What's (arguably) better than collecting and breeding cute digital animals? Battling with them! Franchises like Pokémon and Digimon are popular for a reason.
Of course, duking it out with adorably animated animals is not new to the blockchain space. Ethereum-based games such as Etheremon and HyperDragons already exist (and based on traffic data from DappRadar, these two titles are killing it).
That said, CryptoKitties has found a place in the hearts of many blockchain enthusiasts – fans have even gotten tattoos to demonstrate their love for the game. It comes as no surprise, then, that there is an Ethereum game in the works that showcases a bit of Kitty Kombat.
One, Two, Three … Fight!
Called kittieFIGHT, the Dapp features crowd-driven cat battles in real time. The setup is much like a boxing match, with supporters placing "bets" on the cats in Ether or kittieFIGHT tokens. At the end of a match, the player whose cat wins and the supporters of that Kitty receive portions of the collective prize pool (referred to as a honeypot).
This honeypot includes moolah from a kittieFIGHT "smart contract endowment" that funds all the battles, plus the ETH and tokens that individuals pledge during each fighting session. Some of a match's honeypot is recycled into the endowment so that the game can continue to fund and monetarily incentivize the battles. Direct backers of the kittieFIGHT project also receive their share of the honeypot.
Further, the crowd aspect of the game is more than simply placing bets. Each time an audience member bets on a cat, that contribution is displayed within the game. This public display not only demonstrates how much support a certain Kitty fighter has but also lowers the opponent's defenses (think of it like lowering a cat's hit points, which are determined by its unique set of Cattributes). In this way, supporters' bets act as attacks to weaken the opposing Kitty.
Highway to Hell
Although the Dapp may already appeal to cat enthusiasts and fans of fighting games, perhaps the most interesting aspect of kittieFIGHT is the inclusion of kittieHELL, a kind of purgatory for the digital cats.
Oladapo Ajayi, the game's founder, explained to ETHNews that when a match is initiated, both players lease ownership of their Kitties to the kittieHELL contract. Winners can reclaim their cats free of charge, but losers must pay a redemption fee within a certain amount of time to save their Kitties from the inferno. Otherwise, the contract holds the cats forever, preventing them from ever being transferred again.
The details for this system have not been completely worked out (namely, how much the fee would be and the time frame to pay it), but regardless, kittieHELL ups the ante to participate in the game. Players engage in Kitty battles knowing they may lose their precious furballs if they cannot pay the requisite redemption fee.
Some may oppose the idea of having their cat-faced collectibles rendered unusable (one of the main points of non-fungible tokens is that people own and control them forever). However, Ajayi believes the kittieHELL feature helps to curb the oversupply of CryptoKitties while also creating demand for more cats.
The game is currently in development, with beta tests scheduled for October. The kittieFIGHT crew also plans to release its "fight paper" (or white paper) to document and describe the Dapp's mechanics.
Specifically, Ajayi noted that the team needs to further flesh out the game's incentive model, including award amounts distributed to winners, scheduling fees, and the costs associated with redeeming cats from kittieHELL (though he did mention that these costs would be higher than those required to schedule the matches).
Despite all the work still required for the game, Ajayi believes his team is "almost ready for this blockbuster Dapp's release." In the meantime, folks can play Exploding Kittens if they want to see some cats in action.