I’ve been following Loot Project for awhile now—largely because it was the first NFT project to use words instead of images and I was curious if this would finally be the place where writers could play in the web3 world. It was.
The easiest way to understand the project is to think of it like a science fiction/fantasy series in which the author has done all of the world building, but hasn’t yet written the book—and now it’s up to us to write it. (You can see why I’d be intrigued—and why I might steal some of these ideas for my novel of the future.)
It all started when Dom (aka Dom Hoffman, the former founder of Vine) dropped 8,000 free “loot bags” on the NFT marketplace OpenSea. Each of those bags contained a number of words—things like bone wand, dragonskin armor, demon crown, and amulet—the kind of things a character might need on a quest.
Very quickly, all those NFTs were scooped up and a community rose around them. From there it became an archeological discovery in which Loot adventurers, as they became called, attempted to discover what those artifacts were and what they were for—they did.
The world building is already there
Hidden behind those words is code that hinted at a bigger story—and much of that was sleuthed out by a particularly tech savvy character known as Timshel. He and other Loot Adventurers dove deep into the blockchain and discovered some very interesting backstory to the NFTs.
For instance: originally each of those items had belonged to one of three kinds of people: a hunter, mage, or warrior. And those people belonged to one of 16 orders (the first eight being orders of light, and the last eight being orders of dark):
The order of Power
The order of Giants
The order of Titans
The order of Skill
The order of Perfection
The order of Brilliance
The order of Enlightenment
The order of Protection
The order of Anger
The order of Rage
The order of Fury
The order of Vitriol
The order of the Fox
The order of Detection
The order of Reflection
The order of the Twins
Timshel put together a spreadsheet analyzing all of the items and the qualities they had, as derived from the code. He also established a Timeline of the Universe and a little bit of canonical lore so we can easily place our stories in that world.
Projects sprung up in the Loot Universe—there’s even a newsletter that chronicles all of the projects happening in this world—but I was lured into one in particular called DivineDAO. It centers around the Divine City—a floating city that exists many years after whatever great catastrophe occurred that scattered the peoples of the earth (and their loot) to the far reaches of the world.
At first, I joined a small writer’s room with the goal to write a series of quests in this world. The idea was that the Divine City is in trouble and the 16 orders need to be called upon to go back to the earth, find the loot items from their past, remember who they once were, and save the city.
The group wound up going a different direction that no longer centered on writing, so I left, but I continued to lust after the idea of a bunch of us writing quests in this universe so I decided to continue the project on my own. I wrote the first story with the intention that any one of you can pick up the mantle and write your own quest, if you accept the call….
Let’s write an interactive story together
Here’s how this all works. I “purchased” bag #900507. It contains a grimoire, robe, demon crown, hard leather belt of anger, demonhide boots, linen gloves, a pendant, and a gold ring.
From there, I created The Mage Queen, a character who might use those items as part of the Loot Universe. The Mage Queen’s story will unfold on Twitter over the next four weeks, during which time we will learn of the problem faced by the Divine City, and what the citizens of the city need to do to solve it.
Follow her here:
At the end of the four weeks, there will be a call to action—the Mage Queen needs one member from each of the 16 orders to go on a quest and discover the history of their order to save the Divine City. She will give specific instructions to those willing to accept the call.
If you want to participate, all you need to do is:
Decide which order you want your character to be part of.
Purchase your own (free) loot bag here with all the items you might need on your journey.
Enter your bag number into the Loot Swag avatar generator to get an avatar of your character. Take a screenshot to use for your Twitter profile pic!
Start a Twitter account for your character and write your own part of the adventure! You can even report your quests back to the Queen, keeping the story interactive between our characters!
Even if you don’t want to write for one of the characters, you can still be part of the story as a citizen of the Divine City, interacting with the Divine Queen as she releases her diary entries on Twitter!
And because this is a story based on an NFT, there will of course be a web3 element. I’ve written the queen’s story as if they are diary entries she is releasing to the public—her thoughts and ruminations made available to her constituents. So at the end of each week, I’ll be publishing a page from her diary and selling it as an NFT. She’ll drop those on Fridays.
This is yet another wildly experimental foray into the world of publishing x the future. Thank you so much for following along!
Until next week,
It doesn’t matter if it’s original loot, mloot, or synthetic loot for the purposes of our story. Original loot was the first 8,000 bags that dropped and, though they were originally free, they are way too expensive now. Thankfully, Dom added the mloot and synthetic loot collections so anyone can play in this world. Mine is an mloot bag and it was free minus the cost of “gas”—which are just transaction fees in the crypto world.
I think you are brilliant. The weird part about all of this Elle, is I got your reply just as I was thinking today about the future of NFT marketplaces and the Creator Economy. I love it!
This is mind blowing.