Before getting into things today, I wanted to first send a shout out to my 13 followers and to everyone who has saw fit to sign up for publish0x through my Ambassador link. Getting started with blogs and writing is always difficult and I really appreciate your support!
In this article I wanted to pay homage to one of the dapps that revolutionized the way we see blockchain on a wide scale: CryptoKitties. CK is special for a number of reasons:
- One of the first use cases that showed us even mass gaming is possible on the blockchain.
- Encouraged blockchain and crypto adoption not only through the essence of the game, as one in which you produce and exchange ERC721 tokens, but in the little things, like being able to purchase ETH directly in Dapper Wallet with your credit card.
- Solidified the reality that digital assets and collectables are no less legitimate than physical ones. They did this by helping produce a market where these collectables had monetary value and by utilizing the power of the blockchain to grant us the one thing that differentiates between skins in PC/console games, for example, our kitties: ownership.
- Keeping the fun alive by initiating partnerships (some more succesful than others), "fancy chases" (competitions held on Twitch once or twice per month when new kitties are launched) and an active Discord server.
This article isn't a full history of CK. Instead, it's more a description of the present state of things, a way to reminisce, and a thank you for all the effort of team Dapper as they wind down their second year of operations.
Present State of CK
For the 100% uninitiated - CryptoKitties is a game where you breed and collect cats. Each cat is essentially a CK token held in your digital wallet - which means that it's unique and only yours. Since you have ownership of the cat/token, you can do whatever you want with it: sell it, breed it, sire it to others in exchange for payment, and a few other nifty things that we'll go into later. The breeding itself is the fun (it's all about the means, not the ends), as you make all sorts of crazy and whacky variations of cats, but there are also certain achievements you can aspire to. In your CK profile section on the site, you'll notice there are various challenges and collections that you can complete.
Additionally, every so often there is a Fancy Chase. Fancy Chases occur when new Fancy Cats are launched (cats that require a special combination of genes to produce, some are very difficult!). The Fancy Chases are led on Twitch by community member rudem00se. During the chase, the CryptoKitties team releases clues in realtime as to which genes are the right ones and everyone works on solving them together and competing to be the first to breed it successfully.
Speaking of genes - those who have been playing the game have this concept down to an absolute science. Because it is science. Dapper, the company behind CryptoKitties, has gone to great lengths to make the game extremely deep so that you can develop an expertise and actual understanding. If you want the nitty-gritty about all that, just head on over to the CK site and read all the content their blog has to offer. We will, however, mention the various cool side-dapps that the community created to support the game:
- CKbox: an extension for your web browser (its icon will set next to your digital wallet in Chrome, Brave, Opera or whatever). When you browse around the CK website, having the CKbox extension active will show you a kitty's genes when you place your mouse over its picture.
- KittyHelper.co: to call this site a marketplace would be the understatement of the millenium. It's so much more. There are tools here that are an absolute requirement for playing the game seriously, including ones to calculate percentages, fulfill bounties, calculate breeding statistcs and more.
- WrappedKitties.com: if that all hasn't blown you away yet, then check this out. Someone in the community thought of a brilliant idea to be able to have an ERC20 representation of your CK token so that it can be more easily traded and a more liquid market can be created. On this website, you can "wrap" you cryptokitties, which means you exchange your CK for a WCK token that you can then use as currency and that you can provide liquidity for on an exchange such as UniSwap. WCKs can be used to buy cats on KittyHelper and you can even exchange them for ETH. Crazy, right? By the way, you can always switch them back!
At the moment, the CK Discord server is like a pub that's still good, but is a little past its glory days. You've got your regulars who are always there having a good time, but the number of new people dropping in to see what the commotion is about (or used to be about) is far less. The Fancy Chases usually have between 20-40 people participating.
The stats for trading volume over the past 7 days somewhat differ between OpenSea and NonFungible, but seems to be between 100-130 ETH, or $14,820 USD - $19,266 USD. That's not a small sum of money to be trading hands (in CK value) for one week, considering that over the past 12 months there has been a global dive in crypto and blockchain interest - and what interest does remain is usually focused by hodlers in the crypto/monetary aspect and less on utility and games. You can see that there's still some activity going on and there are still those few individuals that will buy a low-generation, #1 fancy for 1-2 ETH.
CK "Expanded Universe"
From chatter in Discord, it doesn't look like CK is heading for a reawakening. Dapper has been busy with their other projects, such as their second game CheezeWizards that just finished its first season (the winner took home $100,000 USD in ETH!) and their mysterious dapp in cooperation with the NBA: TopShot.
But if you just can't bear the thought of your cryptokitties going extinct, here are a few fun ways that both Dapper and the community have been keeping the name alive.
1. Use your kitties in games: KotoWars and KittieFight
Kotowars is a turn-based, battle-oriented card game that pits cryptokitties against each other: either PvE or PvP.
Bonus: you can link the game to your digital wallet and use your own CKs!
Double bonus: CKs with certain genes will appear in the game as specialists (which, believe me, you will need!), gives new value to specific cats you may have.
TRIPLE bonus: Not only is the game free to play, and not only can you use "stock" cats in game to fill your card deck, but Kotowars has a leaderboard and hands our rewards very generously! In the last season of the game, the top 10 scorers against the CPU took home a fancy kitty, each! Other rewards include regular CKs, lots and lots of WCK and KAT tokens (the games own internal token, for which there is no use yet, but we're looking forward to this changing!). So if you're looking to get into CK for the first time, this is a great way to get some free CKs!
The developers of the game of CK fans who are very nice and constantly available in the Kotowars discord. All other information is available on their website: KotoWars.com. The funny part is that even without the CK integration and CK theme, this would actually be an excellent game! It is constantly being improved with new updates and new features and the developers have hinted in the Discord that iOS and Android versions in the future are not completely out of the question. Definitely exciting, especially if you're a fan of blockchain adoption. The game currently has a very decent backing of fans and new users.
KittieFight, on the other hand, is still turn-based but it's actually an action game on the blockchain - which I admit I have never seen done before. The mechanics are rather hard to understand, but the game is still in early development. Apparently while the kitties fight in the game, you place bets. The timing and amount of your bet determines the attack, block or other action taken and its impact. The cats fighting by the way are supposed to be real cats (actual CK tokens) that users contribute. The owner of the winning cat of course gets a large piece of the bets, but the loser has their cat "burnt". The developers claim that CK burn is also a mechanism intended to raise the value of other CKs in the market by decreasing supply.
2. Kitty Tricks and Tie-ins
As a kind of nod to their new game, Cheeze Wizards, the Dapper team has introduced Kitty Tricks. Basically, certain CKs will enable special options for you in other Dapper games (and maybe other affiliate games in the future). For example, if you have a Curdlin fancy cat, it may give you options in Cheeze Wizards such as a new "skin"/appearance for your wizard, or powerups, etc. It's a nice little bonus for loyal players who have moved from one dapp to the other.
And speaking of action games on the blockchain, check out this racing game called Battle Racers. It's currently restricted to early access members so I haven't seen it with my own eyes, but it looks like it's going to be a real, 3D racing game! Like many blockchain-based games, the sales and markets open up way before the game is even available. One option being offered is CryptoKitties crates that allow you to build a CK-themed car.
3. Miscellaneous Stuff
If all that hasn't satisfied your nostalgia, you can give NFTYCAM a try. This iOS app connects to your wallet and lets you use your CryptoKitties and other non-fungible tokens as emojis in your photos. There's also a social/aspect where you can share your photos with the NFTYCAM community in-app.
And if you're looking for something more tangible, then head over to CryptoKaiju. For a fee, they will 3D-print your very own CK that you can actually hold and show off.
I hope you enjoyed this stroll down memory lane. If NFTY (non-fungible) digital collectables on the blockchain do become even bigger one day, there is no doubt that CryptoKitties will always be remembered as one of the first that started it at all. Let's wish the Dapper team success and thank them for an awesome ride!
Feel free to dust off your old CK collection and post it in the comments just for fun :)
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