CoinEx Institute | STEPN: A great example of gamification Web 3.0 application
In web 2.0 world, it becomes more difficult for app developers to stand out as thousands of mobile apps are conquering the market. Only things that are exciting and challenging will keep users engaged. Therefore, most dapps use gamification as a strategy for user engagement and retention.
What if in web 3.0 world? Even though there are just few web3.0 applications, they are still facing competition with web 2.0 applications. Thus gamification could be a good strategy but it may be named gamefi in Web 3.0 era.
STEPN, one of ViaBTC Capital portfolios, is such a Web 3.0 application that make good uses of gamefi elements. This article will introduce concepts and design of STEPN as well as inspiration from STEPN.
What is STEPN?
STEPN is a Move2Earn Web3.0 lifestyle application, with inbuilt gamefi and socialfi elements. It currently runs on Solana blockchain. The concept of Move2Earn could be interpreted as follows:
- How to move? The formats of movement include walking, jogging or running outdoors. Before starting to move, users should download STEPN mobile application, sign up an account, import or create Solana wallet, and purchase or transfer-in Snearker NFTs. Without one Sneaker NFT, movement will be noneffective.
- What to earn? By moving, users will earn crypto-assets, like game currencies and NFTs, which can either be used or sold for profits. More extensively, users may also “earn health” since the move2earn mechanism will incentivize users to move outdoors, and “earn honor” since users could show-off their achievements like badges earned by completing tasks and special Sneakers obtained from special quests.
- How to earn more? It depends on physical effort and efficient strategies. Every user will be able to conclude suitable strategies if they are willing to spend times in studying the comprehensive and complicated economic mechanisms of gamefi. The following part will also give you a basic understanding of STEPN design.
What is the design of STEPN?
1. Crypto Assets
As an application with gamefi elements, STEPN is designed to contain both NFTs and FTs. NFTs include Shoeboxes, Sneakers, Gems and Badges while FTs include game token GST(Green Satoshi Token) and governance token GMT(Green Metaverse Token).
As for NFTs, Sneakers are key ones and could be compared to Axies. This is because two Sneakers are able to “breed” (mint) another new Sneaker whose egg status is a Shoesbox. From designs’ perspective, Sneakers could be easily distinguished according to types which include walkers, joggers, runners and trainers with different required optimal speeds when moving. However, Sneakers could be varies from other than the type. The qualities of Sneakers include Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic and Legendary with specific rage of minimum and maximum attributes which consists of Efficiency, Luck, Comfort and Resilience. Each attribute will be improved when Sneakers level up. The maximum level is 30 and reaching each 5X leave will unlock perks (e.g. unlocking sockets).
Each Sneaker owns four sockets with each unlocked when Sneakers reaching level 5, 10, 15 and 20. Sockets are used to insert the corresponding Gems to improve the attributes of Sneakers. There are 4 types of Gems: yellow for Efficiency, blue for Luck, red for Comfort and purple for Resilience. The maximum level of Gems is 9 and three Gems should be consumed for upgrading to next level. Besides, Badges offer perks for gameplay, shoe-minting and governance.
All in all, the quantities, types, attributes and levels of above mentioned NFT will have great effects on a user’s earning within the game, which will be further illustrated in the part regarding earning factors.
As for fungible tokens, there are two tokens used within StepN. GST, the Game Token similar to SLP, works as a utility and reward token while GMT is the Governance Token playing a similar role as AXS.
GST comes with an unlimited supply. It get minted during Solo or Background Mode while burned during such usage cases as minting shoes, repairing, leveling up Sneakers
upgrading Gems, unlocking Socket and resetting Sneaker Attributes.
Meanwhile, GMT comes with total supply of 6,000,000,000 and get minted at the Token Generation Event. It gets burnt by participating governance, upgrading sneakers at level 28 to 30, and minting Rare, Epic as well as Legendary Shoes, etc.
As a MOVE2Earn game, STEPN is designed to allocate 30%of total GMT to users through move&earn and Governance participation. A large portion of 30% Ecosystem fund will be used to run giveaways and community events such as Forever Online Marathon Offerings (FOMO). STEPN is one of the first games to introduce halving released of tokens like Bitcoin Halving (STEPN was initially named FindSatoshi). GMT will be halved every three years to ensure the longevity. This will start from 15% to 7.5% and on and on until all tokens are released.
To conclude, crypto-assets within STEPN are obtained from and used for gameplay and other cases mentioned in the following graph.
2. Game Mode
There are three Game Modes of operation: Solo Mode, Marathon Mode and Background Mode. It is an easier way to consider Solo Mode as PvE mode while Marathon Mode as PvP Mode.
As for Solo Mode, users earn rewards by moving outdoors and costing Energy. Please pay attention that this Energy is not physical one but a game element. No earning if Energy is consumed up. Every 1 Energy equals to 5 minutes of movement and Energy replenishes 25% every 6 hours until it reaches to the Energy Cap. GST/GMT will be paid out for every minute of movement while Mystery Boxes (loot boxes)are randomly dropped . The earnings of token is dependent on 4 main factors:Type of Sneaker, Sneaker’s Efficiency Attribute, Sneaker’s Comfort Attribute and Speed of Movement.
In the Marathon Mode, users will earn tokens and badges if they win prizes. There are both Weekly Marathons ( 2.5km, 5km, or 7.5km) and Monthly Marathons (5km, 10km, or 15km) but users can only participate one type of lengths for each Marathon per week or month. Users need to register at least 24 hours prior to commencement and impose a fee, which will be refunded upon completion. If not, such fees will be included into the Leaderboard rewards.
Background Mode allows users to earn even when the app is not in use. There is no energy cost but it is capped at 3,000 steps daily.
3. Earning Factors
The earning of Marathon Mode is mostly dependent on users’ running performance while that of Solo Mode is dependent on much more factors. More specifically, Solo Mode has both a Daily Energy Cap and Daily Token Cap, which restrict the amount of Energy and tokens that users can have per day. To increase the Energy Cap and Token Cap, one method is to have more Sneakers and higher quality Sneakers. Besides, other factors comprise Movement Speed, Sneaker (Type, Attributes, Quality & Level), Gem (Type, Level & inserted Socket Quality) and NFT Badges. More detailed data are illustrated in the following graph.
4. Other Systems and Infrastructures
Besides Earning Cap and Energy Systems mentioned above, the gamefi system also includes Quest System, Achievement System, Anti-Cheating System as well as Tax and Fee System. While the former two systems are still under development, the latter two have been deployed.
Anti-Cheating System is composed of three mechanics: GPS tracking, Motion sensor and health data, and Machine learning to detect cheating through data simulation. Such mechanics stop users from cheating in the game and cheater’s account will be punished.
Tax and Fee Systems means that the game will charge different tax and fee for various n-app Activities like marketplace trading, shoe-minting and Sneaker renting with 2% plus 4%(Royalty Fee for NFT creators) , 6% and 8% respectively.
Moreover, STEPN is an invite only game with Activation Code System. User can earn ONE Activation Code for every 10 Energy spent. However, only ONE activation code could be held for each users at a time until used.
As an app with various in-game NFTs, STEPN is also equipped with marketplaces where users can rent/lease or sell/buy their NFT Sneakers, Badges, and Gems. That is to say, NFT owners could choose to either sell NFTs or lease if they reach required credit rating. Meanwhile, beginners can start with a rented Sneaker if they are not afford to buying Sneakers.
What have been achieved and will be next?
The STEPN project started in August 2021. In the fourth quarter of last year, it witnessed team building, Anti-Cheating System test, Solana Hackathon victory, community event, public beta, and marketing kickoff. Q1 2022 saw the introduction of in-app trading function and marketplace, and the completion of GMT IEO on Binance Launchpad. By late March 2022, it gains great visibility in Japan, China, France, India and Russia according discord user data.
Q2 in 2022 will witness upgrades of in-app and multi-chain wallet as well as multi-chain marketplace. Systems including Achievement, Quest, and Rental systems will be ready by Q3. In the last quarter of this year, we should expect the coming of marathon mode, SocialFi elements, and community events.