In this edition, we’ll hint at some exciting developments from a studio perspective, we’ll discuss the progress of the Alpha build, we cover the important features we deem vital to that first test launch, and we cover the distribution of the staking rewards, including a deadline shift to assist the community. Get your beverage of choice, sit back, and enjoy.
Our studio leadership has been traveling and meeting with multiple industry groups, from gaming and beyond, soliciting feedback from our roadmap and our progress. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we expect these discussions to lead to exciting opportunities in these next quarters. The building of a metaverse world relies not just on a gaming experience but also on the experience of creative expression, social life, business life, and educational life. The design of the interoperability of these goals in a single world has captured the imagination of these industry executives, so we are taking the next steps to do what we can to enlist their help in expanding the reach of Netvrk. More on these goals will follow once the connections are more established.
The focus for this past month has been on testing and bug fixing the Alpha build, as well as supporting the ‘quality of life’ improvements being requested.
The Alpha build is being prepared to serve main functions. The first and most obvious is to show off the work that has been done by the team to the community, to point into the direction that our metaverse is heading. This means a few things. First, it means showing the ways that players can engage with each other socially, and how living and moving in a 3D social environment can feel in future builds, less many of the features that will make the experience complete. Second, it is to show how gameplay and social features support each other. This includes features such as voice chat and the party system, both of which are complex when there are different environments to explore, multiple servers running at once, and different experience styles at play.
The second function of the Alpha build is to load test the experience with the help of the community. While we can have a bot farm hit the servers to test the load, having community engagement in the same time window is a much more thorough test. For a test to be helpful, there are capture moments that need to be deployed so that, should something go wrong, we have the proper data to sift through in order to correct any issues found.
With these as our goalposts, we are continuing the preparation of this first Alpha release. Some of the work being done is feature polish on those features that enable the world to be social and interactive. Other work is to set up the testing process to have the release be as informative as possible. At times, these two goals support each other, and on a few occasions, they conflict, and we have to work on a solution that suits both goals. It has been a challenging month for those reasons, but we are encouraged by the progress, which the video below speaks to.
Unreal Team Update
Progress on the Alpha build bug list continued this month. While important features have been solidified and made Alpha ready, others both become performant and then present new challenges. While Unreal Engine 5 is visually impressive, additional work is needed for optimization.
Voice chat has been one major focus. To perform as designed, the voice chat is to be made proximal for just idle talk and then recognize when chat is being performed within a party group, to remain persistent. And then in the driving experience, the proximal voice chat is not relevant at all since players are in their vehicles and passing at great speeds. These design complexities are the types of areas our team has been engaged with in the past month.
The Party System is a core feature to the social interactions in the world. The ability to create, maintain, and disband a party was only the first step. Making sure that the party system and the friend system coexist correctly is a focus. The goal is to allow parties to remain when the party leader moves from one space to another, giving each party member the opportunity to automatically move with the leader or decide to leave the party. With multiple disciplines involved in accounting for all the cases that can arrive (Dev, UI, Design), it is work that will certainly carry on past this first Alpha.
Much of the work for this feature is complete, though the interaction with the environment is proving to be the big challenge. Because of the size of the environment and the organic nature of the desert, finding and correcting collision issues has taken much of the effort of the art and development team. The feature to ‘quick-correct’ for a collision issue is in place, but this is considered more of a development tool than a shippable feature for players to rely on. The team is aiming to solve as many of these issues as possible before the Alpha, and then react to those issues the community brings from the first release.
Blockchain Team Update
The focus for the team during this past month was supporting the Archetype Avatar reveals and supporting the distribution from the staking pool that is to happen as Q2 comes to an end.
The reveal event happened as designed, and we were excited to see the OpenSea marketplace filled with amazing creations from our avatar team. With some of the rarest avatars still available, we decided to re-open minting past the Phase 4 date. While this will give the new community members a chance to engage with our collection, the limits to how many are to be minted for the collection remains intact. Once these 9,000 in total have been created, no more of the Hero, Jester, or Ruler will be minted. Reopening will happen prior to the Alpha launch.
The distribution of the staking rewards was the other focus. During a routine review, we uncovered an aspect in our eligibility reporting process for the staking rewards that needed refining. The way that the website was reporting eligibility for rewards based on participation in Mine Runner was automatically including any players who did that work in Q1 with everyone who completed the work in just Q2. Because of guidance with our Compliance Team, we could not safely use that as our reward criteria. The best advice was to extend the date for participation out until July 6th, which still allows us to hit the distribution date as previously planned on July 7th. Regardless of whether a staking member has met the requirements by this extended date, the staking rewards are still kept in their segregated pool and will be available in future reward drops. We apologize for the miscommunication and feel that the Compliance Team’s plan is the best way forward for the community and for our long-term security.
The energy this June has been off the charts! We kicked off another Zealy contest, and your participation has been nothing short of amazing. Your amazing effort landed us an interview with Paul Barron. Yes, you made that happen!
If you haven’t yet, check out the contest and join the fun over at our Questboard. Remember, your shares, your mentions, your excitement… they all have real power. We see your effort and we’re floored. So, keep doing what you’re doing because it truly is making a difference, contest or not!
There’s been quite a bit of chatter about the importance of Energy earned in Mine Runner. You’re onto something, folks! Let’s just say, those of you clocking hours in our game might find your dedication paying off soon…
And something fun is on the horizon. Let’s just say it might involve being able to show off your Netvrk pride in a new way… But hey, that’s all we’re saying for now.