While the word NFT has been in the spotlight for months, many crypto-currency enthusiasts agree that the next trend should not be so far from this universe.
Blockchainized video games, and more specifically Play to Earn, seem to represent the winning bet of the coming years. In the meantime, many more or less successful ideas have emerged without really convincing players other than with the hope of a high return.
Relegated to the rank of DeFi farming protocol, the majority of games featuring NFTs fail to absorb their players to immerse them in original universes, due to creations are often pushed by specialists in blockchain and not in video games.
The Cross The Ages project aims to shake up the market with a unique and exciting universe to rally gamers to its cause.
Sami Chlagou and an army of brains behind Cross The Ages
Founded in 2019 in Marseille, southern France, independent studio PixelHeart has produced over 50 video games for the Dreamcast, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4 & PS5 consoles.
At the helm of PixelHeart is Sami Chlagou, an avid video game and trading card enthusiast. A dreamy child and an expert in the field, Sami wants to create his own fantasy universe in the manner of the global works such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. A daring bet that does not fail to attract our attention.
Mixing the love of art, fantasy, video games and trading cards with the world of blockchain is not an easy task. To face this challenge, Sami Chlagou can count on his friend Christophe de Courson, a blockchain specialist, but also on more than 130 people involved in the project.
Indeed, Cross The Ages is not only a tokenized game, but also a universe mixing fantasy and science-fiction whose story is told at the rate of a chapter per week to reach 7 complete volumes in 10 years of creation.
A team of renowned minds is working on the writing of the book (in French, English, Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin), led by Arnaud Dollen, a successful author and comic book writer for many years.
This original approach offers a real depth to this new emerging world and commentary mechanisms allow the community to fully participate in the creation of the work.
While the 44 chapters of the first volume are slowly being released in digital format, readers are already contributing to the future paper version by adding their personal touch.
The vast universe of Artellium is taking shape through collectible game cards, created by the masterful hands of 72 CTA digital and illustration artists.
The Cross The Ages team strives to make each card visually appealing while capturing the singular soul of the story.
Illustrator Rafater is the first artist to join the adventure after being contacted by Sami Chlagou. By snowball effect, others followed, among them, stars of the field having already participated in projects such as Avatar, Star Wars, Game of Thrones or Marvel.
Successful fundraising and solid partners
To complete such an ambitious project, it was necessary to convince brains, but also investors and this is what Cross The Ages has done with a successful first fundraising. Thanks to an impressive list of partners, CTA was able to raise a significant amount of money, allowing us to plan the next two years of work with peace of mind.
Seeing so many big names in the sector invest in a project is reassuring as to its solidity. The capital of the company behind Cross The Ages has not been impacted by this first financing campaign, which is good news for the independence of the studio.
Cross The Ages, a story to dream about and a card game to play
Numerous writers, scriptwriters and illustrators tell us the story of the continent of Artellium where the kingdoms of Arkhante and Mantris clash, tearing the world in two and leaving only the Rift, a vast expanse of emptiness, between them.
Arkhante, in the west, is all about magic and the powers of nature, while Mantris, in the east, describes a futuristic world where transhumanism is commonplace.
As their vital resources dwindle, these two peoples continue to believe that everything is against them and clash relentlessly, diminishing their respective hopes for survival.
Transcribed in the form of collectible game cards, the actors of this dystopia will belong to players and collectors in digital and NFT forms, but sometimes also in physical form, in our world.
Indeed, players who manage to collect all the cards will be able to obtain a physical version, called “Phygital” and containing a unique chip.
The number of card variations created each season is fixed and players will have one year to mint their cards as NFT. The number of cards per variation is therefore defined by the players and can only decrease (using original processes) bringing rarity to each game piece.
The use of blockchain and NFT technology in the interest of the players
Where some projects might be tempted to use the terms “NFT”, “innovation” and “rarity” to artificially inflate their value, Cross The Ages makes full use of blockchain and NFT technology to enhance the gaming experience of its users.
Each playing card will be non-fungible, its history will be traceable and its authenticity will be certified by the blockchain as well as its code in the form of a unique number.
In order to get a Free to Play game, a pack of cards, called Megabox, will be offered to the players, every day, to launch without spending and will reward the most active ones. The price of other packs remains very affordable, ranging from 3 to 15 dollars.
For this, a so-called “stable” crypto currency has been designed: CRYSTALS will allow players to buy packs, avatars and character skins while the CTA token will allow, in addition to betting on the success of the project, to take advantage of the classic mechanisms of DeFi with, among others, staking.
A system will also allow to merge cards to obtain an improved version of those that the player decides to remove, allowing to reduce the number of available cards.
To make all these ideas feasible without the cost of gas, the Polygon network (MATIC) was chosen by the team, allowing for minimal transaction costs.
Conclusion on Cross The Ages
Cross The Ages has chosen a very singular path with the edition of a digital book retracing the story told in the game to come and this originality arouses our curiosity. In the spirit of a game like Skyrim, the creation of a complex universe allows to bring a realism and a depth that can be a real game changer.
Artellium is an intriguing world and the visuals of the maps are stunning. The long term vision brought by the writing of the book over 10 years is reassuring as to the solidity of the project.
Wishing to convince gamers in addition to collectors, competitions should take place and huge prizes are already implied (we talk about cash prizes of one million dollars).
The game will be available in early access from September 23, 2022 for owners of an ‘Arkhantes’ pack and in October for others.