Wizard Wednesday Recap, 2023-09-27
The Dread Tower's Rodents
First, Elf is asked if the Dread Tower is infested with large rodents. Elf says he believes that's probably true, and wonders if this question is a Princess Bride reference.
Nightmare Dominion Hallucinations
Next, Elf is also asked if the Nightmare Dominion causes nightmare hallucinations. Elf says he has never thought of that, and agrees that is definitely what happens there, noting it should be added to the Wizzypedia.
Magic Machine's Fears
On that topic, the team is asked about their fears. Dotta says he doesn't want to watch any more videos about jelly donut soul sacrifices. Bear and Elf say they're afraid of heights. Elf says he had a fear as a kid that he would be magically transported to the ocean floor. Dotta says to this day, he sometimes thinks that if he closes his eyes and dunks underwater, even in a small pool, he will resurface in the middle of the ocean at night.
Bear talks about how the movie poster for "Ghoulies" made him afraid of the bathroom as a kid. Dotta notes a childhood fear that a gremlin from the movie Gremlins would appear in his father's office chair, like in the movie's trailer.Madotsuki says he was scared by Nightmare On Elm Street as a kid and he thought Kreuger's name was "Scum" due to misunderstood dialogue.
Magic Machine's Happiness
The team is then asked, "Are you happy?" Bear says that he is incredibly happy. Elf agrees and says that it's "straight up because of Forgotten Runes." Dotta says doesn't like talking about how great his life is because he doesn't want to make other people feel bad.
Forgotten Runes and the Hollywood Strike
After that, Bear answers a question about the end of the Writers Strike and its effect on the Forgotten Runes show. First, Bear says congratulations to the writer's for striking a deal. Bear says nothing is guaranteed, but he thinks it's good timing for the show. Bear says he feels the current conversations around the television show are happening at the right time. He also notes that writer Derek Kolstad has been present for a few recent meetings.
Elf then answers a question about a potential Halloween even this year. He says the team probably won't be doing more Athenaeum items from the Nightmare Imp, but he still wants to continue the Nightmare Imp Trick or Treat tradition.
For this year's Halloween Treat, Elf says he might draw a non-pixel art commemorative Forgotten Runes illustration. To answer the question he says, "You'll just have to knock on the door and see when Halloween arrives."
Dotta speaks about the importance of balancing focus on long term "big wins" for the Cult while also having intermediate events in the meantime. He reiterates the desire to do more events that are "everlasting" noting the Sacred Flame burning ritual that remains open today.
On the burning topic, the team is asked when the next burn might be. The team simply replies, "Stay tuned."
Bear adds, "Being discussed."
Goblins & Street Racing
Then, Elf answers a question about where to find illegal street racing in the Runiverse and the "second largest population of Goblins." Elf says Goblin Town is of course the most concentrated area of Goblinkind, but Goblins can be found all over. Elf says there are rare Goblin who are held in high esteem, mentioning a few academics in the Blue Bastion along with a small handful of Goblin healers at Avalon.
The second-most concentrated area of Goblins would be the Ports of Alessar's Keep and Obsidian City. Elf says Obsidian City attracts Goblins with its weapons markets and steady supply of minerals, gemstones, and ore.
Alessar's Keep is a great place for Goblins to trade contraband and stolen goods. Elf says that Goblin Town has a thriving legal street racing culture which he says has spread through Manticore Valley and to Obsidian City. The stakes of these races rival those of BlackSand's Pony Races. Elf says the dangers that have prevented mining operations from setting up shot in Manticore Valley and deter law enforcement are precisely what draw in racers to the location. He says the potential for a racer to be devoured mid-race adds to the entertainment of the spectacle.
Next, Elf directs a question about future IRL events to Bear. Bear notes they will be at Comic Con Oct. 12-15 to do comic signings. He says they might do a small event at a barcade, but nothing is planned.
Wizard PFP Experimentations
After that, Elf is asked if it's possible that we would get "cartoon-style" Wizards one day. He says the team has talked about it and experimented with different artists and styles. Elf says that his problem with that is that it might dilute the representation of the brand. Dotta asks Bear to speak about some images he shared on Discord. Bear says these sketches were experiments done with comic artist Reilley Brown. Bear says it's a complicated discussion, but he's interested to hear what people think. Elf says if the TV show was a few months away from launching, they might do show-style Wizards to get people hyped about it, but he doesn't think they would "just do it randomly." He says he would almost rather a community member do a non-pixel derivative collection.
Madotsuki says that he doesn't think it would dilute recognition, noting the unique aesthetic and color palette of the Wizards. Dotta says Wizards always rank horrendously on PFP ranking charts that look for image matches, "because none of us use the PFP verbatim as our PFP." Dotta points out all of the creative derivatives present in the Space.
"I think it's wonderful. It's exactly aligned with what the project is...well, we don't rank that the people are using the Wizards directly only because they're counting weird."
Dotta says he likes the idea of line art Wizards.
"Never say never...We've established the brand enough that maybe there's room for it."
Does the Book of Lore Exist in the Runiverse?
Elf is then asked if the Book of Lore exists in the Runiverse and if so, if any of Wizards know about it. Elf says probably, and notes the influence of The Neverending Story to Forgotten Runes. He says he thinks a manifestation of the Book of Lore sits in the Secret Tower. Elf says the Quantum Ouroboros has a meta-cognizance of the world, and he thinks there are a few Wizards who also have this ability. He notes this is part of a major plotline in the TV show series.
Elf is asked if there is a fundamental unit of Magic (e.g. a kilogram) Elf says it's dependent on style, and likens expressions of magic to expressions of spirituality in our world. Some academics in the Runiverse search for these fundamental elements similar to physicists.
Pudgy Penguins & Walmart
Then, Elf speaks about Pudgy Penguins' launch of plushies in select Walmart stores. Dotta says it's not easy to get a central floor palette in Walmart. He notes a tweet along the lines of "From Sotheby's to Walmart." Dotta says he read it as a compliment.
"If I could make my choice, I would rather Wizards be at Walmart than Sotheby's insofar as the degree to which you can grow the branding in your business and the potential revenue there is massive."
Elf speaks about a similar quote by artist Robert Crumb.
Madotsuki speaks about the VeeFriends line in Macy's, noting Walmart's more general accessibility and the feeling of greater community acknowledgement with the Pudgy's collection. He also notes the Penguins have more appeal to children where VeeFriends look more generic. Bear says Luca of Pudgy Penguins has an understanding of historically successful products — even noting the selection of the penguin. Bear mentions similarities drawn to Club Penguin and says that people want something new, but familiar. He thinks Pudgies are just new enough to work.
Dotta notes a past criticism that Pudgy Penguins are all the same penguin, but with different clothes. He says one of the things they like about Forgotten Runes is diversity in Character types. He notes this is actually an advantage now for the recognition of Pudgy plushies. Dotta also mentions the price point of the Penguins, and says that they look "kind of cheap" up close. He notes the low-end materials to keep that price point. He says "hats off" to Luca for keeping it at an affordable price point for everybody.
Bear says the one of the things that plagues NFTs is that every project is judged by the "same four criteria" even though there are different niches. He says that Penguins breaking through makes it easier for other projects.
"There's plenty of space for everybody to win."
Elf agrees and hopes Luca succeeds, stating that this is one more attempt to destigmatize NFTs. He and Dotta speak about questions by tech partners about venturing into legacy media during the last bull run.
They agree the sentiment has shifted. Madotsuki notes that a few other collections are being included in content attached to the Pudgy Penguins QR codes. He hints he thinks Bear should try to get Forgotten Runes connected. Elf says he thinks that the move to include other collections was smart.
Battle for Goblin Town & The ApeCoin Proposal
Elf uses this topic of project cooperation to segue into an update about Battle For Goblin Town. He notes past collaboration between Forgotten Runes and other communities, and he says he thinks they have another way to reach out to a new community with Goblin Town. Dotta says the team is considering submitting a proposal to ApeDAO to use ApeCoin in Goblin Town. The proposal would be requesting upfront money (which would recoup some building costs) plus providing a prize pool. The team has shown the game to ApeDAO to some interest.
Dotta says it's not certain if the ApeCoin proposal will pass, but says that the Goblin Town trailer will drop next week and they will likely submit the proposal next week as well. He says Wizards will be getting a "massive airdrop" just for being a Wizard. There will be no mint cost to Wizards to begin playing Battle For Goblin Town. The crate airdrop will allow Wizards to play the game "out of the box." He hypothesizes testing a global server, Wizards-only server, and Apes-only server for the game (if they want it).
Dotta says if the ApeCoin proposal passes, this could be a good way to introduce more Apes to Forgotten Runes.
"It's crazy how many of the Apes we've talked to who haven't seen the Forgotten Runes trailer, for example, and then when we talk to them, they get won over."
Dotta reiterates this is only a proposal.
"DAOs vote no as often as they vote yes."
He notes that the game will be launched, regardless of if the proposal to integrate ApeCoin goes through or not. Dotta says launching Goblin Town this year wouldn't be a launch to make money. It would more so be a launch as an event to reward and entertain the community. However, he says that he thinks people will love it, noting people are looking for something to do. Bearsnake says he's excited to drop the trailer, and Elf says he doesn't think they compliment Pixel Shop enough and says they should come onto Wizard Wednesday. In a clarification to a question from the audience, Dotta notes any one can play the game by minting resources (crates). Wizards and Warriors will be airdropped crates to play.
"It's not like you're going to ride around on a goblin as your wizard...It's a board game."
Madotsuki asks if Battle For Goblin Town is going to be on an L2. Dotta confirms that it is. He notes they've been saying it's going to be on Arbitrum (though he admits he's really been enjoying Base).
ZayLaSoul Announces a Mint
Then, ZayLaSoul mentions an upcoming mint that he has planned of the Secret Tower on the Day of Summoning.
Dotta's WORDS App
Elf then asks if Dotta would like to give a WORDS update. Dotta starts by saying he thinks he's going to work on the app for another week or two and then see where it is.
"It is a bit of a distraction, albeit a fun one."
Dotta says he hopes Wizzies are enjoying WORDS and don't feel too slighted at his divided attention. He says Ozzz summed up his own thoughts, "I love everything about WORDS except that nobody buys my WORDS."
Dotta says he loves the game of WORDS, making new WORDS every day, and collecting others' WORDS, but he thinks it falls short of a schelling point in terms of aggregating around specific WORDs and having other people collecting the same ones. Dotta says that Niski has been helping with push notifications and Magus Wazir is helping to push a chat feature, which he says he hopes to have this week. Elf asks about trading metrics.
Dotta says they will add more metrics around collections and price paid vs current price. Elf shouts out some of the Cult Content being made on the WORDS platform, and says that's one of his favorite things about the app. Dotta also mentions that a Followers feature has been pushed, allowing users to follow each other to receive buy and create push notifications.
Following the WORDS discussion, the team round out the show by covering Cult Content. The 36th Week of Tania del Rio's Cult Content Chronicle aggregates content made over the course of the week from a variety of community members.