The latest play-to-earn game climbing the ranks
Polygon-based play-to-earn game Sunflower Farmers has been climbing the game ranks at lightning speed this week as the number of wallets connected to the dapp grew over 15,000%. The observed growth indicates that something interesting is happening and capturing the attention of gamified finance dapp seekers, warranting further investigation and explanation about how to get started.
The play-to-earn game launched at the end of September 2021 but Sunflower Farmers didn’t get any traction until December. The project did not engage in an ICO or pre-sale of NFTs to early adopters. In this way, the platform hopes to make the game genuinely play-to-earn, as opposed to the pay-to-earn situation that can arise due to a new game selling NFTs to early adopters that then list them at inflated prices. A practice that fundamentally prices out new players.
What is it?
Sunflower Farmers is an open-source play-to-earn game where users are invited to plant, craft, mine, chop, fish, fight, and more as they build out their farming empires. Most farmers begin by planting and harvesting to earn Sunflower Tokens. However, as players progress, they can move onto more lucrative ventures and start gathering wood, stone, iron, and other valuable materials.
Each resource requires a specific tool to be gathered. These tools are crafted using various other resources in the game and designed as ERC20 contracts. If you chop wood, you can freely trade it between farms or on open exchanges. Players have complete ownership of what they collect in the game.
How to connect
Before doing anything, you will need to have a Metamask account, and the Polygon network added. Below are the custom RPC details needed to add the Polygon network to Metamask.
N.B. Polygon is formally known as MATIC, and in some cases, you will still see it referred to as such. Vitally the token ticker is still MATIC.
Network Name: Matic Mainnet
New RPC URL: https://polygon-rpc.com/
Chain ID: 137
Currency Symbol: MATIC
In-game rewards in Sunflower Farmers are paid in SFF therefore it also makes sense to add the SFF token to your Polygon MetaMask wallet to keep track of your earnings. To do that, you will need to add a custom token to your wallet and input the SFF token contract address below.
SFF Contract Address: 0xdf9B4b57865B403e08c85568442f95c26b7896b0
Before playing, you must ensure that you have some MATIC to fund your farm. You can buy MATIC using the DappRadar token swap if you have some Ethereum or another token in your MetaMask account. Then use the Polygon bridge to move it over to the Polygon network on your Metamask account.
Since the game is powered by blockchain technology, small payments to miners are required every time the user wants to save a farm to the blockchain. This fee ensures that the farm is safe, secure, and reliable. Saving a farm to the blockchain costs roughly 0.007 MATIC, approximately $0.007.
Donation to play
To create a farm, Sunflower Farmers requires users to donate a minimum of $0.1 MATIC to a charity of their choice. The MATIC is donated directly to the charity’s blockchain address. You can choose from the following charities:
Time to play!
Now that the main loops are jumped through, we can get to the gameplay and what’s on offer here. To be clear, I use the term game quite liberally in this context. Fundamentally, most play-to-earn dapps currently offer a chance to participate in a gamified investment opportunity. Think less GTA 5 and more snakes and ladders. Simple gaming mechanics that ultimately lead to players earning from their time spent. For example, plant a sunflower at the cost of 0.001 SFF, wait 1 minute for it to grow, and harvest it to receive 0.002 SFF. Of course, minus any transaction fees applicable along the way.
The starting point for the game is your farm which contains five ready-to-harvest sunflowers, denoted by the beige circles with the black dots. The other beige rings are plots where sunflowers can be planted later once you have opened up those plots.
Clicking one of those black dots reveals a message that the sunflower is ready to harvest. Harvesting the sunflower will credit some SFF to your balance which is shown in the top right.
Now, you can plant another sunflower in the empty hole at the cost of 0.01 SFF. Don’t forget to save your progress by clicking SAVE up in the top left of the screen. As mentioned, a small fee is required to save your farm, so make sure it’s worth saving.
Under the balance in the top right, you can see a picture of a sunflower. Clicking this reveals a list of other seeds available that are more expensive but provide higher yields.
It should be pretty clear by now that the game is set up to let people earn SFF tokens from time spent. Planting sunflowers allows players to double their initial seed investment while purchasing more exotic seeds will lead to bigger yields. In this way, the game still has features of pay-to-earn mechanics baked in.
The table below shows the prices of crops at a 1 million total supply. Based on the overall token supply, these prices are due to decrease. This will be explained in more detail in the tokenomics section.
As you can see, there are some lucrative seeds up for grabs. Most represent a chance to double the initial investment. Others, like Parsnips, can also return handsome rewards to patient farmers. Of course, the depth of the liquidity available for the SFF token will play a vital role here as players need liquidity to cash out.
The game has a built-in supply and demand mechanism that controls the underlying tokenomics. The aim is to reward farmers early to the game and drive scarcity.
As more people farm and the overall supply of SFF increases, the rewards also lessen. This means someone playing in the early days will receive a significantly higher amount of rewards compared to someone in the future.
The earlier you start farming, the more you will be rewarded as the supply increases. The below table examines the rewards for harvesting sunflowers. When the supply is less than 100, 000 farmers receive $0.01 when they harvest a sunflower. On the other hand, when supply is between 100,000 and 500,000 farmers will only receive $0.002 when harvesting a sunflower.
To encourage Sunflower Token Holders, the game has a unique distributed reward system. It incentivizes players to build their farms and invest in the game. Whenever tokens are spent on upgrades or crafting, they go into a rewards pool that is owned by the game’s smart contract.
Every three days, you will be eligible to receive some rewards. The size of the prize depends on the size of your farm.
As all dedicated farmers and scholars of economics know, supply and demand can be dangerous things. When prices are high, fortunes can be made. But when prices are low, a lifetime of potato hustling can be lost. When the supply is getting nearer to a tipping point you will want to ensure you are ready.
When a new supply point is reached all in-game prices are fractionalized. This makes all tokens farmed prior to the event much more valuable than after the supply change. The table below illustrates a range of prices before and after the first tipping point. As you can see, all in-game prices are affected by the change in supply. The aim is to keep all prices relative so newcomers can still enjoy balanced gameplay and improve their farms.
What could go wrong?
Players need to be careful not to plant anything expensive right before a supply shift otherwise you could end up selling the plant at a loss. See the example below.
1. You plant a Beetroot for $0.2 SFF (Supply is 499,900)
2. Supply increases to 500,100
3. You harvest the same Beetroot for $0.1 SFF
In the above case, you would end up losing $0.1 as the supply has increased for Beetroots and their price has dropped accordingly. So, keep a close eye on the supply.
The above does not constitute investment advice. The information given here is purely for informational purposes only. Please exercise due diligence and do your research. The writer holds ETH, BTC, AGIX, HEX, LINK, GRT, CRO, OMI, IMMUTABLE X, ENS, GALA, AVASTR, GMEE, CUBE, RADAR, FLOW, FTM, BNB, SPS, WRLD, and ADA.