Introducing Kanaria: Skybreach
Higher resolution of cover image here
The Kanaria project has been under development for over 6 months, and until now it has been missing a key element: on-chain logic. With our recent foray into EVM, the puzzle is slowly nearing completion. Consequently, we want to take this opportunity to share with you our vision for the future.
This post will be an overview of what's coming to Kanaria in the mid-term and long-term, and how the RMRK token plays into all this.
Specifically, let's talk about the Kanaria Metaverse. By now, you know the name.
Note that every part of this writeup is subject to change based on priorities, trends, community feedback, regulation, and more.
Buckle up, it's a long one. Comprehensive readers will be rewarded.
The Metaverse - Kanaria: Skybreach
When building a metaverse, you typically have two choices: a gamer-optimized 1st/3rd person experience OR a casual experience.
Most metaverse projects today focus on 3D.
The Sandbox Environment
While we as gamers do think 3D is fun, we don't think it's the way to go for two main reasons:
- Graphics need to be inherently voxel-ish, so that it's easy for people to build. By forcing a MineCraft-like architecture, you make it easier for people to put Lego-like structures together without them having to dabble in 3D tools, plus it's far easier for a GPU to render, but you're forever constrained to blocky visuals.
- Because of the above, you always end up with the worst of both worlds: suboptimal graphics with hard-to-use controls for non-gamers and extremely low draw distance where render disables models more than a few blocks away to conserve GPU power, this is especially obvious in browsers.
Add to this the user friction of putting on VR headsets in VR-heavy environments, or having to sit down behind a PC because a laptop or mobile device cannot run such an environment, and you shed a lot of potential users.
Granted, you could build an out-of-browser client, a proper game people install and run at high fidelity with much better graphics and resource utilization, but this is an even bigger barrier to users and good luck getting crypto-natives to install third party software on a computer connected to their wallet. Not to mention that at that point you need to form a proper game development studio if you're serious about it. Alternatively, you could just buy an Unreal Engine demo on Fiverr and do a VC raise 🙃
Don't get us wrong, RMRK will have an active presence in almost all of the 3D metaverses as well - particularly our partner Bit.Country - but our world will be geared towards the casual audience.
In terms of our world design, think less MineCraft, more Habbo Hotel / Westward / Eastward.
We say "think" because this is an evolving space with evolving technologies, and key elements are still being discussed. We're evaluating open source engines, developer availability, networking capabilities of these tools, and their mobile-friendliness.
The goal is to have a metaverse that is just as easy to join and leave when waiting for a bus, as it is when sitting on the couch at home or behind the computer.
The metaverse isn't slated for launch until Q4 2022, but the playable prototypes will likely experiment with any number of engines resembling the above screenshots in some way well before then.
We are not launching our own chain. We are deploying our pallets on existing chains, and launching on one of those. We do not yet know if we'll be launching the metaverse functionality (back end) on Moonriver or a blockchain with our pallets integrated.
It's easy to run a "metaverse" when it's just a multiplayer app on someone's server, but that's neither meta nor verse. As usual, we're going all the way, so this will take some serious R&D. The main idea is to power the back-end of this metaverse through a decentralized architecture, arguably the hardest of the tasks, and something we're working with Phala on.
In any case, there will be a migration process through which you'll be moving your Kanaria birds and items over into the new infrastructure by bridging the NFTs into another chain.
This migration process will become available long before the metaverse, because it has other utilities. We intend to phase out the remark-based NFT system in favor of an on-chain one during 2022, with the first such deployment being the result of our Moonbeam grant.
Why RMRK2 is Perfect for the Metaverse
RMRK1 is a proof of concept simple-NFT protocol on Kusama. RMRK2 is "NFT legos" as described in this video and what we're talking about when discussing the metaverse and all the below functionality.
Kanaria Skybreach is a match made in heaven and the truest proof of concept of RMRK's capabilities for many reasons. Chief among them: multi-resource NFTs and stanadlone equippables.
In most metaverses, the way you add an NFT into the game is by contacting a visual art team who will develop this asset for this game specifically and then the game makers must add it into the game.
Your Bored Ape doesn't simply become an avatar because you have it. Someone will need to commission a 3D render of the NFT, and following that, someone has to do the work of integrating the new asset into the game engine. Since 3D model standards vary across metaverse engines, these steps need to be repeated for every metaverse that is entered with that NFT.
This is hardly decentralized. Your NFT has no idea what "land" is, what a "building" is, or even what "equipment" is. In fact, it's not even in the game. What a modern metaverse does right now is:
- checks if you own a wallet by means of a cryptographic signature
- checks if that wallet owns a certain NFT
- reads its database for a mapping between an in-game asset and that NFT
- lets your avatar in game use that visual asset
Your NFT is not actually in the game you are playing! The NFT remains in your wallet and can be sold from your wallet while you are using it in the game. This is a web 3.0 immersion breaking experience, and a failure of web 3.0 integration.
Additionally, if these servers go down, so does your metaverse experience. Quite antithetical to Web 3.0.
With RMRK, especially as more metaverses adopt the standard, a location in the game (land) is an NFT. An avatar NFT can only be in one location at any point in time. If you have a piece of armor, it can be equipped onto one avatar at any given moment, across all the universes. All universes can talk, and scarcity is facilitated throughout all of them. Multiverse item economy in action.
With RMRK, NFTs can embody not just resources and tools, but experience and achievements. These NFTs can be contained inside your avatar. They stay with it, for as long as you want them to.
Additionally, NFTs being multi-resource means a metaverse can stay truly decentralized. A single RMRK 2.0 NFT can contain all the assets needed to render it in a game environment - they are essentially the Swiss army knife of NFTs.
Once commissioned and created, the NFT itself can contain the 3D model (or several) of the avatar or asset, and this instantly tells a universe how to render it.
Have a Kanaria? Take it into Skybreach and it shows as 2D sprites, 8 of them (walking/standing + n/e/s/w). These need to be commissioned, but only once, and are then compatible with any metaverse of similar style.
Want to port it into a newly created metaverse? No problem, the additional 3D model specific to that metaverse can be added as an additional resource once created; your NFT is future proof. Take it into Bit.Country and it just shows up.
What if Bit Country or Skybreach disappear, the teams go defunct, projects are abandoned? Not a problem - your NFT still exists with all the render resources, and everything it achieved in the respective universes. Not only that - the fact that land itself is an NFT on-chain means anyone can build an alternative UI in which to visualize the metaverse, keeping it alive indefinitely.
All that time you spent on that character can now be monetised more easily. Will this be the death of the idea that gaming time is lost time? Each time you play you come away with a game asset that has increased in value, something you can sell immediately.
This is true ownership of experience.
Each aspect of Skybreach and how RMRK2 facilitates its functionality will have a detailed and dedicated post in the near future. Below we provide an overview of some of these features.
Because RMRK2 NFTs are multi-resource by default, an NFT can actually contain all the resources needed to render its sprite in a pixel-based universe as mentioned above.
Using the RMRK2 specification, a centralized service is no longer required to provide you with visual assets for a specific metaverse. The NFT itself can contain it all - decentralized and permanent.
This metaverse will be open to all avatars that are voted in by the World Governance. World Governance is explained in a later section.
The specification allows for anything you could imagine to be an avatar in Kanaria Skybreach (if voted in by the World Governance). However, not all NFTs will perform the same. For example, a Kanaria will have flight (important for movement - see below) but you can't just draw a pixelated toaster and expect it to fly.
Avatars will be restricted to Kanaria at first. Kanaria have right of first use of the metaverse and are, in effect, beta tickets that become governance tokens - they are the original denizens. Due to their rising floor price, purchasing Kanaria might not be available to everyone. As such, we also intend to open the ability to rent birds.
At the same time, we intend to make the first World Governance proposal be the inclusion of Chunkies into the world - low-price open-use avatars with no voting rights or flight (can you find them in the header image?). More information on Chunkies soon - they are part of the RMRK2 launch on Singular.
The various Sky Breaches will allow entry to new denizens, but the World Governance decides whether to allow a Breach to form, or to nip it in the bud. The World Governance is also powerful enough to recognize the voting rights of another group of avatars down the line, so those not among the avian royalty should not despair.
You will not be limited to a single avatar. You will be able to use multiple at the same time, but you will choose a primary. If this primary is the leader of a flock, and if you own some of this flock, the primary will get some bonuses on his actions in the world - a flock buff.
The assets (items) your avatar can equip per RMRK2 specification will also be represented in the world, but will have to be whitelisted by World Governance collection by collection. Current Kanaria items will be whitelisted and in Skybreach by default.
Additional (non-genesis) items can be created, however these collections will also have to be limited or locked, to prevent abuse by issuer, e.g. adding penises into an unlimited collection of hats once it's been approved.
The proposer will propose item effects as well, where certain equippables have certain effects: a golden mining pick might mine faster, an asbestos cape might make a water-based Kanaria more durable in fiery environments.
Locations and Moving
Kanaria Skybreach will be composed of several different "Skylands", floating sky islands.
To get from one to the other, you must have a flying avatar (like a Kanaria), or you must use a portal or book passage on one of the airships. Transport will cost RMRK, payable to the driver (another player who owns an airship) or the game itself for the service of "public transport".
Just to intercept Martin's and Rich's thinking here, no, you will not be able to move an avatar across by putting it into a bird as a nested NFT and using it as free transport. Avatar NFTs within one another will not be able to travel across zones.
As the universe grows in popularity and size and evolves over time, Kanaria Skybreach might shed some islands or gain new ones. The lore of the universe will explore this concept further.
Land plots are NFTs, as described here. You will equip other NFTs into the lands you own in order to show them in the universe.
Land plots are rentable and sellable. Some land plots, like those near urban centers, portals, and airship docks, will be harberger taxed to prevent hoarding and to encourage real price discovery.
Kanarians will be given some land depending on their rarity. They will also have a discount in the land sale, and those with Kokopelli will have early access to the pre-sale of land, getting dibs on premium land positions. Certain backgrounds have special effects in the metaverse and influence the land the bird will be given. Flocks will also have an effect (details about flocking LEs with Rares are coming in the next few weeks).
To finance the development of all this, we'll be conducting a land sale.
The idea is to release the metaverse into the open, allow anyone to build anything as long as they own or rent a piece of land (or have permission to deploy on it from the owner) so long as their assets have been voted into Kanaria Skybreach by the World Governance. You can own land without an avatar, so there is a way to earn enough income for a higher-tier avatar like a Kanaria bird simply by playing the real estate market well.
In 2022, our land sale will open on Moonriver. A dedicated land sale post is coming soon. What you need to know right now is that the only currency usable for buying the land will be RMRK tokens. We understand that some of the community have faced challenges obtaining RMRK tokens, and we are addressing these so that it will be much easier to obtain them in the very near future.
Skills and Experience Cards
Soft skills will be created as a type of NFT that is non-transferable. These NFTs can be purchased (e.g., in-game "train" or "learn"), and when your avatar contains one of these, it will be able to access certain functions of the world previously inaccessible to them. For example, your avatar can purchase a path-finding NFT, that is an NFT-as-algorithm, and once "installed" into your avatar's brain, it may make them more efficient at navigation and auto-play when needed.
Experience cards are also NFTs, and these will indicate the level your avatar is at. A non-transferable NFT that will in turn get various points and achievements, influencing the experience card's effect on this avatar. These cards can contain anything from badges to personalities, which may influence how the world sees you and NPCs react to you.
Crafting and Resources
The universe will have a simple crafting and mining economy wherein any avatar will be able to mine base resources by putting your avatar(s) to work, disassemble existing NFTs into base resources, and use these resources to craft and build.
An avatar that is placed into a mine to work cannot be used elsewhere. Your avatar does the work for you while you're away, up to a certain capacity which can be improved by equipping better gear (child NFTs) and leveling up (skill NFTs and experience cards). There is also the concept of active mining where you actually issue commands and actively participate, for higher yield.
If you have multiple avatars, multiple actions can be issued at the same time (e.g. send 4 Birds and 3 Chunkies into the mines and explore with your primary bird).
You are required to be at a certain level and/or have a "mining license" by staking RMRK before you can do this. This is to prevent botting and mine-farming. The more \$RMRK you stake, the more "buffed up" your mining process will be - more \$RMRK means more efficiency. This is one of the fabled "\$RMRK staking" utilities.
New mines (and yields from those mines) can be voted into the world by the World Governance.
You can disassemble specific NFTs into base resources plus extras. These "disassembly recipes" will be added into the game via World Governance. Genesis collection items and selected other RMRK-issued NFTs will be disassemblable from the get-go into base resources + a genesis spark which lets you imbue another item of a new generation with the "Genesis" status, powering it up. This means even the most basic genesis Kanaria items have a special value. On-chain randomness will decide what number of resources you get (above minimum) and if you'll harvest something special out of it too.
Note: event items and banners are not genesis items. Genesis items are only those that hatched alongside the birds.
Everything mined / harvested can be sold on the open market as fungible tokens. Some resources expire if unused for extended periods of time.
Crafting recipes will be NFTs that your avatar has to learn by holding them in their inventory - they are one of the Skill NFTs. Crafting is done with a time delay - it takes a while for an item to be completed, and the avatar is occupied while doing this. An avatar can craft while the player is logged out. Staked $RMRK will speed this process up. Active crafting is also possible, interacting while logged into the game to speed the process up.
To build a structure, an avatar needs to be aware of a blueprint. Blueprints are NFTs that can be used to craft deployable constructs. These can be sold on the marketplace and deployed on land, but unless one deploys a movable construct (like an RV or, say, a trebuchet), it will need to be destroyed into raw resources to be moved / undone. In other words, you can buy a pre-built house to plant it somewhere, but you can't move it unless you destroy it for raw materials.
Kanaria Skybreach is governed by a population of Kanaria birds, and only Kanaria birds: the ruling class. This ruling class has absolute autonomy over the world - from new blueprints being voted into existence to new avatar types and their assets being allowed to immigrate into the metaverse.
Every major decision - from demolishing an ugly building and evicting a tenant to going as far as detaching and forsaking a skyland or voting a new avatar into existence - is subject to World Governance.
World governance votes are quadratic but weighted by bird rarity, with Super Founders being the ruling elite with most votes, and the Limited Edition birds being the lowest tier.
There will be no separate governance token. Kanaria birds ARE the primary governance token, and birds vote with their \$RMRK balance, onto which we then apply Quadratic Voting.
The birds' voting power can be augmented through delegation - \$RMRK holders without avatars or those with avatars who cannot participate in governance will be able to delegate their \$RMRK power to arbitrary Kanaria avatars.
The birds are your citizen cards.
Kanaria Skybreach will be RMRK's metaverse. It includes:
- An evolving world of Sky-islands merging and breaking apart over time. Expect Chaos.
- An in-game economy that permits crafting, recipes, transport services, renting and more. Under the hood of Skybreach is the RMRK 2.0 specification, that facilitates the launch of NFT legos in their full glory with equippable, composable NFTs representing skills, personalities, brains, resources, constructions.
- A full world-wide governance using Kanaria NFTs (its original inhabitants).
The \$RMRK token is the currency of the metaverse, used to:
- buy land (sale coming 2022), buy NFTs off the in-game and out-of-game market, like skills, recipes, resources, and more
- issue governance votes to shape the metaverse
support gameplay actions like metaverse mining and crafting (more $RMRK = more efficient mining and crafting)
- The lore of this universe is yet to be written, stay tuned for Universe-building posts in the future. We will have a Lorecrafting competition too, an on-going effort to source lore from the community for a chance to win NFTs and eternal glory.
- There are tentative plans for PvE, PvP, and prediction-market betting on outcomes via Zeitgeist, but we’re not ready to talk about this yet.
- A Kanaria wiki that will expand upon metaverse details as they are ironed out.