Autonomous Worlds 2023 Recap

6 min readMay 31, 2023

Relive the journey with us into the first virtual Autonomous Worlds hackathon!

435 Hackers from 51 countries joined in!

The Autonomous Worlds hackathon was truly one for the books — with the full potential of onchain games not yet realised, this burgeoning AW community was anxious to get experimenting! The 5-day online hackathon brought together 435 hackers blazing a trail for the future multi-author worlds. The result — 109 incredible projects submitted. We are just as excited as you are, to provide you with the full rundown of this unforgettable hackathon.

✂️ The tl;dr of Autonomous Worlds

  • 🙋‍♂️ 435 Hackers
  • 🌎 51 Countries Represented
  • 👯 6 Ecosystem Partners
  • 💸 $50,000+ in Prizes
  • 🚀 109 Projects Submitted
  • 🏆 10 Finalists

Firstly, what are Autonomous Worlds?

New forms of computation enable fundamentally new kinds of virtual Worlds. Autonomous Worlds are not just Worlds that happen to exist onchain, but Worlds that could not exist otherwise. The Autonomous Worlds hackers were given the challenge to explore exactly this — the potential of multi-author Worlds!

Participants would not only contribute to the growth of these worlds but also deepen their understanding of the concept of Autonomous Worlds and its implications in technology and digital collaboration. This would be made possible by leveraging the power of MUD, a new framework designed for ambitious Ethereum applications, and following in the footsteps of dozens of teams that have already built unique projects with it, including OPCraft — an onchain voxel world, EVM Factorio, real-time strategy games, and more.

“It is now possible to rapidly prototype and build out an AW idea in the span of a hackathon.”

More on the MUD Framework

The MUD framework has made it significantly easier to build complex systems on top of Ethereum and develop Autonomous Worlds. It solves the challenges of building on-chain games by addressing three main problems:

  • keeping the client and contract state in sync
  • architecting the game to make it easy to add more content later
  • ensuring interoperability with other games.

With that in mind, let’s move on to what actually happened at the first virtual Autonomous Worlds hackathon!

📺 Kick-Off Ceremony

With anticipation at an all-time high, hundreds of hackers tuned in to to get a glimpse of what was to come over the next few days. Kartik Talwar, Co-Founder of ETHGlobal, kicked off the ceremony by giving words of encouragement to all of our attendees taking on the exciting journey into Autonomous Worlds — with that, it was finally time to get hacking!

🛠️ Workshops

The concept of Autonomous Worlds is still relatively new in the ecosystem, so we consider ourselves fortunate to have partnered with the dedicated teams of 0xParc and Lattice. These two organizations are at the forefront of on-chain worlds, actively working to make on-chain gaming a tangible reality. They have taken on the role of leading, guiding, and teaching our hackers how to bring their fullest expression of Autonomous Worlds to life.

If you were not able to attend the hackathon, you don’t have to miss out on exploring the endless possibilities of virtual worlds. You can now watch all the workshops listed below, on our ETHGlobal YouTube channel!

The Autonomous World Workshops:

Workshops on Building with MUD and React & Build a 3D world with MUD and Unity

We were fortunate to have an incredible team of Technical Mentors guiding and supporting our hackers throughout their journey! These mentors played a crucial role in assisting with any questions, resolving obstacles, and providing real-time feedback during brainstorming sessions. Their presence ensured that our hackers could fully unleash their creativity and showcase their ingenuity to the fullest extent — and it showed!

Our incredible judges and mentors!

🌐 Autonomous World Finale

Finally, the moment we had all been eagerly anticipating had arrived — the finalists were about to showcase their builds! Among the 435 hackers hailing from 51 countries, Kartik Talwar, with great excitement, announced the 10 finalists to the world. With that, we dove straight into the demo sessions, witnessing the remarkable projects that emerged from this hackathon. These projects stood as a testament to the incredible talent and unwavering dedication of the ETHGlobal community, pushing the boundaries of the Ethereum ecosystem in unprecedented ways.

As the final demo concluded, it marked the official end of the Autonomous Worlds hackathon. We invite you to explore all the projects presented by the 10 finalists below and on the Finalist Demo livestream available on YouTube.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into our finalist projects or exploring the other remarkable builds from this hackathon, we encourage you to visit our Project Showcase!

🤝 Autonomous Worlds Partners

The Autonomous Worlds Partners

We would like to express our appreciation to the partners, mentors, speakers, staff, and judges who played a crucial role in making this hackathon possible and ensuring that our hackers were well taken care of. Your contributions and support were instrumental in creating an exceptional experience for all involved.

Last but not least, we would like to thank each and every hacker that took part in this event. We feel so lucky to have you join us from 51 countries across 22 timezones, all in one place, creating 109 incredible projects! These hackathons would not have the profound impact they do without your unwavering commitment and involvement. Thank you all!

We look forward to you joining us at our next hackathon and making a significant impact on the development of the Ethereum ecosystem once again!

Up Next: HackFS June 2–21st, 2023

If you enjoyed last year’s HackFS event, strap in — because this year will be even more phenomenal! From June 2nd — 21st, in partnership with Protocol Labs, we invite you to join us in building the foundations of Web3 centred around dapps, decentralized storage, and everything in between.

Each year, HackFS becomes larger and more impactful than the year before, and this year will be no different. Join hackers from across the globe to identify problems, work collaboratively, find collaborators, and help build and upgrade the whole ecosystem. Not to mention that the total of $150,000 worth of prizes will be up for grabs!

Sign up now to reserve your spot:

🚨 Don’t delay — applications close today, May 31st at 11:59pm ET.

We can’t wait to hack with you again,

The ETHGlobal Team 💙




Onboarding thousands of developers to the Ethereum ecosystem. Supported by L4, SV Angel, and the Ethereum Foundation.