We interviewed ICKitties, an avatar collection with everything designed with a long-term vision in mind. They will be creating a pay-to-earn game in their metaverse with their soon to be revealed partner. Get your Kitties now to be a part of it!
1. How would you describe your artistic style?
The artistic style we decided to use for our ICKitties collection is pixel art because although we could’ve gone for a more modern art style, we grew up with games like Duck Hunt (played on the old TVs), Castlevania, DOOM, Mario, Duke Nukem, etc. This art style allows us to go back in time - so to speak - and relive our youth years.
Also, this style is not appealing only to people our age, but also to newer generations who will learn where everything started. Hopefully, they will feel inspired to create with the tools they have today compared to the tools available in the ’80s and ’90s.
On top of that, we feel that 8-bit art is more personal and more welcoming to the general public.
2. What drew you to NFT creation rather than traditional canvas-based art?
Like it or not, digital art is the future. To remain relevant, you need to adjust what you’re doing to the trends.
Although we respect & admire canvas art, besides hanging it on a wall, there is little utility for it.
NFTs, on the other hand, open the door to a new world of possibilities; they allow you to be part of the metaverse, they can be used in games, you can access them no matter where you are on the planet, and you can quickly buy and sell them on marketplaces.
In other words, NFTs are, in our opinion, similar in purpose but more advanced in every way to canvas art, and that’s why we decided to have an NFT collection instead of traditional canvas-based art.
3. Are there any artists who have inspired you? What do you like about their work?
Like any other pixel-art collection, our main inspiration was the Crypto Punks. On the IC Chain, however, it’s ICPuppies.
Pixel art is pretty limiting when it comes to the assets you can create. We’re sure Crypto Punks, ICPuppies, and all other pixel art projects also faced this challenge.
However, being able to pull it off and have the community love the result feels terrific!
ICPuppies if you’re reading this, we like you a lot!
4. What made you create NFTs?
We read lots of fiction books and played many video games when we were kids, and we always admired how the writers or the team that created the games built whole universes from scratch.
Even though we were still kids, we thought about how amazing it would be to one day create a universe that other people would enjoy as much as we did back in the day.
So our adventure begins with the first step: creating our first world and the characters that live inside.
While we were looking for the perfect place to launch our project, we learned about ICP and discovered how welcoming and helpful its communities were. Then we realized its potential as a network, so we decided that this was the perfect place for our project to emerge.
We firmly believe that ICP will be the leading blockchain in the web3 space and the ICKitties collection. All the future developments of it are our contribution to this marvelous technology.
5. Can you tell us about your project?
There is a TON to talk about. ICKitties is not only going to be an avatar collection. We designed everything with a long-term vision in mind.
We want our community to have a reason to hold our NFTs.
We will create a pay-to-earn game in our Metaverse and our strategic partner, ICPuppies. To be a part of this Metaverse, you will need an ICKitty or an ICPuppy.
In addition, in our collection, there will be 14 one-of-a-kind NFTs: the rulers of the 7 Kingdoms: 7 brave kings and seven beautiful queens. And the best part? As long as you hold those NFTs in your wallet, you’ll get paid. The kings and queens will earn royalties from ALL future sales of ICKitties FOREVER.
6. How many NFTs will be minted? Can you talk us through the process of how you create the art?
There will be a total of 10,000 ICKitties in this first collection.
While drawing these Kitties, we had a lot of fun, and at the same time, we faced lots of limitations because of the pixel art style that we chose. But working in the art field for the last ten years, we learned that limitations can spark some of the most outstanding ideas and bring very creative results.
As you probably saw on our website, the NFTs themselves were not the only art we created. We also wrote the same concept, and we used a fun technique known as embedded narrative, or story within a story - that is, when a character within a story becomes the narrator of a secondary story. We figured that this would be an interesting way for everyone to learn the story behind their NFTs and be part of this amazing upcoming Metaverse.
To wrap everything up and make it easier to follow in these crazy-fast times we’re living in, we also created the beautiful Kingdoms that the Kitties found in the history book and the animation portraying these fantastic stories. Make sure to check our animation in the pinned post of our Twitter https://twitter.com/ICKitties.
7. Will Your NFT be able to breed, stake, or ever be in a game?
We entertain the idea of having breeding implemented in the ICKitties Universe. That would be the first step leading to the expansion of our collection. We’ll have boy kitties and girl kitties, so breeding is something we’re looking at.
About staking, this is a very enticing yet challenging thing to implement. Building an economy with a constant influx of coins without a burning mechanism is destined to fail. Therefore we are studying multiple tokenomics systems already implemented by successful projects (learning from their successes and failures), and we will create our system based on the acquired information.
Once we have everything set up and tested to work 100%, we will bring our users the whole NFT experience contoured into a game.
So yes, as stated before, we have a game planned for ICKitties x ICPuppies, and we’re sure the community will love it!
8. What benefits do you think the Internet Computer has over other L1 blockchains when it comes to creating NFTs?
First and foremost, ICP allows developers to create a whole new spectrum of functionalities for both Tokens and NFTs.
While already established networks like ETH have ever-growing fees, making it more difficult for new players to join, ICP solves this problem by having zero costs.
We’ve noticed with ICP communities how close and welcoming they are. We made many friends, and each project’s community is very loyal and robust, allowing developers to build better and better stuff.
DFINITY has one of the best teams, hands down. Shockingly, it hasn’t taken over the crypto space already 😹 This is what being early in a project looks like!
9. What other art have you seen that excites you in the Internet Computer NFT ecosystem?
There are many unique projects on ICP already.
We loved the art of Pokedstudio! Those guys are just amazing! However, being closer to our style projects like ICPuppies, ICMoji, ICTurtles definitely come to mind.
10. What excites you most about your launch?
It’s very exciting thinking about the launch date because it will mark the real beginning of our Blockchain journey. We will dedicate 110% of our time and passion to doing the thing we love, which is building a whole Universe and a fantastic community around it.
There is a lot of work behind the scenes of a project, and we have been working around the clock to make sure everything is ready for the big launch.
11. What advice would you give to anyone trying to enter into the world of NFTs?
Always research a project before investing in it. Keep an eye out for the project’s partnerships, future plans, and probably the most important aspect is how they build the community around their vision.
12. Do you have further plans to work with ICP Squad in the future after this initial sale?
We were pleasantly surprised by how welcoming, easygoing and professional the team behind ICP Squad was and how involved they were in helping us reach our goals.
ICP Squad is one of the best media teams on the Internet Computer, and we will for sure collaborate with them in the future!
13. Can you envisage a future where the most valuable NFT space is on the Internet Computer?
Easily yes. In our opinion, the utility that ICP brings to both NFTs and Tokens will bring more and more people to this network.
Once people realize the potential of the Internet Computer, more and more people will adopt it, and it will become one of the most prominent players in the web3 and blockchain space.
14. Why do you think NFTs have become so valuable in such a short space of time?
Currently, NFTs are associated with expensive images, but there is much more to it than that.
We can envision a future where NFTs will be the go-to solution for intellectual property, property rights, personal documents, and so on.
This is only the beginning.
15. Tell us about your team?
Our core team is composed of me and my brother Mr. Mittens.
We have been working in the video production industry for around ten years. We have worked on numerous projects and with many artists always giving 100% and ensuring we over-delivered. In our team, there are also an animator and two illustrators who are working very carefully to create the beautiful world that you see unfold :).
Creating an NFT project is one of the more challenging endeavors we've embarked on for sure. Still, the feeling of seeing an actual community budding and growing around our project is something we love, and that's why we will strive to deliver a fantastic product!
16. What advantages do you believe you have over other competitors?
Having worked together for so many years, it’s straightforward for us to communicate effectively, and because we worked with various artists, we can turn any idea into reality.
Another advantage is having a game, so there will be a utility for our NFTs.
Our community is very supportive; we often listen to their suggestions and always ensure we are on the right path.
We love all animals but decided to make our project specifically around cats because there is already so much attention around dogs (for ex. Doge, Shiba inu, Floki, and all the derivatives) that we thought there was an opening for a cat-themed project. And honestly, who doesn’t love Kitties? <3
17. Tell us about your partners?
Since the Internet Computer communities are very welcoming and friendly, it was pretty easy for us to make friends.
From media teams to other projects, you name them; we’re probably partnered 😹
- Toniq Labs will help us with the minting process and everything related to that.
We were pleasantly surprised by how welcoming, professional, and easy-going Easy Steve was (hence the name 😹) when we first discussed the partnership with them.
- Visions who helped us build our website. Visions is an all-around awesome guy. His attention to detail is unmatched, and his sense of humor is something we really dig.
We’re looking forward to working with him in the future!
- ICP Squad - You guys are the definition of professionalism. You have a very well-structured team, are very involved in the Internet Computer community and are prone to spread the word about new and existing projects.
- ICPuppies is probably going to be our most significant partnership ever. We joined forces with Lucian, Tom, and their team because that’ll give us twice the manpower to deliver on our promises.
- This is the first time we’re announcing this - we saved it for you guys - We have applied for a Dfinity Community grant, we were interviewed directly by the Dfinity team. In the video conference that we had on zoom, we presented our roadmap and future plans to them, and we were awarded a $10,000 grant to help us bring our vision to reality and have completed the KYC forms requested.
However, this is only the beginning. Big things are coming for our communities!
18. Tell us about the challenges you faced while building your project?
From creating the project’s concept to building the team, creating the community, and establishing partnerships, nothing in particular was overly challenging. Still, they all require careful planning and a lot of work to pull off properly.
Luckily Mittens and I have worked together on various ‘real-life’ projects, and we have acquired skills that helped us work everything out.
We think that everyone can see from the quality of the work we have done so far and by the fact that we didn’t rush anything that we always try to over-deliver. A perfect example is our 7 Kingdoms, their little stories, and the animated video, which we put a lot of work into, and we didn’t launch them half-done just to see them launched.
19. What are your short and long-term achievements and targets?
In a couple of months since the ICKitties project inception, we have managed to build a strong community, illustrate a big part of the Universe where the kitties will exist, develop partnerships and get ourselves ready for launch.
Our long-term target is to build a P2E Metaverse together with ICPuppies. In parallel, we’re working on a new NFT drop for both our holders, building an online publication dedicated to NFTs on the Internet Computer to bring a voice to the NFT creators in the space.
We’re planning to start a podcast together with the pups to discuss important news around IC. We’ll reach out to both established and new players in the space to get to know them a little better, and we’ll discuss things that both us and our communities find interesting.
20. Give us some details about your roadmap?
In September, Mr. Mittens and I came up with the concept for ICKitties.
Besides the collection itself, we thought about the story behind it: The 7 Kingdoms ruled by 7 Royal Families and overseen by the 7 Gods.
Afterwards, we created all the socials & the Discord channel.
In October, we worked on the collection's design, and by the end of the month, we did the first few social media posts. That’s when the first people started appearing.
November was probably the busiest month as we worked on the Kingdoms, finalized the collection, built the website, started partnerships, and did a few giveaways.
The launch was set for December 7th, but we got pushed to December 17th because of some issues Toniq Labs has faced.
We worked around the clock to ensure the launch would go as smoothly as possible. As soon as the launch is over and all the kitties have found a new home, we’ll be releasing a Christmas wearables airdrop and start working on our plans in close collaboration with ICPuppies.
Some of our plans include:
-Designing the world for our Metaverse (building the actual world in which the players will move).
-Designing the Play-to-Earn structure of our game.
-Designing the in-game economy, which will include a token denominated in ICP.
-Designing a book (like a children’s book, if you will) that will help the future generations understand what NFTs are and how everything will be included in the Metaverse. Both parents and children will learn together about NFTs from our book; this is one of the reasons why we chose Kitties for our NFT collection; we designed the lore with the 7 Kingdoms and the story for each of them.
This part of our plan will be built as a long-term idea with results over the next couple of years. In our opinion, adoption should be spread further than the online media and start going directly into people’s homes. That’s our approach to it, and we believe that it will have a positive impact.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions 😊