Firstly, I want to thank our team of core contributors for an amazing twelve months. It’s been a tough operating environment, in a nascent space where volatility can lead to people getting frustrated and saying nasty things — but we’ve kept building and shipping and right now, BattleFly finds itself in the strongest position we’ve ever been in. For all the hype, froth and charts that swirl around in crypto, the BattleFly team are a bunch of good humans who’ve come together to try and make something people love. There is a lot to be proud of with this team.
We are also grateful for our community — together we have built something that is almost always fun, and much of the toxicity that plagues other parts of crypto is absent in our Discord. Keep your ideas and feedback coming.
BattleFly: Battlegrounds has been in Early Access for about six months. In that time, we have had almost eight million battles in the Hyperdome, and over 40,000 Modpacks have been opened by our players already. These are promising signs, but the gold in Early Access is the data that helps us improve the game in both the short and long term. We’ve also kept shipping features — lootbox rewards, new mods, referral incentives, upgrades to the battle visuals and countless fixes, tweaks and enhancements to our core game engine and match-making. Quests, achievements and player notifications will be released in the coming weeks.
At the same time, $gFLY lockers continue to receive an APR as high as 100% from our successful harvester strategy, and now receive RNG emissions from helping power the millions of battles that take place every month. An upgraded dashboard that better highlights the rewards paid to $gFLY stakers will be released in the coming weeks. The DAO treasury is in a strong position, with runway well into 2026 at our current burn rate, and the team is motivated to get as far ahead as we can while the broader market sleeps on the potential of web3 gaming.
Last month, most of the BattleFly core contributor team travelled to the US to attend NFT.NYC and participate in a four day planning workshop. After 12+ months building through challenging market conditions, it was incredible gathering as humans IRL to reflect on what we’ve built, and what comes next.
As an outcome of the workshop, we identified ten key areas we want to work on in the coming months. Note that “business as usual” updates, such as ongoing enhancements to leaderboards, the release of the next Mod expansion pack and launch of Season 2 are already in the works.
Important note: the following items are intended for discussion by the DAO, and do not represent an approved roadmap.
1. Best in class onboarding
Buying an NFT from a third-party marketplace and staking it on-chain to test out a new game disincentivizes exploration and discovery. On top of that, BattleFly is a challenging game where other players are actively trying to take you down — as such new players need a gentler entry into the game.
The BattleFly Flight Pass will enable players to enter the game without needing to buy a BattleFly NFT. In return for one simple payment ($USDC, ETH or Magic initially, and then fiat on-ramps in the future), players will receive a soul-bound BattleFly automatically staked and ready to play, some battle credits, nectar and mod packs to help them get started.
The Flight Pass will enable us to extend the game into mobile App Stores in the future, as it will abstract the crypto elements out of the onboarding process.
It is important to note that the players will not be able to trade or transfer their soul-bound NFTs, nor will these NFTs be able to participate in future breeding programs.
2. Distribution is vital
The last six months has demonstrated some of the challenges of marketing games in web3. The audience base is small and highly fragmented. Growing the market is not simply a problem of funding either; a $6.5m Superbowl ad not only failed to attract a significant new audience of active gamers, the number of NFT sales actually dropped to a two year low in the following month.
Some projects are launching their own chains, building hype and anticipation around the promise of dedicated “walled gardens” with complete control over the game and economic loops.
We have considered all of this, and want to do it differently. We want to be Coke™.
Coke™ is far from the most artisan drink in the world, but it’s the most available, with more than 1.9b Coke™ products sold across 200 countries every single day. We want to pursue the same approach, by partnering with NFT projects and eco-systems across web3, giving their communities complementary Flight Passes, and aggregating users into what we’re calling our “virtual layer zero”. Getting into BattleFly will be easy, because it will be everywhere our potential players are.
This same approach saw us have a highly successful launch, and we have been approached by a number of projects that want to partner with us in this next phase.
We should note: Treasure and Arbitrum will of course remain our home, powering the economic layer of our game through $Magic, remaining our focus for bringing interoperability between games to life, and the chain where all rewards are accrued to $gFLY.
3. A new game mode
A massive push on cross-chain distribution will help us achieve the aggregated player density we need to bring fair-start tournaments to life. This is one of the most frequently requested items in our Discord.
Tournament mode will enable players to participate in instant draft-style contests, where players choose from a selection of mods for standalone tournaments. We propose to start with 1v1 duel modes, and expand to 8 player bracket tournaments as quickly as quickly as player density enables.
Battlegrounds will continue to evolve as a strategic resource management autobattler, while Tournaments will provide the instant gratification of real-time tournaments. Players will be able to participate in both modes simultaneously should they choose to.
4. Opening up our APIs to enable approved third parties to create permissionless experiences
We have already seen a community member create Flydex, a powerful data visualization tool for BattleFly players. There is clearly value to both the project and players in uplifting our game APIs to enable other builders to enrich the BattleFly ecosystem.
For example; with the release of the new tournament mode, we will be able to enable legitimate projects in the risk-to-earn space to build spectator gaming experiences around fair-start BattleFly tournaments. A portion of these new spectator economic loops built around the BattleFly game will flow to active players, incentivizing them to participate, and potentially increase the rewards distributed to $gFLY lockers.
Importantly, this work will enable us to reach larger, pre-existing audiences that are hungry for new content, and deliver new revenues to the DAO.
5. Upgrading the aesthetic of our game pieces (NFTS)
In more than 50 VC meetings last year, one of the most consistent pieces of negative feedback we received was about our choice to pioneer the “insect aesthetic” in web3. While the story we were creating around BattleFly resonated, prospective investors didn’t connect with our zoomorphic creative approach. Two seasoned content creators for streaming platforms advised us that insect IP wasn’t in high demand, and likely wouldn’t ever be.
Inventing an IP category is hard, especially in a new space like web3 gaming.
With that in mind, we propose to level up the BattleFly creative IP to more broadly align with both player and market expectations. While we are still in the early stages of exploring this, it is likely we will lean more heavily into anthropomorphic assets that enable each BattleFly to be a stronger, more collectable personality in the game.
More to come on this.
6. Leveraging AI to achieve high velocity content
Web3 gaming will be successful because it will be the first entertainment medium to deliver interactive content at the speed of modern attention spans. Tokenization, financialization and interoperability will simply be features that enable the fast paced delivery of stories into a vibrant and insatiable attention economy. BattleFly has been building the systems over the past year that support this — game balancing and mod creation is all done in Notion for example.
In the BattleFly world, “content” are the mods and quests that give our game dynamism, and a reason for players to come back every day. Ideally, these elements should progress the story without excluding new players. We have tested this rigorously over the past few months — the #1 driver of engagement in players is new content — and now, we want to speed up using Generative AI.
BattleFly has pioneered the (close to) real-time rendering of dynamic 3D NFTs in playable games, both with Racer and our battle visualizations. However the production pipelines taking new mods, creating them in 3D adds considerable overhead that is barely visible on-screen.
After the release of our first expansion pack, future mods will no longer be created as 3D assets — at least for now. As part of the aesthetic upgrade, the appearance of weapon systems will evolve to receive mods as internal hardware upgrades, rather than attachments. This will enable us to work with distribution partners to create mods that are exclusively available their communities, and release this content at high velocity.
In summary — BattleFly will feel more dynamic, and give users a reason to check-in every day.
7. Re-thinking BattleFly traits
BattleFly traits have become a problem for ensuring provably fair outcomes, because they give specific combatants an edge that is impossible for other players to overcome. In a PVP game where every percent matters, such as advantage is unsustainable.
We want to re-imagine traits to be performance boosts that are earned over the course of a seasons, adding dynamism to builds and some increased unpredictability to gameplay. BattleFlys will be able to accrue up to ten traits over the course of a season. Because they are earned, rather than purchased (like mods), traits will reset at the start of each season.
BattleFly NFTs with existing traits will receive an advantage at the start of each season, as they will have obtained 1–2 traits ahead of other players. However, if those NFTs aren’t actively played, they will fall behind other players.
8. Enhancing our internal marketing capabilities
BattleFly lacks visibility outside of one corner of the web3 ecosystem. Our team has shipped one of the few playable games in web3 and not enough people have heard about it. The market cap of our governance token is less than the value of stablecoins and $ARB in our Treasury. So this is an area we think we can improve in, and quickly.
In the coming weeks, we propose to onboard two additional members into the team — a full-time community lead (responsible for player onboarding and engagement), and a growth lead, who will focus on player acquisition. Our existing part-time marketer will focus on PR, social media and production.
Additionally, we will be more active at identifying web3 and gaming events where members of the team can participate and speak, to ensure that the profile of BattleFly increases.
We will not be buying Superbowl ads.
Building a BattleFly is fun, and with the uplift to the aesthetics we think there is a lot more room to make this one of the most engaging parts of the game.
We propose to build a “workshop” that enables players to view their BattleFly mecha in 3D, manage their loadouts and purchase cosmetics. From this view, players will be able to enter a simulator environment to test how their loadout performs against drone opponents.
We want to make this element “native app ready”, so that we can make it the cornerstone of our planned mobile experience.
10. Re-engaging with VCs
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be looking to re-engage with VCs to gauge interest in additional funding that will enable us to expand the BattleFly ecosystem faster than our current team profile permits.
With a proven team, a track record of innovating in the space and a working product with solid unit economics, we think its worth testing the market to see if there is renewed interest.
More to come on this.
We have a lot planned. GameFi finds itself becalmed for the time being, and we know this presents an opportunity to get even further ahead. In around these key features outlined above, there are a steady stream of enhancements that will continue to be released weekly.
We are grateful for our community and look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.
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