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The State of Aephia

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Welcome to the first-ever State of Aephia Report! This is where we, the management, look back on the incredible effort and progress made during 2022. We’ll dive deeper into some of our internal projects and give you an in-depth view of what we have been up to. Hopefully, this will leave you with a deeper understanding of the goals we are striving towards!

Foreword

On June 16th, the team (ATMTA) organized the first-ever Council of Peace: Assembly. Of the 39 guilds that sent a pitch deck to the team, 15 were invited to present on that day. Being one of those 15 guilds, COPA offered us a chance to — for the first time — really update the Star Atlas community on what makes us different and our plans for the future.

We also embraced this opportunity to update our own member base — you guys & girls — on some of the projects we had been working on.

In short, many, including us, considered the event a great success. Besides presenting Aephia to the masses, it also allowed us to learn more about the other guilds that make up this ecosystem in which we find ourselves.

This article is a COPA follow-up solely focusing on you, our members. We want to inform you about what happened during the remaining seven months of the year. Many of the things we revealed during COPA will return in this article, such as our Member Profile system, NFT project, and Project Cataclysm.

We’ll also dive deeper into guild-defining topics, such as our neutral nature and future DAO.

This is not a complete overview of everything going on, nor a comprehensive document describing who we are as a guild. It is meant to illuminate you, our members, on some of the most important aspects of both.

Before you dive in, we wish you, and your loved ones, all the best for 2023! A blank page lies before you; your actions this year will determine what will be written on it. Let’s write history, together! 🤝

The Management,
Prometheus
Sensei Yamura
Funcracker

Our COPA presentation on June 16th, 2022 – by Funcracker

Content

As this is a long read, let’s start by briefly reviewing the content of this article. It is comprised of the following sections (note that the main section names are only used in this chapter):

Star Atlas Ecosystem

  • The Bear & The Drought — A short write-up of the two key components that led to this year being so hard on many of us.

Aephia

  • Neutrality — Operating like a multinational in a three-faction universe.
  • Growth — Our guild’s size & several perspectives on our current number.
  • Joni Awards — Aephians were the big winners during the first-ever Joni awards!
  • Partnerships — After having stayed away from premature alliances, the time for partnerships is now!
  • SAGE — How will we deal with our Neutrality concept and the more limited gameplay options in SAGE? A short intro to what lies ahead!

Aephia Projects

A look into the many projects we are working on internally, including projects that are core to our mission and projects that may be tangential but still define us!

  • The Road to Decentralization — Work is underway to decentralize the governance of Aephia. 
  • Member Profiles — Learn more about one of the USPs we revealed to the world during COPA.
  • NFT Project — Being home to so many NFT experts made putting time into this a no-brainer. But the bear got in the way.
  • Project Cataclysm — Efforts are underway to make a game tribute to Star Atlas for the enjoyment of the whole community!
  • News — Our news coverage declined as our newsletter subscriptions went up.
  • Data Runners — Data analysis leads to Information, which leads to Knowledge, which … is Power. This is an essential component for Aephia!
  • Guild Halls — One of our last achievements in 2022, made possible by all of you!

The Bear & The Drought

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When 2021 turned into 2022, we were all riding a hype wave! Though SCORE had been considerably delayed — not to mention significantly undressed — the team had managed to deliver! As a result, the ship prices were skyrocketing!

At Aephia, we were looking forward to the oncoming land sale, hoping to claim our spot in this ambitious metaverse! We were planning for 2022 based on what information we had, and things looked good. We were confident we could make some vast strides!

The Drought

When 2022 came around, the team spent the first week finalizing the roadmap for that year, resulting in MORE becoming CREAM (both were codenames for planned mini-game releases). But the team was not entirely convinced this was the way to go either, so they spent a good portion of January and February redoing the mini-game roadmap once more. The end result of that two-month brainstorm was a complete overhaul of the original mini-game concept (also resulting in land sales being postponed), called SCREAM. Though their arguments for doing so all made sense and would result in a much more exciting game experience, it also meant (as we’ve now learned, but right away anticipated) that the mini-game would be postponed significantly.

The mini-game was originally concepted to keep us engaged while the team was working on the UE5 experience. This delay meant no engaging gameplay would be forthcoming any time soon. As it turned out, we would not get to play the mini-game at all in 2022.

With no new gameplay being delivered through the mini-game to keep the community engaged and the first version of the Showroom not being released until September 29th, there was a 9-month gameplay drought.

The Bear

Meanwhile, as the team settled on a much more advanced mini-game, the bull started morphing into a bear. As it deepened during the rest of the year, it became more evident that this bear cycle was unlike any of the previous ones. Major (centralized) corporations went under, causing tens of thousands of people to lose money. All this against the backdrop of a pandemic, war, high inflation and a looming recession.

Of the top 10 L1 chains, Solana was among those struck the hardest (top “honor” arguably goes to the Terra chain), especially when FTX collapsed. This caused plenty of FUD, which is still ongoing to this day, harming the ecosystem and deepening the impact of the bear on Solana.

In summary, during the past year, the early Star Atlas community had to endure a lot. This, unfortunately, meant that not everybody made it to the finish line…

Neutrality

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Recognizing that the gameplay and metaverse ambitions of Star Atlas would provide fertile grounds (and a solid foundation) for guilds to focus on the economic loop instead of on conflict, Aephia was set up from the beginning as something more akin to a metaverse company.

Now to some, the term company might have a bitter taste. But companies operate differently in the 27th century than they do now, at least if it is up to us!

Multinational

From the outset, we decided to adopt all three factions, effectively turning us into a multinational and, with that: a neutral entity.

This approach has raised some questions on occasion, and rightfully so, given the one-faction limitation for both players & guilds and gameplay that expressly allows, if not encourages, inter-faction conflict.

However, just because the game allows for combat — and even all-out war — does not mean this is the only way to play the game. Nor does it mean that everyone should become an aggressor.

Just as companies generally don’t attack/raid a competitor, let alone declare war on a nation-state or entity set up there, we do not initiate aggressive actions against any other entities either.

Conflict

But — you might argue — others will drag us into such conflict. There will be wars, the game does incentivize combat, etc. And you would be absolutely right!

In 2623, the level of safety provided by the Council of Peace will be severely limited on the outer fringe of the known galaxy (MRZ) and non-existent outside of that (HRZ). This means that chances are slim that one can mind his/her own business over there and expect to be left alone.

This is where the comparison with multinationals in 2023 ends. When operating in a territory void of security forces, one has to bring their own. Similarly, one has to expect attacks. There is every reason to believe it could end up like the Wild West out there!

Resolution

If shots are fired at us, the gloves come off. No need to gather proof; the blockchain will provide the evidence.

First, a request will go to the assailant’s guild to clarify their actions, and second, they will be asked to make the victim whole again (i.e., pay for the damage caused). If this is refused or the aggressor has no guild affiliation, he/she will be added to our blacklist.

As a member of Aephia, you are within your rights to:

  • attack a blacklisted fleet/player on sight
  • collect any Council-of-Peace bounties (this is an in-game mechanic)

Growth

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Over the whole of 2022, we had the privilege of welcoming many new people into our midst. At the beginning of the year, we saw our numbers proliferate on the back of the SCORE hype (which just launched) and rising ship prices. Unfortunately, the bearish nature of the crypto markets and the prolonged drought —  regarding Star Atlas releases — subsequently caused many people to lose their faith (and their money). This led many to turn their back on the project and leave Aephia.

Despite this, our member count remained pretty stable throughout the second half of the year. For every person that left Star Atlas and Aephia, someone else joined. Today our discord boasts 3,550 members, with a little over 1750 being verified guild members.

However, not all of these 1750 members are active. There are people who said goodbye to Star Atlas but never bothered leaving our Discord server. Additionally, a good few of them are in various states of hibernation, checking in only every now and then to see if Star Atlas has reached a certain milestone they are waiting for (e.g., the release of SAGE). We are looking forward to welcoming them back to our #Cantina and sharing a drink with them!

Other Guilds

Though the lack of growth may be disappointing to some, we think it’s a pretty good result when looking at the overall state of the guild ecosystem within Star Atlas. There are a good many guilds that saw their numbers shrink. Some guilds, especially the smaller ones, have all but ceased to exist.

FTX Collapse

A big contributor to the decline of the overall Star Atlas member count — worthy of highlighting—was the news in early November that $15 million of the team’s funds were caught up in the collapse and subsequent bankruptcy of FTX. On top of the panic already caused by the collapse of FTX itself and the subsequent plummet of SOL, this news led to significant FUD within the Star Atlas community.

Simply put: It was brutal. And to this day, people are still licking their wounds while attempting to recover. Though the Star Atlas FUD has largely died down, though we are still awaiting news on the team’s current financial outlook, Solana FUD is unfortunately still ongoing.

Joni Awards

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Near the end of 2022, the team organized the first-ever annual Joni Community Awards. There were a total of 12 categories that focused on community members, guilds, content, and ecosystem partners.

No jury is involved; nominations and the winner afterward are solely determined by the community, simply by how they cast their votes. This means that it basically boils down to a popularity contest. It also means that guilds might be able to tip the scales in someone’s favor through their numbers.

To stick to the spirit of this initiative, we decided not to suggest any voting strategy or share our own picks. How could we possibly display favoritism? 😅 You all rock!

The end result was that we managed to score a win in nearly every category where at least one Aephian was nominated. We couldn’t be more proud!

Of the 11 community-focused categories, Aephia and Aephians managed to get nominated in 7, with 11 Aephia-affiliated nominations to choose from.

We managed to take home the prize in 4 of these categories, with a fifth win going to the 2-person team of RatODoom and SpriteVonPixel’s Tufa Attack community game:

  • Best Content Creator: Metaverse Explorer
  • Most Knowledgeable Community Member: Prometheus
  • Community Member of the Year: Funcracker
  • Best Guild Website: aephia.com

Congratulations to all of the winners, and thanks to all of you for your outpouring of support!

Partnerships

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Almost since Aephia’s inception, people have been asking about potential alliances. And our answer has consistently been that it is too early to spend time on that or take such agreements too seriously.

Those who have been around since the very early days might remember the first-ever DAC alliance between Interstellar Alliance (IA) and a guild called the Trade Alliance. They went so far as to mint an NFT for the occasion.

Of course, that other guild had already perished within a few months.

Another good example is the UMO, the United Metaverse Organization. This started as an IA initiative and originally included IA and all of the guilds under their umbrella, plus one or two befriended guilds.

I’m not sure what their current status is, but again, not all of those guilds seem to exist today still, and some are holding on for dear life. Others have more or less decided this initiative no longer serves their purpose.

Aephia never sought to become part of this group of guilds because it felt premature to make far-reaching agreements like these while the game and rules are still in flux and guilds still had a lot to prove. 

So, it is clear we were not a fan of setting up alliances.

But here we are, over 17 months later, having just announced a partnership with Quimera.

Be assured when we say we have looked at this from every angle. The reasons we decided now is the time to solidify some of our relationships are:

  • The first real multiplayer gameplay is getting closer to release: SAGE
  • The rules and the environment we will find ourselves in are getting more concrete (though a lot remains still unclear as well)
  • We’ve had a lot of time to look around and size up the many guilds. This is something that truly can not be done in just a few months. Additionally, relationships need time to grow.
  • The crypto winter made it clear which guilds could keep up their activity in the Star Atlas space and remain building. It also allowed us to deal with other guilds in the good times and during the bad.
  • Lastly, some folks have been actively campaigning against multi-faction guilds by spreading misinformation and fear-mongering. [We appreciate potential roleplaying efforts that may have been behind some of this!]

All in all, this led to the decision to open ourselves up to potential partnerships with other guilds.

Now it’s clear we have had many long-standing friendly relationships with guilds besides Quimera. But looking at this rationally, Quimera was really the one guild that ticked all our boxes.

Being multi-faction themselves, complementing our (anticipated) play style, and being roughly the same size as we were big positives! When we started talking to one another and met in real life in Madrid, it became clear that their leadership consists of truly wonderful and warm people.

Moving Forward

As the development of Star Atlas (and SAGE) is ongoing and important, anticipated gameplay aspects can sometimes turn on a dime, the one real constant that defines our partnership is the mutual sharing of knowledge, resources, and research. We will define the rest as we go and as ATMTA delivers. This will be an ever-evolving process that is monitored and discussed by the management of both guilds on a regular basis. As the game evolves, so will this partnership.

Will there be more partnerships forthcoming in 2023? Let’s see what the future has in store for us! Please note that though we hope to provide our services and goods to the whole of Galia and all its inhabitants, such dealings do not require a formal partnership. A partnership goes beyond potential financial dealings, and we are keen on keeping the list short but sweet in order to keep it realistic!

DAO Ratification

At this early stage, where there is no DAO yet, and when the partnerships are not yet as clearly defined yet, it made sense to us to keep knowledge of this potential partnership on a strictly need-to-know basis. A nice side-effect of this was that it allowed us to present the positive outcome as a surprise reveal for the broader Star Atlas community.

Clearly, decisions such as these should only be taken when our community is on board. For that reason, when our DAO governance goes live, we will ask you to ratify this and any other partnerships we might enter via a governance vote.

Read our partnership announcement

SAGE

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Earlier, we described how we see our neutral role in the Star Atlas universe. The next question is: where does that leave us with SAGE?

The recently released Game Manual describes various activities and ways to earn one’s keep in the SAGE. However, the game does not yet enable the full economic gameplay loop that Aephia was modeled on top of. Similarly, it’s not yet clear if opting out of PvP combat is a sustainable choice, nor is it clear if this compromises the gameplay of others.

There are still many questions, but it is also important to do a pulse check on where our members stand. For that reason, we will dedicate a few meetings to understand better your thoughts regarding SAGE gameplay. These meetings will likely happen when we can answer the aforementioned questions, which might not happen before the game is live on Solana’s devnet.

The Road to Decentralization

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From its inception, Aephia Industries’s goal was to one day be governed by a DAO. This was, however, never a short-term goal. We realized that in the early stages — where the guild is still trying to solidify its foundation and create its identity — handing the reins to a DAO could easily cause stagnation. ATMTA has reached a similar conclusion before, and their solution was slowly moving from a centralized leadership model to a decentralized variant.

Having too many captains on the ship at the start could easily result in a design-by-committee outcome. Before taking that step, there must first be a solid foundation, requiring a solid core of like-minded members and the original vision for the guild to be clear to everyone.

However, that does not mean we have not started working on how the future DAO should look!

DAO Considerations

Creating a sustainable DAO is no easy feat. Many difficulties need to be overcome. The Challenges Faced by DAOs-chapter from the team’s Sustainable Governance paper does a great job listing many of them. Many of the concerns listed have been major topics of discussion at Crypto Twitter Spaces hosted last year. During the Athens DAO conference — organized & hosted by Grape — many presenters and panels shared how they had been struggling to get it right (and most admitted that they were not there yet).

For us, two things were clear from the beginning:

  1. Money should not allow anyone — like a whale — to easily/directly buy influence on the voting process. More important, nobody should be able to purchase enough voting power to attain a majority share (essentially becoming a dictator).
  2. The DAO should be governed by those members that put effort into Aephia, especially when it improves the lives of all Aephians.

Taking these two things into account, it’s clear that we can not rely on tradable tokens to determine voting weight. If tokens can be traded, they can be sold and bought, which allows these tokens to end up with people that might not have any other stake in Aephia except a financial one. It would also open the door for whales to take over.

Additionally, we are looking to reward voting power to members actively investing time and effort into Aephia, which is somehow measurable. A good thing we are planning to introduce Member Profiles (more on this below!)

Member Profiles

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One of the key differentiators of Aephia — prominently touted during COPA — is that we will build a gamified layer around Star Atlas.

One part of this is the (Co)Mission Board, which will list auto-generated and manually created missions that our members can voluntarily participate in, provided slots are still available. As this relies on actual gameplay and is a big project on its own, other than conception, work on this has not yet begun.

The second part of this is our Member Profile system. Or really, this is the first part, as it is a requirement for the previously mentioned Mission Board.

Don’t confuse our Member Profiles with PlayerProfiles, which represents an on-chain solution unveiled recently by the team. PlayerProfiles will allow a player (or DAC) to use, and be represented by, multiple Solana public keys (or: accounts). Our Member Profiles will tie into these, though.

What & Why?

At its simplest, a Member Profile is a collection of metrics related to a player’s performance, achievements, and contributions inside and outside the game. Many MMOs and other games — such as multiplayer shooters and RPGs — often offer something similar to their players, so they can share to brag or compare. In fact, the team is working on just such a thing for Star Atlas!

So, why do we create our own? Because we want to include additional metrics directly related to indicators Aephia cares about, some of which come from outside the Star Atlas ecosystem! We want to register things like:

  • In how many (Aephia) missions did you participate?
  • What are the types of services you are providing to Aephia?
  • How many DAC proposals did you create, and how many were successful?
  • On how many DAC proposals did you vote?
  • How active are you on Discord?
  • How helpful are you on the SA Discord?
  • How long have you been a member?

Basically, we want to really understand for which things Aephia can rely on you. The way we want to set things up, all Aephians profit from each other’s participation in our future missions, primarily the members that directly contributed.

AstralPass

The first building block needed for this system is targeted to go live in late Q1 2023. It is named AstralPass, and it will replace our Grape Discord verification.

It’s our own custom solution to implement Discord verification. It will allow us to understand the assets present within our guild more accurately and clarify how those assets, and we ourselves, are spread over the three factions.

By far, most important, however: It will allow us to verify that you are all actual Aephia members by verifying your DAC registration, which is also targeted to go live end of Q1, 2023.

Community Service

AstralPass will be a stand-alone tool, and our intent is to share it with the broader community. We recognize the potential of this service for other Star Atlas guilds and will happily offer to hook them up to this service.

AstralPass is not just a verification tool, however. Once connected, you can view a summary of your Star Atlas investments on its website. It will show a summary of the ships you own, POLIS & ATLAS locked, tokens held in reserve, and more.

Stepping Stone

AstralPass is an essential foundational service upon which we will build our proprietary Member Profile system. Though not meant to be released publicly, we are open to sharing this with our partners if they are interested.

NFT Project

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Among many other things, at COPA, we first revealed that we were working on an NFT project of our own. Other guilds have minted NFTs primarily for their members, though sometimes trying to entice the wider Star Atlas community. Oftentimes their art is gorgeous, but their utility is limited, especially when you are not a guild member. As such, these initiatives are often meant to raise money for the guild’s treasury or to give their members a memento.

This is precisely what we didn’t want to do. 

Being home to a core of passionate NFT traders and investors allowed us to imagine things far beyond that. It also meant us realizing early that such an initiative would not be able to infuse our guild’s treasury directly. Siphoning money away, never to be seen again, would rule out any possibility of attracting people outside our guild, let alone outside the Star Atlas community. The alternative, giving these future NFT holders some leverage on Aephia’s future earnings in exchange, seemed undesirable from the guild’s perspective.

Running a limited NFT collection, just for our members, in order to raise funds would have been easy. But we don’t go for “easy” when there is also the option to go for greatness!

Now, we are not trying to revolutionize NFTs on Solana. What we have in mind will be more evolutionary. But, most importantly, we’re trying to prime it for widespread adoption.

Put plain and simple: the goal is to create an NFT collection with amazing utility that should appeal to the broader Solana NFT community.

Status

As one of many projects we have a workgroup working on, we have not been pushing hard the past year to go live. The reason is apparent: the bear cycle made it difficult to launch new NFT projects. With no fresh blood coming in, each new NFT campaign required people to sell other NFTs to free up money.

Of course, not being an NFT-project-focused community, we — fortunately —  also had no need to go live the past year. What we did want to do was prepare as much as we could and stay flexible. As a result, progress came relatively slow, further compounded by reduced focus due to the bear. 

Most of the team put their effort on hold during the holidays, but by the time you read this, they are back at it! However, don’t expect much news before the bear is in our rearview mirror.

Shout-out

Lastly, a shout-out is necessary to the following individuals:

  • Brutus: Took the concept of paying homage to Aephia’s Star Atlas heritage to heart and has created a stunning set of attributes that are thoughtful, detail-oriented, and sure to make you want to AEP into this project when ready.
  • Dez: Is currently spearheading this effort and has been absolutely on top of things since he took over.
  • TomQH: With us since the beginning and always trying to make time to help out and share his wisdom
  • Sensei Yamura: Not only was he the first to suggest an NFT project to us — showing some cool stuff he had made before — but he has also been instrumental in the art department

Project Cataclysm

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Once upon a time (March 23rd, to be exact), there was a very special Atlas Brew. During this Brew, several community members shared various states of Star Atlas-derived, fan-made games they were working on.

One of these was the impressive Tufa Attack, a classic arcade game reimagined with Star Atlas’ ships and lore by RatODoom (developer) and our very own SpriteVonPixel (graphics)! During the recent Joni awards, this project received the well-deserved award for Best Community Project!

Unbeknownst to most, there was another Aephian attending the Brew that day who got inspired by all that was presented!

This spurred Valkynen, the member in question, to reach out to Funcracker, who reached out to Sensei Yamura, and the three set out to concept and build the ultimate fan-made game. This process began with brainstorming, then quickly moved to prototyping and testing using Tabletop Simulator before Valkynen went to work and used his skillset to create a digital card game in Unity 3D.

As a passion project done in our spare time, we kept this project under wraps for a while to avoid raising the community’s expectations too high. However, when we were invited to COPA, we knew we had to lift a small tip of the veil! So, we succinctly announced that we were working on a community-made game and included a few cards on the slide.

Then we turned silent again to allow Valkynen to continue his work in peace.

With the end of the year coming up and the game slowly but steadily progressing, we felt it was time to show the first glimpse of this game to the public. So Sensei Yamura used actual game footage to create an exciting teaser trailer:

Project Cataclysm — Teaser Trailer

Development Continues! There is still a decent amount of work that needs to be done, but the good news is that we are getting closer and will start internal alpha testing very soon!

Finally: A major shout-out to Valkynen for all of his hard work on this! 

News

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During 2021 we established a decent reputation for bringing important Star Atlas news to the masses. This was a real need for this as the team announced things left and right, using various media, meaning there was no one source to find the latest news. Most of the time, the big news was announced during a Townhall, which meant no written account was available.

We solved this by writing in-depth news articles on big announcements and releases and starting a weekly newsletter covering every newsworthy tidbit we came across.

News Articles

The past year saw fewer news articles from Aephia. In fact, for some months, our weekly newsletter was the only “news” we published.

There are a few reasons for this:

  1. Let’s start with the biggest one: The team invested in growing its own ability to publish news. A good example of this is the first 426Live event last year. We wrote and published five news stories, one for each major announcement. However, the team had already written their own articles to accompany the announcements. This is a good development on their side, but — as we try to stay objective — this meant that there was a significant overlap between our content. We provide our own perspective on everything we cover and highlight other aspects, but a big reason why we were putting time into writing our own articles was to fill the gap left by the team. Now that they have their affairs in order, writing our own articles has become less important.
  2. The team started to save their news for big events, like 426Live, to announce it all at once. News-heavy events like these make it more difficult to reserve the time to do a careful write-up on each item. It’s easy to reserve a few hours here and there to work on the news, but events like these meant a full work-day is required all at once — if that’s even enough.
  3. Of course, given the Drought, there was almost no article-worthy news during the first half of the year.
  4. Finally, due to the Bear & Drought, fewer people were interested in putting in the time to write news articles. 

Newsletter

Contrasting the declining number of news articles, subscriber numbers for our weekly newsletter have only gone up! Throughout 2022 our weekly newsletter gained in subscribers week-by-week, effectively tripling subscriptions over the last 12 months. We believe this — in part — may be due to people choosing to spend less time actively following the project but still wanting to stay up to date.

So far, we have always been using GetRevue as our newsletter platform, but with that service winding down (we have Elon Musk to thank for that), in 2023, we will change the underlying platform and, with that, publish these newsletters on our website!

Data Runners

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The further Star Atlas progresses, the greater the need for proper on-chain analysis and tooling. Knowledge is power, after all. This data — and the insights it provides — will greatly help to make sound financial decisions and fine-tune our in-game strategy. The future is data-driven!

If there is one thing a guild has to try to offer its members, it’s this.

To perform this kind of analysis, capable people are needed who can data mine relevant information from blockchain transactions and make sense of what they see.

Fortunately, we found several such people in our midst (see below)!

Economic Reports

In 2022 — lacking any form of gameplay — we’ve kickstarted our active analysis efforts by creating our own monthly economic reports.

Month over month, the dataset gathered has increased in size, their skills have improved, and the quality of their work has grown.

Like many things we produce, we have been actively sharing these reports with the broader Star Atlas community. Both via tweets and, since very recently, also via our website.

Shout-out

A firm, thankful head-nod goes to the following individuals:

  • Viktor: for taking the initiative, putting in the time, and building this project from the ground up, together with:
  • Stratugo: who himself has been essential in extracting tons of data from the chain and co-founded the reports with Viktor
  • FusionRenner: has been providing deep technical insights into the Solana blockchain & tips since he joined.
  • Sensei Yamura: layouts for the reports and also initiated the website

Guild Halls

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At the tail end of 2022, when the team had initiated their Start Sequence campaign to recoup part of the runway that they had lost with the bankruptcy of FTX, members of Aephia came together to ensure we would have some variant of a small Guild Hall on each of the three Central Space Stations.

At the bottom of the 2022 bear, and with the outlook for Star Atlas being bleaker than ever, 75 Aephians pooled together over 24.000 USDC, enabling them to acquire three Tier 2 Land plots.

Though Aephia’s management initiated and facilitated this initiative, the funds and subsequent ownership of all the assets associated with this transaction remain in the hands of the people who funded these plots. There are two conditions to which all funders agreed beforehand:

  1. The plot & hab can not be sold without permission by the (future) Aephia DAO.
  2. Access should be granted to all Aephians. Note that this does not mean the whole building should be open to them. The funders have the right to limit access to certain areas within the building.

We are very grateful to our members, who have enabled us at this early stage to guarantee a shared communal space in each faction’s epicenter!

Afterword

The year 2022 was pretty intense, both with regard to crypto & Star Atlas and in the world outside. However, we’ve now turned that page and are eagerly looking forward to all that 2023 will bring.

The sad news is that most people in crypto expect the bear to stick around for a good while longer. Fortunately, there should be no more Star Atlas drought going forward now that the foundation for the UE5 game and SAGE have been put into place (well, SAGE is almost there). This is great news as it would mean we can rely on the further development of Star Atlas and — to a lesser extent — on other 3rd party Solana efforts to keep our energy levels from running out.

Building in a bear won’t attract much new blood to the Solana ecosystem, but it will better prepare that ecosystem for when new blood will flow into the ecosystem. In the case of Star Atlas, if crypto is not going to attract more eyeballs, this is probably a good moment to start focusing marketing efforts on core gamers this year.

Aephia

On our side, we will continue to flesh out our DAO, work towards our Member Profile system, release Project Cataclysm and keep everybody informed as before.

Additionally, we will start strategizing around actual gameplay for the first time since Star Atlas’ inception! It will be interesting to see Galia unfold in front of our very eyes, brimming with both conflict and economic opportunities. We’ll try and learn as much as we can in the shortest time possible to deduce viable play styles and consistently stay on top of the meta.

Looking for Contributors

Regarding the projects we are working on internally: we could do much more if more members would stand up and dedicate some of their time to help. Therefore: You are warmly invited to reach out and contact us to see if there is anything you can help with. And if you have an idea of your own, we definitely want to hear about it!
Clearly, not all skill sets can be employed to our advantage, but don’t be afraid if you are not an expert yet. There is plenty of room to sharpen a specific skillset further while contributing to Aephia!

A few aspects we’d love help with (non-exhaustive, clearly):

  • Development (web, on-chain, and CLI)
  • Writing news stories & articles
  • Creating designs/graphics/memes
  • That one thing that has been in the back of your mind, and you were wondering if it would be cool to do something with that for Aephia

Thanks

Credits where credits are due: We want to thank everyone who played a key role last year in the many things we have going on. We already did a few shout-outs above, but there are some VIPs who were not mentioned there. So, major thanks to:

  • Our Community Experts: Dez, Ford P., Sandbroski, StoicMOB, TomQH & Valkynen
  • Our Resident Influencer: Metaverse Explorer
  • Our Newsletter Co-writer: Luis
  • Our Meme Creator: SpriteVonPixel
  • Our Myria Master: Tykken

An additional shout-out to all of our NFT Alpha Gatherers, graphical designers, and anybody else who contributed in some form or way to our success! Thank you!

It’s going to be a wild ride, and we are thankful to have all of you — our invaluable members — onboard with us!

Let’s BUILD. OWN. EARN!

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