Cardano Island Update: 13 September 2022

Virtua Cardano Island AMA Metaverse NFTs Ash Mohammed Jaka Kotnik
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Welcome to the Metaverse!

Here at Virtua, we’re really excited about the ongoing launch of Cardano Island, the Cardano community’s true home in the metaverse! Our CSO, Ash Mohammed, and our Head of Community, Jaka Kotnik, recently hosted a special Twitter Space (full audio here) to answer the Virtua community’s questions about Cardano Island – and you can check out their answers below.

Section 1: Resources

Can you tell us a bit about what is currently happening at Virtua behind the scenes? What is the team focused on right now?

We recently released a number of videos about our team and what’s going on at Virtua, as our community have been asking for more updates and insights and want to know more about what we’re doing. So we had a Dev Update from Jawad, that’s going to be a lot more regular. We also had a preview of the Engine Room, and we showed the Dev Centre and our Art and Design teams, all the different areas of Virtua.

We know that people want to see a lot more under the hood, so there’s more of that sharing and content coming. People responded really well to it, which is great, so that’s the first thing we’ve been doing.

In terms of specifically what we’re focused on right now, we’re focused on the land claim event which is coming up imminently, maybe at the end of the month. After that, we will have the crib event. We’re going to have those cribs going out, and people will be able to use them, so we’re dealing with the tech side of that. There’s also discussion in the company about the Land Bots, in terms of the how and when of those drops, and what they’ll look like.

Art and Design are involved in dealing with the usable space in the cribs, because there’s modelling and visuals involved in that. For the land claim, there’s a lot of testing going on right now, looking at the maps and how everything fits together, and what the claims are going to look like. The process is really dynamic, and we want it to look good – we’re super excited about people seeing it in action.

So those are the key areas the company is really focused on right now. It’s not “leading edge,” it’s bleeding edge, and there are a lot of really fun and interesting aspects that we need to factor in. It’ll definitely be worth it when the users can experience it!

Can we learn more about Cardano Island’s economy? You said on the BOSS DAO AMA that resources are going to be off-chain, can you tell us how this will work and what are the benefits?

An important factor is that right now, there isn’t a really great solution for micro-transactions on blockchain. There’s still friction, and there are a lot of challenges related to that. 

So that’s our motivation for having resources off-chain, and there are two different approaches that we’re working on with it. One is to do with batching, where you can get your resources gathered to a certain point and mint them on an NFT on the chain that you want – and there’s another solution that we’re looking at right now as well, which will allow us to have much smaller transactions for people that don’t want to go down that route.

I think there’s a space and a narrative for certain things being off-chain. You don’t need everything on-chain, particularly for this, which is going to be kind of one of the engines in Virtua’s metaverse. And also if you’re off-chain, it gives you a lot more flexibility going from a resource that you might need that’s not on Cardano Island, or someone who’s not on Cardano Island who needs Cardonium. How are they going to be able to do that? So that’s one of our rationales for doing it in this fashion.

In terms of what the benefits of that will be, we can have more flexibility, being able to operate in different zones, being able to have resources that weren’t necessarily coming from Cardano Island or from a Cardano-based NFT. Just giving people that openness and flexibility. That’s what we really want to do with resources, because resources in themselves are a means to an end. We don’t necessarily want people to be hoarding resources; we want it to be distributed and very easy to acquire and stuff like that.

And resources are one layer of the economy, because from resources comes crafting, creating new and exciting NFTs – and you’ll also have different mining events, and different resources are going to be used in different ways and serve different purposes, and that’s down to the gamification element.

What kind of NFTs will users be able to craft using the resources, and how will condo owners be able to buy the resources?

This will be shown in the wikis which will come online after the claim event, but we intend for the types of items to be seasonal and linked to the metaverse.

The buildings you’ll be able to craft fall into three categories: Functional structures, vanity structures, and seasonal structures.

As an example of a seasonal structure, if you want to have a beach cabin, that kind of stuff where you want to extend your living space out, we will have certain windows of time when you can do those kinds of things as well.  So we have that gamified aspect, we’re going to have different types of things that you can do at different times based upon events similar to the Fortnite season concept, with different types of activities that will be available.

As another example, if you have a jet, and you’re holding Cardonium, you could build a boost, you know, these kinds of things. So we really think about it from a gaming perspective and a structured kind of perspective. For instance what we have said before, that we allow customizations, but you aren’t building your own building – you’ll be able to get prefab buildings that you can buy with X amount of resources.

Another thing we’re going to have is mining events where anyone will be able to mine something – irrespective of what land you own, or even if you don’t own land – which we think is really fun.

For example, say a volcano has erupted in one of the empty zones, and anyone who’s got a Miner Bot can go there and mine, and you don’t know what resource you’re going to get. It might be something new and interesting that’s only available for a certain period of time – and that’s another benefit of resources being off-chain, that we can have some flexibility with that. 

And then you can do something very interesting with that rare resource – so it might be something like obsidian that you’re getting from the volcano, something really special. 

So we’ll have resources that can be used to create functional structures, vanity structures, seasonal NFTs, different types of NFTs, plus we’re going to have mining events – and that’s just the beginning.

The other thing that we’re really excited about for resources is that we’re talking to a lot of games companies. A lot of games companies have reached out to us, and we’re having discussions around that.

Will users be able to sell their resources for crypto?

Yes, you can. At the start you’ll be able to batch resources together, and then sell them anywhere. And then, on our marketplace as well, there’ll be another method.

Small, Medium, and Large plots have areas of 1:4:9 units respectively. Is resource production between S, M, and L plots proportional to plot area? 1:4:9?

There will be a curve to price, not a straight line. It’s going to be gamified, and there will be significant benefits to owning bigger land plots.

Section 2: Land Claim Event

Jawad briefly mentioned that the five-day land claim event will be structured by rarity – can you tell us more about it?

We will open up a couple of mint windows over the two days before the land claim starts, where people can buy and mint Land Deeds for Small and Medium plots. Then the land claim event will be organised by rarity.

So for the main land claim event, on Day 1, the first people to claim will be Legendary plot owners. Day 2 will be Special and Legendary plots. Day 3 will be Legendary, Special, and Rare plots. Then Day 4 will be Legendary, Special, Rare, and Uncommon – and on Day 5 everyone can claim, including owners of Common plots.

We didn’t want to give preferential treatment to certain people, and the land rarity was assigned randomly. We try to give everyone as many opportunities as we can to get something special and high-rarity, in a balanced and fair way. Even during the new mint windows, you could still get a Legendary plot. We’re still early, and the Virtua metaverse journey has only just begun. 

We’ll also be giving out some cool gifts along the way!

During the Dev Update #1 video, it was also mentioned that the land claim event will be one claim per transaction. What exactly does this mean?

One claim per transaction means claim one plot at a time, not multiple plots in one go. This is because we don’t want people locking up multiple plots at the same time. Everyone gets the same opportunity.

Jawad mentioned that the Land Deeds that people hold now will get burnt during the land claim event. Will the new NFTs go under the same policy ID?

No, the new NFTs will have a new policy ID. It will have a lock on it, not immediately but later. You’ll have different collections for land, the condos, the vehicles, and so on. When you claim your land, the resources you have in the deed will be locked to a particular point on the map. It prevents confusion.

What happens to the land if the user misses the five-day claim event?

There will be more. This is the first one, as plots are still on sale.

What scale is the Cardano Island metaverse compared to the physical world? Do you have any approximate measures? Some people found it small in the work-in-progress video we shared.

Yes, that was a visual mockup. You’ll see the real scale on the map we publish on the website. It’s mapped to real dimensions of the land.

Cardano island is on a separate scene in Unreal, not the one that we showed as WIP, with a radius of 21400 square kilometres, approximately 165km or 100 miles long and 130km or 80 miles wide.

We will share a map with explanations of the map and all the landmarks.

Section 3: Land Bots

When Virtua is showing off the Virtua Dome and vSpace experiences in the future, can we see what the various partner projects’ NFTs (like Goat Tribe and Deadpxlz) look like inside the vSpaces etc?

After the crib event, you’ll be able to place those NFTs in your spaces yourself. You’ll be able to have 2D NFTs on the walls, and 3D ones will come later as we need to work through the model compatibility. You’ll be able to see your NFTs in those spaces, and you’ll also be able to see pre-designed new spaces.

Can we combine the Land Bots? For example if my Land Plot has three Land Bot slots, do they need to be all from different types, like Miners, Mechanics, etc, or are there any benefits if I have all three of them from the same types (like three Miner Bots)?

Combining and using different Land Bots will all have benefits, which will be outlined in the wikis around the time of the Land Bot sales. 10 attributes for Bots have been locked down, and the Bots will come in waves. There’ll be 12 different types of Bots.

They’re still generative, so every single one’s going to look unique. Bots have a primary skill, which will make the most difference. For example, if you have a Miner Bot and its skill is Forestry, and it has a high skill level, you’ll be able to produce wood at a much higher rate depending on the specialisation. Miner Bots will be coming out first.

Geo, Forest, and Liquid are some other examples of the primary Miner Bot specialisations. If you combine them, the benefits will be staged, so it does accelerate but not as much. Then you have Mechanic Bots – so your Bot’s primary skill might be Air, and they could level up your jet…

As for Explorer Bots, some could have Air, Land, or Water specialisations. Based on that, you could unlock certain features. Interesting mechanics are coming around burning NFTs. Everything will be outlined in a wiki, and this wiki will be coming out around the time of the Land Bot sales.

If there is a Miner Bot on my land and the Bot increases the “rate” of resources emitted, will this also increase my possible amount of resources mined per day?

Rate increasing means yes, there will be more daily. There is a pool at the start of the month that resets. You have to claim your resources. This is capped at the end of the month.

Are Land Bots Virtua’s own IP? If I own a 1/1 Land Bot, do I also own the right to sell the image of it for T-shirts and other merchandise, like with BAYC?

Yes, you do.

We mentioned many times that owners of all seven Cardano Summit NFTs will have the free pre-mint option for the Bots – but what if someone holds something like seven sets? Do they need seven wallets?

I was told by our devs that they won’t need to have seven wallets, as we can read the holdings.

We need to get clarity on this, maybe hold on to the answer and we don’t want to get this wrong. There’ll be a snapshot that will capture all the info, so you may not necessarily need 7 wallets. If that changes, you will be notified.

Section 4: vSpaces

When can we see what the various partner projects’ NFTs (e.g. Deadpxlz and Goat Tribe) will look like inside the vSpaces? Will there be frames for 2D and 2DA NFTs?  

Yes to frames; 3D will come later. We will also visit project themes.

What about 3D and 3D animated NFTs that users hold in their wallet and are not from Virtua, when do you expect that they will be able to see them in vSpaces? 

Yes, you will be able to see them. First 2D and 2DA, after that 3D. 3DA is part of our DNA. It’s something that we want. It’s not going to work necessarily with third parties out of the gate, because we have to map a lot of the model data. We are working on a solution for this.

Can we customise the look of a vSpace? If for example I want to have the OG’s Nitro League racing car in the middle of the room, can I do that?

Yes – you can scale it, move it, and place it. You can reconfigure stuff, including NFTs. Having it all working that way is really important to us. Colour customization is quite important too – it really drives engagement. You can decorate your places, and show people what you’ve got and what you’ve done and what you’ve created. We’ve also got plinths and different pedestals as well that you can put different things on – so you could have a Jaeger on one, a car on another, and so on.

Is Kevin Hart’s Screening Room an example of where next-gen fan experiences will go? Are there more Screening Rooms like that coming? Can you give us some alpha about this?

When we got involved with Kevin Hart, we added this metaverse layer of digital engagement, and his team at Hartbeat is really working on bridging traditional media content into the metaverse. The way media is consumed in the future is going to be very different, and having certain communities who are the only ones who can access certain types of content is going to be really powerful. So we’ll see more screening rooms and those kinds of spaces, more exclusive access through NFTs and other assets, and things like that.

There’s also going to be a lot more IPs coming from the metaverse into the physical world as well. We’re seeing the evolution of media and social, and we’ve always said that this is a metaverse, this is the new social, this is a new way of engaging. We’re excited about this kind of stuff, we had a ton of eyes on us for that project, and we delivered on it.

Can you share a bit more about how Virtua got the chance to work with a celebrity like Kevin Hart? There are a lot of metaverse competitors around – why did they choose Virtua?

Because we rock, he liked our work, and our visions were aligned. Also, we know how to work with IPs; others don’t. Look at our portfolio.

Last year, or in the beginning of 2021 when NFTs came out, it was basically enough to just have a celebrity and it worked – but the space developed, it grew up, and now it’s much more than that. For a drop to be successful, it needs to have all the elements in place.

Our Commercial Director, Rory, comes from the traditional space – and as he’s come into the Web3 space and really thought about it, he came up with this acronym that he goes and talks to other brands about. The acronym is UTILITY, and he says it’s like “Unlock new experiences, Tell your brand story, Ignite engagement, Longevity, Inspire your fans, Tell tomorrow’s story, and Your customer comes first,” so that’s like his acronym.

Utility is really central to his thesis, which is that giving people a reason to do something in this space is so important. That’s the space that we want to be in, and the space we occupy and where our strengths are.

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