Today we are pleased to announce the launch of the ZBD Developer Dashboard and Unity SDK. We developed these products in partnership with the game development community because we believe games are missing one vital tool — the native currency of the Internet.
What if the points collected in a game were worth something? What if they could be collected, and then taken out of the game? What if they could be given to someone else, and have universal value? What if value and rewards were digital and programmable, in the same way all your other game developer tools are? Our Unity SDK opens up a new dimension of creativity and monetization capabilities by enabling value flows within the gameplay itself.
We do this by building on the Internet of Money — the global network of Bitcoin. ZEBEDEE takes care of the heavy lifting for you and does away with any complex parts of the system, letting you focus 100% of your time on building the best games and gaming experiences, with no need for prior knowledge of Bitcoin. Our developer tools and SDKs aim to simplify all of the operational complexity of building games that integrate Bitcoin, and our Developer Dashboard is a simple and intuitive interface which allows you to manage your game integrations and analyze transaction activity.
This is a closed-beta launch. We’d like to invite game developers to experiment with demos and implementations that use our tools to involve value flows. If you think you fit the bill, sign up below for beta access to the Dashboard.
The ZBD Developer Dashboard
The aim for the ZBD Developer Dashboard is to provide an easy-to-use developer tool for managing your games that integrate Bitcoin. You can easily create new games, retrieve API access keys, and visualize transaction details and value flows within your game. Using the Dashboard (and the ZEBEDEE API) can be as easy as signing up for an API key and inserting a few lines of code into an existing game. You now have money flowing through your game!
The possibilities are immense and we’re just scratching the surface here. Implementing the API can be as easy as adding a simple paywall to an action or section of your game, or be as complex as an entire in-game economy.
MandelDuck Studios was able to add audience participation capabilities allowing spectators to purchase power-ups for players through instantaneous microtransactions. We’ve also written a detailed tutorial for those that want to get familiar with integrating the ZEBEDEE API in a Unity gaming environment.
Games and profits
It is notoriously hard to monetize games nowadays. There are hundreds of games being released every day (500+ on iOS App Store alone), and the large majority of developers need to resort to advertisements and loot-boxes for any form of revenue. Our developer tools and SDKs are an opportunity for developers to stand out from the crowd by inventing new types of gameplay, and incentivizing users to engage with their games more deeply and persistently. We are big believers in a Bitcoin-first future, but it’s not just about integrating Bitcoin. Our aim is to make games more engaging and ultimately more profitable.
Games have tried to make money fun in the form of points, gold coins, or golden rings — collectible “valuable” items. But regardless of the rewards system in the game, all of the time invested by the players in collecting these items ultimately yields a big fat ZERO. Why are players not allowed to make a return on all of their time invested in playing and mastering a game?
Tell me again why Bitcoin fixes this?
Bitcoin isn’t a silver bullet, but we think we’ve found a use for this network that fits our purpose. The Lightning Network solves a lot of the well-known technical constraints of Bitcoin, and it gives us what we think might be a great natural in-game currency: the satoshi.
1 Bitcoin = 100,000,000.000 satoshis
Bitcoin isn’t money as you know it. It’s something unique. When divided into its sub-units called satoshis (or sats), you achieve distinct pieces of data that have value, but are small enough that they can still be fun to play with (at the time of this writing 1 satoshi was equal to $0.0000986765).
Creating digital assets is pretty easy. However, creating the network effects to give that scarce digital asset global recognition and value are pretty damn difficult. Bitcoin has already done that job for us and our SDKs and Developer Dashboard enable game developers to tap into a $200 billion dollar market of stored digital value to power their in-game micropayments.
Game developers and users can take advantage of these network effects in ways that weren’t possible before. You can earn satoshis in one game, take them out, use them in another game, or even buy a coffee IRL. There’s also a huge amount of already-installed Bitcoin infrastructure. For example, you can use any compatible Bitcoin Lightning wallet to store your funds. There’s even a robust, regulated market to convert your Bitcoin into your local currency, if that’s what your users want to do.
Games are also truly global economies. A universal currency makes sense for games.
This is the first public versions of our SDKs and Developer Dashboard. As the community begins to discover which new game concepts are possible with our SDKs we will continue to push the boundaries of R&D and develop cutting edge tools for new types of interactions. Stay tuned!
If you’d like to see more details about the ZEBEDEE API, the available SDKs and some of our guides and tutorials, head on over to our Documentation Portal.
If you want to see what we are up to in person, we will be showing off some cool Bitcoin-powered games and presenting at the following upcoming conferences:
- Crypto Compare (London, March 10)— don’t miss our panel with CCP Games, THNDR Games and MandelDuck Studios on the future of crypto and gaming.
- Bitcoin 2020 (San Francisco → March 27–28)
- Magical Crypto Conference (New York →May 9–10)
- Consensus (New York →May 11–13)
- B2C 2020 (Tokyo → May 18)
- Value of Bitcoin (Munich → June 2–3)
We will also be organizing developer workshops around these conferences to provide hands-on guidance and support to developers interested in using our services and SDKs. You can also start on your own by reading our blog: How to develop your own mobile game.
If you are part of a community of developers that might have an interest in what we’re doing we’re happy to organize demonstrations and workshops. Get in touch — contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or join our Discord, where we have a special channel dedicated to game developers only.