Dark Forest

zkSNARK space warfare

We’re pleased to announce the release of Dark Forest v0.4. This upcoming round will begin on Friday, October 2. We spent this past month adding some new features and quality-of-life improvements, including:

  • Nebulas and Deep Space: Players now spawn in NEBULAs, which are “safe zones” in the universe where combat is discouraged. We’ve also added DEEP SPACE - dangerous areas with more valuable planets and resources, that are also more vulnerable to attack. (This was surprisingly tricky to do with zkSNARKs - for those who are curious, we’ll be giving a few talks about how we implemented this.)
  • Burner Wallets - No More Metamask: By popular request, we’ve added fast in-webpage “burner wallets,” removing the need for Metamask confirmations. On initialization, we’ll seed your Dark Forest burner wallet with a small amount gas. This means that you won’t have to download any wallet software or jump through hoops to obtain cryptocurrency to play. Note that burner wallets are not very secure, so please don’t put substantial funds in these wallets.
  • Better “Test” Network: We’re using the xDAI STAKE network for Dark Forest v0.4. The xDAI STAKE network is an L2 “staging” network with higher transaction throughput rate and lower reorg frequency compared to Ropsten. It also allows us to start loading small amounts of real economic value into the game.
  • UI Improvements: Lots of bugfixes and quality-of-life improvements for the UI, including a box for running scripts and simple automations :)
  • New Mechanics and Rebalancing: Added SPEED and DEFENSE as planet traits, and tuned game parameters.
  • …and more!

Once again, Dark Forest v0.4 will be run as a whitelisted beta. Keys will be distributed over the next few days: first to Ethereum community members, and then to players who have signed up for our mailing list.

Like last round, we’ll have a 1024 DAI prize pool for the top 15 players. To determine prizewinners, a snapshot of the scoreboard will be taken at 11:59 Eastern Time (USA) on October 12. Note that you’ll still be able to play in this Dark Forest universe afterwards.

Refer to our previous post for details on scoring, prizes, and automation. It’s worth noting again that Dark Forest is still extremely experimental, and we may end the game early or terminate the game at our discretion if a game-breaking bug is found and exploited in a way that significantly affects the gameplay experience of other players.

Client and contract source code are available under MIT license on our Github. If you’re an Ethereum/ZK developer and are curious to see our circuits, DM us on Twitter.

Dark Forest is still early and unaudited. We expect to be moving quickly on new (breaking) features, and you should expect assets in these first Dark Forest universes to be unlikely to persist for very long as we build out the first full game. We’ll be keeping the community updated as we progress.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in Dark Forest v0.3, especially those who gave feedback and suggestions. Best of luck in v0.4.

The seed of civilization has been planted. It will germinate and progress through the unpredictable world of Dark Forest. We invite you to log on in the future.