Star Atlas is a new Play-to-Earn grand strategy game of space exploration, territorial conquest, political domination, and much, much more being built in Unreal Engine 5 on the Solana blockchain.
In Star Atlas players will be able to immerse themselves in a spectacular living metaverse and explore the cosmos, flying from planet to planet in a vast array of spaceships to collect resources, mine minerals, fight battles, and build their empires.
Players will be able to choose between one of three factions: the Ustur, a collective of sentient androids; the Oni, a consortium of alien species; or the Mud, humankind who long ago left Earth to venture among the stars.
The team behind Star Atlas has an incredible vision for its future, and if they’re able to successfully pull it off, I can see this game becoming an iconic benchmark for both the blockchain and gaming industries, quite possibly even to the level of something on par with the likes of Ready Player One (if you haven’t seen the movie, I highly suggest checking it out)!
Speaking of the team, who exactly is behind Star Atlas?
The Team Behind Star Atlas
One of the most important aspects to consider when getting involved in any project, but especially in the crypto space, is who is the team behind the project, what are their backgrounds, and in my personal opinion: how transparent are they?
The four main faces behind the creation of the Star Atlas metaverse consist of CEO Michael Wagner, CPO Danny Floyd, CTO Jacob Floyd, and CRO Pablo Quiroga. They are all public facing, which to me is immediately a first good sign, considering there are many crypto-based projects where the teams behind them are for the most part unknown.
Michael has a background in the financial industry and is a chartered financial analyst, and Danny has a background in gaming and digital media. Jacob’s background is in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, and Pablo’s background is in business development and supply chain management.
I believe the combination of their backgrounds along with their growing development team, and their recently announced partnership with Sperasoft, a leading video game development company based out of Silicon Valley, makes for an excellent group of highly qualified and talented individuals that will make this project a huge success.
At the time of writing this article (January 2022), CEO Michael Wagner has said that their current staffing levels are around 150 employees with goals of having at least 500 by the end of the year.
What is "Play to Earn" Gaming?
Unlike traditional style games where you first have to buy the game, and then potentially have to spend more money for in-game assets without ever actually truly owning them, blockchain integration changes all of that.
For the first time, by combining games with blockchain and smart contract technology known as NFT’s, players truly own all of their assets.
Everything from ships, weapons, armor, pets, land, skins, and anything else that you can think of as an “in-game” item is actually stored on the blockchain and owned by a person’s crypto wallet, which means it can be traded or sold for real world value.
In addition to being able to own all of the in-game assets, the economies of the game are also built on the blockchain using cryptocurrency. So unlike games such as World of Warcraft where you can’t actually do anything with your “Gold” outside of the game, games like Star Atlas allow you to cash in your game tokens (in this case the ATLAS token) for real world value as well.
Star Atlas has two tokens for their economy:
ATLAS, which is the transactional currency of the game, is what will be rewarded for completing missions, selling resources, or winning battles. It will also be used to do things like buy items and resources, refuel and repair ships, along with a plethora of other in-game costs and expenses.
POLIS, which is their DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) governance token, will be used for all levels of governance and voting (by staking) all the way from the top company DAO, down to the individual guild/DAC levels. It grants stakers the ability to vote on both company and in-game decisions such as regional laws and regional land tax rates, as well as earn passive yield in the form of additional POLIS or ATLAS rewards from the DAO treasury.
What is the Timeline?
There are currently two congruent timelines playing out in the development of Star Atlas.
While the full 3D immersive gameplay being built in Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) isn’t expected to be completed for 5 to 7 years, the team has said that they are not going to wait until the game is “finished” to release it. Rather, they are going to be releasing modules of gameplay in waves. At the time of writing this article, the current target to see the first module of the 3D game is expected to be released sometime during the first half of 2022.
After the release of the first module, the team is targeting to release an additional expansion module roughly every 6 months thereafter over the course of a few years, with each module expanding different gameplay mechanics.
While the 3D game is being developed, a second team is simultaneously developing and expanding the now playable browser-based mini-game, codename “SCORE,” that players can use in order to earn rewards through basic ship missions and resource mining mechanics.
The first version of this minigame, known as SCORE (Ship Commissions on Remote Expeditions) – Tier 0, was released on December 16th, 2021. SCORE Tier 0 is basic gamified ship staking, where players can stake their spaceship NFTs, “sending them on missions,” to earn rewards paid out in ATLAS, while having to maintain the ship fleet’s associated fuel, food, ammo, and health (toolkits) resources.
How to Play the SCORE Minigame
In order to stake your spaceship NFTs and start earning ATLAS rewards, the first thing you’ll need to do is go get yourself a spaceship!
Check out our full article and step-by-step instructions on How to Buy a Star Atlas Spaceship and Start Earning Rewards.
Where You Can Learn More
Star Atlas is a hugely ambitious project with a long timeline over a far horizon. So there is plenty of information we do not know yet, but will be released over time.
For now, you can start learning more about the project and it’s future first and foremost by joining the Star Atlas Discord server. There are tons of players already in there and plenty willing to help out and answer any questions!
I will post some additional links below to other useful content from both the Star Atlas team as well as other community members.
And of course, be sure to check out more of the Star Atlas Explorer website and subscribe to the Star Atlas Explorer YouTube channel.
Catch you in the Metaverse!