Adventure out into unexplored territory and submit field reports for the cartographers. You see what your scout discovers in real-time, everyone else has to wait.
Operate sawmills to produce wood from the local forest and sell it at a trading post. Wood is necessary to build pretty much everything in Eureka.
Produce food and cotton to provide the essentials for Eureka's citizens. Food expires after a few days, so local farming is a necessity anywhere people are.
See the world and provide safe travel for people and goods across great distance. Chart your stops on the map so citizens know where and when they can join up.
Become a master of commerce operating a trading post, the local marketplace for all goods bought and sold in Eureka.
Running a gold mine safely is no easy feat. Mine for Gold Nuggets, the sole currency of The Great Eureka. People need money, so you better get digging!
Manage a bank, safely storing clients' gold nuggets, and allowing the transfer of their account balance across great distance. The bank always gets it's cut, of course.
Shower weary travelers in hospitality, providing safe lodging and a warm meal at your hotel. Open one up on a frequented route to have a steady stream of customers.
Horseback is the only way to get around quickly in Eureka, and there's only one way to get them. Wrangle wild horses back to the ranch for training, breeding, and sale.
Does the sea call to you? Captain a ferry to carry goods and passengers via river, or a ship to sail up and down the coast.
In open country, some pursue their livelihood outside of the law. Better hope the law doesn't catch up.
Out here, you are the law. Work with other Sheriffs to follow reported crimes and catch dastardly bandits before their next score.
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A Game of Opportunity
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Eureka's strategy is, at its core, all about local commerce.
All goods can be shipped, but shipping can be slow, costly, and risky.
Surprises can delay or lose a shipment, including rockslides, animal attacks, a river crossing gone wrong, or even bandits!
This can all be prepared for, but you know what they say about best laid plans.
So, like the real world of 1850, local economies are key.
A player discovers gold on a plot of land, and builds a mine to start digging it out of the ground.
Another player builds a farm nearby to provide food for the mine's workers, as food cannot travel more than a few days' journey, and everyone in Eureka needs to eat every day.
To build that farm and mine, you need wood, so a local sawmill is a smart investment, especially as more buildings are sure to spring up soon. Shipping wood is usually a waste of time, as most areas are dense with trees.
Gold Nuggets have to be deposited in a bank for safe keeping, so a bank is needed nearby, as nothing is riskier to ship across great distance than your valuable Gold Nuggets. Because of the bank, all citizens in the area now have access to their account balances deposited at other banks.
With all this local activity, a trading post would be an essential addition to this new town, so everyone around can buy and sell their goods locally.
Now that things are bustling, a local wagon train or two will probably add this town as a regularly scheduled stop, profiting from the constant stream of people and goods.
Soon enough, an enterprising citizen finds opportunity farther out still, turning this once small town into a bustling stop on a greater journey.
And now that people are passing through the town on route to somewhere else, a hotel could provide these weary travelers with a warm meal and bed for the night
The land is vast, and opportunity is endless.
A Blockchain Game
We knew from the start that we had to make a game everyone would want to play, not just the early adopters of blockchain gaming.
Something exciting and new that can stand out against the larger gaming market, but nostalgic and familiar so anyone can approach it with confidence.
A game that everyone can understand, because it works just like real life. And a game that is fundamentally connected to the ideals of the blockchain.
How To Do It
To build Eureka for everyone, we can’t require cryptocurrency to play.
This doesn’t just mean building for gamers who don’t know much about crypto, but for gamers who aren’t interested in crypto at all. If you do this right, each side will power the other. The player volume from the larger gaming ecosystem will provide a powerful foundation for the smaller market of crypto pioneers.
To achieve this goal, we came up with a new idea. A hybrid blockchain system. Nothing inside the game is an NFT or built on cryptocurrency, but everything in the game can be transformed into an NFT or exchanged for cryptocurrency.
A Sea of Possibility
What possibilities does this novel system open up for us?
It means our development is simpler, enabling us to build on traditional gaming infrastructure instead of time-consuming and restrictive smart contracts.
It means that Eureka is future-proofed for rapidly advancing blockchain technology, able to adapt to new systems as they develop.
It means that we can be rapidly flexible in our integrations with alternate blockchains where there are players who want to experience Eureka.
And it even means that our blockchain assets are highly secure. Eureka doesn’t have a vault of NFTs that can be irretrievably stolen. If any Eureka NFTs become compromised, we can simply disconnect them from our system and issue new ones to affected accounts, preserving the players' ownership of the in-game asset
But most importantly, it means our NFTs can change.
We think this is a pretty exciting idea.
Check out the next section to learn about why.
All characters in Eureka start at Level 1, identical to others of the same type in every way but their name and picture.
But as you play with them, that starts to change.
For every plot of land explored, your Scout gets a little bit faster at exploring the next.
For every Gold Nugget mined, your Mining Foreman can produce the next a little bit quicker.
This applies to every character. But it's more than that.
Cover a lot of steep terrain, your Scout will get more surefooted on the next, less likely to fall and injure themselves. Survive a lot of animal attacks, they'll be able to sense them earlier, be less panicked during the encounter, and aim more surely with their rifle.
Experience a number of mine fires, and your Foreman will become better at preventing them altogether. See a lot of tunnels collapse? They'll get better at shoring them up strongly and avoiding those too.
And you're not only leveling these stats-based skills, but also unlocking unique abilities. Did your Scout find a lot of tiles that have gold? They might just gain the ability to sense it in advance, simply by reading the landscape.
All characters share the base stats of endurance and speed. But every character type has countless other stats specific to their role, that can be improved tremendously over continued play. And all have a variety of unlockable special abilities just waiting to be discovered.
NFT variation in Eureka doesn't come from randomly assigned traits. It's not locked in. It's fluid. It is a meritocracy. Eurekans earn their exceptionalism.
The value of an NFT is, in many ways, dictated by its scarcity. If there's an infinite supply, it can't have any value, as there is always another one.
That necessary scarcity, therefore, means you need a supply cap. There has to be a finite number of the NFTs. This means your NFTs can't be integral to gameplay, or you'd be limiting the number of players who get to play.
We wanted to solve this. A good web3 game should have its NFTs integrated deeply within its gameplay. They shouldn't just be cosmetics or limited items. They should be fundamental.
Thankfully, Eureka already had the solution. Eureka has a hybrid blockchain system, built so all gamers can experience Eureka. Our character, business, and property NFTs are only NFTs when you withdraw them from the game. While in the game, everything is just traditional game code. And they are constantly changing and improving as you play with them.
This creates an entirely new system of NFT scarcity, one that puts the player in control.
The NFT Scarcity Curve
All Eureka NFTs start the same. Every Scout is identical to every other, every Bank is the same as the next. All variation comes from a player's own efforts.
NFT supply is really only asking "how many identical ones to this one are there?"
Well, from the moment you start playing with your Character, it's no longer identical to the others. It's improving based on your specific gameplay, gaining stats and skills. Now, it's only the same as others that have also achieved the same stats, and have also gained the same skills.
This means your NFT's rarity isn't tied to its overall supply. It's only about how many there are of the same level, with the same skills.
Eureka NFT scarcity is a bell curve. Its starting NFTs are unlimited, all the way at the bottom of the chart on the left. The average level and abilities of any specific type are in the middle, the most common, at the hump. And the highest level ones, with the fewest who have achieved it, are all the way on the right, incredibly rare, only belonging to the most dedicated players.
Eureka doesn't need supply caps on its NFTs. They can be essential to gameplay.
And you, the player, are entirely in control over the rarity of your own Character.
If you have a Scout that you started early and have been exploring with for months straight, it's completely irrelevant to you how many level 1 scouts other players purchase. The rarity of your Scout is only about how many others there are of the same level and skillset.
If you have a wagon train running on a busy route with a large number of daily customers, it is irrelevant how many other wagon trains other players are operating. The uniqueness of yours is tied to its recurring customers, its corner of the market, and its recurring revenue.
Your Eureka NFTs are rare because you made them so.
Maximize Your Characters
Let's say you have a high level Scout that you've been playing with for many months. But now you have some businesses and other gameplay going, and you don't want to keep exploring with your Scout right now.
Sure, you could sell them to another player. But you might want to use them again later. You put a lot of time into developing them. And you're worried that buying one later will cost more Gold Nuggets than you'd sell it for now.
At the same time, you don't want to just leave them sitting idly. Then they're not gaining experience. Other Scouts that were far behind yours are going to catch up.
Thankfully, Eureka has another option, one that solidifies the bedrock of the Character economy.
Hire Them Out!
If you're not currently using one of your Characters, but don't want to part with them permanently, you can hire them out to another player!
They pay you for the privilege, and get the benefits of playing with your higher level character.
They could want faster scouting speed and survivability as they search for that special plot of land they're looking for, or even just better rifle aim in animal attacks as they go for a record number of bullseyes.
Maybe they're starting a new Gold Mine, and want to get off the ground running with increased production speeds and a lower chance of fires, explosions, collapses, and worker theft.
Whatever they need, it's likely hiring an existing character is a better option than buying a new one.
And for you, not only do you get paid, but their gameplay with your character continues to level it up through experience, just as if you were using it.
A Note on Location
Nothing breaks the rules of geography in Eureka, and hiring characters is no exception. All hiring is done on local job boards listed outside trading posts, the local hubs of commerce in any area.
This means increased opportunity. You're not competing against every player in the game to get your character hired out. You're only up against the ones nearby.
Property as a Pair
The foundation of Eureka's hybrid blockchain system is its NFT withdrawal and deposit system.
All property, whether a Character, a business, or a cool gun you purchased somewhere, exists as a pair. Two potential states, but only one object.
There's the in-game version of it you're playing with, which is built with traditional videogame code.
But there is also its NFT twin.
They can be thought of as the same thing, because they can never be interacted with simultaneously.
How Does it Work?
Any time you want, you can chose to withdraw your property out of the game as an NFT.
This freezes the in-game version of that asset in-state. Wherever it is on the map, whatever condition it is in, it is now locked. If it's a business, it continues to function, but cannot be altered by the player.
Simultaneously, an NFT of the current state of that property is minted into the player's connected wallet.
They can now do whatever they want with it. Send it to another wallet, list it on an Ethereum Layer 2 or Layer 1 marketplace (through an integrated bridge), or anything else.
At whatever point a player wants, if they have that NFT in their connected wallet, they can deposit it back into the game. The NFT will be burned from their wallet, and the in-game property will be reactivated, its ownership now associated with their player's profile.
It's simple, but enables a very powerful capability.
Eureka can update its NFTs.
NFT projects typically need to think of everything they might want to add in the future, because once they mint their NFTs, they are unchangeable. For NFTs involved in a videogame, this can be very limiting for future development, or at a minimum, extremely time-consuming to work around.
In Eureka, if we want to update our NFT metadata structure, we just change it. From the next one of that NFT minted on, they will have the new structure. And it's simple to maintain backwards compatibility for older versions. Most important gameplay characteristics are never even minted into Eureka NFTs. They only need to exist on the in-game version of the property.
Eureka can also stay up-to-date with evolving blockchain technologies and ecosystems.
Blockchain technology as a whole is in its early days right now, evolving and improving at a rapid pace. Eureka can change with them, constantly absorbing technological advances in the blockchain, without being burdened by outdated systems or constraints from smart-contract-based game code.
It's also in Eureka's best interests to allow players on all blockchains to play. Our hybrid system allows us to easily integrate the ability to mint NFTs to other chains and accept those deposited from them.