Based on the “Dark Forest” of zkSNARK: Five minutes to learn about the encrypted games Vitalik and others are playing


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Follow the game guide to explore the “Dark Forest”.

Original title: “Dark Forest: The three-body game played by V God and Paradigm Joint Creation|Project Introduction”
Written: 0x13, 0x26

In 1950, the physicist Enrico Fermi posed a question that puzzled countless people: judging from the amazing age of the universe and the huge number of stars, extraterrestrial life should be widespread, but why we Found nothing.

This problem will be called the “Fermi Paradox” in the future. The contradiction of this paradox lies in the overestimation of the existence of extraterrestrial civilization and the lack of relevant evidence. Countless scientists and researchers have tried to explain Fermi’s paradox, the most famous of which is the “Dark Forest Law” written by Liu Cixin in “Three Body”.

Dark Forest Law

“Extremely kill, this is the highest priority for a civilization”-“Three-Body II: Dark Forest”

In “Three-Body”, Liu Cixin compares the entire universe to a dark forest, and compares each civilization to a hunter with a gun sneaking in the dark forest. He must not only ensure that he is not discovered, but also try to find and find Destroy other hunters, because you don’t know if they are angels or demons.

Since the civilizations in the universe cannot judge whether the other is friendly or hostile to themselves, due to the influence of the chain of suspicion and technological explosion, they default to each other and are hostile to each other, so they will be destroyed as soon as they are discovered (with a lower cost). Therefore, in the universe, once the coordinates of one’s civilization are exposed, it is equivalent to the destruction of one’s own civilization. The destroyer and the destroyed are not even related or connected. The destruction is only due to “discovery.”

As it says in the book: “Destroying you, what does it have to do with you.”

This is the law of the dark forest, which describes the serious consequences that may be caused by easily exposing one’s coordinates in the universe, and also explains the reasons, and explains why there is a “lack of relevant evidence” in the Fermi paradox. The Law of the Dark Forest is also widely known as the “Three-Body” has spread all over the world. Have you ever thought of making the Law of the Dark Forest a game?

On August 14, 2020, V God tweeted and shared a game that he thought was very interesting.

This is the first time this game called “Dark Forest” has entered the public eye. The name “Dark Forest” and the vigorous propaganda of V God made people wonder: What game is this? Does it have anything to do with “Three Body”? How can I join this game?

The production team stated in a blog post that Liu Cixin’s “Three-Body” was the source of inspiration for this game, and from the name “Dark Forest” it is not difficult to see that the basic principle of the game is the “Dark Forest Law”.

Introduction to the Dark Forest game

“Dark Forest” is an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) space conquest game. All planets in the universe and the player’s birth position are all random, and the player will have a small planet of his own at the beginning, with energy values ​​and visibility The range is also very small, players can conquer other planets to obtain higher energy values ​​and greater visibility. Each version of the game will serve as a test match, and the winner of each round will receive a bonus.

The fog of war based on zkSNARK

The key to the “Dark Forest” game is the “incomplete information game.”

For example, when you are playing the card game “Fight the Landlord” with two other players, you can only see your own cards, but you don’t know what cards the other two players have, so you can only make decisions Make an estimate of the hands of other players, but cannot get exact information. This is called the “incomplete information game.” Games in which both players such as chess and Go can see the pieces on the board and predict the possibility of the move are “complete information games.”

The “Dark Forest” applies the game of incomplete information to the “fog.” The so-called fog is the visible range of players. This setting is actually common in the game field. Classic real-time strategy games such as “Warcraft”, “Red Alert”, and “StarCraft” have used “Mist” to hide player information. . In the “Dark Forest”, you don’t know how other players in the mist are developing, whether they are on the way to invade your planet, or how far they are from you.

However, the current data layer of most decentralized applications is completely open and transparent, such as Axie Infinity. Every player can find Axie’s owner, attribute values, and skills, so there is no such thing as “privacy”. Concept, it is impossible to introduce the concept of “incomplete information game”.

To solve this problem, the “Dark Forest” adopts the “concise zero-knowledge proof (zkSNARK)”. Through zkSNARK, players can publicly submit verifiable and effective actions while maintaining privacy. In the game, players do not need to submit the coordinates of their planet and the coordinates of the conquered planet to the core smart contract, but only need to submit a commitment to their planet location (that is, the planet coordinates after the hash algorithm) and a proof that the hash algorithm is An effective zero-knowledge proof can also ensure the privacy of the planet’s location.

Based on the "Dark Forest" of zkSNARK: Five minutes to learn about the encrypted games Vitalik and others are playing

Proof of on-chain operation based on xDai

One of the major problems hindering the continued development of the Ethereum network chain game is the gas fee. If the game directly interacts with the Ethereum mainnet, then when the network is congested, the gas fee of tens or even hundreds of dollars will make it difficult for ordinary users to move.

Based on the "Dark Forest" of zkSNARK: Five minutes to learn about the encrypted games Vitalik and others are playingOKLink data: On January 4, 2021, the proposed gas fee for Ethereum is 294.31Gwei

The Dark Forest chooses xDai as a Layer 2 solution that can greatly reduce the chain handling fee for each operation.

xDai is a chain with a stable reserve currency, and its transactions and fees are carried out through XDAI, while xDAI is created by locking DAI on Ethereum and creating it through the xDai bridge. The value of xDAI is basically anchored to the US dollar, which means that transaction costs are predictable and will not be affected by market fluctuations.

The actual cost of the last transaction on Ethereum will vary greatly due to on-chain congestion and the price of Ethereum. On xDai, the same transaction cost as Ethereum is about $0.01.

Development history and current situation

The first version of the Dark Forest released was v0.3, which was launched in August 2020. It has now been iterated to v0.5. In addition to optimizing the system, this upgrade also includes an experimental PLUGIN system that can be found by exploring the universe. The special Dark Forest NFT. Each version is opened by deleting files and internal testing, and 1024 DAI will be given to the top 15 winners as rewards.

Every time a new version of the Dark Forest is opened, there will be a wave of discussion in the Ethereum community. Looking back at the v0.5 version that is still in progress, Paradigm co-founder Matt Huang stated that this is the best encrypted game and released a screenshot of the game ranking second.

Based on the "Dark Forest" of zkSNARK: Five minutes to learn about the encrypted games Vitalik and others are playing

Figma CEO Dylan Field, Grammy Award winner RAC, Ethereum fund member and founder of ENS Nick Johnson, cryptocurrency investment agency Maple Leaf Capital and many other influential users expressed their love and appreciation for the dark forest.

Raiders tutorial

1. Get the invitation code

New players who want to join the game need to enter the invitation code. The invitation code can be obtained by registering an email address on the official website and following the Twitter account. The registered mailbox will receive the private key of the game address for cross-browser login.

After getting the invitation code and logging in, the account will have 0.5 xDAI airdropped by the production team. Each transaction in the game costs 0.002 xDAI. After using the airdropped xDai, users can continue to recharge the Ethereum address xDAI. However, since the game is currently in the stage of file deletion and internal testing, users are not recommended to overpay.

xDai recharge method see

Based on the "Dark Forest" of zkSNARK: Five minutes to learn about the encrypted games Vitalik and others are playing

Approve is required for each operation, and players can also choose the 24-hour automatic confirmation option at the bottom.

2. The game starts

After logging in, the novice user will have a small planet with 100 energy. Next, the player will use this as a base to embark on a huge journey in the endless universe.

Based on the "Dark Forest" of zkSNARK: Five minutes to learn about the encrypted games Vitalik and others are playing

Interface introduction:

1: Player information interface, this part displays the user’s Resources, Silver, Score and Rank. Players can also bind their own Twitter accounts, and maybe they will develop a deep friendship with other players “encountered” in the vast galaxy.

2: Plant List, this is an overview of the planets that users have occupied, and players can quickly manage their planets.

3: Similar to the setting background of the game, players can find game rankings, manage Artifacts and account private keys, etc.

4: The information of each occupied planet has different basic attributes for different planets, and the upper limit and output of Resources are different. The most important thing is Resources. Each planet can produce resources. Depending on the properties of the planet, the energy limit and output efficiency are also different. Send Resources is the only way to occupy the planet.

5: Represents the range of transmitted energy. The transmitted energy will be lost with distance. The figure shows the reach of 25%, 50%, and 100%.

6: The energy of the player’s own planet is displayed in white, while other players are represented by different colors. The upper part of the orange value in the lower left corner represents Silver, and the lower part represents Resources. The blue in the upper right part is another player.

7: The gray part represents the fog, and the player chooses the area to explore.

8: Since xDAI is used to operate on Ethereum, the operation completed at each step will display the gray Ethereum Logo, indicating that the operation has been linked. The exclamation point means that Silver can be produced, or the planet has reached the upgrade conditions. The pink Ethereum Logo means that the on-chain transaction has failed and needs to be re-operated.

9: DEEP SPACE. The game area is divided into “Nebula (NEBULA)”, “Space (SPACE)”, “Deep Space (DEEP SPACE)”. The figure shows three different colors, dark blue, light blue, and black. All players are born in the nebula, which is also the safest place in the universe. Deep space contains rarer and more powerful planets, but more vulnerable to attacks from other players.

10: Operation on the chain.

3. Planet upgrade (Silver)

The planet’s type and initial level are inconsistent, resulting in different parameters such as its energy limit and production speed, whether it has silver mines (silver production), resource transmission speed, and defense power.

To improve the various parameters of the planet, in addition to collecting Artifacts, upgrading is the most common and effective way. Silver (Silver) is a must-have product second only to Resources. It is worth noting that, unlike resources, not every planet can produce silver. In the dark forest, it is very important to find a planet that can produce silver.

Planet’s upgrade interface:

Based on the "Dark Forest" of zkSNARK: Five minutes to learn about the encrypted games Vitalik and others are playingThree upgrade options: defense power, sending energy range, speed

4. Prehistoric artifacts (Artifacts)

As you explore the universe, you will occasionally discover planets with cultural relics. When you zoom in on a planet with cultural relics, a small gift box icon will pop up in the upper left corner of the planet. Click on the planet, open the planet details page and click on the cultural relics button below to receive cultural relics.

The author understands that prehistoric artifacts are similar to bonus equipment, and placing them on a planet can affect the original attribute value of the planet.

Based on the "Dark Forest" of zkSNARK: Five minutes to learn about the encrypted games Vitalik and others are playingThe author’s prehistoric artifacts are to increase the energy limit and production speed, and reduce the transmission distance, speed and defense.

Prehistoric cultural relics are also classified according to various categories and rarity, and cultural relics obtained on this planet can also be transferred to other planets for placement.

Based on the "Dark Forest" of zkSNARK: Five minutes to learn about the encrypted games Vitalik and others are playing

The above is an introduction to the dark forest gameplay part. The broader and deeper field is expected to be explored by users.

“No, don’t say where it is! Once you know where it is, the world becomes as small as a map. If you don’t know where it is, it feels like the world is vast.”

“Well, let’s try to get lost.”

-“Three Body II: Dark Forest”

Reference reading