Wizard Wednesday Recap, 2023-01-04
(Note: The majority of this Wizard Wednesday was focused on forward-looking plans - as a result, there aren't accompanying graphics available for these items.)
- Bretty asked: What can we do better to bring in new Cult members?
- Elf: As far as I'm concerned, you all are doing perfect. Keep building, writing in the Book of Lore, and being awesome.
- Dotta: Fundamental cult creation & sharing is most important. I think about what systems I can build to encourage sharing and bringing people in through that. For example, Sappy Seals has a Chrome extension to easily reply to Twitter with memes. We like that instead of the "constant shilling in Spaces" tactic.
- Bearsnake: For me, I see that the Cult is doing amazing. Doing some more promotion is something I can do better at, being in Spaces is important too. Many projects rely on talking about their work to promote themselves, and we can do that too.
- Lorepunk, Emma, and TheOneWhoRings asked: What is your favorite cheese, fav cracker to go with said cheese, and favorite wine to pair it with?
- Elf: Cheez Whiz, Ritz's Cracker, and Welch's Grape Juice. (I tried to think of the most disgusting combo I could).
- Bearsnake: Original Triscuit, cheddar cheese, and water.
- Dotta: Roll of brie, cover with fig jam, put it in the oven for a bit (20 mins), fresh baguette, and a nice Merlot. (Elf: This may be the strongest opinion that Dotta has ever had).
- Bill Gains, Giveahoot and TheOneWhoRings asked: Wen canon lore about locations and other wiz heads?
- Elf: This will be a part of 2023 WW lore drops. I will give quicker descriptions of things in bunches, so I can cover more. There will also be a particular tool coming.
- Tania del Rio asked: What do you do to protect your mental health during the bear market?
- Bearsnake: Don't sleep, stress out, work harder.
- Dotta: At a fundamental level, my relationship with my wife and children, and to the wider community, helps a lot. In terms of the market and social media and people's opinions, I hear a lot of them. It's hard to know the right path sometimes. I deal with it by focusing on the basics of what we're trying to build. I'm grateful to be working with Elf and Bearsnake still. We look at all the big goals ahead of us (TV show, Runiverse MMORPG) and all the Cult initiatives, and it's obvious that people like what we're building. Maybe we're not top 10 in OpenSea trading volume, but I'm grateful for everyone who's here just the same.
- Elf: Just seeing all the things you build in terms of art and Cult Content, it really helps me every day. And I still enjoy what I'm doing every day, really grateful.
- Bridge: How does Elf manage writer's block? How does Dotta manage all the tabs, screens, screen time, and posture at his battle station? Bearsnake, what part is the bear, and what part is the snake?
- Elf: I built this collection as fast as I could. I looked at everything I've read, watched, and digested through my life. I took those impressions and put them in the collection. It resulted in broad, generalized, archetypal characters. All the Wizard and Warrior heads and historical and cultural significance. Recently, Tania del Rio had a great video on her Canis Coven account about how to create and avoid writer's block, which is spot-on.
- Dotta: For my question, I have a basic Aeron chair, a Kinesis Advantage split keyboard, and a pair of Apple Cinema display monitors. I have a million tabs open at a time, due to poor memory. I use the One Tab extension to help as well. I don't prioritize good posture, but if I need to, I'll take a break, walk out of the room, and lift weights for a bit.
- Bearsnake: I do actually have an answer to this. An ex-gf actually drew a bearsnake for me, since it was my gamer tag. It's a snake body, with the upper torso, front paws and head of a bear.
- slim: Is it sock-sock, shoe-shoe, or sock-shoe, sock-shoe? Everyone agreed that putting on both socks first is what they do.
2023 Road Map Discussion
Dotta: We're balancing between being a Web3 brand and a Web2 brand. We're going to do both, we can't just do one. So it means more crypto games and collectibles, but also growing the web2 audience through media expressions, which also feeds the merchandising strategy.
Dotta: December is a slow month for the industry, but good conversations were still had. We'll have more to show in Q1.
Elf: Derek Kolstad and I have been nailing down the creative aspect. We still need some "main characters", and I think we've found some good ones for Season 1. The comic book is a good proof of concept for how to include community-known Wizards and Warriors, and certain stories from the Book of Lore, melded with stories from Magic Machine.
Dotta: There was a give and take at the start - Derek is the masterful, successful story-telling, but needed to get acquainted with the Runiverse.
Bearsnake: We let Derek run free, then had Elf come in and course-correct as needed, because we need Season 1 to be a hit.
The Battle for Goblintown (on-chain RTS game)
Dotta: Next, the Goblintown Game. We've been working tirelessly to complete it, it will be so fun. Niski has helped so much. We are leaning more towards NFT degens, as seen on the Goblintown Twitter account. The engagement tactics we're using have gotten a good response. I know I owe a green paper, and a Twitter thread, explaining all the mechanics. I could probably spend the rest of this space talking about it too, but we have a lot of other things to talk about. But to confirm, all FRWC holders will get an airdrop, along with Halloween event participants from outside the community. But the latter will maybe get one game piece for free, but that's enough to play the game. Wizard-holders would get more starting pieces. Enough for a little head start, but not enough to discourage outsiders. There's a lot of infrastructure being built, so that more on-chain crypto games are a possibility for later in the year.
Next, the Runiverse game. The land sale is expected to drop this year, I wouldn't be surprised at Q2 of this year. Check out the Runiverse game blog for the latest. I don't want to spend too much time on it right now, only because you all know about it already.
Elf: 3D models are going to be big. I know it's taking forever, but once they're done, it's going to be a paradigm shift. There are so many things we can do with it. Open-world 3D meta worlds, to start. Internally, we discussed whether Magic Machine will provide a 3D experience. Don't want to commit quite yet, but we think the 3D space is somewhere we want to be involved.
Bearsnake: We want to provide a playground for you all to create 3D content.
Dotta: All the 3D tools are getting way easier to use. It can enable more 3D cult content. We would provide documentation to help you integrate with metas and tools. The playground would start simple, but could get more complex over time.
Malevolent asked: With the 3D models, will flame heads or sprectra Souls be static, or will the flames be animated? Elf: They need to be deployable and interoperable with metaverses. So we are building them simple for this reason, which precludes animated features. That being said, I can imagine that eventually the models could be customizable. But not the first version. Dotta: Eventually, we could commission a shader, which you could use to add such embellishments to environments where it's supported.
Elf: We explored going the voxel route as well, but had issues finding an artist willing to commit months of work to convert every single asset to voxel form. And there is not a lot of voxel 3D software available. But never say never.
Website / Book of Lore
Elf: Next, website improvements. I've been begging for months to do this. And the Book of Lore needs better UI/UX too, we recognize that.
Dotta: At the beginning, we were hesitant to add likes. We didn't want airdrop farming (ppl botting "likes") or a popularity contest. But there are a lot of benefits to having public likes or faves as well. For one, an author seeing that someone faved their effort will have a beneficial effect. You won't be able to publicly fave unless you are a holder. And it will help with discovery. If it's your first day in the Book of Lore, there's no good way to find good content right now. We will probably move away from the physical book aesthetic a little, and change the pixel fonts so that it's easier to read.
And their character page could feature an "event log." The event log could recognize achievements of the token, such as opening a lock on the Gate to the 7th Realm, for instance. Elf: I want the Book of Lore expand into a DnD character profile, where metrics are accrued, as well as featuring art and stories about them.
Dotta: If the BoL is a character page, we also want a Collector's page - this is about the holder. If you burned a Wizard, you could get a badge for that. Show the tokens/collections you hold, the lore you wrote, and more. We have drafts right now, will share more.
@slimh22: We need an elevator pitch for the project. Elf: We have the Beginner's Guide that Merlin is coordinating. But I know that an elevator pitch needs to be even more concise - I've been searching for the perfect one for 2 years now. I've been using "decentralized worldbuilding," but a lot of people don't know what "worldbuilding" means, and "decentralized" also confuses people. So I'm open to ideas from the community on the ideal elevator pitch.
Dotta: Our home page reads like it is geared towards movie executives, rather than someone who would join the Cult. Elf: Targeting is a tricky thing, the tone needs to be adjusted. Bearsnake: We have a slide deck that provides a great overview, I think we should share.
Binary Star (Help holders monetize their IP rights)
Dotta: Next, Binary Star. Assuming a green light from legal, this allows NFT holders to license an option to their IP rights. This allows holders to monetize the IP they create, by allowing its use by other projects. This is NOT a blanket royalty to all holders. But it allows holders to more easily create contracts with 3rd parties. I've been slow to pull the trigger, because there are no revenues right now, but we need to lay the groundwork.
Bearsnake: The commercial rights that holders have, allow for this seamless relationship. Dotta: And it's not limited to Magic Machine, you could license to any 3rd party. No one else has done this in the same way, so we're looking forward to this. We want to be very careful about defining the sources of IP, and the various scenarios that are possible. Want it feel fair, align with current licensing laws, and avoid any issues with securities law.
Steezy asked: What's the best way to get my characters in front of you to consider for use in the official media?
Elf: There are several different ways.
- Make your character compelling & attention-grabbing. Make them a dominant force on Twitter that you can't ignore. Make Cult Content that makes them stand out, or use commissions to do so.
- Pure luck. Elf wants to give Derek and the comic writers freedom to include whatever characters they want. Sometimes Joe the comic writer will use the search page on the Book of Lore. Joe said that lore entries with pictures and art really stand out to him. So augmenting it that way is helpful as well.
Dotta: Let's talk about Shapeshifter tokens. NFTs should support similar flexibility of other software, while still maintaining provenance. Several of our past token events have utilized this, most recently our Halloween event tricks. The cool thing about Shapeshifter tokens, is that you can use them to get a hex PFP on Twitter, for instance. In the future, we'd like to create cosmetic tokens. For example, cropped tokens, but with the same provenance from the ForgottenRunesDeployer.
Another possibility is color hat changes. This wouldn't change the rarity of the main collection, but would allow you to present your wizard in a different way using the hat change token. We have ideas that I don't want to spoil, but there are even non-pixel forms possible.
Elf: Let's go to merch next. We have some fun stuff coming.
Bearsnake: The store is closed right now. We're internalizing all fulfillment. We've reprinted all the stuff that had sold out and brought it to the Bear Cave, and we'll be shipping from there, please be patient. So the store will be back up soon. And as I had leaked earlier, we have a chimera pup prototype. Everyone loves a good plushie, and there are a lot of Runiverse fauna that would make for great plushies. It's important for us and the Cult to build sustainable businesses. So the plushies and merch are an important strategy for us. We're putting together more samples, and will have an elegant packaging presentation to share soon.
Dotta: I believe that we make magic. There are a lot of plushies out there, but when you look at the chimera cub, it's something special. Not to throw shade, but in the stores this winter, a lot of people saw cute penguin plushies and said they looked like Pudgy Penguins. They were generic, off-the-shelf plushies of cute penguins, and they really resembled the Pudgy Penguins. You couldn't tell the difference. So there might be a brand differentiation challenge there. I know that when you look at FRWC plushies, they will be distinctive and new. The plushie collection has a working title, "Beast Babies," and we want to make it a developed set of characters for plushies and beyond.
Elf: The actual chimera cub plushie is actually going to look way cooler than what Bearsnake shared, that was premature. We also have a lot of great apparel and shirt designs in the works.
Dotta: We are also bullish on AI. A Very Gigas Wizmas was a start, but Chad didn't know a lot about the Runiverse. There are ways to teach ChatGPT about your world, and we're doing that. If you're a programmer and used Copilot or ChatGPT, you know that it can write essays, papers, and code. We would love to have AI in search to help you understand the Runiverse. You can ask it to tell you about the Thorn, and it can collect and analyze what's been written. It could also write prompts and help you write the lore of your character. I am not against AI-assisted lore because you can still have a human in the process to shape, guide and finalize it. Nobody wants AI-generated spam, but genuine creation is always welcome.
Elf: This gives a whole new incentive for writing lore, because your content will train the AI. Your lore will be imbued into what it does - another way to build the world. It's also a continuity tool - it can help make it much more doable to understand what is out there.
Dotta: I've been thinking about the NFT market. We have a lot of long-term projects, and we need to play the NFT game in the short-term until we get there. I've been thinking about topics like NFTX & sudoswap pools, marketplace royalties, token supply, etc. We want to make these metrics more favorable. We're not ready to talk about details, but take NFTX - it dampens volatility. You can stake your wizards into the pool, or just buy and sell from there. Its biggest benefit is for those that want to sell, providing liquidity. But it's not great for an NFT project trying to generate hype, because it dampens any excitement from rising prices by being a huge buy wall. So why do people use it? It's because its the easiest way to get passive yield on your wizards. So we need an alternative that is interesting, fun, and fits within the FRWC lore. We'll have a lot to share in this area after Goblintown is released.
Bearsnake: I've enjoyed the ideas we've had in this space. (Disclosure: Bearsnake accidentally leaked a little bit about this topic earlier in the Spaces, but there wasn't any actionable info contained in the leak.)