Upland’s World of NFTs
In this chapter you will learn more about Upland’s future plans to integrate NFTs into the game.
- NFT Categories in Upland
- Future Plans on NFTs
An Introduction to Upland’s NFT Categories
In the last chapter you have learned more about the definition of a NFT and the three key principles (digital ownership, digital scarcity and cross-platform asset interoperability). Now let us take a look at Upland’s NFT plans. One thing is already known: these plans cover a huge scope and could have a major impact on the whole gaming industry. The chosen standard for NFTs on the EOS blockchain is called dGoods standard that is an open-source standard providing true ownership and targets the mass market. It allows developers to put multiple categorized tokens into one contract. Furthermore, the dGoods standard includes a hierarchical naming structure, the creation of sub-tokens, certificates of authenticity and a built-in exchange.
In a post on Medium the Upland team categorized NFTs into the following three categories:
- 3D Map Assets
- Assets for Homes and Businesses
- Speciality Assets
Each of those has a variety of subcategories that include lots of interesting features that are being developed.
NFTs in Upland: The Present
Before we take a look at the future plans for NFTs in Upland, let us quickly summarize the status of NFTs in the current version. Some of the features are partially included, which is why they will be listed under present.
Each of the properties in Upland represents an NFT on the blockchain and is a unique asset in the game. Although some properties might look similar, they are not the same. Each property has a distinctive address that differentiates them from each other. There can only be one property on a specific address. Moreover, each property is a parcel with a size that is measured in UP². It is the abbreviation for Up Squares which is the measurement unit for an area of exactly 3×3 meters. The size of a property will be important for building and business-related functions that are currently in development.
Exclusive Upland Explorers
Each player receives some basic Block Explorers depending on the status level (e.g. Visitor, Uplander, Pro, etc.). These standard explorers are regular assets. If a player reaches the Director status the creation of a custom explorer can be unlocked. Although the feature of having custom explorers is already in the game, the switch to becoming NFTs is yet to come. Unique block stories that explain the background of a block explorer are planned as well.
Limited Edition Block Explorers from Events and Challenges
Throughout a year there are lots of special events and challenges that players can participate in. In some of those events players might win a limited block explorer that fits to a certain theme. One example is the SF Love Tour van that was given out to everybody that has successfully completed the SF Love Tour.
Furthermore, there are limited block explorers like the First Flight rings that have been give out for free in a promotion for UPX purchases. All speciality block explorers will be tradable in so called block explorer shops that will be explained later on.
NFTs in Upland: The Future
If the Upland team continues to work as dedicated as they did in the past, Upland’s future could not shine brighter. There are tons of cool features in the pipeline and each of them will tremendously increase the depth of gameplay.
3D Map Assets
Upland will implement so-called 3D map assets as NFTs that will appear on Upland’s map. This feature will greatly improve the visuals of the game and allow players to individualize their properties with various assets.
The first example that was mentioned in regards to 3D map assets is the category of property-tethered assets. These NFTs are bound to a specific property. As an example, for such assets the Upland team mentioned buildings. This is amazing! Players will have the option to have buildings on their properties. One example of how it might look like is already included if you visit the town hall in San Francisco. Keep in mind that property-tethered assets can only be traded together with the complete property. It will not be possible to remove them to replace them on another property. It is a good example that shows that Upland is trying to achieve a realistic gameplay approach when it comes to buildings.
The opposite of property-bound assets are portable assets. These NFTs represent decorative items (e.g. sculptures) and utility objects (e.g. cars). These NFTs can be removed from a property and taken over to another. Realistic options will be implement to make sure that portable assets fit the game design. It is estimated that special properties such as landmarks will have limited options for individualism.
This kind of NFT sounds complex, but it is quite easy to understand. A dual-phase asset is basically a portable asset (in unused state), that becomes a property-bound asset once it has been used on a property. After it has been used it will only be tradable together with the complete property. The developers mentioned that trees will be an example for this category of NFTs.
Please keep in mind that all 3D map assets will be directly visible to any other player on the map. Once implemented Upland will be a complete different gaming experience with customized neighborhoods everywhere.
Assets for Homes and Businesses
NFTs that belong to this overall category will only be visible once a player enters a property. The Upland team mentioned that they will consist of the following two subtypes:
Native Upland NFTs
These NFTs are describing assets and items that have been created directly for Upland. Artists and designers will have the option to directly sell and distribute their creations inside Upland. It is expected that further details for this process will be given once property development is implemented. It is a huge feature that will bring a lot of attention to Upland. Since the game is targeting the mass market, just imagine how amazing it would be if there are thousands of uniquely designed properties. You might invite your neighbors and friends to take a look at the new furniture.
Moreover, it will also allow real world businesses to enable their design teams to sell virtual assets that might function as digital merchandise goods.
Upland Gateway NFTs
While native Upland NFTs will be used for new assets, Upland gateway NFTs will allow creators and players to import existing NFTs from other blockchains into Upland. The very first test was done with the CryptoKitties example from the previous chapter. The difference will be that as a final goal players will be able to attach and detach their NFTs at any time. Imagine you could show your friends how the new NFTs of your favored soccer club look like inside one of your properties. It adds a complete new layer to the game that no other game is currently offering. Real world companies could also use their existing NFTs to decorate virtual offices in Upland, how amazing ist that?
The assets for homes and businesses will be one of the most amazing features. Every player could buy virtual interior to create the unique design that he ever wanted to have, but could not realize it for various reasons, such as budget limitations. It will also create a new level of job opportunities for artist, graphic designers and even enable interior designers to offer their services in a digital metaverse. It could also combine other digital branches, from any real world business, real sports eSports and much more. We will see a lot of cool stuff in the future, newly created assets and also existing assets that will be taken over from other games and blockchains. What a game changer!
In the “Present” section of this chapter exclusive and limited block explorers where mentioned as examples for speciality assets. The Upland founders also mentioned another point of interest, namely licenses for businesses.
Players will have the option to open businesses where they can sell goods and services in the Upland’s digital metaverse. The license itself will also be a NFT on the blockchain and players will be allowed to lease it to other players. Therefore, players who bought a license but have no time to create their own business can still earn money from their license via leasing. It is an interesting concept to think about. As the Upland team is still planning the details about licensing, only very limited information is available.
All in all it has to be stated that NFTs will change the way that we are playing games. Most of the modern games on the market are limiting the assets to their own brands with limited customization features. Yes, some game developers cooperate with other brands (e.g. Rocket League) but the exchange of assets and items is always limited to the ones that the developer is allowing. If you think about the game Pokémon it was possible to exchange limited Pokémon with friends from one version to another. But you never had the choice to change other assets in the game did you? The gaming series called “The Sims” is a very successful example of a high degree of customization. However, all assets are officially distributed by the game developers themselves. You might argue that most games have been modded but that sometimes requieres a lot of skill and may also crash the game.
The previous examples are representing a lot of innovations but they do not really qualify for a real revolution in the global gaming sector. Upland will go one step ahead to become the very first game to allow the implementation of NFTs from other blockchains. This will allow nearly nearly a limitless amount of customization features in the future. Stay tuned.
In case there are unknown terms in this article, please take a look at the glossary, which will be updated regularly. If you have any questions, feel free to message me on Discord.