Welcome to our 104th newsletter on Star Atlas! This weekly newsletter focuses entirely on this ambitious game’s development and is published by Aephia Industries. Here, we try to aggregate all the newsworthy tidbits revealed [mainly by the team] throughout the past week.
Breakpoint 2023 is behind us, where Michael presented an eye-popping keynote on stage! Furthermore, the first Golden Ticket draw went smoothly, and the second raffle has meanwhile opened up for submission. There was, of course, also the Breakpoint Community meetup in Amsterdam. Lastly, the team surprise-launched a combat easter egg in SAGE Labs.
Let’s dive in!
On Thursday, November 2nd, Michael appeared on stage to present his long-awaited update on Star Atlas to the world. The keynote by Michael (CEO) was undoubtedly one of the most eye-catching presentations at the Solana “Breakpoint” Conference! Michael opened with a motivational speech from the movie Poolhall Junkies (2022) [see original scene] as a way of describing the past & the now, both of the Solana ecosystem and of Star Atlas, emboldening those listening.
He then expanded on a few different aspects of Star Atlas development:
- UE5 Showroom
- Massive Multiplayer in UE5
- SAGE Labs
- Mobile Companion App
- Crew (Packs)
Below, we go over these one by one.
Michael briefly summarized what is currently available on the Epic Games Store before going deeper into what is coming with (Pre-)Release 2.2 next year, specifically:
- On-chain career progression – Specifically: Ship configuration, ship mastery & XP systems
- Multiplayer combat racing – You can switch between tractor beam & weapons to pickup up ammo, health, or shields, or take out opponents, respectively
- Character & Vehicle skins
We did not really learn anything new here, but the accompanying video sure looked finger-licking good!
Michael then introduced Rashid Mansoor (Co-founder & CEO of MetaGravity) to the stage to talk about their work to get up to 30k players (so far) into a single world for Star Atlas.
Rashid explained that they did not embrace the Spatial Partitioning scheme, where a map is divided into smaller segments, but instead went with a technique they dubbed Causal Partitioning. Then he showed a video where 30k simulated players navigated the Showroom map.
Michael next switched to SAGE, where he highlighted the fully on-chain nature of this Grand Strategy game. This game is fully on-chain and built using seven distinct Solana programs. While playing the game, data is read and written to the chain in real time.
Of course, Michael highlighted the impressive metrics achieved on-chain, such as:
- 23.7 million transactions in the first month
- Average of 2 million transactions per day (atm)
- 10-15% of daily Solana network transaction volume
- 2000 daily active users (DAU)
- 10k unique wallet connections through time
Then, the moment everyone was waiting for, Michael looked at the near future and discussed SAGE Starbased. It will have a real economy, 3D graphics, and be universally accessible through the browser.
Of course, he did show a pretty cool video showing the current state of the engine when zooming in on a single-star system.
DAC registration is coming out soon, and Michael spent a short moment going over the initial feature set while showing off a video that shows off some of the UI.
Co-creation with the Community
Next up, Michael expressed the team’s desire to co-create this universe with the community. This is a reason for taking on the challenge of creating on the blockchain. It allows for composability.
He then highlighted both the IP Program and the Developer Program, reviewing some examples and metrics, as seen below.
Though technically not part of either program, Michael took the time to spotlight fellow community member Arktype’s Atlas Grace initiative. Arktype donates rewards generated by Star Atlas assets to various charities around the globe.
Mobile Companion App
Michael briefly explained the function and goal of the upcoming mobile companion app. You can select a single crew member from your wallet (not currently employed in SAGE or elsewhere) and train them through walking, running, or cycling in the real world.
Of course, Michael had another short and slick video up his sleeve to sell this app!
Crew recruitment is coming in Q1 2024 when the team will start selling Crew packs. Each pack will contain five crew members of varying rarity. Each crew member will have procedurally generated traits and a unique backstory! Besides playing a key role in SAGE and Star Atlas, these crew cards will also be used as PFPs in the Star Atlas ecosystem.
The team will also drop crew members to ship-holders based on a snapshot that will be taken shortly before. The team will likely drop the exact amount of crew members; it is unlikely they will round up to a full (5-card) character pack.
Of course, the team had a video prepared to show off the design of the upcoming Crew Packs as well.
Already a good few minutes over his allotted time, Michael wrapped up by repeating that the team is not building siloed product verticals silos. Instead, they work on an interconnected and interwoven universe.
We are building a new economy, a digital nation-state, powered by the people. All of this is only possible because of our game logic on Solana, with composability and a shared network state.Michael (CEO)
Golden Ticket Raffle
The drawing of the winners of the very first Golden Ticket raffle took place on Friday last week. It was an exciting event, with a new winner drawn every minute for a good bit of time. The biggest prizes came, of course, at the very end.
In total, a little over 950k tickets were submitted, with several whales submitting over 100k each. It was, therefore, no surprise that the big ticket items primarily ended up with them. You can check the Hedgehog website for a complete overview of all the winners.
Raffle – Week 2
The second raffle has now opened its doors, so you can go right ahead and submit your tickets. Below, you can see the loot available for this second Golden Ticket raffle.
You can submit your tickets until November 10th, 20:15 UTC.
On Tuesday, October 31st, the community hosted a meetup where team members, community members, and other interested parties could meet and hang out.
After a short delay, the dinner cruise departed with everyone (minus one participant due to COVID) on board and enjoyed some beautiful sights from Amsterdam at night while enjoying a tasty Indonesian buffet. During this time, some swag was handed out, with a highlight being custom-made Aephia-branded shot glasses, which were immediately filled with either “Stroopwafel” liqueur or “Dropshot” (for those who dared), adding some typical Dutch flavors to the palette.
After the boat had docked, a group picture (see above) was taken in rainy Amsterdam before everyone took off to a nearby cafe, where they enjoyed each other’s company, a few drinks, and many a good conversation. While there, the group swelled from 40 to about 75 participants.
After the cafe closed at 23:30, most folks went home, but some found other venues to continue the good vibes in smaller groups!
SAGE Labs – Combat Easter Egg
If you head to SAGE Labs and toggle the new Experimental Mode that can be found in the Settings menu (click the Cog in the header next to the Atlas Fee Payer, aka Atlas Prime), a new world opens!
Every sector now shows a fictional list of what a combat interface may look like. The faction of all fleets present are randomly assigned a faction, and if you have an undocked fleet, you can initiate combat and get a feel for what that is like.
Note that there is no actual combat! It’s purely fictional, and damage numbers and the outcome are fixed. It merely shows off a new potential SAGE Labs interface for combat. Observe that exchanging fire also leads to both parties accumulating XP (as seen in the screenshot above).
However, it is interesting to note that the actual fleet names are used, and all of the fleets shown are actually in that sector.
That’s a wrap for this week! Until the next!