Hi, I'm Matt and I'm a developer from (sometimes) sunny New Zealand! By day I work as a contractor building software for large banks and other financial institutions, and by night I work on Launchpad. I used to work in the games industry, so I can see a lot of areas where the Stellar network could improve things for both creators and players.
What is Launchpad? Glad you asked! Launchpad is a platform I'm building to support funding games through lumens. The first phase is a crowdfunding platform specifically aimed at games. It more closely resembles the traditional publisher relationship where developers are incentivised by milestones. The way it works is you create a traditional crowdfunding campaign on Launchpad - add some pretty concept art, set some reward levels, talk about how your game will be the next Battletoads, and so on.
Where it gets different is that you also set some milestones - i.e. 3 months after the campaign finishes we'll deliver the first playable demo with 1 level in it. Instead of just having all of the funds dumped on you at once and then disappearing to hopefully emerge with a working game before the funds run out, the funds are distributed across those milestones. As you hit the milestones, the funders vote to release that portion of your campaign funding. This keeps you accountable, helps to ensure you have funding throughout the development process, encourages you to hit milestones on time, and gives funders more confidence that the funds will only be released once each milestone is hit, so their cash isn't being thrown into a pit of hopes and dreams. Currently 75% of the voters will need to agree that the milestone was hit before the funds are released, but this may be adjusted over time depending on how things go. This phase is about 95% complete, and will be launched within the next couple of weeks.
My original plan was to use Stellar smart contracts to set this up, but I'm not able to fulfil all of the requirements this way so for now, the process is:
- Start campaign
- Server creates Stellar account for campaign, and immediately encrypts the seed with a public key (the corresponding private key is held in cold storage, so even if the server is hacked there would be no way to access the contributed lumens)
- Campaign creator is shown the public key for the account and asked to initiate the account with 40 lumens that is kept as a campaign fee (to help reduce campaign spamming and improve overall quality)
- Server watches each campaign's account for deposits, updates campaign totals, and uses the memo to correlate with users' accounts
- To refund in the case of an unsuccessful campaign or pay out milestones, a list of transactions is generated and the seed for the campaign account is decrypted using the private key in cold storage and used to sign the transactions
The next phase is to build a microtransactions platform that can be easily integrated into games, so that gamers can easily pay for in-game items or expansions. The details of this are still being worked out, but I have some neat plans to take advantage of the benefits of the Stellar network.
The third phase is top secret at the moment, but it's a hardware project and I'm sure there will be much excitement once it's announced!
Hopefully this gives you a good taste of where I'm headed, I'd be glad to answer any questions!