VBA: The NBA Of The Metaverse With Virtual Basketball Players - Transcripts

May 31, 2022

  • Favorite
  • Share
Basketball is a sport with 2.2 billion fans worldwide - and Virtual Basketball Association (VBA) wants to bring them all into crypto. Charles, founder of VBA shares with us: How does VBA compare to other basketball based video games? Is VBA...


Yeah, ladies and gentlemen gentlemen, welcome to the Block Crunch podcast. They go to podcast for investors and builders in crypto before we get started with today's episode. I've got some great news for our listeners. For those of you looking for an extra edge in crypto. We created Block crunch V. I. P. Just for you. Every week our team at block Crunch prepares an in depth research memo with a sector analysis project explanation, competitor breakdown and our own in house investment outlook for every project brought onto the show delivered straight to your inbox. We'll do the work so you don't have to, we'll scour discord twitter forums and blocks and help you highlight potential catalysts and provide actionable insights for every project we interview. In addition, we also host exclusive ams with myself to answer any of your questions and all of that is only available to block punch V. I.

P subscribers. But the good news is that it costs less than a coffee a week. So head on over to the block crunch dot com slash V. I. P. Or click the link in the show notes below to sign up. Alright, hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of the podcast. Now, this week I'm really excited to continue diving into the world of games in crypto and with me today is the founder of VB, a virtual basketball association which is a fantasy basketball game built on Selena and Charles also happens to be an old friend of mine from way back before crypto. So I'm really, really excited to have Charles on the show to talk to us, all things virtual basketball association and all things fantasy sports. So welcome to the show Charles.

Thank you Jason. I'm excited to be here.

Yeah man and look I've known you for a while now before crypto and I know you took the leap in the crypto after a brief sprint in maybe not that brief but a sprint in web two. So what kind of brought you over the edge into crypto?

Yeah. So um A little bit of context here is I spent basically the early part of 2021 exploring starting my own company and during this time explore like the gambit on like different consumer ideas, creator like businesses, healthcare, different B two B. Sas place and just wasn't really able to find something that I was genuinely passionate about that You know I felt like I could work on for three years, five years, 10 years and basically like dedicate like The next 10 years of my life too. And something that I had always been really passionate about has been sports basketball in particular and then video games advancing sports in particular and Around the summer of 2021 I discovered this horse racing game which I'm sure many people know called where people were buying these like digital NFL horses entering in competitions and like racing them. And at first it didn't make a ton of sense to me but as I dive deeper into the platform and I saw that people were making content and tools and really turning these N. F. T. S into their own. That's when my crypto really clicked for me actually in the context of like N. F. T. S.

Used for games where I saw people taking this thing making it into their own thing because they had ownership over that asset and then making the ecosystem better for it. Um And so that's where like the motivation to build VB on like uh fluctuate itself became like a reality.

And one of the things really interesting is you also spend a lot of time building web to before you were working at facebook for how many years

I worked at facebook and instagram for about 3.5 years before this

3.5 years. And how is it, how different has it been to kind of build in Web two versus building and web three?

Um I was actually just complaining about this with one of my friends really today was all like facebook and the biggest jump has been It feels like the traditional way of building a consumer product and web two is you know shipping M. V. P. Uh Iterate for a long time until you find PMF and then basically like turn on the gas and like grow it like crazy. It seems like the playbook is currently reversed in Web three where it's go out and do a bunch of marketing hype it up and then go out and figure out what to do with the community. Um This is something that I've been struggling with because I think the way that we're building our product is very much like you know, first principles like web to product. Um But I always have this question the back of my head like oh should we be doing it in this like hype hype driven uh cycle versus like a product driven cycle.

Yeah, I think that's super interesting. Especially in N. F. T. S. Right? It always comes down to the community verse. Like in most previous most recent episode we talked to a project called Reverse and which is this metaphor is built around this one weird meme that came out of the 2018 bear market cycle. And they didn't really have anything besides that meme. But they had the community and then they built this project around the community which I think really, you know brings home the point that you you were talking about just now about community first. Um But let's shift gears a little bit to talk about VB A. So what exactly is V.

B. A. And what gave you the idea to start this?

Yeah, so V. B. A. Stands for virtual Basketball Association. And the way that I describe it is what we want to do here is we want to build a basketball league from the ground up on the Blockchain. And in terms of like more like comps right? We can say it's sort of like a combination of like NBA two K. Like my GM mode with fantasy sports. And the idea here is that there's a bunch of fictional N. F. T. Basketball players, each of them have their own set of attributes and characteristics.

And then you basically as the owner of these N. F. T. S. Or the owner of the basketball team basically try to put together the best team possible um to enter in different types of competitions for like crypto rewards. Um The main motivation here is basically had always been like a huge basketball fan, see sports fan. Um Actually my probably most played video game ever is like NBA two K. I used to sit in my basement with like my buddies in high school we would simulate these games well into like 2030 2040 and all the players would be fake but we would still like continue to do it because we just love competing each other in this format. And so when I was thinking more about N. F. T. S.

And how we could make that ownership feeling even more real by giving them um the asset that they basically own regardless of the game exists. That's when basically we really wanted to do the V. B. A. As a concept

And for those not familiar with 2K. And the general then the manager mode, can you kind of describe a little bit about what that is?

Yeah so uh two K. My Gm. Or like football manager these like simulation games right? So not super visual when you think about like a triple A. Game where like you're actually controlling a character but rather you are sort of responsible for picking players on a team setting some coaching strategies basically. Um Training those players and then basically using those players to compete in games and all those games are simulated. So you take into account the attributes of those assets. Um Have some R. And G. Basically and then output basically plays that lead to it like an endgame result afterwards.

That's quite interesting. So I guess that's different from the core gameplay of two K. Where you and you're using the players to you know actually playing a basketball game. Um So what was the decision behind you know pursuing the route of creating a manager on the simulation versus like um you know a basketball, you know a virtual basketball type of gameplay?

Yeah. Um I think the motivation is is if you look at just like market size and like users I think there are actually more people who are interested in like A manager or like fantasy sports game than there are in like the actual triple a video game. Because if you think about it like it's quite heavy weight for you to go like plug in your xbox, pick up a controller and play like a 45 minute game. Whereas if you just look at fantasy basketball as a concept, there's like 20 or 30 million people who play it every single year. And the concept here is that you can play on your browser, you can play it on your phone and it's super accessible for you to spend 5, 10 minutes a day max on this thing and still have a ton of fun with your friends during the course of the season. And so that's sort of the user that we were going after here is like the older adult who is probably a little bit more busy but is still interested in having like a sports ownership or like sports competitive experience.

Yeah. And I should probably make a disclaimer that I am personally an angel investor in VB A as well. And and that was one of the big reasons, you know, obviously besides having known you for a long time and knowing you're one of the smartest people in my circle. But also this idea about creating a very easily accessible game that is not too hard to understand that, you know, has a broad appeal to mainstream markets that can bring in people who may not already be in crypto. I think that that was a very powerful idea. Um, I guess on that note, can we talk a little bit about the gameplay? So I understand there's five fictional players that you're managing as a team and you know, how often do these players engage in in matches and you know, how do they upgrade themselves? How does that work?

Yeah. So, um, I'll describe sort of where we're headed by the end of the summer because I think that's probably a more apt way to sort of understand what we want to build is, um, people at first will be able to enter their players in weekly competitions. And these weekly competitions are just like round robin groups where you're pitted against people of your same category. Um, we will have a salary cap so that, you know, just like in real sports as a salary cap to prevent richer teams from dominating, poorer teams. We wanted to install a salary cap so that crypto whales could necessarily go in there and just dominate like your average crypto investor. Um, In the long term we sort of splitting, we see this splitting up into multiple different game modes and so we want to draw the distinction between what is like a franchise mode where, you know, we want to build like a lore in history to the league where people feel like, um, there's like the all Star team, like the all rookie team, there's like a World Cup type of concept where we really want to build up like a brand and identity around it. But we also really want to make sure that there's a need for people to play every single day versus just like on a weekly basis. And so the thing that where I'm probably most excited about shipping this summer is like an arcade mode or like daily Fantasy for this where people can enter their players and like hundreds of different game formats basically ranging from like no salary cap to like only you're comin underdog players for different prizes. Um And this will really lean into sort of a lot of like the DJ and sports betting gambler that exists in Web three today.

And yeah can you describe the concept of the salary cap? So does that does that mean the price for the player N. F. T. S. Or is that something else?

Yeah. So um again I'm just gonna write a disclaimer here that season zero which is what our summer sort of like M. V. P. Period is is like very experimental. And I want to say that because I think the way that we're building this product is more akin to like a fantasy sports consumer app where you ship and then iterate versus like a game where you have everything built up beforehand and then ship the thing. And I think that's an important distinction to make because the expectations will be better aligned that way right? Um In terms of what I mean by salary cap is we've assigned players to start with based off of their rarity. Like a value sort of like how in DFS fantasy like Yanis will always be priced higher than basically like brook Lopez because he's just not as good of a player. We've basically assigned based off of rarity to start with a price value and then make sure that people who put the five players in their lineup are below this this this total salary cap. Um I think over time the dynamics might change as we get more data. Um You can imagine that like you know we would take into age of the asset into account, we could take into like their stats into account, we could take into the attributes into account but for now we're starting with the sort of basic model based off of just the rarity of the asset itself.

Got it. So there is a cap in terms of the total I guess power of the team. You can't just have every single player in the in the team that's the most expensive N. F. T. Out there. The most popular 50 out there.

Yes for the for the franchise mode. Yeah because I think we want to do it in a way in which it feels like it's competitive for everybody. Um When we get into the arcade mode we know that there are basically like Wales who want to flex their team of like five legendary players. Um And in that way basically will allow them to just basically pay an entry fee for a higher stakes competition so that they can compete against other people who are on the same caliber as they are.

I know this is a very, very important decision for you guys because I remember when we first chatting about VB A, uh, you wanted to make sure that you make a game where it's not pay to win right? Where the rich people can just come in and pay and then just dominate the games at all times. But you know, subsequently also thought that, okay in FTS, there's always an element of, you know, whales wanting to flex your wealth. So how do you balance between the arcade mode and the franchise mode and you know, how did that decision get made?

Yeah. Um, so the franchise mode is the mode for everybody that we want everybody to be able to play. Actually, both modes, I guess for everybody for different reasons, Right? The franchise mode for everybody in that like we wanted to have a standardized set of rules that people can play from and say, you know, everybody has a, has a role in sort of building the history and the lore of the B. B. A. And then in the arcade mode, basically we wanted to make sure that we gave opportunities for people from the lowest ranks of the highest ranks to play on something that felt still felt fun and competitive. Um, in terms of basically preventing Wales from just dominating from the beginning is we wanted to make sure that two things happened, right. One is that the assets were R. O. I. Capped and that unlike a lot of the first generation crypto games where assets would never sort of expire or depreciate our assets will retire after a certain number of seasons are played.

Um And that was basically, there's no Lebron James that place for 100 years in the V. B. A. It's well, you have to consistently keep up and you can't just hold an asset for forever um to make it stay dominant. And the number two is we really wanna introduce like a training system where folks can like earn in game currency or a token, we haven't necessarily worked out the exact details yet. There's certainly pros and cons to both where they can use those points to improve their players. And then basically like if you've grinded your way up, you can at least cash out by selling into a whale or work your way up into competing in that higher league.

That's such an interesting game design because obviously it's great greater for engagement and retention because, you know, some people have to come back and, you know, purchase new cards or recruit new players all the time. But from the investor's perspective for people who hold the N. F. T. S. As you know, collectibles. Like you see in the case of like Mystic axes, a lot of these PDE games um You know, how do you guys communicate that? Hey this N. F. T. That you bought as a collectible could depreciate in value over time if it paid, you know after a few seasons.

Yeah. Um And context, you know how long they're gonna be is we have it basically so that Players will retire between 10 and 20 years of seasons of experience. And when we minted our players we did 0 to 10 years of experience on all those assets. So we wanted to make sure that there was already some depreciation curve that was started. But nobody would sort of like starting in season one. Some of the first players will start to retire. Um And what's interesting here is you can start to see the market start to price it that way, right, where it's you know a legendary rookie who has zero years of experience. Like the floor price on that is they make 100 soul versus like a legendary player who has eight years of experience who might be near retirement is gonna have a lower value. And so what you'll start to see is sort of similar to how real life basketball players have like different contract values at different ages. We're starting to see that based off of the earning potential of the different assets in the game itself. Um The other thing I'll say here too is that I think the whale dynamic within games adds an interesting wrinkle to pricing as well And that I think whales are willing to spend more without the E. V.

Calculation than like a lot of traditional investors are in that like they're willing to pay more for the legendary player even if it might not make sense. Which is very much like a like a thing that has to happen for almost all games too to do well right is you have to have somebody who's willing to be negative for that to work.

And then

more like status or pride.

And I guess on that point about status is the assumption that you know after some of these legendary players retire that N. F. T. Will still retain some value because of the history because of the kind of law associated with it.

Yeah so we I won't commit to anything here. So we've had a couple of different ideas from the community. Um One is basically allowing that player to turn into a trainer. So if you want to basically train new players you know having a legendary player sort of as a coach will help you train better players. Or you know advanced players better. Um The other way basically here is you know turning a legendary player into like a hall of fame asset. And then as a result of it making the hall of Fame gaining some sort of special privileges. Um As part of like the rest of the ecosystem

that's interesting because that also involves I guess a lot of lower building um A lot a lot of you know matches to play out before you know some of those storylines can play out. And I'm curious because the parallel to fantasy sports here is that you guys are doing you guys are also doing these virtual matches but all of your players are kind of fictional players. Um Have you thought about using you know actual players in as in the case in a lot of fantasy sports games where you see like actual NBA players and how did that decision get made in terms of you know deciding to go with fictional players instead.

Yeah. So we evaluated this early in the when we first started thinking about the B. B. A. As a concept and I think one of the things that came up around licensing is that the licenses is really expensive to get the NBA license and once you get it when you're really restricted to what you can do as far as I understand. Right? So like there's this long standing thing where FIFA developers always talk about how having the FIFA license sort of handicaps them from creating new competitive gameplay. And so our approach was always let's build a compelling product first and then sort of explore licenses later, if that makes sense. Um The other side of this too is something that I've really found fascinating apart of Web three is the ability for communities to make brand new I. P. Right? If you look at a lot of the top PfP projects like four tapes.

Suzuki D God's on Solano. Like you start to see people turn these assets into an identity, right? You have like a person who is a person and then also have like a burner account that's like bored ape number like 1 53 or like now like 1 68. Right? Like some and then they turned the entire than any around that. And there's this game that I was really interested in 2020 called baseball, which you're not familiar with. It. Is this like horror Baseball Simulator game where You know, the fans would bet peanuts on these like 30 fictional teams that would play one season a week. And the community really went off the rails with the I. P. Like at one point over the summer they had over 100,000 users. Um people were just creating like fan art and fictional storylines for all these different characters that they had just met via plain text.

And so I really believe that there's an opportunity where it's like we can even supercharge that right? By giving people the benefit of hit, you own the I. P. Itself. What can you do with this player? Can you turn it into something that's like a little michaela for basketball for example


who don't know is like this like virtual uh instagram influencer basically. That isn't real that people still follow and are really like obsessed with.

Hey guys, I'm really excited to tell you more about one of my favorite products in crypto right now. DYDX. This is a team I've known since 2018 and they've built one of the best exchange venues out there. That also happens to be decentralized and mobile friendly. Now listen until the end because there's an opportunity for savvy traders out there as well. And here are just a few reasons why I like to I. D. X over other exchanges first is very liquid. It processes 2 to $3 billion every day in volume and has 35 perpetual swaps as of this recording, which means you can trade things like ethereum, Bitcoin, Dog Selena and most of the most popular assets with up to 20 X leverage in the venue today a second. It's also extremely cheap. And if you're down bad from the bear market, you don't have to worry about gas fees at all because there is no gas fee on Stark wear layer to where the I. D.

X. Is built on. Now, that brings me to my next point as well. It's incredibly fast. Unlike other layer two at high speed texas, you don't actually have to wait to withdraw your assets anymore. And as an additional point by using Stark wear. Dy dX also provides users with increased security and privacy and my personal favorite feature is the cross margin feature which means I can see one account with us D. C. And trade across multiple markets from there without needing to start sub accounts because I really hate managing so many different sub accounts and their IOS mobile app is also live right now and it's amazing because it's compatible with meta mask, coin based wallet, coin 98 hobby wallet and a lot of the most popular mobile wallets out there and it's available for people outside of the U. S. Or sanctioned countries today. And one last thing, one exciting opportunity is there competitions the most recent tear in the $10,000 equity tier have won over $95,000 in rewards.

And you can get started with as low as $500 in equity to compete for prices. So if you're already trading might as well get paid to do it. So if any of that sounds interesting to you, I highly recommend that you head on over to Dy Dx dot exchange to learn more and I thank them for sponsoring this episode. And it's so interesting this point about a almost the centrally created low right? Where you have an organic community form around seats that are planted by say a team in this kind of in this case you guys planting the seeds for these V. B. A. Players. But then the law is really created by the community as they create more artwork around it. And I think that was really the I guess the Moonshot case for a lot of metaverse projects right? They want the community to come in and build out their story lines for them and we see this in projects like loot as well. I think that was one of the earlier experiments.

Um and are you starting to see signs of that happened for V. P. A. Or is that a little bit too early right now?

Um We've seen some of it and a lot of it we're trying to encourage as best we can. Like Um two examples of this are a lot of users are just creating backstories for their players. Like hey this is you know, I don't know if you guys ever watch the tv show kai you as a kid but basically there's this bald character that somebody got it. Hey this is grown kaew who grew up playing in the V. B. A. Or there was this guy and he was like hey this guy shattered both of his kneecaps, couldn't play professional in the N. B. A. And then he joined the V. B. A.

To compete in the virtual sense so that's been really cool to see. And so we've been really trying to foster um the community who comes up with these things by making sure that we reward them and sort of elevate them in in terms of like what they do. Um The second thing that I'm like really bullish on is like having some sort of like sponsored league journalism. Um a great example of this is like veteran had this thing for a little bit called the gazette right? And this was just like a newsletter that somebody was writing about like you know what was happening within the horse races, um what was happening in the ecosystem. And the other day we were doing like a twitter spaces and there's this guy named Sean who like creates his own content and we were like hey you should be calling like the Stephen a smith of the VB Stephen a smith is just like you know that's like this like sports personality and ESPN who's like really popular and so it's like okay what can we do to help like give this like Shauna platform basically to become the Stephen a smith of the V. B. A. And then all of a sudden like that is like a full on job right? Like he can monetize that and he can create his own brand identity around that. And like we see that like this empowerment of creators around the V. B.

A. Is a really core part of our mission

and how did you get to that point? So obviously when you guys first started, you know there was nothing and then you guys build it up, how did you guys grow the community at the point where you started to see these organic creators come in and want to contribute to the lower for, you know? Almost nothing in return.

Yeah. Right now it's very early, so, these people are very far and few between as contacts with people. Like, I think about, We sold about 1600 packs in the alpha sale for people, um, and this was because we want to do a small group of early believers, to make sure that, like, we could work out like, the right game modes and the concepts of people before we grow it bigger. And, um, for now, basically, what we've just been doing is, like, I guess, just being highly involved as a team in the discord, like, I don't know how many discord communities people are in, but if you join a lot of them, like, you don't see the team that active all the time, right? You see a lot of mods in there, and I think something that we've done pretty well is, like, make sure that, myself, my co founder, um, like the engineers working on the game, or in there chatting with the community and listening to their ideas, because I think one of the more important things here is making sure that people feel like they're listened to, um and that, like, if they do suggest something that they have power to impact the community in the, in the product, and so we want to make sure that people who join the V. B. A feel that way, so that throughout the process, we continue to get better together and grow that way.

Yeah. And thinking back to defy summer as well. This was really the key differentiator for successful projects where the founders always hanging out with the community, it feels like the founder is part of the community and the founders, the person who's spending the most time in the discard with the fellow Degen's. Um, so that that that's been really exciting to see for you guys as well. Um, and I know you guys just did your season zero mint, I think on the 23rd of March as well, um there was 3672 player packs in season zero. Um, and you guys released, I think about 1600 of those. So what were some of the major kind of lessons from, from that first drop and you know how your future drops differ from the first one?

Yeah. Um I mean, I have a lot of lessons where I think we could have definitely done better on um, two things, I'll say that I think hold us back a little bit where one are actually do the things that I think went well first actually, yes. Um like, You know, we sold like, we sold like a large amount of packs within like a 30 minute window and we saw the flight the floor price basically like three acts in the first day and sort of maintain that level since then. And so that felt really good to see like a lot of people who are white listed go out and meant the product um, have the public sale basically go perform well and then have the people who bought it beholders actually and not flippers. Like I think there were never more than like 100 listed at one time because the people who were, who had bought them like actually wanted to play the game itself. Um, the downside of this is that like it wasn't a super high project going into the mint right? Like one of the things that like I had always been really careful about was, you know, I want to make sure that throughout the whitelisting process or the mid listing process that we only got people who are passionate about basketball or fantasy sports or sports gambling or sports betting. And I think what ended up happening for that is like we didn't really do a great job attracting that investor class to your point earlier, right? You know, I think a core part of N. F. T. S is you have to attract this investor class who sees that they can make like R.

O. I. Doing this. And as a result of that we had to resort to some interesting mechanisms as part of our mint. So This is one thing that I think we did that felt kind of unique, which is, you know, there's two ways to create like a lot of demand pressure for a project. One of them is basically knowing that there's gonna be like 20 or 30,000 people maintain at the same time so you want to rush and then the network gets congested. Um The other way to do this is quite like time pressure. So we did our minute using like time pressure and that like you know we said you know in 30 minutes if we don't mint out everything that doesn't meant in that time period was burnt. And that's why you see this number of like 3672 is we said hey we're gonna make 2000 packs in this first part of season zero And we sold 1672. And so basically after 30 minutes we burned the next 300. And what was cool about this actually is that there were folks who were like oh I really wanted to mint but I couldn't and as a result of that, that's why we saw like such a strong floor price afterwards is because there was that demand still that for folks who had missed them who had missed the window,

that's a really clever mechanism because you see this in even outside of N. F. T. S with like public sales, if the public sale is way too massive right? The prices does not perform and it kills a lot of morale early. But um yeah I guess on the point about hype as well, I noticed that for a lot of projects that may be sustained a lot of hype in the beginning, it also tends to simmer down very, very quickly as well. Whereas the things that last tend to be things that could grow slowly awareness. So how do you guys balance between, you know, how hard do you want to push the hype for the project versus you know how I guess quote unquote organic, you want the growth to be?

Yeah, that's a fantastic question. Um and the way that I, I worry about this a little bit, I used to worry about this a lot actually, I think the more I thought about it, the more I felt better about my answer to this question which is basically like you know, what do I need to do as a builder to feel like I can go to sleep at night and even if this business doesn't work out, which obviously I hope it works out fantastically for myself and all the community is like, will I be able to look them in the eye and look like my friends and family in the eye afterwards. Right. And to me a lot of that is just like I want to set reasonable expectations for people because I think when you have a project like Moon birds for example, right? Like super hyped on ether and at some point it was like the floor price was like 40 eat right afterwards, right? Like you have to imagine almost like what does the utility of that project or what is that Need to become for to live up to that value. Right? Like they think they raised like $60 or $70 million dollars in the first or something like that and it was like no you need to build to live up to that whereas for us it's like you know, we wanted to make sure that whatever milestone that like we made we were able to feel like we could deliver on it and make sure that the community expectations were met. Um And we think that in the long run if we keep doing it slowly this way that will build something that's long term sustainable. Um and just has it's like sort of slow and steady growth.

Yeah. And what I really really like about what you guys are building is that unlike a lot of N. F. T. Profile picture projects which is really just you know a profile picture and it makes some memes around it which you know, I think it has its own place. You guys really thought from first principles about how N. F. T. S. Can enable better gameplay by enable by enabling ownership and not just you know trying to create profile pictures for for for for nothing. So I think that the heavy focus on first principles and utility is something that really really sets you guys apart. And on that note, right?

When it comes to utility, obviously you're waiting into the arena with your not just web three games, but also web two games. So how do you see VB A competing against, you know, maybe web to Fantasy sports over the next decade or so?

Yeah, the first branding I actually had for V. B. A. Was fantasy Fantasy Sports right? Where it's if you look at like current fantasy sports, it's you know, you bet on games where real players are playing and their stat lines sort of impact your earnings, right? This is restricted to very much like reality in the sense that like Lebron James isn't gonna play every single day, tom brady is only gonna play once a week on sunday, right? And one of the cool things that the metaverse allows is you know, you can have your star player, the VB a play every single day. You can even play five games a day, right? And so like this allows us to open up like 10 X 100 X. Different like entertainment opportunities because the frequency is going to be there. Um The downside of this obviously is that it's not tied to this like large larger than life brand, like Lebron or Tom brady, but we think that like if we're able to do it right with the community and this is a big if right that like we're able to create something that's very compelling that people will feel um is just as real as like real life and that's like some people's definition of the diverse right is you know we want the metaverse to be a place where the virtual world feels as compelling as like the I. R.

L. World

mm And I guess on the kind of boring business question, how do you guys um you know how do you generate revenue for the V. B. A. Company?

So four ways here um Some of them are sustainable, some of them are not sustainable. Um I think like the four obvious ways our primary sales of N. F. T. S not sustainable, you can't keep minting things. Um secondary revenue on N. F. T. S. Um somewhat sustainable but probably not long term. The third way that I think this is gonna be our big bet this summer is um taking an entry fee and competitions so having like paid entry competitions where people can play like skill based competitions for higher for higher stakes and then taking like a small fee there. And so then our goal is like let's create as compelling of a gameplay as possible.

Um So that we can maximize that and that feels very incentive aligned with users right, is you know we want to create a game that people like because that's mutually beneficial for everybody. And then four is you know ideally the V. B. Becomes big enough And we can start bringing an external capital ecosystem and I think a lot of people been talking about this for Web three games is like if you can bring sponsorships or external capital into the game itself, then you can afford to pay the community more because you have somebody who is just there for those eyeballs versus having like an economy that's solely like circularly driven.

Um And speaking of circularly driven, you know, how strongly do you feel about having a major play to earn element in VB. A where you know, players play these games to earn, Say like BB eight tokens, is that a core part of the road map? And how do you think about that?

So this we're being super careful about because we've been trying to stay as far away from play to earn and play and earned branding. Um at some point I think we have like ball and earn as like as a statement but I really wanted to get rid of that. And the reason why is I think like once it gets branded in this like play to earn or Brandon earn or ball and earn or move to earn category, I think it's hard to for the user to separate like fun from like the R. O. I. That's expected right? And so we always wanna have the expectation that like this is something that we wanted to make that was fun driven first and then basically like earning second um it's the same way as like if you think about like a fantasy sports game today, like, you know, you can play DFS on Fanduel or Draftkings, they don't call it anything like play and earn because effectively it is playing right, like you play fantasy and like if you perform well, you, you do earn money, it's just like, this is fancy sports, right? And so that's the sort of way that we want to brand, this is like, you know, we don't wanna explicitly call it that, but we want to make sure that there are ways for people who perform well to, to sort of like uh earned within the economy.

Yeah. And just to clarify on that point actually, where will the earnings come from for, for winning teams.

Yeah, So the non sustainable way um is like the free entry competitions right? Where we actually allocated 100% of our meant to prices um because like, as you mentioned earlier, like, we're venture backed in the sense that like, we raised money from angels like yourself, um and vCS to make sure that we could build up the team and so all the mint revenue basically, we just allocated back to prices because it's the community's money, um and then how we're gonna do it sustainably is um, you know, do paid entry competitions for the most part where people have to pay on top of their FTS basically to compete with them sort of house, that that house that run does it. And then basically take a portion of those earnings to reinvest in free to play contest to attract new users and grow that way.

And in terms of the gameplay mechanics, right, who gets to decide which team wins is it's kind of a automated um simulation or does does a team kind of decide?

Um It'll be automated in the sense that we've actually, our good friend scott actually has built most of this is we've built like a game simulator where we take into account all the attributes of the players. Um and then probability basically to determine like what the outcome of any given play is. And then basically if you sum up like 100 plays during the course of basketball game for 48 minutes basically that's the output of the game. And so the gameplay experience when you play another team is sort of you watching the play by play in like a live action format similar to how you would watch, like an ESPN play by a player box score go by.

Yeah, I really love that as well because I'm of the view that, you know, simple gameplay can bring in a lot of players. But if you have a simple gameplay we've added complexity where, you know, your casual players can still partake, but then you have expert players who can go a layer deeper and you know, kind of go all money ball on this. Um I think there's there's a lot of there's a lot longer longevity, two types of games like that. And you know poker I think is a great example of this is a very simple game. Anyone can play poker, but to get good at poker you require true dedication and expertise. And I feel like there is that aspect here to VB A where you know casual players, I can just buy a bunch of the N. F. T. S. And you know participate in these games or I can really go ham and just calculate the probabilities based on the stat of each player and try to really win each game. Um Are you starting to see those different profiles of players like power players and casual players?

Um I hope we start to see it once we launch, so we're launching um in june so only a few weeks away um at this point and I think we'll start to see separation when we launch multiple different game modes. This is why like I'm really bullish on multiple different game modes. Um And sort of like a platform play in the sense that like um you know we spilled the VBS a platform and then basically you can create all different types of games on top of it. Another way that's really interesting that this could go is you know people taking the N. F. T. S. And building like a modern game on top of it, right? Like three V. Three, Like if people are really liking the V. B N. M.

T. S like its success to us, that other people want to build like the big three for the V. B. A. Where there's three on three games happening with the same assets that one of the advantages of the ecosystem. And we want to make sure that debs and other people who are passionate about to take advantage of that.

Absolutely. And I guess on that note about that note about this upcoming launch, um what can users expect from the june launch and you know, what can they expect from future releases? Are the drops going to, you know, have different types of players in the future. You know, breed players maybe what are some kind of new gameplay mechanics that people can expect.

Yeah. Um so V0 that we're shipping in June is going to be just the franchise weekly mode basically. Um Through july and august we'll just be making sure that we do a lot of iteration on that. So um making sure that people can like scout players by perhaps revealing attributes um altering almost like the salary cap and like the different rules within the game and the purpose of this sort of like month long period is just to make sure that we work out the kinks in the first product. The thing that our teams are starting on next really is this arcade mode that I've mentioned, where we want to be able to support multiple different formats. Um and then basically start doing paid entry competitions afterwards. Um At that point then there's a couple of different ways that we can take this. Um One thing that we're pretty excited about is the concept of training where, you know, we wanna introduce progression so that we can go to season one and say, okay, season one, your players have gotten better or worse. And on top of that, like you as an owner can start thinking about, you know, how I want to allocate training points to make my players veterans or categories. And the second thing that like, I'm still trying to think through this is, you know, what would it look like for us to create utility for all p FPs and projects that have N. F. T.

S. Right? So, um this is the idea right, is, you know, if there's like a zoo keys and board apes around the salon ecosystem, there's like gods, there's like sets on crack, there's Catalina whales, whatever. Um what can we do to basically turn those N. F. T. S into basketball players so that there's no friction anymore for them to buy a B. B. A. N. F. T.

To get started, but they can use their own N. F. T, convert it into like a very low level VB, a asset, train it up using like our tokens or in game currency and then use that asset to compete in competitions because nobody's really working on this thing of like how can I create generalized utility for all PFP's that exists in the market today and we know that the PFP market cap is like insanely large because there's so many projects, there's a lot of users in this category that are looking for something to do with their, their projects that they've invested in.

Yeah. And I think projects will be extremely open to this right? Every project, every PFP project out there is looking to add some utility to them. It would be cool to see, you know, board apes playing in a V be a game against, you know, Suzuki's for instance, I think that that that would be, you know the metaverse dream, right?

Yes, that's something that like we've talked to a handful of like top projects on salon of doing later this year is having a tournament where you know, maybe at 16 teams, maybe it's 30 teams of the tops Alana projects basically um convert a handful of their players into N. F. T. S and have them compete which is both good for growth and also helps bring community on Solano together.

Yeah, most definitely. And I think as we're coming up on time as well, I want to make sure that our listeners know where to check out Ebay once the launch comes. So what, when can we expect the launch to be and where should they go to check it out?

Yeah, thank you man. So, um, thanks for bringing it because I would have never showed it


Uh, we're hoping to launch the first version of this game around mid june this year. Uh, and then basically the best place to go is either our twitter, which is our twitter handle is at V B A game or our website, which is www dot vb a game dot com,

awesome. And we'll have those in the show notes below. So once again, thank you so much for coming on Charles. This isn't really fun to learn more about what you guys have been up to and I'm really excited to check out the game.

Yeah, thank you so much for having me, Jason appreciate it man.