[Dive #63] Building in Public - Otherside's First Trip
All the cool kids/companies do it!
I woke up at 8:30am on Saturday. I will admit that for weekends this is a little earlier than I’d prefer 😅. I’m a night owl, can’t help it!
So why would I wake up earlier than normal on a day that’s meant for sleeping in?
What is this, a NASA event? No, this is Otherside, Yuga’s (parent company of Bored Apes and Cryptopunks) Metaverse.
The Otherside that basically broke Ethereum for a few hours because of insane demand? Yup that one.
That sale happened at the end of April. It’s mid-July and Yuga has already come out with their first playable demo 2.5 months later…talk about fast. 😮💨
Before we get into it, let’s break down what happened with Otherside prior to the First Trip demo.
Otherside prior to First Trip
Mid-March: Otherside trailer was released. Watch it, it’s cool even if you aren’t into NFTs.
April 30th: $300 million Otherside sale. Purchasers got Otherdeeds like this:
Yup, another JPEG lol. If you look closely, there are slots at the bottom for resources, artifacts, and Kodas (creatures that folks are still speculating about). Mine is clearly not rare as almost all the slots are ‘none’.
Part game, part metaverse, part NFT, these Otherdeeds for Otherside will hold significance as the Otherside gets built out.
July 6th + July 9th: Otherside held two stress tests to check for bugs and make sure everything was running smooth prior to the First Trip demo. I attended the first one for a few minutes, and I had to say I was impressed as a non-gamer.
There were 2,500 other avatars like mine jumping around emoting at the same time. Sure, it was just an empty room of sorts…but it was still cool to know that there were thousands of other people in the same digital space as I was. And it was SMOOTH. That’s saying a lot from someone with an old MacBook Air that can barely load my Discord app with ~125 servers 😂
There was a lot of excitement and anticipation after the seamless stress tests, with users having a taste of what was in store.
Those that were more seasoned in the gaming space were more conservative in their reviews. Jonah Blake of RE3W has a great writeup on Otherside that breaks down the what opportunities and challenges are in store for Yuga as the build their metaverse. Great person to follow for Web3 gaming thoughts and opinions.
Have you participated in a demo before? If so, subscribe!
The First Trip to the Otherside
If you want to see what the full experience of Otherside was like, please watch the videos in my Google Drive folder. I’ll be breaking down play-by-plays below with screenshots which will be helpful to reference what was going on.
There’s a lot, so buckle up!
Back to Saturday morning…felt a bit like a Christmas morning for me to be honest 🎄
3500 users jumping and running around, typing in chat, showing emotes in the lobby. Everyone was ready to experience the First Trip, but couldn’t shake off how cool this experience was in of itself.
Whew, we’re at 4,100+ concurrent users and everything’s still smooth! Suddenly, a giant Curtis (character from BAYC) appeared to get everyone pumped up! A huge crowd gravitates towards him as he instructs everyone to dance. Talk about flash mob.
Soon after, Curtis’ Koda friend, Blue, shows up! A lot of banter between Curtis and Blue as they exhibit their friendly but sarcastic relationship. Interesting to note the character development at this stage of the demo. They’re probably going to be representatives in Otherside to some degree.
Some more instructions, and then the portal opens up! We’re entering the Otherside! The wormhole portal was pretty dope.
Holy moly…THIS is the Otherside?! This is AWESOME.
Everyone gathered around The Sphere, an stadium and town hall of sorts, and awaited further instructions.
As everyone got settled down and received more details from Curtis and Blue, streaks of light flew overhead and crashed nearby! All 4,500 of us split up to investigate and save the Kodas.
Players used their voices to free the Koda. Not sure what everyone was saying, but most of us were probably chanting ‘Kodddaaaaaaaa’ 😂. Sorta like this for anyone that remembers Toy Story.
While listening to Curtis and Blue provide more details. I wanted to spend some time exploring what was beyond the island we were on. There are many other lands to be revealed and that got me excited.
I wasn’t sure how much the demo would reveal, but there will be more. 😵💫
Well I guess the team read my mind because Shadowlands opened up and everyone headed there!
We went through another mission to activate some pylons and get used to the lay of the land…but wait, what’s that?!
An evil Koda appeared! All 4,500 of us attempted to fight it on level ground to no avail, so Curtis encouraged a strategic retreat to higher ground. From there, we pummeled the evil Koda by flying and bouncing into it. A screenshot can’t do this part justice so here’s a clip.
Woohoo, the good guys won! We headed back to The Sphere with a recap, a special sneak peek, and the demo concluded.
First Trip Feedback and Lite Paper
Feedback on the First Trip was almost unanimously positive. The road ahead for the Otherside to achieve its ambitions will not be easy, but this was a great start. As usual with anything Yuga/Bored Ape related, the First Trip took over Twitter, NFT, and Crypto headlines for the weekend.
But the fun didn’t stop there…5 minutes after the demo ended, Otherside released their Lite Paper to share their vision for this Metaverse.
For any NBA Jam fans out there, YUGA IS ON FIRE. They can’t be stopped!
Otherside is a world-building platform that provides an exciting environment to play, create, compete, connect, and explore together.
Initially, users will experience Otherside through a narrative gameplay experience (aka The Voyager’s Journey) co-developed by Yuga Labs and Improbable and based on the technology from M².
Built for and by the community
Genuine ownership and interoperability
Real incentives and support
Unlike traditional development operating in secret, Yuga and Improbable take an open, transparent, and iterative approach to the development of Otherside that leads to results you can see faster.
“First Trip” is the first of several “Trips” that Voyager’s will be able to participate in. Each Trip will take place on a different date in order to accommodate as many Voyagers as possible.
The Otherside Development Kit (ODK) refers to a suite of “Creation Tools” built with Improbable that will allow users to create interoperable content for Otherside falling into People, Places, and Things.
Yuga is working with Improbable’s M² Network to create a set of object standards that describe what objects are, what they look like, and how they behave through Metadata Ontology (tagging system for items/actions), 2D, 3D, and scripting support.
Authoring and manufacturing tools to create objects in Otherside based on the above standards
There are major technical challenges, and Otherside will be working on solutions for them.
Crowd Networking & Rendering - How to let thousands of people come together into a crowd.
Crowd & Spatial Audio - How to let thousands of people speak to each other in real time.
Access from Any Device - How to let anyone access the Otherside from their device.
Agora - Otherside’s marketplace
Apecoin - used in the Otherside ecosystem
My mind was already melting from the First Trip experience, and now this?!
BTW, who’s this Improbable that Yuga is partnering with and what’s M2? Again, I don’t want to break Substack, so here’s a great overview of Improbable and what they’ve done. They’ve been around since 2012…
There is so much to unpack with the First Trip that 4,500 people experienced. But from a takeaway standpoint, I want to hone in on one point that got me thinking over the weekend that Yuga is doing and most others aren’t (yet?).
It’s this point:
Building in Public
TPan wrote ALL THAT just to make a point about building in public? How many hours have I wasted reading this garbage?
Rude! But fair…😂 Also, for anyone that has read hours of my written content, thank you! I hope you’ve learned something. You learned something…right? Wait, you’re supposed to learn from this newsletter?!
Building in public is a trend that is becoming more popular. Or maybe because I’m building in public myself (in the form of writing) I’m noticing it more. And in Web3, there’s a lot of building in public.
Building in public isn’t just limited to the building part. Companies and their team members often share other fun tidbits of their personal thoughts and experiences. Take Paradigm (one of the top VC funds in Crypto/Web3) for example:
If this happened at some other companies, the employees would be fired. Or at minimum, apprehended.
However, these personal anecdotes shared on a public platform humanizes the team and people behind Paradigm. They work hard, and play…hard(?) as well.
Can you imagine the CEO of a public company doing this? The stock price might drop the next day? Oh wait…
He does build in public…along with many other things 😬
And Improbable, that company Yuga is working with to create Otherside?
We don’t need a fancy blog post or some PR announcement from them (there is a time and place for that though!). Just tweet it out in real-time. The team is working hard!
And Gordon Goner, one of the Yuga founders?
And after a few drinks later in the evening
And last week I mentioned Kevin Rose (CEO of Proof and Moonbirds) shared a recording of an internal meeting sharing details of the company’s roadmap.
I myself have shared through my writing what I’ve been up to. In fact, I’m currently contemplating how to create premium content (I have to eat after all…) while providing as much free content as possible.
How you can build in public
For me, what does build in public not mean?
Sharing confidential info or info that you shouldn’t legally share
Sharing info that competition can easily emulate
And what does building in public mean?
Being genuine and using normal language to do so
Having fun and showing it! Share the accomplishments as well as the celebrations of the accomplishments!
Publicly asking questions to your users and community. Not some user research study (those are great too), but just asking questions and listening in public settings.
Sharing status updates. They don’t have to be in the form of a big reveal. Whether it’s an e-mail, blog post, social media post, or something else. Let your community and users know what you’re up to. You don’t need a big reveal or wait until the end of the quarter to share this. People like progress and people like being informed of progress.
Asking for help. I’ve struggled with this for a long time on a personal and professional level, and am continuing to get more comfortable with this.
There’s a lot more of what ‘building in public’ is and isn’t, but I think we get the point.
For example, my friends over at Furlough are building an entrepreneurs-first community (8k strong in Discord!) and they do a great job of building in public. They have a Youtube live stream every Monday where they share industry news, have guest speakers, and keep the community engaged.
Now taking this to general trends, BeReal is a social media app that has grown like wildfire over the past year.
There’s a reason why BeReal may become the next top social app. At a random time each day, the app asks users to take a picture and show their followers what they’re doing in that moment. No filters or editing…just being…well, real.
This is the pretty much the opposite of Instagram.
So instead of building in private thinking that everyone is trying to steal your idea, why not build in public? This helps to:
Bring in more opportunities
Show your user base what you’re up to
Create a stronger community that knows the team is approachable
Get new ideas
I myself have been surprised at the number of messages I’ve received by sharing my experiences and building/writing in public.
I hope you share yours too.
See you tomorrow 🙂