How We Designed Our GoZ Tamagotchi Zone
In late 2018 and early 2019, stakefish became infamous for our unique contribution during the Cosmos Network Game of Stakes (GoS), the very first worldwide Proof of Stake adversarial incentivized testnet, and for carrying out a successful large-scale Sybil attack on the network. As a result of GoS, the Cosmos codebase was hardened, and the community experienced its first real governance discussion, tackling questions such as “When and how do we decide to fork?”
In March 2019, the Cosmos Hub mainnet launched. Cosmos has since become one of the most important Proof of Stake networks in the entire space, and their goal of creating the internet of blockchains is well underway.
Fast forward to 2020. Game of Zones is upon us. This time, our task is to harden the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) implementation and make the first cross-chain interactions a reality. We knew we wanted to participate, and participate fully. Once again, we wanted to make something unique and meaningful, but also fun and engaging, with the potential to reach beyond the Cosmos community to the wider blockchain world.
Finding the Right Idea
We came up with a wide variety of different ideas, from Cosmos Yoda to Happy Space Zone, before ultimately choosing the Tamagotchi Zone. Based on the hit 90s Tamagotchi digital pet, the idea was to create two blockchains, “tamagotchi” and “tamagotchi-resources,” both realized using cosmos-sdk. Players keep their digital pets happy and healthy by sending resource tokens to their Tamagotchi Zone address.
Executing the Design
Once we decided on our idea, the first thing we needed to do was draw up the cutest digital pets we could think of, so our extraordinary artist got to work.
Next, we needed to turn the sketches into pixel sprites.
We also needed to come up with designs for the custom zone website. We tried out a few different designs, each with a different style. First, we made a 3D device render to serve as the centerpiece.
We started with a fun, casual design with large elements, bright colors, and lighthearted illustrations.
In the next iteration, we tried moving closer to the stake.fish company style: simple and clean, with high contrast.
In the end, we decided to do something completely different and a little crazy: bright, but restrained; fun, but informative. This is how the third and final version of our concept was born.
With a few tweaks, we finally landed on our final design: a non-traditional layout that’s very Cosmos-esque, with a slightly cyberpunk vibe that still manages to retain the youthful energy of the nostalgia-inducing Tamagotchi games.
Now that you’ve seen our design process, you might want to learn a little more about our motivation.
One of our goals was to get as many people as possible exposed to IBC, while also making it easy to interact with multiple zones. Thanks to grant.fish grantee Chainapsis’ Keplr wallet, using the Tamagotchi Zone is as easy as installing a browser extension to interact directly with the game.
We wanted to make something fun, but we also wanted to make a point. In 2017, the infamous CryptoKitty incident brought Ethereum transactions to a crawl. The event was major enough to get picked up by mainstream news stations and marked a turning point in the Ethereum scaling debate.
The incident raised a question: Should digital cats be exiled off-chain to allow for less congested blocks? Or, to generalize the problem: What kind of data should be stored on blockchains?
With Cosmos and IBC, we have an elegant solution: put this kind of data on a blockchain of its own. If CryptoKitties live on their own blockchain, their impact on other networks’ throughput can be minimized, while retaining the full freedom to interact with other networks.
Our Tamagotchi Zone can be viewed as a proof of concept of this idea.
We hope you have as much fun playing Tamagotchi Zone as we had designing it!