Hello dear readers. I write this swelling with pride to convey that the inaugural season of Photo Finish™ LIVE is complete, and Season 3 has now arrived.
Just another day in the Photo Finish universe this is not!
Nearly 2 years of work on this platform, and another 6 on the sport of virtual horse racing, and our vision is finally coming to fruition. Though this is really us just collectively reaching the starting gate, and not the finish, to see the entire ecosystem (mostly) working as intended is a moment of unbelievable excitement for us at Third Time, and hopefully for you, the participants in what we believe will be a historic moment in the interactive medium of gaming.
Maybe you’re new to Photo Finish™ LIVE. Maybe you’re new to horse racing. Here’s why we think you should care:
- Buy a horse
- Convert USDC to $DERBY
- Win $DERBY by beating other horses on the track
- Win $CROWN every race you enter
- Stake $CROWN to become an owner of a track
- Earn $DERBY by being an owner of a track
Does that sound confusing? Actually, it’s not! We believe this is the most sustainable web3 game design made yet. Take a look at Shadow Stables, and how that worked out for them in Season 2:
Season 2 Overview
Over the last 5 weeks, 990 stables coaxed over 3,000 steeds out onto the virtual track to race (this includes trainer horses). Despite ups and downs, exploits, staff turnover, and all kinds of racing schedule madness – these owners persisted. Not only did they persist, but they put up a whopping ~26,165,649.25 $DERBY into race entry fees against each other, challenging each other across 2,550 unique races.
With our commitment to funnel ALL of the extra fees in the platform back to the racing ecosystem during our growth phase, 1,000,000 $DERBY was also airdropped to the racing population. You can see how this was distributed here.
Amazingly, in this, our very first season, the total $DERBY earned by track owners was 5,212,189.85 ($65,000)! Racers received 2,381,406 in $CROWN gifts (~$102,000)!
In the middle of this, we also aired a simulation slash commercial on NBC, hosted thousands of fans at our tent in the infield of the Kentucky Derby, and released free racing for new players to join the party without having to invest hundreds of dollars to try the game out.
Despite the successes, we all still know we collectively have our work cut out for us in seasons 3 and 4!
Season 3 Preview
We’ve been hard at work on improving the schedule for Season 3. The good news is that we have a new hire starting that will have this as his full-time job. Along with this we continue to create deeper tools and analytics to ensure that the racing population is intelligently clumped into competitive races, and at the same time giving higher and higher goals for people to ensure they’re moving towards.
Importantly, many of you may have noticed that Season 3 is also 5 weeks, not the 4 that we previously assumed. What this means is that we’ve bumped our major series into the following:
Week 1 (May 29 – June 4): No Major racing series.
Week 2 (June 5 – June 11): Third Time Classic | Left / Turf
Week 3 (June 12 – June 18): Third Time Cup | Right / Turf
Week 4 (June 19 – June 25): Third Time Championship | Right / Dirt
Week 5 (June 26 – July 2): [Name Redacted] | Left / Dirt
The major series are a collection of races that earn qualifying “points”, of which the horses with the highest amount of points can choose to enter the final race of the series.
BIG NEWS: The final race of each qualifying series has zero entry fee. It is a pure profit race for those that can enter and win.
One of the most exciting aspects of Photo Finish™ LIVE begins this season – Breeding! Players can choose to retire their horses and start creating the next generation of champions in a fully open market. Studs (male horses) earn stud fees from other players, while mares (female horses) keep the foals (baby horses).
NOTE: Unique to this season, our 3 year old generation zero horses can race almost the entire season before retiring. The breeding window opens June 26, 2023 at 10am and closes July 2 at ~9:30 am.
With the realistic dynamic aging aspect of PFL, horses that retire and breed at the end of this season don’t just immediately pop out new race horses! What does this look like if you breed at the end of this season?
- Season 4 (July 3rd) – the foal is born! Congrats! Gender reveal party? Will you breed your mare again this season?
- Season 5 (July 31st) – the foal is age 1! Still just a cute lil thing. If you bred again in season 4, guess what, you’ve got a newborn again!
- Season 6 (August 28th) – the very first Generation 1 horses hit the track as Juveniles! Hoooo boy this game is about to get REAL.
We’re preparing a much more in-depth blog for the inner workings of actually breeding your horses together, and tricks and tips of ways to think like a professional to maximize your potential. Keep an eye out for that.
With all that being said, I can’t say goodbye without yet another GIANT THANK YOU to the community of supporters. It’s unbelievably fun to work on a game where all of us are collectively aligned on goals and working so hard to reach them. The superpower of Web3 – community.
Also some other big news coming soon. Stay tuned!