DRKVRS Makes Progress On Delivering their Neo-Noir Metaverse
Spearheaded by a team who have received SIGGRAPH and Visual Effect Society awards, DRKVRS is building on Aleph Zero to explore the potential of the metaverse for mature storytelling. Let’s look into the progress made by the project.
Conceived as a twisted reflection of the metaverse concept, DRKVRS will enable users to explore the darkest corners of their imaginations in a safe environment as they take part in gripping gameplay featuring rich mythology and stunning imagery.
The developers of the game are keen to explore the potential of Web3 and use blockchain features to make the story a compelling experience for all who dare to enter this darkly stylized world. The underlying platform for the DRKVRS is Aleph Zero, with its gaming-ready scalability and privacy-enhancing features that will craft a unique experience among metaverse projects that combines elements of role-playing games (RPG) and social platforms.
It has been six months since the initial announcement of DRKVRS, so we’ve recently met with Marcin Kobylecki from the DRKVRS team for an interview to discuss the conceptual side of the project, development updates, and what we can expect in the next few months.
Alex Baczkowski: What are the first milestones for DRKVRS, and when can we expect to see them live?
Marcin Kobylecki: Deploying a quality gaming experience that will deliver on all the ambitions of its creators takes considerable time and effort. Before the official release of the end product, the first step mapped out by our developers is to create a fully playable teaser location of the DRKVRS world that will allow the first cohort of users to get a taste of what the game will deliver upon completion. We’ve managed to complete the first round of motion capture and animation tests that will be crucial for creating the game’s unique characters and avatars.
This playable teaser location will feature approximately 30 to 60 minutes of gameplay and will be available for a select group of users who will be required to register beforehand. The lore, graphics, and gameplay details are currently being worked on, and players will get the first glimpse of the DRKVRS soon!
Users will be able to log onto their account through their Aleph Zero wallet and choose which of the initial factions they want to join. There will be a wide range of activities for players to take part in that will be connected not only with learning the game’s lore (an element that is highly important to us), but also acquiring in-game assets.
The first cohort of players will get a unique item that they will be able to take with them on their next adventures once the game is officially released. This gift will be imparted upon them after completing the Main Quest, which will also allow them to explore the game tokenomics, a useful set of skills to possess once the game is completed. Collecting various resources in the game will allow you to learn about Leviathan’s history and allow you to conduct additional activities.
AB: Can you tell us more about the game mechanics you’re planning to utilize?
MK: DRKVRS is exploring a new mechanism for rewarding players for their ongoing engagement with the game, departing from the popular “play to earn” that has made waves in recent years by opting for a considerably more meritocratic solution known that will put player’s skill as the main factor for their success. Users will benefit by learning the game mechanics and exploring the world, uncovering Leviathan’s secrets, and contributing to a healthy, competitive community whose central ethos is merit and achievement, not the mere status of your wallet.
AB: A core concept underpinning DRKVRS is the Prisoner’s Dilemma; how will this idea be featured in the game?
MK: The prisoner’s dilemma is an idea lifted from game theory that works under the assumption that two or more individuals face a challenge they must overcome. They can go about this in two ways, either by cooperating with their partners for mutual reward or betraying them for individual gratification. This concept will be a cornerstone of the DRKVRS world as we will throw players into situations where trust between them will be required to achieve goals, but at the same time, the possibility of betrayal will always be on the table. Such a scenario will result in gameplay that hews closer to real life and the moral dilemmas we face on a daily basis.
AB: Besides the gameplay itself, what else can players look forward to experiencing?
MK: We are committed to the idea of providing an online world that remains entertaining even during the moments when players are not chasing after the next goals. One way we will do this is by allowing third-party creatives to get in on the action and contribute to the development of DRKVRS. The Internet has proven time and time again that it is the most dynamic, clever, and innovative collection of individuals in human history, and we trust that they will find a way to contribute to the project. We are on the lookout for a wide range of creatives and artists who will find DRKVRS an inspirational creative outlet and will bring their unique life experiences and philosophy to the immersive game.
AB: I’ve also heard you’ll be receiving support from NVIDIA.
MK: That’s correct. We were accepted into NVIDIA Inception, a global network of 13,000 technology startups. I’m happy to announce that we’ll receive their full support in our development efforts, get connected with NVIDIA’s venture capital network, and be able to utilize their latest AI tools.
AB: You’re using Aleph Zero as the base platform for DKRVRS. What features do you think the project will benefit from the most?
MK: Game developers are aware of the ongoing debate around harvesting user data. Our team has voiced interest in implementing Aleph Zero’s privacy-enhancing features to avoid this morally dubious practice. Information submitted by players will remain confidential through the use of Aleph Zero’s Zero-Knowledge proof solutions to ensure that whatever happens in DRKVRS, stays in DRKVRS. This issue is particularly relevant considering the mature gameplay elements that will feature heavily in the game.
Additionally, the in-game material status of users and their transactions will remain private. We’ll also use Aleph Zero’s new wallet for login and account creation, as well as implement tokenized in-game assets on top of the network. The main token powering our metaverse will be issued on Aleph Zero as well.
AB: Why did you choose Aleph Zero for that particular project in the first place?
MK: We are building on Aleph Zero for a number of reasons. Firstly, the aforementioned privacy-enhancing solutions Aleph Zero offers are crucial for ensuring the safety of our players and tie in with the broader debate on privacy that dominates all discussions revolving around Web3. Secondly, the Aleph Zero team has provided invaluable assistance thanks to their Web3 know-how, generously answering all of our questions and assisting us in the creation of the in-game tokenomics. We definitely appreciate the possibility of on-site meetings with the team, too. Simple human connection is underrated in the days of Zoom fatigue.
Additionally, working with Aleph Zero has been incredibly insightful for the team as we put our first steps in the Web3 world with a project whose scale and scope have never been tried before. The most important lesson we’ve drawn involves the importance of community building for Web3 projects, an avenue we are pursuing through our social media platforms, including our upcoming Discord. If you wish to stay updated with what is happening at DRKVRS, be sure to check it out.
We’ll soon share the first fruits of our labor with the general public, including artwork, story, and gameplay elements.
To learn more about DRKVRS, read what framework they are creating for the project in the Medium Article
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