In the upcoming virtual world of Cradles, player governance is important because without it the world will fall into chaos and NPCs will perish. Cradles: Origin of Species is an upcoming play-to-earn game that starts at the beginning of time. Perhaps more interesting from a gameplay perspective is that everything players make in this world, will be taken by nature as players don’t preserve it. It’s one of many mechanics uses by Cradles to set itself apart from other blockchain-powered games.
The website of Cradles: Origin is Species shows many dinosaurs, but this game isn’t really about that. Game studio DRepublic wants to make a game that’s all about time. The world of Cradles offers a main city and an adventure zone. In this adventure zone players can find all creatures that are now extinct in real-life. Players can gather resources, and create and trade items. Even more interesting is that they can take-over the body of a dinosaur and experience the world from their perspective.
Players play the role of a Newman born in the Triassic age. Players need to use DRPC tokens to buy crystals and other props. In addition they need TimeSpaceSand to travel through time and space, enter different worlds, and visit the past or future. Players also use these tokens to govern worlds, but more about this a bit later. The crystals are then used to upgrade NFTs.
From a gameplay perspective, players need to stop two demigods who are destroying the world. Plaguer infects living creatures, while Disaster brings earthquakes and altered weather patterns. Civilization in the game will develop as soon as players reach a certain level of governance, such as building towns and gaining new technologies like mills and waterwheels. Through player progressions in technology and governance, the game will advance through era progression, such as from the Triassic age to the Jurassic age.
Before you continue reading, the development team wrote an excellent (non-technical) whitepaper. If you’re interested after reading article, be sure to check it out.
During gameplay, the energy of the purchased time crystals slowly dissipates with the passage of time
in the block according to the rate of time passage in that world. When players enter a completely new world, things are super dangerous and a crystal may loose its power very fast. However, players also have the opportunity to find super powerful NFTs and items in these dangerous worlds.
Cradles allows players to acquire One World. These planets or worlds exist in rare items, which they called space caskets. Players who have this item can create a new world where time will start at zero. In this world players can acquire resources, learn to build houses, trade assets and so on. After creating their own One World, players can enable ‘projection mode’ and allow other players to discover this new brave world from within the main world. Thanks to a concept called Mod Slots, each world can have a different gameplay mechanic, ranging from story-driven mechanics, to survival or simply luck mechanics.
This also means that players can create completely different life forms, before humans come into existence. As a result each world in Cradles is basically an alternative timeline. Players need to keep up and operate the world. Governance is important to keep NFTs alive, completing renovations and so on. Without governance, chaos will ensue. But when chaos takes over, that particular world will close for a limited time. When that happens, staked DRPC tokens on that particular world… will vanish.
This concept of decay, where a world can fall into chaos, requires a completely new NFT.
A new type of NFT: ERC-3664
From a technical perspective DRepublic also wants to bring something new to the table. Because ERC-1155 NFTs don’t offer all the functionalities they were looking for, they have created a new standard. ERC-3664 can have multiple attribute tokens. This would allow developers to add all game-related attributes into a contract, while create extra smart contracts for game logic. Technically it would – supposedly – allow developers to create all the mechanics for a role playing game on the blockchain.
From that perspective ERC-3664 is the evolution of ERC-1155. This new NFT uses four different categories for its attributes:
- General changeable attributes: attack power, life points etc. These numbers can increase and decrease.
- Transferable attributes: certain attributes that can transfer to another NFT. Think about for example a curse.
- Upgradeable attributes: the name says it. You pay a fee, and an NFT gets improved attributes.
- Evolvable attributes: an attribute that can change over time, which simulates time attributes of the real-world.
Yes, Cradles will use blockchain blocks to simulate time. That means that items may decay, NPCs can perhaps die of age, and so on.
After reading the whitepaper of Cradles, I still have questions. People building and developing worlds, which are basically games on their own. How will quality assurance work? In addition, what’s the earnings model here for a world builder? I have some worries… Thirteen years ago, Will Wright (Simcity, The Sims) created a game about evolution, called Spore. Which was not a success at all.
Right now Cradles sounds very conceptual, and I love to imagine what it can become. They just had their first NFT sale on Binance NFT Marketplace. Within seconds the first NFTs sold out. They had Ammonite Fossils for sale and potions. Combining these will revive a pet character, to be used in Cradles when the game launches. Pets will help players gather resources and they provide a boost as well.
Robert Hoogendoorn is a gamer and blockchain enthusiast. He got in touch with crypto in 2014, but the fire really lit in 2017. Professionally he’s a content optimization expert and worked for press agencies and video production companies, always with a focus on the video games & tech industry. He’s a content manager and creator at heart, started the Play to Earn Online Magazine in early 2020.