[Thoughts #170] Burn Mechanics and Trait Reveals
PLUS: 🎰 TPan plays Slots and somehow ties it back to web3
Burn Mechanics and Trait Reveals
As the Open Edition and Burn meta has taken over the space over the past month, there has been a burst of creativity around how Open Editions creators are engaging their audience.
My first piece back from the winter holiday highlighted how a different artists incorporated burn mechanics to tell a rich story or reward their holders.
As these mechanics have saturated, I’m noticing some interesting variations pop up. Some artists like to copy, others like to innovate.
Jeremy Booth’s Boots
Jeremy Booth is a vector artist with a Western theme. He released his Boots collection as an open edition on January 8th, with 6,333 of them minted.
So what happened with this collection in the past 3 weeks? Nothing, except a couple of intriguing announcements.
The announcement raised eyebrows as holders speculated on what this might mean. The immediate conclusions were around a burning mechanic that leads to different types of boots or color variations. A lot could be done on this front.
However, that’s not where Jeremy’s head is at.
Jeremy focuses on the keyword: Change.
No burning (at least from what’s being implied)
New pairs of boots
Some mechanic that ‘changes’ the original pair of boots
Jeremy made an additional announcement yesterday regarding the Boots collection:
This is not the change he is referring to either:
So with the Boot collection, we’re seeing an Open Edition mint providing multiple forms of utility:
Art, it’s important to remember art is utility for art’s sake
Boots will change over time, TBD exactly how
A raffle ticket for future work by Jeremy Booth
These boots were made for walking, and their journey has just begun.
Mad Dog Jones’ Forever Mart
Yesterday Mad Dog Jones, another popular artist, released an Open Edition: Forever Mart. Fans were excited about this Open Edition due to the relative affordability of the mint (.099 or ~$155) compared to his other works that have sold for thousands and even millions.
The Open Edition was live for 99 minutes with 4,532 pieces minted. Fun fact: MDJ is the godfather of the burn mechanic.
There’s much to be revealed with the Forever Mart project, but I have a hunch that it will incorporate more than just burn mechanics (or maybe not lol).
I also like the wordplay MDJ incorporates:
Caution! Time may become slippery
This project seems to focus on the theme of time. What will the next phases of this project be? Only time will tell 😉
On a separate but related note, we’re also seeing interesting mechanics around revealing traits in different collections.
A couple weeks ago late at night, a project was surfaced by one of the alpha groups I’m in: Cat Balloon.
Great, another (likely) worthless mint that influencers pump right? Yes, but the description on the project website caught my eye.
I haven’t come across these types of mechanics before:
Transferring the token (specifically selling) reduces the likelihood of revealing a rare cat
Each transfer pops a balloon, which is the visual indicator of the likelihood of rarity
Once all balloons are popped, the token is automatically sent to the burn address and the token disappears
My alpha group was excited to learn about the mechanic, but no one was sure if the mechanics actually worked as advertised. One brave soul sacrificed their Cat and sold it to themself multiple times, 5 times to be exact. Unfortunately, the burn mechanic didn’t work, but it got me thinking.
The Feline Experiment
I’m not sure why cats are the primary subject of these experiments, I guess mice want to give them a taste of their own medicine 😂
A couple nights ago, The Feline Experiment launched. The project incorporates game theory along with mechanics similar to Cat Balloon. Instead of a single mechanic that determined rarity (selling the NFT), TFE incorporated multiple criteria that impacted trait rarity.
Why does not listing at all result in a lower rarity? The purpose of the project is to understand on-chain user behavior, therefore not listing is considered not participating a devalued action.
The experiment has 5 stages with a progressive trait reveal based on the on-chain activity of each TFE NFT.
The project is currently in Stage 3. Genetic strains have been revealed, with more secondary traits yet to be revealed.
No Twitter or Discord, but we do have these nuggets:
Of course this project was conceived by data analysts, love it!
Putting it all together
Thanks for this TPan. We have cowboy boots, time-traveling liquor stores, cats floating at dangerous heights, and mice experimenting on cats. Who cares?
As a growth practitioner, I’ve always enjoyed looking at other or adjacent spaces for inspiration. Innovation and inspiration typically happens at the edges, even for a web3 industry already considered to be at the edge compared to other established ones.
In this case, we see artists innovating on top of established burn mechanisms and degen projects that are adding layers on top of established reveal mechanics.
For anyone considering launching a new project or product, I would think through the following themes:
Adding layers of utility on top of what’s already established
With Open Editions, Jeremy Booth highlights how his work can be multifunctional as art, a raffle ticket, and changed into something else (TBD).
With Mad Dog Jones, there is potential for his work to be burned but also play upon themes, such as time with Forever Mart.
Reveal mechanics as an incentive
Traditional reveal mechanics are a singular moment in the course of a collection launch. However, this moment has the potential to extend into an experience that can be gamified as seen with Cat Balloon and The Feline Experiment.
Projects can incentivize specific types of behavior that encourage a healthier community through trait rarity.
Reveal mechanics as a data opportunity
Complementing the above, I believe there is a large opportunity to not only incentivize holders to build a stronger community, but also gather more data to encourage the formation of that stronger community.
Taking an effort like The Feline Experiment a step further, the team could encourage holders to connect their social media accounts and e-mails to add another dimension of analysis. Merging on-chain and off-chain behavior provides a 360-degree view of the holder base and an opportunity for building a product that complements what they want.
Similar to the ‘X to mint’ concept that I believe will become popular in the future, I think gamified reveal mechanisms and multifunctional Open Editions will proliferate.
Game Loops - an IRL example
Last week, I wrote about Dookey Dash and how the game is likely a mini-game within a larger ‘metagame’, highlighting Mario Party as an example.
This past weekend, I was in Las Vegas (thanks to another great flight deal haha) and experienced some of the most masterful game loops and mini-games at the casino through none other than slot machines.
I’m not much of a slots guy. In fact I’ve only played a handful of times over the years, as I’ve typically played table games when with friends in Sin City. However, this trip was a couples trip with my fiancée, A. And A loves slots.
There was one particular slots game that I enjoyed and couldn’t find anywhere else besides the Bellagio: Diamonds & Devils Deluxe. Why?
I couldn’t find it anywhere else (Maybe it’s new? Maybe it’s unpopular and only oddballs like me like it?)
I actually won at this game instead of bleeding out at other slots games
It incorporates game loops I haven’t seen in other slot machines
There are several interesting mechanics that complement the minigame/metagame point I’m making.
(Not pictured) Devil Bonus game: If you got 3 ‘Devil Bonus’ symbols, you activated the bonus game which allowed you to win the cash prize depending on how far you got.
Amount at the top of the reel: The number at the top of each reel indicates the amount of money you can win. The amounts in the fireballs are added to the total at the top of the reel. You can win the amount at the top if you collect enough…
Diamonds: If you got a 3 diamonds on a specific reel, you won the number at the top of that reel. Eg: If I get 3 diamonds on the first reel, I get 360 credits, or $3.60.
Devil baby: Whenever you land a devil baby, it erases the diamonds for that specific reel. If there are no diamonds on the reel, the devil baby resets the value at the top of the reel (you can see that the 300 on the last reel is silver while the numbers on the first four reels are gold).
Devil baby = bad, right? Not quite. The devil baby also functions as a ‘wild’ symbol, which could be helpful if the value of the reel is low or if it appears on the first reel.
(Not pictured) Bonus spins: There are bonus spins symbols which are added on top of reel. If you collect 3 diamonds and get bonus spins, you unlock a separate bonus game to win additional money.
I know this is a bit confusing, but bear with me. Or you can book a trip to Vegas and A can tell you exactly where to find this slot machine in the Bellagio 😂
What’s interesting here is all of these mechanics are minigames by themselves:
Devil Bonus game: It’s a bonus game
Amount at the top of the reel: Get the number as high as possible with fireballs
Diamonds: Get 3 diamonds
Devil baby: Land the devil babies when the reel value is low and if there are no diamonds on that reel
Bonus spins: Get these on reels that have diamonds or a high value
Additionally, some of these minigames are complementary to each other. For example, you want 2, 3, and 5 to work together to maximize your bonus game value.
And remember, the metagame is to hopefully get out more money than you put in. Or if you’re in the red, just have fun.
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE TPAN, thank you for highlighting your degeneracy. What does this have to do with…anything?
As mentioned, Dookey Dash is likely one component of the larger game that Yuga is putting together. The notable difference of course is that Dookey Dash is skill-based while Diamonds and Devils is chance-based (via RNGs and stacked in a way where the player loses over a long period of time).
Extrapolating this further, these concepts don’t have to apply to just games.
For example in Community Management:
What are the
minigamescommunity events that support the broader metagame? Eg: Twitter Spaces, art contests, IRL activations
Are some of the community events more impactful than others? For whom and how? Eg: Community puzzle vs. concert for holders
How do the community events complement each other? Eg: Strategically setting up events that complement each other from a channel (digital vs. IRL) or community (in partnership with other communities vs. holder-only) perspective
Web3 can create experiences that slot machines can never do: Make it a win-win. Until next time Diamonds & Devils.
See you Thursday!