Hello, this is Conward with Crypto Loops and host of The Cardano Convo Podcast, available on YouTube, Spotify, Google, and wherever podcasts are available. Today, we will be summarizing a recent interview we conducted with Chris, the founder and project lead of Cardania. For the full interview, follow the YouTube link below.
Conward: Hello Chris, it’s nice to have you on the show, and thank you for taking the time to talk with us today and answer a few questions about the work you’re doing with Cardania.
Chris: Awesome. Thank you Conward. I’m just happy to be here. It’s great!
Conward: So, first of all, tell us a little bit about yourself – your background, what drew you to crypto in general?
I’m 33 and married with two kiddos and I’ve been in the cryptocurrency space for some years now, I suppose 2013 or 2014 or so? Professionally I was an artillery officer in the army, as well as a public affairs officer for a time, and also ran my own private marketing firm for a while – Had some really great clients there but eventually wanted to focus more on my own projects. I have a small family farm and I like cryptocurrency generally because I feel it is a blessing for human self-reliance and sustainability and I’m excited to contribute to the world we’re building with it.
Conward: Can you give our audience a general or detailed explanation of what is Cardania and what niche this platform will fill?
Chris: Cardania is ultimately meant to be a virtual world, an interactive ecosystem with multiple games and experiences. For the moment, the team is focused on production of a multiplayer card game, called Cardania: Enter the Ultraverse. Players will find it familiar if they’ve played Magic the Gathering or Hearthstone, as its crafted somewhat in that vein. The project is focused on utilizing all of the wonderful technology Cardano has to offer including NFTs and smart contracts once they’re available.
Conward: A lot of applications are being built on Ethereum and other blockchains. There are a lot of options out there, so what made you and your team decide to build it on Cardano?
Chris: In my early explorations of NFTs and blockchain gaming I found the experiences on the Ethereum blockchain were simply not that enjoyable. Incredible fees, slow transactions, generally quite buggy and ultimately just not that fun.
Cardano, even without smart contracts, is simply more usable. Once contracts are released, we will be able to do so many things.
I’ve always loved the development ethos of Cardano and I feel from an architectural standpoint this chain will wind up as the preferred chain for game developers.
Conward: Where did Cardania get its inspiration from? I’ve looked at one of your videos and the cards look a bit hearthstone-esk, but the play-to-earn method reminds me of Gods Unchained on the Ethereum Blockchain. Also, I read through the lore section of your website and got Warhammer 40k vibe.
Chris: I’d say you’re right on the money with all that. I’ve been a lifelong gamer so I’ve really drawn inspiration from a number of places – The play to earn model is definitely being pioneered on Ethereum with games like Gods Unchained and Decentraland and the like. I also do enjoy the artistry of Warhammer though Cardania will be a bit less grim dark. I enjoy the gameplay of hearthstone and of course blizzard does a great job with all of its games. Offhand I’d also say there is inspiration from a number of games. Tides of Numenara, Stellaris, and from other media, I’d say the vibe is more He-man Masters of the Universe and Thor Ragnarok. Sort of fantasy sci-fi, cheeky heroism, and adventure type stuff.
I’m trying to give a unique vibe to each faction – Frank Frazetta is an artist I’m studying closely right now for the Solar Barbarians
Conward: What were some hurdles that Cardania project had to overcome? Something I’d imagine to be difficult would-be programming card packs.
Chris: The technical side has actually been relatively fluid. The regulatory side has been an ongoing difficulty but we’re making some progress there. We have our in-game currency, the RAD token. Its already minted and we could do a crowd sale today, but we’re still working through the regulatory options for that because it’s really such a minefield. So, we’re taking our time there because once we do it, there’s no take backs and eventually the SEC will either bless you or curse you based on how you did it.
On the development side I’d say the first major hurdle was ensuring the automated NFT sales were built correctly. Our lead on that side is Jonathan Fishbein, he’s a Plutus Pioneer and really quite talented.
The packs themselves won’t be redeemable until September or so, but that’s actually a relatively simple token swap smart contract.
Conward: Next, I’ve got a question about NFTs, which we all know are hot right now. I know that Cardania is planning for the Cards that are used within the game to be NFTs with their own metadata, but will Cardania have other forms of NFTs for the game, such as battlefields, pets, or various avatars?
Chris: Yes, I’d say it’s likely you’ll see some variations of all that, though development of all these things takes its own time. We’ll have Evolution Cards, which can gain experience and evolve over time. We’ll also have Quantum Cards, which are something like the 1/1 NFT avatar series with slight variations on each that a lot of projects are doing right now.
Ideally, you’ll be able to utilize our NFT’s across multiple game experiences. So maybe you get a Founder’s Card and it gives you a boost in the card game, but also unlocks a specific type of land deed for the virtual world, that sort of thing. The glorious thing about NFT’s is that the metadata lives independent of the games themselves so you can do any number of things with them.
Conward: I know that we are all having to wait for the Cardano Foundation to release smart contracts on the mainnet, but do you have an estimate of when investors, gamers, and the Cardano Community can look forward to playing Cardania?
Chris: My official answer is of course when its ready. I think we’ll have an alpha version of the game in the late fall, maybe a full release early winter. The engine work itself isn’t actually terribly difficult, but the production of the cards is a large task. I also want to make sure we deliver a fun, polished product.
Conward: I like that your Roadmap is highly detailed. How well have your team kept up with the Roadmap in terms of delivering new features? Also, we know that the Cardano foundation sometimes make shifts in their progress by a month or so – how has that affected your progress?
Chris: Our team has been just great about production and I think, minus the RAD token sale, we’ve been keeping a good pace with it. I’m super happy with the progress so far – We have delayed our RAD token sale, but just to ensure we’re doing it in the most compliant way possible. Other than that, we’ll have more Unopened Packs and Deck builder cards ready to go with new drops coming every week for the next several weeks. If the Cardano roadmap shifts we’ll just shift with it.
Conward: One other strategy game project based on the Cardano blockchain is the Occulta Novellia game. It is really fantastic to see many game enthusiasts come together and come up with fun ways to integrate Crypto and NFTs. How would Cardania distinguish itself from other card games?
Chris: I love seeing this sort of robust ecosystem growing. I genuinely don’t worry much about novelty because I feel like we’re already in such a novel place – crypto, Cardano, NFTs – it’s very esoteric stuff. I do like to cultivate a particular vibration, and with that I am mostly just focused on making it an enjoyable experience and I hope we attract people that resonate with that.
Conward: How would you pitch Cardania to someone who is new to strategy games, say, someone who isn’t well versed in Magic or Hearthstone but is keen on investing in NFTs from promising projects?
Chris: I’d say to investors to be careful first of all. But to borrow a phrase I saw on Twitter the other day, I wish I knew who to attribute it to, but its slipped my mind- But they said, “Learn how to identify a puppy with big paws.” So, look for projects that have carved out room to grow and imagine what they might be like in some years from now. Cardania 5 years from now may well be the best virtual world in blockchain. Or the most played card game. Nobody knows, but learn to look for signs of strong development teams and ambitious but realistic direction.
Conward: Now I’m going to ask you some game-related questions, so that our audience can get to know a bit more about you now that we have heard a bit about Cardania. What was your first video game you ever played?
Chris: The Lost Vikings
Conward: What was the first console you ever owned?
Chris: Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo
Conward: What is your favorite game genre?
Chris: Grand Strategy, RPGs, and shooters, depending on my mood.
Conward: What is your favorite physical trading card game?
Chris: Smash Up, currently. Not much trading there, but it is a great card game. Way back in the day I was really big on these runs of cards that Marvel and DC would produce, basically comic book cards. Those were super neat.
Conward: What is your favorite virtual trading card game?
Chris: Probably Hearthstone
Conward: What is your favorite class in hearthstone?
Chris: Warlock – Love the healing and health sacrifice possibilities and I always enjoyed the Warlock in WOW so I kept going with that theme.
Conward: What is your least favorite class in hearthstone?
Chris: Rogue – never got the hang of it. Always got rekt.
Conward: What is your favorite hearthstone card or card art?
Chris: Arthas, the Lich King – any blizzard art around him is always very compelling. I think that goes back to that original Lich King cinematic for Wrath in WOW.
Conward: What is your favorite format of Magic?
Chris: Regular arena. I am sure there are others but I am out of practice.
Conward: What is your favorite play style?
Chris: The most fun is probably the +1/+1 stacking game. I think white/black.
Conward: What is your favorite color combination or guild?
Chris: I recall enjoying green and red. Strong creatures and strong spells. Though I did also enjoy the white/black deck.
Conward: Do you have any other gaming hobbies that the audience might not know about?
Chris: I play a lot of Minecraft and Minecraft dungeons with the kiddos – Pixelmon servers and Bedwars servers. There’s a YouTuber called Unspeakable that my kids just love so we play on his server a lot.
Conward: What is your favorite Pokemon?
Chris: I enjoyed the dynamic of getting a magikarp that couldn’t fight or do anything useful until you evolved him.
Conward: What is your favorite fantasy world in either gaming or tabletop rpgs.
Chris: The Sword Coast in Forgotten Realms – Baldur’s Gate 2 Shadows of Amn. Maybe the greatest game of all time.
Conward: This has been super informative, and I really appreciate you taking the time to chat today. Before we go, how can listeners get involved with what you’re doing, or how can people best support you and your team?
Chris: Follow us on social media for sure! Stake with SUMN and buy our unopened packs and Founders Cards, and stay tuned for our rare art drops. Our Cleansing Fire pack has dropped, super excited about that.
— Cardania —
— The Cardano Convo Podcast —
Listen Notes: https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/the-cardano-convo-crypto-loops-If9A2-EHaKb/