Launch of a revolutionary Web3 Game - Star Atlas

Escape Velocity: a technical showcase, that allows players to find in-game loot, by flying around, showcasing novel web3 technology, and powering the upcoming browser game module SAGE.

About

The Star Atlas ecosystem is guided by the DAO with Escape Velocity being a scavenger hunt. In the gameplay, each sector (grid) displayed in the map corresponds to an on-chain location in a 100x100 Cartesian coordinate system.

Project Objective:
As part of the infrastructure team, the main objective of this project was to prepare for the unknown. Many people have built web3 games and dApps that work by making direct calls to various blockchains in the past, but this is the first time in history that each movement a player makes is written in real-time directly to the blockchain. We were able to push the limits of both the Solana blockchain and our own internal system during this grand test phase that left many players rewarded with various in-game loot.

Conceptualization:

  • Infrastructure planning
  • Game server load testing
  • Develop processes to bring games created in PlayCanvas into our infrastructure to be deployed on our servers/domain
  • Capacity planning
  • Strategic resource management
  • Expansion of our current CI/CD processes

Technologies Used:

  • Next.js
  • Node.js
  • Rust Language
  • Python
  • PlayCanvas
  • Colyseus
  • WebSockets
  • @solana/web3.js
  • JavaScript/TypeScript
  • GitHub Actions
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Cloud Run
  • Cloud Storage
  • Cloud DNS
  • Load Balancers
  • Managed Instance Groups
  • Various Solana RPC Providers
  • StackPath
  • New Relic

Features:

  • Solana Wallet Connection
  • Ship enlistment
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Competitive gameplay
  • Technical showcase of Solana & Star Atlas

Functions:

  • The ability for players to use their own ships while playing the game
  • The ability for players to participate in a worldwide scavenger hunt to uncover free loot
  • A demonstration of the potential power of using the Solana blockchain to power a fully on-chain game.
  • Players are able to compete with each other using the ships (NFTs) they purchased through the Star Atlas Marketplace

Project Challenges:

  • Introducing a new technology requirement, PlayCanvas which also required a specialised CI/CD pipeline.
  • Highly technical showcase of never before tested fully on-chain Web3 Game.
  • Requires constant stability and a reliable connection to the Solana network.
  • Required constant monitoring and immediate action during the duration of the scavenger hunt event.
  • Required specialized infrastructure to support the technical requirements of the project.

Solutions we developed:

  • With the addition of the new technology, PlayCanvas, our team got a chance to develop and refine a powerful specialized CI/CD pipeline built to support Game Development using PlayCanvas while still supporting all the required workflows that the team needed for fast iterations and development cycles.
  • The project involved creating something that has never been built before, using the latest bleeding edge technologies we were able to assist the Star Atlas team in delivering a revolutionary, fully on-chain web3 Game.
  • While the event took place, we had many systems running that would require monitoring and attention during spikes. Our team was diligent in applying monitoring software while keeping a close eye on the infrastructure to ensure the project's success.
  • In order to deliver this groundbreaking product to people all over the world, our infrastructure had to be tested and improved over time leading up to the release. With the knowledge and experience gained while working with the Star Atlas team and our background in the blockchain space, we were able to piece together the complex systems and infrastructure required to deliver the final product.
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