As one of the advantages of gaming NFT, the concept of transferring such items between different titles is often mentioned. Most often, people who are far from the industry talk about this. Developer and gaming consultant Rami Ismail (Rami Ismail), using the example of creating a simple playing cube, explained why such an idea is basically doomed to failure.

Ismail’s Twitter thread began with an unremarkable message: “Let’s imagine that we need to make a bone for the game.”

Then he described in simple words the process of developing a hexagonal object: determining the size and weight, creating a sweep, texturing, creating a simple physical model, recording sounds, integrating them correctly into the game, etc.

We will not go into all the technical details, as they do not play a key role in this story.

The most interesting part begins in the middle of the thread, where Ismail asks: “How the hell do you transfer this cube to another game using NFT?”

The short answer is nothing.

Then Rami Ismail spoke in detail about all the difficulties that may arise in the process:

  • the texture only works with this cube model, and the object itself is in a file format that this particular game recognizes as a texture;
  • the object has an arbitrary size — 10x10x10; in another game, the size of a person can be equal to one, and then the cube will suddenly be ten times larger;
  • the gravity of the object is prescribed in accordance with the physics of the selected engine, which may simply not fit or behave incorrectly when using another technology;
  • let’s say the cube speed calculations were calculated for 30 frames per second — with a frame rate of 60 FPS, such an object can fall to the surface twice as fast, depending on how the code is configured;
  • all the sound effects in Ismail ‘s example are several separate format files .wav — due to the specifics of the code in another game, they can be played incorrectly and leads to sound bugs;
  • simply copying your code into another game will not work — including for security reasons and the occurrence of possible vulnerabilities.

Adherents of the concept of transferring in-game items in the form of NFT often note that you just need to make objects in different games functionally compatible. According to Ismail, this is an unrealistic scenario.

Of course, now developers can add the same characters to different games as part of collaborations with other studios. At the same time, they often still have to create separate models for this. That is why, in the comments to the thread, Rami Ismail clarified that he meant people’s fantasies about some kind of automatic decentralized system that would allow magically transferring objects between games.

“Even creating a texture for a dice—the simplest possible shape imaginable—is a minefield. In this case, the model and the texture map should match, but this will not happen,” the developer notes.

Now imagine what happens when working with more complex objects — say, a T-shirt that has its own physics and is tied to a certain character.

According to Ismail, for this, the entire industry will have to agree on what a T-shirt model should be. It is necessary to unify its size, physics and animation. Each item of clothing for each hero will have to match the same UV scan. It’s hard to imagine.

“Do you remember how EA forced its studios to use Frostbite, and what difficulties it caused developers? Every character made on this engine needed a “weapon” because that’s how it was designed. Whether it was a car or a football player, the engine needed a “weapon”,” Ismail explains.

Recall that Frostbite is an engine created by DICE. It is well suited for shooters (for example, Battlefield), but often does not work well with games of other genres. However, a few years ago, the bosses of Electronic Arts tried to force their internal teams to use this technology. This led to big problems in development. One of the most striking examples is Dragon Age: Inquisition, during the work on which BioWare painfully tried to “make friends” Frostbite with its role—playing game.

According to Ismail, the example with Frostbite and EA is just a kindergarten compared to the concept of interoperability.

The developer notes that the gaming industry still cannot come to a consensus on such trifles as the direction of the Y axis. Different companies still interpret the producer’s functions in their own way. Not to mention more global issues.

“Any game that wants to maintain “interoperability” must unify a billion things: gravity, force, dimensions, proportions, axes, lighting, rendering, etc. You won’t be able to make God of War taking into account the same context as Mario — it will simply turn out badly,” Ismail explains.

At the same time, do not forget about other problems. If NFT is a decentralized technology, then who will be responsible for content moderation?

Where will the information be hosted? The blockchain itself does not store data. If the information is stored on game servers, the project may simply close, and the player will lose all his items. If you use external servers, then the question arises — who will pay for them? What if they get hacked?

Today, developers cannot use interoperability for textures, models, or code. Ismail notes that Destiny logos don’t work in Destiny 2 for many reasons. Thus, developers cannot transfer items even between different parts of the same series, not to mention transferring NFT between games from different publishers.

“I firmly believe that it is impossible to say, “it cannot be done.” However, the chances that NFT compatibility will ever be implemented anywhere tend to zero. Rather, Half-Life 3 will become an exclusive Nintendo Switch,” Ismail believes.

Finally, the developer stressed that there is simply no need to implement such a complex concept. No one, including players, will benefit from transferring NFT between games. At best, they will get a pathetic copy of their favorite item, and at worst, they will lose all the things they bought after the project servers are closed.

According to Ismail, in the near future, only people seeking to make money quickly will support the idea of interoperability. So far, it simply makes no sense for publishers to spend a ton of time and go to various restrictions so that some user can pay for their item in a competitor’s game.