dApp Staking Proposal: Paima Engine

Hello, I’m Sebastien Guillemot, one of the co-founders of Paima Studios

Project Overview

Paima Engine is a web3 engine that allows building on-chain games & web3 apps in just days using any web2 programming language. Games & apps written using Paima Engine are non-custodial, meaning user funds are not at risk even if the game/app gets hacked. These two, in combination, make Paima Engine the cheapest, faster and safest way to try out web3

Paima Engine’s SDK also comes with a Paima Whirlpool functionality that allows game developers to optionally chose to provide free transactions for users, enable cross-chain gameplay for their apps and more, meaning as a developer you no longer have to choose between deploying to the chain you love and the network effect

The base of Paima is a concept we call Stateful NFTs: NFTs that can change over time (either based on user actions, app state changing or even simply time passing). Unlike traditional NFTs where data is read-only or with limited extension points, Stateful NFTs are fully dynamic and can represent arbitrary state which allow them to be used even in complex systems such as representing user accounts in MMOs (including full history of everything the player has done). These powerful Stateful NFTs live on the L1, allowing them to be compatible with any L1 NFT marketplace, which can facilitate buying & selling of in-game on-chain assets (allowing for significantly more comprehensive economies than the P2E model)

A more technical explanation is that it’s an engine for creating app-specific L2s powered by a user-specified state machine. This project has been a year in the works and currently supports any instant-finality EVM-based chain. Since Astar doesn’t quite fit in that bucket, we currently don’t support stateful NFTs in Astar. recently added Astar/Polkadot wallet support to Paima Whirlpool (announcement tweet) which is the first part of our full Astar support roadmap

Roadmap

  1. :heavy_check_mark:Allow Astar wallets to call the Paima Engine on other chains.
  2. :construction:Allow Stateful NFT support in Astar
  3. :construction:Build a template for Astar ERC721 based stateful NFTs
  4. :construction:Build a template for Astar WASM-based stateful NFTs
  5. :construction:Build a WASM version of the Paima L2 smart contract
  6. (optional): build game/app in-house exclusive to Astar

Learn More

Other than our website, you can learn more by watching:

  • Our deep-dive video in English here
  • Our higher-level Japanese explanation here

We also have a joint Twitter space with the Astar Foundation on March 27th, 2023

Get started as a builder

Currently, Paima Engine is still being built and has some large updates coming up (as you can see from our roadmap above). To ensure these (often breaking) changes don’t cause too much impact, we currently provide the following ways to use Paima Engine:

  1. Contact us directly and ask about using Paima Standalone for your project. This is an SDK that you can add to your project to get started right away, and comes with multiple templates and documentation. You will need to give us your contact information and sign an agreement to make sure everything goes smoothly during the early days of this project
  2. Work with a Paima Engine Professional (PEPs). These are companies who Paima Studios receive educational material, training sessions and support from the Paima Studios team. They are able to build entire dApps for your (or just build a template for you to put you on the right path). We currently have 5 companies who are PEPs, and if your company wants to become a PEP, don’t hesitate to reach out
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(separate post since I’m limited to only 5 links per post)

Offical Links:

How much time is needed to achieve the full roadmap?

Can we review this dApp staking proposal after more achievement?

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We plan to get it all done within Q2~Q3

Currently, as mentioned in my above post, we have the Astar wallet/cryptography integration and the core part of the L2 works (thanks to EVM), but the main part that’s remaining to rebuilding all the indexers and similar infrastructure for the L2 in a way that supports Polkadot/Astar so that Stateful NFTs can work. This is the main cost for the roadmap, and the main thing we want to use any funding on since we’re a startup so every dollar counts.

Astar is the 1st non-EVM project that we support and we prioritized getting part (1) of our roadmap for Astar done even over support for larger ecosystems like Ethereum L2s. We did this because we see a lot of synergy with the Astar ecosystem - especially in Japan where multiple members of our team our based (including myself). There are a lot of Japanese companies that want to use Astar, but struggle to launch something in practice because they don’t have Solidity developers and are concerned about regulatory and hacking risk in deploying a web3 application. Our Web3 engine solves these problems for them, allowing all these Japanese companies to easily, cheaply and safely enter Web3 through Astar <> Paima

Hopefully that helps answer your question, but if you have a specific achievement in mind you would like to see, would be happy to hear it. Our team is working hard across the board so I’m sure we’ll hit it eventually

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Sounds interesting. I support this proposal.

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Hey folks, wanted to provide an update since we initially made the proposal earlier this year:

  1. Paima documentation is now live describing how Paima works in detail and how to use it: docs.paimastudios.com/
  2. Paima Engine codebase is now live on Github for anybody to see: GitHub - PaimaStudios/paima-engine: Novel trustless web3/blockchain gaming engine.

This means that anybody that wants to use Paima for Astar should be able to use it as-is :slightly_smiling_face: we already added Astar wallet support at the time we made the application as well, so Astar users can also play existing Paima onchain games too

Additionally, Paima got a grant from another chain (Cardano) to add support for WASM NFTs to Paima, so we’re expanding support beyond just the EVM layer to also add WASM too. This will be usable to have Astar WASM NFts used in games hosted in other ecosystems (Ethereum, Cardano, Oasys, etc.), and can even enable using Astar WASM NFTs in a game hosted on Astar EVM (or zkEVM)

We’ve also since done a collab with Astar Degens to organize a tournament that included Astar users and we’ve joined the Astar Gaming Guild as well

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Hey Sebastien, nice to hear the updates.
I checked your websites also, and interested with the upcoming Auto-Battler genre. Also do I need to buy NFT first to play the other 2 games? I saw on Paima site the NFT is on Cardano

It’s up to every game built with Paima to define if they want a token for their game and where that token lives. The original two games you see on the website were built with a grant from Cardano which is why the NFTs for those games live on Cardano. They aren’t required to play the game (in fact, the Tower Defense is entirely free to play).

There are other games being built with Paima Engine deploying tokens to different chains (ex: Arbitrum), and of course any game built for Astar can have the token live there.

Part of the reason we got the grant for Astar WASM NFT support is precisely to have give users more choice for where the NFTs for their game lives (if they have an NFT for their game). For example, Polkadot Astar is a chain with good market traction, but its block time makes it harder to use for games than Oasys for example (another project in Japan more focused on gaming). This feature will allow Astar WASM NFTs to be used inside games hosted on the Oasys chain (or another chain) so that you can take advantage of the faster chain’s settlement while leveraging Astar’s NFT marketplace liquidity

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Congrats on your new grant announcement!
I support this proposal!

Hello Sebastien,

What fantastic news you’ve brought! I’m happy that Paima secured the Cardano grant and is embarking on its expansion to support WASM.

The Astar Degens community was already buzzing with our previous campaign, and this latest development will surely delight them.

Looking forward, with Astar Link on the horizon and perhaps the arrival of L2s on Astar Networks, we hope for an environment more conducive to native games on the network. Less latency and fastest block finality would be a game-changer.

Best regards,

Disruptor

This is great news and fully support this! Excited to see further roapmap milestones being implement. With our upcoming expansion and further exposure to a wider audience of users and builders (of all types), having Paima Engine as an option strengthens our tech platform and options.

I especially appreciate the Japanese explanation. Further showing that your team is willing to create content in JP that is crucial to Japanese devs and community members. Big thank you!

Looking awesome, count me in!

That’s great news! Being multichain gaming platform is 100% aligned with Astar vision.
How you guys are planning to spend dApp staking rewards in benefit to the Astar Eco?
We know you got the Cardano grant (congrats) and how we can make sure the team will be focused in growing Astar Network eco?

Thanks for the proposal.

I really like the concept of statefull NFT.
For a long time, I am waiting for an application that uses the NFT as an object with updatable attributes and I am happy to read that you chosen this concept to built your dApps.
Moreover you have the willingness to support WASM NFT.
You have my full support!

@pitcoin777 Good question, and let me also address @Disruptor1 's point about Polygon zkEVM at the same time

the zkEVM announcement does help for Paima cooperation since ~2s block time and finality is, as you mentioned, significantly better than what Polkadot provides and also makes connecting to Eth L1 NFT to games in Astar simpler

There is one problem though: tx fees on the Polygon zkEVM.
Polygon zkEVM fees are pretty high (the largest fees of any L2 on Ethereum). This isn’t too surprising given the tech they used for writing their ZK circuits, but it makes hard to use for onchain games without a lot of extra work on our side to make the platform competitive in this environment.

This cost will probably go down thanks to amortized costs of many different chains using the Polygon zkEVM stack (the fact that the more chains and dApps deploy to Polygon zkEVM the cheaper the amortized cost it has is one of its key value propositions), but its currently 100x more expensive than Arbitrum Nova despite both using a DA committee (so cost reductions thanks to EIP-4844 will probably be minimal). I believe Polygon’s CDK allows you to lower the fees for a specific chain to a certain extent as well, but it remains to be seen what the Astar team will set these to concretely.

Given the Astar team mentioned during the zkEVM announcement that part of the reason for the cooperation was to better target the entertainment market, it puts us on a pretty good path to work together. Polygon is on the same boat for this where the Polygon PoS chain has always been strong for web2.5 gaming, but is not well suited for onchain games (in my opinion) due to the rollbacks and the Polygon zkEVM gives them potential path out of this

All that to say, I think Polygon, Paima and Astar are on a path towards being able to work on some cool stuff together (be it Web2.5 games built with Paima of onchain games), but it will require some extra work on our side to ensure the best experience possible and overcome and technical challenges that come with either Polygon zkEVM or Polkadot, and that’s what we intend on spending the dApp staking rewards to tackle

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Ty for the answer. I’ll support this proposal!

:rotating_light:Attention​:rotating_light:
Paima team would like to share this video below, for some reason they couldn’t post it so I’m sharing on their behalf, please have a look!

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Thanks for sharing the link! (not sure why I wasn’t able to post Youtube links here)

The video talks a bit more on the tech side about how Paima functions on chains that have stricter restrictions on them

The video focused a bit more on Cardano, but Polygon zkEVM is an easier problem to solve than Cardano support (since Polygon zkEVM is fast but expensive, and Cardano is slow and expensive so there is more to tackle)

Hope this gives some extra insight into the Paima architecture for anybody who wanted to hear it said in a different way than from our docs

Great proposal. Looking forward to it’s implementation.

Hello Sebastien,

Your product is interesting and could be a good addition to the Astar Tech Stack, however I’m still having trouble seeing your involvement in the Astar Network so far.

The dApp Staking is a program accessible to teams and projects that have already brought value to our network, apart from allowing Astar wallets to call the Paima Engine on other chains as you explained in your first message, I don’t see any other Astar related development accomplished.

Your documentation doesn’t even mention Astar, nor does your website.

What about the roadmap you shared in March 2023?

Are you already in discussion with projects interested in using your SDK to build games on Astar?

It’s great to see that you’ve received a significant grant from Cardano to support WASM NFTs, but how can we be sure that you’ll have the time to work on Astar as well and not devote all your time to Cardano?

I look forward to your answers as I find your product very interesting for our ecosystem, but would like to see more commitment to Astar before making a decision.


Gaius, Astar & Polkadot Ambassador :astar:

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