Today we will look at one of the earliest Defi NFT games in existence — these pixelated and cute Aavegotchi are ghosts inspired from the ever famous Tamagotchi devices originating from Japan which went into hype in late 1990s and early 2000s.
These devices used to be very hyped in its launch and are still nostalgic pieces for many today.
While not exactly intended to be a play to earn game and the project was developed with the aim of spreading awareness in Defi with a gamified design, Aavegotchi actually has appeals from DeFi to collectibles and some gaming aspects. With a recent announcement of the game developing its own metaverse known as Gotchiverse, the Aavegotchi is still alive and kicking till this date and we are going to have an introduction into the game!
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Assets & Ecosystem
How to get started
Aavegotchi is a blockchain NFT game developed by Pixelcraft studios and is a recipient of the Aave Ecosystem Grant. It is inspired by Tamagotchi and features similar gameplay but in an on-chain manner.
In its lore Aavegotchis are pixelated ghosts living on-chain and is backed by the ERC-721 standard. Their value is determined by a combination of its intrinsic value i.e. the staked collateral associated with it and its rarity level, which is calculated via multiple factors, such as rarity of traits, equipped wearables and your interaction with it.
These cute ghosts will be your companion in the Gotchiverse.
Because every Aavegotchi is essentially an NFT backed by staked collateral or interest bearing tokens, it is a unique combination of Defi and NFTs and is one of the earlier Defi NFT games to have debuted.
The game is playable on browser and hence all platforms in general.
Aavegotchi similar to its inspiration from Tamagotchi is a game where you would need to interact with daily for the best gameplay experience. This is also why Aavegotchis ended up being deployed on Polygon on the consideration of gas fees and costs.
Aavegotchi is interesting in that the NFTs are dynamic and its underlying metadata can change based on the interaction with its owner and this is the main value accrual into the NFTs. Every Aavegotchi has its intrinsic value known as Spirit Force which is depicted by the staked collateral associated with the NFTs.
In additon, the game comes with a trait system which defines the rarity. Aavegotchis have six traits:
AGG = Aggressiveness
NRG = Energy
SPK = Spookiness
BRN = Brain Size
EYS = Eye Shape
EYC = Eye Color
Depending on the distribution of the traits an Aavegotchi can be classified into a rarity system ranging from common, uncommon, rare to mythical.
Traits are distributed on a bell curve thanks to the project implementing chainlink VRF.
Owners can also purchase wearables which are other in-game items that you can further equip on the Aavegotchi to augment its appearance and make it even more valuable.
What’s interesting here is that the game is designed such that the starting traits of the Aavegotchi, i.e. its personality, differs across the bell curve, so when you look for wearables to upgrade your pet’s rarity you need to get the ones that boost the traits that match the correct direction of curve.
Outfit your Aavegotchi to augment its appearance and stats. Note how the wearables would augment the trait values and players would want to match these for their Aavegotchis’ starting personality to maximize its rarity.
If you recall from the Tamagotchi days your digital pet needs to be pet’ed every now and then. The game has a similar kinship mechanic where you need to interact with your Aavegotchi every 12 hours (i.e. twice a day) to earn the maximum reward in this aspect.
Aavegotchi has devised this mechanism known as Rarity Farming to incentivize players who are engaged with the game. In short, the idea is for players to raise the rarest Aavegotchis, and they will be rewarded in GHST tokens and more!
The game docs have summarized a three-pointer on what rarity farm is essentially about, i.e.
Carefully selecting an Aavegotchi with rare traits during the summoning process
Equipping wearables to modify the traits of your Aavegotchi
Engaging in mini-games
As simple as it sounds, the dynamics of the game is constantly changing due to addition of in-game assets and other actions from other players so there is not an absolute min-max to the rarity farming game and can be very engaging.
It’s very interesting that rarity is not an absolute measure in Aavegotchi. What’s rare today could be pleb next week and vice versa.
In short, just like any video games, there is a certain meta as to what might be rare in a given time period. If your Aavegotchi is currently equipped to be rare and everyone flocks to the same meta, it will eventually become common and this ever shifting mechanic incentivizes the top players to be on the constant chase on its pets’ rarity to farm the best rewards.
Other means to engage with the game include community developed mini-games that integrate with the Aavegotchi universe. Many of these are resemblances to classic old school console games back in the day and bring nostalgia and fun times.
A look at the mini-game selection screen sees a number of old school games for players to kill some time and earn rewards.
An example of a minigame — Aavegotchi’s version of pinball.
For complete beginners the game Wiki has summarized a very clean 7 step guide on what to do with the game. Just quoting here for the folks who might be overwhelmed with the information thus far.
STEP 3: Get some wearables for your Gotchi from the Baazaar
STEP 4: Pet your Gotchi every 12 hours to increase his/her kinship
STEP 5: Participate in Rarity Farming
STEP 6: Play some Mini-Games
STEP 7: Wait for the Gotchiverse to roll out!
As of January 2022, the Gotchiverse has seen some announcements around its chapter 2 i.e. its own metaverse game. This expands the gameplay potential of Aavegotchi to new heights but as a starter we want to focus on the basics and will cover ground on what’s to come in a later episode.
The Aavegotchi team is run by a few senior members known as Summoners with its core team and own advisors. Code Dan is known as the Chief Summoner, i.e. essentially the CEO and co-founder. According to the Aavegotchi Wiki, Dan is a full stack developer and the creator of Yield Hero which is a dapp for users to redirect their AAVE yields towards any address. He’s also had extensive experience working with NFT platforms in the past.
From the Aavegotchi wiki depicting some of the team.
The team also house heavyweight advisors such as Stani who’s the founder and CEO of Aave and Les who’s got extensive entrepreneurship experience across multiple sectors including music, entertainment and blockchain technology.
As one of the earliest Defi NFT games that’s out in the market Aavegotchi obviously has the heavy support from its parent protocol AAVE (also a recipient of the AAVE Ecosystem Grant) and also Polygon as its home chain for interacting with the game and its assets. To add a bit of context, the Aave Ecosystem Grant is an initiative from Aave official team to encourage and support new projects in the space to contribute to the growth of the ecosystem and Aavegotchi being a recipient shows so much for its efforts to boost and publicize the Aave ecosystem.
Despite being a pixelated game and its longevity in the market it has no shortage of recent partnerships with investors and guilds. In November 2021 CGU has partnered up with Aavegotchi with an investment in excess of $500,000 which is into all aspects of the ecosystem including parcels, wearables and Aavegotchis.
Metaguild, one of the oldest and most active guilds in the Aavegotchi space has announced partnership with Aavegotchi in the same time involving some XL land parcels for which has become venue for exclusive experience in the upcoming Gotchiverse expansion.
The native token of Aavegotchi is GHST (Ghost with the vowel taken out).
GHST is the base token for the Aavegotchi ecosystem for purchase and trading of its various in-game assets. This includes Aavegotchis, Portals, wearables, consumables, collectibles and other goods. The token also serves as the governance token in the Aavegotchi DAO which decides the roadmap and development of the ecosystem.
The current total supply of GHST is variable as the token can be minted by the bonding curve using DAI.
GHST had a token distribution event across late 2020 in 3 phases as follows:
Private Round — 5,000,000 GHST tokens will be distributed, at a price of 0.05 DAI / GHST. Open to participants with KYC validation with a minimum of 20K DAI to be redeemed for GHST tokens. The total vesting period is 365 days, with an initial release of tokens on the 180th day after the close of the pre-sale round, followed by a release over the subsequent 185 days thereafter.
Pre Sale Round — 500,000 GHST tokens will be distributed, at a price of 0.1 DAI / GHST. Open to participants with KYC validation with no minimum contribution. The vesting period is the same as the Private Round. Funds raised during the Pre Sale will be used as liquidity in the Token Bonding Curve reserve pool.
Token Bonding Curve (TBC) — Open to participants with KYC validation with no minimum contribution. No maximum supply of GHST distributed via the bonding curve. No lockup or vesting period.
With GHST being variable supply, the project has taken a number of steps in mind to keep the ecosystem sustainable. In its current iteration the revenue sharing distribution is in 4 components as follows:
EARN IT represents the rewards from engaging in the Aavegotchi game. We discussed rarity farming previously — as it is completed in its each season rewards in GHST will be distributed to players under different criteria such as top rarity, kinship scores and XP.
DAO IT represents revenue going back to the DAO Treasury to sustain ecosystem efforts and growing the community to expand the project. This is currently at 15%
BURN IT is the burn mechanic of the GHST token. 5% of all portal and item sales are burned to counterbalance the downward pressure on the token price as more tokens get minted via the token bonding curve mechanic. This is the deflationary measure built into the tokenomics.
BUIDL IT is the revenue share going into the development team. These incentives are in GHST to align the devs work for the long term success of the project.
Note the revenue sharing schedule could be subject to change and currently we are in V2. The game docs have detailed the changes from its previous iteration and you can also check out here for the rationale for changes from V1 to V2.
Since this is an onchain game you will need to have a Metamask wallet to play.
The game is on Polygon chain so you will have to have some MATIC for gas. For purchasing in-game assets you will need GHST tokens and you can either get this from various CEXes or swap assets for the token on Quickswap on Polygon.
Once done, you can navigate to https://aavegotchi.com/ and connect your wallet.
From there, press “Play Now” and you can navigate into the main screen for which you can interact with your Aavegotchi, game assets and the in-game marketplace and start exploring.