Dark Forest

zkSNARK space warfare

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Dark Forest v0.6 Round 3: Grape Extra-Small has concluded! Thank you all who participated and congratulations to the winners.

Over 2500 players participated in this round. Of those, almost 1000 of them earned an invite key to the next round (the date of which is yet to be announced) by claiming at least one planet by the conclusion of the round.

Nearly 2 million transactions were submitted over the course of this nine-day round, using roughly 1.7 trillion units of gas.


This Dark Forest round had the most unique objective of any prior round; while previous rounds were about exploration and discovery, Round 3 was a race to the center of the universe. Player score was based off of capturing planets as close to the coordinates of (0, 0) as possible. This resulted in new strategies and conflicts, which we were excited to watch unfold.

Different players used different tactics in their journies to the center–journies which involved plenty of luck, drama, and intrigue along the way!

@dropswap_gg, who finished in first place, held the top spot for a majority of the round and commanded a dominant presence around the center early on. In the first few days of the contest, they discovered a doubled-range L7, which they combo’d with a photoid cannon to leap over 250,000 units straight to the middle of the map. After getting to the center, they quickly established a central command outpost.

@dropswap_gg was revealed to be attached to @orden_gg, who was originally named ghst_gg - the same user that won Round 3! This means that the same group won two rounds in a row - a first for Dark Forest!

Taking second and third place were @0x_nRoni and @blainebublitz, who has also placed highly in many previous rounds. The fourth place position was taken by @Ner0nzz, another formidable veteran who recently published a guest post on strategy on the Dark Forest blog.

The final hours of the round were especially exciting due to the nature of the king-of-the-hill objective. Dozens of players banded together in a last-ditch effort to snipe center planets, in a combined push nicknamed The Intergalactic YOLO. As we saw, however, capturing and claiming center planets wasn’t always enough–positioning and timing were critical to securing a final placement. In the final minutes, leaderboard spots shifted quickly and we saw multiple heartbreaking losses, including @ayo_space_ninja who fell from #4 to #54 in the final 120 seconds of the round. See You Space Ninja...


This round, THREE Dark Forest Artifact Market plugins built by player teams came to life!


The top 63 players will be awarded planet NFTs in Valhalla on the Ethereum mainnet. If you won a prize, we’ll send an email to you in the near future with instructions on how to claim it. These NFTs can be inspected on Etherscan and OpenSea.

Special Prizes Awarded

Similar to the previous round, we’re awarding a number of special prize NFTs as well to individuals who contributed to Dark Forest in especially creative or community-minded ways. These prizes were awarded by the core developer team with input from a few community members. They aren’t meant to be an exhaustive listing of all community projects; rather, they’re meant to highlight a sample of community contributions that we thought were especially cool.

In future rounds, the Dark Forest team will continue to award NFT prizes at our discretion to players who contribute to the Dark Forest community via open-source tooling, content creation, bug reporting, and more.

  • MarrowDAO (lvl4): for a remote GPU miner (via YUNYANDENG) and the DarkSea artifacts marketplace (via snowtigersoft)
  • d_fdao (lvl4): for a third-party artifacts marketplace, coordinating the “Intergalactic YOLO”, and an excellent writeup on the implications of gaming for DAOs with proof-of-concept tooling
  • gakonst (lvl4): for a CLI implementation of a dark forest client in rust, and reconciliation work on the ArkWorks and Circom SNARK toolstacks
  • TheVelorum (lvl3): for continued help with community moderation, launching the spanish discord community, a subgraph developer guide, and great use of the graph for a round-end breakdown post
  • nicksdjohnson (lvl3): for a highly functional and open-source AI automation tool
  • kobigurk (lvl3): for reconciliation work on the ArkWorks and Circom SNARK toolstacks
  • cecco_ (lvl3): for work on an open-source remote GPU miner
  • cca (lvl3): for contributions to open-source plugins, and the TowardsCenterV2 mining pattern
  • orden_gg (lvl3): for the dropswap third-party artifacts marketplace
  • blainebublitz (lvl3): for continued support, maintenance, and education in the third-party developer community, and assistance with critical bugfixes
  • binderdoug (lvl3): for assistance with the implementation of the R3 scoring contract and critical bugfixes
  • jacobrosenthal (lvl3): for continued contributions to and maintenance of open-source plugins and developer resources
  • spencecoin (lvl3): for continued community leadership and assistance with community management
  • morrislaptop (lvl2): for open-sourcing a heavily-modified dark forest client, and helpful dev assistance in discord
  • snowtigersoft (lvl2): for the awesome-darkforest resource compilation
  • MJ659600 (lvl2): for contributions to open-source plugins
  • byeddy (lvl2): for contributions to open-source plugins
  • benhen (lvl2): for contributions to open-source plugins
  • rootial (lvl2): for contributions to open-source plugins
  • ner0nzz (lvl2): for contributions to the DFWiki and the Art of Dark Forest War article, analyzing high level p2p play
  • bulmenisaurus (lvl2): for contributions to open-source plugins
  • ecrivaine_k (lvl2): for helping kick off and moderate the new mandarin discord community
  • nightlostk (lvl2): for helping kick off and moderate the new mandarin discord community
  • modukon (lvl2): for continued contributions to open-source plugins, and assistance with user support in discord
  • iovoid (lvl2): for identification and disclosure of an issue with waitlist and player email address storage
  • alicanc (lvl2): for building the Cardpunks app and bringing in Dark Forest artifact NFT APIs into a third-party project

When projects were launched with either multiple contributors, or with both DAO and individual involvement, the Dark Forest core team used discretion to decide where and how the planet should be awarded.

As with the top 63 prizes winners, we will email the special prize winners with instructions on how to claim them in the near future.

Thank you for playing in Dark Forest v0.6 Round 3: Grape Extra-Small! We’ll see you in the next round.

-Dark Forest Team