“Virtual worlds are places where the imaginary meets the real.”
— Richard A. Bartle
In a way, virtual worlds are as old as humanity itself.
It's a strange thought—but let me explain.
At the dawn of the Old Stone Age, we gathered into bands of hunter-gatherers and almost immediately started bartering tangible, primeval goods like stone tools, animal hides, and engraved shells.
But we also traded intangible, imaginary goods, like stories and ideas.
We traded fantasies, myths and legends; and the very fact that we traded them meant that we could inhabit them together. In a sense, stories told at the dawn of prehistory were just a form of primordial virtual worlds, molded and re-forged across both time and space, as they were passed through generations and to different tribes.
If you really think about it, the digital, virtual worlds of today are nothing more than collective stories, too.
The bandwidth has changed, and so has the scale and speed; where stories could be told in the groups of dozen, the MMORPGs of today are experienced by millions. Technology is different; vocal chords and travel on foot to re-tell a story to another tribe versus three-dimensional simulations traveling through fiber optics and air at relativistic speeds.
The long evolutionary chain of collective storytelling led from tales residing only in collective consciousness, to video games existing as persistent digital realities.
At Enjin, we strongly believe that the next chapter of this inevitable progression will be strongly driven by a new type of technology: the blockchain.
We've made it our mission to bring real-life economies to virtual worlds, and help blur the boundary between the imaginary and real just a little bit more.
For more than two years, we've been working around the clock to build an integrated ecosystem comprised of easy-to-use products built on top of complex, next-generation blockchain infrastructure.
Today, we're thrilled to announce that a key element of this ecosystem—the Enjin Platform—is now live on Ethereum Mainnet.
The Enjin Platform is an all-in-one blockchain development platform.
At a core level, the Platform democratizes the ability to create, mint, and manage next-generation blockchain assets.
In other words, if you know how to use a smartphone, you should now be able to easily deploy both fungible and non-fungible tokens, simply by using our brand new Web Panel.
Simple, great user experience is one of the core product design philosophies at Enjin, and we made damn sure that the Web Panel is minimal, straightforward, and clean.
Just four simple steps separate you from minting your first blockchain asset.
Creating a new Enjin Platform project is easy: just pick a name, upload an image, and write up a short project description.
Your new project can be anything from a simple collection of digital art or cluster of tokenized memes, to a complex web-based app or a video game that is a part of a blockchain multiverse.
You can create without limits.
Click here to read an in-depth guide to creating your first blockchain project.
Linking your wallet is a pleasant, seamless experience.
And that's it—now all you need to do is point your phone towards a QR code, and scan it in order to link your wallet.
You can find out more about wallet linking here.
You can think of the asset creation process as an initial setup.
When you create an asset, you're not actually deploying it to the blockchain, you're just strictly defining its various values, which can range from simple choices like the asset's name and image, to complex variables like transfer fee types and starting supply.
Blockchain assets created with the Enjin Platform have two types of data: on-chain data (like the asset name, type, or ENJ value per asset) and off-chain data (like the asset image and description).
ENJ per asset, asset type, supply model and melt value are on-chain variables that can't be changed once the item is created. In a way, they are digitally chiseled into the blockchain for all eternity.
Check out this guide to creating your first blockchain asset to learn more.
Splitting the asset creation and minting process into two separate actions is an intentional product design choice.
Think about it: if the situation was reversed, you'd have to mint your entire supply at the moment of creation—which might not be the most economical of choices (e.g., you only need ten assets this month, not ten thousand), or even a feasible option, in case you pick an infinite supply.
The starting supply value that you pick while creating an asset is actually your initial minting "budget"—it's there to make sure there's a supply of ENJ to mint with, and provide a soft cap on the number of assets you can mint.
The actual minting process involves optionally adding more ENJ to the minting supply, and then clicking a button.
That's it—just four simple steps to create next-generation blockchain assets.
Get more information about minting by reading the Enjin Platform minting guide.
The Enjin Platform Web Panel was built to enable codeless creation and management of blockchain assets; Enjin Platform API and SDKs come into play when it comes to actually integrating those assets with games and apps.
Platform API is GraphQL-based, well documented and robust; built to help facilitate large-scale automation and scalability of blockchain asset creation, minting, trading, and sending, as well as other blockchain-related features like user wallet linking—without a single line of blockchain code.
Platform SDKs are, in essence, different ways to "talk" to the API. As a developer, you might be more comfortable utilizing the Unity Runtime API, which features equivalent functions as the GraphQL API.
The Enjin Platform (and the ecosystem as a whole) enables you to explore and take advantage of four new gaming industry technological advancements, enabled by next-generation blockchain infrastructure and products:
To take a journey down the memory lane—and the beginning of this article—one of our primary drives to build the Enjin Platform and the entire ecosystem that surrounds it a hope that it might lead to new ways to tell...
We've already seen advancements in this field, from the moment when the Enjin Multiverse was born, to countless amazing blockchain game mechanics forged into existence by Early Adopters of the Enjin Platform.
Now that the Platform is public and the floodgates have opened, we're beyond excited to see blockchain-powered innovations in game design and storytelling that talented pioneers across the world come up with.
With the launch of the Platform, we're one step closer to completing our blockchain ecosystem.
While our products are forged in gaming, we've seen everything from a a creative wave of blockchain assets created by the amazing Enjin community, to technological giants utilizing Enjin-powered blockchain assets as part of their user retention and engagement strategies.
We'd owe endless gratitude to all Early Adopters of our Platform—those that helped us with their priceless feedback and suggestions, tinkering, and breaking things so we could fix them in order to make a better product.
We're grateful to our community members, always there to post a hilarious meme on Telegram, spread the word about our ecosystem, or engage in endless, deeply philosophical debates about blockchain gaming assets.
From the entire Enjin team: thank you! Your support (+ coffee) keeps our engine running.