Supdrive will serve up video game NFTs that you can actually play, with each edition possibly differing in appearance or gameplay from the others.
We’ve seen interactive in-game items sold as NFTs before, such as the cartoonish monsters from Axie Infinity and LAND plots in the upcoming The Sandbox. NFTs that are actual, playable video games, on the other hand? That’s something new.
That is the vision behind Supdrive, a recently announced NFT project led by Dom Hofmann, best known as the co-founder of the defunct looping video service Vine. Supdrive will be a “on-chain fantasy console,” with the games being the NFTs themselves. If you own the NFT game, you can play it using the “Supdrive Virtual Firmware” software.
An NFT functions as a receipt or deed of ownership for a digital item, such as a digital painting, video clip, or in-game item—or even a video game, as Supdrive plans to introduce.
Supdrive will be initially supported by original games created by Hofmann himself, the first of which is titled “Origin.” He intends to open up the platform to collaborators in order to create additional titles in the future. Hofmann compared the project to Art Blocks, an Ethereum NFT initiative that has so far included generative art drops from a diverse range of artists, in a Discord post.
“Working within the smart contracts is challenging and rewarding, and the concepts of permanence and provenance are compelling,” Hofmann told us, referring to the bits of code on blockchain networks like Ethereum that enable innovative things to be done with NFTs and other crypto assets. “When viewed in a broader context, NFTs are an incredible building block for online communities.”
“Most NFTs naturally fall into some sort of grouping, whether it’s a collectible project or an artist’s body of work, and that grouping creates a somewhat tangible shared element that brings people together,” he continued. “These communities have strong alignment and a shared purpose, and we’re starting to see interesting results as a result.”
Every Supdrive game will have multiple NFT editions, each one distinct from the others: depending on which version you buy, they may have different difficulty settings, color palettes, and gameplay variations.
Furthermore, while the initial games are designed to look and feel like retro Atari-style arcade games (think Pac-Man or Galaga), Hofmann envisions future firmware upgrades bringing more advanced graphics and gameplay mechanics. Supdrive hasn’t revealed any details about its games yet, but the official Twitter account has shared low-polygon renders of a retro game cartridge and console.
“It mostly started as ‘why not?,’ but there are new mechanics to explore,” Hofmann explained to ULTCOIN365 about the project’s origins. “It’s intriguing that your edition of a game is unique and may appear or play differently than mine—and that we can trade them.”
“The idea that owning an edition of one game could influence the outcome of another game is intriguing,” he added. “It’s intriguing that a fantasy console could appear in a variety of contexts. Aside from mechanics, it’s also an experiment in game monetization outside of the models we’re used to.”
In early 2021, the NFT market exploded, generating $2.5 billion in transaction volume in the first half of the year. Following a quieter market in late spring and early summer, a recent resurgence suggests a sizable Q3 tally is on the way.
Supdrive is currently running on Ethereum’s mainnet, according to Hofmann, who also created NFT project Blitmap and is a co-founder of DAO-driven NFT project Nouns. The NFTs are coded in a way that is “gas friendly and ideal for on-chain storage,” according to Discord. He did, however, tell ULTCOIN365 that Supdrive is theoretically compatible with Tezos and other blockchain platforms.
“Obviously, there are very large creative communities building on chains other than Ethereum,” he said, “so depending on how the project goes, it’s something I’d like to look into down the road.”
According to Hofmann’s Discord post, the launch of Supdrive is currently scheduled for October. Members of the Supdrive Discord community can commit to a color-coded team (red, green, or blue) and will receive a team-signifying collectible in the future, which can affect how some games are played.