The basic migration of the project from Ethereum to Polkadot ecosystem has been completed, and the open source is available on GitHub:
NewOmega on Polkadot. Contribute to WiktorStarczewski/newomega.polkadot development by creating an account on GitHub.
With the setup complete for local node development, it is now possible to simulate fights between players, compete for leaderboard standings, and level up players commanders. The entire engine has been ported over, and as such provides a nice starting point to enhance the battles even more. Due to the efficiency of Ink! contracts, there is plenty space to introduce additional complexity to the engine and provide for a unique tactical experience. Let’s dive into the plans, taking the combat element above and beyond and see what it could become.
More variations to the fight system are definitely the first thing that needs to be addressed. The idea here is to combine the simulated (non-interactive) fight approach, which makes for a great fit with the blockchain, with heavy strategy elements. We want to draw on the RPG world to provide inspiration for combat effects, and other strategical aspects. Imagine a HoMM3 fight, that you program beforehand, with a multitude of effects/spells, synergies and so on. In space. :) The non-interactivity we actually consider a bonus, as requiring players to execute orders every time can become tedious, and the ability to program the behaviour, but not having to execute on it, can let players focus on the fun parts of gameplay instead.
To that effect, it will be possible to install modules on ships, which will perform additional actions (apply effects, buffs/debuffs), and synergise with other modules to provide combinations a player can build his fleet around. Such modules can include applying effects such as, on the offensive side, snare, root, blind, curse, pull, push, reflect damage, damage buffs / debuffs. On the defensive, modules will offer obvious HP/defence buffs, but also shields, cloaks (invisibility), and heal. Various tactics should emerge from combining modules together on ships, and from synergising modules across ships.
Now that it will be possible to install modules on ships, the obvious thing is to allow for free ship design, where a ship’s statistics and module setup can be preconfigured by the player and saved for later usage. Optimally, changes to the visuals of the ships would also be included, though that might come at a later stage.
More and better graphical assets can be expected. From the illustrations to ship 3D models, we’re in the process of finding dedicated and like-minded designers to contribute. The intention is to retain the futuristic feeling, with a slightly darker, cyberpunk style. Illustrations in particular play a very important role to set the visual theme across the game. On the 3D model side, further optimisations to the scenes and models can be expected, to minimise the loading times and memory footprint. The Ethereum version already incorporates a lot of those techniques to great effect, allowing even the Web version to load quickly. The latest and greatest Ethereum client can be tried over the Web under:
The one big feature missing in the Polkadot release, present in the Ethereum version, is the Map module, which extends the combat system with a more tangible reason to do so than purely ladder (leaderboard competition), introducing strategic territory control and borders. In the future, this should also include player alliances and enrichments to the map gameplay generally; special relics, artifacts, that players and alliances control and fight over are some of the well tried systems out there.
Building and Research
Another important gameplay will be focused around providing a sense of progression, without introducing too many elements penalising less established players over the more established ones. It also pairs nicely with the ship module and design system, where a player can research ship upgrades first before being able to use them in their fleet. Locations to perform building upgrades can vary too, from the home world, to any and all objects present on the map (outposts, etc). That also provides a feeling of a living map, where situation can change dynamically depending on the level of upgrades of a particular part of space.
Blockchain presents unique opportunities in respect of storing non-fungible tokens, which are a good fit for most games, but especially multiplayer games are well suited as they also provide a natural environment to trade, and aspire to collect in order to show ones achievement to others. As a good citizen in the blockchain world, New Omega aims to use the most open, inclusive, industry standard solutions for NFT that have/will emerge in the coming months.
Onboarding / Contract Cost Model
Conceptually, the model of gas sponsorship is an important one for the health of the game. Especially new users to the crypto apps, are often faced with what seems an unacceptable first hurdle, which is that in order to do anything, you need to pay gas first. Sponsored models offer a solution to this, and while not perfect in any way, they do offer at least in the short term an opportunity to remedy the problem. New Omega wants to combine this model with community sponsored pools, which can be used for the gas payments for users.
Polkadot Public Network
The choice of a parachain for New Omega will be an important one. While this is not a topic that can be resolved right now, there are public Polkadot chains with Smart Contracts available already, which will be used to deploy the game contracts and allow the broader public to access the game and build excitement about it. That would effectively mean the end of lifecycle for the Ethereum version, which will be phased out in favor of the Polkadot one on Google Play Store and Web.
The Ethereum game client already supports a hybrid app mode and is available as a mobile app on the Google Play Store. After the deployment of smart contracts on a public Polkadot chain, adaptation of the mobile client is the obvious next step, as it is built mobile-up, and mobile support remains at the core of the game. To try out the Ethereum based client with all its latest features, please navigate here:
Polkadot presents a unique opportunity to deliver large scale applications to the blockchain, and New Omega intends to fully capitalise on that as the time goes on. Already seeing improvements on the cost side, we’re very much looking forward to the possibilities to enhance the game even further.