin comes out at this rate, and on this formula, and this comes out on this rate and this formula, like so instead of looking at these objects and these coins in terms of like, what do I how do I feel about this country or that country? It's about some like, someone programmed an economic model around the coin, right, designed something and said, like, “This coin works like this.” And people look at it and they're like “Okay, I think that's a good working point. I thought that was really cool.”

I thought it was really powerful that it seemed to say that we have black markets and white markets. Black markets, everyone's familiar with, your name’s not attached to what you're doing and you try to hide yourself. Right? And like society just always has that. People who just want to be able to spend money without anyone paying attention to it for whatever reason. And then there's like white markets where you're not allowed to spend money unless your name is attached. 

And Bitcoin and the cryptocurrencies are just like being able to program that into how they work, right? And so like, for instance, if you have a wallet with a name attached because all the transactions are public, right? Then like, everyone you transact with who wants to say hidden if your name is attached, like you're automatically connected, and like now there's a chain, right? 

So it just does something. I just liked all that stuff about it as a game designer. It just works differently than other kinds of currencies that I'm familiar with. That was really cool. NFTs again, like not a purely collectible thing like in the art market. But purely creating NFTs for like, in the ecosystem of a game, being able an object, a game object that someone like collects and you'll find value in because they get to play the game with it and being able to turn it into a real object, with the idea that the object is itself and not the one that someone else has. It's really yours. That idea was a big part of my early Magic experience.

The value of like, collecting and finding the things that were yours and like just being able to keep track of that, and then being able to give them to someone else because you wanted them to play. There are all kinds of ways that you can build game economies and ecosystems on the blockchain, that kind of like in the same way I was talking about with Bitcoin makes it very player friendly. I think in ways that are hard to do, in top-down control ecosystems like with a traditional company working not on Web3, you know a video game or a mobile game like in a more top-down environment.

Andy Wilson  


Yeah. I think a lot of card gamers when they heard of NFTs, they didn't about ape pictures or collectibles. They thought about NFTs as digital cards and then that kind of opened it up for me personally. It kind of opened up the floodgates of like, “What else can these things be?” If they can be cards but they can also be you know, art pieces and collectibles can they be coupons? Can they be membership cards? And then I would think “These are just the things I'm thinking of, but there's a whole world of people thinking about these things and they're going to come up with much more creative and much more interesting things than what I'm thinking of right now.”

And I think there's a really interesting spirit in this community, of experimentation and trying to build something new. What I find interesting about it is that people really have different aspects of the technology that interest them. Every time I hear someone else's story, it kind of makes me a little bit more interested. Hearing you talk about the idea that you just liked it as almost just like a programmable model of an ecosystem that can then be used for all sorts of things just makes me appreciate that aspect of it. When normally that's not something that I was really naturally drawn to. 

I remember a conversation we had on Mike and Eleanore’s back porch, where you were explaining the idea of NFT as a digital object, but like a real object in the same way, and you pointed to a chair you'd say that chair is that chair and not this other chair. And you kind of made me realize a little bit more that you know, what we have right now, in most digital economies, is just like some weird abstraction of an object. 

When I play Magic Online, and I play a Primeval Titan, and then if I trade a Primeval Titan, and then I get another Primeval Titan, there's like really no real difference between them. But there can be sentimental value to these things that current digital models just don't capture. 

If my brother gave me a Primeval Titan for example, that specific Primeval Titan would have sentimental value to me because of the story that's around it. And that's something that you kind of helped me realize that NFTs can capture that other collectible card game models just can't

Billy Moreno 


Something that's really cool about NFT is what NFT card and table objects can do that like the digital and the tabletop card pieces can't do is like, you can say “Hey, Isn't it cool that I have one of the cards from the deck that won the world championships, like the actual cards that came from it? Well, look, I have it, you can see its ownership history. You can see the achievements that this card, that this character actually has, was in the world championship winning deck, right? And your version doesn't say that.”

And you know, they can tell the story of its game life. How many times did my Primeval Titan die, how much damage has my shipping dragon ever done? How many places has Danica visited in her life? That’s cool and allows the game to be sentimental about itself. Like that, the stuff happening in the games isn't just another game that you played right? 

I am playing a lot of Magic and a lot of Marvel Snap and they're great games when I can give myself some context of what I'm trying to do. I love building decks and when I'm engaging with that I'm setting my own goals and everything. But I have so many games like that where I can get stuck in like play another game mode because it all just kind of goes. Whereas like with this ecosystem where each individual card is not just like the abstraction, but the individual card cares about the journey that is going on like you have so many things to care about that they're going. It's not just like endless scenery going by or the climb up the infinite ladders.

Oh, it's a little bit of Dwarf Fortress like snuggled in behind the scenes, right? Like, playing the game is very intuitive and focused on readability and being able to like get into and feel and steer a story. But like there are just a lot of great moments that can just like be captured because of the Web3 technology.

Andy Wilson 


There's someone who submitted a question which was which parts of Verses will benefit from blockchain and integration. I feel like we've been talking around this question and addressing it kind of indirectly. But I kind of wanted to just give it a chance to answer it more directly since we're already kind of on the topic.

<div id="7" class="anchor">How will games benefit from blockchain integration?</div>

Billy Moreno 


I really think it is storytelling and how blockchain is a technology that allows us to keep that storytelling, across a game space across a non-digital space outside of the game. These are real objects that you can give to people and they just have them now. Like even if they never play the game. 

And then there's the real world where your connection is the people and you know, the experiences they're having and being able to like, connect it to where they’re at. And like using like being the expansiveness and the interconnectedness and the publicness of blockchain lets us take like not just like, you know, we've had solo player experiences that are like, you can fill up with rich story and world building forever, but like allows that stuff to emerge from players playing the game in a shared kind of augmented reality kind of situation but using blockchain instead of like a visual overlay, right? It's just like, your time is really showing up in the game. And it’ll continue even if you stopped playing it because someone years later can be like, “Oh, I got this card.” It allows it all to be connected across all these different domains.

Andy Wilson  


So I want to move on to the next question, which is a giant question and I think it has several questions sort of embedded into it. I'm going to just read the question as it was submitted, and then maybe kind of like, summarize it or make it a little bit more grokkable to answer.

<div id="8" class="anchor">It’s a question about blockchain integration into the gaming space.</div>

“Making a good game is more important than blockchain integration, a lot of NFT games focus more on blockchain technology, and less about actually developing a good game. I think that's the problem at the moment. And when big game companies finally started developing blockchain games like Blizzard do you think current blockchain games can still compete?”

There's kind of a lot going on in this question. I feel like the idea of seeing Web3 games that were just all about monetization and just using NFT technology and blockchain technology but weren't actually fun games is something that a lot of people at this company have kind of been frustrated with. And I feel like a lot of game designers in this space have been frustrated with that. 

But then there's also this other question of, do you think any current blockchain games will still be able to compete when you know big companies start to make blockchain games, you know, assuming that they do, even though most have some sort of blockchain project in the works. And so yeah, I guess there's a lot going on on this question, and I just kind of want to toss the ball to you to answer it however you want or address it however you'd like.

Billy Moreno 


You know, I think certainly I wouldn't say I share similar frustrations, but it doesn't surprise me. You know, the early state of blockchain gaming, like the stuff that happens the fastest is going to be that kind of work, right? Verses is taking the time it is to come to market in this space right because the game design process and the world-building process are all being given time before you know like you jam yourself into production though to hit the start date, right? These things have been given air to breathe as like they are foundationally important to what they're doing. So in that sense, yeah, we're pretty aligned as a team there and see a lot of room to make good games. 

You just gotta do it. So we're doing it. As far as when the big companies, the AAA companies come into the space. I think your best bet is that their successful games will make the most money over time.

But big companies just aren't able to make the same games. We talked about going on that fellowship journey to Mount Doom. A big company doesn't make games like that and they make different games because of it. So we just get to make things that they can't make. And I think that's what we are looking at, it’s not a matter of ambition. It's certainly not a matter of quality or visuals or those kinds of statements of quality. It's more like recognizing that we have a chance to make something unique and big companies don't really get to do that.

Andy Wilson  


What do you think? What do you think the post-blockchain gaming world looks like when we get to the point where AAA studios or companies are making blockchain stuff and it's been normalized. Like what do you think that world looks like? What do those games look like? How are things different?

<div id="9" class="anchor">What do you think the post-blockchain gaming world looks like?</div>

Billy Moreno 


So the worst, the most cynical answer came to my mind. So just like when people have a lot more digital objects, right? And the stuff they have in their life includes this whole digital closet in a different way than having digital accounts. But then very quickly that's going to be a world filled with blockchain junk mail. 

And for games, I think, look, we live in the world we do. And it's also why Many Hands has talked about approaching the business with a critical eye because there's a ton of pressure to make microtransactions games that tap into the way that people spend money. It all comes back to how companies are shaped and how they're able to work but you can expect most games to be using the latest technology, the latest technology figured out by the gaming industry to get people to spend money. Is it going to be better than microtransactions loot boxes? In terms of like, is it gonna get more money for the companies and keep people in it longer? 

But there's also going to be room for blockchain and the Web3 ecosystem and technologies to be a place where there's also room to develop in different ways. Similar to what we saw in music over the last 20 years. There are still major studio careers and most of the money goes through there, but there's lots of room for people to say, I want to do business this other way outside of the studio system. I want to make music but I'm not doing it that way. 

Andy Wilson  


I kind of feel similarly where you have both ends of the spectrum, almost turbocharged microtransactions and then on the other end of the spectrum, you have a more free and unique way to do things outside of things like centralized power or centralized systems. And it's like, both of these things are just probably going to be maximally true at the same time.

Billy Moreno 


I think people are gonna be pushing in both directions for sure. And trying to build better versions of both. And you know, but we have a lot of experience with the goals of trying to make money and how it comes with trade-offs in gaming, like it's gonna be more intense but familiar. 

Especially with the level of personalization, I think that is implied in the Web3, you know the level of permissiveness where we're really getting to that Blade Runner world where like, the whole world is just like, presented specifically to you.

Andy Wilson  


<div id="10" class="anchor">What games are you playing lately?</div>

Billy Moreno 


So I've been playing Marvel Snap. I played it previously, but I picked it up again recently because my girlfriend doesn't play video games very much. She's played a few fun games and she doesn't play any card games. And so I thought that one was a good one to introduce a lot of things. So we've been playing that and then I've been reconnecting with magic in a more fun way that has happened in a long time. A big part of that is my friends Patrick Sullivan and Cedric Phillips have a podcast. I don't know if you've gotten the chance to listen to The Resleevables Podcast.

Andy Wilson  


I've heard clips of it on Twitter. I know about it, but I'm not like a listener or anything.

Billy Moreno 


They took some time off and then kicked off a video version starting back with Alpha. Each episode is about two hours and they've got a great format. It's such a generous warm lesson about what Magic was like from the perspective of a player who was there at the time, and what it’s like to look at it now. They also look at it now as a game designer. Right? Like just as a thing happening at the time like, so yeah it’s cool. And I've been playing more magic and kind of imagining, reconnecting like with the tournaments and putting time into that.

Andy Wilson  


Interesting, I'm happy to hear that because I remember we talked about your relationship with magic at the narrative workshop. I remember you feeling that you felt pretty disengaged with Magic and didn't really see yourself touching it. Because you know, you know. So to hear you say that you have found a way to enjoy the game in a way that works for you. I'm happy to hear that.

Billy Moreno 


Definitely like, if you play Magic you know that experience can be great, but it can also be a big part of your life and you might have feelings about that. And that happens lots of different times and we were going into parts of that, you know, especially with Magic Arena and the digital experience around it. I found it really turning into a dopamine, self-soothing, way to pass time, more than a way to challenge and express myself.

And the way that connects to the business and my experience like working on these games has been uncomfortable over the years, but also still just a big part of my life, and so it is nice to find a way where I'm like holding it and can say “I feel good”.

Andy Wilson 


As a longtime Magic player, my strategy is, I just accept whatever phase I'm in.

Because I know my relationship with Magic is going to ebb and flow. Right now my friend showed me this deck he was working on and I just felt so energized by it mentally, and now I’m working on the deck and playing it constantly. And I know that I’ve been here before and I just accept that this is where I am. I'm interested in trying to build this deck and tune it and you know, in three months I probably won't be, and that's fine too.

Billy Moreno 


Magic has one of the advantages I think that we're hoping to tap into with blockchain. With most digital games you expect that if you break up with the game, you break up with your stuff and your investment in it. And Magic just shows how there's a different world for people, even if you have loot boxes in your economy. Just letting people own their stuff and do what they want with it, makes such a big difference in how you know who owns the shared world right of the game. So I'm looking forward to kind of making something that feels really good for people to buy into, or participate in, right like not buy into with money but to buy into like the experience

Andy Wilson 


But also buy in financially. I feel like the models that are emerging now. It's something that people can feel better buying into. Because you can back out of it. You can sell your stuff and you're not trapped. Like I've spent money on Marvel Snap, no way that's ever coming back. 

Going back even further, do you remember the early 2000s, maybe even the late 90s when you could buy a video game and you had a hard copy? And when you're done with it you could trade it. You could trade it to someone for another game. You could trade it to a store. 

For example, Tears Of The Kingdom just came out which has been consuming all of my free time. And you can go into the switch and you buy the digital copy and then it downloads to your system and to your account, but then it's locked there. Maybe this is me showing my age and being old school about it. But I said “Nope I'm going to preorder a hardcopy at a game store which I have not visited in over 15 years. I'm going to have a hard copy. So when I'm done playing I can give it to all of my friends and they can play it and Nintendo can control me!”

Billy Moreno 


I think we'll be fighting that fight back and forth for a long time around digital stuff.

Andy Wilson  


But before we close it out, I just wanted to give you the chance to say anything you want and close out however you feel.

Billy Moreno 


I mean basically like I want to plug in the music. But I don't know what never took up that stage before so I don't even have a good presentation ready.

Andy Wilson 


Okay. Well if the if there's if there's a SoundCloud or something we can we can put it in the notes or the transcript or

Billy Moreno 


Yeah, so it's, it's akabilly, all lowercase one word on SoundCloud and I'll send you the link. (

Andy Wilson  


Cool, I'll make sure that's in the transcript. Alright, thank you so much, Billy. This was really fun, I always really enjoy talking to you. So I had a strong feeling this AMA would be really fun and interesting. So I'm glad you were able to come on and participate. 

To our listeners, we will be back in June. We have maybe a different twist on the AMA coming up. I don't want to spoil anything now because we're going to have a meeting about it tomorrow to hash out the details. So I don't want to say anything prematurely but expect something maybe a little bit different next month. And again, thanks so much for listening and we will talk to you later. 

<div id="11" class="anchor">You can find Billy’s music here.</div> 

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