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Michaël van de Poppe - 23 March 2022

Cradles’ Revolutionary NFT Standard for Gaming

Disclaimer: We have invested in the token sale of Cradles

The Play2Earn industry is booming, demonstrating the proven utility of many different types of blockchain token standards in the gaming industry. In this article, we will discuss a couple of established ones and introduce a new token standard that will be used in the upcoming game Cradles: Origin of Species.

Axie Infinity’s kickstart of Play2Earn

Despite years of utility, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have remained largely unknown outside the blockchain space until a surge in popularity in 2021. They started gaining attention with collectibles such as Cyberpunks and Bored Apes that picked up on marketplaces as celebrity attention pushed them to public consciousness. Soon after, NFTs became a household name once the “Play 2 Earn” concept took form. This is largely thanks to the huge success enjoyed by the game ‘Axie Infinity’. Users would play the game to try to breed, create rare or valuable NFTs that they could then sell for profit. While the token technology itself had been around for a while, Axie’s triumph as a Dapp showcased NFT’s usefulness in enabling games that could integrate a viable crypto token economy.

Despite Axie’s success, there is still room for improvement in the fledgling industry of blockchain gaming. Across the board, games in the vein of Axie Infinity remain quite basic in design and gameplay. Quite pale in comparison to the quality and sophistication of traditional games.

However, the future does look bright with constant developments in blockchain tech making its way into the gaming space. Many titles have already been announced, each promising more sophisticated gameplay and other innovations made possible by new technological designs of NFTs. 

Token standards

NFTs are simply tokens built on a blockchain network using a certain standard. The most commonly used NFTs are built on the Ethereum network, using particular types of token standards called ERC721 and ERC1155. Here, ERC stands for ‘Ethereum Request for Comments’, which was the technical name used to denote proposed standards. These standards set forth rules that ensure the tokens carry non-fungible traits so that they are representations of wholly unique items on the blockchain, hence non-fungible tokens.

ERC721 was the first standard commonly used for NFTs like Cryptopunks and CryptoKitties and continues to be the most popular for basic NFT token standards. ERC721 NFTs can simply be bought, sold, and represent the ownership of a (digital) asset, such as a sword in a game or a piece of artwork. ERC1155 was seen as an upgrade to the ERC721 token standard which allowed for the creation of both fungible and non-fungible tokens.

Cradles’ EIP3664: Play and Earn, not merely Play2Earn

Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) are standards specifying potential new features or improvements for Ethereum tokens.

DRepublic, the team behind the upcoming blockchain game Cradles: Origin of Species, has proposed its own token standard on Ethereum to further innovations in the industry: EIP3664. 

This token standard that is focused on gaming defers from ERC721 in a number of ways. It allows greater possibilities for game developers. It also provides the means by which Cradles emphasizes itself as a “Play and Earn” game, distinguishing itself from the profit-first mentality of “PlayToEarn” titles. This means experiential gaming is the priority, rather than the earning aspect. 

Unlike the static limitations of current NFT standards, EIP3664 NFTs are modular in nature and can be customized in a number of ways. Different NFTs can be disassembled or combined to create new (better) ones, each new NFT bearing the attributes of the different components used to create it. This also hints at how new roles could emerge and develop as NFT utility evolves. In short, this token standard allows for attributes that are:

  • Changeable

  • Transferable

  • Upgradeable

  • Evolvable

Using the same standard, developers and users can even combine NFTs from different games to create better and more valuable assets, prolonging their use and adding value to a broader cross-game metaverse. NFTs can also be upgraded by simple staking to increase their level, for example.

This new system of staking NFTs is called Staking into NFT(SIN). SIN is not only an alternative for staking, but also an innovative alternative for passive users to engage in a game without direct participation. For instance, a token holder may simply choose to back a skillful player by staking tokens into the player’s NFTs. As that player becomes more successful, users staking in that player also share the rewards from improved gaming actions.

Another technological breakthrough enabled by this new standard would be the “entropy increasing” effect. This is something yet to be achieved in any kind of existing metaverse where no game has been able to solve the challenge of simulating real-world physics. Using EIP3664, every game item, character and element can have specific traits that are affected by blocktime. This could translate into aging characters, items breaking down, and environments deteriorating as blocktime passes. 

Cradles: the game

This new token standard for NFTs not only solves existing problems in blockchain gaming and the metaverse but also is perfect for the world that Cradles is creating.  The world of Cradles is an MMORPG in which time plays a huge factor, with every game object and element changing with the passage of time, requiring players to actively take responsibility for maintaining the world around them. In this way, players can create their own worlds in the metaverse but will be encouraged to work together to make sure their creations do not decay into chaos.

Rejecting the high-cost barrier to entry of most Play2Earn games, Cradles NFTs can be created from raw materials freely harvested by any player. Cradles will also be the first subscription-based blockchain game in the spirit of World of Warcraft.

Learn more about Cradles on their website: www.cradles.io.