In this episode, Jason and Jacob talk to Carlos Bolaños! Carlos is the Cofounder of Synergy Land, an upcoming NFT-driven metaverse game that sits on the Solana Blockchain. He's also a game developer and has been working in this space for over 10 years. Carlos has many years of experience developing tools for use in the video game industry. His work includes games such as Castlevania - Lords of Shadow 2 and Assassin's Creed Valhalla. The team behind Synergy Land's games development, has over 15 years of experience working on AAA video games. Among other notable mainstream studios, its team members have worked for Ubisoft, 2K Games, MercurySteam, Ilion Studios, Konami, Nintendo, Riot Games, and Pyro Studios.
Synergy Land is a metaverse game that runs on the Solana blockchain. Synergy Land is a blockchain multiplayer ARPG game currently in development by Synergy Games, set in a fantasy world divided into four ecosystems, each based on the following elements: earth, water, fire and ice. The player will take on the role of different types of heroes, exploring dungeons of up to four players who will undertake a great adventure against very powerful creatures, using a fully dynamic and innovative spell system that will allow players to combine elements to cast spells creating new beneficial or harmful synergies between them.
The newly launched Synergy Land demo gives players a much-anticipated glimpse of the fantasy game world where players take advantage of a dynamic spell system which sees them combine various elements to create powerful spells, earn rare resources, upgrade their NFTs and spell decks, and win token rewards that can be traded for real monetary value.
Carlos had this to say about the inspiration behind the game, "We drew inspiration from popular titles like Diablo and Path of Exile, Our game combines the greatest elements of these universes while introducing casual and die-hard gamers to a vivid, dynamic, Play-to-Earn (P2E) gameplay experience.”
Carlos sheds light on why Synergy Land was built on the Solana blockchain. For dapps, Solana stands for extremely fast distributed ledger technology. It is a single chain, proof-of-stake protocol that emphasizes scaling without compromising security or decentralization. With a processing speed of up to 50k transactions per second, Solana blockchain offers its customers a highly safe environment. The most successful initiatives in Defi, Web3, and blockchain-based gaming are all part of Solana's vast ecosystem.
For a variety of reasons, developers are drawn to create play-to-earn games on Solana. First, unlike other ecosystems today, the network offers development flexibility. When creating their upcoming blockchain game, developers must accomplish flexibility and independence. The network also has a high throughput and cheap transaction costs, which are beneficial to both developers and gamers.
One may claim that Solana's qualities fit the requirements of a game. The correct technical boxes being checked lays a strong basis for attracting additional game developers and players. When asked why Synergy Land is building on the Solana blockchain, Carlos had this to say, "The Solana Community have great projects that are developing Web3 Games, they are doing a great job and they also have a real experienced team behind them. Solana for us is good because they are asking for quality, not quantity. Also, one thing that is really good about Solana is the low transaction fees that our users have to pay. In fact, there are many developers on the Solana blockchain that are focused on the gaming industry, and we are taking advantage of this. our development regarding the Web3 side is going on smoothly because of them."
Web2 games are games that run on a traditional client-server architecture. They're typically played in desktop browsers, but they can also be accessed via mobile apps or some other devices. The most popular example of this type of game is League of Legends (LoL). However in these games, all assets in-game are controlled by the developers. In contrast, web3 games use blockchain technology to create game assets that are decentralized and peer-to-peer (P2P). This means there's no centralized server or central authority that manages your assets, you have direct ownership of your gameplay assets, usually in the form of NFTs which can be traded in a secondary market for monetary rewards!
Web3 games are the future of gaming, but they're still in their infancy. Onboarding web2 gamers to web3 using AAA quality games will be key to driving mass adoption. Web2 gamers are familiar with centralized systems, and that's the type of model most web3 games are trying to emulate. The biggest difference between web2 games and web3 games is that ownership and management of the in-game assets is given back to the players.
Carlos had this to say about what makes all the difference between web2 and web3 games, "Well the big difference in the web3 games is that you are having true ownership of every digital asset that you own in a game. This is the big difference. So, I think that people should understand this because when you play let's say web2 or traditional game you cannot do whatever you want with your in-game assets. And in the blockchain space, you can do it. You can put your sword that you just looted, one minute ago playing the game, in a secondary market to earn money. So, this makes a fundamental difference between the traditional games and the blockchain games."
Carlos believes that web3 games have to attract a lot of developers from web2 in order to build the AAA quality games necessary to onboard players. He had this to say, "Hiring in the web3 gaming space is quite difficult because there are few developers with the right skill set and experience available. The major difference between web2 and web3 gaming is the economy designed into the games for the players, otherwise, the core game development basically follows the same format.”
While blockchain is a decentralized, distributed ledger that can help games in many ways, it's most useful for providing a mechanism for trustless transactions and provable scarcity.
A trustless transaction means that anyone with access to the network has the same level of power as everyone else on it; in other words, there are no third parties involved in verifying who owns what and how it should be used. This allows you as an owner or creator of digital assets (like in your game) to freely move them around without worrying about whether this will impact your reputation amongst other players or if the game studio “approves” of your actions.
Blockchain also solves another problem: proving scarcity or finite supply of in-game items. Utilizing NFTs provides immutable and traceable records for all items in a video game. This ensures that players aren’t getting ripped off by game studios, and that they have clarity as to what they are purchasing or earning.
In summary, blockchain is a decentralized, distributed ledger that allows for the secure storage and transfer of information, such as game assets. The technology can help games by providing a mechanism for provable scarcity and trustless transactions.
Synergy Land utilizes NFTs in a number of ways, but before we dive into that, you might be asking, “What is an NFT?” An NFT is a digital asset that can be owned, traded and used in games. NFTs are a new way to represent digital assets. The new world of web3 gaming presents an opportunity for gamers to have real verifiable ownership of their assets using NFTs. Unlike simply keeping cryptocurrency collectibles in your wallet, NFT games offer more options. NFTs are used in a game's mechanics, rules, and player interactions. A game might, for instance, depict your individual avatar or character as an NFT. NFTs can also be found in digital goods that you find while playing the game. Then, you can exchange or profitably trade your NFTs, or your in-game items, with other gamers.
Users that play NFT games have the opportunity to earn value as they play. The more time a player spends playing, the more NFTs they might receive as rewards.
Carlos has this to say about Synergy Land NFTs that users can mint for the game, "Right now, we have our second NFT sale, which we call the Synergy Badge. This is totally related to the synergians, so these badges include a character that you will need to play the game. We decided to include part of our token on the Synergy badges. When you purchase a Synergy badge, you will receive a portion of this token. We have two kinds of tokens in the game. We have our governance token, the $SNG, the one that we are going to do the public sale with the badge. And we have the secondary token $ACN that is also a cryptocurrency."
NFTs are a new way to create value and that's why we have been investing in the development of Synergy Land games. For Synergy Land, the community is key in directing the future of the game development, the game is governed by a DAO and Carlos believes that the community should be the driving force in projects like this, he had this to say, “This NFT gaming movement is still in its infancy with a lot of potential. We are like the pioneers here. So, teams with experience like us have to think and develop for the community with longevity in mind. When we started Synergy Land, the first thing that we thought of was the future, to create something good, something that people really want and are already used to.”
Web3 games have a lot of potential, and we can see that there is a lot of interest from the community. We are currently working on the development of new NFTs games with our partners, but also some other projects in this area. It's important to note that web3 games will create new business models for gaming, which may not be as simple as just selling digital goods or tokens directly to players. For example: you could use your NFTs or tokens to buy access to an exclusive player experience or even pay real money if you want extra features (like weapons).
We think the future of web3 gaming lies in creating experiences that allow users real ownership over assets they create themselves by interacting with them through blockchain technology. Carlos Bolaños says, “I believe Web3 games have a lot of potential and we can see that there is a lot of interest from the community and investors. We are currently working on the development of several NFT game titles with our partners, but also some other projects in this area. We presented our game idea to our community and also to investors in the blockchain space. The investors and the community believed in us to deliver because we have the right mix of skills and experience. We are working with our investor right now, and they are part of the advisory team that we have. They also helped us to grow the community that we have now.”
We had a great time talking to Carlos and hearing his story. It was inspiring to hear about how he started Synergy Land back with his co-founder and what it's been like growing the business since then. We hope you enjoyed this podcast interview with Carlos! Thanks for your time and see you in our next episode.
HOST / PODCAST BIO
The NFT Gaming Podcast features developers building the next generation of gaming: play-to-earn NFT games. In this podcast, NFT game founders Jason and Jacob interview key contributors to the NFT gaming movement across a multitude of blockchains. Our goal is to help bring clarity to the topic of NFT gaming, build credibility for new and existing projects, and help gamers across different blockchains find new NFT games to play. Season 2 of the show is proudly sponsored by Revelar. Revelar is the NFT Game Engine, built on Cardano.
Carlos has been part of the animation industry since 2005, he has experience spanning both video game development and feature animation productions. He is the current CEO/Co-Founder of Synergy Land. Prior to this he had work experience with several international game developers such as Ubisoft, MercurySteam and more, where he participated in several AAA game releases.