How does a 20 cent arcade account become the golden key to online games?
How does a 20 cent arcade account unlock online gaming?
What kind of chemical reaction will occur when account abstraction, on-chain gaming, and Starknet are combined?
Thanks to the play-to-earn model, GameFi games like StepN have quickly gained popularity and attracted more and more funds into the industry. According to statistics from Blockchaingamer, a blockchain gaming platform service provider, the investment in the blockchain gaming industry reached as high as $2.56 billion as of November 2022. However, due to immature economic models and infrastructure, the concept of GameFi cooled down quickly under the influence of capital.
In 2023, people will turn their development focus to full-chain gaming. For full-chain gaming, in addition to digital assets within the game, all game logic also occurs on the blockchain. This means that every state change of the game contract needs to be registered on the blockchain, and players need to sign transactions for every operation in the game. This is a very poor player experience for high-frequency operation games like RTS (real-time strategy).
Session Key is a solution to address the inherent poor game experience of native encrypted games. It aims to leverage account abstraction and some clever innovations on Starknet to allow encrypted game players to sign transactions less frequently for each operation. Today, Loot Realms has released the first implementation based on Session Key—Arcade Accounts. With Arcade Accounts, players can securely store their keys in browser storage and do not need to sign every “attack” operation in the game, thereby achieving a smoother player experience.
What exactly is Arcade Account? How does it work? Before answering these questions, let’s learn about Session Key.
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What is Session Key?
Session Key is an idea jointly launched by the Briqs, Realms, and Topology teams at the Starknet hackathon one year ago. It aims to use account abstraction and some clever innovations on Starknet to solve the inherent poor experience of native encrypted games—players need to sign transactions for every operation in the game.
In the on-chain gaming scenario, every operation in the game will trigger a wallet pop-up window and require user confirmation of “Do you want to confirm this transaction?” At the same time, there may be some content that most people cannot interpret, which may lead to errors, confusion, or even loss of funds.
Session Key allows users to pre-approve interaction rules with specific Dapps, such as limited duration, maximum gas limit, restrictions on the maximum transaction volume of tokens, or specific functions of certain contracts. In this way, game players can interact freely within these limited rules without having to sign every transaction.
In other words, with Session Key, players can enjoy the fun of Dapps while ensuring that their assets are protected. Because Session Keys have already restricted what Dapps can and cannot do. This means that when playing on-chain games, you will not be bothered by endless confirmations and you will know that the most valuable assets in your wallet are safe.
What is Arcade Accounts?
Arcade Accounts is the first implementation by the Realms team of account abstraction on Starknet for session keys.
By adopting (restricted) middleware, Realms players are allowed to create a new type of Arcade Account, which greatly improves the user experience of on-chain games.
Essentially, an Arcade Account is a Starknet account with some functional variations, including:
– Each Arcade account has a main account
– Other-level accounts cannot transfer ETH/Tokens except for the main account
– Other accounts can only sign transactions unless they are verified
In other words, Arcade Accounts provide limited player functionality, and these restricted permissions can minimize security risks. Even if an Arcade Account is exploited, attackers are powerless because the main account can withdraw all funds and create a new Arcade Account.
Starknet’s unique “declare contract” method can reduce the cost of adding an Arcade Account to around 20 cents.
What is the experience of Arcade Accounts? Loot Realms demonstrated the intuitive experience brought by an Arcade Account to players in the lightweight game Loot Survivor – “smooth in-game interactions without signing each attack operation.”
Without using Arcade Accounts, players need to sign each attack operation in the game and wait for a longer confirmation time. After adding Arcade Accounts, users can securely store their keys in the browser storage, eliminating the need to sign messages and directly performing attack operations in the game.
The above are just some basic functions implemented by using contracts as accounts. Loot Realms will implement two advanced features in the future: automatic recharge when ETH is insufficient and token withdrawal when tokens arrive in the account.
In fact, session keys are not exclusive to Starknet technology, and session key functions for full-chain games are just one of the use cases unlocked by account abstraction. With the popularization and expansion of account abstraction schemes, wallets will become more secure and easier to use, and the Web3 world will welcome more users.