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🎮What is GunStar? I Market Design, Mechanism Design and Token Design Explained🎮
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Disclaimer: This is not financial advice
Gunstar is a 2D MMORPG turn-based artillery strategy game. It is developing its own in-house scholarship rental system, with a free-to-play clap system which allows users to experience the entire game with one free pet. However, users would need to purchase at least two NFT pets in order to withdraw their utility tokens from the economy.
Players are split into two teams where they would compete with each other on a turn-based artillery strategy. Teams have pets which are NFTs, and these pets have unique projectile-based skills, which are thrown in the hopes of hitting the targets. In PVE, the targets are computer-controlled, while in PVP the opponents are other players.
Killers: Gunstar sports a big PVP aspect with its competitive scene. The game also features a leaderboard, which is what killer architects mainly thrive on.
Achievers: The campaign side, or the PVE side, sports a progressive nature which achiever archetypes may find challenging and spurred onwards to complete the game.
Socialisers: Socialising features are present in terms of family or clan features, which are planned to be rolled out in future.
Miners: As this is a play-to-earn game, miners are foreseeably present in Gunstar's economy. A trade-off for miners would be selecting between extracting the value of $GSC tokens or reinvesting these tokens into the game to further their progression, which allows them to earn more tokens in the future.
Investors: A pen renting system and house renting system inside the economy means that both of these NFTs could be sources of passive income if rented to active players.
Pets are levelled up with the use of GSE tokens, whereby the level is capped depending on the level of the user's account. Users are therefore not able to purchase high-level pets from the marketplace. Pets have a maximum of three charges for energy. There are a total of 18 tickets that can be used to play the game, and these tickets and energy will recharge as the day progresses. Players can equip items to help them with gameplay, which can be acquired from the Wheel of Fortune, or purchased using GSC tokens. The Wheel of Fortune runs on an RNG mechanic.
There are two on-chain tokens inside Gunstar and one off-chain token hard currency called runes. The first on-chain token is called GST and players obtain it by arena participation, through leaderboard rankings trading on the marketplace, or through special events held by the development team. It's mainly used for staking governance, exchanging NFT bets, borrowing these bets through the rental system and anything to do with marketplace currencies, such as buying and selling of NFTs. There is a maximum circulating supply of around 400 million GST.
The game also has a utility token called GSC, mainly obtained through campaigns such as PVEs with raid bosses, arenas, PVP, leaderboard rewards, as well as direct exchange from other players. GSC is used for the Wheel of Fortune, to roll or obtain in-game items. It can be used to merge pet fragments into NFTs, level up pets, purchase stamina - which is limited per day, and pay for house rentals and transportation within the ecosystem. The latter part is not yet active in the ecosystems (as of August 2022) but it has been mentioned in the white paper released by the development team. It is an uncapped token - an inflationary token - meaning that the more the user plays the game, the more GST token is minted.
Lastly, Gunstar has an offshore token called runes, obtained by converting it from GSC. Users can get runes through the completion of daily quests or campaigns, or by direct purchase. Runes are used to purchase raid passes, which in turn allow a player to battle raid bosses to win NFT pet fragments. Runes are also used to upgrade free bets, allowing progression within the free-to-play ecosystem. Because it's off-chain, it's also an uncapped token within the economy.
Skilled gameplay drives the supply of GST tokens, while GSC tokens will primarily be driven by interactions with the protocol, such as through PVE. It is possible for any user to earn runes - the same as with GSC tokens, but users could also purchase them directly from Gunstar.
As GST is a marketplace currency, anything that has to do with the trading of NFTs would affect the demand for GST tokens.
GSC is more focused on utility syncs and progression within the game, such as levelling up your pets or purchasing items that help in completing the levels.
The demand for runes comes from the need to do raid battles, which are driven by how much a player would need an NFT fragment in order to mint a new pet.
The bulk token allocation is geared towards the different sales of the token. Pre-sales of the token while 19% goes to the development of the project. 18.11% is allocated to the reserves of the team treasury, while only 16.5% goes to the team and its advisors. 15% goes to marketing activities, 10% to liquidity and market making through the different exchanges, while 0.5% is reserved for airdrops.
Idiosyncratic Risk #1
The game draws inspiration from Gunbound and Wormz. Comparisons will always be drawn, and the market may adopt a perception that Gunstar is a copycat game because of where it drew its inspiration from.
To mitigate this, Gunstar could add unique features that would help it differentiate itself from Gunbound or from Wormz. This could be done after the core game-loop is fully developed and they could add features based on other games by using the same NFTs.
Another risk which Gunstar has is botting. Strategy plays a really big part in the gameplay, which relies on the calculation and positioning of bets. If a bot is used to bypass these calculations and bypass different elements inside a stage, it could impact the overall gameplay experience for gamers.
To mitigate this, the Gunstar team should invest in anti-voting measures to make sure bots do not thrive in their economy. They should look for ways to identify if a user is a bot, or if a user is using a script within their device. This would ensure the playing field is levelled.
Idiosyncratic Risk #2
NFTs inside the ecosystem are repetitive and identical from an end user's perspective. The only differentiating factor for these NFTs is based on their stats and those stats are based on the level of the NFTs. Everything else will probably be similar - one particular entity would have the same skills as a different NFT of the same character.
One way to prevent players from having a cap on the content and to entice them further to purchase from the marketplace - especially once they have collected all the pets - is to add vertical progression to the pets. Perhaps introduce a mechanic where players could fuse two of the same pet together, allowing players to customise the skills they want to use within the game. That helps to add depth to the game while making it more fun. It also functions as an NFT burn mechanic as well.
Idiosyncratic Risk #3
The introduction of new NFTs is quite slow in this ecosystem. Users would have to collect enough NFT fragments to fuse them together to obtain a new NFT. Once the game enters mass adoption, there will be a limited supply of NFTs. The growing demand might make it too expensive for new players to enter the economy. This means Gunstar may potentially price out future or potential users of the game.
Though the developers can always add more eggs, which would produce two NFTs per egg, this would simply be an inflationary mechanic given that the number of users or growth will eventually stop.
The team should monitor and be mindful of the number of users that they have and the number of NFTs inside the marketplace. They should continually look to add new pets to the ecosystem, as well as introduce vertical progression to avoid overinflating the economy with a large number of identical NFTs.