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Atocha Protocol: Creating Impact for Creator Economy

What is Atocha Protocol

Atocha Protocol is a specific usage blockchain that is built on Substrate and hosted on Octopus Network (a sidechain on Near Protocol). In short, Atocha is a puzzle game blockchain that is built for creating, solving, and sponsoring puzzle games. The protocol is aiming to become a global puzzle game hub that can host multiple great puzzle game Dapps that we are familiar with like Word Puzzles, Number Games, Treasure Hunting, and Social Deduction Game. Started by a team of puzzle game enthusiasts, the project has gained recognition by winning the Octopus Star Prize with $50,000 grant and is also a proud recipient of Near Foundation grant worth $50,000.

Why Puzzle Game?

The most direct reason for the team to pick a puzzle game is that the core team members are personally puzzled game enthusiasts. One of the members is an exclusive member of the treasure hunting guild that organizes physical treasure hunting annually. The experience of playing this treasure hunt inspires us to venture into this space. Not only it is exciting whereby you can win the treasure but there is a strong community and collaborative component in this module of the game.

A puzzle game is a versatile game module where it is not only a game that challenges the players’ intellect but also can ride along with the current trend. Statistically, the puzzle game segment has a whopping $24 billion USD market revenue projected for 2022 and by 2026, the market is expected to grow to a $36 billion USD revenue. The expected CAGR annual growth rate for the puzzle game segment is expected to be 9.21% from 2022 to 2026. This segment takes around 7–8% of the market share for the whole gaming industry which can be expanded further with the metaverse development coming in the near future.

The puzzle game has a wide spectrum with different complexity and duration required to play:

  1. A basic and straightforward model like a quiz (eg: Kahoot, Quizziz, etc.) where the model involves education and training as well
  2. Board games or number games that take a few minutes or at most an hour to end (eg: Sudoku, Chess, Scrabble, Monopoly, etc.)
  3. Complex and cryptic-based question solving (eg: Cicada 3301, CS50x Puzzle Day, The Codebreaker Challenge, etc.)
  4. Strategy-related puzzle games which are relatively mainstream (eg: Portal 2, Tetris, The Rooms, Baba Is You, etc.)
  5. Social deduction game which is story-based, open-ended, and requires a game moderator (eg: Among Us, Werewolves, Secret Hitler, Witch Hunt, etc.)

Who can be benefitted?

Of course, what Atocha Protocol intended to benefit is the Creator. By understanding the pain points from the point of view of the Creators, we intend to create more value for the puzzle game creators (eg: puzzle designers, graphic designers, game studios, etc.).

Here are some breaks down of what’s the pain points that a Creator has:

  1. Hard to find a teammate to create a comprehensive final product
  2. Limited budget to hire and build
  3. Lack of go-to-market strategy to market the games
  4. Social integration where creators find it hard to onboard more players
  5. Scalability where the game may hit a ceiling and the creator is stuck with growth
  6. The cross-platform leaderboard is not achievable with the existing infrastructure, this will limit the player’s engagement with the game
  7. High-profit cut by gaming platform with 12–30% cut

By building on Atocha Protocol, we want to deliver solutions for the pain points of Creators by building the infrastructure to be more inclusive and open by stages. Here are the propositions on how being a Creator in Atocha ecosystem can be beneficial:

  1. Atocha is building a creator community where we gather different professionals like puzzle designers, game developers, UI/UX developers, graphic designers, video producers, music producers, etc. By becoming a member of Atocha (which comes with no cost), we will help to connect you with different talents and encourage you to realize your masterpiece.
  2. Atocha intends to create a grant that is specifically made for puzzle game creators. The creator can pitch to the community that will have a say on whether the DAO fund should be utilized for the creator to build.
  3. Atocha is building the funnel for new onboard puzzle games to have ready go-to-market funnels to utilize. This will save a lot of time cost and opportunity costs for the creators.
  4. Atocha Protocol has been building its own core community through Discord, Telegram, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Youtube. Being on Atocha, the creator will get access to all the ready community and be able to engage with the ready-to-play users.
  5. Atocha has the strong support of the developer team that can help the creators to scale as the puzzle game gain more traction. Creator will not need to worry about scalability as Atocha will work closely with the Creator for scaling.
  6. The Atocha Points system is able to achieve a cross-platform leaderboard so that even different puzzle games can collaborate to form a player community that can have an aggregated leaderboard.
  7. By launching at Atocha Protocol, the platform cut will be minimal (estimated to be 5%) that will be contributed to the treasury.

How sustainable is the business model?

Similar to any gaming platform, Atocha Protocol will have multiple revenue streams:

  1. Sponsors for puzzle games (marketing budget by brands and businesses AKA advertising)
  2. Taxation on the on-chain transaction
  3. NFT sales
  4. Royalty from the secondary sale

Each revenue stream will be determined by the which stage Atocha Protocol is currently at with the available technology. The first version of the mainnet will be focusing on the sponsors and taxation. The next mainnet upgrade will include NFT features that enable all puzzle game creators on the protocol to create their own NFT through the protocol.

On the other hand, the team intends to keep the organization lean and efficient. This will ensure the project team has sufficient runway and time to build up the foundation of the revenue stream by improving the product and continue growing the community.

Towards Mainnet Launch

Atocha Protocol is currently at the voting stage on Octopus Mainnet and will be ending the vote by 16 April 2022 (started on 10 April 2022 and lasted for 7 days). After the Voting Stage, we will proceed to Booting Stage where the validator nodes are set up to get ready for the mainnet launch. When the minimum number of nodes is being met (11 nodes according to the Octopus Network Whitepaper), the appchain will then move to Running status. With that, the appchain is now a running blockchain hosted on Octopus Relay!

By having the mainnet launched, the puzzle game Webapp that we developed will then be deployed after 1–2 weeks time. All users will get to experience the full functions of creating, solving, sponsoring, challenging, and receiving rewards with the Webapp.

The Onboarding

After the mainnet launch, the team will start to focus on bringing in more puzzle creators and sponsors. This is a critical stage for us as we need to build a case where the mechanism works for the creators, sponsors, and players. By showing that the three roles can form a closed economic loop, it will be the best proof of concept for us to continue scale-up.

During the initial stage, the targetted sponsor partnership will be with 2 types of entities:

  1. NFT community — by working with the established NFT community on Near ecosystem (eg: Nearnauts & Astrogen, Holistic Pilgrim, Skyharbour NFT, Electric Neon, etc.)
  2. Project community — by working with different established projects on Near ecosystem (eg: Octopus Network, Near Foundation, NearPad, Skyward Finance, Ref Finance, QSTN, OWS, etc)

By having a team of creators ready to help with the puzzle game customization, which will be onboard through the Puzzle Creator Contest (ending on 30 April 2022). Atocha will be delivering the puzzle game in stages for all the sponsors.