Why gaming is a perfect fit for blockchain

Wiktor Starczewski
4 min readMar 1, 2021
Photo by Frederic Christian on Unsplash

When people talk about the applications of blockchain, it usually comes down to the concept of a Killer App. It should do more, and better, than anything else available on the market right now, so people flock to the blockchain world almost without knowing it happened. In that search for new use cases, noble quest as that might be, what sometimes is forgotten is the reason we have this new technology at all. And that 800-pound gorilla in the room is Decentralisation. Having access to the best decentralised services, but used in a centralised way, does not make any sense and defeats the purpose. A system is only as decentralised as its least decentralised part, after all.

We clearly miss a piece here. Call it Web3, call it whatever you want, but there is a level of abstraction that we just don’t see yet fully. A decentralised internet made of decentralised services, as it was intended to be from the beginning, but then went horribly wrong.

There is many things we can’t do yet, but there’s some we can. A truly decentralised app does not just interact with the blockchain. Its decentralisation is enshrined at the core of its existence.

And that’s what New Omega wants to be. A decentralised project, where the running of the system is not conditioned on the good will of actors involved. To put simply, it’s a game that can not be shut down.

Why is blockchain is good for this? Smart Contracts can do computations and store data. They can be made to execute game engine code, provided it played nice, in the sense most of its needs were math computations of some sort, within the constraints of the blockchain (like no floating points), and be deterministic in nature. That said, random numbers (VRFs), fall well within the category of blockchain determinism, so there’s really a lot of things to play with already.

New Omega at its core allows players to fight among each others fleets of ships, where the control of the composition of the fleets, and their combat strategies, is left to the user pre-fight, whereas the resolution happens without any user interaction (the fight is played, and it can be viewed, but it’s not possible to change tactics mid-fight). In blockchain terms, that means we need to transact once per fight, and the block time determines the time we need to wait for the fight to be generated. Since block times are seconds, suddenly the experience becomes acceptable to the user almost as-is. With 1s block times? Nobody will notice we’re on blockchain anymore.

But blockchain storage is costly, right? Yes and no. As in yes it is, but you don’t potentially need that many bytes to store a players progress in an optimised way. Yes it is a challenge, and every trick that one can employ to optimise gas usage should be done, and New Omega certainly uses a couple of those tricks, to very promising results.

Ok, so we’re on blockchain now. So what? Well, for one, no central servers. No Amazon. No set bill of running costs which developers of small size are stuck with as their ideas scale, and often are forced to close shop because they struggle to create an economic model, because the models available are stuck way deep in the 20th century. Games on blockchain offer unique financing models thanks to tight integration with the thing that blockchain does next to perfect already, value transfers. In the end, true decentralised apps should never need to be shut down. As long as there is a bunch of people interested to continue, there should exist a model by which a project doesn’t die just because its bottom line became not attractive enough by some, often arbitrary measure.

So the fact that the game can’t shut down, also suddenly gives more value to the purchased in-game items. True ownership comes with guarantees. Resistance to shutting down combined with ownership tracking, like NFTs, can suddenly mean people would be much more likely to leave money in the game.

Finally, rewards. New Omega wants to use transparent financing model, in which the proceeds from selling in game items are distributed into pools. One of such pool would be the reward pool, used to distribute against the top performing players every a set amount of time. Another pool could finance the gas costs for users, which is an important hurdle for onboarding onto the blockchain, and therefore the game, so its financing is good for the game as a whole. Add a token based governance system on top, and you get a new level of community involvement. Again, the blockchain makes this trivial, transparent, and frictionless.

It’s time for a change. It’s time for decentralisation.



Wiktor Starczewski

15+ years professional experience in software developement. JavaScript and Blockchain guy.