Over the years, video games have continued to remain a popular cultural phenomenon. They have been around for decades and are currently found across numerous platforms like home and portable consoles, arcades, mobile devices, and personal computers. And with the rise of computer technology came the non-stop revolution of player-generated content.
Recently, the growing appeal of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to the public has highlighted their potential applications in massively multiplayer video games and virtual worlds. As a result, a number of companies in 2021 have sought to integrate NFTs into their online video games. A unique new entry into this crypto-gaming space is the Cinder Fae project from veteran game studio WildWorks.
The Cinder Fae NFTs have already drawn the attention of numerous MMORPG and NFT enthusiasts because of a key differentiating feature: owners will be able to connect their NFT avatars to the Cinder metaverse on the day they’re minted, joining fellow holders in the realm immediately. Many NFT projects aspire to become video games, with roadmaps that promote their sale to investors with promises of future utility in games yet to be developed. But where other developers often produce and tokenize NFT characters first, sell them, then use the revenue generated to begin building a game world for them to inhabit, the Cinder team decided this process was backwards.
“We built the world and the Fae together, then turned them loose in there to look around and make the place presentable,” said Clark Stacey, CEO of WildWorks. “Now we’re going to tokenize and sell them.”
The developers describe Cinder as a crypto-native social hub, creative commons, and free-form multiplayer online community that is evolving rapidly and empowering players in new ways. Over 150 traits of varying rarity have been randomly distributed across nine categories of differentiation, guaranteeing that each will be a completely unique work of digital art. But while the Cinder project stands out visually with its striking character design and attention to detail, what really separates these NFTs from other collections is their immediate utility.
Cinder NFT owners will be entitled to many benefits beyond day-one access to the Cinder metaverse; including a community tag on Discord, surprise airdrops, exclusive events, early access to new features, whitelist invitations to future drops, and much more. At launch, NFT holders will find a beautiful and fully functional world where its inhabitants can interact through chatting, direct messaging, and avatar animations. Later in 2022 WildWorks will release a proprietary set of in-world creative tools enabling owners to design and customize their own avatars, social spaces, and other items in Cinder, which they can tokenize as new NFTs and sell for cryptocurrency. Cinder will thus give players the opportunity to own and profit from the items they create in the world, a play mechanic the developers call “Create-to-Earn.”
“We are advancing towards an interconnected web of virtual worlds called the metaverse, where anyone will be able to find a virtual home,” Stacey claims. “Cinder is a home base for the nomadic vanguard of digital humanity; the jesters, world builders, explorers, and storytellers who hail from Chaotic Neutral but are reaching for Chaotic Good. Anyone who’s seeking an online community deeper than text threads and knows at least two terrible jokes is welcome.”
WildWorks takes the battle against climate change very seriously, so after extensive research they chose the Solana blockchain technology for its eco-friendly validation network and smart contract capability. NFT’s have long drawn criticism for the energy cost and carbon footprint concomitant with validating transactions by “mining” proof-of-work blockchains like Ethereum. However, because the Solana blockchain doesn’t require mining, the developer calculates that Cinder NFTs will have no more carbon impact than ordinary credit card transactions.
As blockchain technology continues to find integrations with online gaming, opportunities are emerging for players to profit alongside game creators. Considering the popularity of both NFTs and the metaverse in the public imagination, the Cinder Fae hold incredible potential for their release in January 2022.