In today’s Web3tv video, we’re with Rami James from ultra io, where we discuss the rise of ultra.io and their blockchain-based pc gaming distribution platform, Ultra, For gamers, game Developers and creators. It could turn out to be best NFT gaming platform in 2023.
Rami has over twenty years experience in the product, development and startup industry and is also the producer of Ultra Chill, which brings easy to understand, explanations of cutting-edge blockchain technology to the communities Ultra serves. He also co-founded built and launched the biggest wallet and its constellation technology within the EISIO community of networks.
Rami James of Ultra and Ultra Chill’s Background Story
Rami has been involved in startups for about the last twenty five years and really likes technology. He likes the idea that as we advance as humans that we come up with new ways to do stuff, at the cutting edge. Who we are as a people today and who we were thirty years ago is not the same, like the way that we view the world, the way that we do everything super different and he’s deeply fascinated by that.
As he migrated into his adulthood, he started working and liked the start-up culture where you go and you say, “I have a new idea that nobody else has done before, let’s go build it and see if other people are interested in it”.
Rami was working in a startup in 2017. He’d been working there for a few years, a lot of really cool people, a lot of really interesting developers and he was also working with his brother, Nathan James. Nathan, who currently works as the head of developer relations at the US Network Foundation, was interested in blockchain technology and he had built a wallet out of necessity.
There was open source group that was launching a network who didn’t have a wallet and so Nathan built one for them. There was a lot of users and he needed somebody to come, and lead the company and lead the product and so Rami came on board.
He did this role for a few years. It was super difficult, talking about blockchain technology and learning a bunch of different concepts really quickly. You have to learn the technology like a really deep level. If you want to build technology on a platform and your leading a startup, there’s also a lot of finance and legal stuff you need to learn and if you’re talking legal and finance in the blockchain space, you’re in for a wild ride?
Eventually, Rami and Nathan were approached by Ultra.io who were interested in leveraging a lot of the technology and concept they’d been working on for years already, to build a platform for gamers. They wanted to use the concepts of open finance of NFTs for things like game licenses, for dlcs, for ingame items and everything that you can think of in blockchain, but for gamers.
So being avid gamers, Nathan and Rami were like, that’s something we’ve been doing since we were kids, and the thought of participating in both blockchain and gaming was super appealing. So they joined and have been at Ultra.io over three years. It has been a really interesting work environment with a lot of challenges that Rami feeds off.
What Is The Purpose of Ultra for Gamers?
The elevator pitch between the concept of Ultra is basically, if you’ve bought a game on steam, you played the game and you stop playing the game and it just sits in your library that kind of sucks right. You want to be able to resell it. You want to be able to access the open market. You got something like a special sword in the game, but you don’t need it anymore. You want to resell it on the open market. You want to actually bring value back into your play.
Ultra is bringing a bringing a better gaming experience.
What is Ultra Building On Their Gaming Platform Using Web3 Technology To Bring About A Better Gaming Experience?
Ultra have built some frankly amazing technology when you’re talking about how many transactions per second can you do on Ethereum, you’re talking a few dozen. At Ultra, we’re talking twelve and a half thousand every second, and the transactions are all free.
When you want to buy an NFT, you can do it with your credit card. You can do it with the tokens that are in your wallet. The process is super easy. The vision here is always how to make it as easy, and seamless and comfortable for the users and then from the technological perspective, how do you make it as transparent and open and free as possible.
Is Ultra’s Tech Capability Applicability To Other Industries?
Interestingly, Ultra is building everything that’s appropriate for corporate enterprise grade level technology to be deployed on their platform. There’s a lot of very specific requirements for games which apply to all different industries. So, for example, if you’re talking about geolocation, the cost of a game in the United States and the cost of a game in Australia is not the same.
So how do you deal with that at a network level? That needs to be built which is what Ultra did.
Ultra also had to build complex permission structures like who has access to what. For example, you’re, going to have an administrator that accesses everything and then you have somebody who works in finance who’s allowed to move money around, and then there’s somebody in marketing who needs to be able to mint NFTs as part of their ongoing marketing strategy. But you don’t want marketing to have the same access as the finance team and that is really hard to build.
While Ultra has built things in Web3 that’s great for games, great for gamers and great for game developers and publishers, there’s a lot of wide scale application for all of this technology.
What Was The Inspiration behind Ultra?
The founders of Ultra, David Hanson and Nicholas Gilo built a local gaming system in China that was successful and ultimately bought out. They have a lot of experience in gaming, having been professional gamers before that, so when David started to get interested in blockchain technology in around 2015, they started talking about building a platform like what we actually ended up building, and it’s just the culmination of, to my mind, a career focused on bringing play to people.
What Was The Inspiration behind Ultrachill?
As Rami is a technologist and really enthusiastic about it, he tries really hard to explain what he does to people that don’t understand what he does. So similar to what he does at home with his family and friends, trying to explain to his kids, not always successfully, what he does, but in the context of people he is working with.
So for example, at Ultra when he was talking to marketing or business development teams there is a lot of information he needs to explain exactly what it is to them.
This problem was even bigger when talking to gamers, who are mostly against blockchain and NFTs, and he had to explain
“Hey, listen, this is a technology that can be used for awful stuff but it can be used for really cool stuff. Here’s the really cool stuff”.
Rami really cared because he’d put years of his life into building technology for a really altruistic, positive reason, and to have people that were really against it, he wanted to convince them that these, were the positive sides of this technology.
That’s where Ultra Chill came from to translate the internal vision of Ultra to the people that would benefit most.
How Do Ultra and Ultra Chill Make A Positive Difference to the World?
In Rami’s opinion, the direction that gaming has gone over the last twenty years has largely not been very positive. For a number of large scale gaming companies, their focus has been about value extraction. They’re, talking about how much can we charge for a game, how many more bucks can we siphon out of people through microtransactions or extra dlc’s or any of that stuff and as a gamer, Rami finds all that offensive.
Rami wants a better, more fair way for people to play, and sees blockchain and Web3 technology as providing really smart, fair technological solutions that are simply not available in any other mechanism.
Why should A Game Developer Use Ultra For Blockchain Game Distribution?
It is a headache to build blockchain games right now so very few people really know about Web3 game development as Ultra. When you’re talking about building a game, you’re talking, typically a few different layers. You have the frontend layer which the users, like the client, play with and then you have like the backend layer, which is like the database, where the data is stored. Then you’ll need a system to pass large files between the users and then you’ll have infrastructure and when you’re talking about blockchain, you’re talking about extra layers of data manipulation. Building this correctly can be quite difficult, quite challenging and doing it right is it’s an iterative process.
Ultra has already gone through this iterative process and its focus is on providing developers with solutions to the problems that they don’t even know that they have. So if you have a developer that wants to query transaction data, which is part of the history of a blockchain, most Web2 developers don’t even know that that’s a thing.
So, for example, a blockchain is a state machine, and what that actually means is that when you query the blockchain, you only query the current state. So if you go to the Bitcoin explorer, it’ll tell you how much money you have in your account right now, but it’s not going to tell you how much money you had in your account a year ago, because it doesn’t have that data anymore. So to get historical data you have to use a secondary service and building out all of those things like querying historical data and making sure that it’s accessible in a fast way is really hard.
Then you have to work out how to store keys securely, which are going to be doing transactions for your game. You need hardware wallets which are built into your server cluster and most game developers they don’t want to deal with any of that stuff. They just want to build their their game and make it something fun for people.
So the value proposition Ultra provides is one sdk which allows you to deploy to our platform, allows you to mint NFTs and allows you to query. Having your historical data will allow you to do leader boards, and the platform also allows players to chat with other players. The game builder can build their game on one sdk and have access to all the good aspects of blockchain technology. For the player, their value proposition is they get the benefit of owning NFTs without the headache of managing their own keys or paying for transactions or buying ethereum so you can pay gas which can be expensive in itself.
How Do I Access Ultra?
For any game developer or gamer who wants to get started with Ultra, you can go to Ultra.io and contact us and you’ll either end up with Rami or somebody else on the business development team who will help you get started.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on what type of game you’d like to see developed using Web3 technology. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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