July Development Update!

Greetings Lunacians!

July was another amazing month here at Axie HQ. In addition, we saw our growth enter a new phase with many new trainers joining our ranks!

These monthly development updates are becoming a key part of our communication with the members of the Axie ecosystem. We’ve had some requests from the community for a Townhall call and will be announcing one later this month. Bringing on Chief and Odin recently as mods was another move towards scaling our communication with the community. These updates will be a living, breathing method of communication and we’ll be evolving it over time as the community's needs grow. 

Growth/Adoption

July was our best month ever in terms of growth and adoption. We saw activity soar by every metric we trace. The catalyst for this, of course, was the parabolic rally in SLP on Uniswap. The increased SLP price strengthened our narrative of play to earn and brought many new eyes to our ecosystem. We were most excited to see that although many of the new community members came to speculate, they were drawn in by the game and community and have stuck around. Special shoutout to our mod team for being so responsive. EnforcerJ and wiceTroc1ty were also particularly awesome in helping out. Your efforts mean a lot to us!

Here are some charts that show the growth Visually. The last 2 charts are courtesy of Nansen.ai.

User Experience & Scaling

While growth has been strong, our playerbase is still being hamstrung by very high gas fees of late. This will continue to be a thorn in our side regarding adoption until we roll out Ronin.

We’re happy to report that we continue to make strong progress on Ronin. This month, we successfully recruited two new validators for the chain. Validators will be important in helping to secure and evangelize Axie. We also took a strong interest in the Reddit scaling “bake off” and were inspired by the hard work around scaling that we’re seeing in the Ethereum ecosystem. 

We made some key upgrades to our block explorer for Ronin. A beautiful and custom built block explorer will be an important piece of the puzzle there, increasing data transparency.

We also started working on a wallet solution for Ronin. We believe that mainstream users will need an on-boarding solution that’s slightly different than the current options. Allowing our crypto native users to choose their level of security, remains a priority as well.

Land

Before we show our work to the community, we go through many rounds of internal testing. These testing rounds get us feedback from a diverse pool of 20+ gamers, some of whom are not very familiar with crypto. We had our first major internal office release of land in late July! The release featured the first playable instances of:

  • Resource gathering and collecting.

  • Axie-specific inventories.

  • Axies picking up and dropping items such as picks and shovels.

  • Axies being able to move throughout the entire map.

We also had some new art and resources specific to the types of plots and resource nodes.

Axies are now animated and move their tails in an adorable manner as they waddle about the land system.

We want the first land release to inspire a sense of wonder and we’re still working towards this goal. We’re definitely getting closer with each passing day. Timing is key, and with the space growing rapidly, the potential userbase grows with each passing day.

:Sticker_Ginger:

Battles

We also had our first office-wide release for our upgraded card battle system. There’s a lot of work to be done, but the system is showing that it promises to be faster, more intuitive, and more skill-based. 

The remaining work centers around finishing the cards, doing some balance testing. We’re also doing a lot of work on the UI and starting to think about a tutorial/demo.

Looking Ahead

In order for Axie to fulfill its potential, we need to seamlessly combine a fun game, with simple on-boarding, and play to earn opportunities. This is to say that Axie is a place for fun, friendship, and economic opportunity. Take one aspect away, and the ecosystem cannot thrive. We’re confident that the work we’re doing is taking us in the right direction. If you have any suggestions, questions, or fun ideas please join our Discord community!

See you in Discord!

The Axie Infinity Team

The Golden Season is Live!

Earn Digix Gold by playing Axie!

We’re delighted to announce that Arena Season 8 of the Community Alpha is live and has been renamed “The Golden Season”!

As a special surprise, we’ve teamed up with Digix,  creators of the world’s first asset-backed digital gold tokens, to let you earn gold by playing Axie Infinity!

Download Community Alpha

This is an exciting step forward for play to earn gaming. While traditional gamers may still be unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies like Ether, gold has been an accepted store of value for thousands of years. We believe that interesting experiments that meld the physical and the digital realms will be a key element in bringing play to earn to the next generation of blockchain gamers.

:Sticker_Ginger:

The prize pools is made up of 26.13 DGX with an approximate market value of $1,500. 25% of the DGX will be distributed to the top players on the leaderboard, while the other 75% can be earned by simply winning Arena battles!

100,000 DGX Coin = 1 DGX. The price of 1 DGX as of July 20th is ~58$.

Please note that each human is only eligible for 1 leaderboard position-based payout. Any attempts to abuse the system will result in a ban from Season rewards.

Bullionix Axie Collectibles

To celebrate, Bullionix has launched a special Axie-themed collection backed by Digix’s investment grade gold. Each collectible has .25 DGX staked to it on-chain that belongs to the holder of the NFT. There is a fee of .1 DGX per minting. These commemorative pieces are available exclusively from 20th July until 9th August!

Axie Bullionix Collection

:Axie_Kunai:

We are currently working on a round of balancing, and aim to have it out towards mid-season or earlier.

That’s it for now and make sure to join us in Discord to let us know if you have any questions or feedback!

The Axie Infinity Team

Axie Infinity Discord — Want to start playing but not sure where to start? Join our Discord, our community will answer any questions you have!

Axie Infinity Twitter — Our DM’s are always open :)

All the information & tools you need to play Axie Infinity in one place.

Lunacian #21

Greetings Lunacians!

It’s been an amazing week with lots of excitement around the Axie ecosystem!

This article gives a nice overview of the catalysts regarding the recent surge in activity.

Here are some stats:

  • 750 new downloads of the Alpha over the past week representing a 15% increase in the install base.

  • ~600 new Discord Members

  • 358 new Axie holders, an increase in the holder base by 7.5%

  • 1,000 new Twitter followers.

  • Blockchain WAU (weekly players) increased by 676%. Blockchain MAU (monthly players) increased 240.94%.

  • Total weekly volume from ~22 ETH ----> ~400 ETH.

:Axie_Cheers2:

We believe the last week demonstrates Axie’s ability to attract attention through our combination of amazing artwork, fun gameplay, strong economic design, and dedicated community. This bodes well for our future as we ramp up our growth machine once our product has been fleshed out and polished. Here’s a tweet from DappRadar’s Skirmantas about the surging growth!

Scaling Axie with Ronin

Earlier this month we announced that we’re working on an Ethereum based sidechain called Ronin. Ronin will allow us to take the usability of Axie to the next level, setting us up to welcome the next generation of trainers, thinkers, and explorers to Lunacia. Want to learn more? Check out our announcement article through the button below.

Ronin Announcement

June Development Update

June was an incredibly busy month at Axie HQ! We put out a development update to walk you through the progress we made. We’ve loved the response to these updates and think they’ve done wonders in keeping the community aligned with our vision!

June Development Update

Sharding Rare Axies

We’re very excited about experiments at the intersection of decentralized finance (DeFi ) and gaming. The last week we saw our community begin to offer fractions of some of the rarest and most unique Axies through a platform called Niftex. Niftex allows users to create fractions, or shards, of an NFT and offer them to other people. This dramatically decreases the barrier of entry for owning a slice of some of the most desirable items in the Axie universe! At one point, Almace was valued at over 100,000 dollars!

Our friends at Defi Rate did a great writeup of the phenomenon here. Check out our community member Gabby’s tweet announcing the launch of Almace shards (ALMX) below:

That’s it for now and make sure to join us in Discord to let us know if you have any questions or feedback!

The Axie Infinity Team

Axie Infinity Discord — Want to start playing but not sure where to start? Join our Discord, our community will answer any questions you have!

Axie Infinity Twitter — Our DM’s are always open :)

All the information & tools you need to play Axie Infinity in one place.

June Development Update!

Greetings Lunacians!

We were delighted with the response to the last development update and are excited to share our progress from June. We’ve realized that these types updates help with coordination and keeping everyone in the ecosystem aligned with our vision.

June was an incredibly productive month at Axie HQ! This post will go over some of the highlights.

:Sticker_Puff:

Axie Battles

We’re now deep into the Alpha for the Axie mobile application. So far, the Alpha has been a resounding success. Here are some key metrics:

  • The number of Axie holders has grown by over 30% since December 19th (when we launched the Community Alpha).

  • We’ve seen nearly 5,000 downloads of the application.

  • We now have an average of ~620 weekly active users within the application. 

In addition to these quantitative gains, we’ve made progress in introducing the concepts of play to earn, decentralized exchanges, and liquidity pools to our community.

Over the course of the Alpha, we’ve been diligently gathering feedback, analyzing data with the goal of making our battle system even more engaging.

Some of the main issues we’ve come across center on:

  • The gameplay pacing being a bit too slow.

  • The parallel turn system adds a lot of unnecessary mental math and calculations to mastering the game.

  • A few unintuitive mechanics and UI issues.

  • Energy steal limiting creativity in strategy.

  • Hoarding cards and energy leads to too many “no move” turns.

  • Cards with very low usage.

With these issues in mind we currently have a team of engineers and product designers devoted to revamping the current battle system. The changes will make the game faster, more intuitive, and better for streaming/content creation.

Many of the cards, especially the current popular cards will remain similar in spirit. The under-used cards give us a great opportunity to add fun, new mechanics to the game which should add utility to a high number of Axies. We’re also thinking about adding some utility to Eyes/Ears, as that adds another layer for innovation.

These changes are currently being tested by a small group within the Axie development team, which we call a squad. We will add progressively more team members to the testing and once we feel that the changes are ready for the community to experience, we will open it up for community testing.

Scaling Axie

The recent Ethereum gas congestion, while a good sign for the adoption of Ethereum and blockchain technology, has negatively affected the experience of our community and slowed down the Axie economy.

We announced our plans for scaling Axie Infinity in a separate post earlier this week. Check it out here!

:Sticker_Beast:

Land Development

June has been an awesome month for development of the Land system! We won’t feature visual leaks this month as we’d like to reserve some of the hype for launches and many of the new visual/UI additions are in a rough/preliminary state.

Resource Gathering

We’ve added a variety of different resource spawns to the land plots. Different land will have different types of resource spawns. The value/utility of these resources will correspond to the quality of the land they spawn on. Balancing these resource spawns and drops will be vital to ensuring a strong land economy. We must make sure that there are sufficient resource sinks added to the system to prevent an oversupply and create opportunities for diligent harvesters.

We now have a basic UI for harvesting resources within Lunacia using your Axies.

Axies are now able to leave their plots and travel around Lunacia. We’re testing out the speed by which they travel. There is an equilibrium point that balances fun & economic considerations —we’re testing to see where that boundary is.

Crafting

Over the last month we’ve implemented the UI for crafting which will be a key component to the land system. We will have some basic recipes ready for our first community release. Make sure to join our Discord and let us know your biggest crafting desires! 

We have some very basic crafting trees and upgrade paths for things like structures and tools (think hammers/picks). 

Rendering Unique Axies

Last month, we mentioned that we were having some difficulties with rendering unique Axies on land. We were able to resolve the issue thanks to some nifty code from our game engineering team! This means that we’re now able to load your Axies on your land plots rather than using placeholder Axies.

Chimera Battles

Linking Battles to land will be a vital component of land gameplay. At the moment, we are hammering down the details of how exactly Chimera battles will be integrated with land. As we mentioned earlier, we are revamping some aspects of the battle system and are working through how this affects land battles. We also are intrigued by the possibility of collaborative and social quests & missions and are thinking about how these could be tied to Chimera battles on land for rare resources.

 Community Release

Let’s discuss some of the requirements we have for the community release: Our number one priority is that it must look amazing. It needs to instill a sense of wonder among our players and attract our friends and family to Axie. 

We then have some gameplay requirements. The essence of the gameplay should be clear and our vision for the long term should ring crystal clear. As we continue to test mechanics and gameplay in our office, it’ll become clearer when we’re ready to release some gameplay to our community. 

Other Thoughts

We believe that recent trends in both gaming and Blockchain demonstrate the potential for our land system.

Building and gathering games like Animal Crossing show that there’s something innately satisfying about building a new home for yourself in a beautiful world inhabited by cute fantasy creatures.

In addition, the recent craze around DeFi’s “Yield Farming” craze shows demand for systems that allow users to earn tokens by interacting with a product. 

See you in Discord!

The Axie Infinity Team

Join Axie Discord

Introducing Ronin: Axie Infinity's Ethereum Sidechain

From the early days of Axie Infinity, we’ve been obsessed with bringing fun gameplay and sound economic design to the world of blockchain gaming. Our community has grown tremendously and we’ve embarked on some truly novel experiments around ideas of true ownership and play to earn gaming. Along with this growth has come the ability to observe the major pain points in our community's experience playing Axie.

One issue that has been a perpetual thorn in our side is Ethereum network congestion. Network congestion is a tricky beast — with gas remaining low for months at a time only to resurface and slow our economy to a standstill.

Scaling Axie With Ronin

In order for Axie Infinity to reach our second, third, and fourth-degree connections (the friends and family of our friends and family) Axie needs a long term solution that makes participating in the Axie game & economy, fast, cheap, and seamless. We need it to be fun and easy!

That’s why today we’re announcing our work on Ronin — an Ethereum-linked sidechain made specifically for Axie Infinity. A Ronin was a samurai without a master in feudal Japan and Ronin represents our desire to take the destiny of our product into our own hands.

Benefits for Axie Players

Ronin will allow us to take the usability of Axie to the next level, setting us up to welcome the next generation of trainers, thinkers, and explorers to Lunacia.

Ronin will come with:

  • Fast & seamless transactions with almost instant confirmation.

  • Drastically reduced gas fees. In addition, rather than paying Ethereum miners — the gas fees could be retained by the community and used for things like tournaments & bounties.

  • The ability to withdraw Axie assets back to Ethereum Mainnet.

  • Simplified on-boarding for new users, through a customized wallet solution.

  • A block explorer for transparency and data accessibility. 

Why We’re Building This

We believe that one-size-fits-all approaches to scaling leave much to be desired. Every product, every community has different needs when it comes to a scaling solution. In addition, the current scaling solutions are often designed for DeFi use cases or simple asset exchange whereas the needs of the Axie community are more complex (and interesting!). 

We believe that it’s worth the extra effort building solutions to solve our community’s most difficult problems ourselves. A strong example of this is the in-house Axie marketplace. While Axies trade on a variety of other NFT exchanges — 97% of the volume flows through our marketplace. While we strongly believe in the Web3 ideals of openness and cooperation — we also believe that nobody is going to put as much care, thought, and intuition into products serving our community as us.

Security & Consensus

To help secure Ronin, we have recruited an all-star cast of partners from the traditional gaming, crypto, and nonfungible token space to serve as validators of our network. We’ll be announcing the Ronin validators as we get closer to launch.

The Future of Ronin

Here’s a message directly from Trung, CEO of Sky Mavis:

“We are very excited about the possibilities Ronin brings. Though it’s still in an early state, Ronin will continuously evolve over the years to serve the spirit and ethos of blockchain gaming. On the technical side, we are also looking into various solutions to further strengthen and scale Ronin. zKSyncs, for example, is looking promising, but it could take time until it’s production-ready — particularly for NFTs and games.”

As Vitalik himself just mentioned today, the current layer 2 implementations are “by and large limited to payments and DEX.” We are interested in contributing to the sustainable scaling of NFTs on Ethereum — an area that hasn’t gotten enough attention. Loom Network’s pivot away from NFTs has also expedited our plans to take control of our long term scaling strategy.

For those interested in learning more about the exciting state of Ethereum scaling, we recommend this excellent overview written by Anthony Sassano: Ready Layer Two — The Daily Gwei #11.

What does this mean for your Axies & Land?

Our plan for current Axie infinity assets (Axies, Land, land items) is to migrate them over to Ronin this year. The Sky Mavis team will handle migration for users, although users will be able to choose to do it themselves if they prefer. We will re-deploy all significant Axie-related smart contracts on Ronin. This will also represent an opportunity to upgrade our existing contracts to make the Axie user experience more intuitive. 

Axies will be deposited via a smart contract on Ethereum. When Axies are inside the contract they will be usable on Ronin. 

We will write a detailed blogpost about migration once we get closer to the event itself.

:Axie_Kotaro:

Get Involved with Axie!

The Axie community is always looking for new thinkers, creators, competitors, and builders! 

Make sure to:

Join our Discord Community & follow us on Twitter!

Pick up some Axies & Land.

Research the Axie ecosystem.

Stay tuned — we’ve got plenty of updates coming this year!

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