Thank you to everyone who joined AMA Blockelite x Gala Games on 10th November at 2 PM UTC I 9 PM UTC+7. Here is the recap for those who missed this AMA.
Our special guest today is Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games
Segment 1: Introduction about Gala Games and Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games
Q1: Can you briefly introduce yourself as well as Gala Games?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: My name is Jason Brink, and I am the CMO of Gala Games. I went through Twitter and wrote answers to most of the questions people had, so I am ready!
Quick introduction to the project: Gala Games was founded by Eric Schiermeyer, the co-founder of Zynga. Over the last years, gamers around the world have gotten tired of getting pushed around by game companies and advertisers. He founded Gala Games to give the power back to the people so that they can have an active voice in development.
Our lead game developer, Michael McCarthy, is the designer behind games like Farmville 2, which had over 34m users at its peak. He is the one who does all the tuning on Town Star. On a personal note, he was also one of the main designers behind Arcanum, which was one of my all-time favorite RPGs…and so I am REALLY looking forward to our next game, Mirandus.
We have 14 full-time people in our team, and we are in this for the long haul. Gala Games is working to decentralize billions of dollars in game-related advertising by giving people ownership of the games themselves, as well as drawing on the people to crowdsource ideas and concepts for game development.
Our mission is “to enable freedom for anyone on this planet through play.” Play is an essential part of being human, and it is one of the things that makes us who we are. We weren’t designed to sit in cubicles, but were designed to play. The world requires some cubicle-sitting, but we want to make it possible for you to play and earn rewards at the same time.
You can find out a lot about us by going to our website www.gala.games and by setting up an account by going to playtownstar.com. I look forward to answering your questions and participating fully in this AMA!
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Q2: How does Gala Games different from traditional gaming platforms and other blockchain gaming projects?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: EXCELLENT QUESTION! This is SUPER critical! Firstly, it is important to recognize that Gala Games isn’t a “blockchain game company” it is a mass-driven “game company that uses blockchain.” This is a hugely important distinction, because it fundamentally changes how we look at things. Blockchain projects tend to measure users in the thousands… there are VERY few blockchain projects with more than a few thousand active users. This makes us VERY different from the average blockchain based game.
However…there are 2.4 BILLION gamers around the world…and it is THESE people we are working to attract. We aren’t sitting around talking about how cool blockchain is…we are building games first and innovating, while finding ways to use blockchain as a tool to serve these gamers. As such, we want to see users in the hundreds of millions, not the thousands. In order to do that, we have to build amazing GAMES first…our projects aren’t tech demos to prove that blockchain is usable, but rather top-tier games that use blockchain as an underlying technology.
A lot of blockchain games aren’t fun because they aren’t games – they are interesting proof-of-concept pieces about how blockchain could potentially be used. There are some amazing engineers working on some awesome game concepts out there, but when you think of things only from within the context of blockchain, it can be limiting. Our sole focus isn’t blockchain people…its gamers, stay-at-home moms, people in the back of cabs on the way to the office…everyone who plays a game, we welcome with open arms.
This makes us clearly different from the average “game” company too, because our focus is on building things that YOU own, rather than just building things to sell you that you can’t do anything with.
Q3: How do I join the Gala Games? Are there any conditions for players?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: Go to playtownstar.com and create an account. We are currently working on changing the signup journey to make it easier for you to play without creating an account, but that will get you started on the journey. There are no limitations, but you can only win rewards for referrals if you use a real email account, so go get it done! 🙂
Blockelite Host: Beautiful interface
Try it free, right?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: We are rebuilding that right now…its not optimal
Yeah, the whole account creation flow is being reworked…should be released in a week or two.
Blockelite Host: We need creat ones?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: If you guys would like to…you can win rewards by creating accounts and playing.
Or by inviting other people to come play after you have created your own account.
we pay for referrals of REAL gamers to our system.
(but please don’t try to auto-create accounts with bots…we will know)
Q4: What are the Gala token utilities? What are the user benefits of holding Gala token in the long term?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: GALA powers the entire ecosystem and ties everything together. In our perspective, everyone who has ever played most modern games has been a victim of a scam…they were asked to pay money for a game they never owned, to get items in the game they never owned, and often experienced the frustration of losing their account if they tried to sell a skin or something to someone else.
In the Gala Games ecosystem, you own your assets, and the Gala Games Network would continue whether we were around or not. In the long term, we want to develop assets and tools that will allow anyone to contribute to the Gala Games Ecosystem and help to steer its development.
For a LONG time, game development has been extremely disconnected from the gamers themselves…as gamers, we have always had to be content with what they give us, and nothing else. With Gala Games, we are working on changing this. The first step is giving gamers ownership of their in-game assets. This is something we have already done and are always expanding.
The second step will be to give those who own Gala Game Nodes actual decision making power in the game development process. This is something that is coming VERY soon, as node owners will be able to cast votes. This week, we are actually rolling out the first proposal submission form for proposals to be submitted to node owners. This will be a VERY important part of the development of Mirandus, which we will be announcing some awesome updates for this week, so make sure you join our Discord at galagames.chat.
And if you want to get some GALA, the best place is Uniswap: https://info.uniswap.org/pair/0xbe19c32b4cd202407e8eeb73e4e2949438461ae3
Blockelite Host: Only uniswap now?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: No, we are on Bitrue, Coinsbit, Digifinex, and have others coming in Q1 of next year.
I can’t say the names, obviously, but I think you guys would be happy with them. 😛
Q5: What is the market strategy of Gala Games to get mass adoption by millions of users or investors outside the crypto space into your project and build a strong gaming community?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: It really boils down to making crypto friendly. It is SCARY to most people. We found that when we included “blockchain” on our landing page, conversion from advertising dropped 80%. This means that we need to focus on making it more friendly and basically not mentioning blockchain unless someone actually cares enough to use that part of our ecosystem.
Very soon, we are going to begin doing some more conventional marketing around TownStar and eventually Mirandus. We are also looking at adding several new games to the ecosystem, including one that has over 3,000 daily new installs.
Segment 2: 5 best questions from Twitter
Q1: Part of the team has experience from the game FarmVille, a quite popular game. What in his experience did they bring to GalaGames?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: Not just “experience” with Farmville (Farmville 2 actually), but with Zynga in general. Our CEO, Eric Schiermeyer, is the co-Founder of Zynga and oversaw the growth of Zynga from a small startup to a company with over 100m daily active users.
Michael McCarthy was the Creative Director behind Farmville 2, and brings a TON of experience with other game studios as well. We have a rockstar team working on things, with new people just waiting to join. There is a LOT more coming in the very near future!
Q2: What is your background and how did you come to the idea to create GalaGames project? Why did you choose the name GalaGames? Does it have special meaning and is there any story behind this name?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: I have been in blockchain since 2014, when I won the Global Development Network / Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Award for a paper I wrote about blockchain and how it could be used to fix the problems endemic to foreign aid. Before that, I worked in Haiti following the earthquake doing relief work…I saw a lot of corruption there, and know how much blockchain can help to make a system transparent. I have worked in blockchain on a few different projects (XP, RDD, Verge, and a few others), but this is the FIRST project I have worked on that has had real developers behind it…usually its just one person working on development…we have 14 people working on this, so it is a whole different thing. I joined the project because the CEO (Eric) approached me personally and asked me to help with the community and marketing. I have known him for a few years and was very happy to join and help.
Personally, I have lived in Southeast Asia (Thailand) for the last decade. I know a lot of people in BlockElite are in Vietnam, and I look forward to setting up an event next time I am in Southeast Asia. This year has seemed like the longest year EVER with COVID, and I am looking forward to being able to visit and host a Gala Games event in Vietnam as soon as possible.
In terms of the name “Gala Games”: The Team picked this name because of its older meaning of a “festive celebration.” The name is fun and lively, and reflects our belief that life and gaming should be a celebration. Play is such a fundamental part of what makes humans HUMAN, that we wanted to find a way to bring that joyfulness into the branding itself.
Q3: Most of gamers don’t have technical blockchain/crypto knowledge. My question is how would you introduce Gala Games games to normal users who doesn’t have enough knowledge about blockchain?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: We introduce it as a game publishing company…thats it. How many people understand how their car or motorcycle works? You don’t need to know the details of how the larger object works to benefit from it. We see blockchain as just another part of the technological stack that gives people ownership, but that they don’t need to interface with at all.
So, we introduce GALA to people as just another part of a normal game world. Blockchain people can interface with it more if they want, just like you can fix your own car if you want, but people who aren’t interested, just play games. In fact, we are designing everything to operate to be even easier than an app to use…you can just play by going to a website and get a native app feel without the downloads.
Q4: Blockchain games have looked quite primitive so far in their design and it’s clear there is a long way to go to meet the current gaming standard. But it’s potential. What do you believe is needed in order for Gala and blockchain gaming space to continue to advance and evolve?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: Yes, there is a LONG way to go. This is why it is so important to have GAME DEVELOPERS building things. Most of the time, blockchain games are built by blockchain people…not game developers, so it makes it hard to get the real game experience in. It takes having a whole team of artists and designers on staff, game economy designers, and a whole bunch of other people that typically wouldn’t go anywhere near blockchain.
We bring that experience and team to our development initiatives. Just wait until you see what is coming for Mirandus! I am SO EXCITED.
Q5: How do you plan to overthrow the two giants (Sandbox, Hash Rush) already exploring the online game industry?
What are the obstacles you came across as you execute this project and how do you overcome them?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: There is no need to “overthrow” anyone…the beautiful thing about blockchain is that we can find ways to work together. The Sandbox can build a TownStar component into their game if they want, or make it possible to use TownStar NFTs inside their ecosystem, we can build cryptokitties into TownStar or Mirandus if we want to…there are so many amazingly creative ways we can work TOGETHER, we don’t need to overthrow anyone.
There are always obstacles. Right now, the biggest challenge we have is in scaling our team to handle everything we are working on. We are doing great though! So much more is coming soon!
Segment 3: Live questions.
Q1: Any small coding error can permanently damage the entire assets of the LPs. This is the biggest risk of Yield Farming . How will you deal with this problem? Has your smart contract been audited by any blockchain system?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: Yes, our smart contract was audited by Anchain.AI. We take this very seriously and always want to make sure that we are on top of security. https://www.anchain.ai/gala-certificate
Q2: Is your project is fully decentralized and is there some risk of centralization in the future?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: The GALA token is based on the Ethereum blockchain, so it will always be totally decentralized. I do not see any risk for centralization in the future. In the long term, we want to see Gala Games work to curate the platform, so that developers can approach us, seek funding for a game, and then get awarded GALA to help them develop. Then we can help promote them to the network. I think this will work very well in the long run to keep us decentralized.
Q3: Currently, Asian attaches great importance to Blockchain technology, is this a great opportunity for GalaGame ? How is the GalaGame project planned to develop in Asian?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: As someone who has lived and worked in Asia, I see the Asian market as VERY important. The markets in Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia are extremely important and active, and I look forward to expanding the communities there. We will be promoting new communities in the future, and I know that the Asian markets will love some of the new games we have coming.
Q4: GalaGames is supposed to be community owned, how is the power of decision making in the platform given to users?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: Currently, node owners can vote on proposals that we put to them through a sentiment measuring system right now, though we would like to convert it into a fully-fledged DAO with blockchain-proved submissions, an upvoting/downvoting mechanism, and automatic awarding of Gala Games Development Fund awards. However, this will require some more development time as it must be implemented correctly.
The BEST way to be heard right now is to join our Discord at galagames.chat.
Q5: It is possible play the gala games directly by a Mobile device? Do you have plans to develop an application to obtain a better gaming experience?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: I don’t know that an “app” would actually give you a better gaming experience. The first thing here is that both Apple and Google HATE anything blockchain related…so if you have blockchain assets in-app, you will be kicked off the app store for a ToS (Terms of Service) violation.
With that in mind, we design so that you can play on mobile without difficulty. We want to make our games available to as many people as possible. TownStar works great on mobile, and we plan for our future games to be available as well.
Q6: Does GalaGame really need the blockchain?
Jason Brink – Head of Marketing, Gala Games: If we just wanted to run a game company and make apps and make money using those apps…no…Gala Games doesn’t need a blockchain.
However, thats not what we want to do…we want to change gaming FOREVER by giving YOU ownership of your items. THAT is what we want to do…and that requires a blockchain.
Thank you very much for having me here! I can’t wait to come to Vietnam and visit soon!
I have to go because this ran a bit over, but please join us in Discord at galagames.chat and check us out on Uniswap – https://info.uniswap.org/pair/0xbe19c32b4cd202407e8eeb73e4e2949438461ae3
Our AMA session is now over !!!