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Bay Backner, Head Producer of Decentraland / DCLGX — Interview Series

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Decentraland DCLGX

Open source Web3 platform Decentraland is on the cusp of bringing its world to DCLGX, a jam-packed gaming expo that will look to touch base on countless different aspects of the metaverse and its future in the gaming sphere. To learn a little more about what to expect ahead of the expo’s opening, we decided to reach out to Decentraland’s Head Producer, Bay Backner.

Decentraland — what is it, and what are some of the things that you’re aiming to achieve as a firm within the Web3 infrastructure?
Bay: Decentraland is a virtual world that's owned, created and governed by its users. It was launched in 2020 as the first decentralized metaverse, and is still the only one that is open source. Decentraland aims to be the platform for thriving, virtual communities centered on true ownership, and powered by web3. The real achievement within web3 infrastructure is whether we can build a space where anyone can enjoy, create, and monetize immersive games, applications and virtual experiences like DCLGX. It’s a hugely ambitious technical and social challenge, but it’s the vision that has driven Decentraland and its creator community since its start. 
Let’s talk about the upcoming gaming expo, DCLGX. What brought this idea into reality, and why do you think it’s important for those with an interest in Web3 gaming to be in attendance?

Bay: Decentraland is known for its major annual events like Metaverse Fashion Week and Decentraland Music Festival, so has long been asked for a gaming event by our passionate community of gamers. This year, as part of Decentraland’s manifesto “Foundations for the Future,” we made the idea a reality. Embracing our belief that a rising tide lifts all boats, we chose to use DCLGX to showcase innovation from both Decentraland’s community and the top web3 game studios worldwide.

If you're interested in web3 gaming, DCLGX is an unmissable event. First, it’s a unique opportunity to discover the latest developments from top industry innovators. Even experienced gamers will find surprises in how studios are leveraging web3 technology to create social, player-focused experiences. There are over twenty web3 games to play at the expo, with several debuting at DCLGX, and others like DeFi Kingdoms, KMON, and Aavegotchi dropping free, special edition Wearables.

Secondly, DCLGX provides direct access to the foremost voices in web3 gaming. Live talks and panels delve into essential topics like web3 engagement and game mechanics, while in-world meetups and quests build meaningful connections. Visitors will gain insights from influential names like Planet Mojo, Neo Tokyo, Blockchain Game Alliance and WeMade.

Could you tell us a bit more about the ‘fairground’ booths that’ll be at DCLGX? What sorts of games can attendees expect to find in these thirty-something panels?

Bay: DCLGX is designed as an immersive neon fairground in which visitors can explore twenty six expo booths and play four web3 fairground games created especially for the show. The booths themselves are in four zones: the RPG & MMO Zone, with six of the best web3 open world titles like World of Kogaea and DeFi Kingdoms; the Speed & Strategy Zone, featuring racing games like MotoDEX and puzzle battlers like Mojo Melee; the Blockchain Game Alliance Zone, showcasing BGA members like Uforika and The Desolation; and of course the Decentraland Zone sharing the work of top gaming studios within Decentraland.

Visitors can discover all 26 booths in the Ultimate Guide to DCLGX, which also gives the scoop on the special Quests you can complete for prizes at the show. In the daily Zone Quest, DCLGX visitors win Wearables and Emotes by visiting all the booths in a zone. In the Game Quest, you collect tickets in the four fairground games to redeem at a giant claw Prize Machine for even more surprises.

Do you have any words of advice for those who’ve yet to take the plunge into blockchain technology and gaming? Will, say, the panels at DCLGX be providing some basic insight into the future of the medium and how it can benefit newcomers?

Bay: My advice to anyone yet to take the plunge into web3 gaming is see it as a whole new, exciting world to explore. Educate yourself about the basics of blockchain tech and engage with the communities already creating in this world. Join the conversation on forums, Discord, and social media and participate in virtual events like DCLGX to stay on top of the pace of change. As importantly, play. Just like the web2 gaming world, web3 is packed with new mechanics and lore. Enjoy the sense of exploration and adventure.

If you're looking to understand blockchain gaming, the DCLGX panels are a great starting point. You'll get a thorough understanding of the industry's key developments, insights in the latest technologies, and even practical tips for launching your own projects. Two panels I’m especially looking forward to are “The Impact of AI on Web3 Gaming” with WeMade, Chibi Clash and Stratosphere Game and “Mastering The Fun Factor” with Planet Mojo, DeFi Kingdoms and Uforika. A summary of the daily program can be found on the DCLGX website.

DCLGX cast aside for a moment, do you have any major plans to explore any other events this year? If so, could you kindly share a few details about it/them?

Bay: After DCLGX, my focus will turn to two of Decentraland’s flagship events. Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week will return for its third edition in October, highlighting the leading-edge of virtual fashion. Towards the end of the year, Decentraland Music Festival will celebrate its fourth anniversary with an innovative lineup of live concerts and parties. Both events will feature open calls to emerging creators, artists and performers, and opportunities for established brands, labels and studios. Anyone interested in getting involved can follow Decentraland on X and Discord to stay up to date, or contact [email protected] with collaboration ideas.

So, what’s next for the team? Do you have your sights set on any fresh material or potential collaborations? Are there any ways for potential followers to stay up to date with your ongoing and upcoming endeavors?

Bay: The big next step for the team will be the launch of Decentraland’s new Desktop Client 2.0, which is set to transform user experience and take the platform into its next era. The Client was unveiled in alpha to much excitement at last month’s community summit in Argentina. When released, it will stand on its own as an entirely new product, built from the ground up in Unity. The vision is to present a completely upgraded virtual social world. Not only are the Decentraland visuals more detailed, but they also load seamlessly and far into the distance, allowing for a more immersive experience. With the new Desktop Client it will also be possible to develop for platforms such as mobile, VR, or other consoles. This is an important step for Decentraland and our community, and will mean that next year’s DCLGX will be even more immersive.

Alpha testing of the client begins in July, with the new beta version of Decentraland to be released in Q4. Until then, potential followers can stay up to date by following Decentraland on X or signing up for the Decentraland newsletter

Thanks for your time, Bay!

 

To stay up to date with Decentraland’s ongoing efforts to build on the Web3 ecosystem, be sure to check in with the team over on their official social handle here.

Jord is acting Team Leader at gaming.net. If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.