AMA with Ayush Ranjan and Hamza Fathallah, CTO and CFO at Warlands
Just recently, our community lead specialist Alex did a great interview with two representatives of the very promising NTF game Warlands — Ayush Ranjan (CTO) and Hamza Fathallah (CFO) — which recently completed integration with Velas Account.
During this interview, they discussed the fundamentals of Warlands gameplay, the prospects for the game’s impact on eSports, its tokenomics and sustainability, as well as the partnership with Velas. Let’s find out the details of this AMA (you can listen, watch, or read the transcript of this interview).
Listen to AMA on Anchor.fm — click here.
Alex: Hi there, dear Community. Here is again Alex, community lead here at Velas, and today we are having some heavy guests — welcome, Warlands and Ayush Ranjan — CTO at Warlands, and Hamza Fathallah — CFO at Warlands. How is it going, guys?
Hamza: Thank you; we are doing well. What about you?
Alex: I finally was able to find a place to work from with stable internet. Happy to see you here, guys! To start with, could you make a small intro about yourselves?
Hamza: We are happy to see you too. My name is Hamza Fathallah. I am 24, I have worked in a few crypto companies, and currently, I am CFO at Warlands.
Alex: Thank you for the introduction. What I can say is that I have checked this Warlands game. It is something interesting; it combines battle royal. Battle royal usually is like 100 people all over the map, but here you have 2 teams, 5x5, and it is still battle royal. It is a pretty interesting combination for those who play games. I am also into gaming; I’ve been playing since I was 10, and it is just a cool combination for me to try. So let’s go, guys, further with the questions. You have already introduced yourself, which was the first question. And I also would like to ask how did you meet each other, how the idea was born, and so on.
Ayush: Sure. So basically, the team met each other about 3 years ago when we all were doing casual games. And I think the Warlands idea was born about 1 year back when I met our CEO, Oliver. He had an idea of combining the different mechanics, as you have told — battle royal having a teamed action, you know, combining all that in a blockchain game, in a new type of blockchain e-sports, and it was of a kind at that time, nobody was thinking of that, so this is how the base idea we came up with, the core mechanics of how we are going to have a better battle royal system, also we will have a team-based system, you could buy things with a blockchain.
We did a lot of brainstorming at an early stage. We spent a lot of time doing research to know what the users want and what the community will want in, let’s say, the upcoming 2–3 years from that time. Those were the pillars, the base of Warlands. At that time, we started only developing the functionalities of the game. Later, after 4–6 months, we started adding the blockchain parts, and that is when we started adding NFT characters, etc. Then we planned our pre-sales, which happened, I think, 1 year back, about 9 months, I guess. We sold all NFTs and all that stuff, then we released the pre-alpha stage of the game, which many people tried. So this is how the idea came up and how we started working on it.
Alex: Thanks for answering this. I guess it is always interesting to hear how it all started, where the idea was born, and so on. My next question will be maybe a bit rough, what do Warlands bring to Velas and our community?
Ayush: It’s not very tough, actually. So, Velas, you know, the game is trying to bring a whole community of hardcore gamers who used to or would like to play good triple-A quality games and games like that and bringing them and combining it with the blockchain user or the NFT user who like to trade with NFT or play the blockchain or play an own game. So, in general, we are trying to bring that community together as well as the whole concept of Velas and its community to make the overall process of the connection between the game and the blockchain easier.
For Velas and us, the game comes right at that place. And we’ll be able to bring that bridge closer, that gap between a PC game or any game or on the blockchain. We want to make it closer so that, you know, it becomes easy for any user if he doesn’t have any knowledge of blockchain or NFT. He can easily, just with the help of Warlands and with the help of Velas, can easily connect with the game, connect with the NFTs, and do all the stuff related to the blockchain. So that is the major part we’ll be bringing with us.
Alex: Yep. Looks cool, and now will be a very important question. Well, at least I personally would like to hear the answer to that. So I want to hear you explain the basic gameplay features, right? Because I saw the introduction video. There are a few introductory videos. And when you are dropped on the map, there are some mobs so that you can farm those. Are you farming those for level-up or for the loot? Because when you play Battle Royale, you don’t usually see any creeps on the map, any mobs, or any bots. Could you enlighten us and explain basic gameplay features?
Ayush: Sure. As I said at the start, Warlands brings many special and unique features to the game. Basically, the core mechanics are like you start a game with your team; it will be a 5vs5 team game. Everyone learns separately, or you can get spawn to the match separately. It doesn’t have to be followed by a leader or something like that. If you want to play as a team, you can obviously join and play as a team also, but you will have the option to land your mounts, which are the pets in the game, just to use your mount, and land at different zones in the game.
Now, let’s speak about zones. Each map will have different zones, like a forest zone or an ice zone, or a desert zone. So every map will have, I think, 7 to 8 zones. And every time a new match is started, the position of these zones can be random. You know, sometimes the ice is connected to the desert, and sometimes the desert is connected to the forest. It can be randomly picked up. Out of the eight zones, each match will have a separate pair of, let’s say, five or six zones, uniquely having their position randomly decided. That is what the zones are. Now, moving on to the mobs or the monsters — each zone has set pairs of the different types of monsters. So ice will have monsters related to ice and all their mechanics and all their weapons related to ice. The same desert monsters are there. Then we have forest monsters. In the game, each zone has three levels of monsters. Type zero is a very basic primitive type of monster that just roams here and there. Killing them can give you small abilities like speeding up the character for five seconds or a shield for five seconds, things like that.
Then going forward, we have a type one monster. So these monsters are a bit more dangerous, you can say. They have more health and more power; they have better weapons to protect their area. And then, we have the third type of monster, which are the main monsters of the zone. Fighting that monster or killing that monster can make you the conqueror of that zone. So basically, each zone has these monsters, and these monsters have some platforms and things like that. You have to kill those monsters and destroy the platforms.
Once the platforms are destroyed, the main monster or the main boss of that zone will arrive. You have to fight that monster with the help of your team or whoever is there. Once you have killed that monster, those zones will be conquered by your team, and your team will get a special ability to fight the next zone or to get to. You will just get a special ability, a very good weapon, a special or magical kind of skill, or something like that. So that is how the game works.
In the end, the winning mechanics depend on different things, like every match will have a basic 15 minutes timing — whichever team has most of the zones conquered will win the game. They are different mechanics. If both teams have equal zones captured, then we’ll see how many and how each member performed, or we will also give a bonus time of 3 minutes to capture the zones again.
Also, there’s a functionality of recapturing the zone like you might have seen in a Call of Duty or things like that. You can recapture the area. Make hard points like that; if a zone is already captured, you can again try to recapture it if the conquering team can protect it also, but if they are not protecting them, they will lose their zone. So, that is how capturing and recapturing work.
At the end of the game, we check out which team has more captures or more zones captured and that basically decides the outcome of the game. We also have other mechanics like the area will get conquered to one area, like for four or five seconds you have to be in the desert, then you might have to move to other zones. These mechanics are there so that people don’t get or the players don’t get stuck to one area. They can explore more and more and things like that.
All this is the basic idea of how the game is going to be. There are many things like the mounts in the game that play a very important role — your mount, once they are minted, they are NFT — they will have a special power. So, each of these mounts can have something special, like a mount that can revive, you, and a mount can give you some help. Depending on different breeds of different stuff.
Alex: Give some aura or some other stuff.
Ayush: Yeah, basically, you can call them one time and during a match or things like that. So, that is how your mounts are going to help, and so, that is the basic mechanics of the game.
Alex: Okay, I got it. I just had one question — so you cannot fight the enemy team at all?
Ayush: No, you can — many strategic points will come once the player starts playing or starts experiencing the game. It depends on whether you’re going to fight with that with your team or you’re going to fight the opponent first, or you wish to fight for the lands first. At the same time, two teams can be attacking the same area, or two teams can be attacking the same zones to get the abilities because the overall point is to get the zone conquered and to get the abilities because those abilities are really special, and you know they are very good to fight the match or have it with you. You can obviously fight with the enemy team whenever you want. So that is how the game works.
Alex: Yeah, it sounds cool. You can fight, and the match is 15 minutes, so everything is happening very fast, so you don’t have any time to sleep; you need to do everything quickly. Otherwise, you will lose.
Ayush: Yes, because once you spawn with your mouth, you spawn with just a base weapon like any other game, and you have to know you have to find chests; the game has different types of chess even some of the chests are alive like we have a crap chest (if you want to attack it will go away from you). You have to find chests that have different chests quickly, and you have to find those you have to get weapons from, so you will have a weapon with you to fight the team. In the current scenario, each player at a given time can have three weapons with them, three special weapons with them, and, obviously, their base weapon.
Warriors have swords with them, archer-type characters have a bow and arrow with them, and magic characters have a staff and magical weapons as a base. So these are the base weapons that each character has. Other than that, as soon as you spawn, you obviously go for better weapons by attacking or destroying the chest; we have different parts of the app. That’s how you start the game, basically.
Alex: Have you defined classes of characters like only agility, a magical guy, and the strongest guy, or did you just decide during the course of the game?
Ayush: Currently, we have just three of them. One is a warrior, the next is an archer character and the other one is a magical character. These are the different types of classes we have. We try to keep everything up to the users, how they want it; it is not limited to anything; we can design upgrades and things like that later on the stage, obviously. That’s how it is.
Alex: Okay, let’s go to the next question. What impact do you hope to have on eSports? And how do you plan to capture the attention of current gamers? Like how do you plan to capture my attention as a gamer? And the second part of this question is whether you have any competitors or not because I didn’t see something like this. I didn’t see a battle royale 5v5, where you should capture some territory. But I guess, obviously, there are some.
Hamza: Yeah. First of all, Alexander, I will explain to all of the people and the community what esports means because a lot of people talk about eSports. But they don’t actually know what an eSport comes from. It’s just the abbreviation of electronic sports. That means transforming online gaming into a spectator sport. That’s it. I mean, the experience is similar to watching professional sporting events, except that instead of watching a physical event, spectators watch video gamers compete against each other in a virtual environment. And that’s what Warland is.
It’s hard to imagine why anyone would watch someone else play the NBA playing a video game. Just think about how enjoyable it’s watching LeBron James or Stephen Curry play basketball. It’s because it’s insane, right? Yes, sports, actually, it’s a niche that is a booming, global industry, where skilled video gamers play competitively, in the same way, that traditional sports have competitions in baseball and basketball, football, or whatever sport that we are thinking about. eSport income is based on competitions across a variety of video games. Contributing to the common perception like eSports is not simply a phenomenon occurring in the basement of employment when something’s in this industry; it’s real. And it’s growing globally. And it’s investable.
For example, over 380 million people watch eSports worldwide, both online and, of course, in person, and more people watched the 2016 world finals of the popular League of Legends. It was like 33 million more viewers than NBA final game from the last year. Because it was like 31 million viewers. And that’s what we’re focused on. We know, actually, that we have a strong game; we know that we are giving something real, something new to the environment, to the blockchain sector, to the gaming sector, that you can, of course, enjoy your game because you have skills or maybe you just love the game, and you can join the game.
And even if you’re a streamer, you can do it because we have some future. You can stream, and it will be very enjoyable for a lot of people. And how actually will draw the attention of traditional players? From the eSports or maybe from the traditional games, right?
And here, I will talk about added value, which is an economic idea, but I will explain it to you, right? Actually, all the consumers like the added value; they really appreciate it. They may seem like it’s a straightforward answer. But particularly in gaming, where players can often be overwhelmed with bonuses on a daily basis — it’s not like that.
And of course, we can deny that giving customers something extra it’s an important and potentially profitable strategy. But you can just assume that they enjoy them. And they appreciate their value simply because you offer promotions to players. And this actually was the issue that I found in a lot of games and a lot of firms in the same sector, right?
Aside from the possibility of players unexpectedly receiving promotions for no reason, there might be some promos that players don’t want or see their failures. Therefore, as useful as products can be. They aren’t like a one-stop shop or solution for ensuring you give a building value or satisfy all the players. That’s why here we just present a sustainable economic model. And, of course, when you play, and you are just improving your skills, and you’re just showing all the work, how you can interact inside the ecosystem of the game. You will have a bonus inside the game, and you will be rewarded because of that bonus. But, you know, why are you giving or why are you thinking?
Alex: Well, that’s a lot of information to process.
Hamza: Yeah, I know. So I think for certain parts of the question, that’s like, do you have competitors? It is like you have a lot of them if you are speaking about eSports — maybe not that much in blockchain, but if we are speaking about eSports, the competition is huge. You still will be trying to compete with Dota, CS:GO, and League of Legends. I guess those are the biggest — Valorant, yeah. So these are the mastodons to fight them.
Hamza: Yes, of course. But let me tell you something when I compare Warlands to an eSport game, but it’s not an esport? Because I think that it’s not in the league of World of Warcraft. I don’t know if you have heard about it. Okay. I think it’s the only game where we have the same idea. Or, maybe the same mechanics, right? But if we focus on different structures, the game, the idea, and the economic model behind it, there are no competitors because there’s nothing right now.
I don’t know. On a white paper, it exists. But if we go to a computer and try, there’s nothing right now existing that is similar to Warlands.
I didn’t find anything. I don’t know; if you have ever seen, maybe I don’t know, traditional games that they had, have very good mechanics and technology behind them but do not actually have an economic model that rewards a lot of people.
Alex: Yeah, that’s true. That’s totally true. Not a lot of games reward people at all; to get the reward, you need to buy something.
Hamza: Yes, in most cases. And the first thing that we actually were thinking about why we are going to build Warlands in the blockchain sector because we think that when you, for example, play Fortnight and buy some skins, or you go to the CS:GO, and you buy that schemes, actually that schemes, they are not from you. And you are vulnerable to getting scammed or maybe to getting into problems, which inside the blockchain, of course, can be avoided. So we focus on the blockchain. Firstly, for security, and secondly, if you buy that NFT, that NFT belongs to you. It is not from the game; it is not from the firm, it is yours. And you can, of course, go with your NFT inside the game and play with it. You can go to the marketplace and trade it. You can do whatever you want because it’s yours.
Alex: Yeah, fair enough. Now, I understand more why people are choosing blockchains for building games in this regard. So we have already started speaking about tokenomics, sustainability, and so on. Can you enlighten me on tokenomics and sustainability?
Hamza: Yes, actually, on Warland, we propose a unique, sustainable, and fair play-and-earn economic model. We developed each of the verticals that include the economic proposal and the six basic elements that support the actual Warlands economic model for you. First of all, we have the ticket to play. What does it mean? Each game has an entry fee, as like on the bulletin board. So I don’t know if you are familiar with the poker boards, but it’s the same thing you pay just to enter the game. And when you pay for that ticket, all those tickets go to the pool, and if you put any if you win, you will earn that price.
So that’s not a very complex economic model behind the inside of the plane, play and earn system, right?
Secondly, we have the commissions and fees. Commission rates are applied to all transactions, purchases, and sales. What does it mean? When you purchase something inside the marketplace or Warlands? You’re paying an extra fee. Okay, it’s more like one or 2% of the value of the product that you’re buying.
But this fee is actually going to the liquidity pool. It is divided into 6 verticals, but firstly, the fee is going to the liquidity pool. It is going for the reward pool, and it is going to the token holders. Yes, and people have to understand that just giving .. that’s why we think that we need a token because I think that not a lot of video games, or maybe projects in the blockchain sector, need a token. But of course, we need it, because we have more functionalities than the traditional blockchain tokens, or, generally speaking, they cannot be modified, right?
We have scholars, of course, and we know that not a lot of people can afford just this design of NFT and that they want to enter. Firstly, we have a free-to-play system, and we have a play-to-earn system. But if you want to go to this play and earn, you can just buy the NFT, or you can just go to the marketplace and be a scholar of someone who has a lot of NFTs. And he doesn’t have time to play with all these entities, for example.
Alex: So I can play with someone’s characters, right?
Yes, you can. And yes, you will actually earn 30% of what you are doing with NFT inside the game.
And the fourth point here is advertising. For example, we have two models of international and immersive advertising. And, of course, this advertising is monetized by advertisers and partners. The fifth is the monthly memberships. These monthly memberships are just required for scholarships, for example, or competitive team building and content. It is not something that you will need to do to play the game; it is not something that is required.
And last, we have the world connection and the game profitability. What does it mean? We have a world connection because we have an extension of the metaphysical world with the physical world through discounts in supermarkets with tickets, food, etc.
And the last thing is profitability. We have created a unique model where we encourage real-time interactions. There are exclusive tournaments limited by tickets, where the spectators will be able to buy access tickets; in addition to this, spectators would be moving with three cameras throughout the stadium. If their team wins, spectators will receive a share of the total price.
Alex: Yeah, a lot of info to process. I guess I understand the main concept, but still, to understand it fully, I should at least start playing. Well, when it will be beta and so on. The next question, actually, concerns the start of the game. So does Warlands have a community that will join the launch day? Do you have a set of people who will start playing the game? On the day of the launch.
Hamza: Yes, of course, we have. Because actually, we just did like one year ago, the first pre-sale of the NFS. And we have like 1000 people that they will join on the launch day because they have NFTs. And they want to go inside the game and to try the game and do all that stuff that a lot of people want to see.
Alex. Well, for the game that I’d say is still in development, that’s a lot of people to start playing. And 1000 people on the server it’s a lot. And I guess you will have much more till the date of the launch. Do you have a date for a public open beta?
Hamza: We have the fourth quarter of the year 2022. Yes, but not for the beta version. It will be like the last week of December.
Alex: Okay, cool, I’d like to try as well. And the last question, or no, maybe not the last — I just saw the user asked me in our chat if you are going to work on the graphics.
Hamza: Yes, of course, they have to understand that this is the pre-alpha, and of course, we are still developing everything inside the game, characters, graphics, economics, everything that we can develop, we are working right now, and it is early to say what will be the final result, but we will make it look better for sure.
Alex: Cool, that is nice to hear. Let’s go to the last question, the last question for today; thank you, guys, for joining us. Do you have some special or extra upcoming news that you want to share with the community and with us?
Hamza: I will let Ayush say if there is anything he wants to share with you. And from my side, I just want to say thank you, thank you for letting us present and get the opportunity to explain to the whole Velas community our game and hope they understand everything; I also hope they will just come and try playing our game.
Ayush: Apart from the upcoming beta in the last week of December, all the people in the closed whitelist group will be able to play the game, a free version of the play to earn the game. That is the upcoming news; the exact date will be published in our groups.
Alex: Okay, I have maybe one more question. Velas Account is already implemented into Warlands. I wanted to hear your opinion about VA, what you think about it, whether you like it or not, just a short one.
Ayush: Basically, Velas makes the process of blockchain very easy for users. You can just with a single click, buy a pre-sale chest. You can even easily buy the tickets which we spoke about earlier. The user can connect to the Velas Account and press on buy, confirm the transaction, and have the tickets, so it just makes the whole process to start playing the game very easy.
Alex: Thank you, guys, for taking the time to speak with me; it was a pleasure to speak with both of you, Ayush, and Hamza. It was nice to meet with you. I guess Warlands is going to be a big success. I saw the game, I’d like to play it, and I will be one of the beta testers. We will see. If anything else, we will speak in the future. Also, for guys who are with us right now, you can join the contest. The link and form for the giveaway are working perfectly at the moment. I wanted to clarify the process — so you are going to warlands.io, you register with your email, and password, and after that, you connect your wallet, you click on the “Velas” button, and you click to connect account and express login.
With this, you will register an account on Warlands and the wallet of the Velas Account. And after that, you just need to go to the form and fill out the given fields, subscribe to the TG and Twitter of the projects, and tag 3 friends — nothing complicated. Join, retweet, and connect the account — 2 minutes, this is it. There will be a big change — from what I see, not a lot of people joined the giveaway. You can have a pretty good chance to win the NFT chest — both valued at 5000 VLX and what else… I guess the contest will be active for a few days more, and we will publish the winners after that. Once again, guys from Warlands — thank you for spending your time with me.
Jee (Velas Arabic CM): Thank you, Alex! How are you doing? — Doing well. I would like to thank our guests, it is very interesting, and I am going to try the game after this AMA session. Thank you, guys, for your work. Keep it up; I love the game.
Alex: Thank you. I will not delay you guys anymore — goodbye, see ya.
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