Issue #17: Solana Fun and Games

Game Jam, Star Atlas Restructuring, Soda Alpha, WBA Cohort, and Alex.BSL on The Zeitgeist Podcast

Play-to-earn (P2E) and web3 gaming are creating a shift in the gaming industry, and Solana's speed, scalability, and low fees make gaming on Solana a smooth experience for users.

This week had a mix of gaming news as the Solana Speedrun Game Jam kicked off in full swing.

🎮 Game Development Starter Kit

Whether you’re taking part in Speedrun or not, here’s a great roundup of tools and resources for Solana game developers including a curated list of tools, tutorials, examples, blueprints, and SDKs to get you started.

If you want to dig into some source code, Solana-2048 is an on-chain tile game that uses Gumm session keys for smooth gameplay.

🛸 Star Atlas Restructuring

But it wasn’t all fun and games (get it?)…

Automata, the developers of the planned AAA game Star Atlas on Solana announced layoffs of 120 people ending up with a team of 45 (vs. the high of 235 at the end of 2022) and a change in priorities.

Going forward the team will concentrate on delivering SAGE and the recently announced Crew Mobile App. The development of its Unreal Engine 5 universe and SDK will “experience a slowdown”.

Some of the roadblocks Star Atlas faced were a $30M tax liability, losing $15M in the collapse of FTX (partially recovered), and an 99% decline in value of $ATLAS from its all-time high.

Automata has been seeking outside investors, but said they would not be able to secure additional funding before the restructure was required.

While it’s sad to see those plans scaled back, and even worse that so many people lost their jobs, it’s not an indication of a weakness in the overall Solana ecosystem.

Star Atlas is/was an ambitious project, and building a AAA game like they planned is a massive undertaking. The economic headwinds and challenges they faced were just too much to continue forward the way they had hoped to.

🥤 Soda Alpha Released

Soda is a development tool that creates client source code from a Solana program’s IDL. The app is available as a desktop app or CLI tool.

The templates available now are for an Anchor Program With a NextJs-Tailwind Client, Seahorse Program (experimental), and a React Native Client (experimental) with several more already under development.

If you want to contribute, the team is also looking for developers to contribute additional templates in other languages.

💎 Solana Developer News

WBA Solana Cohort
Web3 Builders Alliance is taking applications for its 3rd Solana Developers cohort. The program provides hand-on experience by offering live educational sessions, community interaction, and a capstone project.

Note: I took part in the Q2 cohort, and I highly recommend this program! You’ll learn from real-world examples taught by very knowledgeable Solana developers. 

Solana Block History on Filecoin RFC
The goal of “Old Faithful” is to completely replace the Bigtable dependency for Solana history access with a self-hostable, decentralized history archive that makes all of Solana’s history accessible, content addressable and available via a variety of means.

⚡Quick Hits

Who Should Build on Solana? (Those Wanting to Go Faster) - Article

HelloMoon Adds Support for Minting Compressed NFTs - Tweet

Cloning & Running XRAY Explorer - YouTube

Introducing the Ironforge Playground - App

Building a Central Limit Order Book (CLOB) on Solana - Article

⚙️ Tools & Resources

account-compression-anchor-gen solves dependency issues with spl-account-compression or mpl-bubblegum. Simply build this crate with your solana/anchor version and import it instead of spl-account-compression or mpl-bubblegum.

phaser-solana-platformer-template starter template for Phaser 3 game engine for building excellent html5-games with Solana through Web3Auth that work great in the browser and on mobile devices.

Add Lamports trait PR adds get_lamports, add_lamports and sub_lamports methods Anchor PDAs to make lamports related operations easier.

Amman helps developers test solana SDK libraries and apps on a locally running validator by including a relay, validator interface and mock storage server.

Sponsored by:

The leading suite of services connecting developers with Web3 infrastructure, powering applications in DeFi, NFT, gaming, analytics, and everything in between.

🎙️ Listen to This

The Zeigeist - Alex.BSL

Alex.BSL, the co-CEO at Blocksmith Labs, the company behind the Smyths NFT collection, joins Brian Friel to discuss the origin story of Blocksmith Labs and how they started with the goal of creating NFT collections that provide real value, not just hype.

He talks about their different products, including Mercury, a pre-mint tool, and Atlas, a hub for NFT activity. Alex also mentions their focus on solving problems and how they build products based on metas.

Brian and Alex dive into Smyths, Blocksmith Labs' classic early PFP collection, and its ascension to a premium collection.

They talk about the launch of Meegos, a new collection that will target a different demographic, with a focus on casual mobile gaming.

Alex highlights the importance of building IP and how it takes more than dropping an NFT collection to create a brand.

Thanks for reading ✌️

I hope you found something useful here! If you have any suggestions or feedback just let me know what you think.

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