Wizard Wednesday Recap, 2023-06-14
100 Weeks of Worldbuilding Commemorative Mint
Then, the team reveals "100 Weeks of Wordlbuilding," a free mint commissioned from artist Ulises Farinas.
Elf says that the artist was given a detailed list of ~100 Wizards from the community along with their pixel art and a description of what the Wizard could be doing for inclusion in the artwork. Elf notes that they tried to include as many active Cult members as possible. Bearsnake suggests that this could become a recurring tradition to include new members each year. Dotta mentions that the artwork greatly illustrates how Cult members have adopted the Wizards as personas.
"When you look at this image, you see people...you see the individuals."
Elf agrees that these individuals have made their Wizards come alive and says, "That's what this project is all about."
Bear takes a moment to say that Forgotten Runes is the pinnacle of everything he's done in his field. He expresses thanks and gives love to Elf and Dotta. Elf and Dotta return the love with Dotta noting Bear's source of friendship, energy, and power.
Elf says, "We would have crashed and burned long ago if it wasn't for you, Bear."
Dotta jokes, "We would have just killed each other."
Favorite Forgotten Runes Memories
Elf segues into a couple of Cult Questions, the first of which asks the team about their favorite Forgotten Runes memory. Bearsnake says that his favorite moment was when TV had the first ever burn through the Sacred Flame and it turned into a pile of ash. Dotta says that there's an unlimited number of memories for him, but his favorite times have been moments of recognition when people get onboard and understand the project. He mentions the first time Lorepunk sang on Wizard Wednesday and cracking up at Wazir memes on Discord. Elf says he also has a few: He said the first was the uncertainty and excitement of mint day, and another memorable time for him was the NYC party. He and Lachness speak about Bear's nervousness about attendance before they saw the line of around 500 people at the entrance.
Dotta also notes that DeeZe is in the audience and thanks him for using his following and voice early on to promote the project.
"If there was really one person who put us on the map and gave us a shot, it was totally DeeZe."
Elf says that besides the mint day and party, his other fondest memories are of Cult creations. He mentions:
- Bread's first Wizard illustration
- Wazir's memes
- Merlin's Forgotten Worlds
- SPZ and Lorepunk's Chimera Song
- Cabinet of Curiosities
- Nouns and Punks Derivatives
- The Barren Court
- TV's Forgotten Marketplace
- "Everything by Tania"
- Moron Global's Lil Nos
"So many great things by the Cult, and those are some of my favorite memories."
Athenaeum Item Uses
The next and only other Cult Question concerns the Athenaeum items and if they will be able to be earned or used in the Runiverse game. Bearsnake says they will appear, but which ones and how many is yet to be decided. Bear says they want people to be able to use them as decorations for their in-game properties. He also says there may be ways to use them in order to get resources in the game.
"There will probably be more than one way to utilize them in the game."
Dotta says that they would also like the items to be available for use in other games as well.
"The Athenaeum items are not just cosmetic. We will be using them mechanically as we move forward, for sure."
On this topic, Elf notes the 100th episode airdop of new Athenaeum items.
100th Wizard Wednesday Athenaeum Airdrop
Dotta speaks about the way to claim the airdrop, which was only available to those present during the show, and thanks Madotsuki for setting up the claim form as well as all of his continued contributions. In the spirit of reminiscing, Lach also adds that Madotsuki was the first ever lore reader on the show. Elf then talks about the 5 new items themselves, noting they range from "silly to sacred" and originate from some of the most popular categories of items in the Athenaeum:
- A Card
- A Book
- An Egg
- A Doll
- A "Miscellaneous" Item
1. The Ouroboros Card
Elf speaks about the magical history of cards — from Tarot reading to card illusions by stage magicians — and how he wanted to add a powerful card to the current Forgotten Runes NFT ecosystem.
2. The Thunderbird Egg
"I don't have much to say about it except that someday I want to do something with the eggs. I think it's pretty obvious what an egg would do."
3. A Bear Paw, the Miscellaneous Item
Elf asks Bear, "If a rabbit's paw gives you good luck, what does a bear paw do?"
Bear replies, "It picks any lock to any door in any universe. This is the multitool of the Runiverse."
Elf says this is very appropriate.
4. The Kobold Doll
Elf says we've seen versions of this doll in many other places, so he had to put an official one in the Athenaeum.
5. The Voynich Manuscript
Elf describes this as one of his favorite new items. He says he sees a lot of correlations between the book and Forgotten Runes.
This 15th century book actually exists and is now kept in a library at Yale. Its author is unknown and its language is indecipherable. He notes the book is written on vellum (animal skin) and includes strange hand-drawn images along with its esoteric language. Neither cryptologists nor AI have been able to interpret it.
Elf talks about the uniqueness of the author's voice and correlates that to Forgotten Runes.
"Ironically, this wall of obscurity doesn't prevent us from connecting to it. It actually makes us more interested. We always say in Forgotten Runes that everyone has the ability to create. Skill or talent is not a prerequisite. When we say everybody, we mean everybody has the ability to put their mark on the world. You can make that mark so unique and so interesting, because every human being is unique and interesting and has something to say. This is the triumph of the human voice — a thing we all have — and we can all dazzle the world for a thousand years with it."
Put Your Rune on the Door
Next, on the topics of DeeZe and putting a mark on the world, Elf plays a clip from a DeeZe Space that contained the first ever mention of the phrase "Put your Rune on the Door." Elf says the phrase came to him minutes before he went on the Space and it was totally unplanned.
He goes on to say:
"Anyone can do it in a variety of ways — when you make art, music, literature — when you code, when you make a game, when you make an application, or when you make a meme, or when you make someone happy, or you give someone a gift — when you make a good dinner for your family, you're putting your mark on the world. Even being a good parent is doing this. You're literally leaving your genetic mark in a new person. Not to mention all the ways you help that person grow and develop and encourage them to make their own marks. When we leave our marks on the world, we are building a world. And when you put your Rune on the Door, you're sort of creating a portal from the world in your head to the world in someone else's head. And when these worlds connect, we've now made a new world, and when that new world opens new doors, growth becomes exponential."
More Clips From Past Wizard Wednesdays
Tom Pulls Nosferatu
Elf then plays a few other clips from past Wizard Wednesdays, starting with the clip when community member Tom pulled Nosferatu from the Sacred Flame. Dotta says the wild thing about that burn was Tom's conviction about his plans for Nosferatu's future. Dotta notes that Tom could have likely sold the Soul for $50k or more, but he instead leveraged it to create the beginning of Moron Global. Dotta says this thesis has proved right: The Forgotten Runes Nosferatu has become its own legendary Character.
Elf says Nos could not have gone to a better person. He notes the meme cult status of Moron Global and how Nosferatu is derivative in and of itself. He speaks of the Nosferatu filmmaker's original plans to obtain the rights to Dracula. When he couldn't, he created Nosferatu.
Dotta says he wants to lean into that and then speaks briefly to the idea of direct monetization of the IP for Forgotten Runes participants. Bearsnake agrees that Cult contributions are at the core. Then, Tom momentarily joins the Space from vacation with his kids.
Dotta Becomes Angelic
After this, Elf wants to speak about another legendary burn, but before he can, he asks Dotta to address the fact that he doesn't own the Dotta Wizard, even though he uses it as a PFP.
Dotta tells of the origins of the project and how he and Elf wanted to keep the mint fair. To do this, they didn't withhold rares and only kept around 12 Wizards, if that.
"I'd adopted this Dotta persona, but I didn't really recognize the degree to how personal these tokens became. I wanted the Dotta NFT to go to someone in the collection."
He notes it was minted by Red, who eventually sold it for around 12 ETH. Dotta says around this time, he was getting DMs from people who thought he had sold his namesake. These people were telling him that was bad for the project, unaware that he had never actually owned it. Community member Dialectic purchased the Dotta Wizard and sent it through the Sacred Flame.
He says that he feels that sporting the Angelic Dotta PFP is more for Halloween and "spooky season." He says, "The summer vibe is the headband."
Elf notes Dotta's current PFP is inscribed as an Ordinal and says that in a way, he does own it. Dotta says it's a sticky situation.
Bear Finds a Cave
Bearsnake says that he's interested in a clip Elf mentioned earlier from the Wizard Wednesday after the team secured the Bear Cave. In the clip, we hear Dotta speak about conversations with Mrs. Dotta where he tells her all of the amazing things that Bearsnake has done. Also in the clip, Elf says that he doesn't know what Bearsnake has been doing in the Bear Cave, but it seems to have transformed everything.
In present time, Bear says that it's nice to have a place where it's "all Wizards." Bear adds that he's been considering hosting Bear Cave dinners with Wizard invites. On the subject of invites, he says that if anyone is in LA, they are welcome to DM him and stop by.
Elf also shouts out Ozzz's portrait of the Bear Cave.
The Origin of the Book of Lore
Next, Elf plays a clip he believes was the first time he and Dotta were talking about the Book of Lore. In the clip, Dotta imagines a printed tome of Forgotten Runes stories and Elf speaks to the varied contents and artwork that he hopes to eventually be contained in the Book. Even from these early days, Elf urges the community to tap into their creativity.
"I think you might surprise yourself about what you could do."
He speaks about the appeal of the Book of Lore for the team was the potential for holders to make their Characters come alive. Dotta says it's fun to see that their vision actually happened. He notes the ~ 4,000 contributions in the Book of Lore and how all of these entries add to the Collaborative Legendarium.
"It's great to see that some things that we plan that take a long time actually get done."
Bear also speaks to the fact that the seed of the Book of Lore grew into something more than they could even imagine. He also talks about the synthesis of all of this information within the Large Lore Machine that transforms it into something even greater. Elf speaks about the combination of AI and blockchain tech:
"It's this profound alchemy that will open doors into horizons unknown."
Elf says that this is what sets Forgotten Runes apart: Not only are there Forgotten Runes AI applications, but also a unique dataset for training this AI. Dotta says that we're on the cusp of the age where the word becomes material: speaking Art into being. He says the leverage is currently the word, and Forgotten Runes has built that in from the beginning. The project is perfectly positioned for the dawn of this new era.
Elfcumber, Dogtta, & Hot Bearsnake Host Cucumdog Wednesday
Elf then says there is one other clip that he wants to share.
"Something infected our Cult for a very brief moment."
He then plays a hilarious clip from an unhinged alternate reality that really should just be experienced for yourself.
Bearsnake laughs and replies, "You were possessed, dude."
Elf says he was infected by the Cucum-pocalypse.
"As much as I pretended to hate the Cucum-pocalypse, it was a very special moment in the Cult. It speaks to the power of memes."
Dotta says with some chagrin, "Thanks, Cheddaa."
Other Notable Moments From Past Wizard Wednesdays
While that is all of the clips from previous Wizard Wednesday episodes that Elf has lined up, he also gives mention of other notable moments:
- The appearance of Kristian Nairn (Hodor from Game of Thrones) reading lore for his Wizard on Episode 33
- Alexis Ohanian on Episode 34
- Elf speaks about Ohanian's love for the Chimera Monster In My Pocket Toy and how Forgotten Runes nearly acquired the Monster In My Pocket IP.
- Derek Kolstad on Episode 38
- Bear shares a story of reconnection with Derek a year after they worked together on a VR film. Bear pitched the Wizards show over lunch and by the end of the lunch, Derek was onboard.
- Elf laughs about Lach calling Derek out for his gray, default Twitter PFP.
Lachness & Jitcy's Favorite Moments
Elf turns to Lach and Jitcy and ask them about their favorite Forgotten Runes moment.
Jitcy says it's hard to point to any one moment.
"It's not a moment. It's the community that's created here, and having people show up every single day just to hang out...It's really hard to point to one thing. There's so many elements...It's everything, man. I don't know what I was doing before this, but this is it."
Lach's response is a clip that she plays from Sharon's very first lore reading, and notes Sharon's commitment to the storytelling by using a Character voice.
Love From Magic Machine
Bear shares a story about the team meeting Lach for the first time, and after hearing her deep-cut Lord of the Rings references, they knew she had the right voice and was the person to bring in. Dotta says that it's a delight to bring people in from the Cult. He speaks about Niski's contributions to building the Book of Lore in the Coding Guild even before he was brought on to Magic Machine. Dotta also tells the story of Jitcy reaching out to him and doxing early on to say that he wanted to work with Magic Machine. Jitcy was directing esports programs at the time, but says he couldn't get away from the idea of Forgotten Runes and the overall warmth of the community.
Bear also notes the time Jitcy was top of the leaderboard in the BAYC game "Dookey Dash."
"I think that's when we realized Jitcy's better than everybody at video games."
Dotta pulls from his notes that in August '21, he asked Jitcy for his home address so that he could send him a life-size cardboard cutout of his Kobold. Elf says it's funny that Jitcy takes on the Kobold persona because he's so intelligent about so many things. Elf reiterates the project would have fallen apart without Bear, but the Discord would have fallen apart without Jitcy.
Bear says that there is a microcosm within the Magic Machine team where everyone plays a part without redundancy. He also notes that Magic Machine itself is a microcosm of the larger Cult.
"It's this throughline of beliefs. That's what makes this whole thing special. We're all different, but there's this centralized belief in what we're building and what the technology is capable of. This is just one flavor of web3 and blockchain...That's why every time I get on a call with another project, or a VC, or whoever who is in web3, I would say...75% of the time...someone on the other end of the call has a Wizard. I think we really speak to builders and creators."
Elf also gives shout outs to Molly and Frogeater. Molly did 2D concepts for all of the Wizards upon which the 3D models were built. Frog helped put together the website's toon shader among other 3D work. Elf says Frog was straight out of school and is years ahead of his peers. Following this, Elf also lauds TheOneWhoRings as well.
"How do you describe Waz except for 'Pure Magic'?"
Jitcy also speaks about his friendship with Wazir: "He amplifies me at times in ways I don't even know and he continues to do it selflessly."
Dotta agrees and speaks about how welcomed he and his family felt at Wazir's wedding. He said he was looking over his notes and even really early on, he was speaking about Magus Wazir's humor and all of his memes. Then, the team turns to Nalgene, and Bear speaks about knowing him since he was 11 years old "flexing his Minecraft builds." Bear notes Nalgene's aunt is one of his best friends and was even married at her house. He thanks Nalgene and says he has helped everything move forward. Dotta also says Nalgene is "the most bussin'-est member of the Magic Machine team."
The Future of Forgotten Runes
After that, Dotta also speaks to the future of the project.
"The goal for this project is to be a place for collaborative worldbuilding both creatively and economically. The point of this project — the problem we're solving here — is that creative people come together and contribute to worlds that they really have no stake in. You can't freely contribute to Lord of the Rings or to Harry Potter or to Star Wars — no matter how much you're a fan or no matter how much you love it — all the value of your creation accrues to the top, which is someone else. The idea with Forgotten Runes is that we're going to be able to create a world that has the critical mass of the magic system and the geography and the items and the lore and the Characters, such that you can come in and you can create in this world. But at the same time, you're able to benefit from it monetarily because of the IP that you create. I understand the reality, which is in these past two years there hasn't been a lot of money flowing to creators...but that's really the goal of what we're getting at."
Dotta mentions Forgotten Runes isn't a CC0, where creators make art purely for art's sake, but with that, there are regulations, securities laws, and legal documents that have to be considered. He notes the team is working through them.
"I think a lot of artists don't really realize that this is even an option — that you can come together as a collaborative team and create a world together, and then you own that world all together."
Larger Media Expressions
Dotta says one of the ways that this plays out is through the larger media expressions and speaks about the 10 comic books that are going to be distributed globally through Titan Publishing with stories pulled from the Book of Lore. Dotta also speaks about the Runiverse game and mentions that the team will release public builds by the end of the year. He speaks to skepticism of the wider market that a team can make a full, fun, detailed MMO that is also based in crypto.
"While maybe it's not working at the Web3 pace, so to speak, where you launch something every two weeks, the game is going to be a significant game in the ecosystem."
Then he speaks to the television show that is still in progress. He says this one is "a bit weirder to talk about," because some of the larger deals and potential deals that happen can't be spoken about publicly. However, he speaks to Bearsnake's professionalism and ability to make connections in ways that a person would never expect.
"I suppose what I would just say is that the show hasn't died at all...Getting the show made is still completely on the table and in progress."
Dotta says that all of these larger media expressions integrate the Book of Lore and work together to make the world of Forgotten Runes a household name such that when an individual creates in the world, there's already a built-in audience. Bearsnake says that he's spent a lot of time selling shows in Los Angeles and notes that most of the IPs have already been bought and made and made, then made again.
"Hollywood is searching for the next generation of IP."
Bear talks about how most show pitches are just scripts and mostly only get sold because the person behind them has a trustworthy track record of scriptwriting. He speaks to the impact of Forgotten Runes' pitch also including the community, comic, video game, etc. Bear notes that even the style of the show was taken into consideration in its creation, how its anime-adjacent and how that is one of the fastest-growing categories of content. He speaks to the fact that anime crosses borders.
"If you make a comedy in the US, it has very little value outside of the United States, because culture of comedy is subjective and it's different per territory. But when you talk about Fantasy...and these massive Fantasy worlds, that crosses borders and it crosses languages."
After this, Dotta also talks about Forgotten Runes' entrance into 3D. He says he doesn't want to give a specific date, but he feels that the team is within a month or two of being able to fully ship the 3D models to everyone. He also speaks to the importance of the 3D launch. Dotta talks about the new options for creation that 3D Forgotten Runes characters will bring. He mentions the motion capture of Wonder Dynamics, the ability to use the models in game engines, and the ability to pose models in 3D and feed it into AI models. Dotta also notes that one of the biggest points of 3D characters is the ability to walk around in 3D metas.
"We are talking to all of the biggest and best and every meta in between about having Forgotten Runes appear. There's some alpha there that we can't quite share yet."
Dotta posits that Forgotten Runes avatars will be some of the most desirable in these 3D metas because they will be the most unique.
"We'll be doubling down on 3D. We want to be able to use 3D more. We're not just a pixel project, and we'll be using 3D more as we move forward."
Elf agrees and states that these 3D models open up an exponential vector for Forgotten Runes.
"If you're an NFT project and you don't have a metaverse strategy, then I don't know what you're doing. The metaverse isn't just a VR app created by Mark Zuckerberg."
Following this, Dotta also speaks abound the lore-building tools. He notes that Magic Machine wants to create larger narratives and central stories where you can follow a character for a longer period of time and wants to create tools to make this easier for the Cult as well. Dotta says along these lines he also wants to build out more tools to provide more details around the map "to whatever resolution you need to."
"We want to be able to know different landmarks and paths and secrets within the world."
He hypothesizes a collaborative "Book of Maps".
"Knowing who your Wizard is, knowing the narratives, and knowing the locations within the universe then lets us feed that into tools like the LLM which gives us AI assistance in developing the stories."
He notes we've all seen how AI can "get tired" if you let it write stories on its own, but encourages its use as more of a writers' room and advisor so that you don't have to stare at a blank page. Following this, he says that part of the project is around commercialization.
Dotta speaks about "Binary Star" which is a conceptual platform for licensing the IP of your Characters. He notes the team wants to build tools for IP creators and artist who want to use these stories to be able to monetize those in a way that Magic Machine helps market and sell. He gives the example that Wise Sam creates the Shroom Shack, and Tania makes a piece of artwork around the Shroom Shack, and then Magic Machine merges that into a product which directs royalties back to the creators and IP owners.
Write in the Book of Lore. The people who create things will be the people who are able to monetize best in the near future, given the US regulatory landscape. So, we're building tools to encourage that. What I would love is that you could create content for Forgotten Runes as a full-time creator, and then you're able to monetize those things because people know the stories. People know the Characters, and then people want the things that you create...That's really the dream."
The show closes out with Cult Content shared from Tania's Cult Content Chronicle along with a lore reading from community member Shaun Brodie.