Project Nebula AMA

Hello ICONists,

The transcript below is from the Project Nebula AMA that occurred on r/helloicon over the weekend of December 5th, 2020. To view the AMA in its entirety, click here.

Intro:

Live AMA Session Schedule:

  • Friday 4th December 18:00–20:00 UTC

The Project Nebula team will be giving away prizes as part of this AMA. All prizes being given away by them are solely at their discretion. In addition to Project Nebula, r/helloicon mods will be giving away spot prizes for quality contributions.

If you would like to learn more about Project Nebula, we recommend reading their original grant application on the Icon Community forums.

Learn about Project Nebula mechanics from their medium blog here:

Learn about Project Nebula’s in game resources from their medium blog here:

Learn about art in the world of Project Nebula from their medium blog here:

Q:

Good Day Project Nebula Team! This is my question, What is the reason behind the concept of Project Nebula? How can Project Nebula differ from other NFTs and what makes it unique? And How can Project Nebula achieve its goals and how can it help the Icon Ecosystem?

A1:

With Project Nebula we’re bringing together and combining three things : a strategy game, an NFT collectable game and digital art. We are not aware of many other projects/games doing something similar at the moment so we think our project is quite unique from that perspective.

Currently we are holding the presale for our planet NFTs, the planets are the central pieces of Project Nebula that are

  1. Unique collectable NFTs

Regarding helping ICON ecosystem — we think Project Nebula has high potential to directly increase the most important KPIs of ICON blockchain. Also we hope that our successful presale is inspiring other developers to build something on ICON as well and shows that the ICON community is ready to welcome new and interesting projects.

A2:

The reasoning behind our concept is very simple — we are big fans of both collectable and strategy games and we also love sci-fi. So we are very inspired to work on a game like Project Nebula.

We hope that there is something in Project Nebula for a wide range of people.

  • Strategy game fans can enjoy the process of building the most efficient and powerful space empire.

Q:

Hi, I’m already holding a lot of planets and very curious about these things going forward :

Is there some kind of threshold number of planets beyond which it is not manageable ? I mean, say, I have 50+ planets, each one of them requires some attention/time, right? Or how it works? Is there any merit to stacking planets (beyond resource generation, since we need to develop them one way or another) ?

How do we trade between the players? Will there be some kind of Escrow or Opensea-like platform, where we just list our items and a buyer can buy and everything is handled via smartcontract? This leads me next question.

When can we expect Secondary Marketplace for p2p trading? I think it should be available even before game launch? So we can start building some open market ecosystem, set prices and so on.

Of course, Mystery box contents is a big question for all of us :)

Last but not least, how do we help bringing awareness? The game and idea is brilliant, I’m a big fan and thus want to bring more people to the Project. Hence the question — have you ever explored an opportunity to raise some outside funding? Maybe it is already too late for this and we don’t have own token (for potential investors to invest and have some return) but still.. Aavegotchi-like games are unique and the idea is genius, and it utilizes own Token — allowing constant funding for the team to build.

Don’t get me wrong, we are all supporters, I’m just a bit worried about limited funding, even though presale funds raised are already way over your expectations (since you have planned to sell at set prices, and I guess by the end of Week 5 you have already more funds raised if you have sold everything at set prices as intended) — but still, these are all peanuts. So, I really hope you are considering running some funding rounds to get money from outside to build with.

Stan

A:

1 ) So the planets are producing resources without you needing to do anything. However, all of your planets will not be producing resources all the time with 100% capacity — every player will have a limited amount of “governors” that they can use to better manage a planet which will keep the production at 100% and building times fast. (NB production on planets without governors will drop gradually and will never reach zero!)

It is possible to increase the amount of such governors by researching political technologies (read: training new leaders) or by completing the art/sound/lore collectable sets. Additionally, there will be “hard caps” for accumulating basic resources.Those measures are introduced with 1 reason : we want to incentivise active players a bit more than those who just want to buy a lot of planets to be the strongest in the universe.A player with 50 planets will still be stronger than a player with 5 planets, but we don’t want the gameplay difference to be 10x.

2) The current marketplace (play.projectnebula.app/marketplace) will be extended to enable trading between players. There you can list a planet for sale and others can buy or bid on the available planets. You will also have the option to transfer a planet to another ICON wallet. All of this is handled via smart contract.

3) Secondary Marketplace will be open after this presale ends in January 2021.

4) Regarding Mystery Boxes.. As you all know, we do have a few planets of our own as well.. When the game launches we will do an unboxing video of our Mystery Box and you’ll all see what`s inside :D

5) We’d like to thank each and every one of our community who has already in one way or another helped us on this journey, whether by writing some articles about us, translating our content to other languages, or just participating in this presale!You can always help bring more awareness by spreading the word ;)Even though the presale has performed better than we had expected, we of course understand and agree that with a project of this size, even more funding would be better which is why we will be looking into possibilities for additional funding very soon.

Q:

I feel bad that I havent done a deeper dive into this already, I’ve been here long enough. My questions are;

What are the actual game mechanics (as in how do you play?)? Can you explain how to play the game in a “for dummies” way? I’ve never played table top games outside of Monopoly, so references to tabletop or strategy games don’t actually tell me anything.

(Example — Spelunky is a game with randomly generated rooms and enemies where you have to find your way from the level you start in to an exit to the next level within a certain time limit. There is an incentive to collect treasure along the way to spend on items that can help you in your goal to get through all the levels, because they become increasingly harder the more levels you’ve cleared.)

2) What is the incentive to collect the planets or things that you’re having a presale for? It’s not pay to play or win I’d assume, so is it like cosmetics in an online game?

3) Is this something that will have an app on android/iOS, or is it browser based only?

4) If it isnt covered in question 1, what multiplayer or competitive elements are there?

5) If it isnt covered in any of the other questions, what is the hook to keep on playing? Is it a never ending game, or something that you can pass while owning rare items/NFTs that you can trade?

For Spelunky, its roguelike difficulty + randomization and item/treasure collecting (Its the simplest game I like I could think of).

Cheers if any of these are answered. I know these questions are worded in a dumb way, but its probably good to have the “for dummies” version available for people like me somewhere upfront.

A:

4) 5)

Project Nebula is a space themed game on the ICON blockchain that combines three things : a strategy game, an NFT collectable game and awesome digital art.

Project Nebula is played online in real-time together with all players in a shared universe. Players will be building their interstellar empires by exploring Project Nebula’s hex-based universe and colonizing and upgrading planets. To do that successfully they will need to manage their resources and economy as well as research new technologies that make them more efficient and powerful in the game. The individual unique planets in Project Nebula are non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which players can collect inside the game and trade or sell to each other. The planet NFTs and many other assets in the Project Nebula universe can contain high quality digital art, soundtracks and lore pieces, created by talented artists all over the world.

Although it will not happen with the very first release of the game, it is our goal to establish a player driven economy in Project Nebula by allowing players to start crafting new NFTs with various functions inside the game from the resources they are gathering from their planets. And add a PvP layer to the game that will introduce a whole new level of interactions between all the players.

Project Nebula is essentially a never ending game. The first releases are laying the foundation and expanding our game universe (and already allow the first players to start exploring the “New Galaxy”). With future releases we are planning to gradually include more complexity and PvP interactions into the game.

2) Our planet NFTs are limited collectable items. If all goes well for Project Nebula, they will likely be more valuable in the near future than they are currently. The artwork, soundtrack and lore collectables of Generation Zero will not be released again and there’s only 10 copies of each piece available.

Project Nebula is not pay to win, but every player will need a least 1 planet to start the game. Participating in the presale is 1 way of acquiring a planet, however after the presale everybody will have the possibility to purchase a planet also from the secondary market as we will open the marketplace for all players after the presale. However with each following edition, we will be releasing a limited amount of “starter packs” that new players can purchase to enter the game.

3) Eventually yes, but building native mobile apps is not our priority at the moment.

Q:

Do you plan to implement an IRC token that the community could use in air drops in channel? If not would you be interested in our community building something?

Something like the Tip TAP bot used in the ICONbet community.

A:

We have played around with the idea of introducing a governance token for the Project Nebula universe at one point. Although probably won’t be necessary to rush this before the game launch. :)

Q:

Hello! For those who haven’t jumped in early, but would be interested in playing the game, when checking out resources like the telegram there is an overwhelming amount of noise about the planet sales and managing the logistics of all that. Not easily navigable for those late to the party.

How does one get involved? Nebulaproject.app, does it need to be accessed through a desktop with ICONex chrome extension? Can it be accessed from iOS with ICONex? Are there geo restrictions to who can participate in token sale? Perhaps I’m missing some medium post about it but sifting through all the updates is creating a lot of work.

A:

You can get involved by participating in our planet NFT pre-sale.

For desktop, Project Nebula can be accessed using Chrome or Brave browser with the ICONex extension installed. For mobile you can access the game using MyIconWallet (currently you need to enter play.projectnebula.app in the address bar under dApps, but we’re looking into having a direct link to the game there as well)

Q:

Out of curiosity, were there any other games that served as an inspiration for Project Nebula?

Will players be able to trade planets in the in-game marketplace, or will we only be able to purchase them through the marketplace?

Best of luck to the PN team with the rest of the items on the roadmap and thanks for taking the time to do an AMA.

A:

Combined between the two of us, the full list of inspiring games is probably too big to include here :D But here are some games that came to our mind quite fast :
Computer games: Heroes III, EVE Online, Civilization series, Endless series
Tabletop games: Magic: The Gathering, Eclipse, Dungeons and Dragons, Stars Without Number

During this presale you can only purchase planets that we are selling in our Marketplace. After the presale ends, we will open the Marketplace for all players, and you can buy planets that other players are selling as well. When the game launches with Generation 1 planets, there will be options for new players to jump in too ;)

Q:

Hi Project Nebula Team! My question is:

Will there be multiplayer capability? For example, will people be able to work together to achieve goals? In addition to this question, if this is possible will there be any means of deterring groups of people forming gangs to gang up on other people to conquer planets etc?

Thanks! :)

A:

Yes, but not with the first release. In the first release you will likely just be competing with other players for colonizing new planets and unlocking achievements and earning rewards from that.

However we do plan to gradually add more and more content to the game that will increase player interactions — our goal is to enable a player driven economy in the form of players crafting new NFTs with various functions that will eventually lead to PvP competition, alliances being formed etc..

The planet NFTs however cannot be conquered, destroyed or stolen by other players, so this is something that you don’t have to worry about.

Q:

Did the team thought about a sort of gold you can mine with a type of industry on planets? Would be awesome to mine digital gold and pay/trade with in in the universe.

A:

Not sure about the digital gold, but planets in Project Nebula generate resources (credits, industry, research) that can eventually be used to craft other game items (NFTs) that can be traded on the marketplace.

Q:

Hi, because I like the idea to better protect our precious Planets. I’m curious, is ledger integration coming?

A:

It’s currently not possible to sign SCORE method calls (and therefore play the game) using Ledger. Considering our current roadmap, we can’t prioritize developing Ledger integration before the game launch, although as NFTs on ICON become increasingly popular there might be a collaboration on tackling this.

Q:

Is it possible to cooperate with other planet owners? Share/loan/sell resources or tech

A:

Upon the initial launch of the game there won’t be much cooperation between players. However we are looking into adding more collaborative features in future versions of the game. Examples of these would be player guilds and alliances, that will enable players to work towards common goals.

Q:

Hi team. I’m curious to know where you are at with your new community manager? They’re going to be a popular person soon ;)

A:

Hi! Our new community manager will join us in less than a month.

Q:

Would it possible to trade just the resources or only planet trading is possible ?

A:

Trading resources won’t be available at game launch, but it’s something we intend to add at a later stage. Most likely it will happen alongside the introduction of player-crafted NFTs.

Q:

Would it be possible to build new projects/games in the universe of Nebula?

A:

We are designing Project Nebula with the intention of it being extendable beyond the original game. Be it expansions and connected games from our own team or second layer solutions from external parties. So essentially we are building Project Nebula as a foundation to build upon and expand the game universe.

We welcome others to build upon the Project Nebula NFTs and build their own games using our assets. A good example of it already happening elsewhere would be CryptoKitties KittyVerse, where others have built games using cryptokitties.

Q:

Is there any fixed rate of planet generation for each category ? For example only 1 rare planet will be generated for x number of days ?

A:

Planets are not generated on a fixed-rate basis. Instead new planet NFTs are introduced when we release a new generation and expand the Project Nebula universe. Before the release of a new generation we will announce the exact rarity allocation.

Q:

Would you share your dream with us? Please take us to project nebula 5 years from here:)

A:

Hey! Short answer:

People will be setting alarms to 03:40 AM to define the outcome of sector wide conflicts.

A bit longer answer:

Our dream is that in 5 years time, Project Nebula is an MMO game with a 6-digit player base, stepping on the toes of giants like EVE Online and many others. The Project Nebula Universe hosts hundreds of different types of NFTs and a thriving player-driven economy with a kick-ass Play-to-Earn model.
On the way we will have collaborated with hundreds of talented artists all over the world to build a UNIQUE online universe and there will be dozens of other games/projects that are in some way or another using or building on Project Nebula’s Universe, our NFTs and/or our creative content.

Q:

Hi, this is somewhat of a suggestion but has the team considered releasing physical NFT’s? I think this would elevate the game for the hardcore collectors out there. The team has already introduced amazing artwork pieces alongside the planets, would you consider physical prints? Or what about in terms of the music, the team could release physical cassette tapes/vinyl’s. Even plant sculptures would be super cool and I believe the possibilities are endless.

A:

Wow, this is not a bad idea… We have thought about it a little but not not as far as releasing vinyls. I think today it is a bit too soon for this, but once we get more hardcore collectors involved, this is something that will happen one day for sure ;)

I mean, the artwork and soundtracks and story we are creating for Project Nebula, is pretty badass we think, and worth the effort :)
Btw, since the moment we saw the full Dust planet landscape artwork for the first time, Kaarel has been dreaming about putting a 5m print of it on our office wall :D, haven’t had the time to accomplish this yet though.

Q:

Will we be able to upgrade our planet’s rarity ie from uncommon to rare, or rare to legendary?

A:

A planet’s rarity class can not be upgraded.

Q:

I have already gone through the articles you have published on Medium. Following are my questions:

  • You are planning a beta by Jan 2021 and a full launch by Mar 2021. Can players use the beta version or it will be for testers only?

Cheers!

A:

  • We are planning to launch a closed beta in January. There will be a limited number of participants initially and we’ll gradually add more people once we progress through test stages.

Q:

Hello there,

  1. Can we trade our planets safely ( nft/nft ) with other players in the marketplace (DAO) without the use of icx?

A:

Hey!

  1. Initially this feature won’t be available in the marketplace.

Q:

1)Afaik, Nebula project is generating txs through purchasing or transferring planets in the Icon network. After launch of game, when exactly a tx will be occurred, is every move recordable on the chain? (e.g after exploring a new hex, upgrading a planet, pvp fights later)

2)Do special resources and upgrade slots are equal in power in general? Do they have a balance? For example, can you get the same effect by having 2–3 times a special resource (stacking a %) and upgrading a building (same level) returning the same benefit?

A:

  1. Putting too much on blockchain can be somewhat dangerous for the game, even if today ICON’s transaction speeds are fast and fees low. Putting everything on blockchain is also dangerous from the perspective that more blockchain savvy players can start to abuse the transparency of the blockchain and ruin some elements of the game.

For example if someone has initiated the construction of lets say a battlecruiser in one of their factories, then we don’t think this should be public information for all players friends and foes to see from blockchain. And the same is true for explored hexes — also sensitive information from the gameplay perspective.

We will keep what’s needed on blockchain, and will try to be smart about when exactly information reaches blockchain and also keep some stuff away from blockchain to keep the game interesting and fair :)

2. Special resources and Upgrade slots are not directly comparable in that way.

Special resources tend to have an overall effect (for example clarion powder which increases credit production on all of your planets), whereas similar upgrades (that boost credit production) will affect that one specific planet it is built on. So whether or not these effects reach a balance point will depend on how many planets you have in general.

If you have 10 planets and clarion powder then that will likely produce more credits than having 10 planets without clarion powder and one planet that has its credit production boosted by an upgrade.

However it is important to note that the variety of planetary upgrades and their effects will be significantly larger so having many upgrade slots on a planet will make them more flexible in terms of strategic value.

Q:

Will the generation zero planets start generating resources when the beta launch happens or when the actual game launches ?

A:

Beta will be separate from the actual game so everyone will start fresh when the game launches.

Q:

What do u think is the advantage for the people who are buying planets now other than the mystery box ?

A:

Firstly, with this presale we are offering more Uncommon and Rare planets than what you’ll start to see with future generations. More than half of the planets offered in this presale are Rares and with the future generations, this % will drop down to around 20, so it will not be that easy to find that good planets so easily afterwards.

And secondly, since this is also a collectable game, I think that the collectable value of the Generation Zero planets will be higher since we are only offering them in this presale (along with the art/sound/lore pieces that are on the gen0 planets, with only 10 copies available ever).

Q:

Hello,

Will you conduct different AMA sessions with different P-Reps groups to promote Project Nebula to the Icon Community?

How can you ensure that each user’s experience with Project Nebula can be as meaningful and unforgettable?

What are your plans and strategies your team conduct to gain more engagement from the community?

A:

We are of course open for doing more AMA sessions with different P-Rep groups as well, but no specific plans are set at this point.

We think that there is something in Project Nebula for a wide range of people.

  • Strategy game fans can enjoy the process of building the most efficient and powerful space empire.

Project Nebula is dedicated to creating a rich and memorable experience for all the players through art, sound and story. We’ve already teamed up with incredibly talented creators, but our plan is to involve more and more new creators to our cause with each following generation of the game.

We are planning to share our development progress with the community as often as possible, both to keep them informed about the status of the game and to gather feedback and any great ideas they might have regarding Project Nebula. We are confident that when we launch the game next year, the community engagement is going to get a significant boost. It is hard to be too much engaged for a game that hasn’t even come out yet, you know. That said, there are a few cool things we’ve had in mind and you’ll hear about them soon enough ;)

Q:

Will Project Nebula let its Users to create their own groups on the game just like galaxies? Where we can share and trade resources throughout those groups? Its like building a colony with through helping each other.

A:

Yes, allowing players to make clans/groups/alliances one day is part of our plan ;)

Which resources and to what extent can be shared within those alliances is not yet certain, as this feature will not be coming with the initial launch of the game.

Q:

Hi. What happens if I have multiple planets with ‘Diamond Deposit’ bonus stat? Is it +1 for each or x1.1 or something?

A:

Most of the special resources on the planets will stack up to a bigger overall bonus. For example Diamond Deposits that increase the credit output on all planets, will work even better if you have access to 2 or more of those resources.

The bonus they give will be a % of your overall production. What the exact %-s are — is deliberately not fixed yet — we will need to do a lot of playtesting before we are ready to set the exact values.

Follow up Q:

Excellent! I hope you find balance so the bonus is enough to make people want to buy more planets, but not enough to let giga whales ruin the economy.

Maybe you make a limit of how many bonus can stack per wallet/in planet wallet?

Follow up A:

We will definitely introduce some form of limiting factor to stacking resources. There won’t be a hard limit, but your 10th resource probably won’t have the same effect as your first few.

Q:

What upgrades can be done to a planet ? Can u give an example ? Can a rare become legendary, uncommon to rare ?

A:

Hey, changing a planet’s rarity will not be possible. An Uncommon will remain an Uncommon.

Planet upgrades are features that you can build on a planet that give bonuses to various aspects of the game — from simple boost to a stat, to unlocking new technologies and/or passive bonuses.

Some examples from the functional perspective :

“trade hub” will increase the credit production of the planet it is built on.
“observatory” will reveal nearby hexes that are currently unexplored.

The first release of the game will have the tech tree more focused on exploration and the efficiency of colonising, building and upgrading planets. However when we’ll start to launch PvP elements to the game, it will bring a whole new set of technologies and upgrades into the game. The techtree and the planetary upgrades are something that will be evolving as we develop the game further.

Q:

Can we create and design our own planets where we can create our own Artwork or Music?

A:

Oh, this is a good question, but also a complicated one.

When we started working with different artists, this idea came up in our team more than once — what if we created planets with “art slots” that players could fill, what if we allowed players to rename their planets upon colonizing them?, etc..

The thing is that, this can be a bit difficult to tackle. We could not figure out away how to avoid a situation when someone names a planet “Penis” and adds a corresponding photo to the art slot :D

This was not be something we wanted the Project Nebula universe to be famous for.

So what we decided was that we fixed the Gen 0 as it is today — only our certified collaborators would deliver art/sound/stories to the game.

But I think it is fair to say that we will definitely be returning back to this topic in the future, when our team is bigger and when we’re ready to do it in a cool way.

As for now — if you are an artist/musician/storyteller, and would like to collaborate with us, let us know and write to collab@projectnebula.app and lets see what happens ;)

Q:

Hi, can you share stats/trends on the demand of your products since inception?

A:

We actually wrote an article recently about the first 5 weeks of the presale. You can find it here : https://projectnebula.medium.com/planet-presale-update-f494d3d7ba39

In terms of what the demand has been, we know that :

  1. week 1 sold out in 4 min (all Uncommons and Rares)

So since week 3, selling time is no longer a valid indicator of demand, because all planets were either on auction or went with raffle.
I believe that the highest average prices for Rare planets were on week 2 and 3, when it was around 700 ICX maybe. The average price has calmed down on recent weeks, I think last week it was maybe around 300 ICX or something like that, which is not a terrible turn of events from our perspective, as it has enabled more people to join the fun and buy planets. :)

Q:

Will u b able to deliver a playable game at 01/03/2021 ?

A:

We haven’t actually announced 1st of March anywhere, but we plan to launch the game within the month of March.

Q:

Can we swap credits for icx?

A:

Credits are not on-chain so direct swapping of them won’t be possible. However we plan to introduce player crafted NFTs that are built using in-game resources and can be traded on the marketplace.

Kudos and thanks to the Project Nebula team for taking the time to participate in this AMA with the ICON community! Please be sure to follow the team and stay tuned for more announcements.

Project Nebula Website
Project Nebula Medium
Project Nebula Twitter
Project Nebula Telegram

As always, please feel free to reach out to us if you ever have questions about ICONation and thank you for stopping by our Medium for the latest!

By Iconists, for Iconists

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