Wizard Wednesday Recap, 2023-05-03
The meeting begins with the usual introductions and an exceptionally enthusiastic salutation from Bearsnake after the earlier announcement of Forgotten Runes' comic book publishing deal with Titan Publishing. Elf doesn't want to preview too much and begins with Cult Questions.
Warriors & the Runiverse Political Factions
The first question regards the Warriors' potential inclusion in the Color Factions of the Runiverse. Elf says that Warriors with color-specific armors can be participants of the Color Factions of the world, but ultimately it all depends of what your particular lore calls for.
Runiverse Game Marketing
Next, the team is asked what sort of marketing they will use to take the Runiverse MMORPG to a wider audience. Bear replies that there are many phases to it, and though there is a portion of the team at Bisonic dedicated to marketing, he hints that distribution is key. Bearsnake confirms there will be a paid marketing campaign to generate interest from those outside of the Web3 circle. Dotta chimes in to remind that Bisonic is a more traditional company with experience in this kind of marketing.
Elf also mentions that he messaged the Creative Lead for the Runiverse game, Tanilo, Wednesday morning once again to express his delight with the character designer. Elf says he would love to have him on Wizard Wednesday, but isn't sure if that's possible.
Next, Elf answers, "What's in the vase?" referring to the various Vases in the Forgotten Runes Athenaeum collection. In his mind, they all came from one artisan in the Runiverse as gifts to power centers in their designated regions. Elf says to notice they are all shut with a lid, as he believes they can't be opened by normal means. Elf also goes over some questions he himself has about the vases:
• Who made them?
• Why can't they be opened?
• What's inside of them?
• How did they end up in the Nightmare Imp's Boxes?
3D Beasts & 3D Launch Update
Elf then responds to a question about the 3D versions of the Beasts. He says that if the Beast Masters want them as playable characters, they will likely have to start as bipedal models due to spec limits, but may improve over time, depending on how 3D open meta spaces evolve.
This leads to a question about the proximity of the 3D website launch that was announced last week. Dotta says the site is still a few weeks out. Elf says the team has started to see a few bugs in the 3D model generations, but still lands on an estimate of two weeks for release.
Forgotten Runes Strikes Comic Book Deal With Titan Publishing
With that, Elf urges Bearsnake to talk about the publication deal with Titan. He says that the first issue is due later this Fall, but there are already a couple of books finalized. Despite the Fall release, he notes that Forgotten Runes will have a footprint at both Comic Cons. Bear also talks about onboarding other industry illustrators for Forgotten Runes cover variants as a known marketing tactic in part of his optimism wtth Titan's involvement with the marketing aspect of the comic book launch.
Elf speaks about the comic as a proof of concept:
"It proves the thesis of what we're trying to do, which is take Cult Content and funnel it into these larger media expressions. So many of the storylines in the comic are pulled from the Book of Lore...so many community members will see their characters in the comic."
He also says that he wants to put Cult Content artwork in the comic as extra pages, but he isn't sure how that process will work yet. Elf takes this time to then tell about the team's interactions with publishers prior to closing the deal with Titan.
Elf says Magic Machine were talking to Dark Horse comics long before they started talking to Titan, and had back and forth correspondence for about 5 months. At the 11th hour, Dark Horse got cold feet and pulled the project solely due to involvement of NFTs. He says it's not necessarily bad news, and to him it reminds him of how early everything in Web3 still is. Elf says this is typical interaction with legacy media industry. Bear says, "Welcome to my life every single day."
To end on a positive note, Bearsnake says he shared a few pages of the comic to Titan and indicated they thought highly of the caliber of the artwork. (Then he shared two pages in the Secret Tower along with a Wizard miniature figure, much to the delight of everyone present)
Why Extend to Legacy Entertainment?
Elf answers the question of a hypothetical "Tech Guy" with Web3 tunnel-vision: "Why are you even messing with the legacy entertainment industry?"
"We are a media franchise. It's about the intellectual property. There is no reason not to reach into a Web2 audience. It is only going to help the Web3 component. I'm looking forward to the day to when a fan of the Forgotten Runes comic unknowingly tells an NFT Cult member, 'Hey, have you heard about Forgotten Runes?' That is going to be a magical moment."
He says it seems obvious to him that you have to reach into the Web2 community in order for the Web3 community to grow.
Dotta notes that many of the IPs you see at the movies started out as comics, and outlines the benefits of aligning with established comic book artists. "All of those little details are painted in with care and become more iconic with everything we publish."
Elf briefly talks about the inherent overlap with the world and characters of Forgotten Runes with the typical comic book audience. In contrast with themes of many other NFT projects, Elf says that it makes sense for Forgotten Runes to intersect with the realm of comics. Further in the comic discussion, Elf makes note of the timelines of a few pervasive franchises between conception and initial public release:
Star Wars - 6 years from concept to silver screen
Harry Potter - 7 years from draft to publication
Minions - 7 years from concept in Despicable Me to eponymous film.
He notes that Forgotten Runes is only 2.5 years into its timeline.
WGA Writers' Strike & Positioning of the Forgotten Runes TV Show
Then, he segues to conversation about the current WGA writers' strike, and Bearsnake takes over. Bear says the long story short is that writers are currently being paid less because fewer shows are being syndicated while more shows are actually being created. They are striking for better terms. However, the Forgotten Runes show falls under IATSE, a guild that represents animation. He states that while he is happy that WGA creatives are striking for better terms, it could be a benefit for searching for sourcing Forgotten Runes show distribution.
The nature of the strike means less competition as well as distributors that are hungrier for new content. He says that it's good for the writers in the WGA, and it's good for Forgotten Runes in particular, because it feels like a good time to pitch the show.
Canto Ravers Interjection
As Bear begins closing his discussion of the strike, JohnnyMnemonic takes the stage to say that he will be airdropping the remainder of his Canto Ravers Forgotten Runes derivative project.
Who's That Wizard?
Elf also addresses suggestions in the Secret Tower that the character in the panels of the comic that Bearsnake shared are not actually Bearsnake. Elf reveals that none of the founders are actually in any of the issues of the comic.
The Hall of Cats
Following this, the team begin to discuss two events that occurred within the Cult this week, starting with Dotta's update on the Hall of Cats conflict:
"I'm working through talking to a lot of the individuals involved, making sure we take time to hear everybody's perspective. If you're aware of it, just know that I'm handling it, talking to people, taking it super seriously, trying to make sure everyone's feelings are heard. I'm going to put together a little bit more of a thorough statement...we'll make a few policy changes. We want to make sure that the Discord is a welcoming, friendly place for everyone and there are a few things I think we can do to make sure that happens."
Dotta left the following message in the Secret Tower on May 4, 2023:
Shark Tank 79
With that, Elf moves to talk about the Sovana Shark Tank Space that he and Bearsnake joined in last week. While the show tries to emulate the TV show of the same name, Elf says he made a realization that unlike the show, the hosts of the Space are unable to make cuts to the content that might portray the hosts in a bad light. Despite initial feelings to leave the Space (and DM encouragement from Dotta to do the same) Elf decided:
"You can play your Tough Guy character, but I am not going to play the submissive contestant that is here to learn...because this clown has no idea what he's talking about. All of his critiques amounted to, 'You must be lying.' Everything Bear and I said, the guy basically thought we were lying because it was just too impressive, so it couldn't be true."
Bear laughs and says it turned from a talk about achievements to proving they weren't lying. Elf says he was ready to leave it at that at the end of the show, but then says they escalated the drama because the Tough Guy Judge sent him "a lot of really threatening DMs."
He showed the messages to Dotta, which included claims that the judge had texted the CEO of Bisonic and they said they said they had never heard of Forgotten Runes.
Dotta responds, "This is ridiculous, because they're like my personal best friends, and it was just this blatant lie..."
Elf says he wanted to talk about this because of the implications that the host was going to spread disinformation about the Cult throughout the crypto space. He says, "We had to defend the project."
He continues by saying that many other crypto projects thrive on indulging in dramatic circumstances, but Forgotten Runes rates low on the "Drama Scale."
"At the top of our scale is love and goodwill, and I want to keep it that way. I never want to do 'The Drama Arc'."
With the remaining time, the team talk about Cult Content from the past week that Tania Del Rio gathered in her Cult Content Chronicle!
Illustration of the Founders, Castamere
Low-Resolution Wizard, mmmaize
FRWC x My Hero Academia Crossover, Angus of Mu
Merlin's Sneak Peek of Forgotten Worlds
Goat Garden Statue, TheOneWhoRings, AI
Light Bulb Frog, Shlee
In the conversation about BlackSand's commemorative edition mint, Dotta mentions that he and his family were invited to community member Sharon's home and had a wonderful time with her family. During conversation she excitedly mentioned she was leading the Grand Tour. In the BlackSand discussion, Legatus takes the stage briefly to thank the BlackSand team and those who worked on the commemorative Grand Tour edition. He also speaks about the new interactive map on the official BlackSand website.
To wrap up the meeting, Dotta announces there is a wedding in the Cult this week to unite Magus Wazir and Artis Rock.