Developer Update

2023 End-of-Year Review

Castle of Blackwater
2023 End-of-Year Review

As this remarkable year draws to a close, we reflect on our achievements and the exciting path ahead. 2023 has been a whirlwind, marked by obstacles, progress, and significant evolution. Let’s quickly recap some of the most memorable moments of this year and look forward to what 2024 has in store.

A Rocky Start

January 2023 marked the crushing bottom of the bear market, with maximum fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Communities were running dry, funding was tight, and projects were falling left and right. It was a tough period for web3 builders, and here we were, launching our first prototype testing sessions. After six months of intense development post-genesis NFT mint, we transformed our concept into a playable prototype.

As proud as we were of our progress, the build was incredibly rough compared to where we are today. Bugs, frequent crashing, limited mechanics… Yet, our community came forth to show support, recognizing the game’s potential. We are immensely grateful to our early supporters who stood by us during these times.

Just Keep Swimming

The progress and relentless dedication that our team showed during some of the roughest economic times rewarded us the opportunity of an incubation with none other than Merit Circle. After numerous discussions and much consideration, we solidified this partnership and secured our game’s next phase together. Without MC’s support, overcoming these challenging times would have been much harder, despite our daily passion and perseverance. Making good games is hard and expensive, and we are incredibly grateful for such a supportive partnership with visionary leaders in the web3 gaming space. For this, we’re also proud to #BuildOnBeam!

Let it Grow

Over subsequent months, our newfound sense of security allowed us to expand our operations and aim for a more ambitious timeline. This year, our team has grown from just a handful of people to 15 full-time superstars, each playing a crucial role in our many successes this year. Hiring the right people in a remote-based start-up is challenging, but by being involved in daily development operations, we swiftly identified and maximized the potential of our amazing team. We were fortunate enough to strengthen our bond into an unbreakable powerhouse during our yearly team-building trip in Turkey. Go team!

Alpha Season

The biggest milestone of the year was our amazing Alpha Season. This was the first time the entire newly formed team could showcase our hard work over many months. Our alpha received amazing feedback and constructive criticism, allowing us to iterate and improve the game significantly. Our community’s support was invaluable, and in turn, we demonstrated our commitment to listening and evolving. Alpha season energized us and gave us tremendous perspective on our next focus areas.

Build on Beam

As we speak, the final touches are being made on our first Beam-exclusive smart contract. Next week, our first collection of blockchain-powered COB cosmetics will hit the market, and our supporters will be the first to participate in this exciting new cosmetic economy. This approach has reinforced our core belief that a true player-owned game economy is the future of the gaming industry, and we’re excited to be part of the web3 gaming revolution. The vision of the Beam subnet and Avalanche gaming team aligns perfectly with ours; a future where gamers enjoy the benefits of decentralized gaming without any complexities.

New Year, New Art

A few months ago, we decided to streamline our art identity and redesign all our cinematic characters (NFTs). After an extensive review process with our community, we continued with this mission, gaining their support. We’re now pleased to report that we’ve finished the base designs for each of our existing ten characters and have been blown away by the positive support from our villagers.

What’s to Come

Without a doubt, 2024 will be another year of achievements and progress for Castle of Blackwater. Now that the tide is turning, we have proven ourselves as trustworthy, transparent, community-oriented, and resilient builders. Our year will begin with the grand reveal of the new ‘Dead Ghost Experience’ upgrade, along with numerous other enhancements developed in recent months.

We’re eager to start weekly play sessions again, confident that we are close to finalizing a core gameplay loop that our players will truly enjoy. Once polished, we plan to launch a public Beta season in February of next year. To promote this event, our team of marketing superstars is working on a thrilling new gameplay trailer and a fantastic treasure hunt event to boost community interaction. Stay tuned for more information!

With the insights gained from our cosmetics smart contracts, we’re excited to progress with our character contracts as well. Our artists will need another month to finalize all character variables in this new style, and we should be ready for our character migration from ETH to Beam around February as well. This migration will also introduce the new art style, culminating in a very limited NFT sale of the Sheriff character!

Following the Beta launch, we will spend the next few months building all supplementary systems that will turn the core gameplay loop into a fully fleshed-out game. Inventory management, progression systems, social features, and more. Our goal is to finalize this by mid-2024 and be ready for a public launch of the game around the same time.

Closing Off

We can’t predict everything that will come, but we can learn from past experiences and influence our future. We will continue to do everything we can to bring the joys of Castle of Blackwater to market, and in the meantime, help prove the thesis of web3 gaming.

We know for sure that none of this would be possible without our treasured team and community. So, as we conclude this year, we extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to our magical journey.

Keep hanging out with us, sharing achievements, laughs, and supporting each other. Blackwater Village is more than just another web3 community; it is a home of friends and gamers.

We wish you all an incredible 2024, see you next year!

Jojo & Remo | Founders, CEO & COO

Castle of Blackwater