Metaverse Creative DAO proposal

Executive Summary

Metaverse-related projects on Harmony lack the tools and bandwidth to connect and interoperate with other projects on the chain. For this reason, instead of our constituting a coherent "Blue Metaverse," our ecosystem at present is a disjointed array of dApps which do not portal to each other, incorporate other projects' NFTs into game assets, have a rich array of each other’s environments, assets, and experiences, or prominently display Harmony-branded assets. Since the current possible “solutions” to this problem are not working, we should create a Metaverse Creative DAO specifically aimed at creating interoperability between our metaverse-related projects.

The opportunity

In my Blue Metaverse report, I note that most Harmony metaverse-related projects "lack several features generally considered as constitutive of a metaverse," with interoperability being one of the most significant. By creating more connections between the projects with a transferability of assets and portals between them, Harmony could:

  • Remove the silos between apps and relieve some of the concentration of users in certain apps representing an outsized proportion of TVL
  • Speed up potential adoption of new games and boost user engagement and activity on on-chain projects
  • Remove barriers to launch by allowing teams to focus on fleshing out their own ecosystems rather than on integration efforts to reach players in other communities
  • Make Harmony the go-to ecosystem for metaverses and help attract other projects to the chain (any one project has the potential of representing a 9-figure balance).

Current possible "solutions" aren't working

1. Our projects cannot do it themselves

  • Lack of design bandwidth. Our projects naturally prioritize building out their own assets over the design work required to create portals to other projects or to rig and render other projects' NFTs to import into their games or metaverses
  • Lack of current incentive. Projects only have the resources to connect only with larger projects for crossover publicity, rather than to foster ecosystem interconnectivity or promote Harmony brand assets
  • Lack of time to do outreach to other projects to discover their requirements or to promote hackathons, despite stated desires to collaborate
  • Lack of expertise in transforming visual designs from many varied art styles (e.g., 2D, isometric, 3D low poly, 3D high fidelity) into their own

2. Interoperability cannot be achieved by tooling alone

While we have laid some of the foundation for PFP identity porting, there are no centralized, automatic, or complete solutions to importing assets to give them a satisfying or consistent look (in voxelized vs low-poly metaverses etc. Additionally, there exist no automatic content filters in curating assets (for younger players). Any automated system, even in principle, will require discussions between various project stakeholders and communities to determine how to transfer functionality (such as experience points or strength of a magic sword) across games. And creation of a tool to automatically import NFTs more than as mere pictures on a wall in an apartment is a nontrivial problem, with no currently-obvious scalable solution (to generate FPX files for Unity/Unreal; to 3D render and rig the image so it will move properly; to import assets en masse to check for access privileges; etc.)

3. This cannot be undertaken by the existing Creative DAO

The needs of our metaverse-related projects appear to be too great to be tackled by one of the new "metaverse and gaming" studios that the Creative DAO contemplates forming under their ambitious new proposal. In section 7.0 of the proposal, the DAO acknowledges its rocky start, outlining a variety of problems including poor organization, poor motivation, subpar results, a conflict of interest between creators and contributors, and flawed mandates. To overcome these, they point to four solutions: better mandates, better tooling, the creation of multiple studios, and the need for lots of contributors. While I am supportive of the team and optimistic that it can thrive and serve the community, the metaverse initiative should run under a separate aegis for the following reasons:

  • The design needs for metaverse interoperability are not core to their three new mandates (Harmony branding; content creation to amplify Harmony messages, and community education)
  • The DAO's past stated achievements (TikTok/YouTube videos, content, and infographics) are unrelated to the design work needed to create portals and rig NFT assets
  • To deliver on these needs would require the Creative DAO to overdeliver on their new, more ambitious plan, which proposes creating three new studios (Music, Metaverse and Gaming; Video, Graphic Design and NFT; and Social media, Influencer and creative writing). Within one of them, they would have to establish how interoperability could be achieved, scaled, funded, or worked on, in addition to their other priorities.

For this reason, we should create a Metaverse Creative DAO specifically aimed at creating interoperability between our metaverse-related projects.

Proposed Metaverse Creative DAO mandates

1. Coordination of interoperability requirements

  • Creation of one town hall and AMA per month so projects can work together and learn from each other
  • Spearheading 2 hackathons per year to build rigged and rendered assets for importing
  • Negotiating the costs and challenges of importing assets and functionality

2. Become the go-to resource for porting NFTs between projects

  • Flesh out Harmony's PFP identity porting and onboard more NFT projects
  • Help with rendering and rigging NFTs for import into games
  • Licensing rigging and animating of 3D objects to inexpensive content creation teams to sell on marketplaces with a revshare model

3. Create portals between metaverse-related projects

  • Assist in creation of portals by providing Blender assets with animations and visual/sound effects) for different art styles
  • Assist with integrating Timeless 1Wallet into each project to help the projects be a portal to the metaverse and foster in-wallet chat and NFT sharing across games.

6-week execution plan:

Within 2 weeks:

  • I take lead and post proposal and solicit feedback from community to attract governors to run

Within 6 weeks:

  1. The DAO will achieve all three milestones for releasing funds per Harmony grant guidelines: creating a multisig wallet, holding a vote for signatories, and making a social token
  2. First town hall / AMA to be held
  3. First hackathon date set
  4. One standard portal assets for first art style specced out
  5. Two new iToken partners onboarded
  6. Projects' NFT import (based on traction, difficulty, and/or bounty) prioritization spec set.

Within 3 months:

Sustainability model set:

  • Model for paying additional contributors: from projects; matching Harmony funds for metaverse assets or interoperability assets; etc.
  • Licensing objects to content creation teams with revshare, etc.
  • Revenue generation model for DAO additionally to create experiences and host events and concerts, which it could then charge projects for to help them more easily and scalably ramp up without having to learn each new tool or develop each new environment.

6-week deliverables and budget:

6-week summary: $250k budget, Brian to lead, using 1 f/t lead + 5 p/t contributors; deliverables: 1 portal + 2iTokens + 1 AMA + 1 hackathon

Budget is best expressed as a 6-month cycle for traction, as this is not a one-off development effort, and will be $250k divided among:

  • One f/t lead business person to create marketplaces, run AMAs, hackathons * 6 months = $70k
  • Entirely fund 5 contributors $30k/month * 6 months = $180k