Looking for a passionate fantasy writer

Hello everyone,

My name is Felipe, and I work on Ouroboros GameFi, a small blockchain startup. We are looking for a passionate fantasy writer to help us with some experiments with new ideas of interactive writing in the blockchain.

The project idea blends elements of stat-based choice games with art, where your choices influence the character graphics following the main story arc. The goal is not “winning”, but making your choice matters since it will change how your character looks in the end.

The setting is a medieval fantasy world, and the idea is for the minimum story path to be 30 choices deep, with three starting points and about five endings. I estimate that to be around 50,000 words, and if everything goes well, we hope to expand to more stories in the future.

I already have an idea of the setting, but I am not a writer, and I feel that this community is full of talented people that can help us with this idea.

Payment will be in USDT (or any other crypto of your choice), and we are looking first at a freelancer position and maybe expanding to a core position.

Looking forward to discussing the project more. Feel free to DM me here in the Forum or by email at info@ouroborosp2e.com

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boo + hiss

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Ah yes, the newest meaningless buzzword in the tech industry has reached this forum at last

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Blockchain is basically a technology that allows you to verify the ownership of digital assets.

There are dozens of big blockchains, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Avalanche, etc. Nowadays is much easier (and cheaper) to develop applications on them.

The newer generation of blockchains doesn’t have the same environmental impact as Bitcoin has; for example, Avalanche (the blockchain we are based on) is Net Zero CO2 (carbon neutral).

For the record, I have no connection whatsoever with the OP, with his company, or with any blockchain companies/businesses at all. Furthermore, the misspelling in the OP and poor grammar on the company’s Medium-hosted articles severely disincline me from inquiring about this job.

That being said, blockchain is hardly a “buzzword” in this instance as the OP’s business literally does operate on the blockchain, including (in the near future, presumably) the fantasy story the OP was soliciting writers for.

sigh

Look, I realize that it’s trendy and hip in some parts, including on this forum, to casually denigrate blockchains, cryptocurrencies, NFTs and all other things related to W3, and certainly, some of the OGs of IF have written lengthy rants fulminating against them.

I think most people here (particularly the critics) just assume that blockchains and cryptocurrencies (et al) are some kind of plaything or toy, maybe perhaps a topic of philosophical contention that could be fun to banter about at a cocktail party, or that the only substantive aspect is the electrical energy used to produce all those Bitcoins and NFTs et al.

However, not everyone lives in a country with easy access to dollars (or euros, AUD, CAN, et al) and no sanctions on their banks or other soul-sucking bullshit that makes it hard to move money around, most of said bullshit entirely at the behest of a single country (:us:) which arrogantly tries to decide how the entire globe gets to live, making it so that you have to jump through all kinds of hoops just to buy some food for your starving family.

Because if you do find yourself in a tough situation, even without being a billionaire oligarch, you might suddenly find that the blockchain actually is useful and real and substantive, and does impact real people’s lives, and so maybe there’s a tiny bit more to it than just much electricity it consumes or what a trendy “buzzword” it is amongst your social cohort.

All I’m saying is, at least throw away your :rage: clothes dryer before chiming in with a cheap slag against a new and evolving technology, eh?

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None of that requires The Blockchain

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I could post a short rant. One-word, if you like.

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What does the blockchain mean for this project? Will only one person (or one at a time?) be allowed to own and read it?

How are you achieving carbon neutrality? My understanding was that lots of the carbon offset market was a scam, selling trees that were never going to be logged, etc.

We feel that interactive stories can significantly enrich the experience of NFTs, introducing stat-based choice games to a different community that might never interact with this type of medium before.

So it would be a digital collectable that the player would have some level of agency about how the character will look in the end. So it’s a mix of storytelling and art as a digital collectable.

[deleted by author for being off-topic]

There are different types of blockchains. The first technology was “Proof of Work”, which is the technology that Bitcoin uses and is associated with high energy costs.

Avalanche network is a Proof of Stake model, which does not require the massive computation of a Proof of Work chain, thus using only 0.0005% of the energy needed by Bitcoin.

Avalanche network consumes the same amount of energy as only 46 US households, so it is easy to offset the emissions.

In our previous game, we donated enough to compensate for the emissions for five years.

https://twitter.com/PizzadotGame/status/1494688822550016000

I best not comment…

You all know how I am. :wink:

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I’m rather taken with the term IFOG. I’m going to start using it. I’m pronouncing it “eye-fog” in my head.

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I have to admit I am very wary of anything that is being sold as a digital collectible, blockchained or not. Selling narrative on the basis of the narrative rather than the merchandising range is typically the more reliable way to sell narrative (since most of us are not Disney), and digital collectibles have the further problems of being neither tangible nor reliable. As far as I can tell, blockchain doesn’t sort these kinds of problems (it’s designed for a completely different range of problems).

I appreciate your thoughtful pushback here. I have to say, though, the flip side of helping ordinary unbanked folks or those who live in badly-sanctioned countries have access to markets is opening up new avenues for bad actors to evade the laws governing international financial flows.

I could be biased from working with some anti money-laundering activists a number of years ago, but the kind of stuff they dealt with was best-case scenario “looting developing countries of double-digit percentages of their GDP” and got substantially more bone-chilling from there. And given the way assholes tend to have a lot more money than sympathetic folks it sure seems to me like this is probably a net negative, for all that I can see how things might look substantially more equivocal to folks with other points of view.

Back on topic though, I’m with those who really don’t understand how this idea requires the blockchain unless the thought is to turn the game into a medium for speculation.

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I feel like this is the bottom line, tbh. absolutely correct, & absolutely no reciprocity in the opposite direction.

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I have paid freelancers overseas with stablecoins. It was the most efficient and cheapest way to make payments. Especially small(er) payments. That means i found “blockchains” useful. Initially, i tried using services like Payoneer, but they typically can only pay into local currencies. Many international freelancers want USD.

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As far as I can tell, blockchain doesn’t sort these kinds of problems (it’s designed for a completely different range of problems).

Initially, Bitcoin was designed only to be a currency, but other blockchains expanded on that idea, notably Ethereum, and allow you to do computation on the blockchain. That enables many use cases, a successful one is called NFTs (digital assets with verifiable ownership).

I’m with those who really don’t understand how this idea requires the blockchain unless the thought is to turn the game into a medium for speculation.

I feel like this is the bottom line, tbh. absolutely correct, & absolutely no reciprocity in the opposite direction.

Interactive fiction doesn’t even require the internet for example, but expanding it from books to the internet allowed more people to know this type of storytelling.

The same thing goes for the blockchain. The idea is not required to be executed in the blockchain, but doing on it allows it to be a digital collectible, for example.

As a background, I have been a huge fan of physical collectibles, and I also started collecting digital ones a couple of years ago. From this passion, I had the idea of creating digital collectibles myself. I agree that it is not everyone’s cup of tea; however, many people are fans of digital collectibles, and there is a market for it.

On the flip side, it would introduce interactive fiction to a different community that might never interact with this type of medium before.

I think part of the problem is the lack of rigor around terms like “assets.” The FASB hasn’t yet solidified a GAAP basis for digital “assets”, meaning that that application is still unguaranteed. In practice companies like Square or Riot Blockchain record crypto as intangible assets, but this isn’t as informative as you might think. Usually an intangible asset is a recordable quality precipitous of activity, like a licensure to provide a service or a copyright to monetize a work. The economic value of these assets is not primarily, and in some cases not at all, in exchange value. Crypto, however, wants to be (but is not) a financial asset, a highly liquid contractual claim on debts, somewhere between a cash equivalent and a security. That mismatch means that the bookable value of a crypto asset is substantially more mitigated than even highly speculative asset classes like the art market (oh hey, there’s money laundering and tax avoidance calling, how did we get here?), because not only do you run substantial risk of recording a hefty impairment, since due to volatility the possibility of market value dipping below carrying value can be painful, but recent guidance dictates that you should book a corresponding liability for crypto purchases, as if you had issued a bond and the carrying value is essentially borrowed — no wonder lawyers for some of these crypto platforms filing for Chapter 11s are arguing that their customers weren’t brokered clients but unsecured (for an “asset”!) creditors! Crypto, and its derivatives, are still being assessed to what extent, and in what capacity, they are assets, per Goldman Sachs’ assertion that crypto should not be considered an asset class because a) it doesn’t generate cashflow, b) it doesn’t generate earnings through exposure to growth, c) it doesn’t provide reliable diversification, d) it doesn’t reduce exposure to volatility, and e) it doesn’t hedge against inflation. Digital currencies and assets will evolve, although almost certainly in ways the decentralists will loathe (here comes the SEC!), but the valuation of these items as assets is somewhere between spurious and speculative. Don’t believe me? Ask the nearly $2B in cumulative digital asset impairment losses MicroStrategy is sporting on its latest 10-Q.

Which is why projects like this can get a testy reception. Someone can already write 50,000 words as a work of interactive fiction, that can already be done independently. A project like this is only adding a monetizing strategy of selling it to players as a digital asset, despite the fact that not only is its asset value dubious, but also the collectible on offer isn’t actually the user experience implied by a unique branch of a story, but simply a line in a ledger saying that a wallet is assigned a packet of code, which is only correlated into external activity through several layers of bespoke and largely unenforceable mediation.

Yes, it would be nice if people could receive some help with their expenses through the IF they make, but I don’t think the healthiest avenue for that is by turning works into instruments of rampant financial speculation. Might I suggest that there are other ways to create meaningful experiences than building a marketplace? Why does everything always have to become a marketplace? Why are we so desperate to reintroduce scarcity into the digital world?

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Blockchain (1991) long predates cryptocurrency (2006), and I’m concerned that you appear to assume blockchain = cryptocurrency and NFTs. There’s definitely nothing in the cryptocurrency implementation of blockchain that would have logical implementation in the inner structure of IF or even a genuine digital collectible. (I could imagine paying for IF via cryptocurrency, but these days, the best way to do that is to make a conventional product payable via regular currencies, and then approach a payment programmer with “please add cryptocurrency X/Y/Z to the list of valid payment options”. It would be a bonus feature potentially resulting in a small increase in reach, not a core selling point).

An NFT is a digital receipt, is a terrible base for a genuine business and is at risk of being handled as a scam if one is not careful. I have yet to see a consistently successful non-scam variant. Not all publicity is good publicity; two F1 teams and Liberty (which owns F1) have invested in NFTs and had to close them again within 18 months because they were losing so much money after the initial spike of income. I know three people lose money in two separate cryptocurrency collapses because the blockchain couldn’t establish ownership the way the concept was intended (one of those people, in their defence, was in a country where the official currency wasn’t a model of stability then either). That’s aside from the three who lost them to a scam, or to regular business failure.

I also know a bunch of creative people have their works stolen by people using NFTs against them (it’s far from the first time someone has attempted blockchain in the visual novel part of the IF space). All this has already resulted in multiple large companies in the video game space getting burned by deploying NFTs (rather than focusing any blockchain efforts on sounder ideas like security improvements or expanding the range of countries and people that can purchase their games in relative safety) - Square Enix is simply the most infamous example. IF is particularly sensitive to this sort of thing due to both the known damage caused by NFTs to parts of the IF community and also due to the increased proportion of players who create their own games and also have enough familiarity with other computing concepts to make independent judgements about a given application’s proposed use of blockchain.

As a small developer (in the sense that you don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars at your disposal), you’d have less protection against the dangers of blockchain (even those sounder ideas I mentioned have risks for those pursuing them with insufficient capital, expertise or specificity), and no clear reason for assuming the risk for the use case described. I would advise a different course of action.

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