Sunflower Diaries: Part 4

The runaway train

Since getting involved in crypto I had quickly joined on the bandwagon of decentralised and permission-less apps. This means that once a project is launched, it cannot be changed or manipulated by the creator. Little did I know that “decentralisation” was just a marketing buzzword and that crypto games were not actually doing this. I was naive enough to build a project this way.

Free marketing

The Polygon network was not optimised for the level of activity that our game’s architecture produced. The gas fee started to skyrocket to astronomical amounts. What would previously cost $0.003 USD to store on the Blockchain was now costing close to $0.30 USD. This meant that not only our players were paying higher gas fees, but everyone else on the Polygon network as well. Someone using a Financial service on Polygon would be paying higher gas, all because of our little game.

The bots

Remember those concepts around decentralisation and immutability I mentioned earlier. No centralised authority could alter the game or destroy it once it had been launched. This sounds great, right?

Mainstream media

The brakes had been removed from the train and the game was essentially in ‘runaway’ mode. Because of the immense traffic on Polygon network, we had mainstream news agency starting to cover the game.

#1 Crypto Game

All of a sudden it happened, we reached the #1 Blockchain game across every network. Even surpassing the likes of Axie Infinity and Alien Worlds.

The poorest crypto game

There was no business model and up until this point I had no revenue. All I had was a small handful of tokens and NFTs which I earned through playing the game.

#1 Most hated project

At the same time as the botting situation, the high gas prices began to fuel outrage amongst Polygon users and quickly we became the #1 most hated project across reddit and other social media platforms.

All or nothing

The pressure of the botting situation and demands of a growing player base were non-stop. I was still working a full-time job and my entire body was telling me to give up and return to my normal relaxing life. Enjoy the beaches of the Brazil and enjoy my holiday.

The death of Sunflower Farmers

Around 5th of January, we had built a strong team from the community that we used for decision making. This included 3 core devs — Romy, Spencer and myself. It also included 3 community members who were early players and were significant contributors in Discord and the community — Steve Woody, TheRoulette and Chicken.

  • Players had spent months farming and collecting game items, would this mean all of their hard work went to waste?
  • If we went dark on a rebuild would anyone even come back?
  • Should we just ride out the current game, release new content and try to create an ecosystem where bots and players can work in harmony?
  • Should we deploy a new token?

The Vulnerability

In early January, a smart contract developer discovered a bug in one of the smart contracts. This essentially meant that you could mint Iron Pickaxes for free. The idea of this vulnerability sounds a bit silly compared to Defi hacks, but to me it undermined the entire security of the game.

Sunflower Land

Now we had the tough task on announcing this to the community? We knew we had discovered a game that players wanted — community driven, transparent and low cost.

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Adam Hannigan

Adam Hannigan

Creator of Sunflower Land. Come help us build the future of Web3 gaming! https://github.com/sunflower-land/sunflower-land