The ARK Community is home to an assortment of characters from across the Blockchain space. Many of them are actively involved in a number of different activities and doing their part to help expand the ecosystem with their innovative ideas and ventures. A few weeks ago Friends of Little Yus, a Blockchain game powered by ARK tech, released on Steam. I had the privilege of sitting down with emsy, one of its creators, and talking about the project as well as his history with ARK. Check it out!
The following interview was conducted remotely a few days after the launch of Friends of Little Yus . All information was supplied by emsy and is considered to be accurate at time of writing. However, be sure to follow Friends of Little Yus via their social media pages and website for all the latest updates and information.
A Chat with emsy
OK, let’s kick this off with a little bit of history. Tell me about yourself, your Delegate and how you got started on this journey…
Hi, my name is emsy and I’m a software developer from the Netherlands. My ARK journey started in 2017 when I got to know ARK during the famous crypto boom. ARK’s concept of creating standalone and interoperable bridgechains is what really got me. I wanted to learn, so I started reading and joined the awesome ARK community. After a while I felt ready to start developing tools, and thanks to the ARK Community Fund, I was able to create a tool called Arkifier . This tool e-mails you whenever your delegate loses its forging position.
Completing my first ARK project felt great, and I quickly wanted to dive deeper, so I came up with second project called ArkPromo, which is a loyalty program utilizing its own bridgechain. Yes, you guessed it, after completing this project I still felt like doing more and applied for the ARK Scooters project. This is where I met PJ and a great collaboration was born. ARK Scooters is a scooter rental application using custom transactions where customers can interact with a scooter using a mobile app. All data is stored on a bridgechain using custom transactions built with ARK GTI (Generic Transaction Interface). This project took us more than a year to develop, and once completed, we decided to start a delegate called friendsoflittleyus.
Our goal is to develop cool products using ARK tech to grow the project a whole. As of today we have completed multiple projects like an e-commerce webshop with real-time crypto payments, deployed a bridgechain for rapid prototyping called Radians and launched a game on Steam that runs on ARK tech. Developing ARK related projects is what we love and keep doing thanks to our beloved voters!
Now I’m curious—why Friends of Little Yus? What’s the story there?
Great question! That’s actually something many people probably don’t know. ARK’s currency sign (Ѧ) is actually a letter of the Cyrillic script called ‘Little Yus.’ Because of our history with ARK, we feel like friends, so we decided to go with the name ‘Friends of Little Yus.’
Could you tell me more about the mechanics of the game? I tried out the first level and it reminds me a lot of rage games like Getting Over It with Bennet Foddy —why is it so challenging?
It just puts a big smile on my face every time someone tells me that the game is hard, knowing that there’s a good chance he or she has raged playing the game… I think I might be evil, I don’t know…
In all seriousness, we designed the game to be challenging. We really want to make sure that players feel accomplished when they finally reach the flag. We have plans to add a Play-to-Earn (P2E) mechanic so players can really compete for the prizes. Practice makes perfect!
ARK tech serves as the backbone of the game. Data such as characters, names, login/logout states and scores are all stored on our bridgechain called Radians. Accounts are required in order to play, and we use Radians wallets for that. Players can easily register accounts from within the game.
You can check out the Radians explorer to view game related transactions yourself at https://explorer.radians.nl
So is this Play-to-Earn? Do players simply receive a payout when they complete a level? If so, what currency do you use?
The current playable version of the game is not Play-to-Earn. However, we are currently working on such feature at this point in time. We are slowly adding more maps to create more diversity, and once we feel like we have enough maps, we plan to add a mechanic rewarding the fastest players with ARK coins. Every week the leaderboard will reset and a random map will be selected, creating a new chance for everyone to be the fastest and win. All of this will be fully automated. We think that Play-to-Earn will keep the game very much alive and attract more players, thus creating more recognition and wider participation in the long-run.
What games inspired you to create a side-scroller? I assume you guys are fans of the format?
I’ve played a lot of side-scrollers in the past like Super Mario and MapleStory to name a few. I like pixel art and the simplicity of 2D side-scroller games. And oh, from a developer point of view, 2D games are way easier to develop than 3D games! Haha!
How about platforms? I know that the game works on PC but are there plans for console players to participate as well?
At this point in time the game works on MacOS and Windows. We currently have no plans for adding console builds as the game engine does not officially support these export platforms yet. On the other hand, we do have plans for adding support for iOS and Android devices. We believe that this will open the door for many new users and grow the project substantially as a result.
How has the community received the game so far? How has the overall feedback been?
The release of the game has turned out great! We have received a lot of positive messages and feedback. We take the community to heart and listen to their feedback very seriously. We’ve already deployed several bug fixes and changes thanks to them. All the support is really appreciated!
Now for some numbers. These are the actual stats of the game as of today (since launch):
- More than 6,000 unique Steam users have added the game to their library
- The have been over 17,000 page visits on Steam
- There are more than 600 unique characters registered on the Blockchain
- Over 3,500 game related transactions are now stored on the Blockchain
What’s the future looking like for Friends of Little Yus? Is this going to be a full-blown game? When can we expect it?
The current version of the game is a great foundation to build upon. We plan to keep on integrating features like a Play-to-Earn mechanic as well as more maps and obstacles. One of the biggest features will be adding multiplayer support, a huge undertaking to say the least. Once this feature is fully implemented, we expect the game to be complete and ready to move on from its alpha/early access stage. In the meantime, we will continuously deploy updates in order to ensure the project remains active.
Do you have anything else in the works that you care to share? Another game or project perhaps?
Much of our delegate work in the past has been creating proof of concepts to demonstrate ARK’s technology and provide examples to inspire new developers. Building on ARK’s concept of being ‘The Simplest Way to Blockchain,’ we are working on modules for a low-code prototyping platform called Node-RED that will enable someone with minimal coding experience to quickly create a simple app interacting with the ARK blockchain and other bridgechains.
We believe that by running a delegate on the APN network, it is also our job to support and promote the entire ARK Ecosystem of bridgechains. In the past we have done this by making our custom plugins and utilities function on various other bridgechains. Going forward we will continue to do this along with prototyping some interesting cross-chain applications.
Is there anything you would you like to say to the ARK Community and the cryptosphere as a whole?
For sure! I guess all I can really say is… you guys are awesome! We would like to give special thanks to our voters for supporting us since they make all our work possible. We share less than the average delegate, allowing us to spend more time working on our projects. Our goal is to grow ARK as a whole by utilizing their software because we think this is what it’s all about. Thanks again, all of this allows us to do what we love! And thanks to the ARK team for interviewing us!
I’d like to thank emsy for taking his time to talk about Friends of Little Yus and sharing his thoughts and opinions with us. I’d also like to thank PJ, emsy’s partner in Friends of Little Yus, for his contributions as well. Be sure to check out Friends of Little Yus on their website , and don’t forget to follow them on Twitter . You can also join the ARK Discord and chat to emsy and PJ directly there. Now what are you waiting for? Download Friends of Little Yus and get grinding, it’s free to play!