Imperium Empires AMA #2 — Technical Deep-Dive with Cliff Yung, CEO (Recap)

On 12/19/2021 at 10:00 p.m. (PST), an AMA session was held on Avalaunch with special guest Cliff Yung , CEO. Imperium Empires. Below we present to you an excerpt from AMA with questions and answers.


Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

Hello and welcome everyone to the sequel of our most epic AMA with Imperium Empires. This Part II will be more of a technical deep dive and we are fortunate to have Cliff Yung aka @darksoulrepo, one of the Co-Founders of Imperium with us here today. Cliff, before we get started, we appreciate you joining us today. How are you doing?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

Doing great! thanks for hosting me, and a big thanks for our supporters who registered for our IDO!

Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

Indeed Sir. Let us not wait as our community is eager to know some more about Imperium.

To begin- Imperium Empire sets out for a new era of blockchain gaming — a challenging feat indeed, but let’s start from the beginning. To help everyone get a full picture, why don’t we start with you telling us about yourself. What did your education and experience look like before you transitioned into a full-time role on the blockchain?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

Sure, before I went into crypto, I used to be a corporate finance lawyer, and have worked with a few top tier international law firms. But I’ve always been interested in new technologies, so when I first heard about bitcoin, ethereum and smart contracts around 2016, I spent a lot of time looking into crypto, and was fascinated as to the impact that it can make!

I finally got into crypto in 2017 as a crypto lawyer, helping projects do ICOs, and also helping crypto funds with regulatory compliance when they trade cryptos.

Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

Well personally, I’m glad to hear you got out of corporate finance and joined the movement

Next question — With such high-level mechanics and something as demanding as building a metaverse. How long has Imperium been in production for? What sets of technical difficulties did you encounter and have these challenges changed the direction of the project?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

Yes there’s a lot of work to do, and we’ve been working on it over the past 6 months — starting with the game design, which we are able to map out the most important parts early to ensure the execution is smooth.

I guess a lot of people will think that the biggest challenge will be the graphics, but that’s actually not the case. Since our team is highly experience in building high-quality games, AAA-quality graphics for blockchain games is pretty easy for us to do.

The most difficult part is in fact the backend infrastructure. Since Imperium is a MMO game that will potentially attract hundreds of thousands of players, we need to make sure that the game servers are robust enough to handle that traffic, while at the same time cater for the low-latency requirements needed for our players in South East Asia.

So far we’re sticking to the direction we originally envisaged!

Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

The team is impressive to be sure. You have onboarded a genuine all-star cast. Global MMO backend sound a little scary. Kudos to sticking with the vision. With all the trends, it can be easy to stray.

Imperium Empire is built by pioneers with years of experience and vast pedigrees in blockchain and game development. How did a team as strong as this come together, and unify their vision into this metaverse project?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

Great question — to do a project of this scale and complexity, it’s rly about building a talented team.

We started to build the team since early this year. Having met with hundreds of people, I finally found the best devs and marketing team who are capable of doing a project like Imperium.

We currently have a team of 40, including an experienced in-house game development team led by our lead game developer and art director — he has 12+ years game development experience, having led the development of 8 games across PC/mobile/console with 7m+ total players.

As for our blockchain and back-end game server dev team, we have a few senior blockchain and full-stack developers — each of them used to work with Animoca Brands’ parent co. and has 15–20+ years experience building and maintaining game servers, and working with smart contracts.

One of our product managers also used to work as a business development and product manager with Tencent, the largest gaming company in the world, covering extremely popular titles such as League of Legends — he’s helping us to curate the go-to-market strategies for the different segments of our player base as well.

Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

Yeah, the 40 number came up the last time. It’s a layer 1 size group so I’m now upgrading it to an all-star “ensemble” cast. It is well layered to across disciplines so kudos for that. Moving along — With integrations of NFTs and DeFi solutions, what set of challenges do you envision to encounter and what measures have you taken or you think will be required to take in order to tackle them?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

The biggest challenge we will probably encounter, is how we can make the DeFi integration into the Imperium metaverse seamless, from a UI/UX perspective.

The key to successful partnerships with top DeFi protocols like BENQI, is being able to let our gamers enjoy the benefits of DeFi without needing to learn concepts like TVL, liquidity mining, yield farming, etc.

So our game designer team and UI/UX team are working closely together to look at (i) games that feature a thriving in-game currencies economy; and (ii) how businesses in the non-crypto world are able to provide better UX for their customers through digital transformation. So we can put these together when we design the UI/UX of how players will be interacting with the DeFi protocols in game.

Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

As a Metaverse project, how immersive will the experience be? In addition to land and spaceship sales, what other actions will gamers be able to perform? Can you talk to us about the guild tournaments and how these will power the ecosystem?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

So Imperium Empires is a 3rd person, real time strategy, massive multiplayer online space game. Every player controls a fleet of spaceships in a vast metaverse, mine resources, build and expand their empires, and compete with other guilds to take control of territories in the metaverse.

So we pioneered the Team-to-Earn mechanics that bonds players together in a guild. Playing Imperium Empires becomes a fun and social gameplay experience, which means players will be much more sticky with our game in the long term, because they have personal connections with other guild members.

The guild tournaments will work this — each guild will need to buy or lease a piece of land sector in the safe zone, build structures to support guild members (e.g. spaceship docs and hangers, material collection points, etc.). Guild members can also stake IME tokens to upgrade the guild technology level. Upgraded guilds can hold more guild members and have more powerful structures on their lands.

So guild members will venture out into the combat zone and war zone to take control of the territories there, as well as battling with other players.

Guilds will compete in seasons — top guilds will be rewarded with lucrative play-to-earn rewards based on a range of factors (e.g. the most regions and landmarks occupied, kill count, etc.).

Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

That’s an @mleotan level answer. He must be proud. 😁 This is super informative and helpful as you can sense the layered quality to the game.

Very cool so anyone taking a closer look at the Imperium gamefy metaverse will realise that its core is rather complex. Can you give us a high-level overview of the core mechanics that define the Imperium Empire?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

Yes — the core mechanics evolve around two things — PvP battles and guilds.

For the PvP battle system, what is unique about it is that NFTs like spaceships and spaceship components can be destroyed in battles. This leads to natural deflationary tokenomics and NFT supply directly related to the Imperium gameplay.

Players who destroy other players’ spaceships or spaceship components in the combat zone and war zone, will also be able to loot the destroyed spaceships for components.

As for the guilds system — I’ve given a brief overview above, the key is to enable players to compete in teams which is way more exciting than 1-to-1 PvP gameplay!

Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

The vision as the world’s first AAA GameFi 2.0 is solid with not many people daring to even dream of, but it is clear the team at Imperium took the time to devise features, rivalry to the most popular blockchain games of this time. Can you describe how these features enable Imperium Empire to become unique even among niche games like Axie Infinity or Illuvium?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

Yes, we are not just another AAA-quality blockchain game. In fact, Imperium is the world’s first metaverse that has the following features:

  1. Deflationary tokenomics: most GameFis have a hyperinflationary NFT mint mechanism, even Axie — the supply of NFTs scales exponentially with the number of players. So without a NFT burn mechanism to balance the supply growth, the supply always outgrows the number of new players coming in, reducing the rarity of the NFTs minted.

Therefore, to solve this problem and as explained above, core to our game design is a deflationary PvP battle system where NFTs owned by players (e.g. spaceships) can be damaged, disabled or destroyed, along with the looting mechanisms

2. Seamless DeFi integration by Gamifying DeFi: many GameFis fail to live up to their promise of the “Fi” part, with limited DeFi integration except for simple staking. We take a completely different approach by seamlessly integrating DeFi throughout our whole metaverse — whether as part of the core gameplay, or NFT drops. The partnership with BENQI we explained above is a good example of this.

3. Guild based gameplay: As explained before, gaming is now more like a social experience with your friends than playing the game itself. And given the huge number of players playing blockchain games (e.g. Axie Infinity has 2 million active players), it makes perfect sense for a blockchain game to be an MMO game like ours, so having a well calibrated guild system is a must. Guild based gameplay is also highly beneficial to the players, as the saying goes: team-to-earn, more returns!

Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

I take back what I said earlier. This is a Leo level answer! Thank you for that. It’s enlightening.

Speaking of a unique position in the blockchain and gaming market, can you share any insights into where the deal flow for the gamers is coming from?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

Sure! Our main target market will be South East Asia, where many blockchain gamers are currently in. In fact, not just the blockchain gamers, but also the huge population of gamers in the SEA region.

So our marketing team is very experienced in SEA — I’m sure you all have met our CMO Leo — he’s a native Filipino who has a huge network of influencers in both the Philippines and Thailand (50%+ of Axie’s players are based in the Philippines). Many of his connections are well-known celebrities and will help us a lot in terms of hyper-localized marketing.

And since we are targeting non-crypto native gamers, we’re also in talks with one of the largest gaming and e-sports company in the SEA region to explore partnerships.

With these strategies, we’re very confident that we will be one of the blockchain games that can bridge the gap between non-crypto native gamers and blockchain games. After all, globally there are 3 billion gamers so the market size is much bigger than existing blockchain gamers!

Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

This is cool stuff…Seeing that you’re building on arguably one of the most engaging communities, is there anything you can reveal at this time for the more savvy audience about the alpha testing programmed?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

We’re working very hard to build a gameplay demo, so that we can show the community some gameplay by the end of Q1 2022 — a lot of details are yet to be finalized, but stay tuned for our announcements!

Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

We threw you a softball there. 😃 Let’s get back to it — Imperium Empire will essentially be the first metaverse project built on the avalanche network. How hard has it been for the Imperium team to build the first Metaverse project on Avalanche, and what helped the team decide to build on this chain as opposed to other chains?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

We’ve looked at many other protocols, and Avalanche is the only blockchain that fits our needs because of the following 3 reasons:

  1. Close and long term partnership: As one of the few AAA-quality blockchain games in the market, we’re here for the long term and looking to have a close and long-lasting relationship with the blockchain that we build Imperium upon. Out of all protocols that we’ve spoken to, we feel that the Avalanche Foundation offers us a lot of support other than investment, and the Avalanche eco also has a lot of high quality projects that we can partner with and build our community upon.
  2. EVM-compatible: One of our main target market will be South East Asia because a lot of blockchain gamers are based there, and they are so used to tools like Metamask — therefore from a UX perspective, it’s important that we can port blockchain gamers over from other EVM-compatible chains such as BSC to Imperium on Avalanche.
  3. Fast and stable blockchain: As we gradually move our game logic on-chain, there will be more on-chain transactions. Being an MMO game, transaction speed and stability of the protocol are super important for a smooth UX.

Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

Thank you again. Value prop of Avalanche and Imperium in general is very clean.

What do the long-term goals look like for Imperium? What are your plans for expanding the metaverse, will there be a higher level integration with DeFi or will you focus more on expanding more on the game side?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

Most of our 2022 will be hyper-focused on building out the game — the most important thing for us to do for our community is to get our game ready so they can start playing.

The DeFi integration will probably come at a later stage after our game release, but of course this can be a moving piece and we’ll closely listen to feedback from our community.

Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

Well done Cliff. To conclude this leg of your journey here…Thank you for this amazing interview, is there anything you would like to share with us today? Are there any specific look-outs you’d like the community to be aware of?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

Sure, you can find more about Imperium Empires in our website and socials, and do join our community below:

And of course, the next milestone in the short term will be our genesis NFT sales — stay tuned for our announcements!

Twitter Questions

@Tomie_chana who asks — What are your roadmap milestones that can retain investors prior to the game launch?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

As explained above, we aim to have a gameplay demo ready to show by Q1 2022. There will also be alpha testing and beta testing of our game staged between Q2 and Q3, prior to the official launch of the game in Q4.

@muinlyreol— People are worried about transaction speeds and transaction failures. With Imperium Empires does the number of users spike transactions and get congested?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

Great question — our back-end game server is structured in such a way that it can scale as the number of players increases, so we aren’t too worry about a spike in our player base. We also believe that the robustness of the Avalanche blockchain is able to handle any increase in traffic.

@komando911 asks — Is Imperium Empires planning to use subnet technology?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

We’re currently building on C-chain because we prioritize getting our game out to our community members to start playing. But we’ll also explore the use of subnet in the longer term!

@chimponzi_jam — Did you consider using any other chains or was Avalanche always in your plans?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

Multi-chain is not on our current roadmap, because we will to take the maximum advantage of the Avalanche community. But we’ll also listen to the community’s feedback to see if multi-chain is also the right fit for our strategies!

@hasantahsinler — When you designed and conceived of the game, did any other games or movies inspire or influence you?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

Yes, I’ve always been a big fan of RTS games and MMO games, so I’ve always been fascinated by games like EVE Online, World of Warcraft and Travian — where guilds play a vital part to the gameplay!

Telegram Questions

Jenny 💎Crypto GIRL Кузнецов

Metaverse is getting famous because of Facebook’s grand plan to create a great Metaverse. How do you view this? is this a threat or an opportunity? How do you turn this into an advantage for Imperium Empires? What will u do to attract more people to Imperium Empires?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

I think this is a great opportunity — it is quite clear to be that the metaverse that everyone will be in, wont be the closed one created by a centralized company like Facebook, but it will be one that listens and develops alongside with its community. So it’s great that they’ve ignited everyone’s interests in the term metaverse, and help us with onboarding players

Yogi Yogaswara

What do you think about Asia market? Is your team planning to reach other countries with potential crypto markets, gaming, etc. do you interested to work and cash in on gaming industry in Asia?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

As explained before, Asia is one of our major market to focus on, because a large population of blockchain gamers are currently based in Asia. But of course, we’ll concurrently develop markets in other regions as well!

Andre W

So many games said that they are Play to earn but they all ended with pay to win system because the game required gamers to buy more items to unlock more features and level in the game. What is your opinion about that Mr. @darksoulrepo ? What is the strategy that can ensure Imperium Empires will not ending like this?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

As a RTS game with a well designed guild system, it’s very unlikely that the game will ever be pay-to-win, since it depends on a lot of factors to play the game well — e.g. how to customize ur spaceships to suit what you wanna do in the metaverse, which guild member will be specialized for which roles, etc.

Janna

Is Imperium Empires functional for mobile devices? Or are you planning to design an app based on Android & iOS in the future?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

yes, Imperium Empires will be available both on PC and mobile, because we cater for the needs of the huge crypto and non-crypto gamer population in developing countries

Dmicic Dark

Can players earn passive income while playing Imperium Empires?

Cliff Yung | Imperium

there will be a range of PvE and PvP gameplay where players can earn play to earn rewards — and of course the best part will be that you can earn with your friends in a guild — team-to-earn, more returns!

Dave Donnenfeld | Avalaunch

Congratulations and thank you.

On a final note — Cliff, both you and Leo have been exceptional guests. Highly thoughtful answers and cleanly shared information. We’re happy to be hosting your IDO and wish you all the success we imagine you having. Very much appreciate your time today and look forward to your launch and beyond!

Cliff Yung | Imperium

Thanks for hosting me too! We’re extremely grateful to everyone in the Avalaunch community who supports Imperium Empires — we’ll continue to do our best, and make sure that we deliver on our vision!

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