First up, apologies. I originally started this article back in March to coincide with Aavegotchi's Alpha Launch Play Drop, however, life got in the way and my writing was put on the back burner. Whenever I did manage to find some spare time, I found myself drawn back into the Gotchiverse instead of writing. Now, I am coming out the other side, a new member of the single mum club, and experiencing my first bear market. Fun times!
Unexpectedly, I found a harbour from the storms of the last few months, a place I could escape to, and a way to minimise the downward pressure on my portfolio: Aavegotchi and the Gotchiverse.
What is Aavegotchi and the Gotchiverse?
To keep it simple, Aavegotchis are NFTs with a twist. The Gotchiverse is the name of the metaverse where you can play the recently launched game.
Aavegotchi's can be interacted with, Tamagotchi style, to increase their Kinship values and boost earnings. They can be collected, upgraded, and traded. Aavegotchi's generate interest for their owners as they are loaded with interest-generating assets (aTokens) from Aave. How much you earn can be boosted further by equipping wearables that can be bought or won in a raffle.
If you want to have your own Aavegotchi, they can be purchased in the Gotchi Baazaar, or you could buy a Portal and summon one from it. GHST is the game currency you need to shop in the marketplace, and the coin has been doing well since its launch, even in these recent times. If you're feeling lucky, you could also pick up a Drop Ticket for the next raffle and win one.
In the Gotchiverse, Aavegotchis become playable avatars. Players can currently explore The Citaadel, collecting Alchemica as they go. Alchemica is an in-game currency that is needed for crafting and upgrading. It consists of green FUD, red FOMO, blue ALPHA, and purple KEK. GLTR is another token that is earned through providing liquidity, and it can be used to speed up upgrades. FRENS can be earned by staking GHST and converted to raffle tickets. You can also buy raffle tickets in the Baazaar. Landowners can craft installations on their land, both decorative and functional. GLTR can be earned by providing liquidity and is used to speed up upgrades of installations.
Players can own parcels of REALM land, they come in three sizes, and can be built on and now decorated. Land is where Alchemica can be channelled by your Gotchi, and where soon you will be able to build installations to harvest and collect the Alchemica embedded in your land.
Aavegotchi is being developed by PixelCraft studios, based in Singapore, and is hosted alongside Aave. The game is on Polygon which makes it secure, fast, and cheap to play. Check out the comprehensive roadmap and litepaper for future plans and more detail. The Aavegotchi Wiki is a fantastic resource if you want to deep dive into the details, tokenomics, lore, and more.
The next major steps for the game include farming, opening the lands outside the Citaadel walls to explore, and lickquidators to battle.
If you don't have (or can't afford) to buy a Gotchi, there is still hope. This is a game built for playing, and it's no fun if new players are priced out of existence. This is where Gotchi Lending comes in. You can safely borrow a Gotchi, for as little as 1 hour, and play the game yourself. There are Gotchis that are free to rent, but they are hard to catch unless you are a member of a guild. I usually rent for 0.1 GHST or less (about 10c currently) but I have seen prices as low as 0.05 GHST. This is the only game I know of that has such a fair and cheap point of entry for new players, and I love it. Gas fees are paid in MATIC and are wonderfully low too.
Crafting, the first decorations raffle, and moar
There is a frenly community to be found when you enter the Gotchiverse. Discord and Twitter communities are active, and devs are accessible and constantly shipping new updates. There are Guilds you can join for a more social experience and to help you on your journey. The marketplace in the Gotchi Baazaar is thriving with land, Gotchis, wearables, raffle tickets, and now decorations on offer.
While Gotchi's have been around since 2020, the Gotchiverse is new. April 2022 was the Alpha launch of the first stage of the playable game. The Play Drop ran for a month and had Alchemica raining down from the sky. It was awesome. Since then, aaltars for channelling have been released, and there's been even more Alchemica raining down. In April, the first decorations, LE Golden Tiles, were released for players to craft. Aaltars became upgradable in May.
A raffle was held at the beginning of June to commemorate the first release of Aesthetica (decorations) including flowers, campfires, gnomes, and more. More limited-time craftable decorations were launched on June 15th with grass and rugs. Grass has a set time frame for crafting before it's gone forever. The LE rugs, however, do not - the ability to craft them will be 'pulled' when the devs feel like it! Crafting Wednesdays will continue every week with new limited edition items for players to craft.The Gotchiverse is light-hearted and fun, it's a welcome relief.
There are events aplenty coinciding with the gradual release of the Gotchiverse and full gameplay. The next major event is the upcoming GBM-style land auction (that's a bid-to-earn auction in case you haven't heard of this awesome concept check it out). The last auction was a major success and allowed many players to earn enough through bidding to actually buy their own parcel of land! I can't wait to try this out for myself.
And there is plenty more to come, which is another reason why I'm pushing myself to write this article. If I leave it any longer, there will be too much to put into it! The devs keep shipping new items, upgrades, and functionality, giving me more reasons to play. The current bear market is not slowing them down at all.
Aavegotchi is an NFT that combines the worlds of DeFi and GameFi. It's Fun-to-Earn!
I first heard about Aave and Aavegotchi in 2021, and already, the price of the NFT/DeFi ghosts was out of my league. And the playable game was nowhere near launch yet either. Since then, things have only gone up. I heard about their game launch and alpha season and checked again, and surprise surprise, it was even more out of my league. Then, I read this Publish0x article about Gotchi Lending and learned that I could borrow an Aavegotchi to play. I liked the sound of this.
So, I jumped over to the Gotchi Lending page, connected my wallet and there was one available for no GHST upfront, but I'm on toddler duty so tonight's not the night. I try again in the morning, but no free Gotchis are available. I looked again later and there was one, so I clicked to borrow. Clicked approve, aaaand the transaction failed. The network was busy though, the Play Drop was in full swing and everyone it seemed was looking to rent a Gotchi and get in on the action.
I tried again, but another fail. I changed my Metamask gas settings, tried again; nope. I repeated this process too many times, thankfully Polygon gas fees are so low, but my free Gotchi wasn't turning out to be free. It was comforting in one way to see that so many people were excited about this game.
I looked at the list of available Gotchis again, there were a few for 0.1 GHST (around 15 cents at the time). I didn't mind paying that to try out the game, plus I get to keep a percentage of my 'earnings' from the game so I was curious to see if this really was Play-to-Earn. I had 0.60 USDC sitting in my wallet so I went and swapped it for some GHST and tried again.
I found another cheap Gotchi, CZ Binance was his name, and I hit that borrow button, approved my spend, and boom - I got it. A 3-hour rental with a 30% for me deal. Not the greatest split, but my impatience was getting the better of me, and I just wanted to see what this was all about. I checked out my Gotchi, and looked at its stats. Petting him was an option too, but that costs gas. I'll wait till I have my own.
Next, I clicked to enter the Gotchiverse at verse.aavegotchi.com, connected my wallet, and I got in.
When the game loaded, I could see a digital Tron-like world, with a grid, some ghosts, and not much else. I'm in the heart of the Citaadel. A message pops up from the bottom of the screen - Rejoice, 629 Alchemica has been dropped. I don't see anything. I zoom in and see even less. I try moving around, controls are simple WASD controls. I float around and see some other Gotchis running around, some standing still. Where is the Alchemica?
The Play Drop
Another pop-up proclaiming an Alchemica drop (seems to be happening every minute) and most of the visible Gotchis start running around and then stop. I decide to just sit somewhere unpopulated for a minute, another drop message, and a green square appears near me. I run to it, (not that quickly, my Gotchi isn't the fastest) and as I walk over it, it disappears. Now I have 1 FUD. And that is the basic gameplay for collecting Alchemica. I stay zoomed out, can see more of the world and more chance of seeing a drop. The next drop, I don't move fast enough. Then, I see a red square sitting there, I run for it, yes. 1 FOMO in the bag.
You can move faster on roads, so I found a nice wide patch of road with not many Gotchis around, waited for a minute, and two green squares appeared near me. I run and hooray, I got them. So, I have three hours to collect as many of the four Alchemica as I can, this is easy and surprisingly fun. While initial gameplay is basic, racing against other Gotchis in real-time is fun and challenging. And the gameplay is expanding constantly, there seems to always be something new happening in the Gotchiverse.
Everyone else's Gotchi seems faster than mine but that's probably more my internet's fault. I try a new area with not many ghosts around, except one that hasn't moved for a while, maybe they're taking a coffee break. In the next drop, a blue square appears right next to them, they don't move, so I run and success, I got a piece of ALPHA.
I have 3 of the 4 now, purple KEK is the rarest of the drops. I've only seen one so far. I keep going, it's a bit of a grind but I don't really mind. I kinda like retro graphics and it's easy on the brain. Just collect Alchemica every minute. There were around 1400 players online while I was playing, if you didn't collect a drop in the first 10 seconds after they drop, forget about it - they're all gone. Though, I did find one lucky piece of ALPHA that dropped behind a light post that no one noticed, yay for me.
I changed my location every 10 minutes or whenever I'm bored of the area. There are patches of red, green, blue, and purple around; the natural land features and rivers of Alchemica. They slow you down a lot when walking over them but can be rewarding too. At the top of the map, you can see the citadel walls and a few statues. I hang around here for a while and the drops were good, I even got my first KEK. So now, I have the full set of Alchemica tokens, but I only get to keep 30% so I needed to find more.
Once I had around 25, I decided to withdraw them through the portal to see what it was like. This is how you claim your Alchemica, and you can find them with the mini map. I zoom in when I'm at the portal, lots of Aavegotchis are hanging around here. An 'e' appears when I'm in range, I click it and a Metamask approval appears (sign this to prove you're human), and then back to the game. An in-game message appears, 'Alchemica Withdrawal initiated'. A minute later, 'Alchemica Withdrawal initiation approved', and then 'Alchemica Withdrawal successful'. The coins are transferred to my Gotchi Pocket, and I can see the split between myself and the owner. Easy. Back to the game, rinse, and repeat.
I had no idea what they'd be worth at the time, but seeing as their only current use was to build the first craftable installation, the LE golden altar, and players need a lot of Alchemica to do this, I figured it wouldn't be a bad token to have. In early April 2022, they became tradeable on Quickswap, so I didn't have to wait long to see. Aavegotchi plans to have its own DEX, but it hasn't launched yet.
And who knows, if these rentals work out for me, maybe I'll one day earn enough to have my own Aavegotchi. But I digress, back to the game.
Towards the end of my 3 hours, the game got a bit laggy, it was frustrating not having my ghost respond to my movements and I missed a few drops because of it. Most likely due to my internet connection and vintage mac getting tired after all that time. As the countdown timer entered the last 10 minutes, it changed to yellow, last 5 mins it changed to red. I didn't want to lose my haul, so I went to the portal and withdrew again. I want to make sure it completes before the 3 hours are up. And then my time was up, I jumped back to the landing page.
BUT my borrowed Aavegotchi is still in my list of Gotchis. Hmmm, maybe it takes a few minutes to return to its owner. Nope, I checked the FAQ, and the owner needs to recall it manually. Which means bonus time! Until the owner claims it back, you can still use it - BUT beware, it could be recalled at any moment along with any Alchemica you haven't thrown in a portal. Turns out, my owner wasn't that quick to recall, and I could have gotten a couple of extra hours of gameplay.
So, that's how it went. I borrowed a Gotchi for 0.1 GHST for 3 hours (and could have played for an extra 2 hours at least, but my toddler and laptop had other ideas). When Alchemica became tradable, I checked my earnings and my first journey in the Gotchiverse earned me a fiver. To me, that's not bad for a game, and it feels sustainable too.
Since the Gotchiverse launch, I keep being drawn back to play again. I haven't managed to score a 'no upfront cost' Gotchi since, but there is nearly always a 0.1 GHST or less Gotchi available to borrow. And each time I have played, I have earned more than I spent borrowing a Gotchi. Even with all the market crashing that's been going on, that still stands true. It has been a welcome relief to escape the market doom and gloom and spend time in a thriving and happy metaverse where the biggest issues are like 'Should I buy a LE Golden Tile or craft a LE Rug'. It helps that GHST is backed by a bonding curve and is therefore more stable, and it's working. GHST is performing well during this bear market, and it's refreshing to be in a community that isn't all 'wen moon?' and such.
The Gotchiverse is changing before my eyes too. The emptiness is disappearing. At launch, there was a starfield, superimposed with a grid containing empty parcels of land, roads, Citaadel walls, and the rivers and outcrops of Alchemica. Then altars started appearing, followed by the 3 LE golden tiles. Now decorations are live and landowners are personalising their parcels and it's cool to see. And speaking of seeing, the game now allows you to zoom out almost enough to view an entire spacious land parcel. Being able to view more allows you to appreciate the natural features of the land and landowners decorating much more and is just another example of the endless upgrades and features that keep coming since launch.
The future looks promising for Aavegotchi. I don't know what the future holds for GHST and Alchemica tokens, but there is no denying that the value of Aavegotchi's has grown over the years, and I imagine REALM land will follow suit. Land sounds valuable to me (NFA), and a humble parcel can currently be snapped up for around 80 GHST. A great entry point into the game. You can channel Alchemica at your free to build altar every day, and very soon, you will be able to farm FOMO, FUD, ALPHA, and KEK from it with Harvesters, or rent it out to other players.
I have fallen down the Gotchiverse rabbit hole and there's no looking back for me now. I have land in my sights and dream of an Aavegotchi to call my own. I bought my first NFTs last week - 2 purple flowers: one for me and one to flip. It's already gained 100%! I am staking the Alchemica I've found and a small amount of GHST to earn GLTR. I've already harvested my earnings a few times and been able to play for free as a result. I'm also staking GHST for FRENS so that I can enter the next raffle.
Aavegotchi can be time-intensive, or a set-and-forget type of passive income by depositing your Gotchi in the Gotchi Vault or Gotchi World. DYOR but these are great options for Gotchi owners who want passive income, or a short break from petting and managing their Gotchi. Land can also be managed through these services. There's a host of community-built resources to check Gotchi channeling activity, maps, bazaar prices, and much more.
I would love to have my own Gotchi, but it's going to take more than just playing to do that anytime soon. Flipping items in the Baazaar looks promising so far, and I plan on crafting some LE purple grass with my collected Alchemica this week. Again, it'll be one for me and one to sell. I'll let you know how it goes. Aavegotchi's Gotchiverse is a P2E game that is fun and rewarding, and I never thought I'd say it, but I'm hooked. I love the style, the community, and the vision for the game. Watching it take shape, and playing as it grows is a welcome distraction from the current bear market too.
So, what do you think? Have you tried playing Aavegotchi? What are your thoughts on the game? Are you loving the recent updates as much as I am? Let me know, I'd love to hear about your experience in the Gotchiverse.