An Introduction to Property Development

The most wanted feature that was officially announced on June 8th 2020 in a medium post is the property development update. As you learned in Chapter 2 of the NFT Masterminds course properties in Upland are NFTs on the blockchain. With the launch of the property development players will be able to create assets on their properties such as structures. This will enhance the gameplay with amazing visuals that will lead from a 2D perspective into a 3D world. Since property development is not implemented yet, let us focus on all the information that is already available.

Each property in Upland is defined by two factors: class and size. The class specifies the kind of buildings that a player may construct. The range of options will depend on the region of a city in which a property is located.

Quick reminder: the area of a property is measured in up squares (UP²) where one UP² equals an area of 3 m x 3 m = 9 square meters (m²). This area will limit the size of a property and possibly the building time as well.

3D Visuals Example (here: San Francisco Town Hall)

The Size of a Property can be seen in the Property Menu (UP² Size)

Spark – Upland’s Resource Token

Similar to the real world developing a property will require resources. In Upland players will need to spend both UPX and time to finish a structure. The latter resource, time, comes with a little twist. Instead of just waiting for the completion players have to use an in-game utility token named Spark. The Spark token will be explained in detail in the next chapter. 

Structure Positioning Options and NFT Characteristics

In Upland players might buy properties with all kinds of shapes, from small square shapes to large drawn-out shapes. It was mentioned that a building has to fit inside a property. Therefore, it will not be possible to build a skyscraper on a property with a size of only 20 UP². Having this kind of realism is perfectly fine and fits with the overall theme of smashing the boundaries between the real and virtual world. Players will be able to rotate buildings to select the direction for the entrance. You might already know this feature from other simulation games such as The Sims. Once a structure has been built on a property it will not be possible to rotate it anymore. Thus, players have to carefully make their decisions before selecting the final position. Additionally, players can also select a color and name their creations. This will customize the appearance and offer players to create well known points of interest.

For a future update it was announced that players will have the option to merge two adjacent properties into one larger one. However, it is still unknown how long players have to wait until merging will be implemented.

All buildings will be tethered to a specific property and will also be notarized on the blockchain. If a property is sold to another player, the building on the property will be transferred to the new owner as well. Buildings cannot be sold separately, but they can be demolished by the owner.

Property Development Examples

Developing Neighborhoods

The Upland team will launch a rating system for neighborhoods which will most probably have an impact factors such as the recurrent earnings. Amongst others the rating will be measured by size of buildings, number of residents, decorative items and number of businesses.

If a neighborhood reaches a certain threshold, a new collection will become available for all residents. Therefore highly rated neighborhoods might have an additional one-time reward and a higher earnings multiplier.

Players will be able to place decorative assets and items on their properties (e.g. gardens, courts, trees, sculptures) which will add a new level of customization features to the game.

Residential Addresses

Each Uplander will be given the option to choose one of their buildings as a home address. This property will then become the unique home address of a player with benefits such as increasing the neighborhood rating or special voting rights. The overall goal of Upland is to give its citizens the control about the metaverse, so a voting system will be giving more power to the playerbase. However, it needs to be thoroughly designed otherwise there will be players who could abuse such a system for example by buying votes.

Having residential addresses is a really cool update. Many other online multiplayer games also have such an option, but in Upland it will be unique due to being able to import NFTs from other blockchains. This way players are able to customize their virtual homes even further which is increasing the level of immersion while also fostering interaction among players (e.g. trading interior and exterior NFTs).

Example for a Home Address

Implementing Businesses: Licensing

Can you imagine a virtual metaverse without any businesses? No, we can’t either. That’s why Upland will implement an option for players to open their own businesses to sell a unique composition of goods and services to fellow Uplanders. Similar to the real world such a market needs to be regulated. Therefore, Upland will introduce business licenses to be able to open a new business in Upland. These licenses will be limited in number and allow it’s owner to establish a business in a specific city.

Business licenses are implemented as SFTs (Semi Fungible Token) on the blockchain. While NFTs are each representing a unique asset, SFTs are representing assets (here an intangible asset – the right to open up a business) that are all representing the same kind. If you buy a business license for San Francisco you will have the same rights than another player who also buys a business license in the same city. It was mentioned that players need to have the Pro status (net worth of at least 100k UPX) to be able to buy a license. Another interesting thing that was mentioned is that players will be able to lease out their licenses. This generates a new source of income as you could just buy licenses and lease them to others. Apart from this we yet have to wait for further information about the topic of business licenses.

Early Version of buying Business Licenses

Types of Businesses

Let’s have a look on the types of businesses that have already been announced to be implemented into Upland. The Upland team has been thinking about a wide range of businesses which will be explained in the following passage. There will be player interaction, Upland services, leisure activities, financial services and even new means of transportation.

Cafés

One of the first things that was requested by Upland’s playerbase was the option to be able to chat with other players. The developers listened to this suggestion and will implement cafés. In cafés players can communicate with others in live chat rooms. The owner of a café may moderate the chat or can also appoint moderators. Moreover, players will be able to buy virtual gifts inside cafés.

Block Explorer Shops

In block explorer shops, players will be able to buy or resell block explorers. Owners of such shops may either purchase official block explorers from Upland (as a form of wholesaler) and they may also implement new explorer designs (need to be approved by the Upland team) themselves. These block explorers can then be sold to fellow Uplanders.

This is a very awesome feature which will also allow custimzation features to players who do no have the Director status yet. These players will also be able to buy individual block explorers for a cheaper price. In addition to this, it is also expected that there will be completely new designs for higher prices, for example there could be golden explorers.

Realty Agencies

These businesses enable players to bundle property deals that can be sold within a single transaction. Right now, players can only purchase one property at once, but imagine you would like to sell a complete collection. Furthermore, owners of such agencies will be able to provide advanced listing and renting services. The details have yet to be announced.

Arcades

Arcades are the gaming shops in Upland. Here players will be able to play both casual and competitive games. As a first step, owners will be able to host their own pinata minigame while more sophisticated games are in the development pipeline.

Early Version of Arcardes

Pinata Treasure Store

Have you ever wanted to create your own treasure hunt? The pinata treasure store is giving you the option to buy a pinata that you can hide at any property inside Upland. Other players may then purchase a ticket to participate in your treasure hunt as a live event.

NFT Galleries

One of the most exiting business types is the NFT gallery. Upland will be the very first blockchain game to allow players to import NFTs from other blockchains (e.g. Ethereum) into the game. A new escrow system will be introduced to secure the NFT ownership will the NFT will be migrated to the EOS blockchain. NFT owners will still be able to pull the assets out of Upland back into the original blockchain. This way big NFT marketplaces and also individual NFT shops will be able to massively increase their target audiences.

Upland Merchandise Stores

These merchandise shop will really smash the boundaries between the real and virtual world. Players will be able to purchase real merchandise items inside these Upland approved stores. For example, you can buy one of the cool Upland t-shirts that you might have seen in some of the videos by Upland officials. Once you bought the t-shirt for a certain amount of UPX, the physical delivery will be started. That way you can purchase real items for UPX. It was announced that there also very exclusive and limited items will be sold via such stores, so keep yourself up to date for their release.

Nurseries

If you want to enhance your properties with cool garden visuals, nurseries are the way to go. In nurseries players can buy plants and trees. With the implementation of such businesses Upland will also add a lifecycle update for plants and trees, meaning they will be able to grow over time. It was told that once they are planted, it will not be possible to move them to another location, so the positioning needs to be planned.

Banks

Similar to the real world, Uplanders need UPX for their daily expenses. Banks will allow a variety of financial services with integrated escrow services. This will be a very interesting add-on for Upland’s economic system. Since it is a very complex topic, only very little information has been released. It was mentioned that bank owners will be able to give out interest carrying mortgages to other players.

Car Dealerships

It’s time for some new means of transportation: cars. Players will be able to travel in style with cars that can be purchased at player-owned car dealerships. Cars will also be implemented as NFTs, can travel a finite amount of distance and require operational fees to travel.

Useful Resources

Upland’s Official Property Development Roadmap

Side note:

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.

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