AdaCubes & Ethermobs
Now, to begin we have a very interesting interview with the leaders of TWO CNFT projects that launched on NMKR Studio at the same time! AdaCubes and EtherMobs took very different approaches in the development of their respective NFT setups, and we will dive deep to reveal their journey, challenges, and beliefs on what we can potentially expect as the Cardano NFT space continues to thrive and mature.
So without further adieu, let’s commence...
Maker Review (MR) Intro: Hello, and welcome to THE MAKER REVIEW. The purpose of this interview today is to examine your project launch so that artists, developers, and future teams can learn from your challenges and journey. We are honoured to have you as one of our very first guests!
MR Q1: Let’s start off the big question; Can you tell us why you chose Cardano? What is it about this blockchain that convinced you it was the place to launch your NFT project?
AdaCubes (AC): The answer is actually very simple. Arsek and I are both very fond of all things Cardano and have been part of the community for a long time now. I run VLNS stake pool on Cardano and have had many conversations with Arsek about the innovation and scientific approach that Cardano has that is hard to find in other blockchains. The other reason is that the Cardano blockchain is very accessible and cheap to use. We wanted to share our art without burdening the users with outrageous fees to mint and/or sell on the aftermarket.
EtherMobs (EM): I came to Cardano at first ‘cause I was running from a huge crippling Ethereum monster called gas fees, then I found out that’s an even greater community with so much potential. It even inspired me to create a Metaverse related to it.
MR Q2: How big is your team and what are the key roles? Do you have in-house artists/designers?
AC: We are a small team of four people dedicated to the project and a couple of friends/family helping out with social media and Discord from time to time and we are all learning on the way about many of the intricacies about CNFT social media. Three of us are focused on the technical aspects from frontend to backend with Arsek designing everything from AdaCubes NFTs to the website and social media artwork.
EM: Our team has me as the creator of the project and the artist, Soul and Blu as Managers, and DigDown as the Dev.
MR Q3: When and where did you hear about NMKR Studio for the first time, and what were the reasons that attracted you to the platform?
AC: I have been following Patrick’s Twitter ever since he started Babel. So ultimately, through his Twitter. We thought about setting up our own Cardano node and doing the minting ourselves, but ultimately decided that we want to help the community out and utilise a service that specialises in this specific area.
EM: At first I was thinking about creating a minting DAPP but since our dev is not specialised on Cardano we had to look for a way to work with the knowledge he has so far. The first solution that came to mind was NMKR Studio. So we gave it a try and it worked for us.
MR Q4: So, you’ve chosen NMKR Studio, fantastic! Please explain what your NFT project is all about! What are the utility, rarities and the USPs? We know our readers would love to know from the people who created it!
AC: We wanted to create an NFT collection that is unique with a fresh personality for each AdaCube and is designed by an established artist. An artwork that makes you smile every time that you look at it. Our main focus has always been the art itself. AdaCubes is more about the art and we have never intended to position the projects with some unachievable roadmap unlike other projects in the space. We are having fun working on the project and will keep adding new features to our website, work with other artists to bring some exciting collaborations to fruition, hopefully build a strong community and donate part of the proceeds to Veritree’s #GlobalImpactChallenge.
EM: Our main NFT project goal is to introduce more people to the blockchain world especially the youth by comic books and children books. And also reward our NFT holders with artistic pieces and giving them the right to control the flow of the comic story.
MR Q5: Tell us about your experiences in using NMKR Studio. What was the platform like to work with in practice? Did you have any challenges when building the framework?
AC: Overall, we are pretty happy with the platform. There are always things that could have been done better. We had some issues with the UploadNft API and the quota enforcement that landed right before our launch, but managed to resolve both of them pretty quickly. We attempted to build a very responsive UI and hit NFT Maker a bit too hard. Overall, I have two suggestions that would have made our integration way easier - (1) Better documentation for some of the APIs and (2) an UpdateNFT API.
EM: No challenges at all. The current API gets the work done.
MR Q6: Which front-end functions and back-end infrastructure for dealing with customer payments did you implement and why?
AC: We decided to build our frontend as a single page website using Angular and the backend using NodeJS. The backend served as a proxy between the user and NFT Maker to get addresses, check their state and adjust the data in our database. Then integrated with the NFT MAKER PRO API surface with a single address per mint as this was the only thing available at the time we started. Along the way, the Pay-In Address was added as an option. We wanted to make sure that we build a responsive and pleasant to use website that can scale for the incoming traffic according to the load. We deployed our application using Dock and Google Kubernetes Enginefor with horizontal autoscaling according to the traffic ingress.
We ran into several issues after launch and to ensure that we don’t get any more surprises we quickly switched to the Pay-In Address functionality.
EM:All we did is add the Discord connection option in order to make the minting not per wallet but per discord accounts and added the “human verification” in order to prevent bots.
MR Q7: Can you articulate how you formulated the user interface and experience of your website and why you decided on this final design and functionality?
AC: Arsek designed the website with ease of use and balance of information about the project in mind. The UX is intended for the user to have fun exploring AdaCube while gaining all the necessary information that they need and also always be one click away from the opportunity to mint an AdaCube. The team brought the vision to life with the beautiful adacubes.io. Check it out.
EM: So all we had to do is just make it simple. You, visit the website, you just click on mint. And then you will receive the address where you need to send Ada for the transaction, and then you enter your receiving wallet address, then you send the ADA and you will receive the minted NFT. Also we decided not to use the limits for wallets, because to be honest, it’s very easy to create wallets and we thought people would buy the limit, create another wallet and keep doing that, and that’s not good for the community. So we decided on the idea of minting per discord account because its harder to have several accounts and that would make it much more difficult to buy more than their fair share. And it worked.
MR Q8: How do you feel about your launch? Is there anything you would do differently next time?
AC: I think we can summarise it as underwhelming. We wish that the community focused more on the art itself rather than the roadmap and Discord server. It was never our intention to have an overpromising roadmap just to draw in people to buy our NFT.
If we can re-do this launch we would do several things differently. We would focus on building our Discord server before we launch the project and make the drop tiered so that we release the Cubes in separate series.
EM: Yes, I would take it easy and not rush the launch. Our launch wasn’t well received ‘cause of the high price and because it was rushed. But I’m working on fixing that in the long run.
MR Q9: What’s next for your project? How do you envision the evolution of your NFTs?
AC: We have defined a very specific and realistic roadmap for our project. We intend to stick by it and not promise the moon to anybody. All of us are super excited by new technology and we love what SpaceBudz and Alessandro have done with their open-source marketplace. We intend to integrate our website with it to ultimately provide the similar ability to purchase AdaCubes directly on our website with the help of a Cardano smart contract. We love learning new technologies and this is one that we believe is going to be crucial skill in the future.
Aside from the technical aspects, we are working with a couple of artists on some exciting collaborations for super limited and themed NFT releases. Ultimately, focusing on high quality art that we know we can deliver.
EM: As our Dev is learning Plutus at the moment we’ll get more creative with future drops and airdrops. As you can see from the whitepaper on our website, we’ve got some exciting plans of what these NFT drops will look like, especially for those who managed to get a male and female character!
MR Q10: Any final words of advice for the readers who may be planning their own NFT launch?
AC: There are several things that we learned from our launch, but the most important one is to focus on building your followers organically. There are a lot of predator promoters that will unfortunately charge you pretty substantial amounts of money and will severely underdeliver. Looking at what we went through it seems that most of the folks that we gained as followers were bots that drove us through the promoters. That makes it hard to really judge how well your project will land and in this space, project success is judged by whether you have sold out on the first day.
EM: I’d like to tell every person who is planning to start an NFT project to choose their platform carefully. Taking in consideration pros and cons of each Blockchain. And of course not rushing the launch like I did, building it up slowly until being certain of its success.