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Published on April 25th, 2022 | by gareth


Talking AAA Blockchain Shooter Shrapnel With Don Norbury

Recently I spoke with Don Norbury, Head of Studio at Shrapnel, the world’s first blockchain-enabled moddable AAA first-person shooter game.


  1. How did the idea for the game arise and how did you assemble the team for the game?


Since the release of Doom over 25 years ago, there has been a gap in the market for a shooter game that also gives players the chance to build and shape the game they are playing. Our team is building Shrapnel, the world’s first blockchain-enabled moddable AAA first-person shooter game. Our team is combining compelling competitive gameplay, with a rich set of community creator tools to deliver an ever-evolving game experience. We recognized the gap in the market for a blockbuster quality blockchain game with moddable design features and set out to make our vision a reality. Spun-out from HBO Interactive, we’re made up of a team of industry veterans from some of the world’s leading game companies including Xbox, Electronic Arts, LucasFilm, and more, who have worked on renowned titles like Halo, Call of Duty, and Star Wars, among others. Our hiring efforts are ongoing across a number of roles, anyone interested in joining our team should visit our website or Twitter.


  1. What can you tell us about Blockchain and how it is featured in the game?


Shrapnel will be backended with decentralized technology to promote fairness and traceability within a circular game economy. Our dedicated creator toolset will empower players and creators to design and customize a host of different in-game items from weapons and skins to maps and more. By storing these items in a decentralized marketplace and game economy players will be able to truly own their creations within the game. Gamers will hold their own inventory on a digital wallet, which will enable them to safely store and fairly trade their in-game items. By minting items and avatars, players can achieve transparent verification and traceability of their items, increasing trust working on exchange. They will also be rewarded for and for user generated content, bringing a new element to the gaming experience.

  1. What is the idea behind the gameplay?


This month, as well as announcing a successful $7 million USD private token sale with investment from major players including from major industry players including the first pro-gamer Dennis Fong aka Thresh, and Stephen Lim, Co-founder of Valorant and Raid Base, we revealed what the gamers can expect from the game in our White Paper. The game is set in a world where a huge asteroid has caused meteorites to bombard a large stretch of earth, leaving an area known as the Sacrifice Zone uninhabitable and shut away from the rest of the world. Many speculate about what is being uncovered by guards there, with rumors swirling about a mysterious material called Sigma. Nations and corporations begin assembling their own military and extraction forces and a bloody war rages to control the Sacrifice Zone and its many secrets. In the game, players will be assigned to strategically find and extract important resources in the game – with the core gameplay centering around that extraction loop with risk/reward escalating through the session. Community involvement will drive gameplay and development at every stage in Shrapnel including design, roadmap and aesthetics. Community members and creators will be able to design maps, weapons and other vanity items and exchange these in our marketplace. Behind our mission and in the ethos of decentralized design, Shrapnel’s gamers who participate in all aspects of the game will receive reputational scores and get to provide input into game decisions. Ultimately we aim for Shrapnel to be handed over to players, so putting the right controls in place to empower and moderate them is key to the success.

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About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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