WeedGang is a multi-player DeFi strategy game that combines utility-based NFTs with a tokenomics model and PvP gameplay.

Web3, Chainlink, Strategy, Design, Tokenomics, AWS


Web3, Chainlink, Strategy, Design, Tokenomics, AWS


Tantalus Labs is a licensed medical cannabis producer from Canada that wanted to bring the art of strain breeding into an on-chain trading card game. They came to us having licensed the genetic IP for 20 classic strains from some of the top breeders in the world. We helped them design their tokenomics and gameplay while also building world-first algorithms to predict cannabis offspring variants from genetic traits and programatically draw accurate representations. We also built out their off-chain infrastructure on Amazon Web Services (AWS) along with a suite of on-chain smart contracts and game mechanics.


WeedGang is a multi-player on-chain DeFi strategy game that combines utility-based NFTs with a tokenomics model and PvP gameplay in a cannabis-themed metaverse. The Genesis Strain Collection (GEN1) licenses and tokenises the genetic IP of authentic, exclusive cannabis strains from real-life breeders that can be collected, bred, traded and battled. Breadth of strain collection, time spent holding strains, breeding strategy, and risk management all converge on elegant tokenomics and iterative generational progression to grow value for the player and community.

Designing engaging tokenomics and gameplay

Tantalus came to us with a high-level vision that took the most fun elements of a retro trading card game and combined them with web3 game mechanics. We took this vision and built out a stable game economy and tokenomics model that avoided speculative behaviour and created engaging gameplay - all whilst staying true to the real-life mechanics of cannabis breeding. Our tokenomics process involved deeply understanding how cannabis breeding works in real life, modelling out key game economy variables and incentive structures and taking inspiration from some of the best trading card games in the world. We then mapped these to the web3 tools that could be used to build them - ending up with 2 types of NFTs, a token and several core game mechanics.

Encoding cannabis genetics on-chain

Taking the licensed genetic IP of cannabis strain partners and encoding it on-chain was a challenging task given the speed and cost constraints of working on the Ethereum blockchain. We isolated 8 key categorical and continuous variables from the data we were given to encode the most important traits that would affect display and game mechanics and opted to map to just those on-chain. Core value traits include bud size, cola density, frost coverage, THC potency, and total terpene content, while experience traits include colouration, bud shape, and primary terpene.

Building the world's first cannabis drawing program

In-game breeding creates entirely new strains with genetics that have never been seen before - either in the real world or on-chain. We wanted the trading card art for these strains to be accurate to their genetics but also wanted to maintain the fun drawing style of a vintage trading card. To do this we developed the world's first program to take cannabis genetic data and draw an representative sketch of that strain - taking into account variables such as colour, shape, density, coverage, size and even potency and terpene content. This was cost-prohibitive to do on-chain and so we used a suite of off-chain AWS services to manage it - listening for NFT creation events to trigger Lambdas that would then generate the new art.

Balancing speed and cost with decentralisation

Many of the game mechanics we implemented involved complex calculations as well as elements of chance. For example deciding the winner of a battle between two strains depends on the properties of each strain as well as an element of luck. A similar process happens when determining the offspring of two strains through breeding. Running these computations on Ethereum is expensive enough to deter players from doing them, and so we decided to build many of the calculations in off-chain AWS services using EC2 instances and RDS for data storage, whilst keeping core elements such as token ownership and randomness decentralised and on-chain. We also sign off-chain operations with ECDSA signatures to help users ensure that they are trustworthy.