The purpose of this gameplay guide is to offer more details on the ICP Squad NFT game. For more general information regarding this game, see our announcement post.
These are a few key concepts that’ll be useful to review as we dive in.
Instead of rewarding activity on a specific play-to-earn game, engage-to-earn is a game model where anyone who owns an ICP Squad character can win rewards by engaging in the Internet Computer ecosystem. All kinds of wallet and dapp activity increase the player's chance of getting a valuable NFT airdropped to their wallet.
Dual NFT system
Speculation and valuable prizes are fun, but it’s not fair or fun when games are too expensive for new players to join in. To get the best of both worlds, we’ve designed a dual NFT system.
Character NFTs give the wallet holder the ability to win rewards. Personalized characters can be minted on demand for flat rates, which keeps the floor price low for all new players so that the NFT game stays inclusive.
Accessory NFTs are both the rewards won by characters and the best way to customize a character to improve its odds of winning rewards. There are inflationary and deflationary mechanics to make sure accessories stay rare and valuable.
After all, what’s an NFT game without a bit of speculation and collection fun?
Of course, characters are composable NFTs, meaning when they put accessories on and off, it changes their visual appearance aside from just boosting specific character properties.
Key Gameplay Goals
ICP Squad is a community project, so we collect feedback from the community, turn that feedback into proposals, and then allow changes per community vote on those proposals. These are some of the goals we’ve set for this project.
Fair Rewards Favoring Strategic Players
Earlier adopters and contributors, heavy Internet computer users, and heavily invested users deserve some advantage in our game. However, insiders, bots, and whales should never be able to hog rewards and ruin the fun for everyone else.
Low Barrier To Entry
This project aims to promote engagement on the Internet Computer, so it needs to be accessible to anyone who wants to support the Internet Computer ecosystem. While speculation is a part of crypto and NFTs, by keeping the floor price of characters low, we’re giving everyone the ability to get a unique Avatar on the Internet Computer that they’ll want to use.
Long Term Market Stability
Most NFT projects are near-term pump and dump schemes with extremely volatile price swings. Our goal is to create a game with long-term market stability that’ll grow to interact with as many Internet Computer apps as possible and act as a focal point for bringing the community together to support the entire ecosystem.
Characters will be Avatars you’ll want to use on your social media accounts. Anyone will be able to mint characters at any time for a flat rate (with a floor of 1 ICP) and pick from a preselected assortment of the colors, hairstyles, facial features, and other elements to make a character that fits their style. Our initial “Season 0” artwork collection features human characters, but future artwork seasons may introduce aliens, animals, or other creative options. Holding a character in an active wallet (without it being listed on the market) gives the player a probability of earning rewards.
Character properties are separate from their visual traits, and they determine the amount, quality, and frequency of which players can earn rewards.
This property determines the probability that Internet Computer actions will win a new accessory NFT for the character’s owner. If the game were a daily raffle, this property would determine how many raffle tickets a player gets each time they take action on the internet computer.
This property determines the boost the character gives the owner for winning rarer accessories. A low value means the player would most likely only win more common accessories, while a high value would make it more likely that they could snag a super rare accessory.
This property determines how quickly the character wears out accessories. Since accessories are precious, it’ll be ideal to pair them with characters that’ll preserve them for as long as possible.
A cooldown time is triggered whenever a player wins a reward, and the player can’t earn rewards during this cooldown period. The length of the cooldown time is affected by both the rarity/value of the accessory and this character property. A low value here means that, in general, a more extended amount of time would pass between earning rewards.
These are tags that would determine the effects of different types of accessories. For example: Friendly, Artistic, Nerdy, Entrepreneurial, etc.
Character properties come tightly balanced between four different quality levels.
Level 1 (minted for 1 ICP)
Productivity, Skill, Efficiency, and Stamina are randomized between values of 10-30, with a total sum of exactly 80. This means a particular value may be as low as 10 or as high as 30, but across all attributes, the average will always be 20.
Level 2 (minted for 3 ICP)
Productivity, Skill, Efficiency, and Stamina are randomized between values of 30-50, with a total sum of precisely 160. This means a particular value may be as low as 30 or as high as 50, but across all attributes, the average will always be 40.
Level 3 (minted for 5 ICP)
Productivity, Skill, Efficiency, and Stamina are randomized between values of 50-70, with a total sum of exactly 240. This means a particular value may be as low as 50 or as high as 70, but across all attributes, the average will always be 60.
Legendary (not mintable)
Productivity, Skill, Efficiency, and Stamina are randomized between values of 70-100, with a total sum of exactly 320. This means a particular value may be as low as 70 or as high as 100, but across all attributes, the average will always be 80.
Each character can wear up to (4) accessories in one of (4) different types of accessory slots.
These are just different types of glasses.
Hats, helmets, headphones, crowns, and that type of thing. Some accessories which fill this slot will temporarily replace the character's default hairstyle when worn.
Shirts, jackets, necklaces, ties, and that type of thing. Some accessories which fill this slot will temporarily replace the character's default clothes when worn.
This could be a little hand in the bottom left or right corner holding a small item, a small thought bubble that says “$#*!”, some object in the background behind the character, or any other unique oddball thing our creativity might want to include which otherwise wouldn’t have a designated place to go.
These valuable assets are both the rewards sent to winning characters and the best way to boost a character’s chance of winning rewards. In addition, they give owners the ability to customize the appearance of their Avatar!
This is a value from 1-100 that determines how long an accessory can be worn before it’s burned. The value drops as a character wears it, and it’ll drop faster when worn with a character with a low-Efficiency value. The value does not drop when accessories are held in a wallet and not applied to a character. Accessories will generally last for months, but some may only last for a few weeks.
The exception to perishability is Legendary Accessories, which never wear out and do not get burned. Legendary Accessories do not get airdropped as rewards; they can only be purchased from auctions on the marketplace or gained as prizes at special events (like hackathons or giveaways).
Laboratory Goggles [Eyewear Slot] - Starting Perishability: 100.
- Increases Productivity by 200% for all characters.
- This only applies to all non-social media-related actions since it’s just weird to wear laboratory goggles in public.
- Increases Skill by 400% for characters with the “Nerdy” personality trait.
- Increases Efficiency by 500% for all characters.
Nifty Headphones [Headwear Slot] - Starting Perishability: 100.
- Increases Productivity by 100%.
- This boost is increased to 300% for characters with the “Artistic” personality trait.
- Increases Stamina by 700%.
Lucky T-Shirt [Clothing Slot] - Starting Perishability: 80.
- Increases Skill by 800%.
- This boost is decreased to 400% for characters with the “Entrepreneurial” personality trait since they make their luck.
Obnoxious Cigar [Misc Slot] - Starting Perishability: 10.
- Increases Productivity 5,000%
- This only applies to non-social media-related actions since no one wants to be around you when you're smoking an obnoxious cigar.
- Increases Skill 2,000%
- Sets your Stamina value to 10.
- Sets your Efficiency value to 10.
We’ll be launching new seasons with character and accessory artwork created by multiple artists, highlighting the creative talent across the Internet Computer community!
Seasons also add an element of a visual rarity since all-new characters and accessories minted will only be for the artwork of the current season. Once a season is over, there will never be characters or accessories with that artwork generated again.
In addition to the visual changes, seasons will allow us to add new features and tweak aspects of the gameplay to ensure fairness and add engaging new elements.
Rewards will be airdropped daily based on player activity during the previous 24 hours.
An easy way to think of this game is that it’s basically like a massive ongoing daily raffle ticket prize pool between everyone who uses the IC and owns a character. They passively get tickets as they go about their everyday business performing various actions across different apps and wallets.
To properly track activity across Internet Computer apps, we’ll create a game dashboard where the player will connect their accounts to the wallets they use and the characters they own. Players won’t be able to claim app accounts/wallets they don’t have access to control, and no app account/wallet can be associated with more than one player. All data is collected agnostically to protect privacy.
The game needs to incentivize engagement and investment to make things worthwhile without giving bad actors the ability to ruin the fun by hogging rewards for themselves. To pull this off, we’ll be using a bunch of fancy math based on robust statistics, but in this guide, we’ll aim to explain the basic approach in simple terms.
In a nutshell, trying to cheat at this game would be like buying raffle tickets repeatedly.
Still, each ticket gives you less chance of winning until your odds of winning eventually stop improving, no matter how many more tickets you buy. This puts a cap on how much of an advantage the top player can have over the bottom player when it comes to winning a prize. In other words, players will improve their odds a lot, but never enough to guarantee a win.
Lowest Ranked Player
To be eligible to win an accessory in a daily drawing, players will need to own at least (1) Level 1 character and perform at least one action during the previous 24 hours. The “Lowest Ranked Player” would be the player that meets the bare minimum standard. They own a Level 1 Character with no accessories and perform only one action, so they are essentially given the worst odds of winning that day.
We are going to cap activity and boost advantages against this hypothetical “Lowest Ranked Player.”
Without having a higher-level character or accessories, the maximum advantage another player can gain over the “Lowest Ranked Player” is 20x. That means, if you also have a Level 1 character with no accessories, by having an above-average amount of activity on the Internet Computer, you can give yourself an up to 20x higher chance of winning a reward vs. the Lowest Ranked Player.
We will have defenses against bots that do repetitive or inhuman amounts of actions, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to max out this advantage with only one type of action. It’ll take a human-doable amount of above-average activity across different kinds of actions on other wallets and apps to fully max out this advantage.
By “boosts,” we mean purchasable gameplay elements like buying higher-level characters or using accessories. Basically, it represents how much you can improve your odds of winning by investing in the game.
Without doing more than one action, the maximum advantage another player can gain over the “Lowest Ranked Player” is 10x. That means, if you also only did one action, by owning a Legendary Character fully loaded with accessories, you can give yourself an up to 10x higher chance of winning a reward vs. the Lowest Ranked Player. This also means a Level 1 character who maxes out the Action Cap could still have a 2x advantage over you.
Max Advantage Cap
The top player can have up to a 200x chance of winning a reward over the lowest-ranked player by maxing out both the Action Cap and Boost Cap. While this may seem like a lot, it just means that no one can give themselves a higher chance of winning than the bottom 200 players on any given day.
Activity will naturally vary a lot day-to-day among different players, and there will also be a lot of players with no activity during some 24hr periods.
We’ll also be tweaking these thresholds over time with community feedback to find and maintain a balance that ensures fair yet engaging gameplay. Hopefully, these caps will mean that buying advantage is worth it but not enough to make things drastically unfair. Doing lots of activity is also worth it but not a guaranteed way to hog everything for yourself. We want a game full of surprises where anything can happen. Everyone is essentially playing the odds in a low-key environment with various amounts of speculation and risk that match their preference.
Multiple Characters & Accessories
In the early stages of thinking through the game, we thought about limiting characters, such as only allowing one per wallet. Each time we ran into technical and gameplay roadblocks, we decided to maintain the standard aspects of NFT ownership and handle this differently.
Each wallet and app account owner is one player in the game, even though they might have multiple characters in their wallet. With this in mind, owning multiple characters will affect the player in the following way:
Multiple Characters within the same Season
Suppose you own multiple characters within the same season. In that case, their properties are averaged together, so it’s as if you were playing with one character that has the average properties across all the other characters in your wallet. This averaging also includes properties boosted by accessories.
- If you had (2) level 3 characters from the same season in your wallet, this means you essentially gain no advantage, except maybe that you could end up with slightly more balanced properties (closer to the average value of 60).
- If you had a level 1 character and level 3 character from the same season in your wallet, then you’d effectively be playing as if you owned a level 2 character, so that would be a waste of money.
- If you had a level 3 character with an accessory and a second level 3 character with no accessory, then the boosted properties would be averaged with the unboosted properties, essentially cutting the boost by ½.
- If you had (2) level 3 characters with accessories, all the boosted properties would be averaged, so you’d essentially just be wearing out twice the amount of accessories for no reason.
Hoarding multiple characters from the same season is therefore generally discouraged and won’t improve your odds of winning rewards.
Multiple Characters across different Seasons
We do want to reward veteran players who play the game and collect a character from each season. We also don’t want to penalize players if they're going to own artwork from a new season but don’t want to get rid of their previous character. In light of that, there will be a slight advantage given to players who collect a player during each season.
When merging properties between characters of different seasons, the highest value for each property (including accessory boosted properties) are applied, plus an additional bonus:
- 2 different seasons = 5% boost
- 3 different seasons = 10% boost
- 4 different seasons = 15% boost
- 5 different seasons = 20% boost
- 6 different seasons = 25% boost
- 7 different seasons = 30% boost
- 8 different seasons = 35% boost
- 9 different seasons = 40% boost
- 10+ different seasons = 45% boost
- If you have a level 3 character with a Productivity of 60 from Season 0 and a level 1 character from Season 1 with a Productivity of 10, your effective productivity is 60 x 5%, which is 63.
- Suppose you had a level 3 character with a Productivity of 58 from Season 0 and a level 2 character with an accessory that doubled the character’s productivity from 30 to 60. In that case, your effective productivity is 60 x 5%, which is 63. However, if your level 3 character wears that same accessory, your effective productivity would be 122.
- If you have two level 3 characters from different seasons with all their accessory slots filled, only the most boosted properties between each character would be used. This would mean ½ of your accessory boosts would be wasted, and you’d be wearing out more accessories than necessary for no reason.
Keeping accessories equipped to the highest level character will generally be the best way to utilize them.
The rate that accessories will be given out by reward will be determined by the inflation mechanism built into the game.
If the number of players remains constant and an average of 100 accessories are being “worn out” by the burning mechanism each day, the reward rate will be 100 new accessories per day. This amount will increase if the average number of players increases and likewise decrease if the average number of players decreases.
This’ll ensure that accessories will generally remain limited to specific proportions of player population to maintain balance against the demand.
This is an exciting time for ICP Squad and those Engaging to Earn in this project. We aim for this to be an inclusive experience and those who are actively engaged in the community and who promote it tirelessly will be rewarded.
If you are interested in contributing to this project, please let us know by filling out this form.
Stay tuned because we will be announcing all the details about our first AMA via our Discord community and the pre-order/whitelist process.
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