Wizard Wednesday Recap, 2023-06-28

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Elf starts the show by saying he wants to point out the silver lining of a bear market and notes that he is still buying NFTs. "There are some bargain prices out there. Let's just put it that way."

Collecting Through the Bear

The Team Wants CrypToadz

Concept Art For the Fur Gnome trait, Originally by Gremplin
Concept Art For the Fur Gnome trait, by Gremplin

Elf notes that he recently purchased a Tigerbob and an Ozzy Osbourne Crypto Batz. Dotta says this is a good reminder. He wants to buy back the CrypToad he sold at the peak of the bull market. He says if there are grails that you love, there could be an opportunity to get them cheaper. On the topic of Gremplin, Dotta asks if the team has seen the Tozukos.

Bearsnake mentions that Dotta said Gremplin should sell these for 2 ETH each in the Magic Machine team chat. Bear says he DM'd Gremplin to relay this information and Gremplin replied, "I feel bad; I drew them in 20 minutes." The team jokes that's more effort than some projects.

Elf also lists a few other projects that he would like to buy into, mentioning CrypToadz, goblintown.wtf, and CloneX. Bearsnake also says that CrypToadz are at the top of his list, as he has always loved Toadz and has "a little bit of an internet crush on Gremplin." Elf asks Lachness and Madotsuki if they have any collections they're looking to scoop. Mado says that he doesn't have his eyes on anything at the moment. Lach responds that if she is going to buy another NFT, it's going to be a Wizzy.


Bearsnake also chimes in to say, "I don't know if this is controversial, but I really want to get an Azuki." Elf notes that a community member mentioned on Twitter that all of the FUD surrounding Azuki makes them want to buy one. Elf agrees, "Good. FUD 'em. I want to buy one." Madotsuki says if you like the Azuki art, he thinks this is a good entry into it and mentions Elementals were below expectations, because people thought it would be different. "What's the point of getting...the original OGs if you can get super cool Elementals 1/1s for 5 ETH?

Cult Questions

Elf says there will be more discussion on Azuki later and transitions into Cult Questions, noting for newcomers that questions can be asked in the Discord and the team will do their best to answer them live.

Sweets for the 2-Year Anniversary of Wizards

He starts with a question asking if the team is getting a cake for the the project's 2 year anniversary. Elf notes that the mint for the project was on June 30, '21 but says that they don't have cake, donuts, or any treats at all. He jokes that he blames Bear for that. Dotta says they should get some jelly donuts. Bear says he is going to open up some Treat Boxes on their birthday.

Magic Machine by Ozzz
Magic Machine by Ozzz

Ozzz's Magic Machine Pixel Painting

Elf also asks Lach about a piece that she was working on with Ozzz for the anniversary. Lach said that Ozzz wanted to do an "Avengers-style" team photo as a token of appreciation for sorting out a previous merch box discrepancy. She posts an original concept from Ozzz and notes that when the art project was first started, the team was much smaller. The team thanks Ozzz for the effort put into the piece, and Elf says that he nailed it. He jokes that Dotta looks a little bit like the Avalanche Intern. Dotta concludes that he doesn't mind. "They're spreading the Dotta meme far and wide, so let them have it."

Magic Machine's Runway Health

Elf continues with a few questions from community member smolprotecc. The first question is regarding the health of Magic Machine's runway. Dotta says it's good and estimates that the team has "a year and a half in the bank." He notes the dissipation of royalties makes it difficult, but on that topic, he doesn't think there's much volume at the moment anyway. He also mentions the Goblin Town airdrop and mint on the horizon, the Shadow Hats paid mint, as well as "The Shadows" on BTC as revenue. Dotta continues that there will also be the land sale for the Runiverse game (estimated some time in the Fall) and "a couple of other projects in the works."

Dotta says:

"We have very healthy padding in our bank account now and we have plenty of things on the horizon that work with the brand overall to generate more revenue."

Bear notes they haven't had to make any decisions based on cash flow and says he feels quite comfortable. To that, Dotta says he wouldn't mind feeling more comfortable and that if the team had the money.

"There are way more people we would hire, I think. We're practicing austerity right now during the bear, but we're very comfortable with the team that we have now."

Elf says the team definitely has runway to make it to the next bull market, and that will be a much more comfortable scenario for Magic Machine. He also takes the time to dispel rumors of royalty collection, due to the arrival of Blur and other 0 royalty marketplaces. Dotta says one of the things he loves about the project is that they are building an IP that can be manifested in many different ways.

"We don't have to do new mints of new characters every 6 months to make ends meet."

He uses moving into gaming with Goblin Town as an example.

The Shadow Hats
The Shadow Hats

Shadow Hat Traction

The next question for the team is why they think the Cult has been gaining external traction with the Shadow Hats. Elf says that one of the points was expanding into an entirely new community.

"We can't stay insular all the time. We have to use new strategies, tokenomics, and drops to appeal to new cohorts in the crypto ecosystem."

As to why the Shadow Hats are gaining traction, Elf says he will call it what it is and says that he sees a lot of "mintlist farming." Dotta says he thinks there's a good amount of organic interest, too, and notes that the Ordinals market is disconnected from the ETH market in terms of sentiment and volume.

"I don't think that the Ordinals market is really in a bear market in the same sense."

Dotta says that people interested in Ordinals are looking for projects with depth, which he says isn't a hard sell from Forgotten Runes. He mentions the team's history of shipping, the interesting art, and the project's community. "It checks every box...It all adds up." Bear says he likes it because it allows Forgotten Runes to extend to a new audience in an organic way. Dotta also says there's conflict from founders with new mints all going to the same holders. He says that holders should be rewarded, but it's important to grow outward, too.

Recursive Ordinals & BTC Gaming

The next question is concerning gaming on Bitcoin now that recursion exists. Elf defers to Dotta and asks about recursion. Recursion is a way for Ordinals to reference other Ordinals. He gives the example of uploading the Three.js library which can be referenced for 3D models. He says doing this with recursion would save on gas costs, but he isn't sure what kind of games it would enable.

"The blocks take 10 minutes, so what kind of game are you going to play with 10 minute blocks? I'm not really sure, but I'm sure someone clever will figure it out."

Madotsuki chimes in to say he has has seen theories of using these recursive Ordinals as building blocks of code where the inscriptions function as the game's database to reference.

Will Magic Machine Ever Build on Solana?

Elf then pivots to a question to the team asking if they would ever consider building on Solana. Elf starts off by saying it's not out of the question, but they don't have any current plans. Bear says he likes the idea of "multi-chain" collections. Dotta says moving to lower gas chains makes sense, but he cares about principles of decentralization that he feels Solana has been historically weak on. He notes there's a lot of cool technology in Solana, but he feels that L2s and ZK chains backed by ETH security are meaningful. Dotta says it would take a lot for him to give that up. He says, "Never say never, but I'm not that interested in it."

Wizard Nouns Derivative
Wizard Nouns Derivative

Derivatives & Value

The next question concerns accruing value for derivative projects without them being official. Elf says he isn't sure what the question means and says if it is in reference to the Shadow Hats, those are not derivative. However, if the question is referencing community projects, he says the answer is pretty straightforward: just make a compelling product. Dotta says a big part of it is around tokenomics. Elf breaks it down to tokenomics, good art, good community, and good promo.

Kobold Gif by FrogEater
Kobold Gif by FrogEater

Kobold Eyebrows

Following this, Elf answers a question around if Kobolds have eyebrows. He notes a gif that FrogEater made where the Kobold has, "big, juicy, thick eyebrows. So the answer is yes."

The Runiverse, Earth's New Pangea, & the Map

The next question the team answers is around the colloquial name for the Runiverse by its denizens. Elf says he's surprised there hasn't been discussion around this yet, because it's something he thinks about a lot. He says the franchise at large, in real life and fiction, to him is the Runiverse. It's the meta-name for the entire world. He says the landmass that is seen on the Map is Earth, and is a neo-Pangea.

"Why did the continents recollide into a new Pangea? It's an expression of the Ouroboros. It's a cyclical return to an epoch. It's an acknowledgement that Time is a circle, not an arrow ⁠— a call to wisdom of the ancients or a quantum superposition of the past and the present."

He says after all, we are Wizards, and the Wizards are us. The Runiverse is a reflection of the real world.

Dotta says that it's fun to think about the Map kilometer by kilometer. Elf says the Map isn't to scale, specifically bodies of water and city representations. He gives the example that Atlanta's Pool might be the size of an ocean if it were drawn to scale. "Someday we might release a map that is much more to-scale and you can actually zoom in and out."


Bear gets a question about the origin of his name with regard to lore that Tabitha of the Marsh wrote. Elf summarizes it and asks if "Bearsnake" is a misspelling of "Beardsnake." Bear says it isn't, but Beardsnake would also work for him. He says the origin of his name comes with an obsession with animal combinations with contrasting features. He names "crocapoodle" and "whalesnail" as examples. Bear says he even wrote a television pilot around this idea, but it never got picked up.

Reversed Poles of the Runiverse

Elf fields another question about the Runiverse Map in reference to the reversed poles.

"The poles are indeed reversed on the Runiverse map. That's what a Singularity will do to your world. It will invert it."

He references "Through the Looking Glass" and its world's inversion.

Azuki Elementals

Druid Enigma of the Valley in the Azuki Art Style by Wise Sam
Druid Enigma of the Valley in the Azuki Art Style by Wise Sam

Following this, conversation segues into the topic of Azuki. Elf prefaces this with empathy toward the founders and holders, and that the discussion isn't meant as insult. He says his take is more about the art and that the Elementals art looked the same as the originals. He notes similarities drawn to the Forgotten Runes Warriors collection, which he says he doesn't see the base of that comparison. He says the biggest mistake to him with Elementals is that the art is indistinguishable so that it appears that the Azuki supply was inflated.

Dotta says he can see the comparison to Warriors from a high-level standpoint in that the art is somewhat similar. However, he notes that the Warriors were on the roadmap to flesh out the Wizards and Warriors archetypes. He also mentions the Azuki trailer. Dotta says he was expecting different art based on the trailer and promotional posters that were a different style. He notes the team could have been worried about the ETHER drop. He also asks if anyone believes the theory that this was all deliberate attention-grabbing FUD.

Community member Bridge says he thinks it's possible and believes the Azuki team is aware of "what makes people talk" and they understand provenance. Madotsuki also points to the timing in that they frontran the drop of the ETHER trailer, which could be a competing PFP project.

Mado says it's possible that the point was to take attention off ETHER, which he hasn't seen discussion around, even though their trailer dropped. Dotta mentions he hadn't seen the ETHER trailer, in a bit of a nod to Madotsuki's point. Dotta shares the ETHER trailer in a pin. Madotsuki points to the airdrop of Elementals to original Azuki holders as a point to Bridge's comment on provenance. He compares this to primary perks going to Wizard and Souls holders in the Forgotten Runes ecosystem.

Dotta answers a question from the Discord: "What would you do if Azuki's anime frontruns the Forgotten Runes TV show?" Dotta says he would love to see an Azuki TV show. "The trailer looked amazing. I want them to win." He says the budget for the Forgotten Runes show was $15M

This was the plan for Warriors.

"If Warriors had gone like Elementals, we would be halfway in production with [the show]. Their holders should be asking them to spend the money to do that. They have $40M from this drop. Spend $15M of that to pay for your own Azuki TV show."

Madotsuki notes the Azuki team apparently has a plan for a TV show in their pipeline. Elf says:

"I want all the good NFT projects to succeed...One of the biggest hurdles we wrestle with is the negative sentiment across the mainstream populace about NFTs."

!Magic: The Gathering

Dotta-Daughter MTG Game
Dotta-Daughter Magic! The Gathering Game

Elf segues into discussion about Magic: The Gathering cards. He says he bought some the day before the show in the first time in years and they've been on his mind.

"I see a lot of parallels between what Magic: The Gathering is doing and what we are doing."

He notes the longevity of the game and its strong, diverse, global community as well as appeal to new generations.

"It's of course a game first, but beyond the game, there's a massive collector and financial component to it as well. It's basically physical NFTs. What's amazing is that Wizards of the Coast can release hundreds of new cards every year and the community doesn't complain about inflating the supply, because inflating the supply doesn't harm the value of the cards that came before it."

Elf makes the argument that the value of older editions actually goes up as new cards are released and more fans value the project as a whole. He says this is the model that he wants to follow and says the Shadow Hats are a great example of this. Elf says there will never be a plan to add more Wizards or add more Warriors: "That will always stay its own thing, but adding new creatures and new beings to the Runiverse, I think, is always an option to expand the world and the community."

Dotta's Illuminated Chapel
Dotta's Illuminated Chapel Featuring an Illuminatus Head Wizard

Dotta says:

"For me, recreating the feeling of cracking open a pack of Magic cards when I was 14 is the point of this whole project⁠ — that feeling of opening it up, seeing what you got, sitting around playing with friends. Collecting, trading, finding the rares."

Dotta says it wasn't "loaded" and was one of the happiest activities he had as a kid. He also says he loves the idea of the celebration of stories through cards, and notes these moments encapsulated in the community project, Runes TCG.

Elf also speaks to the meta-lore designed by Wizards of the Coast and notes there isn't some overarching story, but instead, they let the players play out the story. He draws parallels between this and the world of Forgotten Runes. However, Elf says that he feels the crossover space of Magic might have gotten out of hand with the Transformers collection. While he says the Lord of the Rings collection works, he thinks the Transformers crossover went too far. He asks Bear how he feels about this.

Bearsnake says that he loves crossovers, but they have to be done eloquently and make sure it feels organic to the existing community. He notes parallels in the NFT community. "There's this struggle of always growing but you don't want to disrupt what you have that's special."

Elf recounts a discussion on a previous Wizard Wednesday about making an honorary Paris Hilton Warrior. He says he still takes the stance of, "Hell no, we're not doing a Paris Hilton honorary." Dotta says, "I'm ok with it; if she comes on Wizard Wednesday, she can have it."

Jitcy then joins the conversation around Magic cards and the imagining of a Forgotten Runes crossover. Dotta mentions the Transformers cards aren't "standard legal" and that they just printed the crossover for fun. Jitcy says that he doesn't understand why players get upset about new sets, as often the sets aren't in a format they play, noting that the game has around 10 or more different formats of play.

Dotta changes his mind about the Transformers collection, and says that he likes them now. He also mentions the Magic card format has become "eternal as a medium" that has transcended Wizards of the Coast. He gives the example of the format's adoption by Rare Pepes.

Madotsuki draws comparisons to Super Smash Bros. and the controversial addition of third party characters, namely Steve from Minecraft. He says the game has become "a museum of video game history" and Minecraft has earned its place as a historical video game.

A Can of Coca-Cola

Elf prompts Bearsnake to talk about adding a can of Coke to the Athenaeum collection. Bear says he was on a call and was asked what he thought about putting Coke in the Runiverse. He said he thought it was a terrible idea and it took days for him to bring it up with the team. When Bearsnake finally brought it up to Elf, he said, "Yeah! Let's put a can of Coke in the Runiverse." Elf says he thinks that's kind of cool and that some items and brands have transcended their corporate association in their cultural status.

Dotta's Stable Diffusion Card Conversation Deferral

Dotta says that he has had some questions about the Illuminated Chapel card, but Elf says he wants to devote more time to that, because Dotta has been training some Stable Diffusion models.

Happy Birthday, Moron Mom & A Monday Magic News Reminder

Following this, a member of Moron Global approaches the stage for a special lore reading written by his mother. He gifted a Wizard (Hedge Wizard Axis of the Psychic Leap) to her and said that she could write the lore over a year ago. She finally completed the lore, which he reads in her stead. Following the reading, he says that it's actually also his mother's birthday, which leads to an impromptu singing of "Happy Birthday" from Dotta and company.

Community member Henboyd also joins briefly for a reminder about the Magic Monday News, noting special guest Daniela Ilustra

Cult Content

With that, the show comes to a close. Though it wasn't covered this week, browse Tania Del Rio's Cult Content Chronicle below for a selection of recent art produced by the community.