Gaming In the Metaverse

Gaming in the Metaverse

While the STARL Metaverse is an interactive 3D universe based in space, with the freedom to explore different virtual worlds and communities, it is not necessarily a game in and of itself. It can instead best be described as a hub for virtual social interaction and expression, and trading and collecting assets within a virtual economy.
‌The STARL Metaverse, however, will be filled with gaming. There is no limit to what can be included. The metaverse provides a portal to connect to various missions and adventures which can be embarked on alone or with others. For example, racing games could take place on moons and extraterrestrial lands, shooting games inside abandoned spaceships and bases, spaceships can fly throughout the metaverse and other solar systems and complete missions, space stations can be captured, defended, or used for supplies. All types of games ranging from adventure, action, and education are planned to be included.
‌All games will be connected and accessible through the Market in the 'Play' section, which links directly to the metaverse. The user's statistics and actions can affect the environment, other users, and economy in various ways. Gameplay can affect the metaverse, and the metaverse can affect gameplay. Everything is connected.
Early game development of Warp Nexus, which will be used for the space flight mechanics in the metaverse.

The Station Hub

The central space station hub in the metaverse will be the starting point for all new players. It will be a social and commercial meeting space for everyone. Inside the station, you will be able to access activities available throughout the game. Additionally, there are areas of entertainment, shops, educational facilities, and more. The station will constantly expand as new regions are made available to players. There can be multiple hubs in varying sizes across the universe.
Some examples of what you might find on a space station hub and can do in the metaverse:
  • Weapons and armaments shop
  • Ship Showroom where you can walk around and view ships as you would at a car dealership
  • Player outfit shop where you can view various outfits and clothing
  • Minigame arcade
  • An auditorium where you can attend lectures and educational sessions
  • Hall of Fame, where you can see the leaderboards of players across all kinds of categories, from skills with flying and fighting to most trades completed.
  • Job site to hire pilots for missions and defense
  • Movie theatre where you can watch movies with other players
  • Music hall where you can listen to musical performances
  • STARL Market where you can browse and trade items or NFTs
  • Dance club where you can listen to DJ sets, dance with other players, and celebrate Power Hour
  • A bar where you can socialize with other players, including an NFT based VIP area, and jukebox
  • Underground market to purchase items of "enhancement" and exotic assets.
  • Mission briefing room where you can choose missions or even create them for other players. You can also see the status of all the sectors in the game, including things like weather or current sector warnings.
  • Scrap yard to buy and collect space junk for modifications
  • NFT Gallery, where you can walk around and see the top NFTs shown as artworks
  • Conquest room where you can see the status of the player vs. player (PvP) battles for control for the various special PvP stations throughout known space
  • A shooting range where you can practice your skills before heading out into the world
  • Race track where you can test your skills and reflexes against other players for prizes
  • Players will also have a hangar that they can visit to see their own ships.
  • Tradeable Pilot NFT Profiles - Hologram shown in Stations and Hubs
  • The ability to complete missions yourself to earn the top rank
  • Hire top community pilots to travel through dangerous sectors
  • Space pirates can attack ships and steal cargo (in-game assets/NFTs)
  • Space pirates can come from outer realm community-owned hubs.
  • Pilots can be hired to protect and take back cargo from pirates.
Anything that can be found in an average city with a commercial, social, cultural, or entertainment purpose can be added to the space hub making the possibilities endless. The hub's additions could be decided based on votes through the DAO or community suggestions and built through player contributions tied to the mission system.
Purchasable items may be an investment to earn more in-game funds. For example, you could buy a single-use shield amplifier in the Weapons and Armaments shop to better protect yourself on your next mission and increase the odds of your success to acquire NFTs faster, which you could place on the market to earn more funds.
The hub itself should be easily customizable and expandable to cater to the ever-evolving metaverse. A rotating ring design would allow for earth-like gravity in the station, with the option of additional ring layers as the base expands. The various areas in the station would be housed in transparent domes that are visible from inside and outside the station, so users can see NFT satellites, living modules, and other spacecraft NFT assets fly by. They could witness various natural occurrences in space like comets and distant supernovas, or they could fly by a battle happening in the near distance between users and pirates.
The freedom to adventure and play as you choose will create a diverse and dynamic universe that is always interacting, allowing players to cooperate or compete for resources. You may set out on your journey as a lone wolf pilot, team up with others to achieve more meaningful goals for better rewards, or perhaps engage in player versus player battle and activities to acquire what other users have. Or, you can hang out on the hub, collect assets, build connections, and work your way to the top of the virtual economy in a social manner. The choice is yours.

Economy and Play-To-Earn

The concept of play-to-earn is quickly growing in popularity. This is significantly enhanced in places where finding access to paid work may be difficult or for people in challenging personal circumstances where opportunities are lacking. Unfortunately, while the play-to-earn mechanism is used in several gaming projects, many have also abused it. We will ensure fair, balanced, and secure mechanisms in gameplay and travel in the metaverse to avoid this. Users will have abilities to play and earn various assets that are valuable in quests and to progress further in-game. These assets will be earned by playing and completing missions or battles while traveling between spaceships and hubs in the metaverse. Users can either use these assets to progress in missions and games or sell them to others for profit on the STARL Market. Assets earned can be common and valuable materials, fuel, tools, or weapons, or rare assets that are hard to find and highly sought after on the market.
We also aim to provide a vibrant virtual economy with ways to earn and trade. As we believe in community input, we will steer the project's direction according to what the community thinks are fair and balanced ways to trade and interact in the virtual world, while creating a fun and adventure-filled metaverse to explore. We look up to the greats of in-game economies, such as our very own Scott Brown (Jumpgate, and Warp Nexus, which is currently being reconstructed for STARL Metaverse). STARL will learn from the work of projects like these, and create a virtual economy that replicates the real world where actions bring consequences, causes create effects, and what you do not only affects yourself but the world around you.
For example, specific items and components might only be available to craft in particular locations in the metaverse. You could find that demand for features and raw resources is higher at one base or space station, while the demand for finished goods is higher at another. Both users and AI can generate missions to deliver the required products to appropriate locations. Other tasks may require users to extract minerals, deliver miscellaneous goods, and much more, contributing to a dynamic economic system based on primary supply and demand.
If missions are accepted but fail due to pirate activity or attack, then subsequent tasks will be implemented to combat the pirates in those areas. Thus, users will not only participate in the metaverse, but they will have a part in shaping, affecting, and responding to it.
Screencap of early multiplayer testing on Community developed Space Hub

Warp Nexus Integration with Scott Brown and Team

On Sep. 6, 2021, STARL Metaverse Project announced that veteran MMO gaming developer and designer Scott Brown would be joining the team. Scott Brown has a long list of gaming credits, most notably Jumpgate: The Reconstruction Initiative. Jumpgate was a space-based MMO that focused on in-game economy, trade, and space travel. Although this game is 20 years old now, it still has a dedicated fanbase due to its immersive world and economy. Scott created Jumpgate: Evolution, but before release, the company leading production, Net Devil, changed ownership, and the game was never released. Following this, Scott's company and the studio was involved with several games, including Lego Universe, Dragons & Titans, Ashes of Oahu, and has been involved in the development, design, and production of many others. His specialization in massively multiplayer online games and in-game economies aligns very closely with the goals and intentions of the STARL Metaverse.
After Scott Brown and the STARL team were put in touch, they spent several weeks working out details of how Scott could best fit into the project and what would be the most beneficial move forward. Scott offered to implement a game he and his team have been developing for several years already: Warp Nexus. Warp Nexus is the successor of Jumpgate and Jumpgate Evolution, developed on Unreal Engine. It is highly polished in design, gameplay, and economic systems. The game is almost fully developed already, with the remaining work required around the in-game economy and other finishing touches. STARL was the perfect match to help support this completion, and the combination of STARL and Warp Nexus into one unified project made perfect sense. Warp Nexus MMO gameplay and economics are an excellent match for the STARL Metaverse.
Warp Nexus will bring with it space flight mechanics between STARL Metaverse space hubs and stations. It will allow users to travel throughout space, join missions, connect with other users in gameplay, travel, and complete tasks. STARL Metaverse and the NFT assets model align well with the existing economy developed in Warp Nexus. Both projects will mutually benefit each other and create a metaverse with engaging game missions and a deep virtual economy.

Shahid Ahmad and 40 years of Game Creation Experience

On August 26, 2021, STARL Metaverse announced that Shahid Ahmad, veteran gaming industry executive and developer, had joined the team. Ahmad has been heavily involved in all aspects of the gaming industry during his career, from programming, production, design, graphics/art, and audio, all the way to public relations and business development.
He was named as one of the Game Industry’s Top 10 Persons of the Year, as well as both one of the 100 Top Influencers in the British Game Industry and as Develop’s 25 People That Changed Games.
Shahid was also credited with revolutionizing console gaming by opening PlayStation up to indie developers and for his role in bringing hundreds of new titles to the PlayStation. In addition, he changed the model of PlayStation's offerings with indie games and revolutionized the PlayStation economic model. For this achievement, he received the extraordinary recognition of being awarded the Developer’s Publishing Hero award on behalf of the Strategic Content team he headed.
On top of Shahid's gaming credits and role in STARL, he is an avid voice for indie developers and regularly tweets advice and lessons he's learned in the gaming industry on Twitter. He brings an unparalleled amount of advice and direction to the STARL team.
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