Skybreach: A Metaverse created by RMRK

PAKA
12 min readFeb 18, 2023

The original was released in 2022 and parts of the content were abridged in translation

Written by Eunice

Reviewed by MIDDLE.X, Owen

Introduction

RMRK (pronounced “remark”) is a set of NFT standards that give NFTs infinite extensibility, hosted on the Kusama blockchain, Polkadot’s canary network, without the need for parachains or smart contracts. It is created by Bruno Škvorc, a former technical educator at the Web3 Foundation, in 2020. By storing NFT state transition data as “drawing graffiti” in the transaction extension field of the Polkadot/Kusama relay chain, the RMRK standard builds a more scalable, highly flexible, and cross-chain compatible NFT Layer 0 that is not dependent on smart contracts. The NFT created with the RMRK standard (rNFT) is multi-resource, nestable, renderable, and equipable to support the development of more complex NFT projects.

The RMRK team has always been highly active and intensive in its output, with frequent Github code commits and blog updates. Following the creation of the RMRK NFT standard, the team developed a trading platform Singular for rNFT, which is now the most popular NFT trading platform in the Kusama ecosystem.

https://singular.app

Another popular product from RMRK is Kanaria, the first example of an rNFT application developed by the team. Kanaria birds are both an NFT collection and a dress-up game where Kanaria can wear other rNFTs to change their appearance.

https://kanaria.rmrk.app/

And now the RMRK team is moving towards a new goal: creating a metaverse with rNFTs.

From “mock-scarce” to “digital scarcity”

Most metaverse projects currently use a centralized database to maintain a mapping table of NFTs and material route. When you log in by your wallet address, those projects program reads the NFTs in your wallet to find the material route from the mapping table and retrieves the file of material (that may stored on the server side or on the client side) to present you with the corresponding visual effects. This means that if the data table that maintains the mapping relationship between NFTs and material is lost, your game data and the metaverse experience will be lost. This does not fit with the intuition that blockchain is decentralized and secure.

It’s a completely different story if you build a metaverse with rNFT. The player’s game character is an rNFT, the character’s equipment are also rNFTs nested on top of the character(rNFT), which is made possible by the nestable feature of rNFT. There is no mapping table between the character and equipment, and no need for a centralized database to store the mapping table.

Nestability also solves the problem of mock-scarce in existing NFTs. It avoids the situation where a user logs into dozens of different instances of the metaverse using the same wallet address and reusing a particular NFT within that wallet. It is means that rNFT equipment must be nested to an rNFT character in order to render its vi sual effects in the metaverse space, and this nested relationship is exclusive so that if you have an equipment X that is equipped to character A, it cannot be equipped to character B. This helps precious NFTs equipment be truly scarce in the digital world

In most metaverse projects, however, the user’s NFT equipment is in the wallet rather than the game, meaning that the user can reuse a particular NFT in the same wallet that logs into different metaverse instances. For example, one of your sunglasses NFTs can appear on both metaverse A and metaverse B’s characters with different visual effects, which results in users experiencing a much-reduced digital scarcity of NFTs and thus make a detriment of discovering the true economic value of an NFT.

However, if you have rNFT equipment, you can reuse it but you must transfer it to another in-game character before that. It will automatically be removed from the original in-game character after you transfer it. You will only see that equipment appear on one rather than multiple in-game characters at any given time.

Skybreach

Skybreach is the first metaverse use case built with rNFT, which will incubate a truly decentralized metaverse place that give the feature of digital scarcity back to NFT itself. Skybreach may evolve into a habitat for Kanaria and other nascent rNFT biomes. The game characters, buildings, and various other equipment used to decorate Skybreach are also rNFTs.

https://skybreach.app/

Skybreach Land

There are 9 Skylands in Skybreach, each hosting 25,000 pieces of land, for a total of 225,000 plots. The vast majority of these plots will be sold and released to the market, and any landowner is free to build and manage them in order to maintain the economic value of the land and a good user experience. A bit of a ‘Harberger Tax’ mechanism has been added to the Skybreach, so that if you don’t take care of your land for a long time it will ‘decay’ and be confiscated and reverted to market circulation at a relatively cheap price.

Each land is a multi-resource rNFT. Players can build them with other rNFTs, such as image rNFTs, music rNFTs, etc. to do some basic rendering of the land space. Players can also make the land to be a more playable Play to Earn space by systematically embedding rNFTs, or even a playground for completing group tasks to gain game experience. Furthermore, players are also allowed to sell or rent out the land/plots or simply license it to someone who is devoted to building Skybreach once it has been launched.

Only 22,000 lands of currently Skyland for sale, including 16,000 Common Land, 5,000 Rare Land, and 1,000 Epic Land.(we call those lands as Regular Land in this article)

The remaining 3,000 special lands, including 500 Premium Lands that are public property are owned and allocated by the RMRK team, and 2,500 Harbertaxed Lands which are usually located close to city centers, shuttle gateways, airship portal, and so on that with public transport value, are not for sale.

There is no limit to the number of plots that can be owned by one address. Players are free to buy and construct on them.

Skybreach plots

Each piece of Land consists of 32*32 small plots, so there will be 1024 plots of a Land, each plot can be nested with at least two rNFTs.

Skybreach Land Teir

A piece of land can be traded as a whole, or it can be flexibly split into individual plots or groups of plots. For example, selling a combination of 3*5 or 25*25 plots with regularly shaped boundaries but irregularly shaped boundaries is also allowed. (However, buying plots with regularly shaped boundaries is the best cost-effective solution, for reasons described later.)

A Skyland consisted of 25,000 pieces of land(1024 plots of each). This means that in just one-level height/depth (explained later in the “Land Tier” section), Skybreach has released 9*25,000*1024=230.4 million NFT slots, which is tantamount to opening up a huge NFT creation workshop.

Now, let's introduce one of the core mechanisms of Skybreach——Land Tier.

Each plot has its own tier, categorized into depth and height, referring to the number of floors below ground and above ground that a building can be built on respectively. With higher and deeper plots, taller and bigger buildings can be built and thus carry out more intensive and active commercial activities. Different type of land has their own initial tier and decay speed, as shown in the following

Table 1

In addition to the initial tier, the relative position of one of your plots also has an effect on its tier, known as the Adjacency Bonus. For example, if you have a piece of land consisting of 3*3 plots, the height/depth of the central plot will be +1; if you have a piece of land consisting of 5*5 plots, the height/depth of the central plot will be +2 and the height/depth of the 8 plots around the central plot will be +1. In simple terms, under the same landowner, the Adjacency Bonus of a plot depends on how many circles of plots there are around it. It is important to note that only a ‘full plots circle’ is available work for Adjacency Bonus for the central plot, a circle with a missing plot does not work for it.

h: Height d: Depth

Only a ‘full circle’ is available work for Adjacency Bonus for the central plot.

In our point of view, it is a purpose to encourage players to construct buildings starting from the relative central plots and expanding evenly to the periphery, rather than constructing from different scattered plots without planning. It facilitates a clustering effect of community activities within that piece of land.

Additionally, it is more advantageous for one address to own a whole piece of land than multiple addresses to own parts of it, as a whole land with 32*32 plots maximizes the Adjacency Bonus, which led the center four plots with +15 Adjacency Bonus. This encourages individuals to cooperate to buy a whole piece of land by multi-signature addresses and operate the land as a guild.

The height/depth of a plot = initial height/depth + Adjacency Bonus. As an example, If you were to build a castle in the Skyland, it required that the height of the plot must be greater than or equal to 5, which could be achieved by:

(1) building the castle in the center of 9*9 plots.

(2) building the castle in the center of 3*3 plots and the central plot belongs to an Epic Land. (default height of an epic land is 3 + Adjacency Bonus 2 = 5).

In our point of view, Skybreach’s tier mechanism also with the added utility of encouraging players (land developers) to manage the land/plots in the long term and plan holistically, rather than splitting up and reselling plots and land to make a profit. That would break the plot circle around the central one, resulting in a reduction in the height/depth of the central plot.

In detail, if a castle (needs a 5-height plot) is built on a central plot of 5-height, but then one of the plots around it is sold out and results in the central plot height being reduced to 4, the castle will not be destroyed; but if the castle is demolished at this time for other reasons, the castle cannot be restored because the plot no longer meets the height requirement. The castle can only be restored if the surrounding sold plots are bought back and the height of the central plot is restored to 5 or more.

Plots Purchase

Users are able to create some rNFT widgets and buildings on their plots, fulfilling their design hobbies and desires. Or you can authorize the land for free to others who can use their talents to build and manage the land to make it a “hot area”.

If you design and manage your plots well, you will attract more people to buy the plot around you or come to this space to do business activities and complete other game-in tasks, making the land more playable, which will increase the value of your space in a blockchain world and thus there may some token benefits could get. If you don’t have time to take care of them, you can be a ‘property tycoon’ and sell them when the price rises, or be a ‘landlord’ and lease them out to those who want to build them.

Usually, the pioneer can get a relatively higher rate of return for less effort, competition, and money. Plots are relatively cheap to acquire for the early users who are probably getting more airdrops from the RMRK team later. For example, some specific buildings need to buy for late users but for early users is by airdrop. Although plots are cheap early on, the economic ecology of Skyland is relatively poor, and it’s not surprising.

Skybreach’s land sale was divided into five phases, all of which have now closed. If you still want to acquire land or plots, you can buy them on the secondary market

Table 2

The Dutch auction is a good way to avoid both inflation and undervaluation of plots, and effectively find a fair market value for them.

Land Maintenance

The value of the land space requires the maintenance of the owners. the phenomenon of plots with nothing others, like buildings, avatars, activities, etc., is a waste of economy and space resources and not conducive to the user’s play experience. To prevent the formation of ghost towns and abandoned never-changeable land plots, the concept of World Decay has been introduced. The world of Skybreach is a chaotic and erosive one, and unless constructions on a piece of land are maintained, the ownership of the land can revert and constructions can be lost.

If the landowner never nested the Kanaria rNFT (or Bored Ape, maybe in the future) on the land rNFT at least once within a specified period of time, ownership of that land will return to Skyland and will be freely traded on the market (which will be a discounted price). At the same time, the rNFT resources nested on that land will be lost. Therefore, if you are lucky enough to buy a piece of land at a preferential price, please be sure to maintain it regularly. This maintenance is not difficult as long as carried out within the decay time shown in Table 1, otherwise, the loss will not only plots you purchased but other nested rNFT resources on them.

The good news is that if at some point you’re really too busy to take care of a piece of land you purchased, you can “escrow” it to Skybreach, locking up 10 xcRMRK into that land to keep it from being reclaimed and sold on the market for a “fire sale”. Those 10 xcRMRKs locked in Skybreach don’t count in currency circulation until you begin to maintain it.

Closing Thoughts

The RMRK team has not only pioneered the new NFT standard but continually built a steady stream of breakout popular apps based on it. Singular and Kanaria are both very successful, and now we can experience Skybreach, the first metauniverse product of the RMRK team.

In the future, based on Web3 cross-chain interactions Skybreach will be a universe of any kind of NFT, where all game characters can travel, settle, and conduct business in the Skyland. What is even more remarkable is that RMRK gives back to NFT its inherent scarcity, both in terms of address scarcity and visual effects scarcity. With rNFT, Skybreach has been created as a more decentralized, composable, and playable metaverse.

In a future where cross-chain interaction is possible, any rNFT will be genuinely unique.

Complexity often emerges from simple rules, just as hundreds of billions of neurons in the human brain create consciousness through the aggregation of simple synaptic connections (science cannot yet explain the origin of consciousness).

The basic rules of Skybreach are very simple, nothing more than nested rNFT structure + countable Land tier. On top of that are rNFTs such as buildings, characters, magical creatures, equipment, and a piece of land consisted of plots. Those connect and interact with each other and aggregate into communities, cities, and even virtual countries.

But on top of this, elements such as land, buildings, characters, magical creatures, accessories, etc., are embedded in it, connecting and interacting with each other, aggregating into communities, cities, and even virtual nations.

Skybreach is now like the virgin land in the United States of America just discovered in the 16th century, is untraveled, but flat and fertile, waiting to be exploited, created, and panned for gold

About PAKA

PAKA is a research-driven early-stage Venture Capital Firm in the form of DAO, aiming to discover and support the innovative crypto/Web3 companies and protocols of tomorrow. Our team is an exceptional crew of industry experts and creative problem solvers who are crypto native builders and long-term holders, knowing what the developers & founders need best to the early stage of a project. PAKA hopes to bring our experience in technology and project management to help the next generation of web3 entrepreneurs through the form of DAO.

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PAKA

Founders fund in Polkadot ecosystem, running as a DAO venture. Long Polkadot, short Web2.0