Blockchain game development tutorial

GameFi (called play-to-earn games) has become a trend since the blockchain gained popularity. The players can make money through blockchain games by trading assets such as in-game NFTs and coins.

Some popular blockchain games such as The Sandbox, Axie Infinity, Decentraland, etc., are big names successfully attracting players to their platforms.  

With the expansion in blockchain gaming, many game developers plan to launch their games on the blockchain and make profits. 

But what makes everyone prefer blockchain platforms over traditional platforms? Let’s understand in detail.

Also, throughout the blog, you will learn how to create a blockchain game using Visual Studio Code by coding step by step. But first, let us understand some important things about blockchain games. 

The in-game assets NFT sales reached $2 billion in 2021

A detailed introduction to blockchain games

Here, you will understand blockchain games, their business model, and their benefits to letting you know why building a blockchain game can be your best decision. 

What are blockchain game

But how do the players interact with blockchain games to earn rewards? Understand the business of blockchain games to know how blockchain games offer rewards to the players. 

blockchain game business model

Instead of making traditional play-to-earn games, many game owners prefer building their games on the blockchain because of the following benefits:

Advantages of implementing blockchain game

How to get started with blockchain game development?

Before moving into detail for getting a tutorial about building your blockchain game, it will be better for you to go through the following parts to avoid any doubt during the tutorial. 

1. Know why to choose blockchain development?

Many blockchain games are popular nowadays because of the many benefits of implementing blockchain technology.

Blockchain is irreversible and restricts data modification once stored on its ledger, ensuring no one can hack or steal items from the games, such as characters, costumes, etc.

Protecting the games from theft helps them avoid any revenue loss that can happen whenever someone hacks the game to access paid assets without making any purchase.

Also, blockchain improves purchasing experience in games by allowing both games and players to transfer assets and funds quickly and safely with the help of NFTs and tokens. 

2. Select the right game development engine

You can do deep research on all these game engines to pick the best one for your project, or even better, you can contact blockchain game developers that can help you to select the suitable game engine for your project

blockchain game development engine

However, just building and publishing your blockchain game is not enough for making sure you will make great profits from your audience. 

To keep yourself on the winning side, you can follow some good game development practices, such as:

blockchain game making tips

Now, let’s move on to the tutorial to understand how to create a blockchain game from scratch. First, we will create a development environment for building your blockchain game. 

Setting up an environment to create a blockchain game

We’ll use Near blockchain to develop your sample game project. You’ll learn how to build a sample project on the blockchain.

Now let’s explore how to set up the codebase structure for a programming language we would use to write smart contracts for your game.

For setting up a game development environment, we will clone a starter kit codebase for accessing multiple features that can help in creating our blockchain game. 

Let’s execute the starter kit codebase with the following command:

git clone https://github.com/IkehAkinyemi/lottery-smart-contract.git

After executing the above command, you can change the directory to the lottery-smart-contract folder.

We’ll use Visual Studio Code for this tutorial. Now, open the Visual Studio Code and execute the code. command from the terminal within the folder directory.  

Build blockchain game on visual studio code

The script folder above the screenshot contains the shell source file to compile and deploy the smart contract to the blockchain. 

At the same time, the src contains the lottery folder. A folder in which we’ll write the necessary codes for our smart contracts.

However, the remaining files in Visual Studio Code are configuration files that the Assembly script requires to understand some types defined on the NEAR blockchain.

The near-sdk-as library is a collection of packages used to develop a NEAR smart contract in Assembly Script. 

Now, after setting up the development environment. Let’s move on to a tutorial for building your lottery game on the NEAR blockchain.

Building your lottery game on a NEAR blockchain

To understand how to create a blockchain game in detail, you will go through the required steps to create your lottery game using AssemblyScript on a NEAR blockchain. But why NEAR blockchain?

The following benefits of NEAR make us choose this blockchain for your game development: 

  • High developer engagement 
  • Fast network speed (100k transactions per second)
  • Offers high scalability
  • Inter-exchange ability with other blockchain networks

Now, back to the tutorial. 

First, install near-sdk-as library and necessary dependencies by running a yarn install or npm install command.

Next, create an assembly folder inside which you have to develop index.ts and model.ts files.

Let’s understand both these files:

ComponentsDescription
model.ts fileThe file will contain different object types
index.ts fileWe’ll access all the object types of our code in this file

Here’s the code structure of the model.ts file:

Blockchain game development tutorial

Now, let’s analyze the above code!

First, we define the Lottery type. This type represents the code structure of our blockchain game, whereas the luckyNum variable is an unassigned integer.

Here is the use of other variables:

ComponentsDescription
randGenUsed to initialize the RNG object
randGen.nextIt will generate a random number using seed values 

To create a set range of integers, we’ll define a function interface (that’s our next step). 

1. Defining function interface

Here, we’ll define the play feature of our game. 

The code within the interface will generate random numbers within a set range of integers. 

Blockchain game development tutorial

Check the working of the following function and integer:

ComponentsDescription
playA function for generating random numbers using the RNG object and returns bool value (i.e., true or false)
pickedNumAn integer whose values will be compared against this.luckyNum to determine the value of bool. 

Now, we’ll define the reset function, which helps us to reset this.luckyNum variable for allowing the generation of a new random number. 

Now, look at the detailed code structure of the reset function. 

Blockchain game development tutorial

In the above code, the assert function will compare the new number against the current value of this.luckyNum (after comparison, there will be two outcomes):  

I. When both the numbers don’t match:

The function will prepare itself to execute the previous code again and show the message: “Return this function to generate a new random luckyNum.”

II. When both the numbers match:

The rest of the code will continue to execute, and we’ll assign the variable this.luckyNum to the newly created number, randNum.  

Now, moving to the next part. 

2. Defining the Player object

Use the following code to create your player object. 

Blockchain game development tutorial

Let’s decode the code again!

We’ll update the model.ts file with the above code. At the same time, the Player object type will contain two interfaces, i.e this.id and this.guesses

Here’s a detailed description of the following components:

ComponentsDescription
this.idAn AccountID type variable
this.guessesArray of the boolean value
PersistentVectorAn array data type data structure
ContextWe will use a Context as an object to get the smart contract’s current caller through the Context.sender function
this.id We’ll assign the current caller to this variable after getting it from Context
this.guessesIt is a variable that we will use in the initialization of the PersistentVector object & then we’ll assign it to this.guesses variable
pushpush is a function interface that we’ll use to append a new boolean value, i.e. isRight into this.guesses variable.

When defining the core functions in the next section, we’ll introduce the other types and variables with the following code structure.

Blockchain game development tutorial

3. Defining a core game function

In the assembly folder, define the index.ts file, where we’ll explain the core function of our lottery game. 

Inside the index.ts file, define pickANum function as given below:

Blockchain game development tutorial

The function will verify whether the players have deposited 0.5 Near tokens to allow them to play our lottery game. Once confirmed, the player can invoke the call to play a game on a smart contract. 

After finishing the game, we’ll update the player’s profile in the data structure. 

Next, the game will decide the winner whenever the players’ number is equal to the luckyNum, and will pay them using the following code structure:

Blockchain game development tutorial

The above function will transfer the transaction to the winners. 

Let’s understand the following code in detail. 

ComponentsDescription
ContractPromiseBatchWe will use this object to set up a transaction address that we will pass as an argument to the create method 
transferIt is a function we will use for making a transaction of tokens worth the value passed within the WinningPrize variable
function_callWe have to use this function to schedule a function call after transferring the token successfully 
on_payout_completeIt is a function we will call after successful token transactions

Now, we will generate the binary format .wasm file to build our lottery game & then use the near dev-deploy command to deploy smart contracts. 

4. Building & deploying smart contracts 

Use asb command to build the smart contract:

yarn asb

For the –verbose & –logo command, the yarn asb is an alias command defined in the package.json file located in the root directory.

We can run the below command to deploy smart contracts after successfully generating a build folder containing the lottery.wasm file inside the build/release folder.

near dev-deploy./build/release/lottery.wasm

Once deployed successfully, the smart contract will provide us with a contact name or ID that we can access through the shell file. 

Have a look:

Blockchain game development tutorial

The game is ready. Testing is still required to validate game functions properly.

5. Testing our blockchain game

We will test this game to ensure that our lottery game is fully functional. You can find the test file within the /src/lottery/__test__ folder.

Now, run the test file with the following command for execution:

Blockchain game development tutorial

The tutorial part is over. If you want to build your blockchain game as a hobby, that’s great. However, blockchain games offer an excellent opportunity for monetization and making millions. 

Also, you can check this guide to build your crypto game successfully. 

Now, Let’s check why you should invest in blockchain games. 

Why invest in blockchain games?

The estimated market size is enough to understand why it is a good time to invest in blockchain for future returns.  

Gaming industry market size

Also, the trend for crypto and NFTs have been running so far, realizing everyone that a blockchain will lead the online world. 

Many businesses already use blockchain-based technologies such as decentralized computing power, cloud storage, crypto wallets, etc. 

Also, talking about the gaming industry, Square Enix recently announced that their company would soon be going to become a part of the blockchain. 

The company will become a blockchain member by becoming one of the 21 ‘node validators’ of Oasys blockchain. Moreover, many big gaming companies are also planning to enter the blockchain market.

Need more guidance on building your blockchain game?

Throughout the blog, you have learned how to create your game on the blockchain. Also, publishing your game, especially on a blockchain, can be your best decision as it has ultimate future potential. 

However, building and publishing your blockchain game needs additional steps that you must know. 

The great step you can take is to contact the developers of Idea Usher to know the overall process of how to create a blockchain game and make money from it. 

The team will guide you through blockchain game development to its publishing stage, ensuring you will get everything you need to launch your game successfully on your preferred blockchain network.   

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FAQ

1. How can blockchain be used in gaming?

Blockchain offers its technologies such as NFTs, tokens, and coins to the games. Moreover, the games can use blockchain technology to host online through decentralized clouds and computing resources.  

The players can earn rewards as NFTs or cryptocurrencies from the game. 

2. How do you monetize a blockchain game?

You can monetize your blockchain games in the following ways:

  • In-game assets(NFTs & coins )
  • Transaction fees

3. Which are the most profitable NFT games?

These are the most profitable NFT games right now

  • Axie Infinity
  • Decentraland
  • The Sandbox
  • Star Atlas
  • Zed Run
  • Gods Unchained

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