Proposal: Add Nounish Collections to TinyCitizen, an indie web3 browser/mobile game 👾

TL;DR

Requesting funds to scale a free-to-play browser & mobile game to include Nouns and popular Nounish collections (such as Lil Nouns, NounPunks, and more) as playable characters.

Introduction

Hello Everyone,

For those that don’t know me, my name’s Jeff [insert 22 Jump Street meme here] and I’ve been active in the NFT space since early 2021. I enjoy everything NFT + gaming related, I believe heavily in cc0, and I recently became a Nouncillor!

I became Noun-pilled late this summer through some people I’ve met within the CrypToadz community. I mostly spend my free time in Nounish discords meeting new people, discussing ideas and learning as much as I can about Nouns related info. I’ve also been developing an NFT browser/mobile game over the past year. What kind of game? I’m glad you asked :wink:

Concept

TinyCitizen a browser and mobile game inspired by the popular Japanese game ‘Tamagotchi’ released in the late 90’s. For those that don’t know what Tamagotchi is, the main concept is simple: each handheld device contains a virtual friend the user must tend to in order to keep it alive, happy, and healthy. That is the core objective. Interestingly enough, it’s a style of game that you don’t necessarily ‘beat’ or ‘win’. It’s more of an experience of having a buddy that you can play with, care for, and watch grow throughout it’s lifespan, forever.
image

I’ve taken this concept and reimagined it in a new light for NFTs. Since it’s inception in October of 2021 which started out as just a silly napkin sketch, we’ve successfully built a live working product and just recently finished adding support for all 6,969 CrypToadz, each with 11 unique animations totaling over 75,000 files! (That’s 7.6 GB of raw toad data). If interested, I humbly ask and encourage you to read the complete history of the development of the game to get the full story / / Enter the rabbit hole :point_right::rabbit2::hole:

In it’s current state, the game only supports CrypToadz for now. If you happen to own one, check out the game here. If not, you can check out some gameplay footage below.

The Goal

PHASE 1 / phase 2
The vision includes expanding TinyCitizen to include all Nouns and a handful of other popular Nounish collections (such as Lil Nouns, NounPunks, etc) as playable characters for holders to enjoy. New NFTs that are generated each day will be automatically available as playable characters. Not only would Nounish holders get to play with their NFTs like never before, but those that don’t own any NFTs can build their own custom Noun and play with them instantly using our in-app Noun builder, with the ability to save custom configurations on-chain. In total, we’d generate over 100,000 unique files to bring this vision to life.

In-app Noun Builder (super rough concept, does not represent final product)

Sneak Peaks
Rough drafts - subject to change

Lil Nouns #6570

lilnouns-6570-idle
Idle

lilnouns-6570-pizza
Eating

lilnouns-6570-sleep
Sleeping

lilnouns-6570-gameboy
Playing Gameboy

lilnouns-6570-happy
Happy

lilnouns-6570-sad
Sad

lilnouns-6570-coffee
Drinking coffee

lilnouns-6570-mushroom
Mushroom (can be reskinned to another object)

lilnouns-6570-sick
Sick

lilnouns-6570-tired
Tired

lilnouns-6570-healthpotion
Health potion

Noun Punks #4308

nounpunks-4308-idle
Idle

nounpunks-4308-pizza
Eating

nounpunks-4308-sleep
Sleeping

nounpunks-4308-gameboy
Playing Gameboy

nounpunks-4308-happy
Happy

nounpunks-4308-sad
Sad

nounpunks-4308-coffee
Drinking coffee

nounpunks-4308-mushroom
Mushroom (can be reskinned to another object)

nounpunks-4308-sick
Sick

nounpunks-4308-tired
Tired

nounpunks-4308-healthPotion
Health potion

Game Mechanics

  • 4 Stats for each NFT:
    • Fullness
    • Energy
    • Happiness
    • Health
  • 3 Player Actions (each grants XP needed in order to level up):
    • Feeding – Increases fullness and happiness
    • Sleeping – Increases energy and health
    • Playing – Increases happiness, decreases fullness and energy
  • 3 Conditions:
    • Can’t sleep while starving
    • Can’t play while sleep-deprived
    • Can’t eat while sick
  • 3 Items (purchasable with points earned from completing actions)
    • Coffee – Triples the amount of XP gained, but cannot sleep for 8 hr
    • Health Potion – Replenishes health to full
    • Mushroom (can be easily reskinned to another object) – 1 of 4 potential effects, chosen at random:
      • Jumbles stats at random
      • Earn a random amount of XP
      • Gain 1 level
      • Eat a poisonous mushroom and die
    • Sword and Shield coming soon :shushing_face:
  • All stats decay by 2 every 4 hours automatically, forever
  • Sometimes, at random, 1 of the 4 stats will be depleted to zero if all stats are non-zero
  • If neglected for ~8 days, the NFT will die
  • NFTs can be revived, but lose 1 level and costs points
  • Highest levels are ranked in a public leaderboard

How is this valuable to Nouns??

  1. Importance of Gaming + Identity

My belief is that by integrating Nouns and Nounish characters into some sort of game in these nascent days would greatly help the long term survivability of the brand - Why?

It all starts with identity.

Let’s look at one of the first declarations directly from the Nouns homepage.

It’s clear that digital identities, and the social capital involved with those identities, are only ever becoming increasingly relevant over time. This is evident by the mass proliferation of all kinds of online social media profiles over the past two decades, and now with the emergence of NFTs. Now that people can truly and verifiably own their digital identities in a decentralized fashion with NFTs, something which was previously not possible, it begs the question: Where are we headed from here?

The rise of gaming, which also continues to trend upward, is all about identity. For a second, think about some of your favorite video games you’ve played. More than likely, you play as a character through which you embark on challenging quests and missions, earning XP and leveling up in some way as a result of the progression. Through this progression, you often becoming emotionally invested in the character and the story. In a lot of cases too, you can either customize or choose the character’s appearance to your liking, further deepening the attachment. So, why are these games we love so fun? It’s not a trick question - it’s because they tell great stories about overcoming challenges using identities people can relate to. They move us.

What makes the combination of NFTs and gaming potentially so revolutionary is that you’ll likely be able to own the digital items you play with, effectively turning your gaming data into assets. Today that might not mean much, but eventually it will become painfully obvious. This is why early on it’s imperative we give people the products and tools to use those identities in a fun and engaging way to keep the innovation flowing. TinyCitizen has a unique advantage where we are leveraging people’s existing digital identities (their NFTs), which reduces a lot of friction for onboarding.

Today we can use NFTs to signal our identities on social media which is great, but I find it hard to believe that the innovation around NFTs plateaus from here - endlessly cycling them as social media avatars until the next hype collection comes along, only to get replaced by another one after that, and so on. I think it’s fair to say that NFTs and gaming will likely merge at some point in the future - what that looks like exactly, no one knows. But we can’t find out unless we push the boundaries of what’s possible. TinyCitizen is doing exactly this.

  1. Public Goods

All of the Nounish animations we’re creating will be available via an API key for builders and Nounish enthusiasts alike. Also, individuals who are not tech savvy will be able to export all animations for their NFTs directly from the site. How cool would it be to see Nouns vibing together with unique animations in other apps?!

  1. Exponential network effects with other Nounish projects

“The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.” -Someone, probably

This couldn’t be more relevant for web3. A core reason why blockchain is valuable is because we can build on it like legos. In our case, not only is TinyCitizen beneficial for Nouns in a vacuum, but the benefits are exponential when introduced to other projects in the ecosystem. Here are a few examples:

Composables adds a super exciting layer to the game, introducing true interoperability and composability :wink: by adding new gameplay using items from their marketplace. It turns purely cosmetic items into utility items. The utility can range from power boosts, unlocking certain actions, or just repping your custom trait in game. The possibilities are endless! The beauty of the composability is it can foster a grass-roots creator economy around popular items valued by the playerbase. In effect, it incentivizes artists/creatives to create for Composables too, at the chance of their assets being added to the game for players to purchase.

Sound is the backbone of any cohesive brand and multimedia creation. This CC0 resource will assist in the production of music, apps, games, videos, social content, sonic branding and more- all revolving around Nouns.

No game is complete without sound, and we’re no exception. By implementing Noun Sounds into TinyCitizen, we expose new users to Woody and Papaya’s Noun Sounds app while also providing us with a much-needed expansive audio-scape.

If willing, we can use video/storytelling efforts created by 142 & Goldy to explain how the game works, driving their views and content upward while also drawing in new players, supporting a virtuous cycle.

By opening up the opportunity for any Nounish subcommunity to become playable characters within TinyCitizen, it’s a win-win scenario. The TinyCitizen playerbase expands while also incentivizing communities to form to see their NFTs come to life and join a thriving global playerbase.

  • apps that want to use animations
  1. Foster community around organic and fun reward systems

Games provide opportunities for players to earn rewards through quests, tasks, and/or missions. Granting items like merch, NFTs, or other for completing such missions proves to be a more rewarding experience because it feels earned rather than simply given. This promotes camaraderie and a sense of fellowship among the community by partaking in shared experiences in order to achieve a desired result.

For instance, we’ve successfully rewarded 75+ unique CrypToadz players with a hat and Nouns glasses bundle to those who reached level 10 with a toad in game. Everyone shared how much they loved this event!

Any Nounish subcommunity we add to the game can offer similar events like this to attract and rally an organic playerbase.

CrypToadz Hat + Noun Glasses + NFT NYC Coaster bundle

pssst… This event is still ongoing! If you want a CrypToadz hat and Nouns glasses you can still grind for one! Ping me :wink:

  1. ROI from potential revenue stream mechanisms

In the future we could explore in-game purchases, a portion of which could be funneled back into the DAO. We will never implement pay-to-win mechanics. Some ideas include:

  • Rare game case skins, collectable as NFTs
  • Rare in-game cosmetics for your NFTs
  • More customization and access to non-competitive resources (i.e. in-game name change fee, display more NFTs on your profile than the default amount, etc)

Deliverables

  • Add Nouns + 2 other Nounish collections to TinyCitizen as playable characters
    • New NFTs that are continuously generated each day will be automatically available for play
    • The two potential collections would be decided by vote by the community.
    • Each individual NFT within each collection will be animated with the following 11 actions/states:
      • Idle (breathing/blinking, and/or other depending on trait)
      • Eating
      • Sleeping
      • Playing
      • Happy
      • Sad
      • Tired
      • Sick
      • Drinking coffee
      • Eating a mysterious object like a mushroom
      • Drinking a health potion
  • Revamped front end design, including optimized mobile-friendly versions and UI/UX improvements
  • In-app Nouns Builder, where anyone with an Ethereum wallet can custom-build their own Noun to be playable in game with instant turnaround. Custom Nouns can be saved on-chain. Progress is tied to the user’s wallet address otherwise.
  • Creation, maintenance, and daily engagement in TinyCitizen Discord server to foster and engage playerbase

Timeline

18 weeks (4.5 mo) for 3 Nouns collections (6 weeks per). This includes adjusting codebase and asset generation. Adding 2 week buffer per to allocate time for bugs fixes/unexpected hurdles.

6 weeks (1.5 mo) for In-app Nouns Builder.

Total time:

  • Conservative estimate: 6 months
  • Aggressive estimate: 3 months
  • Realistic estimate: 4 months

Who we are

Jeff - Lead Full-Stack Dev / Game Design / Vision / Logistics / Dev Ops

I’m an engineer, problem-solver, and purveyor of ideas that I believe are worth telling. I originally come from a mechanical engineering background, having worked with agencies like NASA and Boeing on mission-critical spaceflight hardware. It started from a young age, where I was always obsessed with tinkering and bringing my creative ideas to life.

My journey into crypto started in 2016 when I was fascinated by Ethereum and it’s potential. As I became increasingly involved with crypto over the years, it also started to bug me more that I didn’t really know the technical aspects involved with software or developing software products - so I did something about it. In mid 2021, I took a temporary leave of absence from my job to dive head first into coding. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into - but I made a promise to myself that I’d make and ship my first app in less than a year. It all started with some little amphibious creatures you may be familiar with…CrypToadz!

Since I was so drawn to the culture and organic vibes of CrypToadz since mint, I decided to develop a game that incorporated toadz to start. The full journey of that process is documented here, which goes into way more detail that I’d rather not clog this already long post with. I’ve met and connected with a lot of extremely friendly, talented, and warm people along the way and wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. The long and short of it is, I’ve successfully shipped a game that I’m in love with continually trying to make better!

PixelFowl (new to Twitter) - Lead Pixel Artist / Python Dev / Asset Generation / Pixel Placer / Power Metal Enthusiast / Former Chicken Parent

"Hi! I’m Pixelfowl, also known as Johannfowl. I’m a Brazilian pixel artist and animator that loves coffee, power metal and writing short stories. I used to be a freelance copywriter, but I always loved art and indie games. So, in the first opportunity I had, I tried pixel art — that hooked me instantly.

During this past year I had the amazing opportunity of working with Jeff on TinyCitizen, and it really changed the game for me. After learning a lot, creating hundreds of animations and writing thousands of lines of code, we’re making things that we thought were impossible, and now we’re going even further!"

Current Success Metrics (as of Oct '22)
Note that little to no capital/time has been spent on marketing, advertising, or outreach up to this point.

  • Retention Rates
    • Day 1 Retention: 25% (Industry average)
    • Day 7 Retention: 15% (Above industry average)
    • Day 30 Retention: 9% (Above industry average)
  • Active Users
    • Daily Active Users / Monthly Active Users = 28% (Above industry average)

Proposed Funding

120E for Deliverables within Timeline

  • 60% Front-end & Back-end development, Game Design, Dev Ops, Logistics, Administrative
    • We’re actively searching for a front-end developer to help fulfill part of the deliverables.
    • About 25% of this 60% allocation will be put forth to compensate this potential candidate.
    • If no candidates are found in a reasonable amount of time, the funds will be used to pay the lead dev to complete the work. Either way the work gets completed, but worst case would take slightly longer.
  • 30% Artistic asset generation
  • 5% Marketing
  • 5% Community Management

Testimonials

We’ve had incredible support from the CrypToadz community so far, culminating 185 total ‘yes’ votes and 0 total ‘no’ votes spanning 3 different proposals hosted through their discourse/snapshot governance system. We’ve also won the only CrypToadz Prop House round hosted.

I have people tell me they love logging on each day to see their little toad buddy in action, some even buying their first toad because of the game. I want to be able to provide this same experience for Nounish communities.

“This sounds like a very fun idea, I love the animations.”
-devcarrot, Nounder

“I love my animated toad! Diggin the game. It’s bringing my back to my Tamagotchi days.”
-Adam Fern, Founding team @ CashApp, Head of Product @ Square (Loans)

“Big fan of Toadzgotchi personally”
-HEEEEEEEEEEE, CrypToadz founding team

“Excited for lore and Toadzgotchi as well”
-Gremplin, pixel placer extraordinaire, artist for CrypToadz and Nouns

“Omg the Toadzgotchi proposal is cool. My wife who isn’t into crypto much that was one of the first things she asked me about NFTs ‘so do you have to like feed your toad and stuff or what?’”
-Toadyhawk.⌐◨-◨, Nouns delegate and The Nouns Square Founder

Toadzgotchi was the initial name of the game circa 2021

Future

While our game is far from perfect, it continues to get noticeably better each month. Since the beta went live on June 16th, 2022, we’ve added at least one major update per month since then, including the following:

  • Leaderboard sorted by highest level, viewable by all
  • New items with varying effects
  • In-game store
  • Mobile-friendly version
  • CrypToadz merch drop event

Although the game is currently in a state that I am satisfied with for the time being, it’s not the final product I envision long-term. We’re extremely excited for the future with some new ideas in the pipeline. These are including but not limited to:

(subject to change)

  • Achievements/badges displayable on your profile

  • Quick access “share-to-twitter” button that allows players to easily share gameplay moments/snapshots to Twitter at the click of a button

  • Customization with NFTs - display your NFT art on your profile

  • New attributes, skillsets, and/or stats

  • Revamped UI

  • New environments/backgrounds

  • Time-specific gameplay - certain actions/mechanics that are only active at certain parts of the day

  • New items :shushing_face:

  • Social updates - Create a friends list and visit/leave them messages

  • New game case skins, collectable as NFTs

Thank You

Thank you for your interest and we greatly appreciate your time spent reading this. This is a game by the community, for the community - it’s is at the heart of what we do. I firmly believe gaming will be one of the catalysts for hyper-adoption of NFTs. We humbly ask you to join us in shaping the future of web3 gaming. TinyCitizen is playing a small but key role in this massive global journey… Let’s build the future together!

-Jeff

1 Like

Will it start as an egg, hatch into a lil noun and grow up into a noun? :smiley: THAT would get the full Tamagotchi vibes rolling!

This is such a fun idea. The cost had me a little sticker shocked for what it is, but I really really like the concept. The more I thought about it, you’d have a ton of time into animations since all the Noun heads are a bit different with mouths placed in different spots (and some with no mouths at all. What’s your plan for those?)

I have no idea how the technical aspects of your game work behind the scene, but it would be amazing if it simply read the traits of your PFP according to the Nouns contract (Background, head, body, accessory, noggles), asked you to draw a line around the mouth, and then the game would just work for any PFP generated using a Nouns style contract or the Nouns Builder.

Overall, I’m really excited about the possibilities here! My kids would be forever grateful if this gets made. :sweat_smile:

If you’re interested in gathering more feedback, I’d be happy to run this through the incubator at Nouncil. Let us know!

1 Like

Thanks Andrew! We’re glad you like the concept! Been talking with lots of different people and they all love the idea :slight_smile:

You have some great questions here. You’re right there is a good chunk of work to get the animations started, but it gets easier over time. We have some code we used to produce all 6,969 CrypToadz that we can apply to Nouns. I think all-in-all that took around 3 weeks for all the toadz. For the Nouns without mouths, I have confidence in PixelFowl to create something that will make sense for those - all the stuff he’s produced thus far is super imaginative and thoughtful, see below

lilnouns-6570-idle
Lil Nouns #6570

About the on-the-fly animations, this could be tricky. Usually we create all the files necessary beforehand, then make them available to be played once everything is generated. For any Noun, official or derivative, to make it work on the fly isn’t crazy difficult technically, but it could be unreliable. If the application needs to talk to a server to fetch each individual animation (which it likely will), if for whatever reason it fails to fetch just one of the traits, or fetches it slower than the others, it won’t look good. I can play around with this idea to verify though, great question.

What we could do, as a potential alternative to that, is players can choose from some default list of let’s say 50 randomly generated off-chain nouns (for people who don’t have NFTs). In this case, rather than the progress being tied to an NFT, it could be tied to the user’s wallet that is connected to the site. We could accept custom submissions as well, but this could be a slow turn around (1-2 days) depending on availability of the team.

The proposed cost I think is fairly reasonable. For anyone to make a game from scratch to incorporate Noun and Nounish characters to such an extent like how I’ve laid out in this proposal I think would cost likely twice as much and take twice as long, maybe more, but that’s just my biased opinion haha :wink:

Yes! We’d be stoked if you could somehow funnel this somewhere to get more eyeballs on it. Really appreciate that!

Thanks again Andrew :space_invader:

1 Like

After testing and playing around with some assets, it’s possible. The only caveats here are that the contracts would need to be whitelisted first and they can’t be off-chain derivative nouns. However, I thought of something really exciting. Let me explain…

Cases where it works:
In the instance we do get funded, we would gather community votes to see which Nounish collections would be whitelisted for play (start with ~4 Nounish collections to start, then expand to more later). If Nouns, Lil Nouns, Gnars, and Noun Punks are selected for example, then every single NFT within those collections would be playable characters, even new ones that continually get generated each day, automatically.

Cases where it doesn’t work
If after the game launches someone tries to play with an on-chain Nounish pfp that has custom assets that exist outside the original Noun traits, it won’t work, unless we decide to manually implement that collection later on. It’s simply not possible to have instant turn-around on derivative Nounish collections that use custom assets. It’s possible to implement them of course, but it would take time.

In-app Nounish Builder
This really excites me… For those that don’t own any NFTs but still want to play, you could create your very own custom Noun within the game with instant turn-around. It wouldn’t be saved on-chain, but your custom character would persist the next time you log on. Progress would be saved to the wallet that is connected to the site instead of to an NFT. This opens up the game to virtually anyone.

Games have had a tough time getting traction, but I think that’s exactly the kind of thing that would get some attention. It uses the contract in existing ways, updates automatically with auction wins, let’s multiple communities in, etc. I think that route gives you the best chance.

Would love to see some Nouners interact with this and chime in.

1 Like

This sounds like a very fun idea, I love the animations. Would you be willing to make the data accessible to other developers via a public API? Maybe with something like a license that requires attribution? It could be interesting to have Nounish characters hanging out on the various projects’ sites; imagine Timpers’ disco floor but with TinyCitizen characters rendered in real time.

The disco floor:

2 Likes

Thanks for the feedback @devcarrot! Yes that’s certainly possible. It would be awesome to have other projects use our animations. I can add that as another value prop point :slight_smile:

1 Like

For those wondering: the demo website is currently under construction while we work on the in-app Nouns builder :construction: :man_construction_worker::hammer:

Thanks for your patience!

This idea needs more attention. It’s pretty amazing in my view… looks like so much fun! What exactly is the downside here?

1 Like

Thanks a lot Mantis! We think so too :wink:

We’re continuing to make progress… another value prop is that we’re interoperable/composable with other Nounish projects, like Composables.wtf.

We put together a little demo to show what this would look like! The skateboard and pikachu items are purchasable through their marketplace - we could pick and choose different items to implement to enhance and broaden the gameplay a lot, creating an economy around creator items :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Wow! Great progress. Those animations are really awesome.

1 Like

Ask and ye shall receive!

If you wanna try it out for yourself check out the demo website. Only the first 3 choices for each body part works btw (for demo’s sake). This is a total proof-of-concept and is super rough just to get something out there for people to get their hands on :slight_smile:. The final product would feature every Noun trait and would be more responsive and smooth.

Wow! I really like where you’re headed here! The animations are very nice. Feels super nounish to me. :slight_smile: