Dom Hofmann, one of Vine’s founders and the creator of Byte and Peach, has a new project called Supdrive. In his tweet announcing Supdrive, he calls it an “on-chain fantasy game console,” which doesn’t necessarily make it any more obvious as to what this project will look like. He’s since explained in an announcement post, which you can read below, that it’ll be a video game console that plays classic-style games (in the vein of Pacman or Asteroid), with NFTs acting as a sort of virtual cartridge.
In a Discord set up for Supdrive, Hofmann wrote that the games will be NFTs, running on virtual firmware. The fact that games will be released as NFTs means that there will only be so many “editions” or copies available. Hofmann also says that each copy of a given game will be unique, with players getting different color palettes, difficulty levels, and more.
Each copy of a given game will be unique in some ways
What’s an NFT?
NFTs allow you to buy and sell ownership of unique digital items and keep track of who owns them using the blockchain. NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” and it can technically contain anything digital, including drawings, animated GIFs, songs, or items in video games. An NFT can either be one of a kind, like a real-life painting, or one copy of many, like trading cards, but the blockchain keeps track of who has ownership of the file.
NFTs have been making headlines lately, some selling for millions of dollars, with high-profile memes like Nyan Cat and the “deal with it” sunglasses being put up for auction. There’s also a lot of discussion about the massive electricity use and environmental impacts of NFTs. If you (understandably) still have questions, you can read through our NFT FAQ.
Hofmann compares Supdrive to another blockchain project, Art Blocks, while describing it, which may give us an idea of what it’ll actually be like. The gist of Art Blocks is that it lets creators make programs to procedurally generate art, which is then stored on the blockchain. The programs will always create the same art for a given seed, but changing the seed changes what the art ends up looking like (Minecraft players may be familiar with this sort of system). Then, people buy NFTs for an Art Block project, which will contain a seed, letting them generate that art.
This seems to fit well with what Hofmann is describing, where an on-chain console will play unique games. The details, though, like how exactly it will work, how many copies of each game will be available, and how much they’ll cost, are all to be announced.
Many details about the Supdrive are still to be announced
Hofmann’s post does say that the plan is to let the community develop games for the Supdrive, if the project ends up working out. He also plans on upgrading the console’s abilities, allowing for more advanced games (the initial set of games will be “old-school arcade style”). The first game, made by Hofmann, is called Origin.
Supdrive also has a sort of meta game, with its users being split up into Pokémon-esque Red, Green, and Blue teams. Hofmann’s announcement post says that which team you’re on could have an effect on the game you’re playing. For now, though, the different color teams are mostly memeing at each other in the Discord.
In the Discord chat, Hofmann said he was aiming for an October launch for the project. He’s also said that he’ll be doing updates “every week or so” leading up to the launch.
Hofmann’s post-Vine projects haven’t managed to reach the original video platform’s success — the iOS app for his social network, Peach, hasn’t been updated in three years, and the successor to Vine, Byte, was purchased by a TikTok competitor called Clash (and user App Store reviews have not been positive about the changes made). Only time will tell how Supdrive turns out, but it does seem to be an interesting idea — if you’re willing to enter the NFT market to get the games, of course.
The full Supdrive announcement, posted to Discord:
This is Update #1 — will do these every week or so.
This project has gotten more attention than I expected in the first 12 hours so I wanted to share a few more details.
What is Supdrive?
Supdrive is an on-chain fantasy console where the games themselves are NFTs. You can think of it sort of like Artblocks for games. These games all run on the Supdrive Virtual Firmware, a toolkit that allows games to be written in concise instructions that are gas friendly and ideal for on-chain storage.
Although every game will be released in fixed edition sizes, every edition is unique — every version of the game will be different, whether it’s color palettes, difficulty, special abilities, or more.
What kinds of games?
Supdrive games will be old-school arcade style games to start. Think titles like Galaga, Pacman, or Asteroid. As the firmware is upgraded, games will gradually become more sophisticated. Perhaps one day we’ll have Super Supdrive or Supdrive 64.
The first game is called Origin.
Who’s making the games?
I will be developing the first few games, but if things go well the plan is to open up the platform. Artblocks is another good example here.
What are Red Green Blue teams?
Inspired by Pokemon, teams are an ongoing meta system in the Supdrive world. In the future, you will have an opportunity to commit to your team and receive a free airdrop collectible that signifies you membership in the team. Holding this collectible will have effects in certain Supdrive titles.
Mint price/edition size/release date?
TBD and will keep you posted
How can I help?
For now, just hanging out in the Discord and raising awareness is cool. As we get closer to launch, there will be more things to do.
That’s it for now! See you next week.