Wizard Wednesday Recap, 2023-08-16
Following Elf and Dotta's introductions, they note that Bearsnake is unable to attend the show. However, Dotta says that he has a replacement, and introduces his daughter, Catherine the Great, who gives a second intro with a Wizards-themed rendition of the song "Monday, Monday".
Wizard Wednesday Song
Dotta says he isn't sure who originally created the Wizard Wednesday version of the song, and encourages them to step forward, though no one takes credit. He says his children have been singing the rendition for years, though they only heard it once or twice.
Forgotten Runes x Ledger Update
After that, Elf gives a brief update on the Ledger/Forgotten Runes collaboration. He says he it has taken longer than anyone at Magic Machine ever imagined it might, and one of the biggest delays was caused by a misprint from the manufacturer. Elf says the misprint caused some internal debate at Magic Machine to decide if the Ledgers should be shipped or if they should push production for another few months. He says this was a lose-lose situation. The team asked for a reprint, which should take another 2 weeks.
Then, Elf announces a 3D update and partnership with a new project called VIPE io. The project is building a 3D experience and has invited Wizards. Elf says they will make an official tweet when it has become "more solid."
"Every day that goes by, we're talking with more and more 3D Partners."
He also mentions the upcoming integration with Nifty Island, who recently posed a fun gif of a Wizard doing the "mind blown" gesture. Elf mentions the idea of "speedrunning a franchise" and how the idea of community-owned IP is a large portion of that notion. He says he has also come to realize that metaverse interoperability plays a part in this idea as well — they're all nodes within the network effect.
Dotta says he wants to make sure the Forgotten Runes 3D models are shareable in every medium in which someone might build on them. Dotta also recalls an idea to produce Wizard asset packs for game developers to use. On the 3D topic, Elf mentions Madotsuki's 3D model of Magus Devon, created by futaba_nft. Mado notes this was a commission, and that he has been in touch with the Japanese studio for quite a while. Elf says perhaps they will commission the studio as well some day to make the entire collection in that style.
The Shadows Collection Update
Elf then goes on to say The Shadows Ordinals collection is also still in production, and mentions the team received good news on that front this week. Dotta jumps in to say that the team was able to acquire the "exotic sats" that they were looking for. Dotta notes that The Shadows collection has not been inscribed as of yet, and the mint details are still to be determined. He mentions that the "mint situation on Ordinals is probably trailing ETH," which is to say that it is slow at present and not many project are minting out.
Dotta says the Bitcoin halvening is in April of next year, and alludes that it may make more sense for the mint to take place closer to that event. He says The Shadows mint is currently "on hold for now," but they should be on-chain soon.
Do You Have a Joke?
Elf then dives into Cult Questions. The first comes from community member Sharon, who says it's "National Tell A Joke Day" and asks if the team has any funny jokes.
"Why can't Cucumdogs perform magic?" "Because they always end up in a pickle!"
Dotta then turns it over to Elf.
Dotta says his daughter's friend told him a joke recently:
"Did you know if you spell 'apple' with all A's, it's pronounced, 'AAAAA!'?"
Why Aren't Wizards' Staffs Animated?
Following this, Elf answers a question regarding animation for Wizard staffs and if there is a technical difference between those and the Spells. Elf says the technical difference would be that the staffs are made of polygons, where the Spells are more of 2D animated gifs. Elf says the team considered animating the spells in 3D but notes it would have been extremely difficult in Three.js, which he says isn't a user-friendly tool. Mado says animations could be done with particle effects over the props.
Elf says he saw conversation on Discord about adding particle effects to Wizards with 5/5 Affinity. He says he thinks the team might do that, because he really likes the idea.
Permanence of the Collection's Typos
The next question regards the typos within the collection and whether or not they are permanent. Elf turns it over to Dotta, who says yes and no. Whatever is on-chain is the ultimate provenance of the Wizards and therefore will "last as long as Ethereum." However, Dotta says the team left the door open to update metadata as seen on OpenSea, mentioning this was most recently used in the 3D update in order to display both the original and 3D models of Wizards on OpenSea. Dotta says this update ability was also used when adding Affinities to Opensea and in an early retcon in which the Unicorn Horn was labeled as "Venus Fly Trap." He's curious about desired changes, and compares them to misprinted baseball cards that some people like to collect.
Dotta says they want to be sensitive to imperfections that some collectors may be attached to. Elf notes there are a few typos that irritate him, mentioning that Claire Silver's Wizard appears as Claire "Sliver" which he admits he feels some embarrassment over.
Who Would Win: Chad Pepe or Gladiator Dotta?
The next question is for Dotta, who is asked, "Who would win in a fight between 'Chad Pepe' and 'Gladiator Dotta'?" He says Chad Pepe looks like he pumps iron, but he probably can't breathe well because he's on the juice, while Gladiator Dotta is "natty" and has the stamina to win.
Battle For Goblin Town Update
Then, the team is asked for more information about the Battle for Goblin Town game, and if it will be a seasonal event. Elf says he tried a build of the game recently, and it was really good. He says he's excited about it, despite it taking longer than everyone expected.
Dotta follows up to say Battle for Goblin Town is still in progress and everyone is doing a "super duper good job." The game is in a playable state, but they're deciding if the tokenomics are right. They also want to ensure play is balanced, fun, and welcoming to newcomers.
The current consensus is that Battle for Goblin Town is still missing flavor, but the team has ideas on how to spice it up. He also notes the intention is for the game to run for years.
"But maybe it ends up running for two weeks and blows up, because: crypto."
Forgotten Runes & the Hollywood Strike
After that, Elf answers a question from giveahoot concerning progress with Forgotten Runes in the face of challenges of the Hollywood strike. He says this is something Bear would want to weigh in on, but he wants to weigh in on it as well. Elf says the entertainment industry is going through a disruption largely due to AI, and speaks again on the impact it has on creators. He speaks about his belief that "blockchain rails could create a more equitable system for everybody."
Dotta Sings Bearsnake's Praises
Dotta says he's unable to speak about the show — not because it's dead, but because there are negotiations that can't be talked about publicly "until ink is dry." He says he knows that's frustrating for everyone.
"What I can speak to is just singing Bearsnake's praises."
"I get to share code, and everyone gets to use it. Elf gets to make art and everyone gets to see it and praise it. I mean, Bear is like an artist in terms of...pushing the show forward through his own force of will and charisma. The stories of the things that are happening in the background can't be told for a few years. Bear has a way of making connections...being able to find a creative solution that works for everyone and moves everyone ahead. There are these moments where it looks like everything is going to fall apart and Bear just kind of rescues it like some kind of artist, and we can't talk about any of it, because...there just has to be confidentiality until the ink is dry. Those things will progress. It's progressing. It's happening, but unfortunately we only have unsatisfying updates to give, other than just to know that Bearsnake is just incredible. Incredible. I couldn't do what he does."
Elf says he totally agrees.
You Are a Token
Elf says he thinks that's all of the questions, and he veers the conversation toward the new app, Friend Tech. He asks if Dotta wants to start and to explain it for those who don't know what it is.
To start, Dotta says that Friend Tech is a mobile app that you install from your web browser, which he says is interesting right out of the gate. He notes crypto apps notoriously have difficulty with App Store approval. He says mobile apps that are added through the web browser have become more sophisticated in recent years and are now able to bypass the App Store in a way that is "safe enough for the apps on your phone." Dotta says the premise of the app is that you connect to Twitter and your friends on the app all have 'shares.'"
"It's a meme coin for everyone. Everybody has a memecoin that is based on their name."
Elf says, "You are a token."
Once you buy a share on Friend Tech, you have access to a one-way chat with the owner, where they can see everyone's messages but you can only see the chat owner's responses. If you decide you aren't getting value from it, you are also able to sell that share.
Dotta notes that Friend Tech acts a bit like Uniswap in such a way that there is an automatic pricing algorithm that prices the shares up and down depending on the shares' demand.
"[Friend Tech is] weird, because it basically financializes your friends. You buy and sell your friends as if they're tokens...and as nightmarishly capitalistic as that sounds, it's really fun."
Social Dynamics & Dotta's Friend Tech Earnings
He notes the interesting social dynamics that play out as a result. Dotta says one of the ways you make money is from fees as people buy and sell your shares on the platform. Friend Tech takes a fee as the platform, and you take a fee as the person running the chat room. Dotta estimates the app's team has made ~$600k over the past few days. Dotta says that he has made ~0.3 ETH from Friend Tech, "which is not really that much, frankly, for how much [he's] been tweeting about it."
He says that isn't really the point. He says it's important to participate himself to realize nuances of the behaviors that arise. As for these Friend Tech nuances, he says that namely, you don't want to sell your friends' shares. He mentions a few different Wizards' shares he owns. Dotta says he originally bought them to eventually sell, but then says, "It feels a little bad when people sell your shares!"
Elf agrees. He says Friend Tech is the perfect mix of social dynamics and financial dynamics.
"It's a whole new thing. It's a whole different market psychology when you're trading your friends."
Dotta says it almost feels like a way to show your friends support and speaks about an idea that friendship is adopting someone else's ends as your own.
"Friendship is seeing someone else's success as your own success...not that Friends App is the definition of friendship."
Dotta's Competitive Side
Dotta says he's trying to point out less about this specific app and more about the interesting mechanics you get from participating. He notes that he thinks the bonding curve is way too high. Elf says that the app itself is buggy, and he would like to be able to name his coin.
Dotta says he gets competitive when he sees a leaderboard and everyone in crypto is talking about it.
"I want Dotta's face to be up there. I think that drives why I was a little bit early to Ordinals and I uploaded my own face. I'm basically trying to get the brand there."
Dotta says no one was doing anything with Friend Tech, so he wanted to see if there was a way to incentivize people to buy Dottacoin, which he admits risk in doing and says:
"I for sure don't want anyone listening to go buy Dotta shares, because I think you'll get dumped on."
Dotta notes he tried to warn people of the dangers, but says it isn't that easy to get money over to Base to buy shares, so he thinks everyone who is there already understands. Mado chimes in to say he thinks the Friend Tech team pushed an update that enables sends from ETH mainnet. Dotta says to do that, there is a question about the keys being custodial. He says he thinks they have your private keys and chuckles. "How else are they doing that?"
Dotta also notes that the Friend Tech chats don't have the ability to support images, and he thinks there could be an explosion with image support. He says there could clearly be a market for adult content (saying that isn't something he would participate in). Dotta says he would love for NFT integration and the ability to upload his Dotta cards straight onto the app for Dotta shareholders to mint.
An audience member steps up and says that the purpose of Friend Tech isn't to have full security of a crypto stack, but it's meant to be fun while still having some protections in place. He also mentions the ability to export private keys for use with other crypto wallets.
Dotta says his own interest doesn't lie so much with Friend Tech itself as it does with the model that it opens up. Madotsuki says he saw a tweet that says the in-app bridging works through an address other than the custodial address and the bridging is done in the background. Dotta says he would like to give a datapoint and notes he installed it on his phone and logged in with his AppleID. Then he set it up on his computer by using a Chrome profile that spoofs being an iOS device. He logged in with his AppleID, and it had his private key. He says he has no idea how Friend Tech did that other than it being custodial.
He notes he didn't export the key and put it on his computer, but there was a process along the way that brought it over.
"It made me really uncomfortable. I don't actually know how that works."
Madotsuki says the best course of action is just to treat it as a hot wallet. Dotta says it looks like they're using a system called "Privy" and that he will look into it.
"I have so many ideas and I have, like, no time."
Elf changes the subject and says there's one more topic before the show ends. He notes that he loves the occasional controversial conversations on Wizard Wednesday. He says he and Dotta had a friendly disagreement in Discord about the Harry Potter game, Quidditch.
Elf says he thinks that Quidditch is "bullshit" and that he thinks JK Rowling knows nothing about sports or game design. Dotta says he has a different position. He thinks the idea about winning the game by catching the Snitch has a deep literary truth to it worth looking at. Dotta says that he believes catching the Snitch in Quidditch represents something deeply true about life. He speaks about games within games and how there is this "greater game," and if you're extremely talented and extremely focused, you can win the "bigger game."
Dotta says there is an asymmetric outcome that can come from playing a different game. Elf says they're talking past each other, because no other game is designed in that way. He says it's a fundamentally broken mechanic. Dotta says entrepreneurship is like this.
Elf says that entrepreneurship isn't a game, though. Dotta disagrees and says there's a truth that he's trying to get at — that NFT Projects are a game in a metaphorical way. Dotta says he's being 100% metaphoric here.
Elf says Dotta's position bolsters his point that Quidditch is only used as a storytelling device, rather than Rowling attempting to design a real game. Elf says the worst of it isn't even that they're on flying brooms. Elf says the outweighing of points for the Snitch makes no sense, and that the other elements of the game are meaningless. He says the violence overbalance is also off the charts. He also notes the ability to "pay to win" by buying better equipment is also an insane imbalance.
Elf says his point is that the game as designed by JK Rowling is broken, but he concedes that it has literary and plot value, but for him he thinks it distracts from the plot.
"But maybe I'm just a Harry Potter hater."
To close, Dotta says there is a deep truth about life in Quidditch that's worth thinking about:
"People get caught up too much in competing with each other rather than going for the ultimate goal, because the ultimate goal is typically a lot harder."
Though it wasn't covered in the show, the Cult Content made by the Forgotten Runes community over the past week has been gathered once again by the illustrious Tania del Rio in the 30th week of her Cult Content Chronicle.