At the recent Solana Breakpoint conference that took place in Lisbon, Portugal from 4-7 November, Michael Wagner , the visionary Co-Founder of Star Atlas and CEO & Co-Founder of ATMTA, Inc. , gave a presentation on the current state of Star Atlas and where it’s headed in the future. Despite only having been around for just over two years, it seems like the pace at which Star Atlas is developing is accelerating and that a lot of progress is being made with regards to the creation of engaging experiences for end users. Let’s take a little time to summarize what Wagner presented and see exactly where Star Atlas will be in the coming months and years! Here we go!
From a Game to a Metaverse
Wagner began his presentation by highlighting two key themes that would underpin his narrative:
- That Star Atlas truly is the next generation of gaming, not only in Web3, but across the gaming industry, and
- That the concept of Star Atlas is significantly larger than “just a video game” and that they are in the process of building an entire gaming ecosystem
Wagner then went on to talk about why Solana was chosen as the basis for Star Atlas and explained that it was the only protocol capable of developing the required game logic at scale. The team behind Star Atlas has grown significantly from the original four co-founders and now consists of 233 people operating remotely from 25 different countries across the world. Wagner also pointed out the fact that ATMTA focuses on “three core verticals of business,” namely:
- Gaming Experiences
- Infrastructure and Architecture, and
- A Marketplace
After outlining some infrastructure that ATMTA is developing, such as Fuzzy Lemur, which promises to be “the most performant blockchain indexer in the industry,” and Starcomm, a middleware Web3 MMO game server that will need to handle millions (or even billions) of client connections to Star Atlas’ many environments, Wagner went on to talk about the fact that, even though ATMTA is a gaming company, their ultimate destination is the Metaverse (and yes, he does mean the free and open Metaverse).
After playing the epic cinematic trailer for Star Atlas that premiered in October 2021, Wagner went on to discuss some updates for Star Atlas’ browser-based client:
- Star Atlas: Golden Era - Star Atlas: Golden Era (or SAGE as it’s more affectionately known) is basically a Real-time strategy (RTS) game that has mostly been developed using on-chain mechanics for the game logic. The main objective in SAGE, as with many RTS games, is to take control of new areas and expand your territory. Players will begin at one of three central space stations based on the faction they choose. Players will then gather resources in order to construct star bases, level them up and defend against incoming incursions from the other two factions as well as attack and destroy the star bases of opponents. SAGE is an important step forward for Star Atlas in that it will unlock the next generation of game economics across the Star Atlas ecosystem (side note: I love RTS games, so very keen for this one!)
- The Economy - Wagner then discussed how the economy in Star Atlas is split into three sub-departments, namely the Game Economy, the Token Economy and the Metaverse Economy. According to Wagner, in many Web3 projects, too little attention is given to creating sustainable economics that can persist well into the future. As such, Star Atlas is essentially creating the blueprint for Metaverse economics and, as Wagner eloquently put it, what it means to be a citizen in one of these immersive worlds
- Unreal Engine 5 Content - The next part of Wagner’s presentation unveiled much of the work that Star Atlas’ talented artists and developers have been busy with in recent months. The video showcased various characters, animations, ship designs, in-game mechanics, environments, as well as some combat and physics. While much of the game is clearly still in its early stages, it’s impressive how much work has already been done in less than a year. The Star Atlas team has clearly put in a huge amount of time and effort to get things ready for players to enjoy, so it’s heartening to see that there is indeed a replete product being developed here
A New Roadmap
Star Atlas Pre-Season Showroom (R1 to R4) - The Star Atlas Pre-Season began on September 29th 2022 with the launch of the Star Atlas Showroom on Epic Games . While simple, it allowed players to interact with their ships and models in a beautifully-rendered 3D environment. Multiplayer instances with proximity chat, an in-showroom racecourse, and a dedicated standalone dogfighting arena where you can test your skills against AI will be coming up in the second release of the Star Atlas Pre-Season. Release 3 will expand the map and introduce mining into the equation. It’ll also see players working collaboratively to build a warp gate which will take them out of the showroom and into Star Atlas Season 0. In Release 4, which will conclude the Pre-Season, PvP, looting mechanics and missions will be added
Season 0 - Once the Pre-Season concludes at some point in 2023, Season 0 will begin and see the introduction of a complete gameplay loop in the form of combat racing. Dubbed Star Atlas: Alive, Season 0 will allow players to enjoy some “sweaty and twitchy” gameplay that is economically-driven, fun and competitive Season 1 - This season will introduce ship mining and allow players to begin their careers as space miners. It will also see the creation and introduction of the ONI central station Season 2 - This introduces big game hunting, meaning players will be able to enjoy some FPS action as they begin their careers as hunters and take on some of the biggest and baddest critters in the universe Season 3 - Here players will be able to become bounty hunters and claim rewards for capturing or taking out their targets. This season will also bring the USTUR central station into existence Season 4 - Players will be able to become smugglers or even work in freight. Season 4 also introduces player space stations into the mix Season 5 - This season brings in mining outposts and the ability for players to become manufacturers. The MUD central station will also be introduced Season 6 - Exploration and transportation is the name of the game here. Players will be able to control fleets and command crews as they explore the far reaches of space. Homeworld planets will also be introduced in this season Season 7 - Players can work in repair and salvage if they so desire, and during this season, all ships should be ready for flight Season 8 - New careers will be available here including rescue, refueling and even becoming a politician. At this point, Star Atlas will be “fully decentralized,” and this will officially mark the realization of Star Atlas v1.0
Star Atlas CORE
Star Atlas CORE is an 18 chapter graphic novel that will be released on a monthly basis. It follows protagonist Gyun and his crew of explorers as they embark on a journey across the stars some 120 years before the current era of Star Atlas. Star Atlas CORE is free to read and is available across all major E-Reader platforms including Amazon, Google, Apple, Barnes & Noble and the Star Atlas Marketplace . However, collectors may choose to purchase CORE as a series of commemorative NFTs over the next 18 months at a price of $20 for each issue.
Star Atlas has also partnered with Magic Eden . As such, editions released on Magic Eden and the Star Atlas Marketplace each have their own unique covers for collectors to enjoy. Purchasing an NFT also grants collectors access to content that is not available within the free-to-read version. Moreover, if you collect each edition of CORE, you’re entitled to redeem it for a physical hardcover version of the entire illustrated story! Now that really is awesome!
Big Things Are Coming!
It’s clear that there’s been a lot of progress with Star Atlas, and I for one am very excited for everything they have in store. The realization of a complete metaverse with a robust economy will take years, but since the team behind Star Atlas will be releasing additions to the project in stages, I think it’s safe to say that everyone will have more and more awesome content and activities to enjoy as time goes by. Whatever the case, I wish Star Atlas and their community all the best for the future! Right now, it’s looking really bright!
So what do you think of what Star Atlas has accomplished so far? And will they really define how the Metaverse will operate? Let us know your thoughts!