What is an NFT collection?
Gabriel Mamu-Mani. These are digital objects that the user can own by purchasing non-
related interchangeable. That is, he has an NFT registered on the blockchain, which is protected from unauthorized access and cannot be duplicated. For Panda Dynasty, we created 8,888 pandas of the same character, but they are all different and unique, with different characteristics that make up a “collection”. All of them are made according to the algorithm.
Is it the algorithm that draws them?
We draw the main character and their characteristics: accessories like hats, clothes, colors, backgrounds… We call it “features”. Functions are then divided into “function classes”. For Panda Dynasty, we had ten classes with twenty traits each. I simplify a little, but then we make an algorithm that will mix these traits and produce them.
Is it fully automated?
Yes and no. Because to get the most beautiful, the most fun and the most “cool” [cool, stylé], as we say in the middle in English, we interfere with the algorithm to prohibit certain combinations. So we play with it to get the most amazing results. The goal is to achieve the most amazing, the most rare. This robot cannot decide. This is the essence of the work. Therefore, it is necessary to combine aesthetic know-how and technical know-how. The French are very talented in this area, which is why most of the NFT collection projects are carried out by the French, even if 70-80% of the clients are in the United States.
What’s next for the pandas?
As soon as we have a collection that we like, we carry out a “drop”, i.e. panda sale. This is an event that is being prepared. We create expectations, sort of like a limited edition release. No member of the community knows what object they will have, this gives the purchase a dimension of surprise and “fun”. We had almost all the pandas gone within 24 hours, 0.05 Ethereum each (about 200 euros). But you should know that only
10% of collection projects are successful. The community can then keep their NFT or resell it on the secondary market and this is the “floor price”, the floor price, i.e. the price of the cheapest resold panda, which indicates the value of the collection. And that price varies depending on how you bring the idea to life.
You can’t just pick up and walk away with the money. The collection project runs in a web-specific community logic. You interact with her before and after the fall. And you must know how to listen to the community to bring the project to life. It’s multiple. Someone is engaged in financial logic and looks at different price indicators every day, others – most – are here just for fun. Escape from everyday life and find each other. This is the culture of the metaverse, of avatars. All this has its roots in games, cartoons and the world of manga. Pandas are usually profile pictures that you are the sole owner of. Avatars increase the value of your profile in accordance with the affective value attributed to the Panda dynasty. Like a brand. Hence the work on the rarity of objects, on the amazing side and aesthetics. It’s a collectible, like an original comic book or a toy in a package you’ll never get your hands on.
But how do you “keep the community alive”?
For my part, two months after the sale, I launched a big treasure hunt that will last until early 2022. All profits that I received from the drop are completely donated to the project. Every two or three weeks you have to complete a new challenge: online games, real-life puzzles… You win pandas, which is the key to progressing to the next stages. There is also an e-commerce site with derivative products.
How did you start this adventure?
This summer, a developer friend told me about crypto and other projects. Mid-August, I didn’t know anything about it yet. And three weeks later I launched a drop. We worked non-stop with a graphic designer from Spain. It was she who suggested different characters for the collection. Very quickly, this whole universe fascinated me. It opens doors for many things! The blockchain technology is already there, but so are all the projects, the universes that can be created. Zed Run, for example, in Australia. They created a collection of 38,000 3D horses. Users can buy them and now they organize the races and other users can bet on the virtual races. It’s a whole world that you create around it.
Your collection sold out very quickly. What made this success possible?
At first I thought I was lucky. But over time, I understand, and sometimes advise other people for their project, that the success of the collection depends on a delicious mix. Technical skills, which I didn’t necessarily have, graphic skills, and also marketing, that’s my area. Over twenty years, I have created various companies in the field of games and mobile marketing. And what I learned there is the ability to listen to the community of players and know how to talk to designers, developers, etc. Manage all these different profiles. All this mixture, well dosed, I think, made it possible to see things in a special way. And, above all, I had fun in the first place. This field can’t work if you don’t like to have fun.