The seasons pass and with the change,
Comes blood and death and fire and rage;
And underneath the distant stars,
That which all feared has come to pass.
She surveys below with cruel intent,
The beginning of her dark descent.
Time ages not her undead skin,
Where living ends and death begins…
To read about our Anniversary Cup, please click here.
November 17th marks 12 months of The Red Village — and what a year it has been. Not just for the world of TRV, but for the world as we know it. As a team, we’ve decided to recap the last year and celebrate some of our achievements, remembering the fun we as a community have had, and give everyone an idea of some of the things that we have coming up. So grab the champagne and pour a little out for all the fallen Champions as we take a quick trip down memory lane.
The idea for TRV was first formed in late 2020, the product of an obsession with the classic MMORPG RuneScape and an unshakeable belief in the ability of an emerging technology to radically alter the way that people consume, use, and own media and play games. That technology; the blockchain.
While plenty of new projects sprang up through the end of the 2020 and well into 2021, and NFTs were the word on everyone’s lips, there seemed to be a fundamental flaw in most of them; lack of utility. It was clear to us at TRV that for most projects to have true staying power, to engage their communities, to inspire them, they would need to offer more than just a profile picture — they would in fact need to build worlds, provide immersive experiences, and entertain their communities on an almost daily basis.
And so that is what we set about doing.
As avid gamers and lovers of fantasy, TRV was an obvious choice. A pretty clear hole existed in the market for web3 games; most games at the time had opted to use lighter, more comical style graphics, but there was almost nothing available for those people who like more mature, dark, adult games. Less Pokémon, more Diablo. And so a powerful mission statement was born; to create the leading dark-fantasy franchise in the metaverse, and the first to take advantage of true digital asset ownership.
We coupled this with a few other driving ideas, which help define our purpose and our place in the gaming ecosystem:
- The Red Village must, above all, be fun. Build a good game first, and success will follow
- The Red Village must intentionally build community, and create a “social gaming” ecosystem
- Progression is of the utmost importance, and different player profiles must be allowed to work in harmony to support a vibrant economy and ecosystem
- There is not a lack of demand for true digital asset ownership in games — there is a lack of supply. Web3 games have, until now, focused on the wrong things; gamers should not play-to-earn. They should play-for-fun
- Time horizons in The Red Village are long; we are building the future of gaming. Rome, as they say, wasn’t built in a day. The Red Village will come to be a legacy brand within the metaverse
Armed with a vision, and writing our own playbook in a space that was, and still is, evolving by the day, we set to work. Coming out of stealth in September, 2021, we announced partnerships with some of the biggest projects in gaming; The Sandbox, Decentraland, ZED.RUN, BYOPills, The Metakey, and many more. The Red Village went from an idea to a reality, shared and shouted about across the web3 space.
By November, our community was itching to get involved — and on the 17th November, 2021, The Red Village Blood Portals went on sale. 11 minutes later, they were sold out, and TRV cemented itself as one of the most popular new gaming projects in the world.
Since then, the story has been amazing.
Tournaments, our first offering as part of the franchise, went live in March 2022. In the 8 months since, Champions have traded millions of strikes in tens of thousands of fights, and over $1m USD has been paid out to players.
New game modes and upgrades within Tournaments have been rolled out regularly; To-The-Death, an industry first one-vs-one protocol which enables players to ‘Play For Keeps’ for their opponent’s Champions; Double-Ups; new maps, new UI, ‘gasless’ transactions to reduce friction on the Polygon network, new types of conditional Tournaments, upgrades to animations and player models, and soon the release of a best-in-class breeding protocol known, for obvious reasons, as Summoning.
Building one update in web3 is hard. Building one update in gaming is hard. Building one update on a platform that combines the two is extremely difficult, and so while it may sometimes feel like things move at glacial pace it is important to remember the scope and size of these achievements.
In the last 8 months, we’ve seen some incredibly impressive statistics emerge from within the Community too. In total, nearly 50,000 Tournaments have run for the Blood Queen’s pleasure, with more than 5,000 unique Champions strapping into their armound and entering the arena. That’s an average of over 200 Tournaments a day, a monumental result by any metric.
At a Barracks level, the most active Barracks, T&A Syndicate, has competed in over 15,000 Tournaments. Catch me Fighting Dirty has won nearly 2,000 Tournaments. At an individual Champion level, Cutthroat Caleb has fought their way through 1974 Tournaments, and has been the biggest winner in history, taking the W in 345 of them. In a fun facts, the hardest ever hit was from an R3 Ranger, Elysant the Scar, who hit a 372 against Marlowsnarl…(ouch!).
We’ve also seen the development and success of some third party data analysis sites and marketplaces, and have to say a massive thanks to TRVTools.com, MyVillagers, and Hawku for the invaluable work they’ve done in building out the ecosystem around Tournaments and making them accessible and achievable for Battlemasters.
Future developments in Tournaments will allow us to implement things like the renting/leasing of Champions (the Sword For Hire program), roll out Runes, move some elements of the game off-chain to improve player experience, and even change elements of the game through Seasons, which will provide variance and variety for players.
Few projects in web3 can say that they have consistently and repeatedly delivered on their pre-launch roadmap to the extent that the TRV team has, and few projects have the strong, committed, and wonderfully dark community that The Red Village has. And of course, there is much to come.
Developing games is a slow process, and an expensive one. Game development is incredibly difficult; a successful game needs not just a strong and immersive technical and visual output, but also brilliant storytelling, creative and stimulating game loops, impactful marketing and player acquisition strategies, and a vibrant community. All of this takes time, and it takes trial and error.
And of course there have been huge — and obvious — external impacts that have been felt not just in the village, but across the wider landscape of gaming, of our collective journey into the evolution of web3, and across the globe more broadly. From financial upheaval, to economic collapse, to outright war and plenty more, it has been a turbulent year to say the least.
We are only early into our journey here at The Red Village, and there is plenty more to come, especially as we build out the next instalment in our franchise, Darklands, with our partners at Blowfish Studios (a subsidiary of web3 giant Animoca Brands, who led our seed raise mid 2022).
The team is hungry and thoroughly convinced of the transformative impact that web3 technologies will have on gaming as we know it. The true catalyst for mass adoption of games that utilise digital asset ownership will come once onboarding becomes more seamless, once self-custody is optional (meaning that players can choose whether or not they use a wallet, or rely on server side solutions), and importantly, once the games themselves get good.
There is little doubt that once the gameplay in web3 games is as much fun, the loops are as compelling, and the ecosystem itself as robust and vibrant as your standard traditional game, the lines between them will blur and no longer will we talk about ‘web3 gamers’ and ‘traditional gamers’, but rather we will just talk about ‘gamers’ — people who play games. And our sincere hope is that The Red Village is one of the games that they play.
This is a slow journey, but an inevitable one, and being at the forefront of the seismic shift in the way people talk about asset ownership certainly has its challenges, but the team is operating in a high conviction environment with a lot of smart cookies, and we are confident that the next 12 months will be even bigger, even better, and even more fun.
For now, the Blood Queen thanks every single member of the TRV community, down to the very last Battlemaster. Everyone who minted a Blood Portal or a Mystic Bones, who has bought, sold or traded a Champion, who has fought in a Tournament — whether win or lose, who has engaged with a post on twitter or discord, who has made content, joined a Spaces, shared an opinion, or offered constructive feedback over the last 12 months.
There is absolutely no doubt that we would not be here without you — like they say, it takes a village.
The Anniversary Cup is a special one-day-only event, scheduled to begin at 7PM (ET), Thursday, 17th November. It is a quick, no-holds-barred event with no barriers to entry — and with prizes harkening back to some of the sentimental times in the village.
To read about the Championship, please visit our gitbook here.