Some parts of the NFT space have decided that a project needs to sell out in ten seconds to be a success. The backpressure that this mentality puts on the entire ecosystem is starting to show: more frequent rug pulls, art that doesn’t pay any attention to detail, an abundance of bots, scammers, and frauds.
Why demand instant sell out? Speculators want a return with no risk. If a project doesn’t sell out immediately, they assume that’s because it is a risky project. They couldn’t be further from the truth.
I’m here to explain why that assumption is not only wrong-headed and short-sighted, but likely to lead these speculators to leave money on the table.
Speed and recklessness lead to long term outcomes that not only hurt individual collectors and projects, but affect the entire NFT ecosystem as a whole. We need to engage our defense system and open up to the idea of a “steady mint”.
Fast Mint -> Fast Rug
grind for allow list
people impersonating in DMs
inflated market volumes
Steady mint -> Steady growth
fully doxxed team. no anons.
low per-wallet limits for mint.
integrated with on-chain randomness (e.g. Chainlink)
working prototype of game/experience, not just a promise
no paid influencers
regular Twitter Spaces and AMAs
public integrations announced with legitimate technology providers
receive grants and other funding that requires community insight / oversight
process to relinquish ability to set metadata
The Recent Tweet Getting Everyone’s Attention
We prefer “steady mint” to “slow mint”, but in any case Daniel Tenner has struck a chord with this analysis:
Why We Set Up Our Multi Chain Minting Process to Last a Year
We joined the Crypto Coven Discord in November of 2021 and paid attention to what was going on there while we built Lucky Races. We saw that the Coven was minting in batches every week. This gave them the ability to get to know their community, expand the art, and maintain dignity for everyone during their minting process. Their hard work over time has paid off, and they’ve seen an abundance of value returned to the team and the community for their efforts.
Inspired by their batch-based minting process, we found that decision after decision led us toward a steady-mint with batches for our Original Racer NFTs.
Get an ERC-1155 Key on any of six blockchains.
Trade, sell, transfer, or redeem that Key for up to a year.
At redemption, we provably mint your Original Racer on Ethereum and create amazing 3D assets on-demand in the next batch.
We hope to be able to run our batches as frequently as every day.
An ongoing process means the ability to correct mistakes, to engage in marketing and promotion at a sane and healthy pace, and to think of even more ways to add value for our community.
After a year, we’ll redeem all outstanding ERC-1155 Racer Keys and exchange them for Original Racer NFTs. This will allow us to sunset the batch processing infrastructure, free up the hardware we’re using, and move on to developing further downstream parts of our ecosystem.
The Pixelmon Debacle
If you haven’t already heard, the team over at Pixelmon has, in one fell swoop, realized most of the NFT space nightmares:
Simply an asset flip. They used assets from Unity store and put a voxel mod on them.
They didn’t have a game – I downloaded their “demo” a week or so prior to mint and it was clearly a time-limited Unity asset flip.
You could run around for ~5-10 minutes in a world that was under-developed, uninteresting, and . Furthermore, if you ever have built anything with Unity it was easy to tell that they were using stock character controllers, cameras, scripts, etc.
Since it was an asset flip, the artists aren’t part of the team or compensated fairly. Just because you can work with people as work-for-hire doesn’t mean you should. If your artists aren’t part of your team, do you even have a team?
They took in $70,000,000 dollars on the above. How? Stolen assets, hype, hype, more hype, stock demo, hype.
They tried to gaslight the NFT community by blaming:
Opensea’s 3D display capacity (which works great for everyone else). They clearly don’t understand how to manufacture assets that work in any environment – on the web, for distribution, or in a game engine. These folks have zero technical chops. None.
Their own community for expecting good art – they claim the utility is in the game, not the art. The game doesn’t exist yet, probably won’t ever. The terrible art does. People look at what’s in front of them. It’s our nature. At Lucky Races, we started by building a working prototype of our game on Polygon. We can show you the contracts.
They said they’ll use $2M of their $70M scam haul to build actual art now.
But not by doing it themselves. By hiring it out. They don’t have internal capacity – clearly the leadership lacks the vision and ability to execute that would lead outstanding independent artists to join their team.
They ought to have spent months, like we did, building their art before selling their NFTs so that they had an actual product to deliver. Pre-ordering a dream can be dangerous.
Probably any competent manager could produce decent outsourced NFT art with $2M. But what does great art truly cost? Imagination.
Steady Mint Projects
Projects that are growing steadily over time (send me your links!):
Meta Angels – well, that was their plan anyway. Interestingly they sold out quite quickly. You’ve got to read @acav’s incredible thread on the topic below.
And I’ve included a few tweets from people who get it and are excited about the prospects for steady mints 🙂
Original Racer NFT Art
Lucky Races did the hard work first. We spent six months modeling every vertex ourselves, painting every texture, rendering and re-rendering, writing code and fixing bugs. We created and tune an incredible 3D procedural art pipeline for the Original Racer NFTs. You won’t find these on any asset store.
Unlike most NFT projects, we have ten different bodies/silhouettes. Our Drivers are uniquely positioned for their Vehicles, and their Goggles and Hats are uniquely positioned and fit to the character’s head. For example, the Queen Bae has tiny hats!
We built enough parts that there are more than 3.2 million combinations of Racers that can be assembled, before coloring. Since there are more than 20 color possibilities, there are more than 3.6 Quadrillion (3,690,086,400,000,000) Racer combinations.
Only 10,000 will be minted! It was a real shock to us as a team when we realized that the vast majority of combinations will never see the light of day. I’d mint every single one of them if I could, just to see it.
Procedural art deserves proper time to ideate, iterate, and deliver. You’re never going to get that with hype and speed. Instead, seek out steady mints where you can ask questions, see the art, and speak to the team over time to see that their technical ability, kindness, and creativity match the hype.
It’s easy to be followed; it’s hard to lead.
Thanks for your time and your attention! Retweet, share, and send us questions!
We’re excited to announce that Lucky Races—a play-to-earn NFT metaverse racing game—has integrated Chainlink Verifiable Random Function (VRF) on Polygon mainnet. By integrating the industry-leading decentralized oracle network, we now have access to a tamper-proof and auditable source of randomness needed to generate unique genetic traits for each of our 10,000 Original Racers. Ultimately this creates a more exciting, transparent, and fraud-proof user experience, as users can rest assured that their chances of minting a racer with rare attributes are provably fair.
Original Racer NFTs are unique 3D characters with zany, fun personalities. They are also your entry into the Lucky Races metaverse, where you will race against other players for a chance to win our in-game token, $SLIVER.
To get an Original Racer, purchase an ERC-1155 Racer Key on your blockchain of choice (Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, Fantom, Arbitrum, or Optimism). Choose when to redeem your key. Once per day we will mint a batch of Original Racer ERC-721 NFTs for the keys that were redeemed. To generate attributes, each batch gets randomness from Chainlink VRF on Polygon and sends the Original Racers to their owners on Ethereum.
In order to generate the traits of our Original Racers in a provably fair way, we need access to a secure random number generator (RNG) that any user can independently audit. However, RNG solutions for smart contracts require several security considerations to prevent manipulation and ensure system integrity. For instance, RNG solutions derived from blockchain data like block hashes can be exploited by miners or validators, while off-chain RNG solutions derived from off-chain APIs are opaque and don’t provide users with definitive proof about the integrity of the process.
After reviewing various solutions, we selected Chainlink VRF because it’s based on cutting-edge academic research, supported by a time-tested oracle network, and secured through the generation and on-chain verification of cryptographic proofs that prove the integrity of each random number supplied to smart contracts.
Chainlink VRF works by combining block data that is still unknown when the request is made with the oracle node’s pre-committed private key to generate both a random number and a cryptographic proof. The Lucky Races smart contract will only accept the random number input if it has a valid cryptographic proof, and the cryptographic proof can only be generated if the VRF process is tamper-proof. This provides our users with automated and verifiable assurances directly on-chain that the distribution of genetic traits for Original Racer NFTs is provably fair and was not tampered with by the oracle, outside entities, or the Lucky Races team.
After the Original Racer NFT launch, we will open the Lucky Races Beta game to our community. Our game loop, powered by Chainlink Keepers, processes all player choices and actions fully on-chain. The game loop calls on Chainlink VRF every Play Phase to power item pickups and other important game mechanics. When we expand the metaverse to bring external NFTs into the game, we’ll rely on Chainlink VRF to generate their attributes!
“Randomness and on-chain processing are essential in fair play-to-earn gaming, and Chainlink sets the standard with VRF and Keepers. We would be struggling to build Lucky Races without the tools that Chainlink provides.”
Max Meier, Co-Founder
Chainlink is the industry standard for building, accessing, and selling oracle services needed to power hybrid smart contracts on any blockchain. Chainlink oracle networks provide smart contracts with a way to reliably connect to any external API and leverage secure off-chain computations for enabling feature-rich applications. Chainlink currently secures tens of billions of dollars across DeFi, insurance, gaming, and other major industries, and offers global enterprises and leading data providers a universal gateway to all blockchains.
Short answer: I didn’t. Not entirely. I’ll explain below…
I know, I know. You’re like “but… the title…”. We will get there, I promise.
I had a job that was becoming a career. I had been there for two years and three promotions. Everything was pretty stable, and while the work wasn’t exactly what I loved, my coworkers were awesome and my job wasn’t very difficult. Last August, my friends approached me about joining them to form a company to make a blockchain game, and it sounded like a great idea so we formed Lucky Machines, and started to get to work on Lucky Races.
Originally the project had nothing to do with NFTs, but we started to figure out how to raise money for the company and help fund the development of the game, and we didn’t like the idea of a Kickstarter or GoFundMe (we had little success with these platforms in the past). This was in Autumn of 2021 when the NFT “gold rush” was in full swing. Considering we were making a game specifically for the blockchain, we realized that this was the perfect opportunity to not only fund our project, but give our potential players a deeper investment in it, as well as prove the possibility that NFTs could push the web gaming space forward in a meaningful way.
With this decision came a new set of challenges though. Originally, for me specifically, it was entirely doable to balance a day job, working on the company in the evenings, and sharing quality time with my girlfriend. However, as we developed our 3D art pipeline and the workload grew substantially, my balancing act began to fall apart.
As we were quietly eating dinner together one night, my lovely partner hit me with a one-two combination that left me reeling. She told me that I was tired and cranky all of the time, and that she felt like what little time we spent together wasn’t quality. She was right. Let’s unpack this. We both work, so the window of opportunity for quality time is already only a couple hours per day. At the time, my job had me from 9a-7p 6 days a week. We would come home, have 8p-10p to make and eat dinner, and then she would need to go to sleep because she gets up quite early. After she would retire to the bedroom, I would start my evening shift making 3D models in Maya. This would usually take me well into the 2a-3a hour, then I would quietly slip into bed and get about 5hrs of sleep (if I could turn my brain off, which rarely happened) before having to repeat the cycle. It was burning me out, and all three things were starting to suffer in quality because of that.
An important choice
I had a day job, a company with my best friends, and a loving partner. One had to go. It’s like a dying plant, you trim off the worst of it in hopes that the rest will recover. Obviously I wasn’t about to sacrifice my relationship, and the opportunity with our company was just too big to pass up. So, bye-bye day job. I sat down with my partner one night, we discussed the financial impact of the decision and she did something that proved why I’m so in love with her: she supported me. She said “I trust you. You can do this. We can do this.” The next day I told my bosses that they would have me until the end of the week.
They were startled, but understanding. On my last day they had me meet with the big boss in a last attempt to keep me on, but the decision was already made. It was a great conversation, and there’s no bad feelings between me and them, I just needed to move on to bigger and better things.
“So… you didn’t quit your job to make NFTs?”
Not entirely. I quit my job because the other things I had going on at the time were just more important. Coincidentally the more important things also included making NFTs. These things bring value into my life that the job just couldn’t. I put in 1.5x the hours per day on work now, but somehow have much more time to focus on the parts that really matter.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share a bit of my journey with you all!
-Daniel Dugan Co-Founder, 3D Artist, Game Designer