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The Nodemap: Node Ecosystem Growth and Development

November 16, 2021
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It has been over a year since we introduced the first basic plans for the future of the Gala Games Node Ecosystem, and it is high time for a solid update. As we go into this update, it is important to note that software and ecosystem development is fraught with change. As you build something, you often find that it won’t work exactly as predicted or that there is some other critical component that is necessary. This often leads to delays, changes in scope, and shifts in trajectory as newer and better ways to solve problems present themselves. It is for this reason that we do not publish “road maps,” “whitepapers,” or specific developmental timelines. We recognize that this makes us different and some find it frustrating, but we will always work to build what is best for the whole ecosystem, and sometimes things are slightly different than what we initially planned.

Subject to Change

In the interest of making it perfectly clear, everything in this document is subject to change without notice as we build out the ecosystem. Ideas that once seemed like a great plan are sometimes revealed by time, further thinking, and greater expertise to be a poor plans. We will always build to support the ecosystem, games, gamers, and our outstanding community. We will ask the hard questions and make some tough calls, while putting topics to node votes when it concerns specific requirements for the node ecosystem, like the vote currently in progress on the node referral reward structure. This means that there may be changes to websites or articles without an accompanying official announcement.

Two Big Changes

The first change is the removal of “paid” and “free” nodes from the ecosystem map. Given that the long-term stability of the network depends on nodes being online essentially 24/7, we feel that both a “paid” (rental) and “free” model would not achieve the goals or minimum requirements of the network to function. In the future, nodes may have the ability to be leased or rented, but this is not something currently on the roadmap. In addition to the network stability issue of issuing rented or free nodes, it has also become clear that individual publishers coming to the network need to have the freedom to do things with their node structures that would not be supported by this model. The “paid” node model assumes a monolithic ecosystem, but the reality is that nodes for various games may not actually interface with the Founders Node Ecosystem at all, depending on legal considerations, technical limitations, or game requirements. This required a fundamental rethinking of the ecosystem in general.

This led to the second change: the introduction of “Game Specific Nodes” or “Game Specific Workloads” — These are nodes that serve a specific purpose in-game, such as the Town Star Node which will go to a governance vote later this week. These Node Licenses (which will be sold) serve specific purposes in-game. In the case of Town Star, they will eventually enable a user to run their town without leaving a browser window open. The potential rewards for these nodes will be limited to the specific game from which they are derived. They will never receive GALA or be afforded the benefits and privileges afforded to those who operate Founder’s Nodes. These may, at the discretion of the game developer, also be used to poll Game Specific Node operators about game changes, but will not have a “governance” function except where the game designer feels it would benefit the game. This structure allows the game developers to create their own smaller ecosystem which exists solely to support the requirements of their game, which is needed for the rapid onboarding into the broader Gala Games Ecosystem.

The Unique Power of Founder’s Nodes

What will not change is that Founder’s Nodes hold a place of utmost importance and honor in the ecosystem. We recognize that Founder’s Nodes are the core of the entire ecosystem, and we will always work to protect this position of honor. Founders Nodes will be the only nodes that receive GALA and NFTs for each game available on our platform. When new Game Specific Nodes are created and issued, a percentage of these will also be distributed to the operational node network in a random fashion similar to the way NFTs are distributed. However, as these nodes are not NFTs, they will be distributed as a redemption code via email to a selection of node operators active during the preceding 24 hours before the Node Licenses are officially made available for purchase.

There are further announcements regarding the Town Star Node, including an FAQ, which should answer many questions. There will also be VERY substantial updates to the node plan and ecosystem in the near future. Keep your eyes on this blog for updates, as well as in the Discord community! You never know when someone might post some leaky-leaks!

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