Creating the world’s first mainstream fully decentralized game with Riccardo Sibani
Riccardo Sibani is the CPO (Chief Product Officer) of Alice and the previous Head of Development at Chromia. We interviewed him to better understand his role and vision for the future of the game. Riccardo will be speaking at NFT.NYC, the largest annual event in the NFT industry — this June 20–23. Get in touch with him via LinkedIn to schedule a meet-up.
How long have you been part of the Chromia ecosystem?
Around six years. Okay. But I shouldn’t really do the math.
How have you experienced the progression from when you started to where it is today?
It has changed drastically. In the beginning, we were literally making software for companies and our goal was to make an enterprise blockchain. But in fact, we ended up making games, which is possibly on the total opposite side of the spectrum. But I think that this has happened because we have always been flexible and open to whatever was cool and interesting to us.
What interested you in working with My Neighbor Alice?
The reason why I started with the Alice team is because I was on the team that is developing Chromia Originals which is an NFT protocol. It happened to be very fitting for games, so we wanted to have a game to test it on. We had several possibilities, one of them being Alice. It was the most fitting one, and I enjoyed working with the project so I ended up staying!
You just left an internal presentation of the game with coworkers from across the world. How excited are you about the progress we’ve made so far?
I definitely entered the room very stressed and I left very relaxed. We’ve come a long way and I feel positive about the direction of the game, because the people behind the game are great and you can feel that they’re taking ownership of it and that they really believe in it.
And, if the team believes that anything is possible with the game, then it’s just a matter of taking it to life!
What has your experience been with the team behind My Neighbor Alice?
Something that definitely is noticeable is that if you go in a group of people behind Alice and you talk with them, they will all be from different departments and have different backgrounds along with different ideas. This melting pot of ideas is the real value of the team. It really makes every decision more inclusive.
You’re a developer at heart. What part of the development of Alice is what excites you the most? Is it more on the blockchain side of things or more on the game structure or design?
For sure what we’re doing on the blockchain side excites me. Because it doesn’t exist! I think it’s like we’re resigning a lot of mechanics together in order to make them work in a decentralized fashion and packaging this is something that, as far as I know, no one has ever done before.
But the piece that gets me even more excited is the art! The feeling that you get when you play the game, when you see the game, when you see the cinematic experience, that’s really what gives me goosebumps.
I know that some people like me get excited for smart contracts, but I acknowledge that that is not the norm, you know?
What inspires you?
I want to make the first mainstream fully decentralized game. No one has done it and I want to make it. That’s it.
What is your vision for the game in the future?
At the moment we’re just developing while trying to involve the community. We are still at an early stage, but the community will be able to early test a lot of stuff and will be rewarded for that.
In the future what I would like My Neighbor Alice Alice to be is a game that is mainstream. I want it to be known to the public and have a very strong and affectionate user base. I would also like brands to have the possibility of interacting with these people and to make them self express because at the end, My Neighbor Alice is a game about self expression.
In terms of what I would like to see in Alice, I think there are a lot of mechanics that we have in our back pocket that I would like to see implemented and I think that will really highlight the value of the game.
What is your view of the Alice community? They have at times expressed impatience with the game.
The community is fantastic and I understand the impressions that they have. It’s a very delicate balance because the more we showcase now, the more we compromise on the development of the game. It’s this sort of chicken and egg issue. But they’re awesome and give us great feedback as we work to make the best game possible.
My final question is blockchain related. Is the block inside of the transaction or is this transaction inside of the block?
This is a very metaphysical question [chuckles]. I ask this question to all sorts of people and get different answers all the time. I think the reason I go around asking it is to evaluate the blockchain related knowledge of the person in front of me.
I better not to tell you the answer or my test won’t work anymore.
About My Neighbor Alice
My Neighbor Alice is a social online game with focus on resource gathering, crafting and creative expression. Players build their own virtual lands, interact with neighbors, perform exciting daily activities and earn rewards along the way.
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