Web 3.0 solutions for game development: Golem and Hoard - partners in crime

Web 3.0 solutions for game development: Golem and Hoard - partners in crime

As a community of builders, Golem believes in the potential and opportunities that web 3 technologies facilitate. For almost 3 years now, the team has been working on building the Golem Network. Through that time we’ve not only been working on our roadmap milestones, but a substantial amount of  our research has been directed towards  allowing the implementation of blockchain technologies in multiple industries. Specifically, the latter focus was set in motion after Brass was launched from Testnet into the Ethereum Mainnet. While Golem remains our focus, in parallel, we are looking for other use cases for Golem and work for the betterment of the Decentralized ecosystem as a whole.

We are almost ready to introduce the WASM and RASPA use cases and are strongly involved in developing Graphene for Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX) - a software that can significantly increase the security and privacy in the Golem network and in the Blockchain industry as a whole. We also constantly look for partners and other projects that could benefit from using the Golem network as a computing platform or to leverage their computing resources.

Golem and Hoard strengthen ties

Luckily, our team has found a perfect “partner in crime” in the room right around the corner - our friends from Hoard - that work under the same roof as us. To build this collaboration we started with meetings, discussions, brainstorming. It was a process. Hoard is an expert in the gamedev field, knowing its advantages, tricks, caveats, and the latest cutting edge tools for the industry. On the other hand, the Golem team as a whole has gathered a top notch roster of experts on diverse fields of computing science, security, distributed systems and new programming languages, to name a few.

A significant part of the time spent together was devoted to analyzing the difficulties and obstacles, that game developers encounter in everyday functioning along with their frustrations.

As a game developer working on a project of a decent size (meaning several MBs of code and hundreds GBs of assets) I often stumble upon problems related to limited computing power of my machine. Usually, what takes substantial time is the “asset cooking”. However, sometimes the compilation of my code can eat up my precious time too. Adding it all up, it seems that part of my salary is literally wasted on staring at progress bars.” says Cyryl Matuszewski, Hoard’s Lead Programmer.

These hours of talks resulted in multiple ideas for joint collaboration on essential tooling for gamedev, to name a few: code compilation, processing textures, processing geometry, shader pre-compilation or computation related to light distribution. All these solutions using decentralized computing power. We strongly believe that the above can be a turning point in game development and the next step in moving it towards web 3.0.

This collaboration also allows for creating a dynamic feedback loop, so that at the end both teams deliver the best possible product to all the game developers, who decide to build on Golem. Subsequently, both team’s core strengths, when combined, resulted in a seamless and organic collaboration.

Hoard’s Code Compiler powered by Golem Unlimited

The first use case that will be developed by Hoard - in cooperation with the Golem Unlimited team -  is a code compiler built on Golem Unlimited, which is designed to unburden developers from typical distributed computing hassles: provisioning nodes, work distribution, load balancing, data transfer and more. Golem Unlimited allows subnetwork management from a single web console, where you can see total capacity as well as each node detailed info, create new tasks, get work status and set utilization policies.

At first, Golem will enable a compilation of currently developed code using teammates joint desktop processing power. The user creates an internal trusted subnetwork of computers with one of them, called the hub. The hub, in this case, is the Requestor and other available computers join its network as Providers to work on tasks sent by the hub. In this stage, Hoard serves two roles: advisory in the context of requirements from the gamedev perspective and as an "external" dev team preparing this integration.

No more interrupted computing -  Unlimited will prioritize tasks according to the policy set by a local admin. Hub will control the computing power available on each machine within the subnetwork and assign tasks accordingly.

As an added value, the user can use Golem Unlimited not only to perform tasks generated by the team internally, but they are also able to sell all subordinate idle computing power and earn GNT as a Golem Network “fat” Provider.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The milestones of the Hoard Code Compiler include:

  • Distributed compilation of shaders (thousands of shaders will be compiled substantially faster when preparing a build in the Unreal Engine).
  • Recompression of textures - to see which method gives the best efficiency gain without having to wait for hours.
  • Baking of global illumination data, shadows, and static lighting.

At the same time, both Hoard and Golem are fully aware that, as with every innovation, it’s easier to talk about all those world-changing solutions, than to actually deliver them. That’s why we plan to focus on that first step and see where it leads us.

The Hoard Code Compiler powered by Golem Unlimited will be, after it’s stabilized and in production, connected to the main Golem network. More details about this will be announced on upcoming progress reports on the Hoard blog.

“Hoard is  committed to building a better future for gamedev. A future,where computing power is not an issue or a limitation. This path requires extensive plugin development for IDEs starting with Microsoft Visual Studio and game engines like Unreal Engine or Unity3D. We’re convinced that it’s worth the effort.” - Slawomir Bubel, Hoard’s CEO

Two forces - One goal

To be successful in achieving the proposed joint goals, the two teams need to work closely together: Golem Unlimited and Hoard.

Currently, Golem Unlimited is in its alpha phase, meaning that not all features are yet implemented and the API is not stable. However, we are getting ready to release v0.2 as beta software.

We are excited to work closely with the Hoard team to unleash a game-changer solution to the gamedev industry. To do that our efforts will focus on:

  • Fully supporting windows with GPUs as gamedev utilize mainly this platform.
  • Design and implement a smart load balancer with a failover feature.
  • Enable provider current usage profile and tune jobs not to distract the local user operations, in order to allow artists and developers to use different workstations.
  • Upgrade our UX to smooth altered/modded game engine provisioning for provider nodes.

Curious about Hoard?

Hoard’s primary goal is to ensure the True Ownership of virtual assets in video games, using Ethereum and Plasma. Thanks to the True Ownership players are able to spend their in-game loot in the real world, and developers are able to monetize their games in new ways.

To achieve this goal, Hoard provides developers with a free and open source SDK to enable easy asset tokenization, along with a decentralized exchange to generate new revenue streams. To understand Hoard’s vision better watch their “2 Minute Explainer Video”.

Though, Hoard goes one step further. They want to provide the best possible solutions for the developers to make the whole game development process more user-friendly and accessible. They want to lower the entry threshold barrier (through, among others providing a well-optimized code compiler).

To give examples of Hoard’s doing. In partnership with OmiseGO, Hoard released the first ever Plasma application - a game, called Plasma Dog, which is optimized to process approximately 4k transactions per second or 65k transactions per Ethereum block.

Their upcoming integration, My Memory of Us, originally released last Fall, is currently available on Xbox One, Playstation 4, the Nintendo Switch, and Steam.

Find more information on this diverse and interesting project on Hoard’s website.

We hope you enjoyed this blogpost and are happy about this collaboration. If you are interested in knowing more about decentralized gamedev, or  Golem Unlimited, feel free to reach out to us in our chatroom #gamedev - we will answer all your questions.

We are also looking forward to learning more about the gamers in the Golem community, so get in touch and let us know how you feel about web 3 technologies stepping into game development. Do you also think this is opening a new array of possibilities for the developers of your favorite games? Let’s grow a strong community around this collaboration together!