On Sunday 6th of August, a town hall focused on Arena Development was held onPixelmon's Discord. Pixelmon CEO, Giulio, was joined by the Arena’s new producer, Ethel, to discuss the Arena and answer questions from the community. This is the first in a new series of town halls where we will share various aspects of development with the Pixelmon community. join our Discord to participate in the next one!
Giulio kicked off the town hall with a brief recap of Pixelmon’s recent developments and achievements. Notable topics included the second stage of Pixelmon, Evolution 2, new full body Trainer updates, the success of Party Quest (a gamified staking mechanism for rewarding holders) and our progress within the overall Web3 space.
Moving on to more recent developments, Giulio introduced Johnson Yeh as the company's new advisor. The former Managing Director of Riot Games Southeast Asia, Johnson Yeh, is renowned as the "Godfather of E-sports within Asia" and brings 6 years of valuable experience from Riot Games to the Pixelmon team. More information about Johnson Yeh and all our advisors can be found in the Team section of the Pixelmon website.
Giulio also touched upon the many networking events Pixlemon has recently participated in, as well as the upcoming Gamescon and Token2049 where Pixelmon will have its own stands. These events and partnerships with well-known Web3 brands have helped solidify Pixelmon as a reputable project within the Web3 space. For more information on these events and more join our Discord and follow Pixelmon on X (formerly Twitter).
The team has shifted away from Magic Media and is now developing both Pixelmon games with a strong in-house team. This change has enabled Pixelmon to have its very own team of experts who are more invested in the brand’s goals and will strive to produce higher-quality products. The company's current focus is on "Building product, building trust" during the bear market.
Ethel is a seasoned games producer, having worked in a game development studio in Asia for the past 5 years. She has worked on several notable projects such as “Bake ‘n Switch”, a fun couch co-op game, and was involved in client projects such as, Multiversus (Player First Games), Rival Peak (Genvid Technologies) and several other undisclosed client works.
Ethel has been part of the Pixelmon team for over a month now and has been excitedly contributing to the Arena project while learning more about the world of Pixelmon. She shared fascinating insights on the state of the project’s development such as exploring the idea of furthering development in Unreal Engine and considering the ease of porting the game to other platforms such as mobile, in the future. Additionally, using the same game engine as Hunting Ground opens the opportunity to share similar gameplay mechanics, art assets and optimising efforts by the respective game development teams.
She unveiled that the overarching strategic choice to adopt a Survival/Horde Combat mode as part of Arena’s initial release was driven by the desire to accelerate debuting a high-quality game on the market with robust mechanics. Ethel confidently shares that players can expect a more engaging gameplay experience by mid-2024. She further reveals that the first iteration of this survival combat mode will be a single-player experience with a potential for online co-op. More development updates can be found monthly through the development logs (devlogs) posted on the Pixelmon Blog.
We then opened the stage for members of the community to ask questions about the Arena’s development.
Question: Can the game support 2v2 or 3v3 modes, or only 1v1 mode?
Answer: For now, the focus is on 1v1, but we have plans to expand with a "horde/survival mode" that can be played alone or in co-op.
Question: What can the tickets from Trainer Adventures be used for? Also, what are the relics for?
Answer: While the tickets won't impact the Arena ecosystem, they will integrate into other mini-games and casual games that are on our roadmap. This integration might also influence our tokenomics ecosystem.
Question: How will the balance between characters work, considering time and potentially shrinking arenas?
Answer: Time and potential arena shrinking due to evasion behaviour will be prime factors. Character balance will focus on abilities and skins for rarer characters, with visually appealing VFX and more customisation slots. This balance aligns with our strategic approach for Hunting Grounds, where abilities and team dynamics will be crucial.
Question: How many arena platforms will the game launch with? Will it only include E1 Pixelmon initially?
Answer: For the Arena, we plan to launch with E1 Pixelmon and build from there. Hunting Grounds will release species across all evolutions, allowing players to go all the way with their chosen Pixelmon. The strategic gameplay of Hunting Grounds will involve combining elements and body types strategically.
Question: Are we going to have our own launcher like Riot Games, or will we be on big platforms like Steam or Epic Games?
Answer: Both options are on the table. We're open to platforms that are friendly to Web3 games and offer accessibility to players. Mobile stores also offer potential integration for Web3 games like Hunting Grounds.
Question: Will the Arena be available as land in Pixelmon to own? Will players need to pay in-game tokens to participate?
Answer: All games will be Free to Play, with optional monetisation. The Arena and Hunting Grounds are separate games, each with distinct mechanics. Hunting Grounds, in particular, will incentivise diverse team-building strategies.
Question: Will higher rarity mons have higher power levels? How will match-ups be done?
Answer: Rarer Pixelmon will have more complex VFX, abilities, and customisation options, but the balance will ensure fair competition. Hunting Grounds will focus on strategy, allowing players to excel through smart tactics and team compositions.
Question: How does the catching mechanism work in-game? What influences the difficulty of capturing a Pixelmon?
Answer: Hunting Grounds' capture mechanism is combat-driven and balances the Pixelmon you encounter based on your team's strength. Capturing will be a challenging yet rewarding experience.
Question: What are the differences between evolutions in the game?
Answer: Evolutions offer more than just visual changes. Higher evolutions indicate higher skill levels, allowing you to compete effectively. The progression curve becomes flatter post-evolution, ensuring balanced gameplay.
Question: How will you prevent the game from becoming a button-smashing experience?
Answer: The Arena emphasises active melee combat with skilful button combinations and evasion. In contrast, Hunting Grounds focuses on strategic preparation and team dynamics.
Question: How will trainers be incorporated into the Arena game? Will E2s be available upon release?
Answer: Trainers won't be included in the first Arena release; they play a crucial role in Hunting Grounds. Arena will launch with E1s, while Hunting Grounds will focus on allowing full progression for all species.
Question: When can holders expect to play the Arena?
Answer: Our tester group is already enjoying the PvP and PvE 1v1 modes. We plan to expand the tester group soon, and Hunting Grounds' community testing will commence in Q4.
Question: Will the game have a first-person point of view or only third?
Answer: While you can control the camera, the game is best enjoyed in third-person mode for optimal gameplay.
Question: Will there be goals to go mobile with this or any other game?
Answer: Yes, our goal is to release all our games on mobile platforms to reach a wider audience.
Question: How will you prevent players from running away?
Answer: Strategies involving time limitations and precise ranged attacks will discourage evasion.
Question: Have you considered team vs. team game modes like capture the flag or king of the hill?
Answer: Absolutely, we've discussed various game modes, including a "fight back hordes of minions" mode for starters.
Question: Currently, there aren't any environmental obstacles. Will there be environmental elements like water?
Answer: Environmental features like this might be implemented in the future, but our current focus is on mechanics, animations, and other core elements.
Question: Can players engage in trash talk or use microphones?
Answer: While in-game integration isn't in the initial plans due to legal considerations, Discord plug-ins could provide a way for players to communicate effectively.
Question: Will RoG be in effect for The Arena?
Answer: The Arena’s focus is on creating a playable gaming experience for our holders, showcasing our team’s ability and developing the IP of our Pixelmon. Whilst the initial intention is not monetisation, it’s something that could potentially be implemented later.
We then concluded the AMA session with a gameplay demo live in our Discord. Our community managers went head-to-head in a 3v3 combat to showcase some of the progress on the game’s newest build. Currently, we have an internal community testing group consisting of our most active holders. For more information on anything Pixelmon, and to potentially join this testing, head over to the Pixelmon Discord.
Stay tuned for more details on the Arena and future town hall events by following our Discord and X (formerly Twitter), plus subscribe to our newsletter for all the latest news and updates.