On Friday, April 16th, we had the pleasure to welcome to our Telegram chat:
We asked them questions about the development of Star Atlas.
Q~ Briefly introduce yourselves, a bit of your backgrounds and your roles in the team?
SW4GN3R : Once again, great to be on this journey with you. My name is Michael Wagner, Star Atlas’ Co-founder and CEO. My formal career was spent working up the ranks of the traditional finance ladder, where I earned my CFA Charter and worked in the field of portfolio management for both institutional and high net worth clients. My life changed considerably in 2013 when I was introduced to Bitcoin and blockchain via scrypt coin mining with GPUs. Since that discovery, I have dedicated my time to immersion in the technology and ecosystem. I forfeited my legacy career in 2015 and went full time into crypto, launched my first company in the space in 2016 (Tokes), and co-founded Star Atlas with Danny Floyd (CPO), Jacob Floyd (CTO), and Pablo Quiroga (COO) in 2020.
Santi : Hello everyone! My name is Santi and i am in charge of community at Star Atlas, i will be sharing with you some game pictures while Michael answers your questions.
Q~ Let’s learn some more about the project. What is Star Atlas all about in detail, and what are some of the real-world pain points that Star Atlas aims to solve?
At a high level, Star Atlas is a space-themed MMO and metaverse concept being developed at AAA game development standards. In the future, Star Atlas will be built using Unreal Engine 5, delivering cinematic quality graphics rendered in real time.
Star Atlas is an ideal product to emerge from the confluence of state of the art blockchain, real-time graphics, multiplayer video game, and decentralized financial technologies. Basing the Star Atlas universe in a Grand Strategy multiplayer genre creates engaging, long-term gameplay as factions battle it out in a universal spacescape under a constant state of flux. Players stake assets with real-world value to grow their ingame corporate empires, discover unique and distant alien worlds, battle in high stakes combat, and shape the game’s features and future with earned political influence.
Star Atlas’ cinema-quality graphical technology utilizing Unreal Engine 5 is beginning at a state that no other competitors in this space have yet had the luxury to adopt. To bring all these enabling technologies together presents a unique opportunity for the future of finance, video games, entertainment, real-world professions and blockchain where people can make money and have a lot of fun doing it. All in the familiar frontier of outer space, where exploration is both terrifyingly cold and simultaneously full of unrelenting optimism.
Of note, every asset that can be owned within the game is done so entirely on chain. Ships, crew, components, modules, permits, licenses, land, buildings, etc. are all held individually by the player as a non-fungible token. The result is that players truly own the assets they have purchased or earned through gameplay. We believe this transformative model of Play-to-Earn is the future of gaming.
What we’re largely solving for is multifaceted:
- True asset ownership for gamers
- Monetization of time spent in-game
- Entertainment value
- The potential to attract a mainstream audience to the blockchain space through this experience.
Cassiterite : I see real use-case here, especially for lovers of games.
SW4GN3R : But honestly, more than just gamers. Because of the monetization potential of the metaverse, this project has the entire global audience as a potential user base.
We are actually seeing this realized through groups like Yield Guild Games, based in the Phillipines, where members of their clan are actually able to earn higher wages playing blockchain games than they can working in a local job.
This is the immense potential of a fully functional economic system within a metaverse.
Q~ You implemented a dual token model, can you share with us the functions/utility of both ATLAS and POLIS in your ecosystem?
A~ ATLAS is the transactional currency of the game. Effectively the in-game gold, and the lubricant of the digital economy. It is used for virtually every transaction within the Metaverse, and will also be one of the primary financial reward mechanisms for gamers. ATLAS also provides a 33% discount on certain asset purchases from us, the developer, such as Ships and Components.
POLIS is a dual-purposed governance token. Within the game, POLIS provides the holder with strategic benefits of political domination. Controlling a region of space opens up mechanics of taxation of other players, and the ability to define rules, laws, fines and fees within the micro-metropolis. Externally, POLIS provides holders with true governance rights over long-term development decision making. Opening up the potential for pure decentralization of game development in the years to follow. And naturally, POLIS provides a 33% discount on Land and Crew when purchased from us .
The governance token, POLIS, will also play a pivotal role in the decentralized corporations. We anticipate these micro-metropolises to be largely guided by voting abilities of the underlying players. The extent to which a guild wants to utilize that functionality in their decision making is subjective, but the tools are present.
Q~ Did you raise funds so far? If so, how did you handle them? Are you planning to do any future raises?
A~ We will be releasing more information about our previous rounds of sales, as well as future funding opportunities in the coming months. Our team has a solid grasp on the capital requirements of developing out a concept such as Star Atlas, and are well capitalized for the delivery of our near term goals. While we aren’t openly promoting our current stakeholders at this time, I will simply state that we have some of the biggest names in the industry providing financial support.
Building within the Solana ecosystem has been an incredible experience. As noted, this is my second company in blockchain over the previous 5 years. In no previous instance have we had the infrastructure support that we receive from Solana, Serum, and countless other projects building on Solana.
Q~ What are the next plans for Star Atlas, what should we look forward to in the coming months?
We believe that the intersection of mainstream gaming (AAA) and financial incentives delivered via blockchain provides the perfect platform for mass adoption of not only Star Atlas, but cryptocurrency as a whole. Our approach to adoption is multi-faceted. In our initial phase, the one in which we currently operate, is to promote this product to existing blockchain and crypto enthusiasts. The people joining us today :)
One of our major upcoming milestones is the launch of our very first NFT Collection titled ReBirth: Genesis of a Metaverse. This series of ‘meta-posters’ consists of 14 unique collectibles, released over the period of 14 weeks, and kicks off on April 24th. Every meta-poster was designed by our team in-house, will be enhanced with augmented reality overlays, and paired with audio tracks by mainstream artists. But perhaps more importantly, as each poster is unveiled, the background and lore of Star Atlas will be revealed. It is also an historic moment, as it is not only the first NFT set produced by Star Atlas, but will be the first mainstream drop of an NFT collection on Solana.
Stay tuned for a formal announcement from the team announcing the structure, marketplaces, and countless bonuses for Poster holders. Think lifetime benefits with these…
Following ReBirth, we will be launching a web-application based minigame, delivered in-browser. Our projected date for launch is July 24th. Gamers and asset holders will be able to engage in gameplay and start generating real earnings off of their assets. This will also be accompanied by our formal TGE, executed across several launchpads, and the ability to purchase in-game usable assets — such as ships, crew, components, modules, land, buildings, etc. — for the very first time
And finally, as we move forward with full production of our fully immersive 3D and VR enabled version of Star Atlas, our marketing efforts will start to refocus on a broader audience, including mainstream gamers, and a global audience seeking the countless opportunities present in the Metaverse.
We are optimizing for a fair distribution of both token sales, as well as in-game assets to ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate.
QUESTIONS FROM TELEGRAM
Q~ POLIS is a multifunctional governance token, with applications both in-game and in directing real-world economic policy. Can you tell us more about that real-world use case? How will it work as an economic policy and for what?
A~ Absolutely. So externally, POLIS will be utilized as a DAO-like governance mechanism. Holders will be able to influence multiple facets of game development. To your point, economic structuring within the game is something that can be voted on via POLIS proposals. Additionally, decisions surrounding asset release schedules, feature development, and development timelines can all be influenced to some extent.
I would like to note that we are not rolling out in an entirely decentralized fashion to start. Producing a title of this caliber requires a significant degree of centralized planning and execution. However, as time progresses, and we are confident in the product delivered, we will transition to decentralization and inclusion of user feedback.
Q~ You announced that you selected Solana as the protocol to build your blockchain-powered multiplayer metaverse. Why did you decide to partner with Solana? Does being associated with this offer you benefits? And, Will Star Atlas be available on apps like Play Store and App Store?
A~ Solana was honestly an easy choice, but came down to a few critical areas for us. And I will note, we analyzed a number of third-generation layer one protocols before selecting Solana.
The tech — extremely high transaction throughput (50,000 tps), highly scalable, low latency (sub-second finality), and low transaction costs at $.0001/tx. All of which are essential for delivering a game of this caliber entirely on chain.
The team behind the company. These are guys of high pedigree, working with some major tech companies historically (Qualcomm, Dropbox, etc.) And they/you have all been amazing to work with.
The affiliations — having associates with teams like FTX, Alameda Research, Serum, etc. has already paid dividends. And the DeFi infrastructure provides immediate utility for that functionality within the game.
The ecosystem. The Solana ecosystem is absolutely exploding with innovation. We have a number of partnerships in the pipeline directly resulting from being involved in the ecosystem, with teams like Stardust, Audius, Raydium, and others.
When we initiated conversations with the folks behind Solana last year, there were something like 30 projects building on Solana. Today, that number is well over 100.
We wanted to be the first game built on Solana!
Q~ What were they inspired to create the peculiar theme of Atlas: star wars, star trek? where can you read the history of your metaverse?
A~ There is considerable depth to the naming and theme of Star Atlas. I personally appreciate the use of literary device in writing, and have always attempted to introduce double entendre or multi-meaning to my company names.
Star Atlas first takes inspiration from the Titan Atlas, who was tasked with carrying the weight of the universe (heavens) on his shoulders, with a subtle nod to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Atlas is also defined as a combination or collection of maps. And one of the primary goals within Star Atlas is to explore, navigate, and discover the stars, and capture that data for fellow explorers.
So the complete meaning of the name represents both the emergence of a new Universe (metaverse), and the spirit of exploration of the stars.
In terms of inspiration, we are some blend of EVE online economics, Star Citizen gameplay, and a mixture of Star Trek and The Fifth Element aesthetics.
Q~ We know that an active community, which is highly qualified and strongly formed and supported by incentive mechanisms, makes projects successful. What is ATLAS ‘view of the community concept?
A~ Both gaming communities and crypto communities are driven by network effect. To that extent, we are fully embracing community building and utilize a Ultimate Dream Management model to incorporate user feedback and iteration.
Some evidence of this can be found in our discord channel, where we already have guilds/clans forming in preparation for gameplay. And once again, relationships with groups like Yield Guild Games out of the Philippines and groups of Vietnam are evidence of our commitment to support of a structured community.
Also, much of the gameplay is centered around teamwork. Deep space exploration, for example, is effectively hardcore mode. Losing an engagement in deep space means the players NFT will be permanent destroyed. Burned off chain. The winner will be able to salvage some of the assets from the destroyed ship. This creates exhilarating gameplay, and also accounts for significantly higher rewards when operating in that space. But it would be unwise to explore deep space alone.
Q~ What is the most ambitious goal of your project? What is the ultimate vision that Your project is trying to achieve within the cryptocurrencies market? I would appreciate it if you could share with us any upcoming Updates?
A~ This is a great question. The most ambitious aspect is a fully functional metaverse economy in which industrious entrepreneurs and individuals from all of the world can identify their own opportunities in the Verse. Not direct gameplay mechanics delivered by us, or even the framework we’re building around the game. If we can succeed with a true functional metaverse, this concept could live on for decades, or centuries. And as we move towards decentralization, the global audience will be able to mould the gaming experience to that which best suits the global collective.
Q~ When moon ?
I kindly invite you all to join our social media channels!
We also host regular Townhalls in our discord.
These are live sessions with the team where we respond to questions submitted in our #townhall channel.
If you question was not answered here, I encourage you to join discord and post your question there :)
We also launched our second edition of the Atlassian Newsletter!
The Atlassian Newsletter Issue #2
This edition of The Atlassian is brought to you by Star Atlas… the next-gen gaming metaverse where you live out your dreams.
Thank you again for the time!
See you in space 🚀🚀🚀🚀
It’s really nice having the Star Atlas project in here!!!
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