The Story Of An Emmy-Winning Duo On How To Bring Pro IP Creation To NFTs by@adamjeffcoat

The Story Of An Emmy-Winning Duo On How To Bring Pro IP Creation To NFTs

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Adam Jeffcoat  HackerNoon profile picture

Adam Jeffcoat

Director at StudioNX, an Emmy-winning studio creating character for feature film, TV & games. Father of GORECATS

In 2021, NFTs have blown up in a big way, so everyone is scrambling to produce their own non-fungibles. This results in an oversaturated market, where buyers are left with too much choice, and artists are desperate to make their work stand out from the crowd.

Creating GORECATS, our first collection of NFTs proved to be an interesting challenge for us. With more than 20 years of character design and direction under our belt, — including huge names like Marvel, Disney, Amazon Studios & Nickelodeon, —  Jim Bryson, our character designer and I wanted to inject all that experience into a really compelling NFT collection. We learned we’d need three things to succeed: a high-quality art-driven project with a hook, a strong team, and an engaging story.

Without further ado, here’s the story of the Gorecats. I hope it proves inspiring — and useful — for all talented NFT creators-to-be, who can draw from our experience as professional IP creators and storytellers.

Capture a feeling

One of the main reasons why we buy things is because they make us feel a certain way. Joyful. Successful. Secure. However, from our experience, few things can compare to the pull of nostalgia. This is why our NFT collection had to feel like it was part of something bigger — similar to Funko POP! figurines, where you would instantly recognize the characters, and therefore want to collect them all.

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It’s important, though, to be genuine, and use what resonates with you. Jim and I both grew up watching B-movie horror films like Evil Dead, Bad Taste, Child’s Play, and Gremlins. This is how we came up with the idea to capture that love of pop culture, 80s horror movies — and, of course, cute pixel art cats — into one collection.

Testing the waters & pulling the crew

Every idea may be a hit or a miss. Before you embark on a project, it’s vital to know what your audience wants, so, with all our products, we always test the market first.

Last summer, Jim posted some gruesome cat sketches on a ‘Gory-Garfield’ thread on Reddit. When we got a huge response, we knew we really struck a chord with the fans. So Jim and I spent the next 3 months developing the designs into the bold, bizarre, and extremely bloody GORECATS collection.

‘You never go far alone’, — next, we needed a strong team. Before GORECATS, we had been working in the NFT space for 6 months, producing artwork for tokens like X-cad and Blockasset, so we used our contacts to connect with talented developers, tokenomists, puzzle designers, and marketers.

Even though it’s common to remain anonymous in this industry, we felt it was good to be very transparent about who was behind the project.

The power of storytelling

When you introduce a story behind the art, art gains meaning. GORECATS was meant to be much more than just a generative collection of illustrated cats. First, we made sure the characters are relatable. Each Gorecat has a unique personality, our fans can identify and connect with.

Second, we wanted to deeply engage the audience by playing on their curiosity, so we developed a mystery backstory about a detective who discovers a series of gruesome cat murders. By joining our discord group, fans will be able to interact with the story, solve clues, unlock hidden rewards — and, ultimately, discover the true killer that is hidden somewhere in the collection.

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More utility, better UX

Our next move was to create more fun utilities for our NFT buyers, so our plot has an interesting twist: the detective discovers a secret lab that has been experimenting on Gorecats, breeding them and genetically altering their DNA.

When the experiments go awry, one of the Gorecats in the lab gets infected with a deadly biological virus, and, of course, escapes. The virus spreads through the breed, turning them into relentlessly aggressive zombie cats.

Building a brand

So, you’ve created your NFT collection with quality visuals and a compelling story, and it is proving to be a success. Why stop there? Convert it into a brand. By doing so, you will turn your NFT buyers into loyal followers, eager to keep an eye on new products, see what else is in store, and follow the larger storyline.

We’ve already done this back in 2013 when we saw vast storytelling potential in the iPad and produced the first fully animated comic called ‘Niko & the Sword of Light’. The project hit #1 on the AppStore and then went on to become an Emmy-winning TV series on Amazon Prime.

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Now we have the same goal in mind for GORECATS. The plan is to replicate the model we used with ‘Niko’ and develop it from a collection of NFTs and a mystery comic into an animated series – and on to a full-blast universe inhabited by the Gorecats and powered by their stories.

Summing up the gore

Having spent quite a lot of time in the fast-moving, highly competitive NFT market, we’ve created some recipes for creating a collection that really stands out.

Here are some of the key ingredients: a unique hook or angle, compelling characters with an engaging backstory, high-quality art, a strong team — and, above all, a clear marketing plan. Sadly, we’ve seen more than one promising project vanish into the ether, simply because they failed to realize the importance of social media and promotion.

Adam Jeffcoat  HackerNoon profile picture
by Adam Jeffcoat @adamjeffcoat.Director at StudioNX, an Emmy-winning studio creating character for feature film, TV & games. Father of GORECATS
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