Wizard Wednesday Recap, 2022-08-17

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Concept art of the Blue Wizard Bastion, released by Bisonic during a development update (AUG 17 2022).

Magic Machine Opening Thoughts

We started with some community Q&A...there was a question about what shampoo the founders use. Elf uses "the one in the green bottle," and Dotta uses a reusable bottle refilled by Mrs. Dotta with "something." Bearsnake has a natural odor that doesn't need shampoo...

Bearsnake was also very happy to see the press article that went out this past week from CNET.

Runiverse Development Update from Bisonic

Concept art of the Red Wizard Capital, released by Bisonic in a game development blog (AUG 22 2022).

Tanilo, Creative Director of the Runiverse game, came on as a guest speaker for the second time in the series. He is Elf's main contact on all things Runiverse. Tanilo started by referencing the Runiverse developer's blog post that was released earlier.

A lot of the initial design work has gone into four of the Wizard Capitals: the Red Wizard Capital, the Blue Wizard Bastion, the Yellow Wizard Haven, and the Green Wizard City. Each capital has a distinct design, will factor into player-owned properties in the area. The cities are cornerstones - although you can join one of the color wizard factions, players can also form their own sub-communities. Think of the cities more as starting points, you can build on top of them over time. Long-term, Bisonic would like to build thematic mini-games and secondary systems for each Wizard Capital, to enhance the core game loops that will be available in all cities. For example, possibly trading wizard stocks in the Red Wizard Capital.

The combat system is intended to be simple, and hearken back to classic RPGs like FFVI and Chrono Trigger, but bringing it into the MMO world. The blog post previews a few combat scenes, which differ depending on the biome you are in. Parties of players need to stay close, or the laggard won't get pulled into the instanced combat. Tanilo hinted that in the October-November timeframe, there may be a combat-system preview that will be available. You can encounter wandering enemies in the world map (non-random) or dungeons that you can choose to engage. When asked what he's excited to play (vs. just design), Tanilo said that he looks forward to doing a lot of "forging"(part of the crafting system).

Concept art of the Yellow Wizard Haven, released by Bisonic in a development blog post (AUG 22 2022).

Wizards are the primary focus at the moment, but eventually Warriors and Souls will be included, and may have exclusive content associated with them (similar to the Gem Maw area for wizards). In response to a question about whether its possible to intentional buy land plots in specific areas (even adjacent to each other for a sub-community), Tanilo said that Bisonic is still contemplating how it's going to work precisely. Dotta said that land mint locations will initially be unknown, if you mint them. Specific premium locations will be auctioned. Not all of the land is player-inhabitable, so many plots are not adjacent in any case, to create a more interesting and organic-looking world. Guilds can also collaborate to own property - it will be supported natively in-game, or you can use a multi-sig wallet. Madotsuki (Runiverse community manager) added that similar to the FRWC tokens, you can build up your random plot of land into something that people visit. Two Crows asked about how familiars will appear in the game. Tanilo said that from a game design perspective, they are figuring out how to treat traits like Runes and familiars, that only some Wizards have, to help keep things balanced between wizard holders.

Madotsuki said there will be a closed alpha for FRWC holders to participate in. You will need to sign an NDA to participate. There will be an announcement with further details soon.

Final Runiverse question was about in-game support for economic activity. "Subject to change," Tanilo said that players can trade directly in-game, plus auction houses (both game-run and player-run). So minting your crafted items as an NFT is possible, but not required.

Community News

Merlin said that Season 0 of the Forgotten Worlds game has concluded. About 35 players participated in this season. BardBumble, Flown, and Morphling got the top 3 places, who won FRWC tokens or ETH as prizes. Season 1 will add Souls and Pony skins, a creativity contest, a wizard dueling tournament bracket, guilds and factions, and massive boss battles.

The Moron Global Wizard Waifu contest submission period has ended. Head over to their Twitter page to vote for your favorite one - the top 2 vote getters will get featured in their Fall fashion line.

A round-up of this week's Cult Content can be found here.

Discussion - AI Generated Art

Early example of an AI-generated image using the Midjourney tool. Image generated by @IotaForFuture (Daniel)

Next, Elf wanted to talk about Dall-E and other AI-generated art platforms. He has seen two main reactions - the joy from "non-artists" who are using this tool, and the fear from established artists who fear being replaced. Elf started by saying that he loves seeing the Cult using this tool, and all the creative uses for it. But he wanted to start by discussing the "fear" reaction first.

He gave an analogy of the invention of the camera. Prior to the camera, many artists were revered for their realistic styles. Once the camera came around, some artists feared for their vocation. But in fact, as a result of this development, the realistic style fell back, and new styles were invented, such as impressionism. Eventually, even surrealism and Dadaism were invented, that didn't even depict reality. Today, generative art tools are another pivotal development, which can imitate these non-realistic styles and subjects. Elf thinks that this still isn't the end for artists.

Elf thinks that art is a form of communication, at the end of the day, and there are many mediums and forms for it. Art uses a variety of tools, but these tools themselves are not the point. What's more important is the intention behind the tools. There will begin to emerge a difference in results of AI generated images in the hands of artists vs. non-artists (similar to how professional photographers can capture images that amateurs can't, even with the same equipment).

Madotsuki added that the tools can't really replicate certain styles, like pixel art. Dotta acknowledged that the technology is early, and people are getting used to putting in the right prompts. Additionally, most people don't generate interesting images, because they don't have anything to say. Elf mentioned that these systems are trained on existing art, which is another limitation.

Dotta talked about the parallels with GPT-3 writing code - it's rough around the edges, but being able to create the right prompts for workable code will be a new job. Elf ended by reiterating that he wants Cult members to continue using AI-generated images if that's what they like to do he loves all the Cult content. But he wanted to shout out some human artists as well, with the latest creations from the past week.

Magic Machine Signs Off with a Few Tidbits

Elf will be gone for the next two Wizard Wednesdays! He will take a well-earned multi-week vacation to an undisclosed location. Elf will tweet pictures and see if people can guess where he is.

Bearsnake will release a casting call for parts in the TV show - stay tuned for more news on that.