The year is 2142 AD. A dystopian future controlled by corporations is rocked as the last Bitcoin (BTC) is mined, and Satoshi Nakamoto’s long-dormant wallet is awakened and used to dismantle their control. The physical, virtual and astral realms are all disrupted as entheogen spirits, angels and demons battle it out while artificial intelligence (AI) fights AI to liberate conscious entities in the Metaverse.
That is the scene-setter for a nonfungible token-powered (NFT) comic book project spearheaded by an ambitious team of former game developers from Serbia. The Web3 platform marries the ever-popular collectibility of comic books with the world of NFTs to establish the lore of a virtual tabletop RPG board game that is in pre-production.
Dušan Žica, CEO and chief operating officer of 2142, jumps straight into the project’s premise in an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph. Having worked as a copywriter and advertising director for 11 years, Žica switched to the world of video game development seven years before the idea for 2142 was born in late 2021.
Frustrated by the swathe of copycat collections in the NFT space, his team envisaged a GameFi comic book in which users mint, collect and compile panels and pages of the 2142 AD comic book series, starting with its first volume, before participating in a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) to guide the course of the story’s progress and ending.
Cointelegraph explored the Web3 website to begin the process of minting and compiling the first edition of the 2142 comic book. Paying gas fees gives users a small bundle of free, randomized NFTs, providing the first pieces of the comic book puzzle.
As Žica explains, users would need to purchase a total of 15 to 20 bundles to complete the first 34-page comic issue. These bundles might give a user 2 of the same panels or pages, but the ERC-20 NFTs can be bought and sold on 2142’s proprietary NFT marketplace as well as platforms like OpenSea, enabling collectors to complete comics.
The first issue of 2142 AD will also feature randomized cover pages, adding to the unique collectibility of the comic books, which is minted into a complete, single NFT on completion:
“We’ve got different covers, which are based on random models, different characters and combinations. When you burn the whole collection of panels, you get one NFT issue. The issue should have inherent value because of that rarity.”
Seasoned comic collectors are accustomed to paying anything from tens to hundreds of dollars for the latest copy or rare issue of their favourite comics. One bundle of 21 NFTs will cost around $30 and users will need to acquire at least 15 bundles to receive an airdrop of a character, location and item from the 2142 universe that can then be used to craft new, five-page spin-off webcomics based on the user's choices.
“In this way, we are actually decentralizing and randomizing world-building, it’s a new concept, and we’re not aware of anyone doing that,” Žica said.
These characters, locations and items essentially form part of the pre-production of the team’s long-term goal of creating a collectible card video game and tabletop RPG in the mold of Cyberpunk 2020, Kult and The World of Darkness. Žica said that the real value of the NFT intellectual property will be realized and executed in a video game.
“We’re in the process of pre-production of a CCG [collectible card game] video game, as we all come from video game production backgrounds. It’s going to be a huge part of the pre-production, it can help us grow our community and enhance our world-building.”
The 2142 team also wanted to avoid attracting NFT "flippers" that have become part and parcel of the space, snapping up new digital collectibles in the hopes of major profits.
Žica conceded that their Ethereum-based NFTs would be available on platforms like OpenSea — in a similar way in which Reddit’s collectible NFT avatars were listed and sold for a premium on the popular marketplace.
According to the project overview, members of the 2142 DAO will be entitled to a revenue share in the developing tabletop RPG, CCG video game and animated series.