Defi Dinos have now fully minted, this AMA session was held to discuss the inspiration behind the Dinos, what motivates them and the issues that they faced releasing their own project on the Avalanche Blockchain.
How did your team first get into NFTs?
Oh man, I think it was a slippery slope for all of us. I think my first one was a free mint from holding a token, next thing I know I’m going after generative art, 1/1s, trying to find nice ENS domains.
What was your inspiration for the Defi Dinos project?
We loved the idea of an avatar-style NFT project. We were big into collecting trading cards when we were younger, especially Pokemon cards. There’s something so exciting about collecting trading cards, finding those rare ones, building your collection and trading with friends. So an avatar-style NFT carried a familiarity to trading cards that we loved and embraced. So we brainstormed for a while about what we wanted to create.
We kept coming back to the idea of a Dinosaur. As kids we all loved Dinosaurs. The thought of these incredible creatures roaming the earth was so exciting, yet so mythical. And then Jurassic Park came out and brought that imagination to life. We were in awe and we wanted to capture some of that magic with our NFT project. We started designing and ended up with this little green dinosaur that the team nicknamed Herb. We immediately fell in love and knew he was the one.
What do you think differentiates you from the other AVAX projects out there currently?
I think one thing that differentiates us from other projects is how committed we are to our community. We’ve seen a few projects go through difficulties, where the creators broke promises or ghosted their holders. We’ll never leave the Dino Gang hanging.
As you know, we had some issues with our launch. So we worked until we made things right by our community. As overwhelming as it was, we were determined to not only fix these issues but be transparent and engaging throughout.
We’re still planning with a focus on bettering the community and continuing to take advice and criticism from the Dino Gang. We want to make the community proud and want every Dino holder to be excited about being part of this community.
How long did it take you for the project to get from initial idea to mint day?
From the first night of brainstorming to mint day, it took our team about two months and a lot of late nights.
How was the atmosphere amongst your team on Mint Date?
Ooof. Lol. Super nervous, and super excited. People were starting to express their excitement for the project in our Discord and on Twitter, so that was so awesome and encouraging to see and be a part of. But of course, we were also super nervous. We had completed so much testing, but always had that fear of “but what if something goes wrong?!”
After minting started to pick up, we realized there was a problem with the reflections, and our fears came to life. That immediately shifted the atmosphere from nervous excitement to “OK, we need to make this better for everyone right now, let’s go.”
— Defi$time (????,????)????️⏳⏳???????? (@time_defi) November 6, 2021
How important is the community for your project?
So the DAO has become our main focus at this point. We want the community to be a huge driver behind DeFi Dinos and we can’t wait to get this established. We’ve also been working on a new utility for our Dinos. While this is currently under wraps, we’ll be releasing some teasers as soon as we finish up the art.
While we can’t control the value of our NFTs, and even though we’re still working through the legalities of the DAO and community royalties, we decided that we would require staking of NFTs to be eligible for voting and royalties. This would achieve two things: It would ensure that whoever is claiming community royalties has taken an extra step and agrees to the terms, and it would raise the floor by reducing the Dinos on the market.
We love the Dino DAO aspect of your project, why did you choose to implement this and how is it working so far?
Well, our vision from the start has always been to make this a community project. This is DeFi, after all, and we didn’t want to remain as a centralized player in control of this project. The smart contracts are coming along well, and so is the UI on the site. But we’re still working with our legal counsel to determine if any restrictions need to be put in place. We’ve been determined from the start to do things by the book and remain compliant for all territories, so this is a necessary step.
There are a few considerations we’re still taking into account. For example, we’re now working with NFTrade to support our marketplace royalties and the staking system. With this, we have to make sure that our contracts can understand and talk with one another.
We know there were some initial issues with reflections, thankfully not in the way that a lot of recent projects have encountered issues. It seems you were paying too much! This required quick thinking on your team’s part to fix, has this had any negative impact on the project?
Some people were able to claim too much, which temporarily left others unable to claim at all. We paused the mint when we found out, and by the next night, we had created a secondary contract for retroactive reflection claiming. Some people did get more than they should have, but at least by the following day, we made sure everyone received what they were entitled to. Initially, yes, it definitely impacted the project. We started to see people commenting on the project being a scam, how we weren’t going to make it, what a joke, etc. So that was super disheartening for us as a team. We stayed engaged with the community throughout and tried our best to keep everyone at ease. We wanted to assure the community that not only were we working as quickly as possible to correct the issue but we were here to stay and we were determined to get things right.
One positive that came out of this was that it actually gave us a chance to really prove to the Dino community what we were made of and what we’re about. We’re not gonna run away if problems arise and we’ll work as hard as we need to make things right. We also wanted the community to feel that they can not only trust us but can reach out to us and engage with us freely. We did have to pause minting for about a week while we performed other updates, and regaining momentum was initially tough after relaunching.
We absolutely loved the way you dealt with the allegations of Rarity Sniping by certain members of the community. Could you tell us how this was possible and what you did to quickly neutralise this problem?
Thank you! So with NFTs, the Metadata is commonly out there in advance of the mint. If you know the URL where data is hosted, you can guess the location of un-minted data. This can become an issue with slower mints where the next mint # is predictable. To fix it, we had to host the data on our server and create a check every time the data is requested. In real-time, we verify the total supply of our NFT collection and ensure that the requested data has already been minted.
To make up for the quantity that could have been affected by possible sniping, we decided to mint an extra 138 Dinos, paying out reflections on them, and bought back a Mythical Dino from the secondary market. We then made a separate smart contract that let Round 1 Minters claim one of these Dinos at random.
GB features heavily in your roadmap and we have seen some discussions on discord regarding the GB heavy focus of your roadmap and possible changes that members would like to make.
From the start, we’ve tried to do things by the book from a legal and compliance standpoint. We wanted to give back to the community but had some compliance fears for holder royalties due to regulatory uncertainty in certain parts of the world. The last thing we wanted to do was prohibit collectors in certain areas from fully participating. At the same time, we’re super passionate about Avalanche and I guess you could call us Maxis! We appreciate everyone that took the leap of faith in bridging over to Avalanche and helping to grow the ecosystem. So while thinking of ways to give back to the community and remain compliant, we discussed the idea of a GB buy-and-burn. This seemed like a great way to show our appreciation and to stay compliant.
It quickly became clear that the community wanted holder royalties. So even though we had already planned on the DAO from the beginning, it became a great forum to approach the issue. Once the DAO is established, the community can vote on how it wants to move forward on these issues. We are still working with our legal counsel to determine if any restrictions will be necessary if and when the community votes on this issue.
But as far as the roadmap and promised GB burn goes, we’re sticking to it. Our word is our word, and we don’t want to set a precedent where we go back on it. Too many projects have done that, and that’s not what we’re about. However, we did decide to introduce a new 100 AVAX giveaway for our 50% mint milestone (5 AVAX to 20 Dino holders) as a way of giving back to our community.
Mythicals are a very exciting part of your project, could you tell us what makes them so special and why you think they will become collectable?
The Mythicals are one of our favourite parts of this whole project! We actually went back and forth with our idea of Mythicals. When we were younger we collected a lot of trading cards. There was such a thrill in finding a super rare one, and we wanted to bring that feeling to DeFi Dinos. Originally the Mythicals were just going to be the highest tier of rarity, but still include all the original design assets, but that idea didn’t really seem to do the title justice. So we decided to make the Mythicals something really special, completely unique 1/1 designs, and to make them super scarce.
We initially decided on a supply of 10 Mythicals out of the total 4,999 Dinos in the project and decided their points value would have no effect on their being in the Mythical tier. After we fixed the sniping issue, we added two more Mythical Dinos into the mint making a total of 12. We felt by adding only two more we wouldn’t impact the value and rarity, but it’d still be a nice way to bring the Mythical excitement to two more Dino collectors.
Do you have any plans for other NFT collections or are you focused solely on developing this project?
We have ideas for NFTs, but right now, this project is taking priority. Even though we’ve released our roadmap goals ahead of schedule, like making our Marketplace live, we still want to do more for our community. Maybe after the DAO is functional and our “special” Dino utility is complete, we’ll consider another project.
What are your future plans for the utility of your NFT’s?
We’re working on something right now that will let holders have a little more fun with their Dinos. The mechanics are currently still in the works, but we think our “competitive” Dino collectors will enjoy it. We plan to share details on this with our community soon.
Every creator has a favourite and we would love to know if there is any particular Dino that you are particularly proud of, we love the mythical muscle Dino!
Haha, honestly, we love all of the Mythicals, but definitely have our favourites. I think we’ll have to go with the Plushie Dino, just ’cause he’s so freaking cute.
We have our own list of projects that we are interested in both currently and in the near future, could you share some that you personally like or are getting excited for?
We have seen some interesting crossovers in the NFT space lately. Are you open to collaborating with other projects or will Defi Dinos be a closed project?
Absolutely! We’re actually talking to an awesome project now about a design collab for a new limited series!
Check out the @defidinos team on Twitter now
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