2132: The Machines

I’m not a fan of pay-to-win games. They’ve never felt right. A game should be about skill and collaboration, not how much you pay the company that makes it. So at it’s core, when we decided to drop NFTs leading up to the release of 2132: Uprising, our goal was to find ways that meaningfully rewarded the players who supported us early without making the NFTs from these first series a necessary purchase to be successful.

As a group of long time gamers ourselves, it wasn’t hard to come up with a whole list of things that we would want, and have wanted, in games that we’ve played. Ultimately, the discussions landed us on five core areas of focus for player benefits that wouldn’t give unfair advantages, but also make the purchase of the NFT something exciting, with long term benefits to look forward to: Status, Enhancement, Early Access, Airdrops and Story.

1. Status

It always feels good to stand out. For example, going all the way back to games like EverQuest and World of Warcraft, you always wanted the epic class weapon, or be the first one to get that new planes armour. The harder it was to get, the rarer it was, the better. The stats were great, if you were a min-maxer. But the status was better. Having people chasing your around as you ran through the market, the DM’s pouring in: “hey, where’d you get that?” was honestly a bigger reward.

And so that was the starting point of how we could reward people for joining us early in the game development journey. Give them a way to stand out. What we designed for our first drop series in The Machines was a unique Mech model with five different head styles and a set of limited edition colour schemes that could act as the de facto OG role for anyone who plays 2132: Uprising. The mech itself translates into a re-usable skin for their Mech that no one else will ever be able to get. The owner can apply the skin to any Mech that they build or acquire through game-play. That concept extends to other components in the NFT: The jetpack, hand-held weapons, and accessories. Each component trait of the NFT translates into an in-game skin that can be applied at-will to any related item of that type that the player acquires, allowing them to customize their character and sprinkle in OG flavour wherever it works best for them.

2. Enhancement

But that wasn’t quite enough for us either. It’s good to be able to put something on your character that calls out the fact that you were here since the start, but it’s better to have something happen in game-play that recognizes that fact too. So, how do you do that without making the NFTs from this series “necessary” to win? It was important to us to find an answer to that question that also matched our story. And so we started building on the idea of ‘the first heroes to take the fight back to the aliens’. Story-wise, these Mechs and their pilots were the first to survive augmentation with alien technology, the first to emerge from the hidden arctic bases that Humanities survivors had been hiding in, and the first to not only survive, but actually start winning battles against the alien invaders. They would be heroes. Legends. They would be an inspiration to everyone around them wherever they went — and doubly so on the battlefield. And so what we’ve decided to do is to represent that legendary status in the form of an “Inspiration buff” applied to their squad on any mission they are part of. We won’t get into the exact mechanics this early because so many things are still subject to tweaks and re-balancing based on testing. For now, suffice it to say that while it won’t mean any unbalanced rewards for the NFT holders, it will make the holders a desirable mission partner by giving a perk to both themselves and the squad they are playing with. We have a system of enhancement caps in the works, so it won’t be necessary to play with a holder of an NFT from The Machines to max out, but the OGs of the game will provide some passive enhancements that even at the top tiers of gameplay will still provide some flexibility to their squads.

3. Early Access

In the world of 2132: Uprising, humans hid away in small pockets of the arctics, in hidden research facilities. There were multiple scientific teams working on multiple angles of how to get alien technology to work for humans in their quest to not only survive, but take back their home.

As part of our genesis drop, we also wanted to incorporate that element of our story visually. And so, with the background images players are given a sneak peek into a few different bases and outposts that specialize in different kinds of research. As the game progresses and new enhancements are made available to players, they will come through these different factions and groups. While we couldn’t give NFT holders purely exclusive access to all new content, what we could do is make sure they got it first. New technology, skins, and items for Mechs that come available from any of these factions will be available first to players who feature a corresponding Home Base trait in their NFT from The Machines. Basically a lifetime early-access pass to all things 2132:Uprising.

And finally, NFT holders will be the first to actually play our game. From early alpha, through closed beta, through initial release, those who hold our NFTs will be the first through the door to see the world in action.

4. Airdrops

Leading up to our game release, we’ve already announced 3 NFT drops in the series that will be game asset related, and a 4th that is a graphic novel series. Another way to reward those who join us early on is to make sure that they are part of the follow up drops. Whitelisting wasn’t really enough for us either, and so we decided on a system of cumulative rewards:

Holders of 2 NFTs from The Machines will be airdropped 1 free NFT from The Pilots.

Holders of 2 NFTs from The Machines and 2 NFTs from The Pilots will be airdropped 1 free NFT from The Invaders.

Holders of any combination of 4 NFTs from previous series will receive airdrops from Phase 4 when we release our Rise of Humanity graphic novel series.

In addition to that, game assets are in-progress even now! So, we also wanted to create a system whereby future players can start now already collecting assets that can be used in the game later. In order to do that, owners of NFTs from our collections will also receive airdrops of those assets along the way. These assets won’t be unique to holders long term, but they will be freely given benefits for all of our holders.

5. Story

The final benefit that we really want to offer to our early supporters is the ability to collaborate with us on, and become part of, our story.

We’ve began that already in our first lore piece — Homecoming. Our main character is named after one of our early supporters. Going forward, we’re going to be repeating that pattern in further short stories introducing other key characters and elements of the game.

What comes next, though, is the part that we’re most excited about. As holders of at least one NFT from The Machines and one NFT from The Pilots, we’re going to be asking our community to begin submitting back stories about their pilots and machines. The best entries will become features of our Phase 4 drop in our graphic novel series, our writers will take those character packages and weave them into our story.

In addition to that, our community will get to help us decide on different story progressions and outcomes as they happen, allowing them to become an active part of the story development, and even the game development.

Many Benefits to Come

We’re just getting started. And we’re also constantly looking for more ways to reward the people who support us. We’ll follow this article with even more detail as they become available. In the meantime, feel free to leave comments with any questions you may have for our team. Or better yet, join us in Discord and let’s talk the future of NFT Gaming!





Dark Castle Labs is a small team of artists and devs producing some awesome NFT collections, games, and more!

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Long Lost Buddy: A Solana Collection

The Bottled Lightning Myth

Don’t Choose, Just Play.

Red Dead Redemption 2: Cure for sickness

Japan Picks Breath of the Wild As Best Game Of All Time

Lost Ark and the Leveling Experience

Robbery Bob (Man of Steal)

What Board Games Am I Backing?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Dark Castle Labs

Dark Castle Labs

Dark Castle Labs is a small team of artists and devs producing some awesome NFT collections, games, and more!

More from Medium

The Bright Ages: A Conversation with David M. Perry


How to use gender-neutral pronouns and neopronouns

How journalists can achieve better impact through regional collaborations