DAO Core Contributors. A full list can be found here
There are currently a lot of opportunities in the operational side of Merit Circle. Scaling, educating and maintenance of our current scholarship program is labor-intensive and sensitive to errors. Therefore we propose to develop an overarching platform that will house all the functionalities required to scale and sustain all the current gaming activities for Merit Circle.
Merit Circle works with thousands of gamers on a daily basis playing Axie Infinity and Vulcan Verse. The ambitions are to reach 5,000 scholars by the end of the year across multiple games. The current operations are going well and scaling happens at a rapid pace, there are quite some improvements that need to be implemented to scale towards the sizes the DAO envisions.
Therefore, we, the authors, want to propose the development of an overarching platform to streamline our gaming operations. For a clear understanding of the urge of this platform, please follow us in an exploration of the current challenges Merit Circle is facing on a daily basis.
Labor intensivity; the current operations require a lot of human labor since every single account is manually created, filled with the right in-game assets and eventually handed over to a scholar. Prior to the creation of an account, a scholar has to be interviewed by one of our managers based on a submitted application video. The tracking happens with certain tools, but most education and analysis happens manually still.
Infrequency; due to various reasons, we currently do not possess the flexibility of ensuring a structural payment schedule. Essentially, this should happen every Sunday, but due to the unstable Ronin blockchain delays might occur on a regular basis.
Oversight; with a growing community across multiple games, including another type of community member (investors), remaining oversight on what’s truly occurring becomes challenging. We have a large group of moderators keeping tabs on various channels, but the overarching sight is sometimes difficult.
Flexibility; as of today, we are actively onboarding scholars for Axie Infinity and preparing everything for the moment Vulcan Verse opens the scholarship program. However, with more games having a release date approaching, we are in need of a flexible workflow to switch between games and adapt a new flow seamlessly
As mentioned before, the proposed solutions to solve all the above mentioned challenges and prevent any friction from occurring as we hit certain milestones, is the development of an overarching gaming platform. The goal here is to improve the lives of our gamers, and to allow the DAO to seamlessly continue growing.
The early version of this platform will have, but will not be limited to, the following features;
- Automated and smooth onboarding of new scholars
- Financial overview module with payout functionality integrating multiple wallets
- In-game performance tracking
- Educational modules
- Ability to switch between various games
- Scholar management tools
The later version will include many other functionalities and will include gamification as a prominent element. Within the platform, there will be dozens of manners for gamers and others to interact with each other, the platform and Merit Circle the DAO.
For the development of the platform, we propose to work together with Dept Agency, a full service digital agency home to more than 1,500 thinkers and makers throughout Europe and the United States. The agency has worked with brands like Adidas, Algorand, Otrium and many others proving the experience and skills are definitely there.
The development of the platform will never be done. However, the first version is projected to be released in the first half of 2022. Once the full scope of the platform is decided, a better timeline can be shared. We will share a more in depth list of the features each version will include with each release.
The platform will improve Merit Circle on many facets. At first, the operations can scale better and faster while the overall workload becomes way better manageable. Second of all, the lives of our gamers will become much easier as they will have a central place to find everything they need. As quoted from Merit Circle’s Medium article about the platform;
“With the play-to-earn model being embraced by a larger audience, we can see a shift in job opportunities, especially in low-wage countries. People who first struggled to make a living are now thriving in an online community where their skills are rewarded better than ever before. This changes not only the way they make money but their entire lives.
We wish to improve the earning potential of our gamers as well as their lives in general. We want to emphasize education and teach all about the different facets of life other than simply working on their gaming skills. We want to help answer questions such as “how do you handle a sudden shift in your financial position?”, “how could you use DeFi products to make money work for you, to earn additional money?”, and so on.
We want to truly raise the industry standard and, with this in mind, we are building an overarching platform to cover everything a gamer could possibly need or want to know.“
In conclusion, the platform will better Merit Circle and Merit Circle’s gamers.
The development of this platform will cost $850,000. This includes the development of the first version of the platform in collaboration with Dept Agency, the guidance and counseling towards setting up our own team, the hiring of a senior in-house product owner to guide the process and a small array of unforeseen expenses that might arise along the way.
Beneath, we have compiled a list of questions that might be asked after going through the proposal above.
Why do we need a platform like this?
We believe that this platform is essential to the growth of Merit Circle and vital to improving the lives of all the scholars that fall under the Merit Circle DAO. We can streamline our current onboarding and thereby onboard many more scholars than we currently do in a good manner. The scholars that we onboard will have a better experience resulting in better performance and longer periods of collaboration with Merit Circle. All in all, we can focus on scaling and thereby accruing more value for the DAO.
Can we build this cheaper?
We can use an often-quoted phrase to answer this question;
“Fast, Cheap, and Good… pick two. If it’s fast and cheap it won’t be good. If it’s cheap and good, it won’t be fast. If it’s fast and good, it won’t be cheap. Fast, cheap and good … pick two words to live by.”
Why aren’t we building this in-house?
After initially agreeing on a scope for the platform, we, the core team of the DAO, felt that there are two possible paths to take;
- The first is the creation of this platform in-house
- Working together with an external party
After various discussions with people speaking from experience, in-house would mean starting from scratch and forming a team of experienced developers, designers, product owners and everything in between. It would likely take more than a year to pull this team together, map out a concrete plan, find synergy working together and structure workflows. This would prolong the period before Merit Circle could actually start building the platform.
In contrast, working with an external party while onboarding an internal product owner will offer greater flexibility and speed up the project. Once we collaboratively map out a plan, structure and timeline, it’s straight onto the build, all the while maintaining focus on our daily operations.
In the scenario where Merit Circle would build a platform of this size in-house, the core team would have to focus entirely on the development. The attention of the core team is too important to scale on other fronts to make such a decision, and therefore, an external agency is a much better fit.
We, the authors, are convinced that this is the right route for us after initial talks with a few notable agencies.
There’s a lot unknown in this proposal, why is that?
We are building something that’s completely new in a very young industry, and a platform that has never been built before. The target audience has never experienced anything like it, and the developers working on this have never built anything like this platform. All of this might bring some uncertainty, but therefore we have decided to work with the very best and most experienced individuals to ensure we aim for the best achievable result.
This does however mean we can’t go in depth about every single detail, because it’s simply not decided upon or has yet to be discovered. We aim to be as transparent and open about the development as possible.
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