While the Void is primarily focused on DGPals, the pioneer of Gamefi on Cronos, we intensively research upcoming titles that promise to bring new ideas and facilitate the growth of the nascent Web3 gaming ecosystem on the Chain. We consider investing in the other four titles, which were selected for the Accelerator program. In this post, we take up the first game Wild Forest.
Wild Forest has been advertised as a F2P & P2E mobile real-time strategy game with direct unit control, and deep card collecting elements. The game is developed by a Russian studio Zillion Whales (30-50 employees) behind the successful title Mushroom Wars 2 and other games, such as Road Smash 2. Cronos thus went for an established Web2 game studio that seeks to expand into Web3. This also explains the game’s focus on both F2P & P2E players. The devs are sticking by their guns, but also want to expand beyond what is possible in the traditional mobile game space. The game currently already runs as a F2P mobile game, which can be downloaded in the Apple and Android app store.
The product Zillion Whales pitched to Cronos is their newest game: Wild Forest (in development). Since the game has already had a soft launch, we downloaded it to playtest. We have been playing for roughly a week and also joined their Discord to see if they are working on building a community.
The game has currently about 10k+ downloads and 3.1 ⭐ rating on the Android app store, which is a good showing, considering it has not been marketed yet or relaunched with the crypto layer. Despite the lower rating, the reception of the game, judging by user reviews, has been mostly positive. The one common criticism is the game does not run smoothly, which should be remedied in the future with the launch of a thin client. We have experienced that the game lags when there are too many units engaged in combat, but aside from that, the client runs smoothly in most situations.
Additionally, the lower number of players contributes to higher match-making time (approximately 15 seconds), and the game also suffers from the lack of content. But the dev team is working on adding more content and getting ready for the Web3 relaunch. The trailer includes more units, which will be hopefully accessible after the launch of the NFT.
The gameplay consists of spawning units to compete with an opponent for the control of the map. The ultimate goal and win-condition is the destruction of the enemy base within the set time (if the time runs out, the game triggers a sudden death event). There are several units to select on installation, and more units can be unlocked by earning points and progressing on the “Trophy Road.” The current iteration of the game is just a vertical slice, however, so the choice of units is limited.
You can queue to match an opponent, play several maps, develop your “unit deck” and collect enough points to arrive at the end of the Trophy Road. The game previously allowed players to build their own maps, but this feature has been disabled with the most recent update. We expect that the map-builder will be relaunched once the game is out of beta. We estimate that the game currently offers 5-7 days of content for casual play. Eventually, the game should include PVE campaigns, challenges and dungeons, clan play, daily missions and events such as the PVP season.
At the higher rank of play, the units can be upgraded in the deck builder by collecting duplicate cards from the treasure chests and paying with the in-game token. There is currently no way to boost the players’ progression via in-game purchases, but we are expecting that micro-transactions will be eventually implemented into the F2P version of the game (as well as adverts).
Based on the published roadmap, the developers are currently looking into making strategic partnerships, which could be a good opportunity for Cronos investors to establish contact. The initial strategy could be meeting with the developers to understand their plan for the game and their expectations from partners. Scholarship support should come as early as September 2022, which is where the Void will focus its resources.
However, the developers seem to be delayed on the Roadmap somewhat. They should have been launching their NFTs in July, but these have not been launched yet and the community updates are sparse. We requested an update but to little avail. It is completely understandable that the dev team is busy, but the announcement channel, at least, should be utilised more effectively to update the community on delays and important changes to the roadmap. Overall, the communication vis-à-vis the player base could be improved.
Considering the stage of the development, the background of the dev team and the overall context, there seem to be very few risks associated with the project. The company seems stable and seeks to leverage its experience by launching successful Web2 gaming titles in its first foray into the crypto space. Zillion Whales are certainly capable game developers, although might be somewhat reserved when it comes to communication vis-a-vis players.
For more information about the game, check their game deck, which is very thorough in explaining the game design, economy, market strategy and other important points.
We have the following actionable goals:
- Enter into conversation with the Wild Forest development team.
- Join the Wild Forest Discord server to monitor the progress of the game development.
- Consider a seed investment into the project, to secure assets for the Void (potentially managed by scholars in the future).