6 Important Updates from Game of Zones Opening Ceremonies

It’s almost here! Right now, the Game of Zones and Iqlusion teams are currently debugging the GoZ Hub. The launch of the Game of Zones is imminent– and Opening Ceremonies for the competition began this morning at 9am PST // 4pm UTC.

Prizes and Phase Objectives

One of the biggest updates we shared with GoZ participants this week was focused on challenge phase objectives and contest rewards. We designed the weekly phase challenge prizes to reward performance for specific contest goals, and contest prizes are intended to reward innovation and creativity throughout the competition. You can learn more about the opportunities to win Game of Zones here, or to listen to our commentary on prizes and challenge objectives at the beginning of the live stream.

Reuniting the Core IBC Team 

During Opening Ceremonies, we were joined by several core IBC developers to celebrate the beginning of Game of Zones. One common sentiment that Anca Zamfir, Chris Goes, Federico Kunze Küllmer and Aditya Sripal shared about working on IBC was the importance of developing decentralized protocols to power the future of the internet. This group of core developers also expressed their excitement about seeing IBC in action, and they looked forward to seeing challenge participants break IBC so they could return to the code to make it stronger and more resilient. 

Standing up the GoZ Hub

From today through Sunday, we will begin the launch process for the Game of Zones Hub that will run on the current version of gaia. Throughout the competition, we are expecting patch releases for gaia: there will definitely be a new version of gaia for Phase 2, and teams should be prepared for a new version of gaia to become available for Phase 3.

The GoZ Scoreboard

Over the past few weeks, the Game of Zones team and Iqlusion have been heads down building a Sagan-powered scoreboard. After the official launch of Phase 1, we will share this scoreboard with participants so that everyone is able to track their performance in the competition.

Judging criteria for the first two phases of the competition is quantitative and relatively straightforward, and the scoreboard will be an important tool that informs who will win each Phase. During Phase 3, observability becomes more of a challenge — we may not have full visibility into attacks taking place on the network. Throughout the competition, we expect many teams to share their network visualization tools as another way to experience the challenge.

Contest Pacing + Updates

During the planning of Game of Zones, we began thinking about contest design in terms of the start process for a race.The first weekend of the contest (May 1-3) is designed to help teams get into a strong starting position by standing up their nodes and making a connection to the GoZ hub in advance of official Phase 1 Launch on Monday. Because we are measuring performance from Monday through Friday each week, the weekends are essentially a pit stop for each team — you can use this down time to take a break before the next phase, build new tools or automation to set you up for success, or use the time to prepare for upcoming software updates. And on Fridays at noon PST, for anyone in the mood to come and hang out a bit, we will be hosting live-streams to recap the action that took place during the week and share important announcements with participants. 

Official Communication Channels

Throughout Game of Zones, the best way to get updates about the competition is through Twitter, our blog, and Github. Wherever we can, we will work to communicate updates and important competition details to the community all at once. If you need to get in touch with the Game of Zones team for any reason– to ask a question about the contest rules, see if we’re able to share data with your visualizer, or just to say hi– it is best to send an email to gameofzones@cosmosnetwork.dev. Sending an email is the fastest way to get a direct response from one of us.

The Game of Zones hub launch process will take place through the weekend, and Phase 1 of the Competition begins Monday, May 4th at 12am PST // 7am UTC, so be sure to connect to the node and watch for the Game of Zones scoreboard announcement on Monday morning. Best of luck to everyone competing in Game of Zones — we can’t wait to see what incredible things come out of the competition!

Everything Your Team Needs to Know to Win Game of Zones

It’s almost here: Game of Zones begins in less than 48 hours!

Just in time for the start of the competition, the Game of Zones Team is proud to share the goals for each phase of the challenge, and all of the ways your team could take home a prize from the competition.

If your team registered to participate, be sure to check your inbox and follow the steps in your confirmation email to finalize your place in the competition.

4 Things Every Team Must Do by 4/30 for Game of Zones Launch

Over the past few weeks, we’ve had an overwhelming response to the call for registrations for Game of Zones– by far, this will be the largest competition ever held in the Cosmos universe. To ensure a smooth start to the challenge, we are asking each team to complete these four important tasks no later than April 30th.

1)  Check your inbox for an email from the Game of Zones team and confirm that your team’s registration information is correct.

We’ve sent out the first batch of emails to confirm the information we’ve gathered from each team, and the second batch will go out within the next few hours. If you would like to change anything in your registration info, please contact us on or before 4/30 — the earlier, the better! This is especially important if you want to change your chain_ID, or if you need to update the Cosmos address you will be using for the official Game of Zones testnet. 

2) Submit a pull request to the official Game of Zones Github repo in the contestant_info folder with your Team Name and IPC endpoint in the title.

Each team must share an RPC endpoint with the GoZ team to be included in the official Game of Zones scoreboard and to be eligible for rewards. Providing these endpoints will also enable third party network visualizers to have deeper visibility into the competition. 

3) Whitelist the IP addresses in your confirmation email for Tendermint RPC port 26657 to ensure that your team’s participation makes it onto the GoZ scoreboard.

Each team must whitelist these IP addresses to ensure that their participation is tracked, scored, and assessed with accuracy. The Game of Zones team will be subscribing to the Tendermint websocket, and pulling down every transaction on your chain throughout the competition.

4) Mark your calendar with these important competition dates, and join us each week (if you can!)  to learn more about what’s next in Game of Zones.

At launch, we will be giving teams a couple of days to join the competition testnet and to fine-tune their setups before the competition gets into full gear on Monday, May 5th. And throughout the competition, we will be measuring participation from Monday through Friday — this will give participating teams a chance to devise new attacks, build new tools, write blog posts about best practices and Proof-of-Concepts for novel ideas and attacks, or take a much-needed break to prepare for the week ahead. 

  • GoZ Opening Ceremonies are on 5/1 at 9am PST— join us and a few special guests on Twitch!
  • Phase 1 begins at 12am PST on 5/4 to 11:59am PST on 5/8, and the P1 Live Stream recap will be on 5/8 at 12pm PST.
  • Phase 2 begins at 12am PST on 5/11 to 11:59PM PST on 5/15, and the P2 Live Stream recap will be on 5/15 at 12pm PST.
  • Phase 3 begins at 12am PST on 5/18 to 11:59pm PST on 5/22, and the P3 Live Stream recap will be on 5/22 at 12pm PST
  • Closing Ceremonies will be on 5/28 at 9am PST.

To ensure your team’s participation and eligibility to win the competition, you must complete the action items above no later than 4/30. Any delay in updating your team info, submitting a PR to the official GoZ Github repo, or in whitelisting the IP addresses for the scoreboard may negatively impact your team’s performance in the first phase of Game of Zones. And of course, If you have any questions, please contact us at gameofzones@cosmosnetwork.dev

Everything You Need to Know about Game of Zones

One of the most important aspects of running Game of Zones is ensuring that the participating teams have the opportunity to learn everything about the competition, the Relayer software, and what to expect from IBC. Throughout the registration period, the Game of Zones team has helped participants get ready for the challenge by holding several live-stream sessions to answer questions from the community and discuss every aspect of the competition. 

Competition Scoring

To ensure that all Cosmos validators and developers are ready for the internet of blockchains,  we’ve designed the challenges in Game of Zones to build on one another as the competition progresses. Each week, we will be looking for something different from competitors, with Week 1 focusing on uptime, Week 2 focusing on throughput, and Week 3 being all about deception, confusion attacks, and stress testing the security model of IBC. While incurring downtime during the competition may impact your final reward distribution, if there are uptime issues that come from significant flaws in the code, we’ll make sure that they do not  negatively impact scoring. (We are still working with experimental code that’s not quite production ready, after all!)

Scoreboards + Observability

In order to participate in the competition, teams should be prepared to share some data with us, namely RPC endpoints, in advance of GoZ Launch.  The RPC endpoints we collect will be used to power a regularly updated scoreboard that will give participants a way to track their participation in the competition, though this may be a challenge for us during Phase 3.  Throughout the challenge, teams will need to set up some automation to support sending a packet at least every 90 minutes, a liveness metric that we will be measuring liveness through the Relayer.

We will begin collecting RPC endpoints and a few other details soon, so keep an eye out for an email from us. And for teams (like this one) who are interested in developing network visualizers or monitoring/detection logic to support the competition, we’re happy to work with you to share some of the information we collect — just reach out to us at gameofzones@cosmosnetwork.dev!

Prize Distribution

From learning the ins and outs of the Relayer software (and IBC!) to building automation that will help teams get ahead of the competition, preparing for Game of Zones requires participants to invest both time and expertise. Similar to how we handled the prize distribution for Game of Stakes, participants who are able to complete the first Game of Zones phase designed around liveness are eligible to receive rewards from the competition’s 100,000 ATOM prize pool.  At present, we are currently finalizing the details of how we will manage the participant distribution, especially for cases where people are competing as both an individual and as a team. So far, we are able to share that:

  • 50,000 ATOM will be split among the 3 weekly challenge winners and 5 cumulative challenge winners. We will share the more details about this split during opening ceremonies on 5/1.
  • 50,000 ATOM will be split among participating teams.  We’ll be able to share a projection of what this may look like during opening ceremonies on 5/1.

On your mark, get set…

Anyone who has ever won a Capture the Flag competition or Hackathon knows the biggest secret to success is being prepared. In any challenge, it is important to have your strategy, tooling, and automation ready before you cross the start line. From now through May 1, here are a few things your team can do to build a winning strategy: 

  • If you’re preparing for the competition, it’s important to spend some time checking out the Relayer software. Getting to know the relayer will help you understand the kinds of automation that are important for succeeding in the competition– especially since you will need to maintain a keep alive connection that sends a packet at least every 90 minutes throughout Game of Zones. 
  • For those of you wondering what a Chain ID is and how token distribution will work, the best way to learn more about IBC and this competition is to get familiar with the current IBC testnet that was restarted this past Monday. 
  • If your team is thinking ahead to your Phase 3 strategy, watch our live stream with Agoric from Wednesday to learn more about Dynamic IBC, and a few novel ways you may be able to use virtualization to create a winning strategy. 

Registration for Game of Zones closes on 4/25 @ 11:59pm PST. Don’t miss out! If you haven’t signed up yet, build a team now and register before it’s too late.  And if you’re having trouble figuring out what a Chain ID is, please note that in your registration and we will follow up with you to ensure you’re ready to go before launch on May 1.