Q&A: This AIP Wants To Make $Ape The Currency Of An MMORPG Fantasy Game
There is an Ape Improvement Proposal on the ballot this week that aims to onboard hundreds of thousands of gamers into the world of web3 and $Ape through Alganon, a multiplayer online role-playing game that’s filled with legend and lore.
AIP-316 titled “Fantasy MMORPG Game - Powered Exclusively By ApeCoin” is an ecosystem allocation fund proposal written by ApeCoin DAO Contributor SmartApe AKA Derek Smart.
“Alganon is a completed game and so, it will retain all its pre-existing gameplay elements,” SmartApe wrote. “It will however have specific Web3 elements integrated such as an Ethereum based blockchain backend, integrated Web3 wallet, tokenomics, and an NFT marketplace.”
In total, SmartApe is asking the ApeCoin DAO to allocate $500,000 USD worth of $Ape towards the project. With that money, SmartApe and his team will make $Ape the currency that players need in order to buy the game’s in game currency Tribute and they plan to launch the game on Eth by late next year.
“The creation, testing, implementation and auditing of the smart contract and $APE token will take place during the course of the game’s Web3 implementation,” SmartApe wrote. “The above period will run from Web3 development and implementation builds (Alpha, Beta, Release Candidate) through to the final release and deployment of the game in the Q3/24 to Q4/24 time frame.”
To find out more about the game and how it will bring thousands of new people into the $Ape ecosystem, the Bored Ape Gazette reached out to SmartApe for an interview. Check it out below:
1. In a sentence or two can you sum up your AIP?
“It’s about a game in a popular RPG genre that in the past brought together a large community. For the 2024 re-master - which includes major visual improvements - my adding Web3 elements while retaining the Web2 elements that made it popular - is my way of bridging Web3 and Web2 gamers without the steep barrier of entry and P2W elements that most Web3 games tend to have. MMORPG games have always been about building communities, and my idea for this AIP is specifically about building the ApeCoin community while bridging it over seamlessly.”
2. What inspired you to write this AIP?
“When I had the idea to re-master one of my games for Web3, I knew that I had to cultivate and on-board a Web3 community in order for my idea and plan to work. In all of Web3, given the popularity of the communities around Yuga IP, I decided that the best foot forward was to use that passionate community to prove that if you build a good game without all the Web3 cash grab nonsense, it could succeed in bringing people together. At that point, it’s not about Web2 or Web3 – but about gamers and the game. While there are many Web3 communities out there – and I did look into most of the top ones – I felt that the ApeCoin community was best suited for this experiment. So, that was my inspiration for writing this AIP after talking to some people in the community and who were supportive of the idea. And as you are probably aware, I have spent a lot of time in the community for the short time that I have been in it. To the extent that I achieved Trust Level 3 in less than two months after joining the community. Thus far, that TL has only been awarded a total of 35 times. So, for me, this was – and remains a commitment to the community - not a drive-by.”
3. Can you tell me a bit about the game? What’s the game’s story? What do players do? What’s the purpose of the game?
“It’s an MMORPG in which people trade, explore, quest, combat etc. It has a massive world connected together by various continents with lots of lore and wonder. As the game has an underlying lore, it doesn’t have a single story other than those that are the underlying quests. Though the game is primarily PvE and focuses on the core elements of trading, questing, exploration etc. it does have some PvP elements during which people can engage each other in combat as opposed to against NPC entities. It’s basically the best of both PvE and PvP worlds. For my Web3 enabled version, the ability to trade with each other as well as via the in-game cash shop, allows players to interact in meaningful ways without having to grind or be gated due to high value NFTs. My long-term goal is to expand the feature set to include UGC, and also to release the tools which would allow gamers to create their own continents, quests etc. thus connecting their worlds in a sort of connected metaverse. Imagine a continent for the Apes, one for the Mocas etc. This isn’t a pipedream, these tools and features already exist as you can see from reading the AIP and the various supplemental info in the thread.”
4. What games is Alganon like?
“It’s a standard MMORPG that has all the elements of an RPG but on a massive scale, and with fair monetization. The Web3 version would also include a fair tokenization to complement that so that it remains fair to all gamers. The original designers were going for a WoW type game but with a lot of the missing elements (and some improvements) in that great game. And they succeeded in doing just that. The end result is a blend of most of the popular MMORPG games that are currently out there.”
5. Why is Alganon the game that will onboard more people to $Ape?
“This is an easy one. There are currently no game like Alganon in Web3. And there are very few games like it even in Web2. Nobody is going to spend upwards of a $100M+ to build an MMORPG game like this for Web3 due to the inherent risks, challenges – and time.
Someone [dark0] who recently voted against the AIP gave the reason that it’s a “WoW rip-off” and that “there’s nothing that would bring players to this game”. This reasoning disregards the big picture. That being, for starters, nobody in their right minds is going to build a game like WoW with Web3 elements. Take a look at all the Web3 games and you won’t find a single one, let alone one that even matches the scope of an MMORPG. And so, what do you think would happen if Blizzard announced tomorrow a Web3 version of WoW? Thank about that for a moment. Even then, when you look at all games in a specific genre, they're all basically similar in many ways. When this game was out, a lot of people thought it was exactly like WoW – until they actually played it long enough to notice and experience the differences. You’re either playing Call Of Duty or Battlefield. Both are shooters in the same genre, but the similarities basically end there – unless you take a deeper look. So, if there is a game that’s similar to an exceptionally popular game like WoW – but with Web3 elements and it uses $APE, what’s the downside to that?
MMO games are traditionally a money, resource and time sink. That’s the nature of the beast. There’s a reason that MMORPG games like WoW, Everquest, Runescape – all legacy games with legacy visuals – are still going strong. It’s the communities around them. Nothing else. I mean, look at some of Yuga’s own games, they’re re-skins or re-imaginations of some game or another. It’s about engagement and familiarity.
Alganon doesn’t have any high barrier of entry – it never did. And even though we’re replacing all the visual elements while upgrading the graphics pipeline to have key DX11 features, it’s still going to be accessible to all without requiring a major gaming rig to run it. It’s specifically why we’re leaving the UE5 port for a post-release build due out sometime in 2025 via the game’s third expansion pack. Adding Web3 elements to it doesn’t change any of this. As such, using $APE allows not only pre-existing communities to check it out, but it also increases the adoption and utility of the token because it would be the first game of its kind to use the token. I think that’s a very big deal.
And as I mentioned in the AIP, though I am already working on international distribution partnerships ahead of the late 2024 launch, I would obviously consider licensing the game to the various international communities who would like to run their own servers. For example, there are large Ape and Moca communities in Europe as well as in Asia. And my original $2M AIP idea specifically had the option for ApeCoin DAO to have its own dedicated servers; but that idea was shot down due to the costs and the fact that voters would never allow an AIP with that amount to pass. Then came Yat’s AIP-297 at $750K and Machi’s AIP-304 at $11M. Both passed. And they’re neither games nor have any interactive elements that will bring the community together because they are designed to do different things. So, there are a lot of reasons why I believe that a game like this – that’s familiar to all, easy to play, without a steep barrier of entry - will most definitely increase the $APE adoption. Especially since you wouldn’t even need $APE, let alone know anything about the underlying Web3 elements, to play it. It’s just a game. Go play.”
6. Can you explain the grant breakdown a bit more? What does 300k 1 year renewable mean and what does 200K one time mean?
“The $300K is a term license for the use of $APE as the game’s official crypto token – and no others will be used during that term. The $200K is for work related to its implementation, smart contract, auditing, tokenization etc. This is all industry standard stuff, so no surprises there, really.”
7. What should Apes know about you and your game before they vote?
“There’s a lot about me out there already, but the gist of it is that I am an exceptionally passionate gamer first, and game dev second. I have been in gaming for over 40 years, have worked with and done deals with the best of the best, and released over a dozen games which cater to the people who continue to buy them. So, I think it’s safe to say that I know what I’m doing, and that my bringing a game to Web3 should, in and of itself, be a very big deal given the general sentiment around Web3 games in general. People know who I am and that when the going gets tough – as it tends to do in gaming – I will always be around to weather the storm alongside my community of gamers. My bringing a game to Web3 means that my voice, talent and dedication become part of that. As the meme goes, ‘They have a Hulk. We have Derek Smart.’”
8. Do you have anything else you’d like to add or say?
“I hope that the AIP passes. And if it does, we get to build together – with $APE and for $APE. If it fails, though I obviously will use another game-centric token from the ones pitching me to use theirs, it’s still not a bad thing because, at the very least, against all odds, I found it worth the hassle of doing it while knowing fully well that it stood a high chance of failing. But the end result will be the same because the game will get re-released next year and I will still find ways to onboard my ApeCoin community to the game even if we’re not using $APE token.”
The window to vote on AIP-316 is currently open and ApeCoin DAO Contributors have until Wednesday, September 27th, to cast their coins.