We interviewed Capuzr, the son within a family that has created Faceted Meninas. Their next sale is Interitus NFT on December 23rd. Get yours to be part of this brave new Universo!
1. How would you describe your artistic style?
Well, it is a team effort. The process to create Elementum and a3capas consists of four iterable phases:
- Research: My mom and I analyze trends and create lists of ideas and references to have input for the next phase.
- Brainstorming: My parents and I have “drink and create” meetings to define concepts and ideas based on the researched information and get what we’re going to design. In this phase, the team inputs ideas from references and non-conventional ideas to differentiate substantially.
- Execution and inspiration: My dad designs what we define as the new creation. He has the freedom to change anything that doesn’t change the essence of the design. He usually changes much of what we propose; the muse usually comes when designing.
- Feedback: We set up a meeting, check the result and give as much feedback as possible for the next iteration until it’s ready.
Our style is fresh, looking for trendy stuff but with a radical twist that makes our things different, non-conventional. We’re not looking to make things as everyone does; we don’t want to create with every component we may think of. As Ludwig Mies van der Rohe says: “Less is more.”
2. What drew you to NFT creation rather than traditional canvas-based art?
We have a deep relation with traditional and non-traditional forms of art:
- My mom is an Architect and landscaper.
- I have a five-year SME in Photography and Design where we design, produce, and sell art in multiple formats, including canvas.
- a3capas was born three years ago to create 3D printed art sculptures a couple of months after the end of the past Crypto cycle.
Let me talk to you a bit more about a3capas. We started in the crypto world in 2016, and 2018 was tough, but we created the a3capas concept, which brightened up our lives. Actually, in that year, we heard about DFINITY for the first time, and we registered for the airdrop that surprised us in 2021, reminding us that the project that blew our minds in 2018 was now a reality.
Starting in 2021, while having a regular a3capas daily meeting, my dad proposed for us to take Meninas to the Ethereum NFT market, but we never went through with it. In August, while talking to Stephen Andrew, I presented the Meninas idea to him that at first had two main options:
- Art collection in general.
- NFT as art certificate with the option to burn the NFT and claim a physical 50 cm tall Menina wherever in the world. It's important to note here that we were looking for ideas to do with 3D Printing and the IC and Hazel gave this awesome idea.
My dad wasn’t truly convinced about any of those options, so he proposed another one: “Let’s create a game,” After a while, we started to create The Universo concept, story, and possible games.
3. Are there any artists who have inspired you? What do you like about their work?
Yes, of course. Some artists have inspired us in the workshop to create and shape our pieces, and they have been fundamental in their creative process.
Starting with Diego Velázquez, the Spanish artist who managed to paint the Las Meninas painting and who is full of messages and has managed to inspire so many other artists over so many years. It was vital for us to take that leading figure of Las Meninas of the time with their dresses full of lace.
All of them are loaded with details and thus pass them through the sieve of technology and allow us to create that synthesis or summary of a modern figure without ornaments. That is why it lacks details because in all its versions we have wanted to make it shine in honor of its creator.
Many builders have also moved us and inspired us to create the facets of our pieces, one of them is Architect Norma Foster, with her imposing office building in London at 30 St Mary Ax, with a facade full of triangles that create her facets among many others.
We cannot fail to mention an ancient art named origami that, with its paper folds, inspired us to subtly capture them on the surfaces of some of our pieces.
4. What made you create NFTs?
We’ve been related to the crypto world since 2016, and we’ve always been passionate about all the changes that it could bring to the world, so we researched and learned all sorts of new things about that ecosystem.
Around 2020 we dove deeper into NFTs, searching how that world operated and what projects were working directly with NFTs. We already had all the designs we made with a3capas. We wanted to participate, seeing as we’ve always joined, as a family project, in things we find interesting or appealing, so finally, we settled in the Meninas.
We planned to sell a small number of them. While we were getting everything ready, we saw the creation of the Internet Computer and the creation of Cronics and Entrepot. We wanted the Meninas to be a collection in Entrepot, everything went smoothly, and the rest is history.
5. Can you tell us about your project?
Initially, the project was strictly an art-related one. We had no games or anything of the sort as an element we wanted to elaborate on. In one of our meetings, the idea came up, and we already had settled for the Meninas design to be our first collection, so I did some research and started shaping a story and a world around that first sale to have that projection that it wasn’t only going to be an art sale.
We decided on a space/sci-fi setting and started building towards that, first with The Universo as that “cosmos” where our story would occur. Danton Station became the place we would use to set our games in, and that would also act as a meeting place for players and creatures of all sorts that we will use to fill this world.
Then we had to tackle the core product: the actual games. I already had in mind a Trading Card Game (TCG for short), seeing as I loved those games and played a lot of Magic: The Gathering when I was younger, and it was also a new idea in the Internet Computer.
Knowing that it would take a while to make a worthwhile TCG, I planned some “smaller-scale” games (anyone who develops can tell you there’s no such thing as a low effort game development), with the main point being a betting game, something to keep people interested in the project and start using their Elementum NFTs while the TCG releases.
That’s the point where we are at right now, really close to the beta release of that first risky game, our Interitus NFT sale on December 23rd, and developing the TCG. Of course, there will be more releases along the way in the form of lore and new pieces to keep building this world.
6. How many NFTs will be minted? Can you talk us through the process of how you create the art?
The process through which we create the art for our pieces was answered in detail in question 1. You can go back to that for the full explanation. In short, there are 4 phases: Research, brainstorming, execution + inspiration, and feedback.
Regarding the mint, for our Interitus collection, we have a total of 700 pieces distributed as follows:
Airdrop for holders: 204
Whitelist for collab: 25
Public sale: 175
Future Marketing and Collabs: 31
Team & A: 125
So the total sale will be around 300 pieces.
7. Will Your NFT be able to breed, stake, or ever be in a game?
Yes! From the beginning, our NFTs were thought to be pieces/cards for our games. That was the main objective when we launched the Faceted Meninas and remains the same for our upcoming Interitus collection. We have the beta release of our first game scheduled for December, with a full release coming in 2022.
There will be the ability to lend your NFTs to other players in this game. There’s also the Trading Card Game, also scheduled for 2022, which in itself will have its share of systems. We can’t say there won’t be a breeding system or a creature with this ability, but it’s not in our plans for the near future.
8. What benefits do you think the Internet Computer has over other L1 blockchains when it comes to creating NFTs?
It lets you store and process everything on-chain; what other blockchains do is store a hash that allows a validation that guarantees that data hasn’t been vulnerable; the Internet Computer ensures that all assets are running on-chain, that’s huge.
Internet Computer fees are also very cheap and virtually free, and it’s relatively easy to create and store NFTs with no transfer fee. Other blockchains are expensive regarding minting, selling, and transferring, and I believe that is one of the most significant benefits of the Internet Computer while also being very developer-friendly.
I think NFTs will be used for a lot of stuff in the future, and the only chain that I feel could manage all of that new usability is the Internet Computer.
9. What other art have you seen that excites you in the Internet Computer NFT ecosystem?
There are many exciting projects on the Internet Computer, and it would take a long time to talk about all their benefits, perks, and takes on the NFT environment. Just naming a few, we have ICPArt, ICPBunny, ICPuppies, ICPets, Crowns, ICPunks there are just a lot of projects with really talented teams. That said, there are quite a few ideas that we, as a team, really look forward to:
We are super excited to expect Cronics, the first P2E game on the Internet Computer, and we really can identify with the passion Toniq has towards the game environment in the NFT world.
ICPSquadNFTs are exciting too because their Engage to Earn model, simply put, looks incredible, and we’d love to see how that will play out and how to integrate it in our games and dApps.
IC Gallery and their Moonwalkers are also great: There’s a lot that could be said about that, for starters, the complexity of their NFTs, all the perks that having Moonwalkers will bring, a ten-year road map, and all in one of the biggest and most ambitious projects out there right now.We love the perk system and how deep the project goes.
IC3D: We love their vision regarding the metaverse and how they could become the leading marketplace for the 3D metaverse.
Poked Studios bots, the level of detail, and different designs show the devotion and commitment to their collections; they’re amazing pieces!
I’m sure that Origyn is going to be HUGE. I am just waiting to see what happens.
10. What excites you most about your launch?
The most exciting thing for us is the opportunity to work on a videogame while also getting to show and promote the art we create. But it is equally exciting for us to let players lend their decks/cards to help promote a sense of community, the opportunity to develop new concepts in the NFT environment, and the alliances we want to forge with other projects truly bring our vision to life. While some of our ideas are still being conceptualized, we are already talking with Toniq Labs.
Despite that this, at first, started exclusively as an art-related project, when the idea of creating a game, giving a story and purpose to our pieces, and engage in world-building, became a thing we wanted to do, it has become the core of our work.
The core of our project, since the moment we knew we wanted to create a game, has always been video games that people could genuinely enjoy while also encouraging the community to help us create and maintain these games; one of our goals has always been to involve our community into the project.
With this in mind, as we have said, the core element of the project is a TCG game, a genre that has had a very well known presence since 1993,
11. What advice would you give to anyone trying to enter into the world of NFTs?
Hands-on, be social, and create things thinking in the community. Anyone who wants support to start their path on the Internet Computer can reach me: @capuzr on social networks.
12. Do you have further plans to work with ICP Squad in the future after this initial sale?
I am an inactive contributor to Dfinity Community, and I’m constantly trying to free some of my time to help create and publish new articles. The fact of being able to contribute part of what I’ve been doing inside Internet Computer through Dfinity Community represented a fantastic opportunity for me. They’ve always been super supportive, and I love that they are constantly creating new and better content for the community, wanting it to get bigger.
13. Can you envisage a future where the most valuable NFT space is on the Internet Computer?
Yes, many exciting things will make the Internet Computer the central hub for many initiatives. I think the benefits of the Internet Computer will allow games that run 100% on-chain, not only P2E games but any genre such as RPGs; this is only possible on the Internet Computer.
There are projects on the works that function in a mixed way where assets are 100% on-chain and references are minted through an ERC-721 in ETH.
I believe we are facing a multichain future where, without a doubt, the Internet Computer will be the protagonist enabling endless possibilities to other Blockchains and developers. The Internet Computer will allow the power of blockchains to extend even further and make it possible for everything to run on-chain: a Blockchain singularity.
The real buzzword of today is metaverses; the Internet Computer brings the possibility that metaverses and their interoperability are an actual reality around blockchains and will allow us to keep aiming for a better future through decentralization.
14. Why do you think NFTs have become so valuable in such a short space of time?
Quite honestly, I believe that a good amount of the popularity NFTs have had, especially this past year, is related to P2E games, which have been the first real breakthrough to a more “mainstream” audience through the mobile gaming market. Besides this, they are sticking to the formula that has proven effective in mobile games: easy to learn and engaging. This has given a lot of exposure to NFT to a much bigger population.
15. Tell us about your team?
We started an a3capas project with three people 2 or 3 years ago, printing 3D sculptures and then the Elementum project in September. Now we have five people and have different roles:
- Elisabeth Lárez: In Elementum, she creates part of the conceptual design of the pieces, and she's a co-founder. Conceptual design and CMO at a3capas.
- Ricardo Capuz Sr.: In Elementum he is the NFT designer and co-founder. Production manager and Admin at a3capas.
- Carlos (Kellios): Is Elementum CMO. He's driving the marketing and community of Elementum. An incredible writer; he helps a lot with the lore.
- Guilmer: An awesome game developer. He's creating the Unity code for the first risky game of Elementum.
In my case, I'm Capuzr, I'm the co-founder responsible for guaranteeing that everything gets on time and with the expected quality and creating the website (Which will include the Lending platform and other toys soon). Also, I created the Lore and developed the IC Backend of the game.
16. What advantages do you believe you have over other competitors?
As is the case with many projects on the Internet Computer, we believe that we have a very original and unique idea regarding the NFTs alone. Besides, the core aspect of the project is a TCG game, something that hasn’t been done before, and our focus is to create a genuinely fun and engaging game to play and not rely exclusively on a P2E aspect as its main selling point. The game will be P2E, but we want to focus on the game as an entertainment product. We want it to show value to veterans and newcomers to the TCG genre.
Just as a pointer, those who possess cards from the Cambrian period (all NFTs collection released before the game launch) doubtlessly will have some exciting passive income.
17. Do you have partners? Tell us about them?
We do have some partnerships in mind, but right now, we believe in creating and giving more shape to our project and then partnering with people and projects that could help us drive Elementum forward.
18. Tell us about the challenges you face while building your project?
As we said before, this project initially didn’t envision a game and was strictly an art-focused one. So when we decided we wanted to make a game, the first challenge was to undertake a project of that size.
It was a whole new layer we had to explore because we didn’t want to make a game to turn a quick profit but make something engaging and fun that people wanted to play. You’ll be able to see just that as soon as the beta of our first game releases! Fortunately, with a few more people aboard, we’ve been tackling this side of the project in a way that we feel proud of the shape it’s taking.
19. What are your short and long-term achievements and targets?
Our short term target is of course the release of our first risky game that is scheduled release early in 2022 and during this time we’re aiming to release more creature species, new spells, cards in general to fill our games with some really cool new pieces.
Our first long-term target is the full release of the TCG game. As we said before, that’s our core focus in the future for what having that genre on the Internet Computer would mean. It is a big commitment but something we believe we can undertake. Further down the line, we have other plans for new games. We’ve talked about an RPG. I can’t comment on it right now since it’s way ahead of us right now, and the genre by itself is a massive project, but it’s something we’re aiming for.
20. Give us some details about your roadmap?
Well, besides our airdrop on December 23rd, the last thing scheduled for 2021 is the beta release of our first game. For 2022 though, a lot is coming! The highlight of Q1 2022 is the first risky game full release, but we’ll also have a new creature species, NFT: Didrians.
For the rest of the year, we have more NFT collections coming and the core element of our project, the Trading Card Game, with a release date in 2022, which we’re incredibly excited about. It’s been a bit hard to enter NFTVillage, but we’re still working very hard on it. Despite that, just like Bob, DGastonia’s team has been very supportive.
We also aim to launch the Elementum Principia, which we described as a book containing all knowledge in The Universo. This translates to us seeking to build lore, maps, maybe a secret or two out there, and add a real-world building to our games, which will get people invested in them.
21. What can you tell us about the Interitus collection?
First, that is coming soon, on December 23rd! We’ll have a public and private sale and an airdrop to every Menina holder of 2 of these NFTs.
It’s our second collection, and they are part of a bigger group of cards we call Elementum Inanimates. These Interitus specifically are similar to “instant” cards in games like Magic The Gathering; what that means is that they’re a one-use-only card during the match, but they can turn the entire flow of the game.
We can’t reveal the specific effects of each, but they’ll range from dealing damage directly, drawing cards, destroying everything in play, etc. There’s a vast array of options for every kind of playstyle.
It’s also important to consider that (and this also applies to Meninas) each Interitus will have a different Luck stat that will generate benefits in points (inside the risky game that we’re going to release soon), which translates to winning more games, therefore, more ICP.
They’ll also have a Magnetic Coefficient (MC for short) that allows each Interitus to absorb Elementum differently. In-game Danton Station is located in a zone where the incidence of Elementum varies, so, depending on their MC, both Interitus and Faceted Meninas will generate even more benefits.
22. About Elementum and the rebranding project. Where does the name come from?
We had, unintentionally, gone through a bit of an identity crisis on social media where there was no clear name to refer to our project; you could see people referring to us as a3capas, Faceted Meninas, The Universo, or The Agora. We started talking about it and settled for the name Elementum which encapsulates the project's core element (no pun intended).
Elementum is the essence of the universe, and it’s this latent energy present in everything you see in The Universo; it’s cosmic energy. It comes in different categories that are:
Each will have its flavor and gameplay mechanics when we dive deeper into the TCG game, and it’s related to the MC we talked about earlier.
In the game, Elementum is the resource players will use to play their cards in the TCG, think of it as energy or mana in other games; with that in mind, we thought it would be the perfect name to get our project known, and we’re pleased about it.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions 😊