Big Time Studios reveals alpha gameplay for NFT game


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Big Time Studios revealed more of its gameplay today for its upcoming online co-op action-RPG, Big Time. It uses nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, for game collectibles.

The Los Angeles game company said the first trailer with alpha game footage for Big Time shows off some co-op action, combat, NFT collectibles, and the adventure story that span time and space.

The trailer commemorates the availability of a VIP Early Access Pass now on sale, which grants players head starts on collecting cosmetic and decorative items in-game.

Image Credit: Big Time Studios

Big Time takes players through time and space to encounter some of history’s most famous – and infamous – figures. The mission is to reveal a mysterious threat that’s tearing down the walls of time and collapsing history in completely unexpected ways. All of this can be experienced through an expansive online experience that allows for hundreds of players to hack and slash their way through Big Time together.

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Players can collect a lot of in-game loot. Throughout the game, players can snag all sorts of new usable gear, pets, mounts, player titles and ranks, and more. Outside Big Time, these sometimes-ultra-rare items can be traded, rented or sold to other players.

Ari Meilich, CEO at Big Time Studios, said in a statement that the game won’t be an NFT generator with a modest game attached. He said the company is developing an engaging game first that will give players control over the experience and virtual property through mechanisms like NFTs, which use the secure and transparent digital ledger of the blockchain to authenticate the uniqueness of digital items.

In an email to GamesBeat, the company said players will be able to earn or find high-value items in the game. For instance in a situation where they kill a final boss in a dungeon, they can earn an NFT. These will only be cosmetic items as Big Time Studios doesn’t want to build a “pay to win” game where players can purchase NFT gear with gameplay bonuses.

Image Credit: Big Time Studios

There will be two types of items in game, including cosmetic NFTs, which can be traded for cryptocurrency and fiat (U.S. dollars). That’s where the partnership with Binance comes in. And there will be non-tradable items, including gear with gameplay bonuses. These cannot be traded for crypto or fiat. Outside of the game, players can trade their NFTs directly, use them as collateral to obtain a loan, rent them out to other players, and even fractionalize them and sell them off as pieces, the company said.

The company noted that the game is still under heavy development and there will likely be changes to all this along the way. Big Time Studios is really focusing on empowering player ownership and creating a great game, the company said.

In addition to the VIP pass, the sale offers original artwork from Big Time, including limited-edition cosmetic and decorative items, animated shorts and concept art. Players can participate in the Founder’s NFT sale here.

In May, Big Time Studios announced it had raised $21 million in funding.

Game Big Time sells NFTs in less than 10 seconds!


NFT mania has gathered pace. In yet another mind-boggling development, the “Big Time Founder’s NFT Collection” that featured a unique collection of NFTs and experiences from Big Time was sold out in less than 10 seconds today.

The premium collection was made available on the Binance NFT marketplace on the 22nd of July. According to the official blog post, the collection displays four NFT series: Early access VIP passes, cinematic moments NFTs, exclusive high-concept art, as well as a mystery box collection dubbed, “Postcards from Spacetime.”

The early VIP passes granted players guaranteed early access to the game and consisted of three different levels: Gold priced at $499 each, Silver priced at $299 each, and Jade at $179 each.

Many users were, however, not happy that all the NFTs were sold out in seconds, for some, it was even before they could open the site. Several distraught users went on to express their frustration on the original blog post.

Hooooow I was there and sold out wtf just happened this is not fair something not right here…. I’m to slow ? — Crypto₿y₿it (@Cryptobybit) July 22, 2021

Binance’s association with the latest collection of the non-fungible tokens has generated a broader adoption, owing to the straightforward and simple interface coupled with the largest exchange’s large user base.

Helen Hai, who happens to be the head of Binance NFT Marketplace, had earlier commented,

“The launch of Big Time Studios’ NFT drops on Binance NFT is another step towards our goal of becoming the ultimate destination for AAA digital collectibles”

The company behind the NFT collection

Big Time Studios is a Los Angeles-based company that aims to fetch crypto-enabled video gaming to mainstream audiences. It had earlier revealed its intention to sell non-fungible tokens [NFTs] via cryptocurrency exchange Binance’s NFT platform. Interestingly, the team behind Big Time consists of CEO Ari Meilich, who was also the former CEO of Decentraland] and game designer Thor Alexander.

Prior to the NFT sale, Meilich was quoted saying,

“A lot of people are actually making a living right now from playing games, particularly people in Third-World countries that got affected by COVID. In our case, players go into dungeons and kill monsters that are going to drop collectible wearables that are backed by NFTs. So by playing or grinding, as it’s called, you can earn items that are worth real money.”

In May this year, Big Time Studios raised $21 million in a funding round to bring NFTs to the biggest game economies. The round, which was split into two, saw the participation of many high-profile entities such as FBG Capital, North Island Ventures, Digital Currency Group, OKEx Blockdream Ventures, Alameda Research, Circle Financial, and Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures.

Kerala folk tales meet sci-fi in Vimal Chandran’s NFT series


Palakkad-based artist Vimal Chandran reimagines characters from Kerala folklore in a sci-fi setting for his new digital series, drawn from a child’s perspective

It is like a half-remembered dream. A sickle-wielding oracle, a school-going boy, a cluster of areca nut trees and leaping roosters on either side. Artist Vimal Chandran plucks memories from a childhood in Palakkad and places them in a world where extra-terrestrial creatures rise from the seas and descend from the skies.

When the pandemic hit last year and Vimal moved from Bengaluru back to his hometown in Kerala, he was reacquainted, after a break of 15 years, with village folklore, myths, temple characters and superstitions he had heard as a child. These vivid visuals creep into his ongoing art series, Folk SciFi.

“I am reimagining characters from our native traditions in a Science Fiction environment. These are unreal stories about real people in real places,” he says.

The artworks are 12-second animations, blinking like glitches in the matrix to ominous music. The colours — dreamy and surreal — stay in the spectrum of blues and greys.

In The Visit, Vimal tells the story of Pootham, a poltergeist who goes from house to house looking for a little boy he has become attached to. Performing artistes in Kerala enact this character, visiting homes in villages after the summer harvest, and it is the memory of meeting one such ‘Pootham’ on a summer evening by the river Nila that Vimal captures.

The Visit by Vimal Chandran

In his rendition, the Pootham hovers miles above the boy and his mother, as if broken away from a passing UFO. This perspective — of a large mythical creature gazing down on a child — carries forward in all the works; whether it is the enormous wooden horses of Kuthira Vela or the character of Darike, from the traditional theatrical battle between Darike and Kali. “As a child, these characters would seem scary and fascinating to me at the same time. There was always a certain level of apprehension seeing their painted faces and unusual appearances but at the same time they were so vibrant and majestic that I could not stop looking at them,” he says.

Vimal brings back those memories in the style of magic realism, clubbing it with his interest in sci-fi — something that bloomed as he fell in love with the Russian magazine Misha in a communist-leaning Kerala of the 1980s and ‘90s.

Artist Vimal Chandran | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Four of the seven artworks have been released and sold so far, as NFTs, on WazirX marketplace. “I wanted to tell unique stories from my native land, stories that have been passed down for generations,” says Vimal. “These are 4,000-year-old tales on the blockchain for the first time, and that is interesting to me because once up there, they will live forever.”

A big believer in the NFT space, he says that creating an NFT makes it easier to tokenise and sell authentic copies of his digital artwork. “I am not limited by the 2D canvas, I can explore animations and sound, and collaborate with different artistes. Also, traditionally, I would not have had control over my artwork once I sold it. But this way, I can track the secondary sales too and get royalty for it each time,” he says. “Whoever has started investing in it, is already ahead of the curve.”