Interview with IC Turtles NFT: Heroes on the IC, Turtle Power!

Daniel James
Daniel James
Interview with IC Turtles NFT: Heroes on the IC, Turtle Power!

We interviewed IC Turtles, A DFINITY grant recipient, highly anticipated for its innovative features. ICTurtles is a turtle-based NFT with cutting-edge features. IC Turtles NFT will feature fungible accessories and game mechanics such as breeding, play-to-earn mechanics, playable levels minted on-chain, and more!

1. How would you describe your artistic style?

Our art style is an 8-bit style pixel art with a fun twist. The turtles are 64x64 pixels on a 100x100 pixel background. Though they are two-dimensional, the perspective allows for depth. This allows for a more immersive background and better quality art.

2. What drew you to NFT creation rather than traditional canvas-based art?

Historically, renowned physical canvas-based artwork spend most of their famed lives in museums or private art collections. NFTs do away with this paradigm by allowing the artwork to be verifiably owned yet freely available.

3. Are there any artists who have inspired you? What do you like about their work?

We love playing old Nintendo games; the pixel style inspired the artwork of our pieces.

4. What made you create NFTs?

The recent “NFT hype” got us interested in NFT investment and development. However, we felt that NFTs could be used beyond just being a cool way of storing art on-chain.

Our goal of creating creative NFTs with unique applications made us look towards integrating NFTs with DeFi, gaming, customization, and governance. With the genesis of ICP and its budding NFT ecosystem, we thought it would be a perfect fit for our project.

The IC provides unique benefits for NFT projects, like on-chain asset storage, flexibility in asset types that can be stored, and fast transactions. With these factors in mind, we decided to build ICTurtles.

5. Can you tell us about your project?

ICTurtles is a turtle-based NFT with cutting-edge features. Our NFT will feature fungible accessories and game mechanics such as breeding, play-to-earn mechanics, playable levels minted on-chain, and more.

When we created ICTurtles, we wanted to create novelty via capability over our competitors, not just via community hype. We chose Turtles because that is our favorite animal, and we wanted to share them with our community!

6. How many NFTs will be minted? Can you talk us through the process of how you create the art?

We plan on minting 10,000 NFTs with varying rarities for each accessory and trait. Each accessory and trait is designed as a separate layer in GIMP, a professional photo editor.

We then write our own custom plugins and algorithms to apply a rarity table to these accessories and export the result into the NFT format you are familiar with. TO BE COMPLETED

7. Will Your NFT be able to breed, stake, rent, or ever be in a game?

One of the main differentiating factors between our NFT collection and the others is our customizability. Our Turtle NFTs can equip and unequip accessories such as hats and weapons, and all this accessory data is set as metadata for each turtle.

Some existing collections also do customization of their NFTs, but their process involves purchasing these accessories separately and owning separate copies of these accessories along with the main NFT.

In our case, the owner simply owns the Turtle NFT that has mutable metadata, and our contract sets the accessory data once the owner purchases an accessory.

And yes, we plan to provide breeding, staking, renting, DAO, community treasury, and P2E capabilities for our Turtle NFTs. We are currently working on Breeding, and we plan on releasing this capability shortly after launch. More updates on these features will be posted on our discord server.

8. What benefits do you think the Internet Computer has over other L1 blockchains when it comes to creating NFTs?

One of the main advantages of the Internet Computer is its reverse fee model and its ability to mint and store large amounts of data on-chain. From an NFT collection creation standpoint, this means that we do not have to worry about decentralized storage like Arweave and can simply store all data related to our collection on-chain.

From the consumer’s standpoint, this increases trust in our collection since all parts of our project will be clearly visible to them in one place instead of them having to dig through several services to view different parts of our project. The reverse fee model also incentivizes consumers not to worry about gas fees and encourages secondary transactions.

Overall, we believe that the Internet Computer is a great blockchain for creating NFTs, and we expect the IC community to grow a lot as more people come to learn about the technology.

9. What other art have you seen that excites you in the Internet Computer NFT ecosystem?

PokedStudio excites me, as the art seems very detailed and professional. Other projects combining DeFI and NFTs, like ICPets, are also interesting. ICPSquad also has very cool customizable art.

10. What excites you most about your launch, and which date is your launch?

We are excited about being able to provide unique aspects of our roadmap immediately after launch, like customizable metadata. On launch, you will be able to use a dashboard to interact with your NFTs and mint/burn accessory tokens to mutate metadata. Our launch also paves the way for more complex integrations into GameFI and DeFi.

11. What advice would you give to anyone trying to enter into the world of NFTs?

Look for projects that are doing something unique and different, beyond just art. This applies to the idea that the projects are already building something unique, rather than launching as raw art and then deciding on a more complex roadmap later. Invest early in ambitious projects. Always do your research.

12. Do you have further plans to work with ICP Squad in the future after this initial sale?

We would love to continue working with ICP Squad in the future, as they provide valuable insights into the NFT ecosystem and the IC community as a whole. The ICP Squad NFT is also fascinating with its engage-to-earn value proposition. It could be an excellent opportunity for a technical collaboration with the Dapps we are developing.

13. Can you envisage a future where the most valuable NFT space is on the Internet Computer?

Yes, the reverse fee model and IC's on-chain minting and storage capabilities are valuable services that incentivize people to start significant NFT collections in IC. The tremendous growth we have seen in the IC community and the emerging projects in P2E games, metaverse, and Defi all excite our team, and we strongly envision the Internet Computer playing a big part in the NFT space in the coming years.

14. Why do you think NFTs have become so valuable in such a short space of time?

I think a lot of it was brought on by the recent NFT craze in the past year or so. The initial “profile pic” hype seemed very much like a bubble that people wanted to invest in to make more money.

As time passed, it appears that NFT projects with solid utility have emerged as longer-term projects and have thus emphasized the potential of NFTs to redefine digital art, authentication, the metaverse, gaming, and much more. Like anything in crypto, these hype cycles come fast, so the fast growth of NFT ecosystems like Solana helped spur the narrative.

15. Tell us about your team?

We are a four-person team that all got together because of our passion for Blockchain and the Internet Computer. Here is a quick intro of each of the team members:

Turtleman:

Hey everyone! My name is Turtleman, and I am the founder and king turtle of this nest. I got interested in blockchain three years ago back in college. My background consists of full-stack development, applied mathematics, and design. I am the current lead artist for ICTurtles and have created 100+ assets for this project. As for the team, we are all based in the US. Fun Fact: ICTurtles are inspired by my childhood pet turtle "Dennis."

Tortle:

Hey everyone, I'm Tortle! I've been in crypto the last couple of years and have dabbled in developing NFTs on ETH. My industry background is primarily in backend design, and I have gradually switched to blockchain development. I have followed the development of the IC over the past year and believed in the value proposition of the project, so now I'm here!

I've been here since day one as the lead developer and co-founder of the project and am hyped for what's to come. I designed most of our roadmap and am currently developing the backend canisters for our collection. Fun Fact: I played in soccer tournaments in 12 different countries when I was younger!

Turts:

Hello everyone! I am Turts, a blockchain and IC enthusiast who first became interested in crypto a few years ago after the 2017 Bitcoin crash. I have a background in Computer Science, Entrepreneurship, and Applied Statistics, and I have worked as a Software Engineer at a large tech firm.

For this project, I mainly worked on the backend canisters for ICTurtles and built a lot of the automation software for our community. Fun Fact: I enjoy playing the piano. My favorite song to play on the piano is Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy by Tchaikovsky!

Tortuga:

Hello all, I am Tortuga! I got into blockchain after the massive GPU shortage in 2020 and winning a hackathon! My background is primarily in robotics and frontend development, and I have been steadily learning blockchain development over the past year.

I have been with this project from the start, and I will be working on the canister backend, canister interface, automation, and website for this project. Fun Fact: I can speak four languages!

16. What advantages do you believe you have over other competitors?

Our team has a diverse technical background from Statistics and Computer Science to Blockchain and Entrepreneurship, something which many founders of NFT collections don’t have. We have also been working in the Blockchain space for a few years and have good connections with many core developers and founders.

We are also a very passionate and driven team who are very responsive to our community and have significant long-term goals we want to achieve that can have a lasting impact on the world. We plan to leverage our strengths to further the development of the ICTurtles ecosystem and provide trustworthy and reliable products to our supports.

17. Do you have partners? Tell us about them

We are partnered with DFinity as recipients of the $25k grant and are working with them to set milestones and deliver on our ambitious projects.

On the community side, we are partnered with Dfinity Community and many other NFT projects. As you may know, Dfinity Community is helping us reach out to the IC community and emphasize the unique aspects of our projects. Most of our partnerships with NFT projects have been collaborations through social media and art. As we develop our project, we would love to pick a few projects for a deeper partnership in the technical aspects.

18. Tell us about the challenges you face while building your project?

We faced a host of challenges when developing ICTurtles. These include:

  • Storing NFT data with the existing groundwork provided by the Departure Labs standard as well as supporting fungible accessory tokens that can be used to mutate metadata.
  • Integrating our project with new Ledger APIs and replanning certain implementations with canister ICP-holding updates.
  • Planning out a potential launch (our custom tokens makes it challenging to launch on a platform like Entrepot, which expects specific standards).
  • Technically planning out out our future plans like audio integrations and on-chain environments.

19. What are your short and long-term achievements and targets?

This can be found in our grant milestone roadmap.

We want to redefine the possibilities of NFTs and what can be stored/integrated on-chain.

Some shorter-term goals include:

  • Customizable metadata with custom accessory token standard (complete).
  • Frontend UI for accessory interaction (complete).
  • Custom self-launch protocol supporting our custom standards (almost complete).
  • Breeding implementation (in progress).
  • Game demo and on-chain storage of the game and game components (in progress).
  • Defi applications, including passive income distribution to holders and enrollment into weekly competitions (in progress).

Some longer-term applications are:

  • Audio data stored on-chain and integrated with Turtles.
  • Turtle metaverse featuring collectible environments which can be integrated and combined to create your own worlds.
  • Market place to trade accessory tokens directly.
  • Automated DAO for decision-making with community treasury.
  • Native turtle token for governance and turtle-related activities.


20. Give us some details about your roadmap?

Our detailed roadmap can be found at https://icturtles.com/

One month

  1. Ability to transfer and query ownership of accessory tokens — Ability to query for stats (used in future utility applications) for accessories Equipping/burning and removing/minting accessory tokens works with NFTs.
  2. Backend implementation of using accessory tokens to change metadata Frontend site to support viewing accessories and turtle NFTs.

Three months — Milestone 1

  1. Distribution of secondary market sales to holders — Basic GameFI battle simulation system based on accessory possession and associated stats, distribute treasury ICP to winners Completed frontend interface for interacting with accessories (queries, sorting, drag/drop equipping).
  2. Aggregate turtles in armies and factions for group activities.

Minting game levels on-chain.

  1. Game development with on-chain minting of explorable worlds (can be combined to make your own explorable world).
  2. Explorable levels can be solved for rewards.

Breeding implementation.

  1. Ability to create next generation of ICTurtles from existing ICTurtles, allow users to pick traits to carry to next generation.
  2. Similar frontend interface as accessory interface and dynamic asset generation.

Five months — Milestone 2

Integrate sound traits with ICTurtles.

  1. Generate sounds for NFTs and store them on-chain.

Integrate sound feature and game levels feature with wallets.

  1. Work with wallets so that our game levels and sounds can be interacted with within the wallet interface, making it more user-friendly and convenient.

Creation of turtle token to support ICTurtle operations.

  1. Migrate to using native turtle tokens for operations like breeding and in-game mechanics.

21. Any plan to move into the Metaverse?

We have plans that will make us a unique project in the Metaverse Space. We want to mint unique, explorable environments on chains so that users can own both the NFT characters within the metaverse, but also the environment itself. This level of ownership has exciting prospects, as you can manage your own world and engage with others' worlds.

The idea of a “metaverse” is quite useless if it is not interoperable, as having 100s of metaverses kind of defeats the purpose of the metaverse itself. We hope to build a protocol that allows users to integrate with each other’s environments, creating a giant interconnected metaverse.

22. Will your NFT be tokenized in the future?

We currently will support two types of tokens on launch. One will be the tokens of the NFTs themselves, which will represent ownership of turtles and their associated traits/accessories. We will also be tokenizing the accessories. You will be able to mutate metadata of a turtle by minting/burning accessory tokens.

These accessory tokens can be thought of as similar to erc-1155 tokens. In the future, we would also like to make a native Turtle token that can be used for breeding and other game activities. We can migrate much of our functionality to use these turtle tokens.

23. What unique value does your NFT bring to the community?

We hope to provide you guys with an NFT project with unique utility --- things like:

- Mutable metadata and customizable art with accessories/breeding.

- Automated passive-income distribution.

- Explorable environments minted on-chain.

- P2E game integrations.

- Audio NFT integrations.

- Faction and team game mechanics.

- DAO-governed community treasury.

We want to be different and unique beyond just art. That's why we are building our own canisters to support our vision, rather than just generating art and launching on a marketplace!

Many, if not most of these features, are rare on NFT collections across any chain. Combine these features with the efficiency and flexibility of the IC, and we can create an NFT project with never-before-seen features!

The typical NFT is associated with static images, but we would like to expand on that, which is why we want to mint entire environments and even games on-chain. We think owning your own world and integrating it with others is a big step for the concept of the metaverse.

We also have ambitions for a lot of Defi applications. This includes passive income for holders to GameFi rewards for top performers in competitions. There will also be player interaction in our factions!

24. How are accessories implemented? What is their utility?
Full article here: https://medium.com/@icturtlesnft/accessories-and-traits-6bea04ebbbe6


We want our NFTs to also act as customizable art that you can play around with and shape to your desire. For this reason, we are allowing two types of customization — accessories, and traits. We want to give some more detail on the difference between the two, and you can interact with them soon.

Accessories are more like the typical concept of “wearables.” This includes hats, weapons, mouth pieces, and shell armor. These are items that can be removed and added back to turtle NFTs. They act as individual pieces that can be moved between turtles. The technical implementation of accessories will be functionally similar to ERC-1155 tokens but implemented on the IC.

We will essentially be building our own standard to support this. We are excited to include these accessories in the initial drop of ICTurtles! Soon after drop, we hope to enable adding/removing accessories so that you can interact with them as quickly as possible!

Traits are more like parts of the turtle that logically can not be removed as easily. This includes things like a turtle’s eyes, mouth, nose, and shell. These are different from accessories, as they cannot be moved from turtle to turtle. These traits will be used in determining the children of a turtle during breeding. More information about breeding mechanics will come as we progress in the project!

A trait/accessory can have different types of stats, meaning different accessories and traits will have utility in different ways! Both traits and accessories will have certain rarities and stats. These will be released later as we approach the launch date. These rarities and stats will be used to calculate the strength of different turtles in our upcoming “battle simulator” and initial P2E applications.

25. Will you make your code open source?

We plan on releasing significant amounts of our code, fully documented, to the community! We want to encourage the growth of ICP in any way we can!

26. How do you intend to launch?

We have been working hard to develop a self-launch protocol that can better handle the unique needs of our NFT, including customizability, mutable metadata, accessories, and other things. Out custom canisters were created to support future GameFi features such as breeding, code for levels, and audio integrations. We have seen many projects launch off of platforms like Entrepot.

Still, due to the unique nature of our NFT's accessories and mutable metadata, this could prove challenging to integrate correctly. Our website will allow the community to securely buy, equip, and transfer all in one place! We value the functionality of our NFT very much and thus want to be prepared in the case those launchpads are unable to support us.

This only applies to our initial launch, and we will still enable trading on other marketplaces like Entrepot after launch. We will also still be able to work with other wallets, like Plug, so don't worry about the interoperability of our NFT as a whole!

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions 😊


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