Avalanche has made a grand entrance into the gaming world with a title set to rival traditional shooter games in graphics and gameplay. Meet ‘Shrapnel,’ a game that not only competes on the visual and gameplay front but also introduces a revolutionary twist with its blockchain mod capabilities. This integration marks a significant leap in gaming, blending the best of traditional gaming experiences with the innovative possibilities of blockchain technology. ‘Shrapnel’ promises to be a game-changer, offering players a unique blend of high-quality gaming and the dynamic world of web3.
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Shrapnel is the brainchild of a team rich in experience from the highest echelons of the gaming and blockchain industries. The studio, nestled in the scenic waterfront locale of Seattle, Washington, serves as a creative hub for this eclectic group.
This team is a blend of designers, producers, artists, and programmers who have found a unique intersection between diverse worlds of entertainment: games, television, movies, and graphic novels. Their collective portfolio is nothing short of impressive, featuring contributions to some of the most iconic franchises in the entertainment world.
Originating from HBO, this award-winning group has left its mark on a variety of notable franchises. They boast a history with legendary titles like HALO, Call of Duty, Madden NFL, Bioshock, Destiny, Star Wars, Hawken, and Skylanders, as well as the critically acclaimed TV series Westworld. The accolades of the team are extensive, with more than 40 entertainment awards to their name, including multiple EMMYs and a BAFTA.
What is Shrapnel?
SHRAPNEL emerges as a groundbreaking venture in the gaming world, being the first blockchain-enabled first-person shooter (FPS) game. Developed by the skilled team at NEON, comprising BAFTA and Emmy award-winning veterans from the gaming industry, SHRAPNEL sets a new standard in the realm of digital gaming.
The game distinguishes itself by offering an extensive suite of player-creation tools. This feature-rich environment blends combat, creation, curation, and connection, cultivating a community-driven platform. In SHRAPNEL, players are not just participants but integral stakeholders who own and shape the platform’s future. This innovative approach positions SHRAPNEL as a unique player in the gaming industry, offering a level of engagement and ownership that goes beyond
SHRAPNEL unfolds in a dystopian world where a catastrophic event has reshaped the Earth’s landscape and political dynamics. A colossal asteroid, known as 38 Sigma, crashes into the moon, triggering a cascade of lunar meteorites that devastate a 500-kilometer-wide swath around Earth. This area, ominously referred to as the Sacrifice Zone (The Zone), becomes a desolate, uninhabitable land, cordoned off from the rest of the world.
Amidst this chaos, mystery shrouds The Zone. Guarded by teams of paramilitary contractors, speculation runs rampant about the discoveries being made within its confines. The center of these rumors is a mystifying substance called Compound Sigma, believed to bridge the realms of quantum mechanics and classical physics, altering the very fabric of reality.
In SHRAPNEL, players immerse themselves as Operators, venturing into The Zone under the banner of one of the MEFs (Mercenary Expeditionary Forces). Their mission is to extract valuable resources amidst a competitive and high-stakes environment brimming with other Operators aiming for the same goal. This setup creates a dynamic playfield where risk-taking and skill are crucial to success.
Operator Gameplay and Classes
Before entering The Zone, players gear up their Operators to align with their preferred playstyle. The gear, represented as NFTs, is a high-stakes element – it’s dropped upon death, compelling players to constantly assess the risks and rewards of their decisions. Apart from gear, players seek the elusive Compound Sigma, adding to the game’s complexity. The ultimate goal is to successfully reach and survive one of the contested extraction locations to claim the loot, which then becomes a part of the player’s persistent inventory for future sessions.
Players have the option to choose from three Operator classes: Assault, Survivalist, or Infosec. Each class comes with its unique skill progression tree, abilities, and specialized equipment, encouraging a mix of strategies and potential alliances. For newcomers or those testing new tactics, a lower-risk Contract Operator character is available, offering a safer yet rewarding experience.
Gear and Crafting
The strategic gameplay of SHRAPNEL is deeply rooted in how players assemble their loadout. This includes using gear extracted from previous sessions and crafting new equipment. The range of equipment varies from reliable low-tech weaponry to high-tech, high-risk gear from Corporate MEFs. Understanding each type’s strengths and weaknesses allows players to tailor their loadout to their strategies.
SHRAPNEL extends beyond the battlefield into missions focusing on extraction, content creation, and marketplace participation. These missions offer players the chance to earn SHRAP Token rewards, adding another layer of engagement to the gameplay. As players navigate through SHRAPNEL, their strategies, alliances, and choices evolve, making every session a unique and intense experience. The game’s ecosystem is designed to grow and adapt, mirroring the ever-changing dynamics of its player base.
At the heart of SHRAPNEL lies a pivotal emphasis on player-created content, transforming players from mere participants to creators within its universe. Utilizing professional-grade tools built on the same Unreal technology employed in the game’s development, SHRAPNEL empowers players to easily begin crafting their unique content. This creative liberty is not just about personal expression; it’s an opportunity for players to mint their creations into non-fungible tokens (NFTs), trade them in the SHRAPNEL Marketplace, and garner rewards based on their content’s popularity.
Vanity Item Creation
One of the key features is the ability for players to design their own vanity items. To streamline this process and ensure high-quality outputs, the marketplace will be pre-seeded with a collection of base assets. Players can set prices and define the uniqueness of their creations, which are then promoted within the SHRAPNEL Marketplace. The platform offers five classified vanity materials of limited supply, adding a layer of exclusivity and distinction. Items crafted from these rare materials will carry unique in-game expressions, enhancing their appeal.
Map Design and Development
Maps play a fundamental role in shaping the SHRAPNEL experience. Players have the freedom to create their maps, utilizing a blend of SHRAPNEL-provided base assets and prefabricated assets. This approach not only democratizes map creation but also provides novices with a solid foundation to start developing high-quality content. The emphasis on player-created maps underscores SHRAPNEL’s commitment to a dynamic and ever-evolving game world, driven by the creativity and ingenuity of its player base.
The SHRAP token lies at the core of Shrapnel’s economic structure, serving as the essential utility and primary medium of exchange within the Shrapnel platform. These tokens are based on the ERC-20 standard, initially created on the Avalanche C-chain, and are then integrated into the SHRAPNEL subnet for utilization within the game.
Launched on April 29, 2023, a total of three billion SHRAP tokens were generated, establishing the foundation of the in-game economy. This economy is uniquely tied to the platform’s player-created content (PCC). All such content, including maps and vanity items, is published on the blockchain as unique, non-fungible digital items, with the SHRAP token functioning as the currency for these transactions.
SHRAP token holders have the power to promote certain content within the platform, such as maps and vanity items. This promotion mechanism is more than just a simple boost; it actively influences the discoverability and popularity of the content, effectively allowing token holders to vote for their favorite creations.
A standout feature of the Shrapnel platform is its implementation of a system that facilitates the seamless payment of validators in the subnet. This design choice ensures a gasless experience for both players and creators, enhancing the user experience and engagement. Furthermore, the SHRAP token is not limited to content transactions but extends its utility as the exchange medium within the Shrapnel Marketplace, further cementing its role as a vital component of the Shrapnel ecosystem.
Ava Labs acknowledges the current shortcomings of web3 gaming, yet remains committed to enhancing the experience. The ecosystem is on a dedicated mission to elevate web3 gaming, and ‘Shrapnel’ represents a significant stride in this endeavor. However, it’s important to recognize that ventures like ‘Shrapnel’ are part of a larger experiment in this evolving field.
While the game brings promise and potential to revolutionize the gaming landscape, it also represents a gamble in an industry still finding its footing in the integration of blockchain technology. ‘Shrapnel’ isn’t just a game; it’s a part of a grander vision to reshape what gaming can be in the world of web3.