Playing blockchain based strategy game Prospectors.io dealing with real value coins

Make real money by playing a game, how does that sound? Let’s dive into this Massive Multiplayer Online Real-Time Economic Strategy Game where you not only mine Gold utility tokens that you can change into real value PGL cryptocurrency coins and transact on an EOS decentralized exchange; in addition you also trade, build, strategize, get jobs done, hire people and communicate with a community for the advancement of your undertaking or lets say your digital enterprise!

Are you captivated yet by the Gold-fever!?

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Read my affiliate disclosure here.

I’m a great fan of the Civilization I,II, III, IV, V & VI series games and also the board game Settlers of Catan. I find that this game resembles a little bit Settlers of Catan especially due to the trading of resources but definitely more complex! I usually don’t play any online Real-Time based games. I prefer turn based games like Civilization.

Map of the Prospectors Game – Centre with Buildings, Government House and Prison

Why am I playing this one? Around 14 years ago (text written in 2019) the craze with the online real time based game WOW (World of Warcraft) started and I once got wind that some people were selling digital items relating to the game online on ebay. I then wondered, why can’t they do that in game itself and earn a real value coin that is worth real money. The years went by, cryptocurrency came and I thought, this technology should make it possible for game developers to include the possibility of dealing with money in the game itself. There were a few contenders around who tried to setup platforms such as for the buying and selling of games with cryptocurrency, yet I didn’t come across any game that included an utility token worth real money as part of its game structure. I am differentiating from gambling games here. Please do leave in the comment section any games that you know of that also use an utility token that you can change for a cryptocurrency or fiat currency. Am sure there will be more of such games in the future.

Playing a strategy game based on blockchain is also new in the blockchain sphere. Most blockchains are too slow to process thousands of transactions per second or too expensive as you would have to pay for each transaction. The recently launched EOS blockchain offers such speeds and gives room for new possibilities such as this game. Another reason to play it and experiment with this technology and become an early adopter. This is only the beginning! Imagine what the future will be like with high performance blockchains!

Another great aspect of this game is the learning factor, in addition to the experience in dealing with a community, there are various things you can learn and practice in this game such as supply chain, you extract resources, transport them around, factories process these materials into goods that then need to be transported again, or sold on the market, if it’s Gold you can cash it out directly.

Before you get started investing real money into a game

You will need a few dollars to be able to get started playing this game. Let’s say around US$15-30 ideally. This will be only for your account setup. The amount you will plan to invest to speed up your progress in the game will be different. You can also start with no investment. More to that later. Probably as from September 2019 you might be able to log into the game without the requirement of having an account on the EOS blockchain which will make it simpler and cheaper or potentially for free and neither require you to stake some EOS coins. Currently one EOS coin costs US$5.87. It is fairly easy after to get started with this game, you just click on Play! You can play the game without investing much, or you can buy PGL coins with EOS coins (which you buy on an exchange, link further below in the text), with which you can buy Gold in the game to use for setting up your business. Just like in real life where you start a business with capital. You need to be aware that you are playing with real money. And you need to know how you can cope with the gamification of such a resource. Parents should discuss this with their kids if they want them to play this game. It’s quite easy to loose the notion that these digital assets are worth real money, especially if you are used to games, where this isn’t the case.
If you have issues with gambling, addiction or you find yourself in a bad financial situation and you have no money that you can risk to loose, think twice before you play a game that involves money. This might not be your Eldorado. You cannot make a quick buck of significant value to cover for living expenses in a simple way in this game. Even if you play it without investing, you will be still investing your time, and getting jobs done in the game will not equate to what you would get for a real job. You will be disappointed if these are your expectations. Just like in real life, many businesses fail too. So, be careful, and also with your hopes, don’t keep them too high. There is competition. There will be winners. There will be losers. Take it with a wise pinch of salt!

What do you do in the game of Prospectors? What is the Game play like?

The game is pretty simple to handle and it will not take you too long to understand the functions. You play it in your browser. There is also an interactive user friendly academy section where everything relating to the game is well explained. In addition you can ask questions in the game itself to the online community who respond to questions. However, many same questions have been repeatedly asked since a while and some users obviously will get bored answering the same questions all the time. Before you ask a question, check in the academy section first. The FAQ section on the Prospectors website is also useful. Some questions and answers make more sense after you have made your first tries with the game. There are also some tutorial videos on YouTube. If someone has referred you to the game, it would also be fun and great to have them as mentor with whom you can text chat directly in game.

You start with 3 workers who you assign jobs. There are different kind of jobs you can do to start earning your first in game gold tokens. Transportation jobs do not require any tools. I started with transportation jobs to get a better understanding of the game. The game is slow. Once you send your worker out for an assignment, they can be busy for several hours, sometimes even for upto +7 hours. You do get paid instantly the moment you take a job. During that time you can study other aspects of the game. When you are looking for a job, you will be only able to do those that are within your vicinity. That is 2 hours walking distance maximum. As you progress and make more gold, you can invest into tools and take jobs where tools are required, these usually pay more than transportation jobs.

Your workers can also collect raw materials and produce their own tools, which will have a shorter life span compared to; if you purchase a tool that was industrially made which is more durable. You can also look onto the market which buyers are interested in which items and deliver/sell them these. Without a rented plot of land you will not be able yet to place items for sale. There is also room for more that you can do even though you do not own your own land yet. If you are getting along well with a land/building owner such as a tool shop for example, you can discuss jobs where the owner lends you the tools and you carry out some work for them. Just like in real life. With communication with other entrepreneurs, a lot is possible! Of course lending a tool for a land/building owner is also a risk, a worker (not your worker!) could run away with these, just like in real life.

The graphics of the game are good, you have a global map, and then you can click onto properties, you will notice that it’s a blockchain game as each time you activate a step in the game, you will have to click on a second time on a popup that the scatter wallet/dapp opens to confirm, these steps you can whitelist and then you’ll have less popups.

This game has a slow paste, so instant gratification addicts might get very impatient here.

The chat interface is also very simple.

Going a level further by investing into the renting of a plot of land

The game play takes another level when you rent your own plot of land. Let’s say lease, in game the terminology rent is used. The rent price is currently as of today the 12.07.2019: 325 000 gold, which is 325 PGL coins which makes US$78. The lease runs for a month, you can also rent the plot for a longer period. The rent price is recalculated everyday to some formula that evaluates the amount of gold paid in salaries to workers and gold transacted/extracted from mines. I don’t know the exact formula. Currently the rent price is increasing on a daily basis in gold. However the PGL coin has dropped from 0.34c to 0.24c which makes renting a plot cheaper. There were days were the rent was close to or above $100.

You’ll have to select carefully your plot of land and also analyze your surroundings and ask yourself why you are renting it. If it’s a plot with gold on it, then it is obvious, you will want to mine gold. There could also be other resources of interest such as coal, iron ore, clay, stone and wood. To rush into renting a plot can prove to be a mistake. I would recommend you to only rent a plot after you have gotten a good sense of the game and where you have a feel where it is heading. It is an investment, and you will want it to be a smart investment that yields off a return.

What can you do on a rented plot?

Renting a plot offers you several options and you can have various motivations why to rent one. To build a building you need to rent a plot, it needs to have a cleared space or you will need to clear it. It might have a forest on it or a lot of stones, the amounts of each resource and its availability differ from plot to plot. Hovering over a plot with the mouse pointer will indicate what it contains, if you only see question marks under each resource indicator, then it is a plot that hasn’t been explored yet.

This is also how you can find one of those lucrative 32k gold spots by exploring non explored plots. Gold is dispersed on different plots in different quantities. There are plots with 4k, 8k, 12k, 16k and 32k gold deposits. K stands for thousand. Ideally is to have a plot with 16k or 32k Gold. The work rate is per minute, and on a 32K Gold plot you can mine 32 gold tokens per minute.

There are 10 types of buildings that you can build:
Gold Mine
Iron ore quarry
Clay quarry
Coal mine
Coal mine
Stone workshop
Iron furnace
Brick yard
Sawmill
Tool workshop
Cart factory

Each building type has different material needs. Build a building on a plot that has a certain large amount of the resource that you plan to process. For example build a sawmill on a plot that has a lot of wood or wood close by. You will have to do your own evaluation which building is worth to build and what kind of strategy you are aiming for.

Let’s say there are 28 tool shops, and tools are being sold at a very low price due to competition, would you still build a tool shop?

Let’s say you have several gold mines, and your workers need tools on a frequent basis, maybe it might be cheaper to have your own tool shop to produce and equip them with your own tools. However you also have to consider the costs, it costs to rent the land, then to build and then to buy raw materials to make the tools, plus TIME! Is it worth it?

You see, this is where the game gets more complex. You wouldn’t have bothered much if it wasn’t real money. In contrast here you have to do the math to stay profitable, and evaluate if you can take the risk and go for the investment. Which makes it a great game too if you like such strategies.

Else, on your rented plot of land, you can post job offers, you have a store where you store items that you can sell on the market, and storage where you just horde stuff.

Location is also important. Figure out in which location it’s best to get a plot. For gold deposits, I would say, that doesn’t matter. If you find a plot with 32K gold on it, you would want to consider renting it wherever it is!

How do the workers work?

The maximum amount of time a worker can work is 300mins which is 5 hours. You can select a job on the job board, or assign them tasks on your rented plot. For certain tasks tools are needed. You can buy those tools on the market or make them yourself. Self made tools have a short span of life, while industrially made ones last 100 hours.

A worker has a backpack that can store items and tools till 30Kg. Then the worker has an equipment section where you place their tools that they will use to work. Or the raw materials that they will process to manufacture a tool.

Workers can receive and give items and tools to other persons as well. This process happens on either a rented plot of land where you can access the store to place an item so that another worker can take it or on a plot where both workers are at the same time, in this situation they can do a direct exchange of items with each other.

Workers are paid by the minute.

Jobs assigned have a limited amount of job slots. For example up to 16 workers can chop wood on the same spot while only a maximum of 3 workers can mine clay at the same time. The academy section in the game gives you each limit. When you rent a property, when all job slots are full for a task, you will not able to hire additional persons to do other tasks until these job slots are free again.

How to start playing the game?

In order to play Prospectors.io you need to:

1. Buy EOS coins. You can buy these on an exchange like Binance (Affiliate link) You should buy at least 3 tokens. Some countries are excluded from buying on Binance. You might want to check with them if they have a specific exchange specialized for your country.

2. Then you install the wallet Scatter on your computer.

3. Send EOS coins from Binance to your Scatter wallet.

4. In the Scatter Wallet stake 1 EOS coin for CPU, 1 EOS coin for NET and 1 EOS coin for RAM.

5. You need to have a Facebook or Google account.

6. Open the following Prospectors page and start playing. (Affiliate link)

If you have never dealt with cryptocurrency, these steps might be a bit difficult or not very user friendly. Apparently as from September the game will offer an option to play it directly without requiring the steps mentioned above. As it is a blockchain based game, I remain curious to see how they will solve that.

Tips

Do bookkeeping of your expenses and income in a spreadsheet to see where you stand financially. Are you making a profit yet? Make a budget for your plans such as renting a plot of land, costs for setting up a building and labor. Just like you would for a real business.

From the market prices you can calculate what your materials will cost. From these figures you can get a rough estimate of what you need to budget for building a mine for example.

Don’t make any rushed decisions.

Use this fan site to get a better overview of the map such as statistics about resources, buildings, landowners etc. If you are going to plan a serious strategy on how you will run your enterprise, this fan site will be very handy:

Fansite for the blockchain game Prospectors

You can check the current price of the PGL coin here on
marketcap.one

What gold mines will yield when you mine?

Only one person can mine, if you build a mine then the mining factor increases by x1.1 and you can have 6 persons work at the same time so you can x6 your extraction rate. Also keep in mind that your workers can work a max batch of 300mins and then you have to reactivate them. You can also create a job order and employ people to work. You’ll have to figure out an attractive rate for them to work on your plot, also consider that they need to expense on tools so your salary needs to cover these expenses and still leave them with a profit for their work time. Giving out a big work order has also the advantage that when you aren’t playing the game, people can continue the gold extraction.

Gold deposits on various plots come with the following amounts:
32K: 32 gold per mins mining by 1 worker
16K: 16 gold per mins mining by 1 worker

12K: 12 gold per mins mining by 1 worker
8K: 8 gold per mins mining by 1 worker

Currently only the 32K & 16K mine is worth your time. If tools become very cheap, mining a 12K mine will also become more attractive.

Please also keep in mind that as your gold mine depletes, the formula needs to be adapted, as the amount of gold per mins will reduce. For example when your mine has only 29K gold left, it will be 29K gold per mins extraction.

What can you earn theoretically if you mine a 32K deposit with 1 worker?

A month has 29 days in prospectors.io
Per day, you will most likely assign your worker to work 3 batches of 5 hours which makes 15 hours.

On a 32K gold mine plot that you have rented, you can apply the following formula:

1 worker will work 3 batched of 5 hours which is = 15 hours x 60 mins = 900 mins

29 days x 900mins = 26 100mins

32K x 26 100mins = 835 200 gold (Keep in mind that as the gold deposit reduces in your mine, your extraction will also reduce – so you cannot consider that on a monthly basis you will have a fixed income!)

(Less) reduce some expenses:
Rent: 325 000 gold
Tools: Tools that you buy have a life span of 6000mins and you will need a pickaxe and a gold pan. For 26 100mins labour time / 6000 = 3.5 so you will need 4 tools of each to hold for a month.

4 pickaxes currently cost: 9000 x 4 = 36 000
4 gold pans currently cost: 6000 x 4 = 24 000
Total cost for tools = 60 000

I haven’t considered transportation costs as these are quite negligible for the time being. When you buy these tools from a seller, you will need to either pick them up or create a job where they get delivered to your plot. Currently transportation jobs are going for 180 gold.

Let’s subtract costs from income and see what it is worth in gold, PGL and US$.

Income form mining for 1 worker on a plot that hasn’t built a mine yet:
835 200 less rent 325 000 = 510 200 less tool costs 60 000 = 450 200 gold / 1000 = 450.2 PGL coins x by current market rate 0.25c = $112.55

What can you earn if you build a gold mine on a 32k deposit and employ 6 workers?

In order to be able to build, you definitely need to have a lease on such a plot that has a 32k gold deposit. So, your first cost will be rent which is 325 000 gold.

Then, building the gold mine will require tools and raw materials and it takes 250 hours per stage of construction to finish the gold mine which has 3 stages in total = 750 hours.

With current market prices, a gold mine, to build one with your 3 workers can cost you US$128.80. And it can take a you a month to build it with your 3 workers. If you want to speed up the process you will need to employ workers and this will cost an extra. I would say around upto max $150 extra for labour to finish the whole project, if you want to progress faster. I took a 20gold per minute rate for 10 000mins for each stage. However, you might also get workers now for half the price…

This is how I calculated the price of a gold mine, you can also do the same for the other buildings:

Now let’s have a look what your 32k gold mine with a mine and 6 workers might generate as income in 1 month:

A mine has an extraction increase of x1.1 which means 32k x 1.1 = 35.2
6 workers x 32.2 = 211.2 x 26 100mins (for 29 days work) = 5,512,320 (It will be less than that as the gold deposit depletes.)

Less costs:
5,512,320 less rent 325 000 = 5,187,320
Less tool costs: 60 000 (for 3 your workers)
= 5,127,320

(Less) And then you will need to employ an additional 3 workers who might cost you 15 gold per minute x 26 100 x 3 = 1,174,500
= 3,952,820

Which is in PGL coin = 3,952.82 and x0.25 in US$ = 988.20
Let’s say PGL coin goes up back to 0.35 where it was for a while then you’ll get = $1,383.20

Let’s say you have 3 mines, then it gets even more interesting…

To keep in mind:
My figures might soon not match or represent the reality of the game as prices evolve over time. At the beginning of the game, tools were VERY EXPENSIVE. A gold pan was selling at +50 000 gold! While the early adopters paid very high prices for tools, rent, buildings, raw materials and labour, they were able to secure the best plots that have 32k gold deposits. If you are starting now, on the map that hasn’t fully opened up all slots yet, you will only get to have plots that have lesser deposits which in return will produce less income.

Also keep in mind that these gold deposits deplete, which means you cannot count on a regular fixed income! It will just keep getting less. Just like in the gold rush times, get your maximum of Gold extracted and plan your exit wisely.

Niches to consider?

I read somewhere that during the gold rush, it is the tool providers who made a good fortune. If this game is going to play out the same way, this is difficult to tell. There are a lot of already existing tool shops who compete with each other which has lowered the prices of tools. Investors with a bigger investment have also built their own supply chain where they produce their own tools for their own needs reducing the need to buy them from someone else. If you have the critical mass you can do all your own raw material extractions, have buildings that process these and produce everything that you need and hire lots of workers to help you.

Currently, only a portion of the map is active, not the whole map, I don’t know when they will open up the other spaces. Once they do that, it will create a whole different game dynamic. However, I don’t think, like logically, that it would make sense for them to open the whole map up yet. I would imagine that, if they did, at the end of the month, there wouldn’t be much of an incentive to buy plots on an auction of those who haven’t paid their rent. The game is also currently in BETA. The full launch is in September. There will also be additional options in the game.

Like, if they would open the whole map now, users could scout the new plots for 32k gold and rent them. This would most likely be cheaper than the auction.

So far, with various calculations, I haven’t been able to discern a niche to focus on. If you have some ideas, or can predict what the future might be like, please leave a comment. Most resources are abundantly available. There is a huge amount of rocks and trees available. I don’t see any scarcity coming up in that area anytime soon.

Clay, Coal and Iron ore, deplete like gold, that is the less there is, the less you can get out per minute. There is also a lot of these on various plots on the map, though right now I see that the price of clay is going up and that a lot of it hasn’t been mined yet. It could also be that, even though there is a lot of clay available, on most plots these are available in smaller amounts like 2k – 4k, which means that it takes longer to mine it. Am not sure if there is potential in this area. You can also build a clay quarry to extract more. Without a mine only 3 workers can extract clay, and with a quarry 6 workers can, and the extraction rate goes up by x2.

In trying to discern a niche, you can look at the academy section in the game, and check what each building requires for it’s setting up, like which resources are needed such as nails, wood boards, stones etc. You can then ask yourself the question, which buildings might people be building the most in the future, and what might they require a lot of… Or, which workshops such as iron furnace, brick yards, saw mill etc. might be impacted the most by demand for the supply of resources that other buildings at the end of the supply chain might need.

You can also ask yourself, depending on the region where you are at, let’s say you are far from the center, and when the other portion of the map opens, what will those newcomers need as the center of the map will be quite far away for them. It will be at least +5 to 7 hours walk…

This is a way how you can find a niche. Do you have any other interesting questions one could ask or consider when planning their enterprise in Prospectors.io?

Recommendations for the developers of the game

Things that I find would have been nice to have in the game are the following:
The possibility for the workers to move around faster with horses, and also carry more with horse carts.
A bookkeeping feature to track purchases and expenses.
To make workers work a longer time on projects until completion. Just like in real life where you can make such arrangements. Instead of 5 hours, make it 8 hours.
If you have any recommendations please share in the comments.

Conclusion

From the calculations I have made above, you get an idea how much real money you can make from the mines with the largest gold deposits. You can also make money by trading raw materials, finished goods and services such as transportation. You’ll have to evaluate if it makes sense to invest time to go for such an endeavor or if you’ll just take it easy and play the game for fun! It is a slow paste game that requires patience. Of course in the game itself, it is and has been a race into securing the 32k gold plots first. On the current map as of July 2019, all 32k plots are taken. A few days later all the 16k plots got taken. Now there are a few 12k and 8k plots left. Probably on the full game launch in September there should be more 32k plots made available. It would then be a big map with new opportunities, new functions and a new game dynamic. It still makes sense to begin with the Beta game now, to learn its mechanics and make your own strategy plans.

Would you play this game just to make money? For strategy game enthusiasts and board game fans of Settlers for example, this game can be great fun! But just for the money? You’ll know that better yourself.

I also think, this game could be interesting for a school class, where all the students participate and get allocated a small amount of capital that they have to manage. It could also be in form of tools. And they get to play for lets say 3 months and then evaluate and discuss about their experience. There are a lot of take aways to learn about economics, trade, negotiations and community. You get an idea how things work in the real world. Why products become more expensive and then cheaper. At what price to sell your product and still make a profit, which implies that you have to consider your material expenses, work costs, time and a markup. Supply and demand. It’s quite easy to see that happen on the market place. Students can collaborate with each other and also form alliances. To me that sounds like a fun way of learning. This is just a rapid brainstorming on my part. A teacher could evaluate it as well with parents and balance the pros and cons if they would go ahead with such a project.

The games economy is made up of in game gold tokens which can be exchanged into PGL coins that are traded on exchanges. Keep in mind that if the PGL token drops in value, has low volume or no one is buying it anymore, that your gold tokens will not be worth much. For trading to happen, there needs to be several incentives for users to buy and sell the PGL coin. Here are a few reasons I can come up with:

1. Investors buy PGL coins and speculate that these might gain in value in the future as the game grows. Buy, hold and possibly also stake the coin for some interest income. If PGL coins get listed on more exchanges, it could gain more attraction to speculative investors/gamblers who buy it in the hope to make a profit. These demand can increase it’s price. The only use case in that scenario is to make a profit. The PGL coin itself is then more like an asset, not a currency that fulfills other use cases. Like you wouldn’t be buying a coffee with PGL? Why not? It should be technically possible. Let’s say all your friends have PGL tokens, with a wallet app on your phone you could send these coins to each other, and refund someone in PGL for a purchase they have done in fiat currency… It will also have an additional use for them if they are also playing the gam. Just an idea!

2. Game players buy PGL coins so that they can buy gold tokens in the game to progress faster and setup their enterprise. The more players join and need PGL coins, the more the volume goes up and it’s demand which could also potentially increase it’s price. Otherwise, the price can also drop.

3. Players that are making revenue in the game, start cashing out and sell their PGL coins back into EOS coins which they can then trade for other coins or exchange into US$ and other currencies.

4. The game developers come up with other functionalities and applications where you can use PGL… this could also drive up the demand for PGL.

Any other use cases you can come up with for PGL?

Playing a blockchain based game can also bring users closer to the blockchain technology, this game is part of the EOS ecosystem on which various gaming and gambling dapps have been built. This looks to me like a promising beginning for a future where solutions will be built on a blockchain that can scale… Join the revolution.

Disclaimer
You play at your own risk! I cannot be held liable for any losses you might incur in playing this game. Do your own diligence to verify what ever you download or install to be from a legit source. You could do hash checksum verification on files that you download if uncertain.


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