Wizard Wednesday Recap, 2023-07-12
Dotta channels in from the Quantum Downs solo this week and says that both Elf and Bearsnake are traveling and unable to make the show. However, Dotta has Jitcy onstage with him, who says he will be "Budget Bear" for the day. Without much ado, Dotta dives into Cult Questions.
Favorite Spells & Incantations
First, the team is asked about their favorite spells and incantations. Jitcy says that "The Heart Spell" is probably his favorite even though he doesn't own one. Madotsuki says he will go the opposite and names The Death Spell as his personal favorite.
Would Dotta Change The Sacred Flame?
Next, Dotta is asked if he would change anything if he could contact his previous self with the knowledge he has now about Wizard burning mechanics and Sacred Flame hoarding. He says he isn't sure he would change anything, and says he's enjoyed the Sacred Flame mechanic so far. Dotta does say, if anything, that he would like to develop more uses for the Sacred Flames. He notes Bored Apes' Serum mechanic that released about a month before the Flames, but loved the idea of fully burning the original Wizards rather than inflating the supply. Dotta also speaks about the interesting and unpredictable factor of Undesirable outcomes from burning a Wizard. Jitcy chimes in to say that he thinks the risk associated with that burn adds to the fun for the community.
"When you know that you burn it, and it's going to work out every time, then you actually care less, because it's just predictable. The Sacred Flame is one of the things I love the most, because I've felt physical pain at the outcome of other people's burns."
"Even though I created this system, I'm powerless to change it. I love that. Wind it up and let it go."
He says that the potential for new uses of Sacred Flames does create Flame hoarding, but he says he loves the seesaw of balancing the uses of these tokens. "Be ready for more."
Why Is There Only One Bob?
Another question from the community arises: Why does the collection only have one "Bob"? Dotta says he believes a Green Hat Wizard, Bob the Bearded, is the only "Bob" in the collection and was an honorary Wizard that was customized. "Why is there only one Bob? I'm not sure."
Forgotten Forgotten Runes Prototype Art
The next question concerns Wizard heads and bodies that Elf made which didn't make it in the collection and if the community would ever have the chance to see the outtakes. Dotta says the answer is yes and tells Elf (who isn't there) to speak now or forever hold his peace.
The first prototype trait Dotta shares is a green-haired Huntress Wizard. He also shares a Native American inspired head sporting a headdress and warpaint, but notes they decided not to include it since it could be seen as exploitative, even though they viewed it as honorific. Dotta also shows a "Green Poncho" body trait that he says didn't make the cut because it ended up looking like a dress. Another prototype head he describes is a "dark evil feather helmet with a purple face" and says it looks like something from Lord of the Rings. He also notes there were two things that changed, pointing to the original camo body and noting that the original Illuminatus head was yellow/lime or "kobold green" in its inception. Dotta notes how he loves that it makes The Illuminatus Head look more vintage.
As if on cue, Elf steps up on stage and asks, "Did you just share some of my prototype art?" to which Dotta hesitantly replies, "No?" Elf says he must have misheard something because his reception is really bad, and he can't wait to relisten to see what was actually said. Dotta explains he was sharing early gens that had already been shared in the Discord along with a few other early traits that hadn't been seen yet. Elf calls them the Forgotten Forgotten Runes.
Fan Fiction & the Democratization of Art
After these few Cult Questions, Dotta moves into the topic of "fan fiction" which was spurred by an article that community member minimumwave shared called "Fan Fiction and the Bourgeoisification of Creativity". Dotta says it was a really enlightening article. Dotta says this article on fan fiction encapsulates what Forgotten Runes is trying to do, and its main question is if fan fiction is a democratization of art or an exploitative tool. He says the idea is that individuals' ability to build upon works is a democratization. The article states that this idea of fan fiction started with Sherlock Holmes in the 1890s, peaking in the 1960s with Star Trek, but he believes it predates that to perhaps even the Greek pantheon. Art democratization in fan fiction stems from the content's ease of change.
Dotta says we talk about this all the time in Forgotten Runes. We build on the Runiverse because worldbuilding is time consuming. It's more accessible, because a person can contribute as much or as little as they like. Dotta describes this as a democratic process because we negotiate the canon together. The article points out that under a veil of democracy, fan fiction can be a tool for exploitation by the IP holders.
"There's an inherent power imbalance where the wealth and control remain in the hands of the few who own this IP and those who are contributing significant amounts of creative work remain unpaid."
Dotta says the article basically ends there, in its conclusion that fan fiction is a problem because all of the value accrues to the original holders, but it doesn't offer solutions. The article speaks about the problems of capitalism and takes a neo-Marxist stance. Dotta says that fans should have commercial rights to their creation and notes this is what Forgotten Runes is building. "We're still in the bootloading stage and it's not lost on me that we haven't all reaped the benefits of our collective collaboration."
He says these things take time and "when we build something that we love, we can't fail."
Community Lore Contest
Then, on the topic of fan fiction, community member Bridge joins the conversation with the results of a community lore contest. He says there were 15 or 16 submissions from new and old members. The theme was BlackSand (with bonus points for mentioning "collaboration"). Bridge says the one that was above and beyond was a song by Ozzz.
Dotta says judging art contests is the worst because it's impossible to say who's best. Bridge notes that he spoke to Legatus about distributing Mecha Ponies to contributors and with Bear for potential merch for participants. Bridge says to DM him or Sharon if you participated. Dotta asked how many of the submissions ended up in the Book of Lore, and Bridge says he believes about half ended up being written in the Book. He wonders why the other half wasn't put into the Book of Lore.
Suggestions For the Book of Lore
Dotta asks the community if anything in the Book of Lore's design is preventing more people from writing in it or if there are any improvements that could be made. He said the team has ideas for new designs and they will have cycles to make changes in the future.
Delegate.Cash Integration & A Larger Editor
Madotsuki asks for inclusion of DelegateCash compatibility because he hates pulling out his cold wallet to write lore. He also says he often feels cramped using the editor and says more space would be easier to work with. Dotta says he doesn't know if inclusion of DelegateCash for on-chain lore is possible, since the Book of Lore predates it, but says he's 98% certain they could add Delegate Cash for off-chain lore entries.
Another suggestion is to make the Book of Lore more social. Jitcy notes that new Lore entries already get posted in Discord, but he could see autoposts to Twitter as well. Madotsuki says favoriting and bookmarking features could be a possibility. Dotta says they team struggled with social features in V1 of the Book.
Dotta says the team thought of integrating upvotes and downvotes in the Book of Lore, but wasn't sure they wanted downvoting on Lore entries.
"Up points and what we're looking for in the Book of Lore aren't always the same thing. You have to be careful about the social design."
Madotsuki also suggests integrating a comment system in the Book of Lore and giving token holders the ability to remove or redact comments that they might not want underneath their entries.
Sharon Encourages The Community to Write More Lore
Then, community member Sharon joins the conversation to encourage more people to write more lore and reiterates that both new and old holders submitted for the contest. She wants more people to feel accepted in this way that they feel comfortable contributing their own writing.
Indexing Pages With a Table of Contents
Tabitha of the Marsh also steps on stage to recommend an indexing or organizing feature for the Book of Lore where entries can be divided into chapters with a navigation or Table of Contents page for jumping to specific sections. Dotta says he thinks this is totally doable.
Live Drafting Board
Bridge notes that some of the submissions they received were lore drafts, which may be another reason they had not yet made it into the Book of Lore. On that note, he suggests a public drafting board where lore drafts could be browsed and given feedback.
Integration of Random Viewing
In the Discord, community members also suggest moving away from numerical order when browsing through the Book of Lore, also suggesting the Book opens to a random page when first viewed. Dotta says the team will keep all of these edits in mind, and many of them are "quite easy."
The Legend of the Mara
Dotta also speaks briefly on the announcement of Forgotten Runes' inclusion in Yuga's Legends of the Mara. However he says that he was not a lead on that collaboration and realizes he isn't sure what he is allowed to say and what is secret.
Kids Summer Art Contest & Discord Channel Discussion
Dotta also mentions a few announcements from within the Cult, and brings community member vmark on stage to speak about a new Kids Summer Art Contest, which has more information in its own channel in the Discord for submitting artworks.
On the topic of Discord channels, Dotta says Magic Machine has been speaking internally about the amount of channels in the Discord and if there are any that could be pruned away for ease of use. Dotta says his feeling is probably not, because everyone uses different channels. Dotta theorizes that the Art and Lore channel could be combined with the Secret Tower, because Art and Lore are fundamental to the project, and he feels they should be shared directly in the main chat channel.
Much to his point, he receives slight pushback on this idea. Those who do not want the channels combined say that they enjoy having a dedicated space for art and art-related questions. Dotta says he doesn't want to threaten anyone's favorite channel; he just loves the art so much he wants to see more of it in the Secret Tower.
BlackSand Races Resume
Dotta also gives a brief announcement that BlackSand Pony Racing is back in action and pins a tweet with more information on an upcoming multi-leg race.
Runes TCG 1/1 Art Raffles Resume
Giveahoot then takes the stage to speak about the ongoing Runes TCG raffles for the art of the Runes trading cards. These raffles consist of 1/1 NFTs of the art that is displayed on the cards. All participants who have purchased Runes packs will be entered in the raffles. The 1/1 art will be on Polygon along with the rest of the Runes TCG ecosystem, but the NFTs have not yet been minted.
Giveahoot also mentions that those who join the raffle's Twitch livestream will be awarded a pack of Runes cards.
Monday Magic News
Henboyd also joins the conversation to remind the Cult about Monday Magic News, a Twitter Space about all of the ongoing Cult-Driven projects. He also notes that a few Cult members are starting a fantasy football league with Warrior wagers.
The Illuminated Chapel
Then, Dotta speaks about his Illuminated Chapel card that he posted a few days ago. He recounts the lore of Sorcerer Zane of Atlantis which he says has fascinated him recently in the concept of a religious order that considers The Holy Arcanist Illuminus of the Heavens its leader. Dotta says he is working on developing more of his own Cult Content and has also been working more with Stable Diffusion. He says that he has trained a LoRa model on Wizard #0, The Holy Arcanist, similarly to the work TheOneWhoRings and Madotsuki have done with their Wizards.
Dotta says he worked with Frogeater on this, and they used the 3D model for the Holy Arcanist in Blender with a variety of poses and backgrounds to create a "synthetic dataset" on which they could train their Stable Diffusion model. Dotta notes this stems from his own personal obsession with cards and his desire to create his own Cult Content as well as scaling up these tools for wider use within the Cult. He says he is excited to get more Wizards trained in this way, as it has a lot of potential.
Madotsuki suggests that the release of the 3D Wizards could include a .zip of pre-posed Wizards that people would have a base to train their own models on. Dotta says he 100% agrees and is excited that an automated process to train models on the whole collection is within reach.
On the subject of Cult Content, Dotta reviews Week 25 of Tania Del Rio's Cult Content Chronicle.
Tadmajor Scene Created With Scenario
Marcofine's Bugbear Chieftain WIP
Madotsuki's Game Buddy Cartridge
Wide Sam by Wise Sam
Fatgotten Runes Magus Devon by Madotsuki
Fatgotten Runes Magus Wazir by Madotsuki
Dream Master Lake by Steezy
Shadow Hats Banner by @wuwindaa
The Evil One Shadow Hats Fan Art by @SSJStevenH
Surprise Outro Music
Before wrapping up the show, Dotta allows a speaker onstage who asks if they can play a song on their flute for the community. Dotta allows it, and a magical healing tune spirits everyone away to close out the meeting.