Star Atlas Report by Jesse

With Bitcoin having another difficult week playing limbo between $45,000 and $47,500. This time around the market has been following along less than usual during these moments of uncertainty. Many projects including Algorand, Osmosis, Elrond, Hedera Hashgraph, Cosmos, and Harmony all managed to return +40% returns in the same week to holders. So hope remains alive for much of the market to discover new projects on the rise. Our review this week will be focused on a new and robust gaming ecosystem centered around Solana with Star Atlas.

Introduction

Star Atlas is a space race that will challenge its players to team up, organize, build, and fight their way into unknown territories. What will start as a group of spaceships and a collection of small mining colonies will develop into full-blown civilizations, rapidly iterating on alien technologies and intergalactic diplomacy to explore the ever-expanding universe. The goal of the Star Atlas economy is to best align the production of goods at scale with both a sense of long-term progression and short-term enjoyment to the players. While making collaboration increasingly beneficial to your teammates and faction. The Solana blockchain’s breakthrough in transaction throughput sets the stage for a largely serverless online multiplayer game. Solana has an extremely high throughput allowing 50,000 transactions per second, with expectations of increases as the network grows. This feature allows gameplay interactions between assets to be recorded in real-time and bypasses the need for a robust traditional server backend for online multiplayer games. Star Atlas incorporates real-time graphics technology using Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite for truly cinematic quality game visuals.

By employing a skill tree approach, the game allows its users to dedicate their time and resources to a certain activity. This allows them to unlock perks and bonuses from their skill tree that they can purchase with ATLAS tokens. The way a blockchain network is designed closely mimics the basis for the genre of Star Atlas. Mining or staking is the core of how blockchain assets are proven to be legitimate and tangible. To discover mined assets requires exploration on the part of a miner to unlock value. People set up mining or staking nodes and plug them into the blockchain network to enhance the network while also earning value from it. The hybrid experience of Star Atlas itself mimics the exact nature of how blockchain technology functions. The grand strategy genre of video games encourages claim staking to expand your empire and install strategic trade routes using an offensive and defensive tactical plan of action. In this mode, the player primarily interacts with a dynamic overview of the charted and uncharted regions of space via the map view known as the Star Atlas. As blockchain technology continues to evolve towards enhanced capabilities, innovative development possibilities emerge. With the release of Star Atlas, all in-game assets will be delivered to the player as direct-owned non-fungible digital tokens. Allowing gamers to own complete control of their purchased assets. To augment that grand strategy, Star Atlas enables players to captain deep-space, crewed spaceships to scan and discover celestial and terrestrial assets. Once discovered, rich claims that are staked can be mined, refined, and traded through a network of commercial mining installations, refineries, and the Universal Marketplace. Exploration will lead to many other surprises in the outer limits of space. In this mode, the player primarily interacts with a top-down space view showing their spaceship exterior with the ability to go into an x-ray view to see the interior of the ship and the crew performing their individual tasks. Players can also captain and pilot the ship manually through the first first-person cockpit/bridge view. Cockpit view is also suitable for seated virtual reality gaming in the future.

New players choose a faction and start in a faction-secured safe zone. This allows the player to explore all the basic functions of the game except destructive-based gameplay loops such as rescue, combat, and salvage. Once the player is sufficiently confident enough to venture out, there is a medium-tiered safety zone that is secured by mercenary groups. Combat is now allowed but your assets will be reset if destroyed. The final distant zone of Star Atlas is a wild frontier where full combat and the destruction of assets is a permanent event. But, only a part of assets in combat are destroyed permanently. For example, the result of a destroyed ship in combat is that the ship asset is decimated into components, scrap, escape podded crew members, and a certain amount is lost forever. All visible stars are real assets and can be visited. Although some distant stars can be prohibitively distant and will need proper fueling to reach. There will be no actual skybox so exploration can be done visually. This gives all players open exploration to go anywhere in the Star Atlas universe. Players will pilot their ships manually to uncover all the riches the universe has to hide using their upgradable scanning modules. Higher tier scanning equipment performs deeper and broader and leads to a higher amount of assets that will be discovered. Scanning data can be acted on and staked or can be placed on the marketplace to be sold.

Through the implementation of Decentralized Autonomous Corporations (DAC), entire space-cities can be constructed, and the micro-economy managed by those in charge. Careful strategic cooperation enables players to dominate regions and the resources available therein. The POLIS token will serve a pivotal role in these cities, permitting the owners of political clout to impose taxes, fees, fines, rules, and laws on those outside the DAC wishing to gain access to these entirely independently owned cities. In this way, POLIS is a multifunctional governance token, with applications both in-game and in directing real-world economic policy. Within the Star Atlas metaverse, political influence is yet another strategic consideration in the management of the territory and the navigation of space. Controlling this political influence introduces a number of advantages for player status, which is represented by the POLIS token.

The Token

Star Atlas is driven by a dual token system (ATLAS / POLIS), with multi-currency Solana asset support. ATLAS will serve as the native in-game currency within Star Atlas. Players will initially leverage ATLAS to get digital assets such as ships, crew, components, land, and equipment. But, as in any real economy, a financial system is necessary to facilitate commerce. Whether it be through NPC merchants or direct peer-to-peer transactions, ATLAS is the unit of account to execute operational requirements. A fraction of the game currency will be available through various stages of the Galactic Asset Offering (GAO), leading up to the full launch of the title. Upon completion of the GAO, ATLAS can only be earned through in-game activity or sales by other players. Unlike many projects in the crypto economy, the development team retains zero stakes in the undistributed token supply. This gives 80% of all ATLAS tokens allocated only as rewards for players who engage in various activities in-game. This will provide incentives to early adopters as a network subsidy over the course of five years. Following the subsidy period, a standard inflation rate of 4% per annum into perpetuity will be implemented as a necessity for long long-term viability of gameplay incentives. With this timeline, all tokens will be distributed by the 6th year. Reward allocations are broken down into 45% Mining Stations, 20% MM & Trade, 20% PVE Missions, and 15% in Resource Gathering of the 36 Billion Total Supply of ATLAS. Holders of POLIS on the other hand have a Total Supply Cap of 360 Million POLIS tokens and will be given a unique position of jurisdictional ownership over entire regions, regardless of who owns title (NFT) to the land and equipment rights. These players will be able to restrict some of the activity that can occur while under their oversight, impose taxes on other players, charge tolls, and otherwise create a separate set of laws with which other players must observe. But, keep in mind that POLIS represents voting rights, not dictatorial ownership.

The Founders

Founded by the Multichain Ventures team, they’ve been involved in blockchain since 2013, and possess four years of expertise building decentralized applications. This experience is coupled with eight years shipping AAA titles with Electronic Arts, Mythic Entertainment, 3G Studios, and 1047 Games. The ethos of the Star Atlas development team is to encourage the monetization of the time spent in this virtual world and emphasize the ability for this monetization opportunity to transcend the metaverse into the real world. With this, the Star Atlas Team has already acquired over 50 individuals working to build out this massively expanding and extensive universe. Partnering with the project to provide support and socioeconomic structure is Solana, FTX Exchange, and Serum. The project has also had no shortage of influencers like deadmau5 joining the project in support.

Market Impacts

Released a few weeks ago on September 2nd, 2021, ATLAS saw a quick run from a price of $0.08 to $0.28 before cooling off a bit. Since the end of its first week, the token has found support around the $0.12 level where it began to taper off and continue testing this support between $0.15. With a Circulating Supply of 2.1 Billion Atlas of the Total 36 Billion tokens, the current price point does feel a bit high. Released in tandem, the POLIS token was released at $8.00 and rallied to almost $18 before joining ATLAS in a cooldown period. Albeit these are only the first few weeks of price action, ATLAS and POLIS seem to already align with each other’s price movements. With POLIS finding support around the $10.00 level in its second week and testing it accordingly. Showcasing the project and in-game assets is the Star Atlas Showroom. This gives players a very specific idea of how the game will look once completed and incorporates some very uniquely detailed environments, spaceships, and factions. Assets that have already been minted and available for trade on the marketplace are few at this time. But, those that have, come with a premium price tag as a spaceship ranging from rare at $2,000 to $40,000 Legendary ones. Land for Star Atlas is set to be available on December 31st, 2021. So be sure to keep an eye on this date for the next available chance to purchase some of the rarer available assets in the SA universe. The project has continued to update the community on upcoming and new events via their Medium Blog. Gaining over 100k Followers on Twitter and 40k on Telegram, the community is the most involved on Discord with 65k members engaging with the development team on a daily basis. There’s no code to verify at this time and it appears to be intentional given the full scope of the project is still being developed.

Concerns

No immediate concerns or red flags were found when reviewing Star Atlas.

Conclusion

While we don’t have any exact timeframe for a full-scale release of the project, it’s already begun to gather quite the community following in the same way as the previously discussed Illuvium. Star Atlas is another AAA game that showcases how blockchain integration will drive the future of gaming. While there are some kinks to work out with Unreal 5’s Nanite technology. The short and skinny is that this technology itself will allow games to scale into a scope that can’t be understood today. With polygons being the highest level of technology for game design there are major bottlenecks for developers. With the introduction of Nanite technology, these bottlenecks will be removed and allow for developers to near-infinitely scale their games allowing for an increase in geometry complexity, higher triangle and object counts that hadn’t been possible in real-time. So with all this comes the caveat that Star Atlas relies not on just one gaming technology, but two undeveloped and untested technologies combining Blockchain and Nanite. While I’m sure the project will have its fair share of bugs to work out over the next few years there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that for everyone involved the juice will be well worth the squeeze.

Until next time, remember that the only guarantee is BTC. So keep stacking that Satoshi.

-Jesse Koz

Follow Jesse on Twitter

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