Editor’s Note: Kyle Russell He is the founder of Playbyte, an app building startup that lets people create games on their phones.
Last Friday, Dom Hoffman tweeted the launch of Loot, one of his new projects, looking at games and game creation through the lens of the NXT:
If “NFT,” “Gas” and “Minting” are vague, the short version is that this project lets you spend some money to make a unique list of items That you can keep in the same wallet (a Rainbow-like app) where you’d keep cryptocurrency or other digital collectibles, usually art (or, as Skeptics gleefully notes, JPEG).
I repeat: A unique list of items. Any artwork, stats to compare quality or even the rules of the game that may inform such stats.
People spent money to get those unique lists. thousands. And as in NFTs, a market quickly formed around these unique lists of commodities. The “floor,” or minimum price, to buy in loot “bags” Shot for Thousands of Dollars Worth of Ethereum. Certain types of items on these lists seemed cool and were found to be rare upon analysis of the whole set, and so the bags of them rose to extreme heights:
And people started filling in those missing elements like art – not basically changing the underlying lists, but creating new functions that explicitly referenced objects in particular lists:
And like the lists themselves, people began to take an algorithmic approach to generating that art:
By August 31, there was a legible community of people …
- Investing in a bag containing certain types of items;
- Creating tools to visualize loot items and monitor price movements in this niche market;
- Working on new derivative projects, like creating territory for the theoretical adventurer with gear in a loot bag:
Except, there’s still no game rule for these items – what’s the point of equipping a character in it!
hey what is that? Oh well, people can make or make up stats too!
This tweet really nails the overall phenomenon:
In less than a week, a community has gone from lists of text to countless pictures of objects in the world to be able to live in and play with those objects. By taking all the simple primitives and generating the context around them that gives them value.
It’s a pretty magical thing. But even if there is some speculative angle to the creation, how many people get to participate if these bags cost at least thousands of dollars? Aside: If you think making games is fun, because all of these bags and items live on the Ethereum network, you can still make things that incorporate them at no cost (minus the painful fee). ) is currently associated with using Ethereum).
And if it really matters to you to keep those unique items in your wallet so you can actually participate, people are thinking of interesting avenues out there, as well:
If this is all too jargon-y, I’ll summarize again: playing with an ever-increasing set of inter-compatible apps or games are viable paths to making these items free to “have” that loot. – You simply won’t have a legitimate bag with rare items that can sell for a lot of money.
Oh, and what if you love some of the items in the loot bag, but want your adventurer to be able to mix and match with other items from the wider set that just dropped?
Less than a week later and already getting interrupted by unbundling!
I’m sorry, why is this interesting?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe took out a $1 billion loan with Marvel Comics to finance the first four films based on its iconic superhero characters. The seeds of awareness of these characters were sown in the public mind through decades of presence in comics and TV, which was followed by their first appearances in blockbuster films. Perhaps hundreds of writers and artists were being paid to create fictional stories for characters that people would want to read and that would keep them coming back for the next issue. People began to associate themselves with characters of strange origins (a bit by a radioactive spider!).
It all happened in terms of top-down, corporate, mass-production. Some of Marvel’s creatives did high-leverage work on a freelance or in-house basis, printers made a ton of copies, and a supply chain drove those issues to comics shops and dime stores nationwide. Like Domino, Stan Lee thinks of some new superheroes (pitch: this guy isn’t a hippie, he’s an arms maker industrialist!).
But what if someone wants to make an MCU competitor as a community rather than go one-on-one with Disney?
Extrapolating from the last week of the robbery…
You will issue a contract to generate sets of superhero names and associated powers. People would cover those heroes and they would start trading on the open market. People will build devices that determine which powers are more rare, especially around those that seem cool (“flying” is a gimme).
They envision their protagonists, portray them themselves and employ artists who can make them look cool. Eventually the more technical people in the community will do the heavy lifting to put together tools that can generate art for characters in a common style, or that can be customizable by some major parameters.
Eventually, people will commission the crossover art, and then you’re only one step away from the shared storyline (increasing the value of multiple characters with one commissioned piece!).
DAOs, or decentralized groups that come together to create new projects in the crypto space or even “just” invest together, can buy more popular characters and increase the value of that underlying commodity. For the purpose of enhancing more detailed visual stories can be commissioned that includes the protagonist’s name + powers and any popular artifacts that they inspired.
And assuming that the project’s originators went with the direction of the booty enthusiast, it would all be IP that could be reused and remixed by anyone. This may sound crazy – it’s not meant to be owned, and the point of owning it is controlling how it’s used?
That’s the status quo of Disney. In the world of projects like Loot, you want to reinforce the value of the NFTs you own – and that value reflects the reputation and prestige of the NFTs. Echoing the phrase “all press is good press”: any remix is a good remix. To be referenced still has to be culturally relevant. So if you’re the owner of the NFT describing the Arachnid man, you want to contribute to an environment where more and more people want to incorporate the Arachnid man into their works, to make Arachnid Man Number 1 something like Whose owner
I’m really just expanding on Dylan Fields:
And John Palmer emphasized something special: the lack of someone who can say “no” as people try to figure out how to make the booty cool: