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Balthazar Research Report: Conquer Laria in Koakuma

Contents

7/10 – Good

Pre released game score

Koakuma offers an enjoyable experience, beautiful artwork, good music, and is an overall good project that we’re looking forward to. Their team information is the primary category  dragging their overall score down.

Section scores

Background – 7.5
NFT Game Assets – 7
Website – 6.5
Artwork – 7.5
Team – 4.5
Whitepaper – 7
Socialnomics – 7.5

Read More on Explaining the Scoring.

Written by Nicholas Korsgård, Chief Gaming Officer, Kim Bjerkeli, Sigurd Thomassen, and Heidi Anette Laugsand Johansen, Game Strategist, Balthazar Alpha Team

Introduction

PvP? Check. Multiplayer? Check. Open world? Check. Koakuma? Check.

Koakuma is an up-and-coming ARPG multiplayer adventure game in the GameFi space. With a mission to create a challenging, enticing game for all gamers to enjoy, breaking that boundary between blockchain games and traditional games. With plans for future e-sports tournaments, this project seems only to have two pieces missing – Growing an engaged community and time.

Will you stand the test of time and join Koakuma?

In this research report, we will dive into this project by looking at the gameplay, playtesting, NFTs, play and earn, website, artwork, blockchain, and much more. Who are the team, and who are the backers? Join us on this journey through our research report to find out.

TL;DR

  • The story is set in a part of the world called Laria. A core system to the game is what is known as fiefs, which are territories players can improve as a community and will serve as their “home.” The core gameplay revolves around exploring, collecting, battling, gathering, and crafting.
  • Koakuma uses both Binance Smart Chain and Polygon as blockchain solutions. We can expect future NFT launches on both BSC and Polygon. The $KKMA token is the game’s primary currency and governance token. It is capped to 1,000,000,000 tokens. It is still undisclosed where the token will be launched. However, it will be either of the two aforementioned blockchains.
  • The Koakuma team consists of nearly 20 employees based primarily in China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The information on the team members is not easily verifiable. Koakuma is the first game of the new Koakuma Studios, and they have high expectations.
  • The website is enjoyable, but we would have liked to see more information about the team on the website directly. User-friendliness was considered when building the page. Overall, nice website, colors, and artwork.
  • Koakuma’s artwork focuses on a flat cartoony style. This graphical style usually sets a light-hearted and friendly mood, which really fits the game. The art is inviting yet intriguing. Going for this flat style, often considered timeless, will make the game look sharp years after its release.
  • The litepaper is surprisingly detailed for what it is. It explains the various mechanisms and systems we’ll see in the game, such as the fief, imp, and scholar systems. We would have liked more information about general gameplay mechanics, such as how fighting works.
  • Koakuma doesn’t have the largest following on social media, but the community seems to be invested and excited about the project. In recent weeks there has been tremendous growth in the community.
  • Koakuma is in its early stages, but the project has still managed to wow us with its game demo, featuring beautiful vibrant artwork, well-made soundtracks, and an overall enjoyable experience.

Background

Koakuma is an action role-playing game or ARPG using Polygon and BSC blockchain technology. The game is multi-platform and will be launched on PC, Android, and iOS. Every in-game item and creature is an NFT and token on the blockchain.

Lore

The lore of Koakuma begins with a meteorite hitting the earth’s surface, causing the land to split and the heat of the collision leading to a 100-day rain. After the rain, the arid land got nourished, and life started emerging with plants, then creatures, and eventually forming civilization.

The part of the world of Koakuma we’ll initially see is called Laria. Each geographic location has different climates and cultures, mirroring the world as we know it. With different cultures, there are bound to be sociopolitical differences between Laria’s inhabitants. Battles are fought over territory, and weapons, skill, and power are essential for survival.

We can see some artistic representations of the different biomes in Laria below.

Gameplay

The core gameplay revolves around five main areas of activity. These are exploring, collecting, battling, gathering, and crafting.

The core earning mechanism in the game is neatly illustrated below.

Fight Mechanics

How you fight in this game is a combination of mouseclick attacks and skills on your number row from 1 to 3. In the demo, we play as Grane, who wields a greatsword and is your typical melee/bruiser class.

Based on our demo testing, the game felt smooth and was a positive overall experience as an early demo product. The biggest annoyance we experienced was not being able to change the keybindings, which we found awkward. Fully assume thought that this will not be an issue on release. Overall the game’s demo had a great atmosphere and art style, and the music was very fitting and enjoyable. 

Below you can see a representation of the inventory and stats page.

The game is still just a demo, and obviously, there will be polishing and optimizations to the overall game and UI. Even with the shortcomings of the demo, the experience was still very pleasant, and we got a nice first impression of the game to come. It is well worth a playtest while it is still available on their website.

Heroes

In the litepaper, two heroes are revealed. Evike and Grane.

Evike is a humanoid doe-like creature wielding a bow and arrow. She is described as elegant, calm, and highly intellectual in her perspective. Her keen eye helps her identify enemy weaknesses and easily land critical hits. Combined with her incredibly long-range attacks and high-speed movement, enemies will have difficulty getting close.

Grane is a humanoid lion creature. He grew up on the plains and is built like a warrior. Due to some trouble in his tribe, he went into the breach to fight for his hometown. After years of traveling the lands, he has amassed a lot of fighting experience and strength. Grane sometimes prefers to take damage to himself to bring down his foes faster.

Monsters

Across Laria players will find various enemies and monsters. Below are some samples.

Imps

Imps are core to the game. They are like pets helping out players with either resource gathering or battling. Imps are obtainable through in-game bonuses or bought off the market from other players. Each imp has a trait that makes it a good resource gatherer or fighter, and using an imp for its inherent purpose will grant the most remarkable effect from it. 

Imps come from Imp eggs, which come in different classes. These classes are white, green, blue, purple, and orange. Depending on the rarity of the egg, the born imp will get a corresponding ability.

Imps can also be improved by devouring other imps gaining experience and ability. This adds a convenience layer for players, where they can keep one improved imp over several ones with different purposes.

Below is the flowchart for the Imp system.

Fiefs

The land in Koakuma is divided into fiefs. The fief model in-game is similar to a feudal society where a lord rules the parcel of land under the fiefdom. Fiefs are independent units, and players can choose which fief to inhabit. The fiefdom’s development is dependent on its inhabitants.

Each fief has its own DAO, and a certain amount of $KKMA needs to be pledged for different proposals encompassing it. Within the DAO, four parameters can be impacted. Transaction tax, technology research, diplomatic relations, and large-scale missions. The fief’s income is stored in its treasury which will be used for the further development of the fiefdom.

To become a lord over a fief, one has to acquire a Lord Mask NFT through an exchange. As the NFT is tradeable, the title can be transferred. However, this also means that anyone with enough money can become a lord with whatever that brings.

Below is the flowchart of the fief system.

Tokenomics

Koakuma comprises a dual token economy in which the primary token $KKMA and the secondary token $BOD exist harmoniously.

$KKMA

$KKMA is the governance token representing the right to stake shares in the game and the right to vote in the DAO. $KKMA is capped to a fixed amount of 1,000,000,000, which will not inflate. 

The token is obtainable through the initial launch, where the team sells it in various rounds to investors and players. After that, it can be bought off the secondary market through exchanges, or one can acquire it as a reward for completing specific tasks in-game or participating and remaining active in the DAO.

The distribution of the token is depicted in the pie chart below. Looking at the reward and ecosystem parts, we can see that a decent chunk of the total supply is reserved for game purposes. This chunk of tokens amounts to 37.5% of the total supply, which is in the ballpark of where other games with play-and-earn mechanisms usually land as well.

The token provides a few different utilities. $KKMA is the primary token. Hence, it will be the primary form of in-game currency. To upgrade, forge, enchant, smelt skill runes, or purchase from the marketplace, will all have to be paid for in $KKMA. 

The Koakuma Treasury will eventually have a buyback program, in which they buy $KKMA from the market and burn it. Thereby deflating the total number of tokens in tandem with the ecosystem’s growth. This is to ensure value for the holders.

A staking program is also on the horizon, where holders who stake the token will receive rewards.

The vesting schedule is shown below and is similar to what we’ve come to expect from GameFi projects.

$BOD

The payment token for in-game trade or exchange is $BOD. $BOD is not capped and will be subject to inflation. The token would be similar to in-game currencies from the typical web2 MMO, aiming to keep the in-game economy stable in coordination with the in-game economic growth. The $BOD token is earned through in-game activities.

Utility

Below is a chart showing the various utilities of the tokens.

We can see that the tokens will heavily impact the game by playing a part in many activities and progressions. For example, one has to use tokens to change the appearance of characters, upgrade weapons, and learn skills. There are also opportunities to buy mystery boxes in-game that grant a weapon.

Regarding revenue for the player in this game, the image below shows the general gist of how it will work.

Scholar System

There will be a scholar contract built into the game, where players in a surplus of NFTs can post a contract and have other players hire these NFTs. Every NFT dropped during the contract will be sold to the auction house for $BOD, and the earnings will be divided between the scholar and the manager. The percentage of division will be subject to the contract and can be set by the contract owner. The Koakuma Treasury will take a 5% commission on every completed contract.

The flowchart of the scholar system can be seen below.

NFT Game Assets

In Koakuma, all items acquired in-game are NFTs. They can be traded in-game on the auction house or in exchanges out of the game.

There are four general classes of NFTs in Koakuma, where the four classes are divided into several subclasses. The list below lists the four archetypes and their subsidiaries.

  • Roles and Equipment
  • Materials, Fossils, and Power Runes
  • Character skins, animations, special effects
  • Imps and Imp eggs

There will also be some special NFTs only obtainable with $KKMA, such as Lord Mask and Lord Tiara.

NFT Flowchart

Weapons, Gear, and Skins

Below, we can see an example of what certain item types can look like in the form of NFTs.

The heroes can also get various skins, some of which are showcased below.

Koakuma website

We compared Koakumas’ desktop version of its website to its mobile site to see how it measures up and if there were any changes they could make to the site to improve it. Follow along to see our verdict. In this test, we used a Samsung Galaxy S10+.

Link to website: https://koakuma.io/

Desktop

When we first entered the website, we noticed the blue-toned background, the big sign saying “PLAY DEMO,” and the fun effects which were added to the heroes, making each hero appear one by one. In addition, hyperlinks were added showing Telegram, Discord, and Twitter for easy access. 

The website’s heading menu followed the user through all the aspects of the website, including “Game,” “NFTs,” “Earn,” “Partners,” “Team,” and “Subscribe.” Each of these aspects could be clicked by the user, automatically placing them at the desired title. If not, the heading menu would follow as the user scroll down. 

By scrolling down to the game aspect of the website, we got to see some information about the game alongside the artwork in the background. This artwork includes a sliding effect of a character, in addition to a video encouraged by a big yellow “PLAY DEMO” button below. The video was 1 minute and 46 seconds long, presenting the game’s interface and one of the heroes. We found the background music calming, and the sound effects from the sword were also really nice. 

In addition to this, we enjoyed the color palette and the art style in the video presented. When scrolling further down, there was more information about the game, giving the user an idea of what options the game beholds, such as exploring, collecting, PvE and PvP, in addition to crafting and a seemingly open world experience. All these aspects had vibrant artwork added to give an idea of the project further. 

Continuing, we explored the NFT part of the game with a bright violet/purple background theme. A photo gallery was also added to the website, automatically changing the picture displayed. The user could also change the image by clicking either left or right on the screen, made evident by the symbols. We always appreciate consideration for the user-friendliness of a website, so this was a plus for us. Underneath, another “PLAY DEMO” could be found, marked in yellow.

Furthermore, the website introduced the play-and-earn aspect, using arrows of different colors, pictures, and text to demonstrate it effortlessly. Although this was a nice touch, we felt the pictures could have been of higher quality.

Further scrolling down to the partners, the logos were of a nice size, giving equal attention to all the partners. The layout of the team assessment was also pleasing to the eye, with animated pictures and blue background. However, no links, such as LinkedIn, were attached to the photographs, giving us no higher degree of information on who these people were. 

Lastly, users could enter their email addresses to subscribe to the newsletters. The lower menu offered options to contact the team, the litepaper, and more of their social media platforms. 

Mobile

The mobile site was almost identical to the desktop version, including the hero-sliding effect. However, the upper menu had been minimized to three white lines at the upper right corner. By clicking on the symbol, a small menu would appear. However, we wouldn’t see an issue with making the menu slightly bigger as it looked a little small and cramped. 

Scrolling down to the game section, one of the images of a skull cave was missing, but the rest of the slide looked good, including the video added. Further scrolling down to the area exploring the game, the options had been created into an infinite gallery, where arrows had been added, symbolizing that the user would have to slide to see more. We did notice that clicking on the arrows didn’t have any visual effect. 

In the NFT section of the mobile site, the information also fits the mobile screen nicely. The same gallery we found on the desktop version had also been added here. The gallery on mobile would not automatically change, so the user would have to either scroll or tap on the arrows to see more. The Play & Earn part of the website had a cramped look to it. We think that making it a little bigger would give the mobile site a better look. 

On the other hand, the partners’ logos looked really good, and the team had also been placed in a gallery with one of the members visible simultaneously. However, with ten members, it might have been a better option to show the members in rows, as it is quite time-consuming to click through them all. 

Finally, the last part of the website, which gave the user a chance to join the newsletter, looked good on the mobile site, and the lower menu was also visible using mobile. 

The Verdict

To sum it up, we did enjoy this website. We would have liked to see more information about the team, but user-friendliness was definitely considered when creating the website. Testing on mobile, we did experience some parts of the website being too small, such as the heading menu and the “earn” part. We also experienced these photos being lower quality than we think they would have been. The team gallery on mobile only showed 1 of 10 members at a time, making it time-consuming to scroll through them all. 

Overall, we enjoyed the website, the colors added, and the artwork. One of the pictures went missing on the mobile site. However, the video trailer definitely made us want to try out this Demo.

Artwork

Koakuma focuses on flat cartoony artwork, a graphical style that often suits more light-hearted and friendly game projects. The style that Koakuma has chosen is inviting yet intriguing and is often a style that is easy to make interesting and good quality graphics for.

In-game, this style is often considered timeless and ages well in most games – making the game look sharp years after release.

We find the different figures and creations to be original, interesting, and of overall good quality. 

Blockchain

Koakuma uses both the Binance Smart Chain and Polygon. For which chain the tokens will be on, we do not know. However, for the upcoming IDO, they value their $KKMA token as 0.03 $BUSD, indicating the tokens are on Binance Smart Chain. With that in mind, it is reasonable to expect several NFT launches on both BSC and Polygon.

What Chain Does The Game Run On?

BSC

BSC runs in parallel with Binance Chain (BC), which, unlike BSC, doesn’t have smart contracts and other nifty features. BC was purposely built for fast decentralized trading and had to sacrifice features like smart contracts to avoid possible congestion.

On the other hand, BSC was constructed to deal with more varied tasks and is better suited to handle smart contracts and what we see in NFTs today. BSC is also EVM compatible, which means many of the dApps built for the Ethereum blockchain are easily ported to BSC.

BSC runs a Proof of Staked Authority (PoSA) consensus algorithm, a form of Proof of Stake. To participate in the BSC consensus, you have to stake BNB, the token in the ecosystem, to become a validator. Then, if the validator proposes a valid block, they are rewarded with the transaction fees from the transactions within.

Cross-chain compatibility is also enabled on BSC through the BEP-20 token standard, which is a counterpart to ERC-20 on Ethereum. BSC can then swap tokens with BCs BEP-2 and BEP-8 tokens.

Finally, BSC has a suite of DeFi products allowing assets from several different chains to be used through BSC’s growing DeFi suite.

Polygon

Polygon is a layer-2 solution to the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is the second-largest blockchain globally and the number one blockchain development platform of choice. However, it has its limitations regarding throughput, poor user experience, and no sovereignty. For a consumer, this means high gas fees, delayed Proof of Work (PoW) finality, and shared throughput on the blockchain, which could risk clogging.

The limitations of Ethereum have led to several projects exploring alternatives compatible with the Ethereum main chain. By doing this, they can still take advantage of Ethereum’s ecosystem and leverage more throughput and lower gas fees on a scaling layer-2 solution.

Before Polygon came to be, there was no specialized framework to build such blockchains or protocols to connect them. Polygon sets out to be a protocol and framework for building and connecting Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks. It takes the best of Ethereum and other sovereign blockchains into an attractive feature set. Such features are listed below:

  • Ethereum Compatibility: Industry dominance, established tech stack, tools, languages, standards, enterprise adoption.
  • Scalability: Dedicated blockchains, scalable consensus algorithms, custom WebAssembly execution environments.
  • Security: Modular “security as a service,” provided either by Ethereum or by a pool of professional validators.
  • Sovereignty: Dedicated throughput and resources, fully customizable tech stack, and sovereign governance.
  • Interoperability: Native support for arbitrary message passing and bridges to external systems.
  • User Experience: Comparable to “Web2”, “zero-gas” transactions, and instant transaction finality.
  • Developer Experience: Equivalent to Ethereum, no protocol level knowledge required, no token deposits, fees, or permissions.
  • Modularity: High customizability, extensibility, upgradeability, short time-to-market, community collaboration.

In short, Polygon is a decentralized Ethereum-scaling platform that enables developers to build scalable, user-friendly dApps with low transaction costs and without ever sacrificing security.

Over 7’000 dApps have taken advantage of Polygon’s scaling solution, and they are committed to fostering the growth of Web3 applications by providing the infrastructure needed for Web3.

Our Thoughts On The Chain?

BSC

Binance has a large launchpad for NFTs called Binance NFT Launchpad. Having some of the NFTs launched on Binance’s launchpad would assure a wide reach within the crypto community, and it’s a good choice for a blockchain-agnostic game, reaching communities on several blockchains.

BSC has a lot of projects on their launchpad, and there’s a feeling of quantity over quality when browsing through the projects. We’re not saying that The Harvest is a low-quality project, but if launched on BSC, it will be accompanied by many projects with varying quality.

Polygon

Polygon seems to have become one of the go-to layer-2 solutions for Ethereum. We’ve seen it be used in several P2E games and believe it is so popular because of the average transaction time of just 2.3 seconds and overall network throughput of 10’000 TPS (Transactions Per Second). This performance is currently unbeaten on Ethereum-compatible solutions. Comparatively, Ethereum takes about 15 seconds to do the same transaction, consumes significantly more power, and has an overall higher cost for the transaction.

Another point in favor of Polygon is that the Ethereum ecosystem is a safe place to build because of its enormous ecosystem and widespread adoption. Of course, it is not necessarily risky to build out P2E games on other blockchains like Avalanche or Tezos, but going for an Ethereum-based solution could be a way of “playing it safe” or going where the money is, as Polygon got a lot of incentives and funding for ecosystem projects.

Having said all this, building on Polygon is not without risk. On March 11, 2022, Polygon suffered from an extended service outage after an upgrade. The network was down for over 11 hours which caused a lot of ripples in the crypto world, as the network couldn’t produce new blocks, costing the community and consumers a lot of money.

Some critics also claim that Polygon is still highly insecure and centralized. For example, a Twitter post from Justin Bons, founder and CIO of Cyber Capital, claims that it would only take five people to compromise over $4 Billion. Four of these individuals are the founders of Polygon. His arguments are:

  • The Polygon smart contract admin key is controlled by 5 out of 8 multi-signature contracts. Meaning Polygon can gain complete control over the network with only one of the four outside parties conspiring. The Polygon team selected the other four parties in the multi-sig. This means that the four other participants are not impartial. Control of the contract admin key is the same as having the power to change the rules. At this point, anything is possible (including emptying the entire Polygon contract currently worth over $4B).
  • Regarding Polygon’s operational security and cryptographic ritual surrounding the creation of the multi-sig, he says that Polygon has not been transparent. The reason transparency is essential is to establish trust in the multi-sig.
  • On May 20, 2020, the Polygon team refused to respond to a formal request for disclosure regarding the multi-sig, which Bons considers a giant red flag. As a result, transparency was and is severely lacking.
  • On May 15, 2021, Polygon did release a “transparency report,” which Bons claims is just a defense of the status quo, only further justifying the use of the multi-sig. The report did not cover any aspects of operational security. Neither did it address the need to mitigate the contract to reduce the admin key risk.
  • On January 19, 2022, Polygon released its “state of governance: decentralization.” Unfortunately, this doesn’t discuss the multi-sig, but it lays the groundwork for Polygon DAO.
  • Bons says that he respects the Polygon team and even with their best intentions, quoting the Polygon co-founder Mihailo Bjelic: “an exit scam is not a realistic concern for Polygon.” Bons says Bjelic can trust himself, but other people can’t know what is in another’s mind. “Don’t trust, Verify!”
  • With over $4B locked on the chain, it is a hack waiting to happen, and organized crime could target these individuals, holding parts of the multi-sig. The four founders themselves meeting in person could lead to an accidental loss. His point is that a 5 out of 8 multi-sig is insufficient for $4B.
  • He provides a clear alternative where Polygon has to decentralize its governance based on the $MATIC token holders. And once governance is decentralized, the team would have to hand the power of the smart contract admin key over to the token holders, effectively turning control over to a “Polygon DAO.” This operation would probably be both difficult and expensive, but it is the price to pay for not doing it right to begin with. It is the price for decentralization and the security that comes with it. Pretending to be secure and decentralized is not good enough.
  • He ends by saying that Polygon has an opportunity to lead by example, and an acknowledgment of the problem and a commitment to fix it would go a long way.

Read the whole Twitter post to get all the details. Justin Bons has been in the crypto space since 2014 and runs a successful investing fund. He is known for his lengthy Twitter threads critiquing popular blockchains where he sees issues.

Pros and cons aside, in the Balthazar Alpha Team, we aim to provide as good information as possible to let readers decide for themselves. Polygon is likely one of the better blockchains Koakuma could have chosen, as it has both the Ethereum backing and the community. 

Team

Who Is On The Team?

Team Website:

Team litepaper:

  • Karasu Z. – CEO / Founder
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/karasu-z-605699227/
    https://twitter.com/karasu_koakuma 
    • Senior Game Developer (Sep 2018 – Feb 2021) at NetEase Games
    • Lead Game Programmer (Feb 2017 – Sep 2018) at Shinezone Group Limited
    • Senior Game Programmer (Sep 2016 – Feb 2017) at Giant Interactive Group Inc
  • Parker Sun – Lead Game Designer
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/parker-sun-8b411b43/ 
    • Lead Game Designer (Nov 2018 – Jan 2020) at Shanghai Kaiman Ltd
    • Lead Game Designer (Jun 2017 – Oct 2019) at Shinezone Network
    • Producer (May 2014 – May 2016) at Shanghai BaiMeng Technology Co., Ltd.
    • Game Desgner (May 2014 – May 2016) at Perfect World Co., Ltd. 
    • Game Designer (Apr 2009 – May 2011) at Giant Interactive Group Inc
  • Agnes S. – Business Development
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/agnes-s-682ba8112/
    • Business Development Manager (Mar 2022 – Present) at CreDA
    • Business Development Manager (Mar 2021 – Nov 2021) at OYO
    • Business Development Manager (Jan 2020 – Nov 2020) at ZEN Rooms
    • Sales and Marketing Executive (Dec 2015 – Jan 2020) at Molinos de la Especia
  • Lawrence “Lance” Tan – Business Development
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/lancetan007/
    • Content Writer (Dec 2021 – Present) at Dan Ray SEO Group
    • Content Writer (Dec 2019 – Present) at 032 Fitness
    • Sales Copywriter (Sep 2021 – Feb 2022) at Apex Paradigm
    • Customer Service Sales Representative (Aug 2020 – Sep 2021) at Philippines Call Center Seats
    • Business development Manager (Jan 2020 – Jun 2020) at Zen Rooms
    • Regional Sales Associate (Feb 2019 – Nov 2019) at Thompson Lightning Solutions
    • Telesales Specialist (Aug 2018 – Feb 2019) at Innocentrix Publishing
    • Publishing Consultant (Jun 2017 – Jul 2018) at Author Solutions, LLC

Team Assessment

The team working on Koakuma consists of nearly 20 employees, and information about their team members were not easily found as their website, litepaper and LinkedIn profile didn’t match anywhere. We found this somewhat awkward and would’ve liked to see coherent team information throughout their different platforms.

The information we’ve found on their team members is also not easily verifiable, and most of what we used was from their LinkedIn company profile page.

At the time of writing, we couldn’t find any job listings.

Koakuma is Koakuma Studios’ first game, and they have high expectations of themselves as a game studio and a future high-quality entertainment content producer. Koakuma has already delivered a good standard on the content they’ve produced so far. However, despite that fact, our conviction of the team working on Koakuma is not the highest, and it’s hard to get an accurate read of their team with the little information readily available at the current time of writing.

Do They Have Relevant Experience?

In general, the team at Koakuma seems to have some experience within their respective fields. However, as a new company, there are no employees that stand especially out with extensive experience from previous works.

Their CEO, Karasu Z., has worked as a senior game developer and lead/senior game programmer for several years.

Their lead game designer, Parker Sun, also has previous relevant experience working as the lead game designer, producer, and game designer since 2009. 

Who Are Their Backers?

Roadmap

Game Developers Roadmap

Alpha Team’s Thoughts On The Roadmap

Looking at the roadmap, we can see that the team has completed stage 1 and is on stage 2 at the moment, where the next steps are community growth and mini-game launch, NFT sales, and more. This really expands the perspecive of how early we have been able to find this project. Not only is this project early, but they actually have a demo out, and it’s really great. 

All of this gives us a lot of hope for the time ahead. 

Stage 3 includes strategic marketing, creating the Koakuma marketplace, public sale, completing PvE, launching the $KKMA token, and adding additional heroes and monsters. 

The final stage, stage 4, includes adding a big world (MMO) to the game, tournament system, lethal weapon forging, team system, and DAO ecosystem and governance, to name a few. 

From what we can see, we cannot find any time limits or goals for when all of this will happen or be completed. However, judging by what they have already done, we are left with insignificant doubts. The demo looks great, the music is adventurous, and the sound effects are perfect for engaging the player. If the demo can bring this amount of joy and excitement, we could only imagine the real deal. 

Whitepaper

Litepaper/Pitch Deck: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1hPYvpSYMGdhgCXoQ5j09v4753L4gS-J9/edit#slide=id.g13a97cf5936_0_1 

Koakuma does not have a whitepaper, but they do have a pitch deck that works as a litepaper.

The litepaper starts by briefly explaining what Koakuma is before introducing some general lore of the world. It then introduces two playable characters and shows some pictures of potential enemies. We get a brief overview of the gameplay loop before explaining the imp and fief systems.

Finally, the litepaper covers the NFTs, tokens, and governance aspects before ending with a team section.

Alpha Team’s General Thoughts On The Whitepaper

The litepaper or pitch deck is surprisingly detailed for what it is. We appreciate the explanation of the various systems in the game, such as the fief, imp, and scholar systems.

If we had one wish, we would like to see more information about general gameplay mechanics, such as how the fighting system comes into play and if certain attributes affect the playable characters in any way.

The Alpha Team Reads Between The Lines – Big Picture Talk

Koakuma is an MMO aimed at a semi-casual audience, available on both PC and mobile. Its mission is to build a timeless blockchain MMORPG to bring traditional gamers over to web3 alongside us, who are already here. 

The pitch deck talks about e-sports being an avenue Koakuma wants to explore in the future. If successful, a push for e-sports would make the game attractive to a broader audience and have a higher appeal on streaming and video platforms like Twitch and YouTube. 

Reading this, we can infer that we’ll likely see an arena of sorts within the game for PvP purposes. We envision game modes like arenas from World of Warcraft or Guild Wars having small teams of 2-3 or more fighting against each other in games like capture the flag and deathmatch.

Growth Implications

The team at Koakuma Studios state in their litepaper that their team goes way back and has a decade of experience in game development. They also state that their team members have previously worked for major companies, such as Tencent, NetEase, etc.

Taking this information at face value might indicate that their team has relevant experience and the know-how to manage their studio as it grows. Although if we do not take the information provided at face value and base it on publicly available information, the Koakuma team lacks experience with this type and size of the game, especially moving towards esports in the future as they inform their documentation. So there can be growing pains in the future as the game grows and begins its esports journey properly.

The team is also based in Asia. Therefore, penetrating western markets might be an obstacle they have to overcome.

Socialnomics

Social Media Followers Count

PlatformFollower count
Discord9,300
Twitter21,561
Youtube142
Facebook603
Telegram10,418

By looking at socialnomics, we get a more extensive understanding of how early we first found this project. Their Twitter had almost 16,600 followers, and their Discord server was also shy of 4,500 members when we first investigated them. 

Now, a few weeks later, their Discord has grown by 5,000 members and their Twitter by 5,000 as well. Since mid-August, the team has released new information on several in-game items, including backstories of the items, which could potentially reach new potential followers and audiences. There have also been Koakuma INO Airdrops and in-game challenges, which could be a part of the rapid growth. We also believe that thanks to the project’s beta version being up-and-going, it’s much easier to attract potential players and followers. And by our own playtest, the game was actually really pleasurable and fun to play.

Nevertheless, these are not reasons to skip socialnomics, so let’s get into it, starting with Discord.

Joining Koakumas’ Discord channel is just a couple of clicks away, making it easy for anyone to join. They have several channels, including a general chat, announcements, and sneak peeks, to name a few. The server also has a channel for Twitter posts, just like many projects we’ve seen. All in all, the channel seems to be more active than we could have anticipated, considering that the project has yet to focus on building a community.  

On Twitter, the project has 21,561 followers and counting. They announced a “High score challenge” on Twitter as a pinned Tweet that has received a stunning 1,284 interactions, bringing their social media score to an amazing 7.7%, probably the highest we’ve seen yet. However, a regular post seems to receive anywhere from 0-36, which equates to around 0,01%-0,22%. It seems like the project aims at posting one tweet a day, sometimes skipping a day or two, and sometimes posting a tweet extra.

Their YouTube channel was created on January 26th, 2022, with 3,354 views from 6 videos. The comment section seems to be excited about this project as well. 

Koakumas’ Facebook page seems to post much of the same content as their Twitter has, so for now, it doesn’t seem like the two platforms are specifically differentiated.  

Concluding, Koakuma doesn’t have the biggest following, but the community seems to be invested and excited about this project. Over the past few weeks, we’ve also seen tremendous community growth.

We look forward to seeing how the team will differentiate its Facebook and Twitter in the future. As for now, it certainly looks like Koakuma is reaching its goals regarding Twitter and Discord, earning new followers by the day.

Speculations And Connecting The Dots

An interesting aspect of Koakuma is the fief system. This mechanism can be seen in a few other MMOs from the web2 world, such as New World’s settlements and the node system in the upcoming Ashes of Creation. Although not precisely the same, it falls within the same genre of systems managing in-game cities or areas.

We’re curious to see if there will be some open-world PvP in Koakuma where these fiefs can be sieged like a node in Ashes. If there were to be a territorial conquest mechanism, we would think the world dynamic would periodically change as fiefs would rise and fall. It would also make for stronger communities as they would have to get together to defend their own or attack other fiefs.

We believe there should be mechanics like the ones described above. Not having obstacles or struggles in-game for a fief would lead to continuous growth and, eventually, stagnation in the game dynamic. What is to stop a fief on its way to becoming the dominant force in Laria, and in a case where several fiefs are reaching a certain size, every player would just go to those places and make their trade and use the utility of the cities. 

Having the lordship of a fief being something one can purchase over an election is also questionable. Although it might not be directly a pay-to-win feature, it would still grant the holder a lot of power, and nobody can take it away from them.

A potential solution could be for a fief’s members to pool together enough $KKMA to hold an election of sorts, where the “lord” is chosen for a time. There’s just something iffy about big spenders being able to buy their “lord hood” and governing for all eternity or until they’re fed up and sell the Lord Mask. Had it been a cosmetic NFT or something that wouldn’t grant such power, it would be easier to accept, but a sale like this would put the power in the hands of high capital investors, which would not necessarily be best for the community or even participate in the game.

Conclusion

Koakuma is in its early stages, but the project has still managed to wow us with its game demo, featuring beautifully vibrant artwork, well-made soundtracks, and an overall enjoyable experience. 

The game is set to run on the BSC and the Polygon blockchain, and the litepaper is also very transparent regarding their token delegation. Their litepaper does an excellent job answering many of our questions, which we expect to see in a whitepaper. Overall, the project seems to have a good idea of how the game will be run and how the resources will be distributed and re-used in the system. 

Frankly, we do get the impression that the team is somewhat unclear. Some team members have been added on their website, others in their litepaper, and to be fair, they haven’t been consistent in presenting their team. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, they might just be in the starter phase regarding showing their team, and perhaps they aren’t even focusing on the European and American markets. The litepaper states that the team goes back a decade with relevant game development experience and has worked for major companies such as Tencent, NetEase, and more.

To conclude, we do love the open-world experience that Koakuma presents, and their artwork is also of high quality and quite impressive. In the past weeks, we have kept an eye on Koakuma, and we’ve seen substantial growth in their Discord and Twitter featuring an engaged community – and we can see why they are hyped. Koamuma isn’t all rainbows and butterflies quite yet, so in the future, we hope to see more clarity regarding their team and whatnot. 

We highly recommend visiting their website and trying their demo to experience it yourself. 

Alpha Team

Nicholas Korsgård

CGO

Sigurd Thomassen

Game Strategist

Kim Bjerkeli

Game Strategist

Heidi Anette Laugsand Johansen

Game Researcher

Luke Jech

Game Researcher

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