Slow Mints vs Fast Rugs

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
  • chaos
  • gas wars
  • hurt feelings
  • bot attacks
  • people impersonating in DMs
  • disingenuous community
  • pure flippers
  • inflated floors
  • 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
  • in-person events
  • public integrations announced with legitimate technology providers
  • receive grants and other funding that requires community insight / oversight
  • have legal docs such as: license for the NFTs, terms of service, privacy policy, data request form, etc.
  • 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!):

  • Crypto Coven – check out their rollout plan
  • 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!