Play2Earn Gaming: SIDUS HEROES
Gamifying an Entire Universe
It’s one thing to come up with an NFT game set in a farm, where players idyllically chop away at trees to gather wood and craft chicken coops. It’s another thing completely for a game that is its own city, or island, or its own Earth even, where the NFTs to own can be entire countries and mountain ranges. But when a game sets out to encompass all of this and more—with sprawling solar systems and entire planets for the taking, the possibilities just boggles the mind.
And yet, this is exactly the scale of SIDUS HEROES’ ambitious vision for their massive play-to-earn, AAA-rated MMORPG where players take on the role of space-faring heroes who have a whole metaverse to get lost in as they please.
The game is far from being out yet, but its official website and documentation already gives a glimpse to just how immersive gameplay is going to be. The concept is so huge that just thinking about it makes it feel like it’s going to be one of those games that are going to take over your life completely. Except that SIDUS being play-to-earn means it’s not really going to be the cause of your ruin, but more of a rich and rewarding experience.
As a 3-D space fantasy RPG, SIDUS is reminiscent of hugely popular titles, the likes of Mass Effect or Eve Online but where almost everything you use is an NFT you actually own, from your customizable character, clothes, weapons, ships and yes— even entire planets if you get to be really good at it. This is where the profit-making potential of the game comes in. As you gradually progress and upgrade your character, collect and craft new items and lay claim to the wealth of the cosmos, the NFTs you accumulate can later be traded with, rented out, or sold at the marketplace for a markup.
Cinematic trailer for SIDUS HEROES
But despite SIDUS being such a massive game, what is uncannily surprising is how the game will simply run on WebGL from your browser, without the need to download gigabytes’ worth of data to run an installer. This is a big deal if we're talking about lowering entry-level barriers, since the problem why most AAA games don’t have that big a following is simply because of how expensive the latest hardware can get just to run games at speed.
And player adoption is off to a good start. Every last one of the 6,000 founding NFT heroes has already been sold even before an alpha version release of the game, showing just how hungry the community is for the project to take off. In fact, the floor price for these has risen 2,000% from the original listing price in just a few short months.
Massive gameplay economics and numerous player roles
SIDUS transports players into a futuristic timeline where technology has merged with biology, and where the power struggle between 12 advanced races has created a chaotic and open war.
As a blockchain-grown game, SIDUS isn’t shy about paying homage to it. In fact, the storyline tells of 12 “blockchain planets” named after major coins and tokens which should be obvious for anyone in the crypto-know: Bitcoione, Etheredus, Avalanya and Polkacyon, to name a few.
Players begin the game from a Central Station, which is the main public space where heroes can hang out and interact. But once your ship leaves the dock, every place there is to go to is brimming with profit potential. From orbiting satellites to passing asteroids and comets, and planets both colonized and unexplored.
And what is there to do as a budding galactic explorer? This is where the SIDUS universe trumps every other RPG when it comes to the numerous options available to players. Going on an expedition to explore distant planets requires hiring a crew capable of manning a ship and dealing with the potential dangers and discoveries. So not to be content with just standard RPG tropes, SIDUS allows players to choose from across 24 distinct professions: from your standard ship roles (e.g. pilot, scout, navigation officer), to specific trades (chef, carpenter, mason, gem cutter) and even to such niche specializations that sound like you're choosing a college major (micro-electronics engineer, roboticist, biologist, ichthyologist).
This makes SIDUS primarily a multiplayer game with missions designed to pull together players from different backgrounds to achieve success. Cooperation is also a must when it comes to colonizing worlds, owning land and operating farms, foundries, quarries and laboratories to take advantage of newly-discovered resources, or raising fleets and fighting legions to take over other territories.
SIDUS offers a universe of economic pretext. From mining asteroids, to exploring land on planets for farming, manufacturing, science or conquest.
Though players who prefer going solo can also choose such a life, such as being a gladiator in the PvP Battle Arena, where teams of three face off against each other to level up ratings, and where your character’s outfits and other NFT items (such as pets) come into play. Players who do well as fighters can gain popularity and achieve celebrity status, get hired to fight in special matches or recruited to join armed militias and participate in raids and actual battles.¹
Needless to say, the economics and player role interdependence of the game sounds as close as it could possibly get to a real-world setup, which is kind of frightening when you think about how our own capitalist systems aren’t really that fun to live in unless you’re at the very top. This is something that SIDUS CEO Dan Khomenko actually brought to attention in a livestream promotional when he said that they wanted players to enjoy SIDUS as a game instead of creating a system “which only makes rich people richer”. Khomenko hinted at plans of creating ‘anti-whale measures’ such as limiting game time to make sure that players with the means can’t just gobble up entire planets on their own and leave nothing for everyone else.¹
In-game politics means it’s not just another ‘boring’ PvP
“We are not here to just make another [boring] PvP dungeons game [...] what about the intellectual [fight]?” Khomenko adds while discussing SIDUS’ political system, which extends the game mechanics beyond the repetitive hack-and-slash nature of most PvPs and RPGs. In SIDUS, those not content with mere trading or fighting roles can contemplate ambitions for true power by taking part in the political scene and running for leadership positions. In this way, players can take matters of the game into their own hands and for the interest and benefit of other players, and in the process, the game writes its own historical storyline.
The meticulously organized political structure is central to the game.
Building huge structures for instance, such as orbital stations, require political power to get the resources. But other players might not like the idea and instead prefer to use such resources for waging war or organizing an expedition to discover new lands. To come to a consensus, players use the governance tools of the game to hold actual elections, organize political parties and support the agendas of their preferred leaders. The same governance tools can also be used to hold elected leaders accountable for their decisions, allowing the gaming community to keep good ones in power and boot bad ones out.¹
Talk about ‘gamifying’ even the actual game governance mechanisms and you can see how SIDUS comes full-circle as a full-blown metaverse which really has the potential to develop not only an in-game economy, but an in-game culture and history as well, which should guarantee playability for years on or even decades.
SENATE and SIDUS Tokenomics
A game at this scale will need to run two tokens: The aptly named SENATE token will be used for voting and governance; it’s a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) token which means that it’s used to automate decisions along the blockchain based on user inputs or votes. The SIDUS token meanwhile will be the in-game currency for purchasing and crafting NFTs.
The total supply and allocations for each token are as follows:
SENATE (DAO Token)
Total: 300 million (300,000,000)
Public Sale (2%) — 6,000,000
Partners and Advisors (3%) — 9,000,000
Liquidity (5%) — 15,000,000
Seed Round (5%) — 15,000,000
Pre-Public Round (8.5) — 25,500,000
Reserve Fund (9%) — 27,000,000
Private Round (11%) — 33,000,000
Team (21%) — 63,000,000
Ecosystem (35.5%) — 106,500,000
SIDUS (Gaming Token)
Total: 30 billion (30,000,000,000)
Public Sale (2%) — 600,000,000
Partners and Advisors (3%) — 900,000,000
Liquidity (5%) — 1,500,000,000
Seed Round (5%) — 1,500,000,000
Team (6.5%) — 1,950,000,000
Pre-Public Round (8.5%)
Reserve Fund (9%) — 2,700,000,000
Private Round (11%) — 3,300,000,000
Ecosystem (50%0 — 15,000,000,000
Despite the founding NFTs being sold out, SIDUS’ is still early on in its roadmap and 2022 is slated for a universe expansion and sale of other NFTs such as weapons, pets, and ships. A mobile version is also in the works. To add more indication of how massive the game is going to be, the detailed roadmap runs well into 2025 (it takes a while to launch entire planets and solar systems) so there’s really still plenty of time to invest in the game.
It can be quite unnerving though with a goal list that far ahead when there’s so much time for things to go awry along development, so it pays to keep a close watch on project updates. Twitter and Discord engagement show a healthy community with close to 300,000 flowers and counting. At the present SIDUS HEROES is partnered with PlayDisplay, NFT Stars, NFT256 and Space Swap.
It’s chilling too in a way, to think we’re on a brink of developing games that are so immersive they can really offer an alternative reality to live in. But it’s also chilling in a good way. Not only does the whole space fantasy genre resonate with the legions of generations raised on Star Wars or with those who take pride in being veterans in the legendary Eve Online battles—but the whole idea of a massive self-sustaining alternative society where you can live out childhood space fantasies and earn money for just sounds too good to pass up.
With that, the blockchain is really pushing the frontiers of gaming, and SIDUS is making one giant leap into the exciting unknown.
¹SIDUS HEROES CEO Dan Khomenko: new demo version, upcoming IDO, new game mechanics