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Balthazar Research Report: Soar through space in Phantom Galaxies
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Background
- 3 NFT Game Assets
- 4 Tokenomics
- 5 Phantom Galaxies website
- 6 Artwork
- 7 Blockchain
- 8 Team
- 9 Roadmap
- 10 Guild Facilitation
- 11 Whitepaper
- 12 Socialnomics
- 13 Speculations And Connecting The Dots
- 14 Conclusion
7.5/10 – Good
Pre released game score
If you’re looking for a great game within the Sci-Fi Action RPG GameFi space, you might not need to look further than Phantom Galaxies. This game shows touches of brilliance with the only thing dragging this project down is its lack of a proper whitepaper.
Background – 8
NFT Game Assets – 8.5
Website – 7.5
Artwork – 8
Team – 8
Whitepaper – 4.5
Socialnomics – 8
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
What exactly is in the center of space? Some would say there is no center, and others might say it’s Phantom Galaxies.
This research report introduces Phantom Galaxies, a third-person 3D RPG in the sci-fi genre. Blockchain technology and NFTs allow players to participate in this game and own their assets. Take part in this game by using your starfighter, specializing and upgrading it and improving yourself to become the best starfighter you can be.
In this research report, we will guide you through the background of this project; gameplay, raids, open universe, and more. We will be explaining the PvP-aspect of the game, and further on, have a look at the NFTs, website, blockchain, team, socialnomics, and litepaper.
Launch to space with the Alpha Team to discover Phantom Galaxies, the AAA project that sold out its medium planets in “presale A” within a stunning 4 minutes and their entire sale in only 4 hours.
Phantom Galaxies is a third-person 3D action RPG. The game looks and feels similar to most ARPGs we already know, but the difference here is that Phantom Galaxies allow for player-owned assets through NFTs and cryptocurrency.
The game strives to be the leading multichain, sci-fi, mecha, shared world, and online ARPG. It is a niche genre, but they might have achieved the goal already. The game, in its current state, is fleshed out with a lot of lore and engaging gameplay, although the current “chapters” one can play in the alpha are single-player experiences. The game will be available for both PC and console, but the alpha is currently only available on PC. The team aims to have Phantom Galaxies be a full “AAA” game that serves as a shining example of how real in-game governance by players and token holders can work.
The game intends to cater to multiple crypto communities with its multichain framework. With the storytelling of the game’s lore through various media channels, they can reach a broad audience through their transmedia endeavours. Players will explore the lore through gameplay, books, comics, anime, and NFT merch.
The Phantom Galaxies’ main story is set 50 years after the last great war between the Union and the Commonwealth of Neoterra. Two factions co-exist in an uneasy alliance against the alien threat Sha’Kari.
The Sha’Kari Zealots are the priest caste of the Sha’har race. They’re out to get revenge on the human race for desecrating the ancestral planets of the Sha’Har. The Sha’Har has a strong presence in the galaxy, inhabiting multiple solar systems. The threat of the Sha’Har has forced the Union and the Commonwealth into collaboration for mutual survival.
Sha’Kari sees humankind only as usurpers and grave robbers, and they have an obvious technological advantage being the inventors of powered armor. Powered armor was the inspiration for humankind’s mechanized starfighters. The starfighters are flown by the best pilots in both the Union and the Commonwealth, and the Ranger Squad represents the best of the best.
As a player, you start as an ensign in the Ranger Squad.
We’ve been dipping into Phantom Galaxies a few times since the release of the first chapter of the alpha. The first time we tried was in January 2022 to see what all the fuzz was about. When we recently played again to get our bearings, we continued where we left it back in January.
The game really feels like a traditional ARPG game already. The alpha is a single-player campaign with great graphics and space combat, throwing us back in time to the feeling we got while piloting spaceships in Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005). If you spend enough time looking around, you might find hidden poems and other side-quests, giving more depth to the characters and lore of the game.
Playing on the same save file in January and July, even after reinstalling the latest version of the game, we couldn’t see any apparent differences in the visuals, sound, or other upgrades to the game’s core mechanics. The game seems to focus on adding more content in the form of chapters and telling a story while building out multiplayer and financial systems in the background. Therefore, improvements to general environmental effects might not be prioritized, or it could already be at its final state.
Phantom Galaxies is surprisingly engaging and enjoyable in its current state as a single-player campaign and alpha. With the imminent release of chapter four, players will have the opportunity to earn the token $ASTRAFER by completing daily goals towards the reward. For those fortunate enough to own a planet, there are extra $ASTRAFER to be earned in multipliers on the daily reward. However, to participate in the event, one has to have played through the previous three chapters before the event starts.
We’re eager to see how the game continues to develop and see the finished product as a multiplayer experience.
In Phantom Galaxies, players take on an important role in the war for control of the various sectors of Canis Major, the celestial constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere seen from Earth. Players will explore deep space in search of rare resources and Sha’Kari weapons, as well as fight on the frontlines in intense battles.
There are four main classes of starfighters a player can choose from: the Lancer, Buster, Assault, and Breacher frames. The starfighters can be upgraded and specialized throughout the game to the player’s preference.
The core gameplay loop of the game is depicted below.
In Phantom Galaxies, players will spend most of their time piloting their mechanized starfighter. This vehicle has two modes: the starship mode and the mecha robot mode. The starship mode is best for space combat, evasive maneuvers, and space travel. At the same time, the mecha form is effective as ranged combat and for some frames in melee. It also allows for ground-based combat and exploration.
The combat gameplay adds strategic depth, allowing players to decide when to use mecha or starship mode. And the transition between the combat styles might be decisive for the battle. How the players spec their starfighters will also greatly impact their play style. Frame choice, weapon type, and skill point assignment will all play a part.
There are several activities players can partake in when playing Phantom Galaxies. The main activities are Missions, Quests, Operations, and Raids.
Missions are the main story content allowing players to learn more about the characters, locations, and history of the universe they’re playing in. Missions are designed to tell a long-form story and are sequentially organized so players won’t be able to finish them out of the set order.
Quests are short missions telling a specific story. These are meant to illuminate minor characters and factions within the game and provide a broader narrative for players to explore.
Operations are systemic objectives that make up the backbone of repeatable content, keeping players engaged daily and weekly.
Finally, raids are the end-game PvE content in Phantom Galaxies and make up for a real challenge. Several players will be required to overcome challenges one can’t do alone. Raid teams will take on a series of linked encounters providing the toughest challenges in the game. Raids are intended for skilled players with a heavy focus on coordination, communication, and a deep understanding of the game mechanics.
By participating in the above activities, players will level up their Avatar and Starfighter and allow for the earning of game currencies, resources, and items through the reward system and the randomized loot tables.
The game will host an immense universe with loads of star systems for players to explore. Star systems in the Core will be safe environments for any activity and will primarily be PvE-focused.
Systems further out are far more dangerous and are under the protection of dangerous NPC factions and player organizations. The outer systems provide more opportunities to find rare materials and sought-after loot but at the risk of lower security and piracy.
In the outermost parts of space, in the farthest reaches of the universe, you can find Frontier Space. In this part, there is no governance or security whatsoever. You want something here; you take it. This is where the true treasures are found, and getting destroyed out there will have lasting consequences.
Within Frontier Space, one can discover Rebel Sectors, which could contain mines, refineries, weapon caches, laboratories, and more. These sectors are for players to find, capture, and protect. Controlling one of these sectors allows for earning a variety of tokens for the duration of the player’s influence. Once under player control, the player can stake $ASTRAFER onto the sector, and the more $ASTRAFER is staked, the higher rate of token emission from the sector.
Rebel sectors are, in essence, conquerable reward pools. Therefore, securing a sector will be a highly competitive endeavor in which Guilds and other organized groups will have a higher advantage than a single player.
Destruction of a Starfighter
When a starfighter mech is destroyed, it loses durability, one of its stats. However, if the durability is above zero, the starfighter can respawn and continue its service. If a starfighter is destroyed and durability falls below zero, the starfighter will be locked and can’t be used until a cooldown has expired. Fortunately, durability can be repaired before going below zero by spending resources. Insurance policies will be available for purchase to reduce the cooldown period the starfighter is locked after destruction.
Players are warned: If an uninsured starfighter is destroyed in Frontier Space and durability goes below zero, the starfighter NFT is permanently destroyed.
Player-versus-player content will initially be kept in the Arena. However, the PvP content will be expanded upon in the future.
The Arena will be a place for small-scale PvP with both team and free-for-all modes. We’ll also see periodic events having random drops as rewards, an event-specific progression system, and leaderboard ranking.
Guilds will battle for control in Frontier Space to control rebel sectors to acquire high-end items and resources. Solo players can participate here as well with the help of stealth technology.
NFT Game Assets
In Phantom Galaxies, there are several NFT assets of different varieties and utilities.
The primary NFT items players will use are the Mechanized Starfighters.
These NFTs are the core of Phantom Galaxies gameplay, and players use them for exploration and combat. Each Starfighter is its own NFT and specifies the aesthetics and attributes of the in-game mech. The Starfighter NFT is the frame that players will keep on building. Throughout the life of a Starfighter, several other NFTs and FTs (fungible tokens like $ASTRAFER) will be used to fuse new parts and upgrades for the main frame.
The Starfighter has a few different characteristics such as Frame, Reactor, Shields, Cargohold, Thrusters, Overheat Capacity, Weapon Slots, Armor Bonus, and more.
The Starfighters will be available in several tiers or generations and can be leveled up using fusion.
From the picture above, we can see the cycle of upgrades a Starfighter can go through. Playing the game and gathering resources and various equipment NFTs can then be used to level up the Starfighter by using the fusion chamber. In this way, the Starfighter NFT is a living, changing NFT that will follow the player throughout the game and change according to the player’s preference.
The Mechanized Starfighters are manufactured or minted in two stages. If making one from scratch, a player must acquire a Base Frame NFT, which can be obtained from a player Organization or Phantom Galaxies directly. During early access gameplay, players can only get these NFTs from Phantom Galaxies. Once a player has a Base Frame, it is not yet pilotable. To fly, it has to undergo Fusion. Renting or purchasing an existing Starfighter allows players to skip the Base Frame stage.
Fusion occurs at a Fusion Facility. To begin Fusion, a player must provide the Base Frame NFT and various other required in-game resources. After configuring the desired Starfighter with the different ingredient materials, Fusion commences. During fusion, some attributes and the visual aspects will be affected by randomization. Each successive generation or fusion process of a Starfighter will allow for more customization.
As Starfighters are NFTs, they can be bought in the marketplace. However, purchasing the most advanced Starfighters might not be the smartest thing for most players, as the player’s Avatar level is a limiting factor on a Starfighter’s combat abilities. High-level Starfighters require high-level Avatars in order to make the most out of them.
For players with several Starfighters, Mercenaries allow for the utility of leasing their Starfighters to players that don’t have a Starship and for those who want to focus on play-and-earn gameplay. The marketplace in Phantom Galaxies will facilitate Starfighter rentals. There are two ways to rent a Starfighter. It can be leased for a fee or rented with an agreement to share the rewards.
Avatar NFTs are also an important part of gameplay and an essential differentiator from a typical web2 game without NFTs. The Avatar will define the visual appearance of a player’s character, alongside some of its starting attributes. There will be different rarity tiers for Avatars, from common to unique. As an Avatar progresses through the game, players must allocate skill points to improve its effectiveness in combat.
Avatar NFTs will be minted and sold in batches.
Each batch the game sells will have a set of core “parents,” which is the seed for the generation of Avatars in the batch.
In Phantom Galaxies, many of the in-game items will be NFTs. This means that the players in possession of the in-game items will have true ownership of the items. Items that will be NFTs include Weapons, Armor, Shaders, and Consumables. Items can also be bought from shops and found as loot throughout the universe.
Items will range in rarity, and the most common ones will be frequently seen as loot drops or loot caches scattered throughout the game. Common items will provide minor buffs to a player’s stats or actions.
Players will find stronger and more uncommon items in typical boss loot from powerful enemies. These items give stronger and more specific bonuses to stats which will help shape a player’s choices in combat.
Finally, the rarest and most powerful items are only found in multi-stage end-game content such as raids. These items give unique advantages and shape a player’s play style.
In Phantom Galaxies, players can purchase and own property, which comes in multiple sizes. Property can range from space stations for single players to planetary bases for large Organizations. Each property will have unique coordinates in the Phantom Galaxies universe, and on the property, owners can build various structures like factories, refining plants, and even marketplaces. Property owners must pay rent to Phantom Galaxies.
Planets are special NFTs that will have unique traits and coordinates within the universe. Planets will emit $ASTRAFER, and through in-game activities, this amount can be multiplied. Planet owners will choose how they rule their planet and what to build.
In the previous planet sales, the various sales have sold out quickly, and there seems to be a high demand for planetary property.
A large amount of the value of Planets is independent of the $ASTRAFFER emissions. Planets have a lot of utility in-game, so for those in it for the actual game, a planet will provide a lot of opportunities for development, such as hangars for starfighters, marketplaces, residential units, and mineral refineries.
As of writing this research report, there is little to no public information regarding the tokenomics of Phantom Galaxies.
On page 13. In the Litepaper, we can find the “Token Economy” section, which tells us that Phantom Galaxies will have both fungible and non-fungible tokens used for Governance, Starfighter Fusion, and as an entry for activities.
The governance token is $ASTRAFER with contract address:
The above is the entirety of the token information in the Litepaper currently available. Which obviously isn’t very impressive. We are eager to see more details and hope for some strong, sustainable built-in mechanics for the token.
With a bit of searching, we eventually stumbled upon a Medium blog post from Phantom Galaxies from April 29th, which included a bit more information specifically regarding round allocations on planets and token emissions: https://medium.com/@PhantomGalaxies/innovating-on-the-blockchain-how-our-planet-sales-are-unique-cde1004ad21d
All in all, not a lot of information and the available information do not clarify how the tokenomics of Phantom Galaxies will end up looking.
Phantom Galaxies website
We compared Phantom Galaxies’ desktop version of its website to its mobile site to see how it measures up and if there were any changes that they could make to the site to improve it. Follow along to see our verdict. In this testing, we used a Samsung Galaxy S10+.
Website link: https://phantomgalaxies.com/
When we opened the website on the desktop, the first thing that caught our eye was the game-trailer playing in the background, featuring flying objects, shooting, and a whole lot of firepower and space.
In the heading menu, we could see options to visit the projects’ social media, litepaper, download, NFT aspect, and connect wallet. When scrolling down, there was a section where the game itself was explained briefly, including an introduction to the different starfighter classes. There was also an option to watch a trailer by clicking a noticeable red hyperlink.
With almost 145,000 views on YouTube and intriguing and suspenseful music, the trailer created a really nice first impression of the project, showing the amount of effort being put into the short video. The black and white website theme, mixed with details of hexagons and space-oriented aesthetics, looked really nice and well-done.
Continuing down the website, the creators of the website had made a short notice to remind any visitor to connect their wallet and join their community through Discord. After this reminder, we were shown the different features of the game horizontally, such as “Action,” “NFTs,” “Discover,” and “Guilds,” with all of the features having a small picture and a short description underneath.
Furthermore, we could look at the roadmap behind the scenes, featuring sneak peeks, concept art, and screenshots of the actual game. In total, 16 pictures were displayed, and we always love to see artwork and the creative side of the project featured.
Last but not least, at the bottom of the website, there was an option for the visitor to sign up for their newsletter and join the community featuring the logos to a diverse selection of social media platforms.
All in all, the website was straightforward, with no noticeable errors, and they managed to create an atmosphere of excitement on their website for the users who’d click on the YouTube link featured in red. However, we did not see some aspects we’ve come to expect on projects so far, such as team, investors, and tokenomics.
By opening the mobile site, we noticed that the video playing in the background took up approximately half of the mobile screen. Still, on mobile, we could see more of the video and in seemingly higher quality. The heading menu was symbolized as three white lines, and by clicking on the symbol, the different aspects of the website would appear, such as “Home,” “Litepaper,” “Join The Discord,” and “Download,” and “NFT.” There was also an option to connect a wallet, and their social media platforms were readily available to the user.
The layout looked very natural using mobile, and we noticed some details were different from desktop to mobile, such as the information about the project and the information to connect wallet and join Discord had switched places. The artwork of the starfighter has also been put further down in another area of the website.
The features section was shown vertically on both the desktop and mobile versions. However, using a mobile, these images looked much more detailed, although the background became quite cropped due to the nature of the mobile screen.
The roadmap was also displayed vertically, which suited the mobile screen well. While scrolling down to the “behind the scenes” featuring concept art, sneak-peeks, and screenshots, we found the pictures and videos looked great.
A gradual effect was added, giving the website a nice holistic look. The website creators had taken special consideration of desktop and mobile layouts. At the end of the mobile site, just like on the desktop, there was an option to subscribe to the newsletter, encouraging users with the slogan “Join us in the stars.” The user could also easily find the different social media platforms—all in all, a delightful website to use on a mobile device.
With everything considered, we have no particular comments besides wishing for more information about the team, investors, and tokenomics. The website felt natural to use both on desktop and mobile. The small reminders to check out the social media platforms at the start and end of the website were also a nice touch, which we’ve noticed as a standard for many project websites. The artwork was fun, lively, and, last but not least, in a generous amount as well. We liked what we saw, and the website felt nice and gave a nice feeling to what this project was about in a short but concise manner.
Having great artwork could be crucial to whether or not a player stays. The game’s look, the feeling it gives you when playing, and the epic-ness are all important. Let’s have a look at Phantom Galaxies’ artwork.
The natural first choice when checking this project’s artwork and feel is the cinematic reveal trailer on YouTube. The quality comes across as great, and so does how we feel about it; explosion, movement, laser beams flying around, fire. The depth of the space, color effects, and blue and green bursts on the spaceships are pleasing to the eye. The music is also exciting; it has suspense and leaves us longing for more once it’s over. In addition, we think it gives any viewer a good idea of what this game is all about.
The artwork on their website is also perceived as thorough with an eye for detail. We can also see a photo gallery on the website, which doesn’t disappoint. We love the bright colors and the “wow-factor” which is displayed.
We were also happy to see how the game’s in-game graphics were not disappointing us, to say the least. The flying rocks all over and meteorites feel natural and in sync with the rest of the surroundings.
Overall, a happy Alpha team can say we like what we see and are excited to see more from Phantom Galaxies from an artwork perspective.
Phantom Galaxies is developed as a game for multiple blockchains. Each blockchain will have its own galaxy, but players from different blockchains will be able to interact throughout the universe. The game will roll out on various chains in step, where the first chain will be Polygon.
What Chain Does The Game Run On?
Phantom Galaxies will initially use 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 that are 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?
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 type of 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, in a Twitter post from Justin Bons, founder and CIO of Cyber Capital, he 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 a 5 out of 8 multi-signature contract. 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 important 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 to do, 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 off 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 is running a successful investing fund. He is known for his lengthy Twitter threads critiquing popular blockchains where he sees issues.
Pros and cons aside, we, in the Balthazar Alpha Team, aim to provide as good information as possible to let readers decide for themselves. Polygon is likely one of the better blockchains Phantom Galaxies should start with, as it has both the Ethereum backing and the community. Although we would like to see the game roll out to other L1 ecosystems in the future.
Who Is On The Team?
- Benjamin Lee – Co-Founder / Managing Director
- Team Leader (Jul 2006 – Mar 2011) at Aristocrat
- 3D Graphics Software Engineer (Feb 2000 – Jun 2006) at Aristocrat
- Consultant (Jul 2005 – Apr 2010) at Assent Consulting
- Senior Programmer (1998 – 2000) at Perception
- Programmer (Jul 1996 – 1998) at Telstra
- Aaron Grove – Co-Founder / Creative Director
- Co-Founder (Oct 2010 – present) at Level 77
- Visual Effects Supervisor and Technical Director (Jul 2008 – Oct 2010) at The Mill
- Visual Effects Technical Director (Jun 2008 – Jul 2008) at The House of Curves
- Visual Effects Artist/Animator/Technical Director (Aug 2005 – Apr 2008) at Fin Design & Effects
- Visual Effects Supervisor (Jan 2005 – Aug 2005) at Collider Film Design
- Visual Effects Artist (Sep 2003 – Dec 2004) at Fin Design & Effects
- Character Animator (Jan 2003 – Sep 2003) at Plastic Wax
- Aaron Brindle – Production Director
- Senior Producer (Jul 2021 – Nov 2021) at Blowfish Studios
- Lead Publishing Producer (Oct 2020 – Jun 2021) at Blowfish Studios
- Production Manager (Sep 2018 – Apr 2019) at Autopilot
- Lead Product Manager (Oct 2017 – May 2018) at MedicalDirector
- Product Manager (Jul 2017 – Sep 2017) at MedicalDirector
- Author and Publisher (Sep 2016 – Aug 2017) at Crecent Moon Books
- Product Manager (Jul 2014 – Sep 2016) at LEAP Dev
- Service Delivery Manager (Jul 2013 – Jun 2014) at LEAP Legal Software
- WA And Escalation Manager/Analyst and Support Technician (Aug 2009 – Jun 2013) at LEAP Legal Software
- Robert Jeffrey II – Video Game Writer
- Lead Writer (Jul 2020 – present) at Subsume
- Contributing Writer (Aug2017 – present) at 133Art
- Editor in Chief (Dec 2010 – present) at BlackSci-Fi.com
- Content Writer (Sep 2020 – Mar 2022) at Mighty Scribes
- Ash H. – Director of Publishing & Marketing
- Head of Marketing (Apr 2021 – Oct 2021) at iPlay Australia
- Marketing Director (Dec 2017 – Mar 2021) at Gameloft
- Marketing Manager (Jun 2016 – Nov 2017) at Superloop
- Marketing Director & Co-Founder (Aug 2011 – Feb 2016) at Happy Dance Games
- Marketing, Branding and Creative (Aug 2009 – Aug 2011) at Dsignart
- Marketing Brand Manager (Feb 2008 – Feb 2009) at DTP Entertainment
Team Assessment And Relevant Experience
The team working on Phantom Galaxies is Blowfish Studios, which is a subsidiary of Animoca Brands. Blowfish Studios is working on several gaming projects at once, one of them being Phantom Galaxies. Although the studio doesn’t list all its employees, on LinkedIn, we find 81 employees amongst several different departments. We could not find which team members are working specifically on Phantom Galaxies.
Blowfish Studios has worked on or is currently working on 30 games. Their games range from mobile to console, PC, and even virtual reality games. We note that several of these games have a space-themed setting, meaning that the studio does have experience with these sorts of games.
The studio has team members with experience from several known companies, such as; Apple, Electronic Arts, Wargaming.net, Epic Games, Gameloft, SMG Studio, and Lionhead Studios, working on Fable 3.
At the time of writing, Blowfish Studios is hiring. They currently have six open roles within fields such as; programming, marketing, 3D artists, and audio. They’re also interested in 2D artists, UX/UI, and graphic design artists.
Overall, our conviction is high with this developer. We find Blowfish Studios a serious development team with diverse, relevant experience. Looking at the gameplay they’ve produced in Phantom Galaxies and the games they’ve previously released; we’re eager and confident in the continued production of Phantom Galaxies.
Who Are Their Backers?
Game Developers Roadmap
Alpha Team’s Thoughts On The Roadmap
From what we can see in the roadmap featured, the team hopes to launch their game and provide early access in Q4 of 2022. In other words, just a few months from now. Currently, the team is working on DEX listing, Astrafite rush event, origin series, and launching even more starfighters and avatars for the game. We can also expect to see a second planet sale in Q4.
In the Litepaper, we also noticed a more detailed roadmap including previous and future phases, phases 2-6. From phase 2 onward, we can expect an expansion of the game content, a PvP arena, and even a spectating function and PvP challenges in phase 6. However, there is no information about when these subsequent phases will occur.
In Phantom Galaxies, guilds are more known as organizations, and they come in different flavors. An organization can have various styles of governance listed below.
- Corporation: The seats on the board are owned, and the board votes on decisions.
- DAO: The organization is controlled by all $ASTRAFER holders, and their vote is proportional to their staking amount.
- Democratic: $ASTRAFER holders stake for their preferred candidate. Candidates with the most votes win, and a pre-set staking period determines the governing duration.
- Private: A single owner has full control.
- Sponsored: Real-world companies pay fiat, which is converted to extra tokens used to incentivize gameplay.
- Warlord: Governance model controlled by combat in-game.
The maximum number of players an organization can have depends on what the organization’s headquarters is dimensioned for. A planetary base will allow for the biggest organizations, whereas a small space station will be for a smaller group of people.
Organizations will also have to pay a running cost to the Phantom Galaxies game periodically.
Phantom Galaxies got a litepaper of 15 pages. It starts by outlining the game’s vision before briefly touching on the project’s backstory and moving on to gameplay. The core gameplay loop and mechanisms of the game NFTs are explained in a general manner. Then it goes on to touch on organizations and makes a very brief mention of tokenomics before mentioning blockchain, DAO, and roadmap.
Alpha Team’s General Thoughts On The Whitepaper
Phantom Galaxies’ litepaper is very general and doesn’t go into much detail about anything. We get a brief understanding of the game and its plans, but if we hadn’t seen the game ourselves, this document would have left much to our imagination.
As it is a litepaper and not a whitepaper, we can’t expect great levels of detail. The document’s purpose is also described at the beginning of the paper. Still, it also says that a more detailed whitepaper will be released in the near future, which we have yet to see as this is from 2021, and we would have expected a whitepaper by now.
The game is about to launch its 4th alpha episode. The Phantom Galaxies’ Medium page has many posts containing various updates on the project. It would be nice to see all game-related information kept in one place, such as a regularly updated whitepaper. We would especially like to see more about tokenomics and their plans to monitor and manage the in-game economy.
Social Media Followers Count
As seen in the table above, the project has quite the amount of social media platforms. We will take a closer look at their Discord, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook to see how they use the different platforms and how often they typically share news and information.
Phantom Galaxies Discord server has over 75,000 members, and their server includes sections such as the General Chat, Guild Recruitment, FAQ, Announcements, and official links, which is appreciated for safety reasons. The general chat was somewhat talkative, and the topic was on and around the project.
In the announcements server, the “intel officer” shares news through links on Medium and Twitter for the most part. Here the community has a special chance to join unique events and competitions such as a sticker competition which ended 30th of June, and giveaways. From what we can see, this channel gives updates every 2-4 days, keeping the audience updated frequently and always creating a special chance for new members to join new and special events.
The project’s Twitter account has quite the following, so we are excited to see how their interaction levels relate to this. The profile seems to post 1-3 posts more or less every day, and on special occasions, during events, or so, we see them posting heaps more to keep their community engaged and updated. We also noticed a link to their linktr.ee and website in the bio. We found their everyday interactions on their posts, or engagement rate, to be anywhere from 33-156 per post, which translates to 0,03%-0,15% of their followers. On collaborated posts and retweeted posts tagging the projects, we can see the numbers being between 0,1%-0,16%. We would consider 0,1%-0,3% to be an okay rate, and anywhere over 0,5% up to 2-3% to be outstanding. Looking at the numbers, we believe that Phantom Galaxies has a good amount of followers but can still reach a higher potential regarding their community engagement on their posts.
Their Youtube channel has over 7,000 followers, and their channel was created in September 2021 with a total of 477,500 views. Their most watched video had over 144,000 views; the second highest is at a whopping 139,000.The comment section for these two videos also seems to be super hype for this project.
On Instagram, the project posts every 3-4 days, with approximately 2-3 posts a week. Considering their number of followers, we find their interactions decent. We appreciate the artsy posts and the fun little 4th of July, Lunar New Year, and Happy Holidays posts, which is a fun addition.
Phantom Galaxies’ Facebook page seems to add new posts about once a day, with some periods missing a few days. On Facebook, they seem to share news about giveaways, the short Phantom Galaxies stories, and AMAs’ featured on their Discord server. We also noticed that the page also answered comments asking questions.
Speculations And Connecting The Dots
Phantom Galaxies intends to tell a story through transmedia, where the player will experience the story through gameplay, books, comics, anime, and NFT merch. So far, we’ve only seen the gameplay and a few stories through their Medium page. So there is still much content to expect in forms such as comics and anime.
It was reported in May 2022 that there are over 125’000 users actively playing the alpha and over 500’000 owners of NFTs granting access to the alpha version of the game. These are large numbers for a blockchain game that isn’t even available to the public yet. Having this momentum pre-release makes us believe that come launch day, the name Phantom Galaxies will be heard all over web3.
The team behind Phantom Galaxies has also been careful in their token vesting and launch design. They aim to combat the problems seen in most crypto projects where bots buy large majorities of tokens upon launch, leading to artificial scarcity and a spike in price, and eventually the dump onto the community wanting to get in. Planets are for Phantom Galaxies, the solution to this problem. Planets are only available for purchase for select investors in the presale or for players holding a presale ticket NFT gained by playing through the alpha episodes. This ensures that only genuine players have access to the presales.
Over time, planets will emit tokens. However, players who are actively playing the game or planets that are regularly visited will build up multipliers to the token emission. Therefore, active players are more likely to be rewarded than those just in it for the quick buck. Going at it like this, Phantom Galaxies will maximize the number of real players and participants in the game over investors that just want to invest and cash out as soon as there is gain.
If anything will get web2 gamers to start looking at web3 stuff, it is the quality of games like Phantom Galaxies and the dissolvement of pure market speculation in games and focuses on gamers first.
A generation of gamers still suffers from the aftermath of microtransactions in games, and many strongly believe that NFTs are just the next thing to monetize games. It is time for web3 games to show that they put gamers first, empower them with this amazing technology, and not let the games become yet another speculative object as we’ve seen some have already become. Hopefully, the steps Blowfish Studios and Phantom Galaxies take are in the right direction.
Although we couldn’t see any big changes from the playtesting 6 months until today, the game is enjoyable, and the graphics and artwork are impressive. Players can, in many ways, personalize their Starfighter and NFTs and create their own unique playstyle. There are several activities for the player to explore in-game such as the missions, quests, operations, and raids, in addition to the open universe aspect, including PvE. To say this game has just a little depth and variation is an understatement.
Although there are negatives, such as the lack of more precise information about tokenomics, we find clear potential in the team who has worked with companies such as Apple, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, and Gameloft. This, amongst their other completed games, gives us confidence that this project will be successful. With backers such as Google, Sony, Apple, and Microsoft, we find it hard not to have faith in this project.
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