Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are not just potentially valuable investment opportunities… though they are that, too.
They are also integral pieces of blockchain games, a means to support hard-working artists and creators and building blocks of passionate online communities.
The ICON blockchain network hosts one of the most vibrant NFT ecosystems in the blockchain space, largely centered on the exceptional Craft Network marketplace.
In this post, we’ll look at just a few (emphasis on few) of ICON’s leading NFT projects creating value on the network, more specifically:
- GangstaBet: A profile picture/game/metaverse inspired by classic gangster movies of the 1990s.
- Project Nebula: ICON’s OG NFT game of space exploration.
- Claws: A 3D profile picture project built for interoperability.
- Yeti Strong Club: A stylish profile picture collection and part of the ambitious FRAMD “Art-Fi” NFT ecosystem.
- Studio Mirai: Beautiful art, deep stories and a passionate NFT community
This collection of 5,555 one-of-a-kind profile pictures was inspired by classic gangster movies of the 1990s. In addition to the NFTs themselves, owners receive daily distribution of the GangstaBet ecosystem’s GangstaBetToken ($GBET), which you can use to change the name or skills (attributes) of your NFT, propelling them up the world of organized crime or law enforcement. This is actually quite gamified — see the leaderboard on their website. As an added twist, the $GBET supply will decrease over time, making name changes and skill upgrades a rare commodity and driving up the value of Gangstabets with higher levels.
GangstaBet also has a collection of land certificates proving ownership of real estate in Emerald City, an expansion project of GangstaBet — or the GangstaVerse, if you will. Emerald City is a play-to-earn game with a little something for everyone. Investors can buy high-value properties, yield-farmers can maximize rewards, and GangstaBet owners can upgrade their characters and earn more rewards.
While anyone can own land in the Emerald City, only gangsters or detectives can rule or protect territory. The game is still very much a work in progress, but you can get a sense of what to look forward to here — there will be idle (focused on DeFi) and active (focused on gameplay) platforms.
Not only is Project Nebula one of the proverbial OGs of ICON’s NFT space, but they’ve actually got a live NFT game out, too. And we do mean game here — unlike many so-called NFT games that are essentially exercises in gamified DeFi, Project Nebula is an open world, massively multiplayer 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) strategy game with literally a galaxy of NFTs to collect, from spaceships and water samples to entire planets, all of which are tradable in the in-game marketplace.
You’ll compete against other players as you explore the universe hex by hex, discovering planets and anomalies to claim and collecting resources, artifacts and collectibles. The marketplace has a wide range of spaceships to choose from, some optimized for exploration, others for colonization.
We’ve said it before, but one of the things we like most about Project Nebula is its artwork and music — the project employs some seriously talented artists who really bring the game’s sci-fi vision to life.
Claws is an “interoperability focused” collection of 10,000 beautifully rendered 3D profile pictures of T-Rexes with 112 traits, designed by Paris-based 3D/VFX/interactive studio Turbo Diesel Studio. You can find the collection on Craft Network here.
While the genesis collection — Mutation 0 — was minted on ICON, owners will be able to unlock “mutations” with new utility each time the collection is connected to a new blockchain through BTP, the ICON network’s upcoming interoperability solution. And indeed, the project recently announced that it had closed a deal with a GameFi project from the Avalanche blockchain. The project — which has yet to be named — reportedly has an open ecosystem, focuses on social features, and has a metaverse and social RPG in which Claws will be playable characters with new artwork to fit the project’s direction.
Claws also operates as a DAO, with Claws holders receiving the project’s governance token, $CLAW. The DAO allows the Claws community to take part in determining the growth of the project through proposal votes. According to the project’s latest development update, the first DAO vote may be to pass the specs of the upcoming first mutation.
Yeti Strong Club
The Yeti Strong Club — YTSC for short — is a collection of 10,000 stylish Yeti-themed profile pictures. The collection is divided into four “tribes” with differing degrees of rarity: the Water Tribe (about 4,000 NFTs), Snow Tribe (about 3,000 NFTs), Ice Tribe (about 2,000 NFTs) and Cloud Tribe (about 1,000 NFTs). Rarity is further determined by the traits of each NFTs, including one or two traits unique to each tribe.
At the time of writing, 6,305 of the 10,000 Yetis had been minted. Minting a Yeti costs 100 ICX, which you can do at the project website. You can also check out the collection at Craft Network.
Owning a Yeti not only gets you access to a club with exclusive offers, giveaways and other benefits, but Yetis also accumulate 1 $FRMD a day for one year. $FRMD is the token that powers the FRAMD ecosystem (more on that below). Minting a Yeti earns your 150 $FRMD, too.
YTSC is run by FRAMD, which is building an “Art-Fi” ecosystem on the ICON blockchain. “Art-Fi” is an NFT ecosystem that goes beyond Game-Fi to reward people for not only playing games, but also for buying, owning, selling, using and promoting NFT art, projects and games. FRAMD is building a very strong NFT ecosystem, including its upcoming play-to-earn trading card game, “Thaenia — Dark Tides.” Indeed, YTSC partnered with ICON’s Kusama parachain network SNOW Network for its successful crowdloan campaign.
NFT studio Studio Mirai has created not only some of ICON’s most, well, iconic NFT collections, but also one of the network’s most vibrant, passionate communities. They even host poker tournaments.
The studio’s best known project is Tamashi, a collection of 100 unique profile pictures representing humans who have been “unplugged” from a world of manufactured bliss. The artwork is simply mesmerizing, with a backstory that is both rich and thought-provoking. Studio Mirai also launched a series of collaborations with prominent individuals in the ICON community to create the Tamashi × ICON collection. They’re now working on another exciting collection, the Machin project, some alpha of which can be seen here.
In addition to their work on NFTs, Studio Mirai has been doing the proverbial lord’s work in promoting the ICON network with a very slick series of video interviews with members of the ICON community, which you can watch at their YouTube channel.