Proposal: [Non-Constitutional] Funding for Into the Dungeons: Machinata - a PvP Digital Miniature Game V2

I’m talking about the process of building a product, where I expressed the opinion that priority should be on the side of web3 and Arbitrum.



So one step would be wallet connect (web3). Just getting folks to sign a gasless transaction to try the demo.

On the arbitrum side, we would have smart contracts and arbitrum specific game assets. We would like to prioritize the arbitrum specific assets. I think the smart contracts make sense after that. Would that address your concerns?

Hello! Thanks for the detailed comment. I’ll try to address all your points. Let me know if I miss something.

For sure. This is absolutely a problem and something I am probably guilty of because I obsess over trying to get things just right. However, Zehra and I have extensive experience in large and small companies, building products in a way where we stay in touch with the market as much as poasible and get something in front of users asap. Because we are both aware of how that is the most critical thing.

There is a fine balance though, and the reason for asking for these funds is partially to make sure we have an awesome first impression for users in terms of how they are exposed to the Into the Dungeons universe.

I’ve commented on the timeline above. From our perspective we want to execute as quickly as possible. As soon as we have the funds we can lock folks in place and start executing. It is our intent to provide regular updates to the DAO.

I hope you were able to see my comments on the marketplace details. It is not at all another marketplace and digital art project, and I really hope it doesn’t come across like that. Happy to clarify further if you haven’t seen the comments.

I think we should be able to have a few demo playable scenarios between the first and second milestones.

We are going be doing a mint during these milestones as well, so that is a concrete KPI - 7000 packs to mint, and 777 packs for Arb ecosystem users as giveaways.

I would like to be able to make some progress before we share specific KPI goals because like you said, when we share something initial with the market, goals and objectives may very well change.

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Thank you Bobbay.

In one of the previous posts I highlighted the amount of effort it takes to make these miniatures with all the animations.

In addition, one of the main things to do, in order to make sure we make a positive impact and get a lot of attention from potential users, is to ensure the main webpage - where we tell the story of the ITD world and also where we will bring folks to mint the miniature base packs for the game - makes a HUGE impact. That is going to be an expensive undertaking. We are actually in talks with the designers who created this website: - just so you have some context.

Thank you,

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The below response reflects the views of L2BEAT’s governance team, composed of @krst and @Sinkas, and it’s based on the combined research, fact-checking and ideation of the two.

After reviewing the proposal, following the converation, and expressing some preliminary thoughts, we decided that we’ll be voting in favour of the proposal during temp-check.

While we understand the argument that we should approach such a proposal with a ‘create a framework’ mindset, we do not like the notion of hindering the ability of the DAO to move forward until such a framework is in place. We should let builders focus on building and have other contributors work on a framework in the meantime.


This is all VERY reasonable, but I really can’t support 1-off grant proposals… The overhead is too much for our DAO IMO, even with a promise of a future framework.

I really sympathize with your situation @thechaingamer.eth … I am confident there is a path forward for funding for your work… IT IS EPIC but I don’t think a DAO vote is the right path. After the vote passes who is supposed to manage these tranches?

I would love it if this was a proposal to fund Questbook to open up more Gaming grants… then it would get my full support.

But I guess I’m just a ‘create a framework’ curmudgeon. :-/


No worries, @Griff. All good.

Idea was for the progress on milestones to be very transparently shared here on the forums. Burden of proof (in terms of work performed and how it measures up against the milestones) would be on the Machinata team.

A simple yay or nay vote on “do we release the next 60K arb”. Nothing is simple in a DAO though :slight_smile:


Thank you for your time, thoughtful feedback and support. It is much appreciated, ser! :heart: :saluting_face:


It is unfortunate Questbook’s Gaming Domain has run out of funds. However, I’d prefer to see this type of thing funded through Questbook (or a similar framework) in order to keep a fair playing field for all projects pursuing this. Hopefully another round of funding can be agreed to for a future application.

I will be voting “Against” this proposal. While I understand we lose some nimbleness by going the framework route, I think long-term the positives from this type of solution outweighs the short-term negatives.

I will encourage that the work on the developer grant framework continue, as it sounds like something that can be useful to the DAO. Assuming a reasonable presentation, I would likely vote in support of something like that. I’ll add, while I understand the thought that using this grant to as a stepping stone towards a comprehensive developer grant framework, I’m not sure I agree this is the best method. We already should have some data from Questbook’s Gaming Domain, as well as the numerous other grant frameworks over the last year. So I’m not sure what can really be gained with that method.


Thanks for the feedback @Bob-Rossi!

Curious to hear your thoughts on the following. @Griff @Plutus and yourself have all mentioned the same thing re. getting this funded through questbook.

Also, and correct me if I mistaken, but the amount seems reasonable as well.

Would there be any opposition from a delegate perspective in allowing questbook to having several tiers of funding? 25, 50, 100, 200k ARB? I know the previous version was limited to 25k USD. CC: @Flook

Thank you.

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Additionally, we absolutely intend to work on a developer grant framework because we need killer apps! Will share more on that soon.

Thank you


I’m voting for this proposal at the temp check stage because I think it’s generally reasonable, like that the team is Arbitrum-native, and want the DAO to start investing in gaming. With that said, I would need more information and perhaps more discussion before voting for it onchain. I would want to start with just the first tranche, and potentially would want to see the first tranche have a lower amount in USD notional terms.


The Princeton Blockchain Club will be voting against this proposal at this time.

Although we appreciate the efforts by @thechaingamer.eth and the Machinata team (and think the sprites look pretty sick tbh), we would prefer to see this as part of a grant framework (as mentioned in the post).

We’ve seen what’s being cooked up with the Developer Grant Framework, and are excited to see where that leads! Hope to see some fun Web3 games on Arbitrum soon.


Great work putting this together @thechaingamer.eth but DAOStewards voted against this proposal.

The concept is rock solid, love your energy here as well but we don’t see this request going through the DAO as the best way to go at this time.

Yes, some work needs to be done to get projects like this off the ground more readily but supporting this one-off grant might open the floodgates for other projects to come to try something similar.

We would definitely love to see this funded through other means.

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Disclosure: the submitter of this proposal, Ali (thechaingamer.eth), is an ARC member who recused himself from the rest of the ARC’s assessment. Ali was not involved in any discussions pertaining to this proposal.

In its current form, Treasure DAO’s Arbitrum Council (ARC) has decided to vote AGAINST this proposal on Snapshot.

At the same time, we encourage Ali to consider resubmitting after suggested revisions are digested and made to, or at a later date as new forthcoming grant frameworks are established (ie. the Gaming Catalyst Program or the Developer Grant Framework).

For background, Treasure and its ARC members on an individual basis have been outspoken on our collective desire to see more funding, incentives, and support flow through to gaming projects building upon Arbitrum. We firmly stand by this and believe this to be important for the continued growth and success of Arbitrum’s gaming landscape and more broadly within web3.

We also would like to highlight the background context in which Ali submitted this proposal in an attempt to mobilize the DAO to consider and provide developer grants to support gaming projects submitting proposals outside of frameworks which, to date, have been more catered towards DeFi projects as it pertains to acceptance criteria and distribution methods, or generally insufficiently funded (in the case of Questbook as an example).

We applaud Ali’s efforts to get the ball rolling as we see a massive opportunity for the Arbitrum DAO ecosystem to improve the accessibility to funding and support considering the sizable DAO treasury. This has led Treasure to co-author, contribute, and input into the new Gaming Catalyst Program which we hope to see brought to the Arbitrum DAO governance forum in the coming days / week.

The ARC had originally considered voting FOR the Snapshot vote to progress to Tally given our general support for this effort but we believed that the changes we would like to see listed below are substantive enough to warrant modifications to the proposal that should provide additional color and context which may give rise to deeper forum discussion. Our feeling is delegates and voters on the proposal should be privy to these details which will help further inform their decision making and, as such, led us to voting AGAINST at this stage.

Feedback on the Proposal

What we like:

  • Warhammer as an inspirational model for the game and the overall game format for Machinata. With the Warhammer-like collectible digital miniatures in combination with short to medium session-based gameplay and the PVP format, we see strong potential for dynamic, competitive gameplay to arise. As a format, there is considerable opportunity for interoperability to emerge and the focus on community creations can help foster a healthy UGC market which is well-suited to web3 gaming.
  • Pixel artwork of the collectible digital miniatures and the diversity of available sprites which are easier to scale in contrast or painterly or 3D artwork.
  • Openness to a collaborative approach to game development with the Arbitrum DAO community and other projects or teams building within the ecosystem.
  • Doxxed and experienced team that is familiar and well aligned with the Arbitrum ecosystem, and has a track record of building within the space (and as part of the Treasure ecosystem).

Improvements we would like to see:

  • Lack of information around a longer term roadmap, execution plan, and game design: We believe a detailed synopsis, the game design document (GDD), pitch deck, or similar is necessary to provide much more fulsome information on the project as the current proposal is relatively light. We would like to better understand gameplay, the broader vision for how gameplay will evolve, the steps that will be taken to ensure balance between cards as live service begins, and the planned economic loop and value exchange based upon the UGC market that is planned to be built out. Will there be a story or campaign version that could help better showcase the ITD IP? Are there other planned game formats or more multiplayer? How will the deck and cards work (ie. are there squad points or weights)? Without these details, it is difficult to assess the path to not only developing a great game but also bringing it to market while tackling the cold start problem at the same time to bootstrap a strong economy and a landscape that can truly enable competitive play.
  • Approach to building a strong underlying IP: Underpinning Warhammer and Parallel as a mentioned comparable project is a deep investment into developing strong IP which helped to establish demand and seed the quoted 4.15B USD market for collectibles. For a web3 upstart like Parallel, there has been a concerted push to create and showcase high production value art, videos, and in-engine gameplay. How does Into the Dungeons and the Machinata game seek to do this and do it well in a space that not only moves at breakneck speed but also with relatively short attention spans?
  • More details needed on player acquisition, go-to-market plans, and partnerships: Tying in to the above, building a great game/product or crafting a rich narrative or expansive worldbuilding is oftentimes not enough. Into the Dungeons: Machinata will also need to be able to attract players and a more fulsome go-to-market and broader product marketing plan should be included to unpack this more than what was outlined by Ali here. Beyond NFT or web3 native game community partnerships, we would like to better understand how you think about expanding beyond the current web3 player base as well (and realistically, just the web3 player base primarily on Arbitrum to start). On the player acquisition front, we would like to also know how you plan to address wallet UX challenges that web3 games often face as well as transaction handling (ie. will there be some account abstraction adoption and sponsored transactions?).
  • Marketplace approach: While standing up a marketplace can be a large undertaking, it is becoming increasingly commoditized with great marketplace providers. However, the challenge typically arises less on development and more in driving liquidity and attracting users to use the marketplace over others that may already exist (ie. OpenSea, Blur, LooksRare, Treasure, etc.). Looking at Treasure as an example (and acknowledging that both ITD and Ali’s prior title Ruffion Reborn are close to the Treasure ecosystem), listing the collectible digital miniatures on the Treasure marketplace (or comparable) may lead to a faster go-to-market and reduce the scope. What is proprietary and unique to the game is more the UGC engine / tooling and the ability for community members to submit designs/variants of miniatures or completely new units that could enable a vibrant creator economy. It could make sense to focus primarily on this effort over a net new marketplace itself and partnering with others instead to list collections.
  • Greater focus on game development and richer content over branding and website development (which currently spans two tranches): Thinking about developer grants and the primary role for it to support in furthering game development (while acknowledging the importance of marketing), we would like to see more deliverables that accommodate richer and more retentive gameplay that go beyond releasing new cards or decks. Without showing early signals of initial adoption / interest or having a strong core base of players (“100 true fans”), it is not clear if creating new cards/decks or standing up a better, well designed brand identity will lead to greater engagement or retention for the game.
  • Rethinking milestones and inclusion of KPIs and timeline: We would like to see a few changes here:
    • (1) Adjusting Milestones - Change the first tranche’s first deliverable to be focused on the ITD branding, website, and initial product delivery (taking it out of the second tranche). For the second tranche’s first deliverable, adjust this to be focused on developing the UGC engine / tool. Would be good to see other adjustments made in line with the comments left above.
    • (2) KPIs - For each milestone, define and add KPIs that should be met alongside the various deliverables. This should include KPIs such as but not limited to: player numbers, active user (DAU/WAU/MAU) targets, retention goals, UGC or marketplace volume.
    • (3) Timelines - For each milestone as well as deliverable if applicable, include the expected time to completion.
  • Smart contracts and on-chainness: Reviewing the smart contract deliverables, it appears that the following aspects are on-chain: (i) miniatures are NFTs, (ii) minting miniatures from community creators and the resulting rev share exchange, (iii) registration of miniature NFTs to activate and use them in-game (off-chain), and (iv) the writing of match history to be recorded on-chain. Are there other planned smart contracts or on-chain usage looking into the future? Here, and this is a question we as Treasure ask all teams, we would like to understand why this is being done in web3 and why these design decisions were made to half it partially on-chain vs. off-chain. For instance, miniatures could simply be read through wallet ownership vs. needing to register it in-game and help optimize the player experience (and costs incurred). For the community creations, will they be able to mint their creations on-chain (ie. similar to Manifold Studio) or will this be done off-chain?
  • Team capacity and planned growth: In the proposal, it was highlighted that there are currently four individuals leading the effort across game design, concept art, pixel art and animation, and an Unreal Engine game developer. Taking into account the various deliverables across branding and identity, design, marketplace development, smart contract development, etc. as well as your (Ali’s) existing commitments to other roles and initiatives, it seems that additional hires need to be made or service providers need to be engaged to deliver against the listed deliverables. With these additional resource needs and the lag that typically comes with hiring talent, do you see the tranches/deliverables remaining on track or potentially falling behind schedule (currently undefined)?
  • Why fund now versus wait for a more fulsome gaming grants program?: We acknowledge the need for funding / developer grants to not only game builders but also other projects as a whole in light of the absence of programs and frameworks tailored towards developer grants (per JoJo’s comment). However, we were curious about the urgency of the requested funding and whether or not it could make sense to wait for the Gaming Catalyst Program that we have been working on together with Dan from Vela to stand up.
  • Distribution of assets to the DAO: Regarding the distribution of 10% (77) of the first edition packs to the Arbitrum DAO community, we can speak firsthand via Treasure DAO on the challenges of DAO-based distribution of assets (fungible tokens or NFTs) which would be exponentially more difficult with Arbitrum DAO in mind given the stakeholders and community in mind. From what was described, it seems like this should instead be considered as a more straightforward project-to-project collaboration/partnership versus needing to go through the DAO (ie. for assets to be transferred to the DAO treasury to be redistributed). If some sort of incentive needs to be designed, we suggest that it should be done through a more straightforward mechanism like a portion of on-chain routing of revenue share through minting or something similar.

Finally, we wanted to reiterate that we would like to see a resubmission of this ITD proposal to the Arbitrum DAO and community – whether it is as is as an independent proposal or through one of the forthcoming grant frameworks, including the Gaming Catalyst Grant that we are in the midst of working to help establish.


I haven’t done a deep dive or anything into the results of the pgoram, but generally speaking I would be in favor of renewing the Questbook program now that the funds have been depleted.


Fantastic feedback! Thank you for taking the time to share all this.

We’re going to start working on the developer grant framework. We need a lot of quality apps on arbitrum!

On the Machinata side, we’ll share more indepth plans for how we propose to build something as expansive as Parallel, FRWC, etc., scale the team and create a vibrant ecosystem of players and creators.

As far as the marketplace for minis goes, that’s definitely something I want us to utilize Treasure for and that might just be the kind of tooling we can start building that will benefit everyone making games. As well as making sure the wallet connection experience is either painless or abstracted away. The same goes for transactions.

Thanks again for the feedback, ser! Much appreciated and we will continue to BUIDL and improve!

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Thank you thank you @karelvuong for elaborating on your thoughts. I can’t help but agree with your points.

Here’s why I voted against this proposal:

Every early-stage project should be obsessed with finding product-market fit. In the case of games, this means a core of enthusiastic players retained without extra incentives. The current KPIs, including “the 7000 packs to mint, and 777 packs for Arb ecosystem users as giveaways,” focus on outputs that do not drive towards that objective. If I were funding a new company with my money, I would prefer to see resources concentrated there.

I support the changes suggested below and would reinforce them with the launch of a basic MVP. This approach should not only apply to this proposal but to any gaming framework. I am 100% in support of funding new games and bootstrapping initiatives. However, let’s be realistic: marketplaces and various tools are becoming commoditized. The early version of any product should leverage these tools and focus on creating an excellent gaming experience.

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Appreciate it @maxlomu - agree with all this and if you see the comments the idea was to make a bunch of changes that would move towards:

  1. Releasing playable demo/mvp
  2. Focusing on website and game dev and using the Treasure marketplace

We’ll be making revisions to this proposal.

Unfortunately, it seems like the DAO doesn’t have much appetite for doing anything outside a framework. It doesn’t look like that is going to be changing anytime soon. So we will continue to build and see where it goes.