Introducing Decentralized Loot Boxes

Introducing Decentralized Loot Boxes
  1. What are loot boxes?
  2. What’s in the box?
  3. How to open a loot box
  4. Loot boxes: centralization vs decentralization
  5. How do Decentralized Loot Boxes work?
  6. How to use Decentralized Loot boxes
  7. What can you do with loot boxes?
  8. Best practices
  9. Future loot box developments

Decentralized Loot Boxes have the potential to establish a new standard of transparency, fairness, and player empowerment in the gaming industry. We’re exploring the importance of this new feature and how it can enhance user experiences, boost developer funding, and promote transparency.

Are you building a game and want to explore using loot boxes? Let’s chat! 💬

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What are loot boxes?

A loot box is a virtual mystery box within a game that contains randomized in-game items. By providing randomized rewards like skins, outfits, or weapons, developers can amplify player excitement, encourage continuous play, and introduce exclusive content opportunities. Today, loot boxes in video games generate billions of dollars in revenue worldwide.

Decentralized Loot Boxes were developed as a response to the often controversial and opaque nature of traditional loot boxes. Historically, these virtual items have faced criticism for their potential to encourage excessive spending and unfair reward distribution. 

Our latest release, Loot Box Factory, is an evolution of technology poised to tackle these concerns head-on, championing an enhanced commitment to a transparent and player-centric approach.

A carved, wooden chest, ajar, reveals a trove of metal artifacts.

What’s in the box?

Our loot boxes provide a significant upgrade to the traditional model. We did this by taking the idea of a loot box onchain, ensuring fairness and transparency in the distribution of in-game items. Every loot box is backed by a smart contract, guaranteeing that the rewards are distributed transparently and fairly. This means players can be confident that both their money and time are well spent.

How to open a loot box 

Opening a Decentralized Loot Box in your game is simple. Here's a step-by-step guide from the player’s point of view:

  1. Access the in-game store or loot box section.
  2. Browse and select the Decentralized Loot Box of your choice.
  3. Confirm your purchase using the supported cryptocurrency.
  4. A smart contract will process the loot box, and the in-game items will be distributed transparently.
  5. Enjoy your fairly earned in-game rewards.

Loot boxes: centralization vs decentralization

Decentralized Loot Boxes stand out from traditional loot boxes due to their transparent and equitable nature. Players can trust that any funds spent on loot boxes will lead to fair and rewarding outcomes.

Decentralized Loot Boxes bring several new benefits to players and game developers. These include:

  • Improved UX: Players can enjoy a more equitable and trustworthy system, reducing concerns about unfair outcomes.
  • Boosted developer funding: Developers can harness the power of decentralized loot boxes to secure initial funding and support ongoing game development.
  • Transparency & trust: Players can trust that every loot box is distributed fairly and that the system is free from manipulation.

Centralized loot boxes, though widely implemented in many games today, lack transparent probabilities. This creates a void between player expectations and loot box results that, if contested, can weaken relations between a game and its community.

ChainSafe’s Decentralized Loot Boxes remove the requirement of trust that exists when playing a mini-game of chance. Both players and the developers can verify loot box results onchain, creating a provably fair environment.

How do Decentralized Loot Boxes work?

ChainSafe’s Decentralized Loot Boxes leverage a Verifiable Random Function (VRF) to produce a pseudo-randomized output and proof of authenticity onchain.

VRF is essentially a random number generator that can be cryptographically verified as random. VRF sees common use in blockchain consensus mechanisms as a way to randomly select block producers. 

Using VRF, our Decentralized Loot Boxes are:

  • Unpredictable
  • Fair
  • Totally random
  • Tamperproof

ChainSafe developed Decentralized Loot Boxes through a grant from Chainlink (LINK). To learn more about Chainlink’s VRF tool, check out their VRF explainer article.

How to use Decentralized Loot boxes

ChainSafe’s Decentralized Loot boxes are available as prefabricated components in our web3.unity SDK. Our web3.unity SDK is open source and completely free. The UI makes adding verifiable, Decentralized Loot Boxes to your game as simple as possible:

  1. Download the repo for loot box contracts.
  2. Use the Add-ons tab to deploy a new loot box.
  3. Add token contracts to your loot box.
  4. Grant depositor access for reward items.
  5. Configure reward amounts.

Find detailed instructions here on how to add ChainSafe’s Decentralized Loot Boxes to your game.

What can you do with loot boxes?

Decentralized Loot Boxes can be applied in various ways to enhance your players’ gaming experience. 

  • Airdrop: Distribute loot boxes to players as part of promotional campaigns or events.
  • Community: Engage players by allowing the community to influence the contents of loot boxes.
  • Funding: Secure funding for game development by offering loot boxes to early supporters.

Rainbow 6 Siege has one of the most popular loot box products in gaming, called Alpha Packs in-game. Players who buy Alpha Packs have a chance at winning common-to-legendary (super rare) items with each purchase. 

While centralized, this model can be easily emulated using our Decentralized Loot Boxes.

Best practices

To make the most of this new feature, consider the following:

  • Monitor in-game item pricing to ensure fairness and avoid exploitation.
  • Engage with your community to gather feedback and improve the experience.
  • Educate players so they understand the ins and outs of loot boxes.
  • Implement fair randomness algorithms for item distribution to avoid "pay-to-win" situations.
  • Make loot boxes part of gameplay (e.g., in-game achievements or challenges).
  • Create limited-time events to generate excitement and encourage participation.
  • Allow the gaming community a say in using decentralized loot boxes.
  • Implement purchase limits, cooldown periods between purchases, or anti-bot measures.

Future loot box developments

This is just the beginning. The future of Decentralized Loot Boxes holds many exciting prospects. Developers may explore further customization options, additional cryptocurrency support, and increased integration with player-driven content creation.

We encourage game developers and players alike to explore this innovative feature and provide feedback to help shape its future. Together, we can redefine loot box experiences and create a gaming world where players truly own their rewards.