It’s been a rough few months in crypto, with LUNA and TERRA setting off a chain reaction that has wound back many positions in the industry. My sympathies to everyone who has experienced losses.
Despite the inclement conditions, Verses development continues. Our project is just as much a game project as a crypto project, which insulates us somewhat from these circumstances. Our vision of making a great game to appeal to a wide gaming audience in turn driving a market for digital collectibles hasn’t changed.
Many Hands and Mint State Labs have set a consistent routine advancing development and implementation of Verses. In this update, I’ll talk about technology, game development, personnel, our road map, and communications.
More Tezos wallets: InterPop’s point of sale now supports all Beacon wallets. We know the lack of non-custodial wallet options turned off a number of potential buyers in Q1, and are pleased to give folks the ability to choose wallets they know, trust, and like. We saw some immediate sales after announcing this change on our Discord, and take that to mean that the issue has been corrected.
Adopting Unity: Part of our strategy for ease of onboarding is for Verses to be playable in browsers on mobile and other devices. When we started the project, we thought we would need to build our own stack to support being a progressive web app (PWA). Recently, Unity has begun supporting development of PWAs, so we are currently looking at adopting Unity to accelerate our game implementation.
Experimenting with A.I. generated art: The explosion of generative art in the last few months through things like Midjourney, DALL·E 2, and Craiyon (formerly DALL-E mini) has been on our radar. We have been experimenting with these technologies to see how they could contribute to internal prototyping, making production more efficient, or providing users with tools for customization of their cards and avatars down the road.
Basic game engine July/August: Our production schedule currently estimates the basics of our engine up and running at the end of July or beginning of August. This will allow us to start seeing how our current game designs look and feel when played, and begin iterating on our digital features.
Single player demo: A demo level designed to be played solo, with three character options, and multiple paths to solve different challenges has its initial design complete. Our goal is to test and iterate on this level, and ultimately use it as promotional material and for fundraising.
Mobile game UI: We’re working on our UI, trying to keep it as streamlined and clean as possible so that the limited real estate on a phone is well used. Here is a very primitive draft of a Verses layout:
Verses style guides: We’re working on a visual style guide for each of the Verses. The intention is to have rich, painted feeling tilesets for each Verse, similar in quality to games like Hades and Bastion.
Combining Narrative & Game Design: Our narrative design team has been working closely with our game design team to brainstorm and iterate on characters and card abilities.
Staff on leave: Brittney will be on leave for most of Q3 of 2022, with other members of our staff covering for her areas of responsibility.
More full time employees: We’ve converted a number of our staff from contractors to full-time employees, including our entire Narrative Team of Jody Dunville, Eleanore Drummond, and Michael Trapp. They’ve been doing great work, and we’re delighted to have them on the team.
Looking to hire a game designer and lead visual artist: We are currently looking to hire a game designer to increase our rate of content development and a lead visual artist to take design load off of our partners at MSL.If you or someone you know might be a good fit, please apply at our careers page.
Playable demo in November: Our current estimate for completing our playable demo has been updated to November 2022 from September 2022. The additional time needed reflects the increase in scope from being a relatively simple single screen for a trading card game to adding avatars and animations and other more complex board elements.
Fundraising going well: We have had significant success fundraising, and are currently completing accounting and legal disclosures before we are able to collect some checks. Fundraising will continue until we have runway through December. The goal is to have funds on hand to keep the lights on through the completion of the demo and then the subsequent larger raise we’ll do once the demo is complete.
More communication on the way: We’re prioritizing doing more outward facing communication, so that our social media and Discord has more regular updates about what we’re doing. We feel this will be of interest to investors down the road, and also to players or collectors to help reassure them that we have been operating for a long time, aren’t a scam or vaporware, and are genuine in our passion and commitment to making Verses a world-class game.
AMAs start in August: We’re going to start having a regular show & tell / AMA on the first Thursday of each month at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET/ 4 PM GMT. The goal of this timing is that no matter where someone is in the world, they have a reasonable chance of being able to be awake to participate. We chose the first Thursday because it is a day traditionally chosen to celebrate art, and our project hopes to keep featuring new art and artists. Details of how to access this will be on our Twitter and Discord.
It’s been fun, and stressful, watching our project grow. As we complete more and more steps, I get more and more excited about the vision becoming a reality. Even though we find new challenges at every turn, we also keep overcoming them. Verses’ team is full of talented, passionate people, and day after day we keep rolling up our sleeves and doing the work to make something beautiful and fun.
Thanks for joining us on this journey. If you have any questions, hit me up in the comments or ask in the Town Hall on the Discord.
President, Many Hands SPC
Co-Creator of Verses