The Atlas Star ✧ Issue #3
Delivering you original long-form updates covering our latest news and backstage sneak peeks.
This edition of The Atlas Star is brought to you by ReBirth: Genesis of a Metaverse… Owning a piece of history is the first step to being part of the future.
SCN Mining Town WIP /// Future Blockchain Based NFT In-Game Asset Center /// Owner/Player Builder Enabled
The course is set. We are heading deep into The Void, a place of true light beyond our knowledge and comprehension, equipped with our perception and sight, a transformational spirit of ReBirth inhabiting our hearts and minds. Like the bands of northern lights across the night sky, our teams in Design, Production, Development, Marketing and Operations have been working synchronously to bring you an unrivaled metaverse experience.
This work continues to be carried on the wings of enthusiasm and support of our community, without whom no improvement would be possible. Much light to you and yours.
- Star Atlas Journey Through ReBirth
- Community Growth and Traction
- Design & Development
- Roadmap Updates
- Partnership Announcements
- Media Related Activities
What comes after the moment of ReBirth?
A quick recap from the CEO on making history with the Star Atlas Meta-Poster launch.
What does it mean to write history? Further, is it still true that history is written by the victor? As we emerge and explore this path of distributed information — starting with the advent of the internet, and continuing onward through trustless blockchain networks — it is amazing to think that we are entering an era of digitally verifiable truth, for which manipulation becomes near impossible.
While the philosophical significance of that last statement is incredibly powerful, it perhaps overstates the necessity for our initial digital art campaign: ReBirth. Nevertheless, in our crafting of the ReBirth experience, we envisioned the possibility of capturing at least a small moment in time. An era of innovation. An era of disruption. An era in which all things seem possible. Further, we sought to capture the vision of an alternative paradigm. A paradigm that stretches the imagination of possibilities in economics, social interaction, and politics. But also a vision for inclusion.
Our team has been rallying behind the concept of ‘Power to the People.’ And the ideation behind that motto is genuine. We do believe that Star Atlas will be transformative not only in gaming, but also in the way that people live their daily lives. That philosophy carried through to our structuring of ReBirth, in which everyone has the opportunity to participate in this historical period by purchasing a permanent memoir of a moment in time: the paradigm shattering launch of Star Atlas. A digital ReBirth.
I cannot express the gratitude I have for our impassioned early following of gamers, of crypto explorers, and brave trail blazers. We consider our initial launch of the Star Atlas marketplace and ReBirth portal a tremendous success. Attracting the interest of thousands of buyers, and creating revenue in the neighborhood of $750,000 per week! This revenue is essential to the long-term success of Star Atlas. We have embarked upon an enormous undertaking. The capital requirements will be considerable, and the energy requirements even greater. So to those of you supporting us with this ReBirth campaign, we thank you. I thank you. Without you, this vision would remain purely that — ambition. But with this support, it solidifies our resolve to continue this ambitious vision, and validates to us that we are on the right path. We are sincerely looking forward to the prospects ahead, and continuing this metaversal journey with you.
-Michael Wagner, CEO
Human beings have always had inherent interest in the world around them. This attribute not only acted to save our species from certain doom on countless occasions but also kept expanding the frontier of our reality. At first, the expansion happened purely geographically, then as tools, music and art were passed down through generations and added to our cultural blockchain. Fast-forwarding this process to the present day, we now find ourselves at the ultimate confluence of frontiers, rapidly converging on them with the same curiosity and drive harbored within us since the dawn of man. We are about to leap further once again.
The boundary being pierced through now is multi-dimensional: forward, upward and inward. We are simultaneously extending our senses and technological limbs, re-entering outer space and connecting the inner networks of human minds on a scale vaster than ever imaginable. This is a second renaissance unlike any other pivotal moment before it.
To celebrate this genesis moment in a grand fashion, our team at Star Atlas has launched the ReBirth collection on April 24, bringing you an experience for the mind and all five senses. Apply your curiosity, cultivate your imagination, dive into the new world and feel inspired to create.
Mining Town WIP /// Future Scanning Gameplay Loop /// Owner/Player Land-based Mining Station
The ReBirth series is a sequence of 14 Meta-Posters that can be bought and traded on the Star Atlas portal. In the true spirit of interstellar transcendence, each Meta-Poster is an all-encompassing experience that portrays a key historic moment in the metaverse, fully submerging you into its zeitgeist. As an NFT, it is immortalized and made indestructible on Solana’s blockchain. It extends into the real-life third dimension with an augmented reality feature and the melody of its soundscape filling the air around you.
ReBirth also rewards those who venture forth to join this trail-blazing journey into the metaverse. Everyone partaking in these experiences who collects them also gets in-game NFT rewards based on how many sequential meta-posters or “tiers” they’ve collected. While owning the first poster gets you the slick Pearce X4 Space Bike with an exclusive skin, a mining claim and a faction passport, owning all first three will get you that and a warp-speed Pearce X5 Car with an exclusive stealthy look, extra crew rewards, an even bigger mining claim package and a Captain’s License.
Finally, each tier also comes with a special NFT Badge that makes its holder’s blockchain wallet eligible for future surprise drops and treats from the Star Atlas team, our token of appreciation for our community of pioneers, the connoisseurs of 21st century art traveling with us at the speed of light.
Pearce X in Showroom WIP /// Future Scanning Gameplay Loop Environments /// Owner/Player Landbased Mining Station
The ReBirth event is ongoing until the last week of July 2021, when a 14th bonus meta-poster with extra perks will be released to those in possession of the full collection.
By subjecting it to cosmic forces contained within the Fibonacci sequence, each meta-poster only has a narrow window of time during which it can be bought directly on the ReBirth website. First dropping by tier level and then individually, the meta-poster sale duration is dramatically reduced every week. The first four (full Tier 1 and the first one from Tier 2) are available for seven days each, whereas all subsequent ones starting with the second meta-poster from Tier 2 follow a steep downward curve of entropy, making them available for purchase for ever-shorter durations. It will culminate in touching the event horizon with the last meta-poster in late July, which will only be available for purchase for a few hours.
For those who weren’t fast enough to get a given meta-poster on time, there is the option to buy it on the open marketplace from someone who already owns it, leaving them at the mercy of market forces, which may cause prices to increase way beyond their original figure.
Simultaneously, like the growth of the universe itself, the initial price of the meta-posters is subjected to the law of entropy, rising exponentially with each next one released.
To guide the adventurous interstellar traveler, our CEO Michael Wagner recorded a helpful video for a smooth flight through the ReBirth Meta-Poster buying process, navigating the Solana blockchain and getting your space citadel access secured.
Co-founder and CEO Michael Wagner /// Introduction to ReBirth: Genesis of a Metaverse /// HD Video Stream
11x11 days into the renaissance
A note from the COO, Pablo Quiroga about how it feels to experience a rebirth every single day.
At Star Atlas we are currently experiencing a collective wake state “working” environment. Dreaming of adventures where one can explore and share one’s true potential is a daily occurrence across all work spaces. Collaboration is king in our worldwide sandbox. Keeping our eyes on the prize facilitates focus and communication channels optimized.
The Star Atlas company DNA is a catalyst for sourcing the creativity our community dreams to experience. ReBirth is a great example of the future of marketing engineering. Historically, marketing a product consists of push or pull campaigns where the company and user are separated by a line drawn in the sand. We approach our community by launching regenerative experiences where NFTs, art, design, and music are augmented by an XR elixir. Immersive technology is the future of community-driven experiential marketing. And we are just getting started.
Working with Blond:ish, Jason Silva, and Bassjackers to develop the first three Meta-Poster soundscapes was a gift from the universe. We surely experienced a collective flow state both before, during and after the launch of each Meta-Posters. Through a telescope, I definitely see more collaboration and innovative opportunities for us to co-create as we continue expanding globally.
ReBirth bends time and space by encapsulating shared experiences. We strive to make hearts sing!
As a very next-gen ideation and production powerhouse, Star Atlas has turned into a Solana first cohort success. Giving wings of innovation to the entire blockchain ecosystem with new use cases we are pushing the envelope of what is possible ever further.
Our thought leadership on the frontier of tomorrow also bears a great responsibility. To manifest a collective dream imbued with hope and aspirations of the next generation is a colossal undertaking and one that we do not take lightly — but we do take it with light and conviction of a future among the stars for everyone.
In the weeks leading up to and through the ReBirth, our collective experience of collaboration along with the creative output has skyrocketed beyond our wildest imagination. The genesis of a metaverse has captured our hearts with its hyper-sensory experience and captivated our minds with its depth and boundless potential.
Behind the scenes, our truly decentralized workforce is tuning in from the world over to work around the clock on our unique global mission, operating in uncharted space and building an entirely new dimension of reality. We had all hands on deck, with engineering working in symphony with game development, design and marketing to launch the best metaverse experience one could dream of.
Complete with a countdown and mission control on standby, the lift-off was no less spectacular than a NASA mission into outer space. To reach this milestone, our teams have tackled every variable and navigated through every path of the new ecosystem, launching ReBirth into orbit and thereby opening the doors of Star Atlas to the world, giving them a taste of its vast space for global citizens to live out their dreams while creating, playing, and learning together.
Our team has also been in quantum entanglement not just with each other but also with our community, drawing inspiration from the collective dream wake state and mapping it into order through innovation with a mycelial level of connectedness and involvement of the dreamers, the fans and citizens of the Star Atlas metaverse.
As a community center, the now traditional Star Atlas Town Hall on Fridays has become the highlight of our week. Getting together with our community on the Star Atlas Discord server to host discussions with our special guests Blond:ish, the outstanding artist behind our inaugural ReBirth soundscape experiences in collaboration with futurist Jason Silva, going into deep dives about the work in progress and exchanging ideas with the participants tuning in has already become an integral part of the intergalactic metaverse of our lives. Taking the stage in the Atlas Amphitheater is a unique experience so don’t miss the next Town Hall event on Friday afternoon Pacific Time!
Vzus Opod WIP /// Future Blockchain Based NFT In-Game Asset /// Owner/Player Builder Enabled
A new way of connecting with our community has been the Star Atlas NFT Workshop at the Solana Season Hackathon. With more than 7,000 sign-ups for the event, we’ve had the brightest minds in the thriving Solana Ecosystem taking on our very next-generation challenge. We connected with the participants on Friday, May 7, during a live Twitch session where we launched the contest in which developers will build out their own game in the Star Atlas Arcade.
Aside from a $25k prize track, winners for the most innovative projects will gain exclusive access to the Star Atlas backstage, our engineering deck and our support and collaboration on delivering their product in the upcoming Star Atlas Arcade.
Check out the session livestream recording for behind-the-scenes development insights and see CEO Michael Wagner floating in space.
On May 6, history was made once again Star Atlas pulled another world-first move with the help of our community. We announced the first-ever community-driven voting event for an in-game NFT asset, a Star Feline crewmember. For 36 hours, members of the community could cast a vote for their favorite furry spaceship companion. These cute super-intelligent critters will either increase in-game crew members’ rest stats or bring you ship repair perks by fixing nearby power nodes, damaged hulls or components at a very slow rate.
The top three Tigu felines (options M, I and N) with the most votes were then handed over to our design team for a transformational experience that will create one final Super Star Feline. Stay tuned to our Discord and Twitter channels for the grand reveal of our community-driven metaverse fusion of Star Atlas space cats!
Star Atlas Star Feline NFT WIP /// Community-driven In-game Asset Voting
Star Atlas Twitter Account /// 28 Day Twitter Analytics Summary
Our community traction has continued an exponential growth trajectory, with a metaverse-hungry audience more than doubling on both Twitter and Discord in less than a month, and other channels following suit.
A perspective of the birth and the ReBirth from the CPO, Danny Floyd
We’ve hit some major milestones since our last newsletter update. Efforts on all fronts have been positive and the meta-universe of Star Atlas is manifesting in a very fun and vibrant way! These efforts include the launch of our pre-alpha marketplace containing the ReBirth lore meta-poster series, the continued concept refinement of global ships, species and locations, Unreal Engine production, the cinematic efforts, and the designs and milestone planning for the first wave launch of the upcoming minigame.
By all measures of success I am thrilled and grateful with the results of the ReBirth event. In the 11th hour before launch we clarified the full set of reward drops that would accompany poster holder tiers. It was a lot of fun organizing those rewards because it was a chance to finally let the community get a peek into the core gameplay for the upcoming versions of the game. Over time, the purpose and utility of all the items will also be obvious and the exclusive cosmetics will be fun to have further down the road.
The phased launch of the marketplace is proving to be a great way to deliver a product, engage the community and to iterate with each new poster drop. This campaign is establishing a reliable pipeline for app and art deployment. The deployment schedule will help to manage community expectations and aid in setting internal development projections. I’m very proud of the entire team’s efforts in coordinating a beautiful release from the idea phase to the live product. We also recently added in 3D poster turntables on top of the already rich viewing experience through the help of Sketchfab. It’s just one more step toward a genuine sense of tangibility of these posterized blockchain NFT assets.
I am very excited for the upcoming lore posters. The storyline will tug at the heart strings and the art is absolutely top tier. I can’t wait!
All seven primary ship manufacturers and the other four minor ship manufactures are all now very well defined. We’re able to cleanly move into alternate offerings using these established designs. With one new and very interesting manufacturer added since the last update. I believe this one will be a show-stopper.
All major efforts are toward getting a nice brochure of the ReBirth rewards rendered, cataloged and detailed for when those NFTs are delivered to players’ wallets.
The rework of the ONI Central Station is blowing my mind. Establishing this station as the first major playable area could serve as a full game in itself! The shipyard is the first phase of this station that will be rolled out. The design and functionality of it has already taken shape and when it moves into full rendered concepts we can start sharing images. In the process of building out the functionality of the shipyard it sparked an in depth conversation about the management of the space as it relates to real property ownership. Because we have the potential to make every game asset an NFT, hangars being NFTs and their relationship to the main real estate of the game’s location is a very interesting subject to define.
As we were defining the look of our Tigu species it seemed like it would be a fun item to get the community involved. I’m happy to say that the one variant that I personally wanted to win did make it into the final three! That was a nice confirmation that our community’s sense of taste aligns with our own. We’re now moving into the final look for all three of them and will again present for some community feedback. Eventually, all Tier 1 poster holders will get a Tigu to call their own.
Claim Stakes are in concept production at the moment and while it may seem like a simple item there is a lot of functionality to consider. The base design is important but that stems from the functionality. Which includes, storing, deploying, staking, Star Atlas network transmissions, radar scanning capabilities and the need to cover claims of different sizes and tiers.
Busan Last Stand WIP /// Future Blockchain Based NFT In-Game Asset /// Owner/Player Customization Enabled
Unreal Engine Production
We’ve had our first major delivery of some visual effects done in Unreal Engine. Using Niagara in version 4 should convert gracefully when Unreal 5 becomes available. The materials, effects and parameters for both have matured wonderfully for warp effects. We’re building them in such a way that the effects while in a warp bubble and traveling to your destination will display changes to the effect when encountering different states. Differing states such as accelerating, decelerating, max speed, the nearby celestial bodies, the specific manufacturer, tier and class of the warp engine and the amount of warp fuel remaining will all be visually tied into the warp effects system.
Thrusters have also undergone a similar effects pass to the warp effects and will be tied into the same type of parameters.
Character and Vehicle production has begun with the Pearce X4 Bike and the Large Ustur character style being put into production with the intent to push the visual quality towards next-gen expectations.
We are also engaging with multiple studios to build out the full production art team to be ready for a rapid scaling up post July this year.
Full asset production has commenced on the trailer. All designs for all assets and actors in the trailer film have been signed off on and placed into the very capable hand of our yet to be announced cinematic studio we are collaborating with to do the final cinematic production work and bring all the designs to life. Stay tuned for the reveal of this brilliant cinematic studio!
The composer/musician we are also collaborating with to do the music for the trailer is having a blast working with the pre-viz and that will be another great announcement to come!
We are also honing in on the sound studio to really launch the trailer to infinity.
Foundational game and system design documentation for an array of ship missions coming in the mini-game have been established. We will likely see the first phase of that as playable with the mini-game launch. However, the complexity and replayability of them will grow over the remainder of the year. It’s a new feature that will give a lot of utilization for your hard earned NFT ships, crew, components and modules and also be a really fun way to find and earn more NFT rewards.
I couldn’t be more proud of our teams and I couldn’t be more excited for Star Atlas and the future of the metaverse. The ReBirth event has been an incredible feat in such a rapid period of time. I think this sets the stage of all future milestones to be even better and bigger than what we’ve seen so far. Great things are on the horizon and I simply can not wait to get there.
Calico WIP /// Future Blockchain Based NFT In-Game Assets /// Owner/Player Builder Enabled
Lift-off notes from Mission Control
A Note from the Tech Lead’s desk: Michael Lu
Since our last newsletter, the engineering team kicked into high gear in order to launch the alpha version of our site for the ReBirth event. An absolutely massive amount of work went into the launch to make it successful. We learned a lot of hard and fast lessons, and had the opportunity to really test the infrastructure, automation, and processes in our ecosystem.
To get into it, let’s talk about some of the requirements to launch the site from a technical perspective. We needed to operate at a high level in order to get everything production-ready:
- The application feature complete for poster sales, including:
- Displaying all pages responsively for all desktop screen sizes
- Iterating multiple times over designs while gathering internal feedback
- Functionality including interactions with the Serum DEX to purchase NFTs and user wallet management
- Augmented reality layers on top of the NFT art
- Extremely robust infrastructure to support large surges in active users
- Automatic pipelines to streamline new code releases and reduce the time to deliver hotfixes and patches to the site
- This makes the difference between a critical bugfix taking 2 hours or 2 minutes to go live
- Minting 14 on-chain NFTs and setting up an API pipeline to send their metadata to our application
All that under the hood and the site needed to have the iconic Star Atlas look and feel. Short order, right?
Knowing the date and exact requirements, we scoped out a rough schedule to get the application feature-complete, allowing enough time for internal testing & iteration. Anyone familiar with software development deadlines knows that they should be considered, at best, as estimations. To make a long story short, we absolutely nailed our roadmap, with the most valiant effort of our hard-working engineers and a few bugs which popped up in the weeks after launch. I’m very appreciative for the engineers who were working alongside me to get it done; they deserve it all.
Our culture in the Star Atlas Engineering team is to push our developers to be proactive, not reactive. On the whole, one important thing to know about work is that we don’t gain time, only displace it. The engineers who are pushing to hit their deadline often notice that they are significantly less effective while recovering and we take that eternal truth to heart.
It was thrilling that we launched when we did in order to 1) capture the NFT market at a very opportune time and 2) ensure that we could start scaling both financially and operationally to meet our goals for the full game release. As we continue to scale with new hires and refine our processes, we’re setting the course for a unique Star Atlas engineering culture.
From a leadership perspective, I also really like how having a live product changes the dynamic of how the engineering team works. Instead of an ephemeral application sitting in a tightly controlled environment, our work now directly affects tens of thousands of active users. This raises the stakes, re-contextualizing the work of individual developers and empowering them to ultimately create a more refined & polished video game.
So what did we learn? As stated before, there were a few critical bugs that made it into production:
Serum DEX taker fee
- We launched at 4PM MT but our users weren’t able to actually buy posters until 4:30 because of a miscalculation on the application associated with fees for interacting with the Serum DEX
- This bug was immediately identified in our war room, patched, and made live within the half hour
- There was some odd behavior in the user inventory when fetching data from the blockchain
- In some cases users were seeing a 0 balance for a poster they had just bought, in others balances would flash in and out for no apparent reason
- Most of these issues have been smoothed over, but there are a few additional improvements we’d still like to make
General infrastructure unreliability
- We initially launched the app as a workload living on a Rancher cluster, however as our user base continued to grow it quickly outscaled this
- We migrated our hosting solution to Google Cloud Run with only 15 minutes of application downtime
- For 3–4 days the Solana blockchain was experiencing extremely heavy traffic as the price of SOL shot up to the mid $40s
Unfortunately, this was completely out of our control. We’re working on getting a private RPC node provisioned for our applications as quickly as possible, but until then we’re subject to how well the public nodes are performing.
Overall, the release was a huge success. In the weeks after launch, we received more positive community feedback than we ever could have anticipated. So far we’ve distributed not thousands but tens of thousands of our exclusive poster NFTs, and continued to address our players’ concerns as a priority.
Changing gears, in the past week we’ve gotten involved in giving back to the Solana developer community by launching the Star Atlas Arcade. To support the future of blockchain game development, we’re really excited to be offering a prize pool of $25,000 as part of this year’s Solana Hackathon. In addition to cash bonuses, we’ll host both prize and award winners’ applications permanently through our own infrastructure. If you’re interested in participating, check out the repository linked above.
Shameless plug: we’re hiring! If you’re an Unreal, TypeScript / React, Solana or Serum developer who is interested in contributing to this galaxy, feel free to send your resume to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where are we heading next? We’ve laid out an extremely detailed roadmap through the end of this year which will include the release of game features on the website, tons of new NFTs, as well as ways for our community to connect with each other as part of the Star Atlas metaverse.
Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us — we’ll see you in the next one.
Mining WIP /// Future Scanning Gameplay Loop Environments /// Owner/Player Land-based Mining Stations
A Word from our Partners at Solana: Austin Virts
The Star Atlas team has done a phenomenal job executing on their ReBirth NFT event. The community has been asking for NFTs on Solana for quite some time, and the overall excitement upon initial launch was palatable. Incorporating augmented reality and unique music into each piece made this launch even more special. Only 3 of the 14 NFTs have launched; I am excited to see how the continuation of the campaign plays out.
Roadmap Updates, Partnership Announcements, and Media Related Activities
A Note from the Head of Communication’s desk: Matej Mavec
As the first-ever ReBirth Meta-Poster experience was just being launched, I was making a 2,000-mile journey from what was once regarded as the last frontier of humanity. Just over a hundred years ago, this remote Arctic corner of the world called the Yukon was beyond the edge of civilization, thousands of miles from the reach of infrastructure, beyond any knowledge of what lies beyond. It attracted explorers, adventurers and those who wanted to exist in freedom beyond the known world. When gold was discovered, it suddenly became synonymous with financial independence and the two sides of the frontier underwent a transformation journey that brought them together and changed them both in the process. This aspect of the Boundary is important for understanding the place of Star Atlas in our world. As ReBirth shows, the metaverse has just as strong of an effect on the world outside it as the other way around. With breathtaking development happening both in the public eye and behind the scenes, the real renaissance is happening by osmosis through this new frontier, right here and now. You will either step across it and manifest your dreams or suddenly find yourself in their midst. The choice is yours.
Recent Partnerships & Events
- Space MMO overview with Michael Wagner
- AI on Crypto reviews Star Atlas, Solana’s secret weapon
- Professor Crypto's Class on Star Atlas
- Star Atlas trailer trailer by Grow Crypto
- LADZ City LADZ City Star Atlas NFT interview with CEO Michael Wagner
- Review: Star Atlas, a game with much potential (Italian)
- Star Atlas ReBirth Sale tutorial (Hindi)
- QBK Blog ReBirth NFT review (Vietnamese)
- Game review by Altcoin Buzz
- CAGYJAN’s review of Rebirth
- On Chain Gaming review of Star Atlas NFTs
- Metacrypto review of Star Atlas
- AMA at tehMoonwalkeR’s High Table
- AMA at Blockchain Space
- AMA at Spectre
- AMA at Decentralized Club
- AMA with the Crypto Society
- AMA at Coinex Iran
- AMA with CEO Michael Wagner at Capital Blockchain
- Star Atlas Overview & Workshop on Solana TV
- Solana News unveils Star Atlas Arcade competition
- May 15, 2021 /// Launching the first Tier 2 Meta-Poster of Re-Birth: Genesis of a Metaverse NFT Art Collectibles Series
- July 23, 2021 /// New Website Launch
- July 24, 2021 /// Galactic Asset Offering Launch /// Browser Mini Game Launch
- Creative Artist Collaborations
- July 24, 2021 /// Galactic Asset Offering Launch /// Browser Mini Game Launch
Media Related Activities
- Star Atlas Town Hall with BASSJACKERS, May 14, 2021, 10PM UTC (3PM PDT/ 6PM EDT)
- Additional AMAs and events will be announced via our social media channels
ABOUT STAR ATLAS
Star Atlas is a virtual gaming metaverse emerging from the confluence of state of the art blockchain, real-time graphics, multiplayer video game, and decentralized financial technologies.
Real-time graphics technology using Unreal Engine 5’s Nanite allows for cinematic quality video game visuals. Blockchain technology using the Solana protocol established a largely serverless and secured gameplay experience. Non-fungible tokens obtained and traded within Star Atlas creates an economy that replicates the tangibility of real world assets and ownership. To learn more, visit https://staratlas.com and join the ReBirth at play.staratlas.com/rebirth.