A conversation with @Nofuturephoto from Orium Network.
We're always trying to learn about all the interesting things happening in web3. To satiate our curiosity, we host a weekly-ish Twitter Spaces series called Coffee Conversations. What follows is a summary of the first episode.
Calling Nofuturistic artistically inclined is an understatement. While they started their career as a tax accountant, they eventually moved on to pursue their interests in music, improv comedy, photography – even setting up live-streaming studios for a while – and now find themselves as the partnership lead for Orium Network.
Out of their passion for the Aavegotchi community, they created GotchiNews.Network where you stay updated with all major events of the Aavegotchi Gotchiverse.
Nofuturephoto is a multi-hyphenated creative who has been an active member of the Aavegotchi ecosystem since April 2021.
In addition to the Aavegotchi NFTs, the ecosystem has a mix of ERC721 and ERC20-type tokens that represent a variety of things (ranging from plots of lands to wearables). These tokens often hold governance power.
Initially, Aavegotchi grew their community by giving agent or Discord missions to the players, who would receive valuable “wearables” for their Aavegotchi upon successful completion.
A significant reason behind Aavegotchi’s success is the proximity of the game developers (Pixel Craft) to the players and the community from the very first day.
They set the tone for participation and engagement, encouraging members to collaborate and learn from each other even today.
As a result, their community is highly engaged, and they see strong participation in proposal discussions and on-chain governance.
The community is extending the Aavegotchi ecosystem with mini-games, storefront experiences, etc., and shows up in large numbers at Twitter Spaces, weekly hangouts, Gotchiverse events and more.
This transcript is edited for brevity and clarity.
Jaris: Gm everyone that joined in early! Hey Nofuturistic, what's up? We still have a few minutes to go. What have you been up to lately?
Nofuturephoto: So, I spend a lot of time streaming and doing creative things like freestyling and making beats. I'm also a photographer and an improv comedian. The Gotchi Gang, fortunately, is an excellent outlet for me to showcase my creativity within reason, and it's a lot of fun, so that's what I've been up to of late.
What's unique about the Aavegotchi DAO is that it incentivizes creativity not just from artists like myself but also from gigabrains in our community who have backgrounds in economics, game development, and game theory. It's like being in an incubator of talent, surrounded by intelligent individuals. In fact, I often joke that I'm somewhat narcissistic, but in the Aavegotchi room, I don't feel like the smartest person in the room, which is a good thing because it means I'm in the right place.
Jaris: Yes, it's great to be in a community where you can learn from others and feel challenged in a good way. The Aavegotchi DAO brings together a diverse group of people with a wide range of skills and interests. It's a true incubator of talent where you can surround yourself with like-minded individuals and grow together. Joining the DAO space is a fantastic way to learn more about web3 and expand your knowledge and understanding of the crypto world.
Nofuturephoto: Yeah, it's amazing how open and willing people in the DAO space are to teach others. And the Aavegotchi DAO is such a great example of that. I'm not a developer, but I've been able to get into development stuff like using scripts, all thanks to the help from the community. For example, I run an asset management service for Gotchi Gang members who don't have the time to manage their assets, and members of the community who are developers have taught me how to use Remix so I can start creating scripts and other things. It's just amazing how much knowledge and support is available in this community.
Infi: That's dope.
Jaris: I understand that there are multiple assets within the Aavegotchi ecosystem, like the Ghost token. But is there anything else like Alchemica? Am I pronouncing that correctly?
Nofuturephoto: Yes. So at the moment, there are five other tokens in Aavegotchi, all of which are ERC 20 tokens. There are four Alchemica tokens, which serve as the basic building blocks of the Gotchiverse and are used to craft items. When PvP battle and arena mechanics become available, Alchemica will also be used. Although details have not been disclosed, it is expected that players will need Alchemica to participate in battles.
The fifth token is called Glitter, which represents tokenized time. One Glitter represents one block of time on the Polygon network, roughly 2.5 seconds. In Aavegotchi, players can build structures such as reservoirs, which take a certain amount of time to craft. However, they can speed up the process using Glitter, which they can buy on the secondary market or earn by participating in liquidity pools.
I currently have liquidity pools for Ghost-Glitter, Ghost-USDC, and Ghost-Alchemica, and I earn Glitter daily. Glitter can also be used for other purposes, such as raffle tickets. Recently, a new feature called Bounce Gates was added, where players can host parties on their parcel using Glitter to keep the gate open. According to the developer, 15 million Glitter, relatively cheap at current prices, can keep a Bounce Gate open for a year.
Infi: That's definitely interesting. In fact, I was just going through the website, and it's really well done. There are different sections to learn about the tokens. We can delve into that later. But let's start by having you introduce yourself to everyone in the chat. You mentioned that you do improv, make beats, rap, stream, and manage a fund. For those who are not aware of what you do, why don't you start by telling us about your background?
Nofuturephoto: Hi there! My name is Anthony, and I'm from New York City. I used to work as a tax accountant for Morgan Stanley after I graduated from college, but I eventually left to pursue my passion for music. As the market collapsed in 2007 and 2008, I decided to take a different path and became a dog walker and musician. Along the way, I discovered photography and improv comedy. Later on, I got into building live-streaming studios for various jobs.
With the pandemic hitting, everyone was stuck at home, and I got into cryptocurrency in early 2020. I was particularly interested in DeFi, or decentralized finance, and stumbled upon Aavegotchi. At the time, Aavegotchi was still on Ethereum, but with the crypto market heating up in March and April of 2021, I sold almost all of my crypto and bought a bored ape. I sold it in July for a 10x return and fell in love with Aavegotchi.
Aavegotchi's friendly community and the ability to bring together all my skills, such as accounting and the arts, made it a perfect fit for me. I was even part of Aavegotchi's ambassador program. I originally signed up for a Facebook group, but my account was locked, so I started a YouTube channel instead.
I go by the name "No Futuristic," inspired by my past as a rapper in New York, where I used the name "No Future." I've been having a blast in the Aavegotchi community, which is supportive and a great place to learn and grow. Overall, my journey with Aavegotchi has been wonderful, and I'm excited to see where it takes me next!
Infi: That's amazing! I think it gives us a great idea of your background. So about Aavegotchi, as far as I understand it, it's like Tamagotchi but with collectible NFTs. What's interesting is that these NFTs not only give you access to a game but there's also a secondary market where you can trade them. But could you explain what exactly it is for someone unfamiliar with this concept?
Nofuturephoto: I've started to understand Aavegotchi differently lately. Before, I thought of it as just a game with characters, but now I see it as a protocol to build upon. Soon, there will be software development kits (SDKs) that developers can use to create mini-games or storefront experiences. At its core, Aavegotchi is a composable digital pet that is an ERC721 token. You can add wearables, dress it up, and engage in different gameplay mechanics that let you earn with it.
Aavegotchi is like a little crypto piggy bank powered by spirit force. This spirit force comes from Aave collaterals such as Bitcoin or other tokens. You interact with it, and the interest-bearing tokens inside the Gotchi continue to accrue interest. The Gotchi Verse, which started with a focus on rarity farming, has three metrics that determine a Gotchi's rarity: base rarity score (BRS), kinship, and experience points (XP).
Kinship is based on how often your pet your Gotchi - petting it every day will keep its kinship score high, while not petting it for 24 hours will cause it to lose a point. XP can be earned through participation in events, such as DAO voting. The leaderboards for XP are similar to a poker tournament - the top spots are incentivized with bigger prizes. Still, there is also a long tail of 7,500 slots per leaderboard.
Last season, Aavegotchi gave out about 1.5 million Ghost to Gotchis that ranked on the leaderboards. The game is slowly expanding, and the next steps will be PvP and the SDK, where people can build experiences on their parcels and potentially monetize them.
Infi: The best part about Aavegotchi is that it has grown organically, which is a sign of a strong community. The fact that it's expanding into new areas like PvP and the marketplace, with the possibility for developers to build experiences using SDKs, is exciting. So, what happens if an Aavegotchi dies?
Nofuturephoto: They don't actually die, but they can be sacrificed. This is like killing them. I made a track on my Twitter page called "Mark for Death" about this. When you sacrifice a Gotchi, you get its XP and can transfer it to another to move up the leaderboard or make it stronger.
But, if you don't take care of your Gotchi, it becomes scorned and has a low kinship score. I even made a rap song about this called "Low Kinship." It's all about the perspective of a Gotchi that's been neglected and left for dead. Aavegotchi has a feature called channeling, which is like a universal basic income for Gotchis. Every day, a Gotchi can go to an altar and channel to receive Alchemica for free. But, the amount of Alchemica received is tied to the Gotchi's kinship score. The higher the score, the more Alchemica received.
So, if a Gotchi has a high score, it earns more than one with a low score. If a Gotchi's score drops to zero, it's like shooting a blank and receiving nothing because it's unloved. It's almost like death, but just a slow and silent existence.
So, besides sacrificing, Gotchis will remain on the blockchain forever unless someone decides to kill them.
Jaris: That answer was spot on. You are a great ambassador for the project and seem to have a wealth of knowledge about all things Aavegotchi. I'm curious, when did you get involved, and were you present when the DAO was established?
Nofuturephoto: I noticed the creation of the DAO when it was just starting to gain traction, but I didn't get involved then as they were still on ETH mainnet. I wasn't comfortable with the gas situation. I eventually got involved in April 2021, though, right before the first Snapshot vote on rarity farming. I got my first Gotchi two days before that Snapshot vote and started from there. Each rarity farming season has four rounds, each lasting two weeks, so that lasted about eight weeks. After that, the season ended, and the v2 ambassador program started, so I jumped in and started creating content about it.
So I've been involved with Aavegotchi since April 2021, but the project has been promoted and discussed since June 2020. The migration to Polygon happened in February 2021. Interestingly, the bonding curve for Aavegotchi, backed by DAI, is still on Ethereum, while the Aavegotchis are all on Polygon. Some people have bridged their Aavegotchis back to Ethereum to sell them on different marketplaces. Still, they are primarily on Polygon at this point.
Jaris: Okay, cool. So you were there when they had their first Snapshot vote. Do you have any idea how Aavegotchi went about attracting its initial community? How did they gather their first members?
Nofuturephoto: Well, according to what Jesse mentioned yesterday, the initial community was built through agent missions and discord missions led by Jesse and coder Dan. Participants could earn wearables that are now part of the agent set, and at some point, these wearables were selling for a lot of money. So the community's growth was organic, and the developers didn't put much effort into marketing because they wanted the focus to be on the actual product, not just the marketing.
They wanted to avoid the typical NFT game problems where a lot of money is put into marketing and not enough into the actual game, causing it to fail. The Aavegotchi team aims to grow the community through grassroots efforts and avoid using VC money or pump-and-dump schemes. The agent missions were the first onboarding effort, and the ambassador program was the next step in the process.
Jaris: That's great that they offered free wearables as an incentive. I know that Bankless does something similar for projects such as Decentraland. Anyway, speaking of wearables, what is the process for creating a wearable for Aavegotchi? Do you have to use a platform like Blender to make it?
Nofuturephoto: At the beginning, some of the wearables for Aavegotchi were created by the community. Currently, wearables are made by Pixel Craft.
However, with the introduction of The Forge, prominent community member Dr. Wagmi has come forward with the idea of allowing community members to melt down their wearables into alloys, which are essential elements used in the creation of wearables and then decide what they want to do with it.
Recently, the DAO voted to stop any further NFT releases, such as Gotchis, land, and wearables, to avoid inflation in a bear market. So currently no new wearables are being released. However, using The Forge, community members can create their own wearables using the alloys obtained from their melted-down wearables.
The creation process will be deflationary, meaning you must destroy a certain number of common items to create a rare item. You'll lose about 10% of the alloys. There is also a risk of failing in the creation process.
So far, wearables have mainly been focused on boosting a Gotchi's Base Rarity Score (BRS) and leaderboard ranking. However, with the recent move into utility within the Gotchiverse for PvP-style stuff, wearables will eventually be used for battling as well.
Jaris: Yes, it's definitely an innovative approach. And from what I've seen, the community seems like a fun and lively place to be. So, can you tell me about the structure of the DAO? Are there different guilds within the community where members can participate and contribute to?
Nofuturephoto: Yes, so currently, the DAO is in its cocoon phase, and we are actively working on organizing it better.
This involves having AMAs with other services and products to help us improve our structure. We have also been discussing ways to increase the organization within the DAO. There are guilds in the DAO, each with its own specific functions.
Although the DAO structure is still in its early stages and somewhat dependent on Pixel Craft, we are working towards a more independent structure. To help with organization, we have a DAO discussion channel in Discord and have recently added DAO forums.
The Aavegotchi DAO Forum, separate from Discord, serves as a platform for members to propose their ideas. Proposals can start in the Discord DAO channel and then move to the forum, then to a sig. prop., and finally to a core prop. If the proposal passes all these stages, it gets added to the game.
Jaris: That seems pretty organized for a DAO of your size. I'm really excited to see where this goes. For people who are just discovering Aavegotchi and want to get involved, how can they do so now? And, while we're at it, what was your onboarding experience like?
Nofuturephoto: My onboarding process started when I was reading about blockchains and NFTs. I was interested in finding ways to use blockchain technology for verifying information, copyrights, trademarks, and deeds. That's when I discovered Aavegotchi.
I would highly recommend anyone interested in Aavegotchi to join the Discord community. The Discord is the starting point of a deep rabbit hole full of like-minded people who share your interest. You can find a link to the Discord server on the Aavegotchi Twitter account.
From the Discord, you can check out the wiki at wiki.aavegotchi.com, which has all the information you need to get started. After solidifying the basics, you can look for more opportunities to get involved. For example, you can join GMI, a decentralized media company that started as a DAO. You will find musicians, game developers, artists, and other creative people there that are contributing to the Aavegotchi community.
Additionally, you can talk to any of the moderators or even the CEO and COO, Coder Dan and Jesse, who are very accessible and always available in the Discord. If you reach out to them, you may have the opportunity to create content and contribute to the community in meaningful ways.
Infi: So currently in the rep3 protocol we have this parent-child badge structure. The membership badges given through this protocol aren't your traditional membership badges that say whether you're a member or not.
Instead, these badges store a person's history as they move within the organization and it keeps track of their contributions. So it's essentially a dynamic NFT that gets updated in real-time. But that's how we and the communities we work with look at credentialing. I'm curious – what does credentialing look like in gaming DAOs?
Nofuturephoto: So of late, Aavegotchi has been addressing the issue of spillover, which occurs when you channel or hit a reservoir and receive some of the Alchemica. There was a problem with bots coming in and extracting too much during this phase of the game. To tackle this, Aavegotchi has been discussing the idea of a cartridge system and has partnered with another protocol that uses biometric KYC to verify the identity of players. They're also exploring the idea of Soulbound NFTs and engaging with the Orium Network, which is working on providing players with a sort of credit score.
To prevent botting, which is always a risk in play-to-earn games, it's important to establish players' credibility. Some of the services discussed use Discord roles as a credential, making it easier to transfer these credentials within the game. For example, registering your Discord account can stop flagging if you're flagged as a bot. The Gotchiverse also has a Discord integration, which helps with this process.
While discussions about cartridges and the console system are ongoing, it's still very much in the early stages.
Infi: Speaking of that, we just finished shipping a feature that allows you to import your Discord roles into a membership badge structure. This means that once you connect your Discord account, your the bot will pick up the roles you have and add you to the allowlist for all the badges you are eligible for. Perhaps that is a solution you could explore.
Alright! We've almost on time, Nofuturistic. It was great chatting with you today and learning about the web3 gaming and NFT gaming in general. Is there anything else you'd like to add before we conclude our conversation?
Nofuturephoto: One last thing I'd like to mention is the Aavegotchi Gotchiverse. If you're interested in learning more, I highly recommend visiting the Discord or the Wiki.
And as of yesterday, we've launched a feature called Observer Mode. With this, you can actually enter the Gotchi verse without owning a Gotchi. All you need is a wallet, and you can visit verse.aavegotchi.com and select Observer Mode at the bottom.
This will allow you to explore the Gotchiverse without buying a Gotchi. It is great as it opens up the experience to everyone. The team has optimized the Gotchi verse to handle many visitors. So soon, I'll start hosting parties on my parcel, open to anyone who wants to check it out!
Jaris: Got it. Thanks for joining everyone, and thanks for joining us Nofuturistic. It was great speaking with you.
Nofuturephoto: Yeah, it's a pleasure, and I look forward to your talk next week with Mycaleum and Zombie Shepherd from GMI.
Jaris: Oh, yeah. Got a lot of questions prepped for that already, and yeah, looking forward to it as well. All right, guys, have a great day, everyone.
Infi: Bye everyone! Stay safe and work hard. We'll see you next time!