The above is not just a random collection of words. It is also not a new style of poetry rhyme.So what is it?
This image is the first ever sold Loot NFT, a NFT Class pioneered by Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann. These images represent what he coined as “randomized adventurer gear” and are basically in-game RPG style items that could form the building blocks of a new game environment on a future Metaverse. In a RPG game such items often drop when defeating bosses or opening loot chest that spawn in-game. When you add them to your game character, they make them stronger so you can kill more monsters or stay alive for longer for example. Instead of just being a single provably scarce image, each of the 8 items within a given Loot bag has smart contract readable parameters. On top of that, each of the 8 items has its own rarity within the broader Loot universe.
You could ask why would someone want to own the building blocks of something that may never be build? Good question, but then again it is not just about the likelihood of this Metaverse game ever being build. It is as much an expression of culture and identity for the buyer, as it is a true building block of a new experience. Loot is a creative investment; a cultural expression; and a financial bet on utility of the NFT.
But let’s disregard the potential for financial return to Loot NFTs for now and focus on whether you can really build a Metaverse with NFT Loot! I mean if the thing ever takes off, we do wanna know whether the loot actually combines to a true game experience right?
Loot NFT Content
So what’s in a typical random Loot NFT? Mostly around 8 gear in various classes. The rarer the item(s), the higher the Loot price on a NFT marketplace like Opensea or Magic Eden. Here is an example of low level loot:
Most of the items are low rarity (common – grey) some are rare (green), and only one is “epic”. Not the most powerful loot at all. Now compare a very expensive NFT Loot (priced at 100s of SOL):
Now we are talking! Some Legendary items as well as some Mythical gear. This is a powerful NFT and people are willing to pay big money for it.
So what would happen if we would build a game with Loot items? Well, probably not much.
Why Loot NFTs don’t deliver
Unfortunately Loot Gear focus more on attributes and power ups than core game design. Gear Power Ups are useful game mechanics but they do not make a game. Let alone a successful game.
What actual Game NFTs should be all about are the actual elements of a game or gamified experience: how do you level up; how can you strategize in various ways to achieve your goals? Why would I want to come back to the experience on a daily basis?Do people mainly play games to get new ornaments to wear so they can do in game actions better? Well yes, partly, but the actual gameplay fun is not in collecting more and more items. The fun is in HOW you get to progress solo or in teams and how you creatively overcome challenges.
Loot NFTs focus too much on the more extrinsic aspects of user motivation (as do many current metaverse designers): it is all about collecting items (Octalysis Core Drive 4: Ownership and Possession); status symbols/avatars and token drops (Core Drive 2 : Development and Accomplishment); as well as creating limited edition design (Core Drive 6: Scarcity and Impatience). Extrinsic design is good to get people to do some actions short term, but they are unlikely to motivate players long term.
How to create Powerful Metaverse Design Loot?
To create long term user motivation and true fun metaverse design should also focus on crafting Intrinsically Motivational Design. How do we give players creativity in the experience? Give them ways to strategize (Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity and Feedback); to cooperate meaningfully with others (Core Drive 5: Social Influence and Relatedness) and give them ways to express Purpose and Meaning (Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning and Calling).
In this sense it is more important to collect the essence of user engagement design by collecting Game Techniques, rather than just Loot Gear/Wearables. These Game Techniques can then be strategically implemented so that an engaging long term motivational Metaverse design emerges. Ideally the tokens should be polychain, so you can use them in various metaverses. Each game technique can be minted in 100s or 1000s so that there are enough to build hundreds of game experiences if needed
There are more than 160 Octalysis Game Techniques that describe in great detail how you get the engagement you want. In the NFT Loot image you can see the Game Technique number, so people can collect all of them through buying Octalysis NFT Loot.
Loot Gear can be nice additions and can empower short term burst of engagement, so your Loot Gear is not worthless don’t worry. It is just not enough.
Now, getting all these Game Techniques NFT-ed is going to take some time. In the meantime The Octalysis Group continues to focus on what it does best: creating high engagement Digital User Experiences with Gamification. NFTs, Blockchain, Crypto, VR, XR, Metaverse. We feel at ease in all of these domains so contact us on how to design the perfect experience for your platform.