This Is War: An Interview with Coleman, Chief Crypto Strategist at Warsaken
In a brief respite from the command room, we caught up with this supreme strategist to discuss the play-to-earn mechanics, gameplay experience and lore behind this upcoming total war TCG!
In a future a millennia away, Earth is on the brink of war once again.
Politicians, commanders and rogues – driven by greed, prejudice and a lust for power – fight tooth and nail for control. Scheming, plotting, armed conflict; nothing is off limits in the quest for world domination.
It’s time for you to take your first tentative steps into this world on the verge of all-out war – the world of Warsaken.
This Play to Earn experience is unlike any other to hit WAX thus far, and with their launch sale next Wednesday (15th) at 23 UTC, I caught up with Coleman, Chief Crypto Strategiest for Warsaken, to find out all of the details.
Scroll to the end of the interview for our Warsaken Interview Card, dropping tomorrow at 18 UTC!
Pssst… there’s two hidden links to tweets within this article. Discover the codes and enter them here to win some exclusive playable, stakeable Warsaken NFTs. Happy hunting!
Hydro: Hey! Could you tell me a bit about yourself, your background and how you got into NFTs?
Coleman: My road to crypto was not a direct one. I studied biochemistry in college, spent 21 years as a full-time firefighter/paramedic, owner a mortgage company for a decade, and am a bestselling fantasy author. When cryptocurrencies grabbed my attention, I was hooked.
I love the freedom crypto provides. I love how NFTs are making crypto accessible and profitable to people all over the world, and I love the excitement and the warm welcomes in the NFT communities I’ve been a part of!
Tell us about Warsaken – how did the idea come about, where is the project currently, and what can the community look forward to?
The founder of Warsaken, Brandon, wanted to find a game that he could play with his dad, who was an Army intelligence officer, but there was really nothing out there they could both get into. Then, when he had sons, it was the same issue.
He decided to create a game that had multi-generational appeal, both in gameplay and in subject matter. He started building a team of artists, game designers, gameplay testers, writers, and more.
I was writing a lot of lore and backstories for the characters as a freelancer. I had been neck-deep in the NFT space for a while, and knew if a game like Warsaken came to the blockchain it would blow people away.
Rather than building a game on the blockchain and hoping it turned out, Warsaken could bring an already developed and tested game to the space and harness the power of the blockchain, rather than exploiting it for a quick buck.
So, years after game design began, here we are getting ready to launch Warsaken packs on the WAX blockchain on December 15, and ready to bring it to tabletops in 2022!
We have always been a game-first company, so our fans can look forward to a fun game – different versions of the game, actually.
When we decided to bring the game to the blockchain, we developed an ecosystem that would make it not just fun, but also profitable to play. We have various Play to Earn options, as well as Free to Play.
Our first set, Genesis of Conflict, is just the beginning. We are building the foundation of a company that will be around for a long, long time.
Out of all of the NFT-enabling cryptocurrencies, why WAX?
WAX is the perfect fit to launch Warsaken for a number of reasons. They are the biggest blockchain in the world, accounting for over 30% of daily transactions, they are carbon neutral, and there are no gas fees for transactions.
WAX is becoming a mecca for Play to Earn games, and we hope to raise everyone in the space.
Also, people in the WAX community, both collectors and collections are supportive, energetic, and pioneering!
Play to Earn is a hot topic across the NFT space right now. Could you explain how the Play to Earn mechanics will work in Warsaken?
Our in-game token is Warsaken Loot, and there are various ways to earn it.
Loot will be given out daily based on a collector’s Rank – you can see a table here, with the daily payouts. A player’s Rank depends on their XPm so you earn XP, get your Rank, and claim daily Loot.
The easiest way to earn Loot is by holding NFTs from Warsaken or Allies of Warsaken. You will need to own at least 1 premium Warsaken NFT, which are available in every pack. XP will be earned passively, meaning NFTs don’t leave a collector’s wallet.
You can also earn XP by playing and winning Warsaken games. (Warsaken Blitz, a light strategy game, will be released in the middle of February, with the full game release 6-8 months after that.)
Players can earn XP with NFTs they own, or with subscription NFTs, or a combination of both. Playing with NFTs you own will yield more XP than using subscriptions.
Loot tokens can be used to buy Loot Packs (premium and ultra premium cards), raffle tickets, in-game effects, subscriptions, and more. Loot can also be traded on Alcor for WAX.
On top of the Play to Earn mechanics, we will have a Free to Play feature where players can try out the game with a few pre-built decks, albeit without the ability to earn XP.
The design of your NFTs has attracted a lot of praise – and they’re certainly very different to anything on WAX at the moment. What’s the design process like for one of these cards, and how long did each one take to create?
Okay, so this is kind of meta, but I didn’t have a great answer for this, so I did an interview within an interview. Brandon, our CEO and Art Director, had this to say;
Brandon: When we started designing the cards, we sought out artists across the globe, through social media, artist’s websites, connections and contacts, and friends of other artists we had already hired. We tried out different artists who had potential and revised our design process as we discovered the style of Warsaken.
Each artist works at a different pace – some take a day or two, some take a week – and there is always back and forth to get everything exactly right. We reach out and ask if they are available, then, whether they are new or we have worked together before, I give them a brief description of what I’m trying to achieve.
One of my favourite examples of this is the B-25 Zeus Transport. I told the artist, Szymek Dmitruk, I want a huge plane that is dropping tanks out of the back, and there will be 4 or 5 parachutes attached to each tank. None of the tanks would be freefalling. What do you got?
He used 3-D software to layout the picture, then he paints over that later. He sent me some amazing art, but the perspective didn’t feel right, so I sketched something and sent over this masterpiece that showed the scene from below. The art he sent back was nearly perfect, I just wanted to change the colour of the parachutes from orange to black. Here is the final product.
There have been instances where we’ve gone back and forth a number of times, and it’s just not working, so we scrap the entire piece and start from scratch. Specialist Chloe Moore was one of these. The prone position just wasn’t right, no matter how many times we tried.
Every card involves some back and forth, thinking about the art, the angles, the characters we’re seeing. It’s all about trying to create something that matches the quality and style of Warsaken.
We’ve seen blockchain games on WAX employ a number of different earning potential methods throughout the year. Have any games stood out to you for their implementation of P2E? Are there any games on WAX that you particularly admire?
I’ve been in the WAX space for a year now, so I’ve seen a lot of games come and go.
If we’re talking P2E, I gotta give a shout out to the OGs Alien Worlds and R-Planet, who both changed the space and paved the way. I can’t even count how many hours I spent crafting in R-Planet before the generators came out – and I’m #5 all-time for NFTs crafted there.
Farmers World is doing awesome and has brought a lot of people to WAX, and I think there is room for massive growth still.
We’ve done our best to learn what makes a game and tokenomics successful and build something that appeals to and is profitable for players of all levels.
We also want something that is sustainable, and it’s a tricky balance, so our focus was on creating enough value in the Loot Store to drive the token.
Loot Packs are the primary draw for Loot. They will cost 50,000 Loot and will contain 2 ultra-premium slots and a Loot Crate which will give from 200 to 2M Loot. We will also have raffle tickets, in-game audio and visual effects as NFTs, potentially merch, and more in the Loot Store.
There are so many cool P2E projects in the space, and WAX is booming because of them. Honestly, the thing the excites me the most is that so many projects are developing their own tokens and using the blockchain to reward and engage users. More than half of the 18 Allies of Warsaken already have tokens, or have plans to develop them.
I’ve played online games for years, collected in-game tokens, but without true ownership, it was so limited. The blockchain opens up so many possibilities and I love seeing collections utilize the technology.
How would you describe the gameplay in Warsaken?
If I was writing the Netflix 3-word description, I would say: Intense, strategic, fun-for-all.
Warsaken was designed so that everyone enjoys the game, and even if you lose, you still feel like you were right on the verge of winning, and you have a great shot of winning the next one.
I find myself moving forward on my seat and leaning into the game as each turn passes. Not only does each turn move you closer to the Leaders being able to use their huge abilities on turn five, but the number of Forces and Buildings in the war zone is growing, which means more strategy in attacking and blocking.
The game is played with 1 Leader, 4 Territories, and 60 cards in your deck (arsenal). Resources are kept in separate piles and used as needed.
The goal is to take out the opponent’s Leader, but you can only attack a Leader who is compromised. This happens by taking out all 4 of the starting Territories, reducing Morale to 0, or when all cards in the opponent’s arsenal have been drawn or discarded.
Each card has different functions and mechanics, and there are various types of cards including Forces, Morale, Building, Intel, Weather, and WMD.
Enriching the P2E and tabletop experiences are a planned app, bountiful lore, and the Volkov’s Escape interactive experience. Could you tell me a bit about those?
Volkov’s Escape is live now! It’s an Alexa Skill that allows the listener to experience the events that occurred directly after Premier Volkov was deposed as Premier of Trionvice.
In Set 1, his Leader card is Roman Volkov, the Exile, and these events occur before he became known by that moniker. You wake up in a dungeon-type room, hanging from handcuffs attached to the ceiling, and if you make the correct series of choices you can escape to become Volkov the Exile.
The app will mirror the warsaken.cards site where you can claim Loot, upgrade cards, build decks, and play the game. It will tie in to tabletop gameplay with counters, tracking wins and losses for rankings, and possibly even run official Warsaken tournaments. Our goal is to make the app do everything except wipe your bitter tears away after a hard loss.
The single-player Cabal mode comes with a storyline that goes behind the scenes of the conflict in the Rizhan Strait, as well as mission briefings before each level.
We’ve discussed a series of Warsaken novels. Maybe some movies or shorts. And a lot more. From day one, each of the characters, especially the Leaders, was designed to be dynamic and interact with the Warsaken universe in interesting ways.
When Set 2 comes out next year, we may see that some Leaders are no longer with us, and some have changed roles as drastic as Premier to Exile.
Speaking of Set 2, your roadmap mentions that following the Set 2 launch in 2022, you anticipate to launch a new set every 6-12 months after that. Do you already have some ideas in mind for the lore/gameplay developments post-Set 2?
Yes! Just as our leaders and many of the other characters on the cards have backstories, they also have a future in the Warsaken universe.
Much of what happens will revolve around our Leaders, since they are behind everything that happens in the war and the political arena. In the events that have led them to the Genesis of Conflict, we’ve seen Leaders rise and fall, betray and befriend each other, and I’m sure some of them won’t stop until their rivals are dead.
Some of it will depend on the feedback we get from our fans. A lot of the Legion members in our Discord have adopted the identity of some of the characters, and we are seeing lore and popularity rise organically.
As far as gameplay, Eclectic Nerds is a gaming company, so don’t be surprised if you see more versions of Warsaken besides the original game, Blitz, and Cabal.
Here’s a little teaser: we already have plans for a version of Blitz that incorporates all of the official collab cards.
You’re currently running your Weeks of Warsaken promotion via Discord. Could you tell us a bit about that, and how to get involved?
We are dedicated to lifting the WAX space and all the collections in it, so Weeks of Warsaken is one way of connecting the communities. We wanted to partner up with other projects on the WAX blockchain who share a similar vision and want to give back to their own communities. Weeks of Warsaken is a collaborative effort, and we want to thank all the amazing projects who have decided to participate so far!
For each giveaway, we team up with 1 collection. The entries are open for 2 days, and most of the requirements for entries involve following us and our partner on social media. Details for each giveaway appear in the #announcements section of our Discord.
(I want to give a huge shoutout to one of our Mods, @bbiceps/@abdul | Warsaken, who has headed up Weeks of Warsaken and done most of the heavy lifting.)
Where do you see WAX in the next 12 months and beyond?
I’m super bullish on WAX all around. It was great to see them pop into the top 100 in market cap a couple weeks ago, and I think there is a lot more upside.
Polygon, Solana, and Terra are all in the top 20 market cap. Sandbox, Decentraland, and Axie Infinity are all top 50. We are seeing new exciting projects hit WAX all the time, and I think projects like Warsaken, that involve true games and not just clicking for rewards, will create true demand for digital products
P2E and Game-Fi are in their infancy and WAX is standing out as a place for these projects to build. It’s a very international growth base as well. Every day I interact with people on at least 4 other continents seamlessly. There are some hurdles, such as making onboarding easier with staking, and WAX still isn’t readily available in the US, but I think those issues will be solved with time.
What are your thoughts on the recently announced WAX-BSC bridge coming Q2 2022, and the ETH Virtual Machine already in the works? Will any of this cross-chain capability factor into Warsaken in future?
Connecting WAX, the most used blockchain in the world, to BSC – it could be a game changer. I do think cross-chain functionality is the future. I’m not sure exactly what it will look like, but this is an excellent start for fans of WAX, BSC, NFTs, and crypto.
To be honest, the ETH Virtual Machine is a little over my head, but if it helps decentralized smart contracts gain a stronger foothold, I’m in favor.
We expect to take Warsaken across chains eventually. WAX is the perfect place for us to start, with such an expansive starting set (268 cards in more than 10 rarities each). Just as we choose WAX to start because we want to harness the power of the blockchain for our game, we will look at other blockchains to see how they can best be utilized in the future of Warsaken.
Our CEO, Brandon, likes to use nice words like ‘expansion’ and ‘increased market share’ but I like to call it what it is – global domination!
Is there anything you’d like to add? Would you like to say something directly to the reader?
Thanks for the thoughtful interview! We’ve covered a LOT and I feel like we could keep going.
Warsaken was built to have something for everyone – a fun game first and foremost, but also great collectible art, staking capabilities, Play to Earn and more. We are building a game and company that will be around for a very long time.
Oh, and I gotta give a shout out to the Legion! Our Discord is unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of and I want to tell the First Wave, our Mods, and the rest of the Legion that I appreciate them. WE ARE WARSAKEN! Love you guys.
It’s quick-fire question time!
What fuels you?
Rapid fire? I’ll go with work hard, play hard. I’ve always been a 70+ hour-work-week guy, getting it done so I can enjoy my time off, traveling and spending time with my family and friends.
One unusual fact about you?
Like many people in the WAX space, I’m a collector. For over 30 years I’ve collected PEZ dispensers. I own over 1400 distinct dispensers. My favourite is a mint condition fireman from the 70’s complete with box, candy, and insert.
If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Go for your dreams. It’s not too early, and it’s not too late. I didn’t even know I could be an author until I was 30, and now I have written over 20 books, including some bestsellers. It takes sacrifice and hard work to go for your passions, and the rewards are commensurate.
You can invite three people, real or fictional, to dinner. Who do you choose and why?
I would start with the greatest who ever lived, and choose Jesus. Next, I’d choose my grandfather, who was a man of few words, but a lot of experience. And lastly, I’d sit down with one the characters I’ve written and choose Sir Chism, one of the main characters from my own books Hatter and Red Knight.
What is your purpose in life?
I believe we are one big family here on earth and we have two purposes: to improve ourselves and to lift those around us. I feel this little poem down to my soul, by Adam Gordon Lindsay (a poet and police officer):
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone:
Kindness in another’s trouble,
Courage in your own.
I’ve tried to live by that sentiment in my career as a firefighter/paramedic, and in the rest of my life.
How can we follow you and your work?
The Warsaken Discord is where I spend most of my online time.
If you’re curious about me personally, my books are here, but I haven’t done any writing for a year because I’ve been so deep in NFTs, so there are some unfinished series there (fair warning).
Warsaken entered the space almost 2 months ago, and I’ve yet to see a project generate so much hype in such a short space of time, especially with their first major drop yet to take place.
That’s a huge testament to the quality of their art, the belief the community has in the team, and the potential of their game-first approach to NFTs. Eclectic Nerds have big plans for Warsaken, and this coming Wednesday will see the start of their grand vision come to fruition.
It’s time to go to war.
To mark this interview, we have our Warsaken Interview Card, dropping tomorrow at 18 UTC!