This is the first part of a 3-part letter.
In fall 2021, we observed that the blockchain programming environment presents unique affordances that were left unexplored. We have been dedicated to exploring new application paradigms around those affordances since the birth of the company.
But… whew! It was 30 weeks ago that we published our last letter. What happened? Let us go over briefly what happened and the key findings upfront.
Overview of what happened
- Solve2Mint 2.0 (S2M2) presented 50 onchain puzzles to serve as the challenge to getting entry ticket for Isaac public alpha. All 50 puzzles were solved within 48 hours after launch.
- Isaac alpha had 13 unique players actively playing in the two alpha rounds. Both round suffered lack of meaningful civilization progress - both ended in Ev, the planet, crashing into Boyuk, one of the three suns! - due to various factors: lack of coordination-assisting UI/mechanics, lack of more intuitive graphics, low TPS on testnet, lack of node robustness which leads to frontend-backend synchronization issues etc.
- Isaac has been shelved after the two alpha rounds! We still love the three-body problem narrative but have moved on to smaller projects to allow for rapid iterations on core game loop.
- It is important to hit ground-zero and dogfood/playtest the core game loop with real players as soon as possible.
- Effective iteration is equal to “number of iterations” times “progress made between iterations.” Isaac’s large complex and coupled codebase made iteration difficult.
Solve2Mint 2.0 (S2M2)
Before starting Isaac Alpha, we launched Solve2Mint 2.0 (S2M2), an onchain puzzle, where every solution submission is verified computationally against every rule of the puzzle on the blockchain, as a way to qualify players for participating in Alpha - see this tweet for details. Assuming no sybil, which may very well be an overly optimistic assumption, S2M2 qualified 50 unique players for Isaac. All 50 distinct puzzles were solved less than 48 hours after the announcement tweet - we were shocked by your appetite!