Wizard Wednesday Recap, 2023-04-05
Elf starts the meeting by complimenting Jitcy's new 3D Kobold PFP, created by FrogEater. The team applauds FrogEater's works and suggests to give him a follow if you haven't already. Elf later describes him as a powerhouse of Cult Content.
Will Forgotten Runes Flip Doodles?
Elf then asks Dotta if Forgotten Runes is going to flip Doodles. Dotta responds, "I'd rather Doodles have a 10 ETH floor and we have a 20 ETH floor. I don't wish them ill, but I wouldn't mind flipping them, either." His own question leads Elf to address more questions from the community.
Lore From the Founders
Again, the founders are asked when they will have their own lore written.
Elf: As soon as we launch 3D, I will write my lore.
Bearsnake: When I'm home for more than 24 hrs.
Dotta: I have something in the works.
The team is then asked if anyone besides Bearsnake will be attending NFT NYC. Jitcy responds, "Let's party."
Elf follows up with a question about the events Bear is planning to attend. He says he wants to go to the Renga event and then asks if the team has heard of Dave Krugman or ALLSHIPS. Bear states that Dave is an amazing photographer and everyone should check out ALLSHIPS.
Bear notes that he will mostly be in meetings. "It's just so much easier to get stuff done during these conferences that I never actually go to the conference for the most part, but when everybody's in one place, it's easy to get a lot of business done, so I'll be there."
Dream Master Lore
Elf is then asked about lore for the Dream Masters. He says he will have something by next Wizard Wednesday.
Bearsnake Takes GDC
The next question is for Bear, concerning GDC. He says, "It's almost like ETH Denver, but in gaming — it's just a bunch of builders." He talks respect for the gaming industry: "They're such strategic thinkers, and generally speaking, the bar for intelligence is so high."
Bear also met with game developers to talk possibilities for 3D Wizards and met up with the Bisonic team, who are helping develop the Forgotten Runiverse game. He also speaks about friction with "web2" gamers, but says every third booth was either web3 or blockchain related.
"Whether traditional gamers like it or not, the industry is embracing the technology. No one knows how it will play out, but it's certainly coming." The team thinks web3 gaming is one of the first big break-out verticals of the industry, and after GDC, Bear says that is spot-on.
Web3 Board Game Mechanics
Bear also speaks about attending a Space earlier in the week on the topic of subgenres in gaming — even in web3, whether they are partially or fully on-chain — and how board game mechanics can be applied to fully on-chain games.
Bear spoke to them about Dotta and the dev team working on Battle for Goblin Town and notes how not every game is going to look like Fortnite or Otherside. "There's going to be a lot of exploration, and I'm excited that we're not just diving into one section."
CryptoKitties & Forgotten Runes Comparison
Elf uses this to segue to a conversation that happened in the Secret Tower comparing Forgotten Runes to CryptoKitties. He says he believes that CryptoKitties was more defined by the time it was released rather than its features, and that they were possibly a victim of being a little bit too early, as he notes it was before crypto Twitter or DeFi were prevalent. Elf points to lack of other projects to look to during the height of CryptoKitties, and says they were trapped in beginner pitfalls such as overinflating their supply.
Why Forgotten Runes Will Succeed
Elf then explains the reasons why he thinks Forgotten Runes will succeed:
Elf describes this as an exponential vector into everything that's being built.
A Bridge to Legacy Entertainment
Bear chimes in with a sidenote that they are preparing a press release for the Forgotten Runes comic. Elf notes that the Wizards TV show is progressing as well. "NFTs are, after all, media."
Slow, Steady, and Organic Growth
Dotta says the this is result of trying to build a product, an activity, and an infrastructure that will last a long time.
Elf says this is probably the most important thing. Bear says, "It's why we can punch above our weight...the community and Magic Machine's incentives are completely aligned."
Dotta Talks Break-out Characters and the Network Effect
Dotta says that part of creating a franchise is having break-out characters that help pull the franchise forward, but you only need one to bring attention to the project. He mentions franchises with multiple break-out characters such as Star Wars and Pokémon as examples.
"Part of what's special about Forgotten Runes is that you really only need one person to keep the project going. With CryptoKitties, if the tokenomics failed, the project failed. With Forgotten Runes, if one person can make an important character, it lifts the entire collection."
Dotta notes Magus Devon as an example character that is known even outside of the world of Forgotten Runes. Bear says that this is leveraging the Network Effect. Dotta gives the example of Pinterest as a "single-player" tool that can still be useful for one person even if no one else uses the platform, but when the network grows, the product becomes stronger. In comparison to CrytoKitties, Elf says he believes the Forgotten Runes tokenomics have been innovative, purposeful, and intelligently designed.
The Distribution of the Sacred Flame
Bear mentions that this notion coincides with one of his theories about how the distribution of Sacred Flames to lore writers helped the overall health of the project. There was a concentration on people who were "here for all the right reasons". Dotta and Elf agree, and Elf says that other projects still reference the Sacred Flame burn mechanic. He even mentions an interview with Vogue Business to speak about the Sacred Flame.
Dotta says, "The Warriors need burning."
Elf replies, "It'll probably happen at some point."
Bear asks what the community thinks in the Secret Tower. (The sentiment of the community points to agreement.)
How To Build a Decentralized World With Continuity
The question then arises: "How do you build a world with continuity in a decentralized way?"
"Our base layer is the monomyth — archetypes that are thousands of years old. Nearly Every trait, art and lore element is a continuation from a history of myth and culture."
He thinks that Forgotten Runes does a good job of leveraging the true purpose of what an NFT actually is, and he isn't sure other projects are even asking the question, "Why are we making NFTs?" He speculates that most just see it as another financial opportunity.
"You don't just own it — you shape it and develop it. Its value can be determined by you and your community."
Elf notes the practically limitless potential to this end. Then, he speaks to the large range of talent of Magic Machine and how it's noticeable that some projects don't have creatives on their team. He says that it's clear when projects only have a team of business people.
BlackSand Pony Racing & The Runiverse Grand Tour
This leads into a conversation with Legatus about BlackSand Pony racing. Legatus talks about Ponyboy Z's recent race win as well as the upcoming Runiverse Grand Tour — a race that starts in BlackSand and spans across the Runiverse. He also reminds the community that Mecha Ponies are just one piece of what BlackSand has to offer.
"The natural next step is the burning ritual. Prepare your Mecha Ponies — something else is coming.
Elf says that he is super impressed with BlackSand and asks those who have yet to mint a BlackSand mount what they are waiting for. He notes that his 1/1 Silly Goat is still out there waiting to be minted. Bear says the he's rolling the dice and mints 15 during the Space.
Bear also commends Legatus and says that BlackSand is like a microcosm of Magic Machine. He notes Legatus' ability to organize and have a North star for people to "gallop" toward. Legatus speaks to the interoperability of BlackSand with other community projects, and Giveahoot steps up to mention Runes TCG and BlackSand have been integrated into each other such that players of Runes now have an advantage in BlackSand racing.
Runiverse Rush Recap
Giveahoot also recaps the Runiverse Rush tournament from this past week, announcing Vmark as the reigning champion, and thanks the community for showing up. Jitcy praises the spectating features during the tournament finals and says that creating spectator value is like music to his ears.
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
Elf then allots the last portion of the Space to speak more about AI. He states that he believes the defining conflict of our time will be distinguishing humans from AI. He points to references in pop culture from the Voight-Kampff test in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? / Bladerunner to the character of Data in Star Trek to even Pinocchio, who just wants to be a "real boy".
He thinks the importance of human authentication in the realm of machines is on the rise and mentions recent CAPTCHA test failures. He notes that blockchains are the only current tech he knows of that is AI-proof.
While he encourages using the tools available at hand as aides, he warns to never let the machine fully speak for you.
"Putting your rune on the door means putting YOUR rune on the door — show the world who you are, because if you don't show the world who you are, the machine will render you forgotten."
He says that it's ok to put AI generated content in the Book of Lore, but asks, "Do you want your mark on the door to be spoken by a machine, or do you want your mark to be the unique, beautiful, weird, messy, imperfect mark of an organic brain?" To this, he also mentions wariness around discourse of a button to auto-generate AI-written lore. He says that would be outsourcing your humanity to a machine.
"This is what Forgotten Runes is really all about — you summoned a Wizard, and now the Wizard is going to summon you."
Dotta speaks about optimism for the future in terms of maximizing creative output. While he does believe that disruption will happen in available jobs, he sees opportunity to ride the innovation. He tells an anecdote of brainstorming an app to help him learn a piece of music, asking ChatGPT to write the program, and then uploading functional code to Replit all from his phone in bed. Dotta agrees that you shouldn't give the AI your voice, but instead use it as a writers' room, a teacher, or partner to code.
Madotsuki speaks about his experience with training models to generate outputs of Magus Devon and the work that goes into getting desirable prompts.
Dotta agrees that it is work and takes time to research prompts that other people are using. He says that if you're not impressed with any of the outputs, then perhaps you aren't putting in the best or most effective input. He likens this to watching his parents Google in the early days of the search engine and how have to learn how to actually write these prompts in order to actually get what you're looking for.
Elf circles back to say he is impressed with Mado's work with AI and again encourages use of AI in the ways that you see fit, but he believes that it will eventually transcend its tool status. Elf finalizes his thoughts on the subject with this:
"Create — speak your truth — put your mark on the world...don't let the machine scare you, because you have magic."
Cult Content & Closing Thoughts
The team then spends time reviewing the excellent Cult Content from this week's Cult Content Chronicle.
Battle at Chroma Crystal Row by fsomaloart
Warrior John Conqueror of Lions by Jacopo Lanza
Slim and Slim's Wife by Artis Rock
Swamp Witch AI Depiction by Jimmyjag
AI Wizard by Fiskantes, Midjourney
Closing Comments and NFTNYC Wizard Meetup
In closing, Elf and Bear briefly talk about the possibility of hosting Wizard Wednesday live from New York next week. Bear also mentions a small Wizard gathering in New York. He says it's nothing elaborate — just a time and a place to get together.