I have covered many blockchain-based virtual worlds on this blog, focusing in particular on successful projects like Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, and Somnium Space. I’ve also covered a few products which looked promising, but failed to launch, like Virtual Universe. And I have blogged about many other blockchain platforms that frankly mystify me as to why they exist at all, like NeoWorld, Mark Space, and MATERIA.ONE, to name just a few.
Well, there’s yet another blockchain-based virtual world to add to the list: MegaCryptoPolis, an Ethereum blockchain-based city-building game:
You access MegaCryptoPolis (MCP for short) using your web browser. If you want to buy virtual land, you’ll need an Ethereum wallet like MetaMask, Trust, or Dapper. Here’s a few looks at the MCP landscape:
According to their first white paper, dated May 2018:
Players can acquire blocks of land to construct their own buildings and eventually upgrade them to gain influence points. Each player can choose from a range of structure types to begin with: a residential building, shopping mall, entertainment facility, factory or even a mining site ― it is completely up to the player…
The MegaCryptoPolis game map consists of land blocks that unite into districts. Players are acquiring blocks to construct buildings that generate influence points. Better locations for constructing and higher level buildings will generate more influence points.
Just like in real life, every key action in the game requires tax payments. The taxes budget is then distributed every day between the players. This depends on the amount of influence points that each of them has collected within this period. Influence points define a player position in leader boards and share in taxes that he will receive to his Ethereum wallet.
Proximity plays a role in land prices, according to this diagram from the white paper:
For example, the red arrow in this diagram points to a square plot of land costing 3.19534 ETH (approximately US$570). I have hunted through all the documentation and I cannot find out what the exact size of the land is, though, which is an irritating thing to leave out, and which makes it extremely difficult to compare land prices between platforms!
The white paper contains enough mathematical equations to make my head spin! Somebody has utterly geeked out and calculated every possible detail of this world! Here’s just one example, explaining how taxes are assessed and distributed:
Here’s a couple of MegaCryptoPolis promotional videos to give you an idea of gameplay (I just love how the voiceover stumbles and calls it “CryptoMegaPolis” around the 1:50 minute mark in the first video!):
I see MegaCryptoPolis as a sort of a cross between a game and a virtual world. There are aspects of it that remind me of cellphone-based games like Final Fantasy XV, where you basically mine for resources to build a bigger, better city, in hopes of getting rich off the taxes.
My question is: Why? Why would you incorporate blockchain in a world-building game that is essentially competing against countless competitors which do not impose the extra hurdle of investing in Ethereum and setting up a wallet? The white paper talks about your investment as “100% secure”, but frankly, this is all hosted centrally by the company, and if the servers go down on this, you will have lost your money.
MegaCryptoPolis even states this quite clearly in the fine print at the end of their white paper:
It is possible that, due to any number of reasons, including, but not limited to, an unfavorable fluctuation in the value of cryptographic currencies, or in the case of MegaCryptoPolis, may not be widely adopted and may have limited users, or alternative products may be established that compete with or, are will be more widely used. The developers may no longer be viable to operate and the MegaCryptoPolis platform, with all of its game assets, may dissolve or cease to exist.
Participants may be subject to lose all of their Ether cryptocurrency that is transferred to MegaCryptoPolis smart contracts.
So, as I have said before about cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based virtual worlds, Caveat emptor! Do every single scrap of your homework before you invest a penny in any of these ventures.