Times are extremely rough right now for the crypto world. We have major VC firms getting liquidated, projects left and right rugging their communities, token prices tanking, rate hikes, inflation, etc.
Obviously, this is a rough environment to get a crypto game off the ground with minimal funding. Nevertheless, we have been pushing forward and getting to a minimal playable release was a major milestone.
At this point, we are going to take some time to reassess Kosium as a brand, product, and community. Using what we've learned from close to a year in this space, we can now put together some extremely compelling ideas for future development and, perhaps more importantly, realistic timeframes and resource requirements to achieve these objectives. We are going to be considering some far-ranging ideas, but they will all be focused on crypto gaming and will utilize what we have already built to date. One thing I will say is that there will be a laser focus on fitting the strategy to resources on hand while creating a deep competitive moat, something that is incredibly important in what already is/will soon be a very crowded industry.
Thank you again, Pioneers, for sticking by us through all the ups and downs over the last 6 months. We're committed to bringing unique crypto products to market that create real value and then transitioning ownership of them to the community. By holding a Pioneer, you are holding a stake in these future web3 products.
ALPHA KITS AIRDROP
The $KITS contract is ready to be deployed. This will be deployed when gas drops to ~25 gwei at some point in the future. Airdrops to Pioneer holders that played the Alpha will be conducted afterwards.
It’s no secret that we’re in a bear market right now due to covid fiscal policies unraveling, war in Ukraine, drops in consumer demand, and I’m sure many other macro factors that I’m not an expert on. Within crypto, engagement is down across the board, floor prices for many projects have dropped 70+%, and alt coins have tanked. It’s a great time to accumulate solid projects building defensible products that will create immense value down the road, but on the other hand, there are many companies/projects that never really had a feasible business model or product and will never recover to their bull market prices.
At Kosium, we have never been swayed off course by fast money even during the height of the NFT bull market. We have always judged ourselves by what we’re building and progress towards long term value creation, not short-term hype, ponzi schemes, or marketing tactics. The exact concrete way we intend to do this is through a crypto game built in Unreal Engine that sends cash flows from in game purchases directly to a DAO which $KITS holders control. Pioneers will earn $KITS passively and have a higher PTE payout among other benefits.
Despite the bear market, crypto gaming is a disruptive innovation for many game genres and will inevitably rise in popularity as modern crypto games are released. We’re in the calm before the storm, and Kosium is well-poised to take advantage of this next wave of crypto innovation. I will dive more into our strategy and evolving competitive position within the Pioneer only channels in the Kosium Discord.
We are accelerating the alpha release and removing features. It will probably be something between a prototype and an actual alpha release in terms of polish. Here’s what you can expect: a fully functioning Unreal Engine 4 multiplayer shooter game with the ability to earn $KITS by playing, client app for launching/updating the game, and at least one class built out with abilities. Initially, we will only be launching for Windows and will only host one server in Chicago, Ohio for matchmaking. We intend on continually shipping features with this core product as the starting point.
This is currently being deployed for the internal team to review. I believe an early, stealth launch is feasible within the next month.
We are currently evaluating strategies to improve our pfp and game art. We want to establish a unique and original style within the anime cyberpunk genre, and although our art is great, there are several issues with it. For one, some of the art references popular animes. This is in some instances in good taste and in other instances, a bit too close for comfort. We intend on putting more effort into building out a unique universe for the game and removing all references to existing animes.
Next, the art style could potentially use some rework and we are again evaluating options here. In the limiting case, we may rework the art for the entire collection (while keeping traits the same for each NFT). The soonest we would start this would be after delivering a decently well-polished Alpha release of the game.
Through Mizuri’s community management and my contract auditing, we recently handed out 20 GENE_SIS WL spots to Pioneer token holders through Discord (announced on Twitter as well). The net profit of these 40 GENE_SIS mints was 20 ETH. Keep in mind that we have only received 30 ETH in proceeds from Pioneer sales. This has all been reinvested in game development as well.
This is indicative of our long-term dedication to the community and of our strategy to aggressively reinvest profits and build for long term value.
We have built out first pass implementations for pretty much every aspect of this project other than the combat and the map/level assets. The economy, game packaging, deployment pipelines, game architecture, game mode, and full stack implementation of match making have all been implemented at least at a prototype level. This behind-the-scenes work means that once the combat starts feeling good, we should be able to quickly deploy the alpha release.
This leads me to my next point. Our next goal is to finish a vertical slice/MVP/Prototype/Demo/Alpha/Whatever you want to call it of the game and deploy for a couple of weeks for the community to play. This will lend credence to Kosium as a brand and help us with fundraising, marketing, recruiting, and growing the community. Afterwards, we will evaluate community feedback and continue building out the game. The ultimate goal being to attract and retain millions of traditional gamers.
Fast-paced competitive PvP games are my favorite games by far and I’m ecstatic to continue building out these abilities and mechanics, especially in that flashy, fast-paced, clever, sometimes goofy anime combat style that we all know and love. Our pipelines are finally at a point where we can proceed with this development at a decent velocity. I’m not expecting all of our game art to be AAA quality, but if the games plays and feels great, these things can be iterated on and tuned later on easily. Right now we are prototyping, testing, and finding out what works, feels unique, and plays smoothly.
As we build out these abilities, we’ll be previewing them on Twitter as well like we just did yesterday for the Ninja Dash ability.
Leading up to the Alpha release, we will adopt a build in public strategy where we will show gameplay clips as the game is built out. We have expanded the team as much as we can, and as it currently stands, we are a small indie team. This strategy will allow us to focus 90+% of our energy on actually building the game, and let’s face it, gamers and investors want to see gameplay. I think we’ve all seen amazing game cinematics before, but the gameplay turns out to be terrible. So we’ll just show the gameplay, and the community can decide whether it’s good or not.
From our gameplay clips and the fact that we already successfully deployed an Unreal Engine multiplayer game last November, I believe it’s clear that we’re not overpromising as well.
Also we have been putting out more frequent updates to our Pioneer token holders and will continue to do so. If you want the latest updates, you’ll need a Pioneer and to be verified in our Discord.
Also if you read through our previous updates, you’ll notice that there were a lot of marketing partnerships that were alluded to. Pretty much all of these fell through unfortunately. Some of these brands only wanted to work with us when we had more hype and money, some fell through for other reasons. Moving forward we’re going to focus more on building out a badass game and less on clever marketing tactics. This industry needs more of that.
NO MORE MINTING???
I have thought a lot about how to proceed with minting the collection and finally have come to some conclusions. Number one: minting/revealing artwork by yourself isn’t as fun as minting with 100’s of other people. Number two: we need a larger community to truly achieve the vision set out in the whitepaper. To accomplish these goals, we will be closing the collection starting April 15th. Every now and then (perhaps the first 24 hours after we launch the alpha release of the game), we will temporarily re-open minting so that groups can mint in batches.
A couple of weeks ago, we took a step back from game development to focus on the vision for Kosium and to ensure that we are actually building a unique crypto game. This involved doing deep dives into current state of the art projects within the space (there aren’t many), brainstorming numerous economic and game designs, and challenging a lot of the preconceived notions that we have been operating with to date.
Needless to say, this was extremely important for the project as a whole and the culmination of this work is the first release of our whitepaper. Everything in the whitepaper is subject to change as we continue development, but it should give a clear idea of where we are heading and how we plan to get there.
The key component of this whitepaper that has never been shared before is our fully designed, multi-tiered economy. This system puts real ownership into the community’s hands and has a unique value proposition for every type of stakeholder. We are currently planning on building the core lower tier assets on Ethereum L1 since there won’t be too many transactions. The in-game items will be bridged in bulk to L2 to keep costs low for casual players.
We have a new website! The previous website did a poor job of showcasing the game and economy that we are working on, which is the primary source of utility for the NFT’s. Now that we have more details to share on the game design, we reworked it. As we continue to build out art assets, we will add these to the site as well.
The progress on the game over the last couple of weeks has been mainly designing and implementing the game architecture within Unreal. A lot of progress has been made on this, and we are now beginning to prototype different weapons and abilities on our test map for Escape.
We are still experiencing significant setbacks on our game art pipelines, which is why you haven’t seen any 3D character models or animations yet. We are dealing with this in a number of ways, and it should resolve soon.
Team building is never finished, but we have made a lot of progress in the past few weeks. Our core team now comprises almost every discipline needed to ship an extremely high quality game in UE4. We have specialists in 2D concept, 3D concept, UE VFX, environmental modeling, animation, game dev, etc. We are still vetting character modelers at the moment but have a number of great leads. This is also one of the primary bottleneck to us making some more marketing materials. We are also working to establish a relationship with a professional game studio that would open up a sea of resources for Kosium, but we are still early in these discussions.
The game is going to be a 5v5 match based third person shooter with abilities. We haven’t made much more public other than that yet, but more details are coming. Some things we’ve worked on since our last update three weeks ago are:
1. Designing 9 abilities for each class
2. Level design and rough mockup using asset packs
3. Game mode design
4. 3D character reference sketches
5. Progression system design
6. Designing the fully decentralized in game economy system
7. Implementing a fully functional and scalable matchmaking system (already finished)
Going forward we will focus on building out the in-game economy assets and progression systems prior to further game development. In parallel with this, we will build the custom in game art assets, starting with character models and ability animations before moving on to custom environmental assets. We will also try to showcase these character models and animations in short (10-20 second) cinematic videos shot in Unreal Engine to demonstrate our vision for the game’s art style and story.
The reasons behind the above priorities are that we want to show our ability to produce a high-quality game with a unique vision prior to getting bogged down in operational details. If we wanted, we could launch a play to earn game in a couple of weeks, but the game would be extremely limited and would not stand out as a unique innovation in our space. It is better for us now to focus on building towards that vision and communicating that vision to our early adopters prior to deploying a production release and supporting it. The fact that we deployed an Unreal Engine multiplayer game and successfully held in game events months ago should give a lot of credibility to these statements as well.
We have recently been in an intentional lull as we transition to this next stage of development and our primary focus is building. I will be the first to admit that we could be doing a better job here though. That being said, we have made significant progress building and should be able to begin showcasing some of our progress very soon. Here is our marketing plan going forward:
The first step in our marketing plan will be a website revamp. Our current website doesn’t showcase our game development beyond the roadmap, and that’s not good enough. We are going to begin finalizing our game design and communicating it through a whitepaper on our website. This will lay out in concrete details the in-game economy, tokenomics, progression systems, and strategy/plan for launching an evergreen competitive crypto multiplayer game.
The second step will be to showcase the in-game art assets as they are built out. This will come in the form of short cinematics, ability showcases, and in game footage. We also intend on utilizing these assets on our website to make it clear that we are actually building a unique crypto game.
The third step will be to network with other communities. We have been in the anime NFT community since August last year, yet we are still under the radar. We will be looking for ways we can add value to other anime NFT communities in exchange for publicity to their existing community and vice versa.
The fourth step will be to launch the remainder of the in-game assets that will together create the fully functional in game economy of Kosium. These are still being designed, but with the current design, they will be very limited in number (~100’s). Also, the more Pioneers you have, the better chance you have of getting whitelisted and the more passive income you will earn from the success of Kosium as a whole. More details will be coming with the whitepaper.
We have taken some much needed time off for the holidays and now we are back working. We have had team members dealing with covid, traveling, and natural disasters as well so that slowed our transition back into work. We are here now and are excited about what 2022 holds for Kosium.
Mizuri is killing it with his first official Netflix collab. His artwork for The Witcher Season 2 can be found here: https://twitter.com/MizuriAU/status/1471928981196664832?s=20. Mizuri also created a HAPE x Kosium mashup that the founder of HAPEBEAST shared the other day (https://www.instagram.com/p/CXaZcTSlWCI/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link) generating a lot of good exposure for Kosium.
We have officially welcomed FuzzyWizDum (aka NT Citizen #664) as our project’s advisor. Fuzzy has been advising us for a while now, and we’re honored to have his continued support in the project.
Right now we are transitioning to the next stage on our roadmap, “Compiling”. This stage will be almost entirely focused on game development. To do this successfully, we need to build out the game dev team. We’re currently looking to bring on a couple of full-time developers and a full-time game artist. We’re also vetting contractors for other areas of our game art pipeline.
We’re actively interviewing, so if you’re interested, check us out on LinkedIn.
Once we have the right people, we will ramp up game dev again. We will keep our roadmap up to date on https://www.kosium.io/ during this process. The first step on this roadmap will be to build out an official alpha release (our current release is more of a demo). The current plan is for this alpha release to have a functional play-to-earn model, a limited progression system, built out classes with ~3 abilities each, and a new game mode. This will be exclusively playable by our Pioneer token holders initially. Realistically, this will probably come early Q2 2022, but we’re shooting for Q1.
We are actively working on the concept sketches and 3D character models for the Pioneers as well.
As always, we'll be transparent with what we're doing. We're here to stay and don't have anything to hide.
We will continue to mint as we don't want to start a gas war and we want to continue growing the community. Closing the collection now with the current number minted wouldn't be beneficial to the project as a whole including the existing holders. The art, game dev we've already done, and our roadmap are our primary selling points, and closing off the art to future buyers would significantly detract from growing our community and project. We've also made enough art for a highly unique 10k collection.
We are focused on creating alpha for our existing holders through other avenues than price appreciation. Some ways we've been doing this: 5x legendary drop rate for Pioneers bought in the first 72 hr of the presale, Genesis trait for the first 500 mints, and the weapon and armor free mints that we have coming up.
Also, we consider our Pioneer holders investors, and our Genesis holders are our earliest investors. Therefore they deserve the highest returns. We intend on delivering this through higher in-game payouts and exclusive first access to our game. We will continue to brainstorm ways to add value to these Genesis Pioneers. These might include benefits such as exclusive airdrops, higher rewards from airdrops, passive in-game token generation, etc.
To clarify the tokenomics surrounding our Pioneer collection, they are distributed as follows: 1000 are reserved for marketing, the treasury, the team, and community giveaways, and 9,000 are available for sale. The first 500 of these have the “Genesis” trait. There are ~50 Legendaries currently.
It would of course be nice to sell out, but we are still moving forward at the same pace and executing on the same vision/roadmap that we've had for a while now. We're a very lean team, so practically all profits are being reinvested into building the game. Our track record of executing puts us on the map for investors as well. We will continue expanding the team and building out the game. This will only make us much more attractive to investors over time and de-risk our investment profile.