Twitter Spaces AMA 08/09/2022 Recap

Leadership team introduction & AMA

Pixelmon Twitter Spaces — 08/09/2022

On the 8th of September @Pixelmon held a Twitter Spaces hosted by the new CEO, Giulio Xiloyannis. These spaces served two major roles. Firstly, to introduce the new leadership team, and secondly as an AMA for participants to have their questions answered by Giulio.

The Spaces was recorded and is listenable on twitter via this link.

First Steps — Recap

The project has undergone a lot of changes and developments in the months since mint, the most significant of these were discussed in the spaces and will be briefly touched upon below.

In the last two months the project has developed a new governance structure with the company now incorporated in Singapore. It has a diverse board of directors where no single director can flip the board or endanger the project’s security, while all Directors jointly act as a guarantee for the funds and treasury. As CEO, Giulio is part of both the shareholding structure and part of the directorship structure.

To ensure operational safety, the project converted a significant amount of ETH at prices above 2000$, ensuring USDC and FIAT based funds of over 50m USD for the project. Very evident from the beginning was the need for a new art revamp. Time and resources were spent ensuring that the team found the right studio that would not only create all 69 Pixelmon, but a studio that could cooperate with Pixelmon for the next 3+ years in building generation 1 and the 1–4 evolutions each Pixelmon would have eventually amounting to around 200+ Pixelmon designs for the first generation alone. This process was started in April and the team is very happy with the partner. The updated Pixelmon art, alongside their animations, are available via Opensea and the projects website.

Pixelmon designed art for the serums via the in-house art team and airdropped these to the corresponding holders.

Pixelmon launched the Pixelmon training process. This process allows holders to soft stake and train their Pixelmon and unlock animation and sounds for their NFT’s. Later this will be expanded to skill sets and evolutions, which should be possible by January at the latest.

Creating a strong lore and narrative process. — Early on Giulio put time into the lore and narrative of Pixelmon, believing you need a strong thread across all areas in order to stay focused on a firm game design perspective. The team now has a strong, experienced, and award-winning game narrative writer who worked on publishing the Zoology that’s currently visible on the Pixelmon website.

Team building- more than 50 strong now. Pixelmon has a CTO on board from Microsoft, concept artists all the way from the Far Cry team to smaller indie companies who have high potential and developers who have already started progress on development internally.

Started building a game — the development team has started building 2 instances of the game, one is what we call the Arena. The Arena will be the alpha of combat for our Pixelmon. The other instance we are currently working on is the Hub; the Hub will be the Alpha for our metaverse space where our trainers will be able to interact with each other and interact on a social level before entering the actual gameplay and gameplay loops. Early screenshots of both of these are available in the project Discord server. The key component of the Hub process is working on high spec high count multiplayer mechanics with AI controlled Pixelmon following their trainers around.

Questions & Answers from the community

The following are questions and answers from the Pixelmon Discord and Twitter. If you have any of your own questions, please head over to the Pixelmon discord and leave them in project questions to receive a response from the team.

What’s the team’s motivation to be involved in this project? What does it mean to them?

GI: I think this is a very personal question for each team member, so feel free to also ask them directly on Discord. I’ve kind of shared what it is for me, that nostalgia, that passion that rose in me as I thought about what this could become, so that’s the romantic side of it. The pragmatic side of it is that now I’ve made the leap, I’ve attached myself to this, I’ve said I’m going to make this work, and that means I’m going to give it all it takes. Journeys are not linear. I believe this will be a journey that will also require resilience. It won’t be a quick sprint; it’ll be a marathon. Even being Web3, we’ll have to run a marathon at high speed. I’m ready for that and that’s what it means for me. When I interview candidates, this is the only answer I can give you with regards to a wider team, ultimately bringing people on board is about touching on similar components, so I don’t believe we should pay above market, I don’t believe we should just be the ones that splurge the budget because the budget is considerable, but ultimately, if one wants to build an MMO, not even that huge down the line, I believe in being rational. I believe the people that come on board need to come on board not because we are paying them more than somebody else is, but because they believe in what we are doing. Ultimately, what I see is that they come on board for a combination of believing in the leaders. So, myself and the other recruiting managers, which is always the first component of why you take a job, and second, believing in the vision. So really, what we want to build, what this game can be about, what it can do for the general concept of GameFi and push it towards positivity rather than Ponzi concepts, or at least impressions right now, and what it can do for web 3 adoption in terms of being a free to play game where you don’t need an NFT to start playing, but you can own NFTs by playing.

Can we expect more regular Spaces and discord rooms?

GI: Bi-Weekly including a number of team members, but not always Spaces. Going forward, there’ll be a lot of video content. I want to actually skew towards video, so you’ll see a bit of Twitch live streams in particular if we start showing the process of creation and even, at some point, bring you into some of the testing phases of us playing and interacting with each other and testing what happens when the entire 50 person team enters the hub. How we are going to fit 50 screens into one visualisation, we’ll see. That’s a question for later.

When do you expect market sentiment towards Pixelmon to change?

GI: It’s not going to be a click, I believe that ultimately, and I think people who have been in discord for the last couple of months have understood this approach of mine. I believe that the way to change is through consistency and hard work. That’s what I’ve been doing, essentially one step per day, and the consistency of those steps. There will be steps that are more important than others. When we onboard a lead game developer from the team that did Final Fantasy 15, I think that we will see a bigger step in changing your opinions when we reveal that name. When we bring onboard an advisor from Blizzard, rather than Riot, on the executive side, it’ll be a bigger step than the day that I sent a screenshot of Borg (Pixelmon) being integrated into the Hub. It will be an everyday process and I think there are good sides to that, because if you’re early in that kind of process, then from an investor standpoint, there’s an upside.

What are the next stages of development for holders to look forward to on a 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month timeline?

GI: In the next month, we will be revealing what we mean by the mystery airdrop. As you know in our roadmap, we’ve got the land airdrop, the token airdrop, and we’ve added one more. I haven’t told the holders what it is yet. It is a very high-value art at least, functionality we will see and you will be the judges of that, but we will reveal that within the next month, whether we will drop it or not, will be a decision we’ll take to the community depending on market conditions or whether we’ll wait a month or so, but it’ll be within the year [airdrop]. The actual asset is already ready. Within 3 months, which is towards the end of the year, we’re getting very close to the enclosed holder-only testing of one of our instances, and I hope to bring that if not in December, in January. Over the same time span, you’ll start seeing concept art for Evolution 2 and 3. By the end of December, you should be able to see most of the 3D high poly final art for Evolution 2, and in January, evolve to Evolution 2. Hopefully, the market by then will also be stronger together with our name of land and token, but I don’t want to make promises regarding those because ultimately, it’s very important the value of those holds and if that requires a stronger active game loop than combat and the Hub alone, then we will just wait and make sure we do it right.

Are we going to be able to collect other Gen 1s in-game?

GI: Gen1’s are limited to 10,000 evolution ones & five power dragons, across 68 species and then just above 5000 possible evolutions that come burning the serums of those Gen1’s. From an NFT perspective, you will not be able to find any gen1 available in the game, however serums will be discoverable in game through in-game events. There is still discussion on whether Gen 1’s will be playable by non-holders but would add value to holders if used. This would be a good free to play model that adds a second yield mechanism of some kind that adds value to holders.

How much budget is available?

GI: After the conversion there was around 50 million USD available, and the team has gone through some burn such as the design studio, smaller hiring bonuses and various other hiring fees. Currently the burn has reached nearly one million USD per month, which isn’t a high burn considering the budget at hand and the ambition, and this burn rate would allow the project to function for four years without any other revenue.

Will the collection have a name change?

GI: We’ve just completed an internal process with the community for name changes, and their opinion for name changes. There are strong pros for keeping the current name with its come back potential but also some cons relating to lore and mass adoption. There will likely be a name change, but the major question is when, which will become clear in coming weeks.

Biggest problems and obstacles to face?

GI: A few. The biggest challenge is that creating a pure MMO would usually take 7–10 years or 5 years at a push. The biggest challenge is delivering slices of game or gaming instances that make sense and are playable loops that are interesting at high frequency in much, much shorter periods of time that can later lead back to a fully playable MMO. The current process is the Arena, and the Hub as have been discussed earlier in the AMA.

The other challenge is the operational challenge of balancing 3D and real-time animations over 400 plus characters. Coming up with 400 playable assets is a complicated challenge that requires multiple highly capable teams working together. We’re currently doing this by scaling team size and project management alongside completing the tasks faster and faster.

When can we expect the first 3D renders for the second evolution?

GI: They’re already being created, with 7 out of the 68 already in the rigging stage. The community should be able to see them by December and start evolving them by January.

Will there be FIAT integration?

GI: Yes, to encourage mass market adoption there must be FIAT integration even if the FIAT integration seamlessly triggers crypto transactions in the backend.

Questions about marketing.

GI: Now I’m a big believer that first of all, the first thing one needs to do is to build his confidence in the product or at least the product road map and the pace at which we’re going. Essentially confidence and strength that goes beyond the market average and what they can deliver. The last 2–3 months have been spent mostly on that. I also think that too much investment on marketing before that, particularly in a bear market. Will deliver very low, low ROI and if anything without the right number of facts, and facts are everything, from the people we’ve hired, the advisors we’ve got to the new assets, to the gameplay tests in in, in video shared, etcetera could actually generate more negativity and more accusations of us positioning ourselves to generate hype without facts. That said, I think now we are approaching a second stage, where from next week or a couple of weeks from now we’re going to start going out there with PR. Our press approach and our marketing strategy is three pronged. Traditional press and the PR perspective, SEO and improving the current negative connections to the project and the third step, which is producing content.

Will there be team battling mechanics?

GI: Pixelmon team battling is planned. Currently the backend is focused on 1v1 battling for phase one, however phase two will incorporate teams such as 2v2 and 3v3 battles.

On Tokenomics

GI: Currently the team is partnering with, and seeking advice from, a number of fronts including advisors who are solely dedicated to this aspect of development. The current idea is ensuring tokenomics fit perfectly into the game design and game loops through the token having both a utility function and a governance function. This governance function is related to the game land, and the four tribes. The goal is that each tribe has the ability to both govern and grow themselves through the economics of the game.