Magazine WEB+DB PRESS Vol.134: Interview “Adding Web 3 elements to popular dress-up application” by Akira Iwamoto
※This article is machine translated.
Explore Cocone’s engineering capabilities to open up a new era of Web3
– Please introduce yourself.
I am Akira Iwamoto, a member of the PKCL Twins project at Cocone Corporation. I moved to Cocone in November 2020 after doing client development for amusement machine applications as a new graduate. I am good at Unity and C#.
– What are the features of “PKCL Twins”?
This is a new service that adds elements such as blockchain, NFT, and Web3 to the Pokecolo series, including the “Pokecolo” dress-up application released in 2011, and is being rolled out globally from November 2022. While the ability to enjoy coordinating tens of thousands of digital items is the same as in the Pokecolo series, a new feature is the ability to convert sets of coordinated items into NFT. In the future, it has the potential to be available not only within individual apps, but also in other services and forms.
The coordinated sets of items will be NFT-ized and can be sold on “Jellyme”, an NFT marketplace operated by a group company. We believe that users will experience a different kind of fun, where the sets they coordinate with their own sensibilities will be bought and sold with actual value. As with the marketplace, the blockchain and cryptographic assets are based on those developed by a Cocone group company (MOOI Network).
– What kind of development did you do for “PKCL Twins”?
We are doing a lot of things, but the main focus is on multilingualization and NFT-related support. “PKCL Twins” is a global service, so we need a multilingualization mechanism (English only at this time). In global terms, we are particularly focused on Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia is a region where Japanese “Kawaii” and where blockchain services and games are prevalent worldwide.
Around the NFT, I create minting leads. Sending your coordinates to the NFT marketplace is called “minting”. At this time, the item is written to the MOOI Network blockchain and converted to NFT. In addition to “PKCL Twins”, items and coordination sets from other services developed by Cocone, such as “JANKEN” and “ClawKiss”, are available on “Jellyme”, and anyone can purchase them.
The addition of the Web3 element did not increase the technical difficulty, but we did put a lot of effort into lowering the hurdles for customers to convert to NFT and researching what the play model should look like as Web3.
– What does it mean to NFT your item?
The coordinated sets of items will be stored on the blockchain separately from the “PKCL Twins” application. When you NFT in “PKCL Twins”, it will be published on “Jellyme” so that other people can purchase the coordinated sets. Since crypto assets are used in market transactions, the value of your NFT assets will fluctuate according to the market price of crypto assets. The blockchain extends the world in which coordinated sets were previously shown and exchanged among friends on the app to people outside the app.
In recent years, digital artworks have been converted to NFT and traded, creating a buzz. The service that incorporates NFT at Cocone focuses primarily on the enjoyment of owning an original set of items and coordinates that you find “cute” and “nice” rather than on increasing your money through speculative trading. In terms of real clothes, it’s like being able to own items selected by a charismatic sales clerk.
– How does it work technically?
Items to be NFTed are uploaded to the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) of the blockchain, a distributed file system that is content-oriented. Unlike most file systems, where the location of the information is specified by a URL, IPFS specifies the content of the information, not its location. This provides advantages such as fault tolerance, tamper resistance, and load balancing.
Although NFT content is written to IPFS, trying to read IPFS directly from the app would be heavy. Therefore, we store customer content for use in the app in Amazon S3. We have the flexibility to scale as accesses increase, so the app is crisp and light, with no blockchain latency.
– I understand you were a founding member of the PKCL Twins project.
I was the first member of the client development team. Before that, I was one of the members of “Pokecolo Twin” and as the leader of client development for “PKCL Twins”, I was also responsible for the development environment. “PKCL Twins” is basically based on “Pokecolo Twin”, but we changed it in various ways to add multilingual support and the NFT mechanism. “PKCL Twins” was designed to be easy to maintain, so we were able to change it flexibly.
Although not a function of the application itself, I think it was significant to upgrade the version of Unity used in the development environment. Changing the version of Unity in a project that is already in production carries the risk of causing problems, but since this was a new service, I remember rushing to get “it done before it was released”.
– What are you working on for the development environment?
“PKCL Twins” is a completely new service based on “Pokecolo Twin” in, but any new features added to “Pokecolo Twin” in the future will probably be added to “PKCL Twins” as well. If we develop and manage source codes separately, it will be a double effort. Therefore, we are trying to upload common packages to Git as common packages and bring them to Unity with the Unity Package Manager.
Also, initially, builds could only be run one at a time. Since “PKCL Twins” has tens of thousands of items, the build process tends to take a long time. We installed the latest Mac Studio, which is a high-grade custom build machine that can run multiple builds in parallel, which made it much faster, cutting the time by a third.
– How would you like to advance your career in the future?
Technically, I feel that I am weak in graphics, so I would like to be able to handle 3D and other elaborate expressions. In addition, I am currently a leader of client development, but I would like to strengthen my management skills. I like to develop services properly, but I also like to manage. I want to become an engineer who can do anything.
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