How One Developer Toppled an Empire (For Now)

Written by Charles Weiler-Ulin

Idle games on the blockchain: earn more while also earning while “idle” or in a state of doing nothing.

Forgive me for the hyperbole but in the world of crypto-gaming, CryptoKitties is the empire to everyone’s townships. CryptoKitties has for awhile stood alone atop the DApp world (DApp is short for decentralized application), only contested by the occasional hot potato or clone of itself. That is, until last Friday when EtherGoo went live.

What is an idle game?

For this article to make sense, I need to quickly explain what is an idle game. An idle game (aka an incremental game, clicker game, or passive game) is where players collect resources by either clicking, buying units that mine resources, or a combination of the two. An idle game works in that you begin with nothing and progress step-by-step until you have insane amounts of what you initially had nothing of. EtherGoo is an idle game in both the incremental and passive sense, meaning you progressively earn more and more while also earning while “idle” or in a state of doing nothing.

Ethereum based games have so far steered clear of traditional game models, instead focusing on collectibility over utility. We’re still lacking the Candy Crush DApp or the Clash of Clans DApp to really propel the idea of crypto gaming forward. But with EtherGoo, we have the first live and fully functional idle game in the spirit of Cookie Clicker, Clicker Heroes, Adventure Capitalist, and Tap Titans. EtherGoo has now surpassed CryptoKitties in daily active users and transaction volume as per DappRadar (and is creeping up in terms of Ether (or eth), monetary, volume).

What is EtherGoo?

As per its own declaration, EtherGoo is the first competitive idle game and as far as I can tell, the first Ethereum based idle game. When beginning, you start with a basic Goo production of around 0.5 Goo a second and can buy units such as Intern Kitties and Lab Rats to increase your production rate. There are some freemium units and some premium units, although all units will cost a transaction fee in ether, so sadly as with all Ethereum based products it is not truly free but it does get as close as possible to free as Ethereum allows. As you grow your production army, you can invest in your barracks where you have three stats: Attack, Defense, Goo Stealing Capacity. Barracks works similarly as you’ll buy units that increase each stat, allowing you to attack other users and steal Goo right out from under their production.

This adds an interesting mechanic to idle games as it incentivizes users to use their Goo as soon as possible to save it from the chance of being stolen by marauding users. The two ways to use Goo are buying units and depositing it into the “Goo Deposit Pot” which I’ll go over next.

How does EtherGoo make money and how can you theoretically earn money?

Simply, EtherGoo makes money by taking a 2% cut of all transactions, a ludicrously low and generous move in my opinion.

For users, there are two ways to earn ether through playing EtherGoo (this is not an endorsement for this as a money making endeavor, or an investment opportunity, it is simply a mechanic of the game and something interesting to point out). EtherGoo pays out 10% of its total earnings daily, 8% to the “research pot” and 2% to the “deposit pot.

First, The Research Pot: Each user receives an ether payout based off of their contribution to the Global Goo Production. So, if you account for for 1% of the daily production and the total research pot is 100 eth, your payout will be 0.08 eth (8% of 100 eth= 8 eth, and 1% of 8 eth = 0.08). As of this writing, I have reached the upper limits of daily Goo production as a free (“free”) user and account for 0.0039% of production.

Second, Goo Deposit Pot: This is where you can store your Goo safely away from bandits and earn a cut of daily payouts. The Goo Deposit pot allows anyone to deposit Goo and the amount that you deposit in relations to the total deposit equals your payout. If the pot is worth 100 eth, and you’ve deposited 1% of the total deposits (i.e. there is 100 billion goo in the pot of which you contributed 1 billion), you will receive 1 eth at days end.

Who Made EtherGoo?

“Who doesn’t [want to steal] Goo from their friends with an army of kitties!” -MrBlobby

I reached out to MrBlobby (the creator) over EtherGoo’s discord channel and he was kind enough to answer a few of my questions for this article. MrBlobby (or James) is the sole developer of EtherGoo who took up the challenge after not finding any idle games built on blockchain. Goo was created when James needed a “science-y” feel and theme to the game, ultimately choosing between goo and slime. James hopes to expand the idle game genre on blockchain, potentially going towards a Clash of Clans type game. James’ favorite idle games include Cookie Clicker and Idle Mine to show what has inspired him and what might inspire new games to come.

Why am I writing this?

I’ve been following the crypto gaming space for awhile and was excited to find a new genre and became a quick user of EtherGoo, if only for its operability versus most projects today. I was surprised when I found out it was a one man project given its functionality and even more surprised at the lack of coverage vis a vis CryptoKitties. If anything, hopefully I’ve given insight into an interesting game genre, a new development in blockchain, or a Blobby and his much deserved recognition.

How One Developer Toppled an Empire (For Now)

Charles Weiler-Ulin
Founder, entrepreneur, and entertainment lover. Focused on creating monetization strategies for new media.

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