Gala Games is a platform that distributes video games supported by blockchain technology: it allows players to own game content in the form of NFTs, and to receive GALA as a reward. The network nodes that enable the ecosystem to function are equally rewarded in GALA and NFT tokens: let’s try to understand what the Gala crypto is as well as its central role in the ecosystem.
What is Gala Crypto? The values of Play-to-Earn
Gala Games is a network of nodes, a decentralised ecosystem but above all a blockchain gaming platform that allows for the distribution and development of video games, in the spirit of ‘freeing’ gamers from control by their centralised counterparts. Gala’s mission lies in giving power back to gamers, making them true owners of the gaming experience and their progress. In 2019, this philosophy in line with the Web3 concept guided Eric Schiermeyer, Wright Thurston and Michael McCarthy in the creation of Gala Games.
The founders perfectly represent the multifaceted nature of Gala Games. Schiermeyer is one of the co-founders of Zynga, the company that developed the video game Farmville, as well as Intermix Media (the company that created MySpace). Thurston is a cryptocurrency miner and holder of several patents on blockchain technology; and finally, McCarthy has been Creative Director of several successful Zynga video games. A combination of gaming and blockchain solutions, that’s what Gala crypto and its ecosystem is: a decentralised alternative for the gamers of the future, based on the possibility to own and monetise game content through Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) or utility tokens, such as the GALA crypto. In one word: Play-to-Earn.
The gradual shift to online gaming, in fact, has obscured the concept of ownership. Most gamers no longer own physical copies, CDs and console cartridges, but access platforms that authoritatively govern gaming adventures. This has led users to ‘play more and own less’, especially with the global spread of the Internet. In contrast, in Gala Games’ decentralised ecosystem, the player is the protagonist, commanding a revolution with clear principles.
Own Your Content: power to the gamers
The games available on Gala Games have an internal economy driven by the buying and selling of items. Many ‘traditional’ video games already allow players to buy items and skins through in-game coins, in order to enhance and customise their avatars. However, players do not really own these items, they only ‘rent‘ the privilege of being able to use them: those who govern these systems can arbitrarily ban a user, preventing him from accessing his account and thus what he/she has paid or earned.
Although Gala Games can ‘ban’ an undesirable player, they can never take away his NFTs or GALA tokens, because they are immutably registered on blockchain. Therefore, even outside the game, these items will always have value, so they can be traded directly in the Gala Games marketplace, or in secondary markets such as OpenSea.
Own the Roadmap: power to the nodes
For a project to be truly decentralised, it must give participants the opportunity to discuss future developments and vote on potential changes. In other words, it must enable direct participation in governance. The infrastructure of Gala Games, as we shall see, is a network composed of different types of nodes. The Founder Nodes in particular can express their thoughts on certain decisions such as the addition of a new game to the catalogue, the financing of its development through the Gala Games Conservatorship, or the parameters of the distribution of prizes in GALA. The results of the governance processes are implemented by the core of Gala Games: a sort of control room that merely suggests improvements and implements the changes voted by the Founder Nodes.
This practice, however, does not reflect classic cryptocurrency governance. It is not the holders of Gala in the strict sense who participate in the voting, but node operators instead. To understand this choice, it is necessary to further understand the Gala Games ecosystem: let us delve into what the Gala crypto is and how its network works, defining the components of the sophisticated architecture.
The triple network of Gala Games
The Gala Games ecosystem is structured on several levels. Firstly, the game development section: created by the Gala team, or added by private companies. However, the ‘external’ content must be approved by the majority of the Founder Nodes, as we said, in order to receive a ‘Game Licence‘. The latter is a permission to access the Gala Games Ecosystem, registered in an NFT.
After that, the operation of Gala Games is based on 3 different types of nodes:
- Founder Nodes – these are the nerve centres of the entire ecosystem, limited to 50,000 units. To open a ‘founder’ node, you have to buy a software licence, again in the form of NFTs. For every 100 nodes sold, the price per unit increases by $100, starting from an initial cost of $200: this pricing mechanism is designed to discourage the purchase of a large number of nodes by a single individual and in part to encourage decentralisation. The licence for a Founder Node can be purchased from the Gala Games web application, or bought by other users: being an NFT, its ownership can be transferred and certified on blockchain.
- Game Node – nodes that support the operation of a specific game in the Gala Games ecosystem. They perform the typical functions of a server: as the network is decentralised, Game Nodes are physically closer to the players, thus improving performance in terms of latency. Opening a Game Node requires another type of licence, managed through smart contracts: this mechanism is similar to a rental, so they are also called ‘Paid Nodes’.
- Free Node – the only type of node that does not require a licence, it mainly provides storage space to host game content. An example of Cloud Storage, which eliminates the need to delegate the function to centralised databases.
This infrastructure is so diverse because Gala Games nodes have to perform more varied tasks than the network of a blockchain such as Bitcoin. In particular, Founder Nodes do not only validate the transactions in Gala Games, but must also provide computational power and sometimes storage space. Therefore, these nodes provide the resources that the system needs most at any given moment, determined by an algorithm. The individual operations required are carried out through 3 different consensus mechanisms: Proof-of-Work for calculations, Proof-of-Stake for validation of exchanges and Proof-of-Storage for storage capacity.
Given the multiple functions to be taken care of, participation in the network is crucial: the constant commitment of the nodes is essential for the smooth functioning of the ecosystem, so this large contribution must be rewarded. Let’s find out how the GALA crypto is distributed in reward by analysing its tokenomics.
GALA Tokenomics and the GYRI project
The GALA token originated as an ERC-20 token, so its issuance is managed by an Ethereum smart contract. Its total supply is estimated at 50 billion tokens, but the maximum supply is undefined. No preliminary ICO was conducted. Gala Games did not raise funds by distributing tokens, because in their ideal vision, only real participants in the ecosystem should be able to decide GALA’s value.
By the way, the cooperation of the Gala Games network nodes is rewarded through the distribution mechanism. Founder Nodes are rewarded according to their up-time. In practice, every 6 hours of service they earn a point and, in proportion to their daily score, they receive some GALA tokens. The distribution algorithm is decided by governance and also includes a random component for the distribution of NFTs: the second type of reward, which is much more coveted by Founder Nodes.
The daily incentives correspond to a fixed number of GALAs: the distribution at 2:15 (UTC) sends half to the Founder Nodes and the other half to the Gala Games Conservatorship fund. The number of distributed tokens, however, halves each year: every 21st of July, the total daily rewards are halved.
The halving on the 21st of July 2022 brought the total daily rewards from 17,123,286 to 8,561,643 GALA. The distribution will halve again on the 21st of July 2023, unless the governance decides otherwise.
Game Nodes are not involved in the distribution of GALA, but receive specific rewards from the games they support. For example, by participating in the subset of nodes running Town Star operations, you will receive the TOWN token, or Materium (MTMR) from Mirandus. All of these tokens are ERC-20 but, via the p.Network bridge, the GALA crypto can also be transformed into a Binance Smart Chain (BEP-20) token, thus opening up exchanges on PancakeSwap.
Despite its multichain compatibility, Gala Games plans to move its operations to a proprietary blockchain, dubbed ‘Gala Chain‘ by the community, but officially recognised as a GYRI project. Essentially, this migration will allow the network to achieve faster transactions, a lessened impact on the environment, lower fees, and interoperability with the entire GALA ecosystem. This is a solution already adopted by other blockchain games, such as Axie Infinity.
The GYRI project has already been tested on a copy of the Town Crush video game, one of the most popular on Gala Games, and will soon begin the migration of the code onto a permissioned blockchain. The network will not be accessible to the public until its functions prove to be reliable, so that it will be delegated to the already existing nodes (Founder, Game and Free).
Gyri is the name for the ‘folds’ of the cerebral cortex. These, together with the furrows, create functional divisions in the brain, which organise, enhance and protect thinking activities. Therefore, Gala Games intends to metaphorically indicate the security and versatility of its future blockchain.
The evolution of Gala Games, however, will not only concern the gaming sector: its roadmap includes the development of two other platforms, Gala Music and Gala Film. Will Gala Games be the centrepiece of Web3 entertainment? Certainly it is already an alternative for content creators and game lovers, but it will soon welcome music and film fans into its community!