As Orange Comet works with AMC to develop NFTs and a game based on The Walking Dead series, protecting AMC's intellectual property is a paramount concern. Leveraging Sui's Kiosk primitive not only let Orange Comet reassure AMC that its assets would be safe, but opened up a world of capabilities for the upcoming The Walking Dead Lands game.
Kiosk, a primitive on Sui, gives builders the tools to create shops where they can distribute NFTs. More importantly, builders can set conditions in the Kiosk for the NFTs, such as royalties that are automatically paid to the NFT creator on each subsequent resale. Given the equivalence between NFTs and objects on Sui, an NFT could be a playable character in a game, a character's item, a ticket to a concert, or even a property title.
"The Move programming language lets me do just about anything I want," said Orange Comet CTO Peter Morales, "but having standards, such as Kiosk, makes it easier for engineers to work together."
Orange Comet's leadership team boasts a mix of extensive experience in both entertainment, AAA gaming development, and technology. The company leverages this experience to extend the reach of popular entertainment properties onto the blockchain. Orange Comet showed early interest in Sui, developing expertise and engaging with it during Devnet, and launching the Degens and Dragons project to test Sui's features.
From NFTs to games
When Orange Comet formed three years ago, NFTs were a hot commodity and a natural fit to help studios enter the blockchain space. With The Walking Dead Lands, the company wanted to move beyond NFTs and give people a playable experience. As CTO, Peter decided on Sui as a solution for the gaming element due to its speed and scalability.
The Walking Dead Lands game lets players control an avatar in the decimated, zombie-ridden land portrayed in the AMC television series. The game is a third-person shooter, with the player viewpoint from behind and just above the avatar. Walkers dot the land and players can kill them with a variety of weapons, resulting in visually grisly deaths.
As a role-playing game, players can obtain a variety of equipment, some of which they buy from in-game stores. Those stores leverage Sui's Kiosk primitive, which gave Peter's engineering team a framework on which to build. "We love working on the blockchain and developing smart contracts," said Peter, "but at the end of the day we're video game developers, and that's what we want to spend most of our time doing. Not having to build stores from scratch let us focus on things like graphics and gameplay."
"Pretty much everything you interact with in the world, the items you collect, purchase, and modify, are backed up on-chain," said Peter. The team used the composability of objects on Sui to give players rich inventories and item options. At the same time, they were able to ensure the integrity of AMC's intellectual property, enforcing rules to prevent misuse. The game can present the world of The Walking Dead without being as confined as a traditional video game.
Along with Sui, which supports the game's assets and distribution, the team built the game on Unreal engine. This choice gives it rich video, robust physics, and the kind of action people expect from a top tier game.
As games require randomness to achieve fair results for players, the developer team leveraged Sui's Verifiable Random Function (VRF) and its support for the Drand randomness beacon. Similar to Kiosk, VRF is a primitive on Sui that let the team build on an existing framework. VRF lets players discover randomly determined items as they work their way through the world, ensuring a bit of variety and replayability.
The Walking Dead Lands will also feature sponsored transactions, another Sui feature, so players don't have to pay gas fees as they explore the world. However, as player avatars interact with items, the number of transactions on the network will multiply. Peter pointed out that, to avoid the game getting too expensive to run, the team is working on programmable transaction blocks, which let them essentially bundle many transactions from the game, greatly controlling costs.
Building an ecosystem
Orange Comet's extensive connections within the entertainment industry give it great potential for bringing more studio content, in one form or another, to Sui. Peter envisions an Orange Comet gaming ecosystem that encourages loyalty. For example, players who acquire assets in one game may be rewarded with equivalent assets in another. Kiosk plays an important role here, as it manages player inventories on-chain and verifies the pedigree of their items.
Sui creates the potential for game developers to set up ecosystems similar to the Steam platform, giving players a dashboard that includes all the available games from a publisher. The ecosystem can include incentives to try different games, and make onboarding easy through sponsored transactions and zkLogin, Sui's new primitive supporting Web2 authorization services.