Axie Infinity is one of the web’s most popular NFT games, so it’s no surprise that people want to create a competitor of their own.
Even with the number of daily active users down from a peak in November, they still have nearly 1.5 million people who log in every day. At the time of writing, Axie coins are worth around $55, with a market cap of about $4.2 billion. Those figures are enough to make anyone want to get in on the game.
The game itself is part-owned and operated by the players, making it a real community-driven effort as opposed to something that’s just built and sold by a developer. Players are able to earn AXS tokens, which can then be used to shape the game’s development or exchanged on its marketplace.
To understand their business model, you first need to understand the game. It revolves around creatures called Axies, which “love to battle, build and hunt for treasures.” Players are able to collect Axies and deploy them across an expanding universe of players.
The game works by using built-in blockchain and NFT technology which rewards players for logging in and engaging with the game. It uses an attractive model that’s been described as “Play and Earn” or “Play to Earn,” and it creates an ecosystem in which both players and the company can make money.
And so now that you know the basics, the question becomes one of how you can follow in their footsteps. Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered.
Come up with your idea
The first thing that you’ll need to do is to come up with your idea. Imitation is the most superb form of flattery, but there’s a big difference between imitation and flat-out plagiarism. The key is to take what inspiration you can from Axie Infinity and come up with your own spin on it.
The main things that you’ll want to think about when coming up with your idea include:
The main concept: This is a bit like your game’s equivalent of an elevator pitch. How would you describe it to somebody who’s never played it before and who’s never even heard of it? What makes your game unique, and why should they play that instead of a competing game?
What the game will be about: This builds on that first point but takes things a step further. Your central concept might be a game about ninjas and pirates where players can build armies and trade soldiers with each other. The game itself might be about a century-long war over whose side is the coolest.
What the world is: Just like writing a novel or creating a movie, you’ll need to think about the world in which it’s set. Perhaps it’s our world or a slightly different version of it. Maybe it’s an entirely new world, peopled with mythical creatures and fantasy races.
What the characters will be like: No world is complete without the characters that live in it. While you may give your players the flexibility to create and play as any characters that they can imagine, you’ll still need to spend some time thinking about the NPCs (non-player characters) with whom they can interact with.
Build a creative team
Your next step is to start building out a team to create the game’s resources. This will include finding a writer who can flesh out the world and the characters and work on the storyline, and you’ll also want to spend some time finding an NFT artist who can create your visual assets.
Typically, your NFT artist and your writer will work closely together, with the artist drawing characters, in-game items, and other assets that you can use to bring your world to life. The writer will then typically take those visual assets and create names and descriptions for them, as well as fit them into a broader storyline that players can enjoy.
Depending upon your own skills and how much involvement you want in the details of the game, you may also want to bring in a creative director. It’s their job to work on the overall vision for the game and to make sure that everything that your writers and artists do is pushing your game in the right direction.
Hire an NFT blockchain developer
After you’ve built your creative team, you’re ready to start building out the game. For this, you’re going to need a developer, but not just any developer will do – you need someone who has proven experience and a track record of working with blockchain and NFT technology. They’ll be able to help you to find the right solutions and to get the build done on time and on budget.
These can be trickier to find than regular developers, but the good news is that the rise of freelancing and the gig economy means that you’ll be able to find someone who works at an hourly rate. That way, you don’t have to worry about paying them a full salary, and you’ll only have to pay them for the work that they do.
Alternatively, you can work with a blockchain development agency, where the same applies. It saves you from having to hire an employee of your own and comes with the added benefit that there will be multiple developers to pick and choose from and for you to benefit from their expertise.
Create a community
Creating a community is a good idea for any product or service, but it’s crucial for NFT games like Axie Infinity because it’s the community that powers them and makes them possible in the first place.
There are a lot of different ways that you can do this. Most NFT games use Discord servers, in part because that’s a perennial favorite amongst the tech community in the first place. Consider creating your own Discord server and perhaps even inviting trusted players to become moderators.
You can also use groups on social networking sites, as well as advertising and email marketing to bring people in and stay in touch with them. And perhaps the best news here is that you can start work on this while your NFT game is still in development. As well as allowing you to develop a ready-made audience of users for when you launch, it will also enable you to invite people to help to shape the game while it’s still in development.
Attract new investment
Finally, and with everything else done, you’re ready to start taking on new investments. The chances are that you had at least some initial investment to help you to get off the ground, and so now we’re talking about raising a second or third round to continue growing and scaling.
You can also expect to bring in some money through pre-sales, as well as through users who are exchanging their local money into in-app currency. At the same time, you can’t afford to rely on that, so the best option is to look to a mixture of user purchase and external investment.
Now that you know how Axie Infinity works and what you’ll need to do if you want to follow in their footsteps, it’s over to you so that you can put what we’ve talked about into practice.
If you follow the step-by-step process that we’ve outlined, you’ll be off to a solid start and will have completed the majority of the groundwork. With that said, you’re probably still going to need some help, especially when it comes to development.
That’s where we come in. At Zfort Group, we’ve worked on NFT projects of all shapes and sizes, from NFT art auctions to games like Axie Infinity. Our team of seasoned NFT developers is on hand to help you to bring your ideas to life. Get in touch with us to find out more!