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Mint your own NFT collection
Maker Review
November 24, 2022

Duo | NFT Card Game

A blockchain game that’s empowering players through NFT-based rewards.

Dear NMKR community,

In this interview, we bring to you Jacob Christian CCO & Co-Founder of Duo, a blockchain game that’s empowering players through NFT-based rewards. Jacob shares his thoughts on the potential of blockchain technology and how Duo is seeking to bring web2 users into the world of web3 gaming. He also sheds light on his vision for the future of blockchain/decentralized technologies like Cardano and what NMKR can do for Duo in the long run.

NMKR: What inspired you to start developing Duo? Please tell us what makes it so special.

Jacob: It all started just over a year ago at the local coffee shop where our founder Jason often had his morning coffee. On slow mornings, Jason would visit with the barista, and this particular morning, the barista had asked him about NFTs and the blockchain. As hard as Jason tried to explain it, the barista couldn’t seem to grasp the significance of the technology. The conversation left a question circling Jason’s mind the rest of the day. “How can I explain NFTs in a way that would demonstrate to my barista the importance of blockchain?” he thought. 

As conversations over morning coffee continued, the idea for Duo became clearer. Duo, a humor-based card pairing game, was born from the desire to showcase NFT utility and onboard people into the blockchain ecosystem. The gameplay is intentionally simple: pair a prompt card (black card) with a punchline card (color card). You compete with other players to make the funniest combination. These card pairing games are nothing new, whether it’s Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity, the gameplay is familiar and universal. What makes Duo stand apart is that each card is an NFT, fully owned by the player. In this card pairing game, you have the opportunity to create, build and refine your deck, tailoring it to your humor type, and earning rewards with real value as you take actions that build the game ecosystem.

NMKR: What are the major challenges you're facing right now? We would like to know about your team's plans to overcome them.

Jacob: In the past year, we’ve learned that building blockchain based games is no small undertaking. We’re still in the infancy of this technology. When we launched a year ago, Duo was one of the first games on the Cardano blockchain. We learned very quickly that generating and managing game assets as NFTs would be a tall task. 

One of the first things we did was to propose for funding in Project Catalyst to build out some back end systems we needed to manage assets. Unlike most NFT projects, when you’re building a game, you have to be able to generate game assets on the fly, and manage NFT assets in real time across a large number of players. For example, in Duo, we have to ensure that if an asset is sold on the secondary market, it’s reflected in-game immediately so the player can use their new card, on the flip side, we have to ensure a player doesn’t use a card, then sell it and still claim the reward. 

We were successfully funded in Project Catalyst to solve some of these issues, and we currently call this backend system Revelar. It’s still a work in progress, but as of the writing of this blog, we can generate, sync and manage all Duo assets in real time on our web app. We plan to continue expanding the capabilities and robustness of Revelar as our needs grow. 

NMKR: What are you doing to get people to use or invest in your project? Please share some thoughts about your growth strategy.

Jacob: The real magic of Duo isn’t in the gameplay, it’s the ownership through crafting. Through our “Community Deck” initiative, we accidentally discovered that people loved creating their own cards for Duo. Obviously this is a win for us, because it means I don’t have to write quite so many cards myself, so we took it a step further. The way we see it, if people are creating the content for the game, they should be paid for creating that content. 

When players create new cards in Duo, those card ideas will be added to a pool for voting. Each season, the entire community will vote on their favorite card ideas. The top card ideas will be added to the next Duo deck, and the creator of that card will not only receive a special “Author’s Edition” (1 of 1 NFT) Duo card, they will also receive a 75% royalty on every sale of that card. 

While I don’t have time to get into all the specifics of our crafting system in this blog, I can say that our approach to user-generated content is a player first approach. We want Duo to be a game where the cleverest players can earn real value for their time investment into the game. I believe when people start to understand just how much value they can create when the game studio actually pays them for their contributions, our game will blow up. That’s the real power of gaming in web3, we can now give our players the control and the value of what they create. 

Duo’s crafting mechanics are scheduled to go live before the end of this year, and you can read a full write-up of how we plan to run crafting on our blog. 

NMKR: What do you think about NMKR? Tell us what we can do for you in the long run so we both win!

Jacob: When we launched Duo, we immediately looked for a credible tool where we could mint NFT cards. Hands down the most recommended tool was NMKR, which we used to launch our Genesis Deck. We could not be more grateful, and I can confidently say that without NMKR, Duo wouldn’t exist. 

I’d also like to highlight Patrick Tobler, who has helped our team on many occasions. Getting to know Patrick personally has been a highlight of this past year, and we are so appreciative of everything he (and NMKR) has done for the Cardano ecosystem. 

NMKR: What's your vision for the future of blockchain/decentralized technologies like Cardano? Please tell us what you're doing to make that future a reality.

Jacob: We started Duo because we were passionate about blockchain technology. We believe this technology has the potential to revolutionize the way our world works. Something that one of our guests said on our podcast, The NFT Gaming Podcast, that always stuck with me was that NFTs empower us to own digital goods for the first time, and since digital things can be infinite, we now have the potential to hold more value digitally than physically. That statement blew my mind. As a gamer my whole life, I see so much potential for NFTs to empower players like never before. 

We envision a multi-chain world with interoperable projects and assets, but in order to get there, we must onboard web2 users into web3. As I mentioned earlier, that’s the entire focus of Duo. Our goal is to build a game that showcases web3 technology in an approachable way. We want to empower everyone to invite their web2 friends to have a laugh with them in Duo, without having to explain anything about web3. I’m very proud to say we’ve seen this already through pre-alpha and game nights. A large number of our community members are traditional web2 gamers, who made Duo cards their very first NFT purchase, and that’s what drives me. 

NMKR: If our readers would like to know more about you, how can they get in touch with you?

Jacob: Duo is currently in closed alpha testing on our web app with our Genesis Deck card holders. If you want to get into season 1 of Duo, you can create your account today to get added to the list. Visit our website, and click “Play Now” in the top right corner. 

To stay up to date with the latest news, you can join our Discord community or follow us on Twitter (@Duo_NFT). 

NMKR: We appreciate you taking the time to talk with us. We love seeing how you are approaching the gaming space. We do see great potential in NFTs making the gaming space more valuable for gamers. We are truly excited to be a part of this growing community, and we feel blessed that we get to work on something that can empower gamers around the world. We look forward to building an awesome experience for everyone and can't wait to see what the future holds for Web3 gaming! Peace & Love! 🤙