Splinterlands - Town Hall (AMA) Summary - Friday, November 26, 2021
- Aggroed (CEO)
- Richard Adleta (VP of Engineering)
- Nate Aguila (Creative Director)
(Here's a 4-minute version of the summary if you're interested)
The town hall kicked off with a warm welcome from Aggroed. He expressed his excitement for the Chaos Legion, and how amazing the presale turned out to be. The team was able to hit the targeted goal of 1 million packs sold. He pointed out how phenomenal the accomplishment is, considering how the Beta edition, one of the giant editions with 900k packs on sale took about a year to sell whereas a million Chaos Legion packs sold out within a month!
He expressed his gratitude to all the existing players and new audiences trying to get into the Splinterlands ecosystem. Calling the pre-sale a wild success, thanked everyone for the opportunity.
Next, Nate entered the conversation. Nate is the Creative Director at Splinterlands. He oversees the majority of what is seen on the front end including Artwork, UI, etc., and ensures a seamless experience for the users.
He revealed some new cards that will be part of the Chaos Legion edition. SHe presented a total of 10 Life, Neutral, and Dragon monsters!
Nate emphasized how hard the creative team is working on animating the monsters.
Here's one of the very cool animated characters he shared from the upcoming CL edition.
He mentioned that the team is trying to animate more than just the idle position. In the future, the users will be able to enjoy some victory and defeat animations.
Here, Aggroed asked how these animations will be incorporated into the game.
To this, Nate brought up how a lot of people ask a similar question about when the team will bring 3D, AR/VR into the game (the game currently uses 2D)
He elaborated on the statement saying the team is currently focused on doing what they can to make the game accessible to everyone. Accessibility is the key so nobody faces any technology hurdles, special browser requirements, etc. Currently, all that's needed to play the game is a regular browser. The team doesn't want to lose that efficiency with all the other fancy stuff.
On that note, he also included that he and the rest of the creative team are exploring new innovative ways to animate so it doesn't mess up with players' devices, drain their internet plans, etc.
That led to some exciting revelations on how the idle animation in the game is ready to go (prepared for combat) - for instance, monsters breathing, settling as the battle starts. When they die, they'd be all bloody and beat up. Also, victory will lead to raised arms or a final salute.
Nate concluded that certain animations will be experimented with on the battle screen first for these four areas: Idle, Attack, Defeat, and Victory.
He clearly stated that this is only part of a side project and in no way wants it to clutter up the current roadmap. To this, Aggroed, who seemed thrilled about this mentioned how cool it sounds and should be part of the roadmap. Richard chuckled and responded how it is part of the bigger roadmap that is not visible to the general audience.
WHAT NATE IS UP TO THESE DAYS
Aggroed turned to Nate with a question about his current projects and what takes most of his time currently. To which Nate gave a very interesting response - 'Onboarding Team Members'. He further stated that this doesn't imply that all this cool stuff isn't being worked on. It is different in the way that now he has stepped down from where he was for the past three years, trying to do it all by himself. Currently, he oversees things and finds new talent - people who are better than him! He concludes his statement by calling out everyone in the creative space who has worked with gaming companies in the past to contact him if interested in being part of the Splinterlands creative team. He mentioned how he plans to further expand the creative team by up to 10-20X from the current team of about 20 people.
Next, Nate presented some cool wallpapers with CL monsters!
He was about to add more to these wallpaper reveals when he stopped and briefly mentioned that there is some classified environmental artwork that will come up soon. A clear indication for a lot of cool stuff that is on the way!
Next, the team moved on to the conversation regarding Lands. Aggroed asked Nate when the players will finally see the land and which team is supposedly holding up this addition.
To which, Nate positively responded that most creative assets are ready to go for the land. There are some minor tweaks that he thinks won't be incorporated at the time of the initial launch but they will be part of the updates later on in the game.
Next, Richard jumped into this conversation about land. He told that the Developers are waiting, making sure the UI made sense. He pressed on the fact that the land is something that will entirely change how people interact and play the game. The release will also affect non-land owners who'd be able to use a map in the guide to select what arena they wish to play in! He also added that more information on the land release will be shared along the way.
He emphasized that Chaos Legion is currently the main and center of the team. Getting it live, hitting all the crucial deadlines, and leading to a successful launch.
According to him, the next big thing after the CL release would be the Land!
MORE UPDATES BY RICHARD: BACK-END DEVELOPMENT
Richard had some big revelations about the game development and the progress on the back-end.
He indicated lots of upcoming updates, highlighting how the dev team has tripled or even quadrupled within the last six weeks, again stressing that the first priority is the successful launch of the Chaos Legion edition.
Another aspect the team is working on is having the land purchases and sales on the website itself. He also added that the same would apply to the packs, which are also currently selling on platforms such as Hive. The users will soon be able to buy/sell lands and packs on the Splinterlands website.
He explained how the team has started to create a bookshelf lined up with all these projects they have discussed in the past, finally checking where they can fit each of them into the Splinterlands ecosystem.
He moved on to the feedbacks and suggestions the team's been getting lately on feedback.splinterlands.com.
The top requested feature was auto-claiming and staking SPS!
SPS TOKEN: UTILITY
Continuing on the SPS token, he hinted that SPS Governance is the next big thing. The team wants to entirely move to SPS to vote on new features, suggestions, in-game changes, etc. This allows the players to have a more direct say in steering the direction of the game and reward them with more control over the game development if they hold SPS tokens. This clearly shows the team is aiming to make SPS more valuable in the coming days!
He also mentioned a very common issue a lot of players have been facing lately - the occasional 'Under Maintainence' screen. The team is putting some effort into fixing it and creating a better overall gaming experience.
The next thing on his list was Security, something he stressed the team takes very seriously. He stated that the team is continuously working on the back end, hardening the outer walls. A lot of resources are put into making the game more secure every day. One of the questions popped up about 2FA to which Richard responded that it is on the 'to-do' list and on the 3rd spot for the most requested feature on feedback.splinterlands.com
MAJOR FOCUS: SCALABILITY
With the game literally exploding in the past couple of months, the next thing he mentioned a lot of investment is going into is Scalability.
Shockingly enough, he disclosed that the game had around 10k active players in summers to now over half a million! With such drastic growth, he raised his concerns about the potential crashes and thus stated that keeping the site responsive during the CL edition release is the priority.
To this topic of scalability, Aggroed voiced his wish about having a live feed mechanism for all the crucial moments such as new edition release, season end, etc. He emphasized that a lot of viewers (including him) would love to see the big players on the leaderboards fighting live for the top spot.
To which, Richard agreed and responded that the technology that the team is putting in currently will allow them to have this feature in the near future.
Coming back to Scalability, Richard stated - 'How do we scale this game to the millions?' That's something the team is looking into right now.
This was followed by Nate later who mentioned a question raised by the viewers - Will the top 6 players on the leaderboard face restrictions of any kind while designing the cards?
To which, he replied that the team will actually allow for collaborations, meaning each one of the 6 players will be fully involved, declaring that they'll all be part of the entire design process for these cards.
Aggroed again conveyed his hopes to see the Splinterlands comic books, novels, and cartoon versions of the characters the team creates and the players love.
Here are a few things I didn't include that you can check in the full recording if you want:
- Waffles Kitty (DYGYCON Coordinator) Introduction at 48:42
- Conversation with MORIARTY95, No.6 on the presale leaderboard at 58:25
- Conversation with Slapshot, the new developer in the team! at 1:03:25
- Conversation with Cyguy, No.3 on the presale leaderboard 1:08:27
- Conversation with Chatter, Marketing at Splinterlands at 1:13:36
The Town Hall ended with the usual Q&A session. Here are the questions that were addressed (excluding the ones on the discord chat). If you find any that you've wanted to ask as well, feel free to tag along from 1:19:30.
WRAPPING UP - KEY TAKEAWAYS
- Land is the next big thing after the CL edition release!
- Animations will be rolling out in the game soon!
- Players will be able to buy/sell lands and packs on the Splinterlands website!
- SPS will definitely be of much more value in regards to the game!
- Accessibility and Scalability are the current focus, getting ready for further expansion of the game and adding new players.
Found it helpful? Let me know in the comments!