Today we’re introducing Evolution, a pillar in our economic design which will act as a “sink” to remove cards from circulation. This works by allowing players to effectively generate new, desireable assets in exchange for “destroying” their older ones. It’s also the backbone of our upcoming play-to-earn system.
The unconfirmed title for this feature right now is Evolution. You can suggest a better name in our Discord, but here’s how it works. Every so often we’ll declare a series of cards, which will form the “materials for evolution”. An example set might be: 3x Plain Amazon Hearteaters, 2x Shadow Simple Satyr, and 1x Bronze Servant. Players who have those cards in their collection, or can collect them before the series expires, have the option (for a limited time) of evolving them into a whole new asset.
The assets these cards evolve into could be boards, trinkets, packs in a new expansion, or perhaps an ultra-rare, über-powerful new creature. Sacrifice the evolution materials and all of a sudden you’ve got Simius: Satyr King of the Amazon in your inventory. Cool, huh? (Note: They stopped letting me name cards a few weeks after I started…)
We’re really excited about this feature because:
a) being able to evolve your cards into new ones sounds awesome.
b) it’s a lever for driving asset scarcity. If a card isn’t seeing play for example, we can include it in a series, and ensure it still has value to the user. Plus, since we won’t announce evolution materials in advance, all cards will benefit from anticipatory effects.
… but it’s also important because it’s what will create a healthy play-to-earn economy.
In the vast majority of TCGs, publishers will sell core cards. In Gods Unchained, the primary way of obtaining core cards will be through a) playing the game, or b) buying them from other players. For the most part*, we won’t be selling core cards.
As many of you know, you will be able to earn core cards in the game, which become tradable once you fuse multiple copies together. With everyone able to earn core cards for free however, the supply of these cards would quickly overwhelm demand, and their price would trend towards 0. With “Evolution”, we are able to maintain demand for tradable core cards over time, as they, along with assets found in Genesis and future seasons, become the “material” for new creation.
We’ll also be introducing mechanisms to prevent botting. In order to fuse, players will need a material called Flux which will be awarded based on performance in matches.
“Evolution” and Flux are both fundamental economic mechanisms enabling our play-to-earn system, as they help ensure the assets players earn hold value.
This system is being designed by our Metagame Designer, Ramin Shokrizade. Previously the trainer for the UCLA and USA Olympic women’s track teams, Ramin quit his teaching job to become one of the first professional cyberathletes in 1999. He co-wrote the first mainstream article on virtual goods sales in 2000, began developing the field of game economics in 2005, penned the fundamentals of that field in 2009, and began working on the field of game neuroeconomics in 2014. In 2018 he published a description of how game physiology design works and has given various international lectures on how to make games healthier, especially for children and esports athletes. He has been working with international regulators since 2013 to improve protections for consumers of online games, especially children and esports athletes.
It’s great to have him with us, to say the least.
That’s all for now, but stay tuned for more updates on our economy.