When I first heard about P2E gaming I was excited at the prospect of actually being rewarded to play fun and engaging games. Unfortunately, on the WAX blockchain, a lot of projects lack traditional gaming elements. However, there seems to still be some projects daring to push the genre forward and today we’ll be looking at one of the more promising ones.
What Is Train of the Century?
Train of the Century is at its core a tycoon management game centered on building and running your empire of trains across the setting of the Modern Century. Where it makes itself different from the various tycoon clickers on WAX is the promise and application of strategy, story, and social gameplay elements.
While it sounds like quite the ambitious mixing of genres, Train of the Century has been slowly building up steam as its development of not only game mechanics, but also the enticing lore has been revealed week by week to its community.
The project originally started back in June 2021 when it had several sales of the four necessary NFTs that make up a train: the locomotive, conductor, railcar, and commodity NFTs respectively. During that time a lot of development groundwork was happening behind the scenes and the community got to see the culmination of those efforts when its open beta was launched on November 12th. Since then, the team has been pushing weekly updates as they strive towards their release date of the full version 1 release in March 2022. One of the most promising facets of the project is the team’s motto of consistently “underpromising and overdelivering.” As of the writing of this article, the team hasn’t missed a release date or not implemented a promised feature, which feels like a breath of fresh air in this space.
P2E and Tokenomics
The game is also fully play-to-earn (P2E) as players are currently able to complete train runs in the beta and earn the game’s native token Tocium. One of the strong appeals of this P2E system is the well-thought-out tokenomics.
The game features a burn system where the Tocium burned in-game through various essential gameplay mechanisms reduces not only the circulating supply, but the max supply as well. This is a welcome change versus the usual inflationary tokens that drive a project’s overall value down over time as players produce an endless amount of NFTs or tokens.
Lore and Story
The project not only promises a strong suite of gameplay options, but is also looking to offer a full campaign story set in the backdrop of the world they’re building. This campaign will be a long multi-part quest that players can participate in after the full version 1 release and brings with it the appeal of a branching questline based on choices made by the player.
The community has had the opportunity to learn about this world through the release of Medium articles that contain stories written in the form of journal entries by all 15 of the playable conductor NFTs in the game called “Tales from the Rails”. Not only are these Tales from the Rails articles giving glimpses into the world of Train of the Century, but they also contain hints for an upcoming gameplay feature called Golden Runs. These Golden Runs will be special runs that will award the first several players to complete a train run with a conductor’s preferred locomotive, railcar, and commodity.
So far, Train of the Century has largely flown under the radar as the team behind the game refuses to market anything less than a finished product. While it may not be the most popular or profitable P2E game currently because of the earnest tactics of the developers, I can’t help but admire Train of the Century for attempting to forge a new path rather than opt for a low-effort approach for a quick buck. Time will tell if they’ll be able to set a new precedent of what is not only possible but also necessary for games to release and succeed on the WAX blockchain.