Update 10/16/2019: The Neon District team has announced that the game will be released on December 9.
The public release will mark the beginning of Season 1, which will include missions, contracts, and the first chapter of the game’s story.
This season is slated to conclude in the middle of 2020, at which point Season 2 will begin.
Early access to some parts of Season 1 is available to holders of Neon District Founders tokens.
If you’re interested in playing Neon District at launch, now is the time to start getting prepared.Watch Neon District Weekly @ Blockade Games. from blockadegames on www.twitch.tv
If you’ve been paying attention to the latest news about blockchain games, you’ve probably heard of the game Neon District.
Many blockchain news sites have claimed that this game has awesome graphics and an amazing team behind it.
It is also reported to rely on new technology that will solve the scalability problem currently plaguing blockchain games.
But what is Neon District really? Will the actual game live up to the hype? Or are players bound to be disappointed? This article will explain what we know so far about Neon District.
It will also consider whether we can expect the team to deliver on such high demands expected of them.
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Neon District Graphics and Story
The first thing to say about Neon District is that early videos of its gameplay look stunning.
In Neon District, we are presented with a dark, post-apocalyptic world full of violent robots and masked urban fighters, presented in high-resolution 2D video.
Neon District Trailer – Gameplay
According to the story of Neon District, a golden age of free trade was ushered in at some point in the past, but governments lashed out and tried to destroy this new culture of freedom.
Many people decided to conform. But others continued to fight back. Living in the shadows, these new rebels, called “degens,” try to survive in this harsh world.
Neon District technology
In addition to the storyline and graphics, Neon District is also getting a buzz because of its technology.
This game is one of the first to use the new LOOM Network, an Ethereum sidechain designed to solve the scalability problem in blockchain games.
Here is an explanation of the scalability problem and how the LOOM network and Neon District attempt to solve it:
For years, blockchain games have been trying to solve the problem of how to keep transaction speeds high without increasing cost to users.
This is a problem inherent in the Proof of Work (PoW) consensus protocol inherited from Bitcoin.
In a PoW system, high transaction speed can only be obtained at low cost if there are very few users. As a system gains more users, transactions must either become more expensive or slower.
In a PoW-based game, this means that a player must pay for every important action his character takes.
This means that he will have to pay for each battle, each item picked up, each adventure he goes on, and every other important action.
If an action is important enough that it needs to be recorded on a blockchain so that it can’t be deleted, the player must pay for that action to be recorded.
While this does ensure that the player’s assets will not be stolen, nerfed, or deleted, it also can lead to enormous cost.
For example, each major action taken in Etheremon costs between US $0.20-$0.25 and takes 15 seconds on average to process. This isn’t much money. But if you play Etheremon a lot, it can add up very quickly.
And if the Ethereum network gains more users in the future, this cost could become even greater.
DPoS and scalability
It is not uncommon for DPoS systems to produce transaction speeds of three seconds or less. In addition, users of a DPoS system do not have to pay for each transaction.
Instead, they are allotted a certain amount of bandwidth within a particular time-period based on the amount of investment they have made in the system (the amount of the system’s currency they own).
During times when the network is congested, users who don’t own much of the currency find that they cannot conduct transactions, especially if they are using the system a lot.
But during off-peak times, even users who haven’t invested much can transact freely.
For these reasons, many game developers have begun to use Steem, TRON, and EOS to make games.
However, there are drawbacks to this approach. DPoS systems do not have “miners” that add blocks to the blockchain after solving cryptographic problems.
Instead, they have “witnesses,” elected officials who keep copies of the blockchain and are authorized to make changes to it.
These witnesses are elected based on a “one coin, one vote” principle. So in theory, it is possible for a rich user in a DPoS system to take over the blockchain and erase or alter transactions.
In practice, this type of fraud has never actually occurred. But many blockchain enthusiasts fear that it could happen if DPoS systems become more widely used.
This is the problem that the LOOM Network is attempting to solve.
The LOOM Network Scalability Solution
In the LOOM Network, transactions can be approved either through a DPoS sidechain or through the PoW Ethereum mainnet. Minor transactions such as battles, gaining equipment, missions, etc. can be done through the sidechain.
This should allow costs for game actions to be reduced to zero.
For Neon District to work on the LOOM Network, the developer will need to invest in enough LOOM coins to handle the bandwidth generated by the game’s players.
If it cannot do this, players will need to buy enough LOOM coins themselves to earn them the right to use bandwidth. However, players will not have to pay for each transaction.
Instead, if a player performs too many actions in the game, he will simply have to wait for a cool-down before he can perform another action.
In practice though, most players should find that they can play as much as they want for a very small investment ($20-$30 worth of LOOM, for example).
While this DPoS sidechain will be available for most in-game transactions, this chain will also be connected to the Ethereum mainnet.
If a player wants to save an in-game asset for long-term storage, he will be able to transfer it to the mainnet. This will provide added security in case a wealthy player or developer gets control of the LOOM Network.
Once an in-game asset is transferred to the Ethereum mainnet, it is out of the hands of the LOOM Network witnesses and cannot be altered by them.
Some players may feel more confident investing in the game because of this protection.
This is how the LOOM Network hopes to solve the scalability problem, and it is one of the reasons Neon District is getting so much interest from the blockchain community.
Neon District Team
Neon District is being developed by the Blockade Games team, which consists of Marguerite Decourcelle, Diego Rodriguez, Ben Heidorn, Adrian Seeley, Andrea McGinty, Brendon Steele, Chris Chapman, Cody Hann, Craig Barnes, Dave Plinq, Hardy Fowler, Kyle Chivers, and Troy Salem.
This is the same team that has given us Pineapple Arcade and Plasma Bears.
This team has yet to produce a breakout hit. But they have gained notoriety in the blockchain community for the sophistication of their games.
Pineapple Arcade is a point-and-click puzzle game with extremely difficult cryptographic puzzles.
In the past, some of the puzzles have awarded cryptocurrency to the first player who could solve them.
Plasma Bears is a browser-based collectible game similar to Etheremon and Axie Infinity.
In Plasma Bears, players collect bear parts that can be used to construct cute bears. These bears can battle with each other to gain experience.
The winner is determined by the moves made in the battle, which is in turn determined by the configuration of bear parts. This system leads to very complex battles.
It is this sophistication that Blockade games is known for, and that is expected to be present in Neon District when it hits the market.
How to Invest in Neon District
If you would like to invest in Neon District assets ahead of the launch, Blockade Games is offering a “Founder’s Key” sale.
In this sale, investors and players will be able to buy keys that unlock chests full of special game items, including a player-character version of the last boss of the game.
Neon District: can it live up to the hype?
Given the facts we currently know about game, the question remains as to whether it can live up to expectations. There is currently very little information about how the game will work.
The developer has said that players will be able to collect characters, equip them, and level them up. It has also said that as the characters gain levels, they will become more valuable.
While this makes the game sound fun, it is essentially a description of every blockchain game. What is not clear is how exactly players will be able to do these things.
How will the combat system work in the game? How will characters be acquired? What will the characters do to gain experience? These are just a few of the unanswered questions we have about this game.
But despite this lack of information, Blockade Games has produced amazing story and gameplay trailers for Neon District. In addition, this team is known for delivering the goods.
While Blockade Games’ previous products were not great commercial successes, they did show that the designers are capable of producing interesting and innovative games.
For these reasons, we think Neon District may turn out to be just as innovative as everyone thinks it will be.
Obviously, investing in virtual assets for a game that has not been released carries a lot of financial risk.
So you’ll have to decide for yourself whether you want these Founders Keys badly enough to spend money on them beforehand.
But we think this game is worth keeping an eye on, even if you end up waiting until the final release before buying anything.