VIDEO: See the PC Gaming Show segment above.
Blankos Block Party is a new social MMO based around the idea of the vinyl toys coming to life. Players control their own Blanko toy and hang out in a hub where they can chat with friends, create minigames in a level builder, and take part in global daily challenges.
Developers Mythical Games unveiled a new trailer for Blankos Block Party at the PC Gaming Show, showing glimpses of the game's home world, the level creator tool, and the titular Blankos in action. The trailer highlights Blankos Block Party's playful vibe and shows the mischievous nature of the Blankos characters. "The world of Blankos is where toys go when humans aren't looking," Mythical Games' chief creative officer Jamie Jackson says. "Imagine these things that so many of us have on our shelves had a life of their own as soon as we've stepped out of the room. That's the lore. Blankos Block Party is a place for toys to be more than just this object that sits on your shelf."
A level editing toolkit lets you grab items from menus and drop them into the level—evoking the drag and drop simplicity of Little Big Planet or Roblox. Using these different tools, players can make a number of different minigames. You can build race tracks, platformers, and even team deathmatches. "We have a unicorn gun that fires rocket launcher ice cream," Jackson says. "So, that should tell you exactly the level of shooting we've got in that."
Minigames can be uploaded to a Blankos Block Party database called the Party Bus, where anyone from around the world can play them. Jackson compares the Party Bus to Netflix, explaining that different levels will be suggested to you based on what style of game you like playing. You'll also be able to spend points to level up your Blankos for players who want a competitive edge. "Each Blanko has a skill-based ability tree," Jackson says. "You can train them to either be super fast and agile, be really good at shooting, or really good at knocking other Blankos over."
The real heart of Blankos Block Party, however, are the toys themselves—and the monetisation system being build around them. Blankos can have their own bespoke designs, but will all have the same shape, give or take a few added accessories. Mythical games have already collaborated with several big artists in the vinyl toy world to create custom designs, including James Groman, Pete Fowler, Tara McPherson, and Kronk. When you purchase a Blanko you can see what number you have and how many there are in the world. With some Blankos being seasonal, or limited edition, there's a certain rarity to certain characters. It follows the same logic as collecting physical designer toys in that sense.
Purchasing a Blanko will place it on your virtual shelf, and you even have the option to keep them in their virtual box if you wish. With some physical vinyl toys going for hundreds, and even thousands of dollars, Jackson says that players can expect the Blanko price range to be more akin to other games with purchasable skins. "What you're currently paying for character skins, expect us to be in the same region," Jackson says. "We're not trying to be crazy."
It's still unclear exactly how much Blankos will sell for, especially since when you first enter the world of Blankos Block Party you're given just a standard blank character as a starting point until you purchase your own through the store. "It's just one that you get to borrow like a pair of bowling shoes," Jackson says. "But it's enough for you to look around. You can figure some stuff out and can play some games."
The idea of players owning their own Blankos is a big focus, and Mythical Games is using blockchain to encourage a Blankos marketplace. "Whatever happens when someone sells to somebody else, that's out of our hands as it should be," Jackson says. "Bringing in blockchain tech into the game to track digital ownership and speaking for Mythical as a company, our belief is that digital ownership is the future."
Here Mythical Games is betting that blockchain technology will enhance the trading and collecting aspect of the game. "Let's say we do an event with a streamer and they play with a Blanko," Jackson explains, "Then afterwards they decide they want to sell it to raise money for charity or whatever. Whoever gets that Blanko, gets the exact one and it's proven using that chain." The question yet to be answered is whether collectors will accept the premise: that a specific digital item has the same cachet as a physical limited edition.
Mythical Games wants Blankos Block Party to be a way for players, content creators and brands to interact with each other. There are even plans for a 'Nightclub' in the main hub where content creators and players can play games and hang out together. There's currently no release date for Blankos Block Party, but Mythical Games are hoping to launch the game into beta soon.