#285: Crypto: The Game Season 2

📺 How does blockchain make the Reality TV show concept more interesting?

Crypto: The Game launches Season 2

Ever wanted to be on a game show? Do you long for the early days of reality shows like Survivor, Big Brother, and The Bachelor/Bachelorette? We now have one that we can proudly call our own with Crypto: The Game.

TLDR of how the game works?

  • Participants mint Player NFTs for 0.1 ETH (~$330)

  • There are 800 players, and the last one standing after the 10 day game takes home 72 ETH, or ~$237k (10% of the 80 ETH pot goes to the CTG team)

  • Players are assigned a tribe and compete in group and individual challenges to receive immunity

  • Players are voted off every night

In Season 1, the winner took home 37 ETH, winning everyone’s hearts and votes by writing poems for other players and gave the show a warm and fuzzy feel-good ending. CTG was such a cult hit that there was even a reunion show with some of the players at ETH Denver.

I would’ve joined Season 1 in a heartbeat but I could only observe from the sidelines because I was traveling. This time, I made sure to join in on the fun for Season 2. Because I was following Season 2 closely, I noticed some interesting ways that CTG maintained relevance and interest for the community of players and observers.

Sharing metrics publicly

One post that Dylan (CTG founder) shared around game engagement caught my eye.

These absolute numbers are tiny by most standards, but this is with 410 players. The engagement is not only 100% — it’s deep and that depth could be measured via multiple metrics: through the website, challenges, and messages (which was omitted and wouldn’t be fully captured because messaging could be done off-platform as well). Maybe someone created a bot to play the flappy challenge because 38 million clicks is a lot…

These numbers reminded me of Yuga Labs’ Dookey Dash last year, which yielded some impressive metrics as well:

With 1 day left…

Sewer Passes minted: 26,058

Sewer Passes that have played Dookey Dash: 24,388

Number of Dashes (plays): 7,231,600

Based on these numbers, each Sewer Pass has dashed an average of 296 times.

Additionally, 93% of minted sewer passes have played. This conversion rate is extremely high because holders need to play in order to participate in the next phase of the game.

Announcing partnerships

With those types of number, it’s not a surprise that many companies would be interested in partnering. Dylan and team were able to bring on a reputable group of partners that includes Privy, Boys Club (companion podcast), Uniswap, Lens, Wormhole, Safe, 3LAU (soundtrack), POAP, and possibly more.

These partnerships are unique in a couple ways.

The partnership announcement template

Here’s the video clip that accompanied the CTG x Uniswap partnership announcement.

Not only is the clip captivating, it’s a template that is used in each of the announcements that I linked above. For Uniswap, the orb has the signature Uniswap pink to further emphasize the Uniswap partnership.

With the Safe partnership, we see the orb announcement template taken a step further. Since Safe is the multisig wallet partner that holds the prize pot, the video clip highlights that aspect perfectly.

On top of that, the homepage welcome video can be a template as well. CTG Season 2 is built on Base, and the team created a Base version to announce that partnership.

Shoutout to Tylerj and Off-Brand for the great design work (not sure if it’s just Tyler or the Studio that worked on this). We need more of this in the industry!

Custom challenges

These partners won’t be just a logo plastered on social posts. Uniswap, Lens, Wormhole, and POAP worked with CTG to create custom challenges.

This is a win for the partners in a few ways:

  • Partners are able to advertise their product in a creative way that sticks out (again, even the announcement itself catches your attention)

  • We’ll see what the custom challenges look like, but I imagine it will involve using the product, not just seeing a product or hearing about it. This is 100x more valuable than an impression.

  • Some of the players are notable figures in the spaces including founders, VCs, and influencers. Getting these people to use your product is a different type of strategic play. And then there are nobody’s like me 😉

I imagine there will be a long partnership backlog for future seasons if these ones are successful.

Have you watched reality TV before? If so, share or subscribe!

Other interesting mechanics

Anyone can play

I was fortunate enough to be on the early list to mint my spot in CTG, while the public sale sold out in less than 15 minutes yesterday. However, unlike reality TV shows you can still be a contestant even if you aren’t selected. Or in this case, if you don’t mint the NFT.

One adjustment for Season 2 is that players can sell their NFT to others who want to participate in the game. The concept of token-gated access is a boring concept these days because what the tokens provide access to hasn’t been that interesting. CTG provides a refreshing take on what token-gated access looks like: for access to an online/onchain reality TV show at any point in that show.

So when I say anyone can play, it literally means that. And at any point in the game.

From Player to Jury

If a player gets voted out, their Player NFT turns into a Jury NFT. Similar to Survivor, eliminated players with their Jury NFT vote on the winner of the show on the last day, encouraging everyone to stay engaged.

CTG’s native marketplace

CTG created its own native marketplace to buy and sell Player NFTs as a way to get players to stay on the site and possibly secure creator royalties (you can customize the royalties you want to pay if you list on Opensea).

The team added a simple but notable feature to incentivize users to use this native marketplace. The CTG marketplace will show whether a Player NFT has immunity or not, while secondary marketplaces won’t have that data shown (not sure how this is done, maybe it’s not in the metadata, and immunity status is an offchain trait?).

Will the game be gamed?

Because CTG isn’t a permissioned game show (eg: random people can’t buy access into an IRL show), there are some interesting edge cases that the game presents:

  • What if there are players who participate in the game with multiple wallets that hold 1 Player NFT each?

  • What if one wallet has multiple Player NFTs?

  • What if someone buys up all the Jury NFTs to vote for the winner?

It would certainly make the game less fun. I imagine the CTG team has considered these scenarios and will find unique ways to address these edge cases. This is worth following along to observe the constant whack-a-mole that occurs with sybiling and cutting corners to make a game more fair although the above scenarios aren’t explicitly against the rules although there are T&C’s giving CTG the right to disqualify participants for fraudulent activity. As exciting as CTG is, humanness isn’t an issue for reality TV.

Is this what Web3 with TPan will be for the next 2 weeks?

Oh God, I’m unsubscribing if TPan is just going to write about this dumb faux crypto reality TV show shit for next two weeks.

I mean…apparently a player from Season 1 said this, so no promises lol.

What I can promise is that I want to focus on what blockchain can do to build upon the established frameworks and mechanics of reality TV. I’m not a diehard gameshow fan (I did grow up eating dinner while watching people eat cockroaches on Fear Factor though. I know, weird) nor do I think I will do well on CTG because I’m a simple dude who strongly prefers everyone be friends and play nice instead of backstabbing and strategizing.

An impact blockchain has made is that the contestant selection process is now permissionless and dynamic. Anyone can participate in the game even if they didn’t mint the Player NFT. If someone wants to join in the middle of the game, they can purchase a Player NFT (at a premium of course). This used to be a twist that the producers planned and manufactured. These twists are now determined by the open market, and possibly even you if you want to go from viewer to player.

And with that, I’ll ‘vote’ myself off from this piece. See you next week!

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