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Tiny Colony is launching soon on the ImmutableX blockchain platform today as a game that combines base building, tower defense and sim management as you build a colony with pixelated ants.
The title will launch its alpha launch soon and the Tiny Game studio is also raising a round of funding before
Since 2018, film producer Arshia Navabi has been immersing himself in the world of Tiny Colony, writing the lore and backstory for the game as he pivoted from film into games. He started the company formally in 2021 and raised money through various coin and non-fungible token (NFT) sales.
And he assembled a team of industry veterans from Electronic Arts, Capcom and Sony PlayStation to build the first management sim, base building and tower defense hybrid game on Web3. The Vancouver, Canada-based company built the title on ImmutableX, the Layer 2 blockchain scaling solution on Ethereum from the Web3 gaming company Immutable.
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“I had been working in the Vancouver film industry for about seven years prior to entering the blockchain space. I consider myself a storyteller and a system builder. As I was working in the film industry, I was also working on Tiny Colony as a mobile game initially,” he said. “And then the opportunity came to launch Tiny Colony as a blockchain game. So we decided to move to that direction.”
The company held an “initial DEX offering” in January 2022, raising about $3 million to build the game. It also minted and sold 18,000 NFTs on Fractal.
Tiny Colony was first developed on the Solana blockchain, but the company migrated the title to ImmutableX to leverage the platform’s scaling features while retaining a focus on Ethereum’s security and decentralization.
The game uses a pixelated art style. The goal is to run an efficient ant colony. It’s a 2D game where you create an ant farm and start gathering resources. You have to maximize resources, grow your population and make sure your ants are happy. Every now and then, other colonies will attack your colony and you have to defend your base using catapults, ballista, traps and oil pits.
Prior to the move, Tiny Colony was a top-selling collection on digital marketplace Fractal, with over 18,000 NFT assets sold and $3 million raised.
The Immutable partnership will allow the Tiny Colony team to resume game development and capitalize on specialized technical support and product life cycle consultation.
By adopting ImmutableX technology, Tiny Colony will be able to offer numerous new features and capabilities, including faster and more responsive performance; improved security; enhanced accessibility for new Web3 gamers with the inclusion of a built-in crypto wallet; the option to pay for in-game assets with fiat currency, and more.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Tiny Colony to the rapidly growing ImmutableX family and provide the team with our full suite of tools and solutions to make the game as accessible, engaging and performant as possible,” said Andrew Sorokovsky, vice president of global business development at Immutable, in a statement. “The team’s goal of building a fun and engaging Web3 game that provides a variety of entertainment options and freedom of asset ownership perfectly aligns with Immutable’s own mission to power the next generation of games.”
Navabi worked on the production team for popular titles on Netflix, Disney, Prime and Paramount. As a storyteller and visionary, Arshia brought together an experienced team of scriptwriters, artists, developers, and animators from lauded triple-A studios to bring Tiny Colony to life.
As one of the first-ever blockchain-based construction simulations, Tiny Colony allows players to build and manage a complex underground humanoid ant colony, following seven different factions, all intertwined through an engaging story and rich lore, Navabi said.
To succeed, players must leverage strategic farming, mining, building cells, hatching larvae and defending their colony against raiders if they want to survive and thrive. Other game modes in development include Gladiator Wars and Tiny Survivors, where players can use their earned assets across all game modes. Players will also earn NFTs through multiple game modes, which can be used in-game or traded, he said.
Existing Tiny Colony NFT holders can access an MVP version of the game (which has been available since June 2022) to test the core mechanics and provide feedback to the development team.
“We are delighted to be partnering with ImmutableX as we establish ourselves in the world of Web3 gaming. ImmutableX has a strong reputation for creating top-quality games and supporting Web3 gaming projects through their native platform,” said Navabi. “This partnership allows us to benefit from the specialized technical support, product life cycle consultation, and long-term direction provided by the experienced team at ImmutableX as we continue to develop Tiny Colony.”
Navabi is aware some gamers are opposed to blockchain games as scams.
“I think it’s important to focus on creating fun games,” he said. “I think it’s important to keep the blockchain in the background and not try to cultivate a new form of audience . We’re trying to create a game that is fun for both Web2 and Web3 users. And we’re really taking that to heart and making sure that our priority is to create a fun game.”
The big appeal of blockchain for him remains asset ownership, as he feels gamers should own the assets they pay for.
“That’s the most exciting element to me for the for the blockchain space. So we’re hoping that we’re we can be a part of the movement that is yet to come to bring all games eventually to asset ownership,” Navabi said. “Within any new space that has the opportunity to make money, there are a lot of bad actors within the first couple of years. I’m a strong believer that if we’re here for the long run, we can really contribute to that asset ownership element.”
The team has a core of 12 people, though it has a number of contractors as well.
Navabi expects the game will be ready about a year after the next funding round closes. At some point, he hopes to port the title to mobile platforms.
Navabi believes that good studios will continue to raise money in the blockchain gaming space, despite the tough economy and the FTX collapse. Tiny Colony will use the ImmutableX NFT marketplace and a number of its supporting technologies.
“I think investors are seeing fewer illegitimate projects and that clears the space for us,” he said.
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