Pontem Weekly Livestream September 23, 2022
In this weekly livestream, we’re talking with ChapterX about their project, Metaverse, and more. ChapterX is an immersive 3D platform for all users to build fully customizable worlds and avatars, while experiencing a complete Web 3.0 virtual life.
We’re talking to the ChapterX team, constituted of:
Tania, one of the cofounders of ChapterX. She heads over operations and design and works very closely with NFT communities to bring their metaverse dream into reality.
James, who is part of ChapterX Community Management. He has been in this space a little over a year growing communities with other projects and joining the ChapterX team.
Chris, the marketing manager of ChapterX. He runs the ChapterX Twitter, works very closely on Discord with Denex the Community Manager, does graphics and videos and generally all social media content for ChapterX.
Chase aka Pepsi, the other cofounder of ChapterX. He does a little bit of everything.
Denex, the community manager.
Alejo: I want to hear from your perspective:, what is this metaverse like? What does it actually mean and where is it going?
ChapterX, Tania: A little backstory about the name ChapterX. We are social managers working closely with Web3 and especially NFT communities to help them to engage their audience in a more immersive way. So the X in Chapter X stands for the unknown variable, as well as the number 10. So in the ChapterX metaverse there are 10 different worlds and every project can come and write their own next chapter, which is unknown.
What makes us special is really how much customization we offer for the projects themselves. We have created more than 60,000 avatars. We’re bringing NFTs into 3D avatars. Each NFT owner can use the NFT in the 3D avatar format and represent themselves in the metaverse.
Alejo: Let me see if I understand this correctly. Let’s say I have this monkey NFT. I can then go in with this monkey NFT and mint an object into this metaverse? And no one else can do it because that’s the value of the NFT?
ChapterX, Tania: Yes, as long as you own the monkey and we collab with other projects. That’s where we give the full collection of NFTs for them to make that a way to use it.
Alejo: That’s very interesting because that’s unlocking the real value of NFTs, the way I see it. It’s an interoperable layer for data across different applications. This is unlocking that idea, correct?
ChapterX, Tania: Yes, and this is all about meta-identity. This is who you are in the metaverse. For example, my Clone X right now, I also have a 3D version of it and I can walk around in The Sandbox, which is in the boxhole version, and I can go into ChapterX with my normal low poly version. It's really important for us to allow NFT holders not just another layer of utility, but also allow them to truly represent themselves in the metaverse.
Alejo: Very cool. I’m taking a look at your concept online, and it’s honestly very cool and what I would envision the open metaverse would look like turning a JPEG into a 3D object. From a technical perspective, I’m seeing this as almost like a liquid staking derivative, where you’re minting a derivative of your original JPEG that’s now 3D which is unique to you. Am I understanding that right, in terms of the interoperability and how this comes into your world?
ChapterX, Pepsi: What’s really cool is not only the individual worlds which have their NFTs, but also when you get different NFTs represented together in a group. For example, this person’s a Ghostly Ghost holder, this person is an SMB holder, and they can be their avatars interacting together. So not only are the people allowed to express themselves as their NFT in the metaverse, but then you also have this crazy joining of worlds where distinct projects can actually interact with each other. In the future, we have planned competitions like Jungle Cats vs. Ghostly Ghosts, for example. It’s going to be really interesting to see how that plays out over time where the communities each have their respective worlds but then you could also have different communities intermingling.
Alejo: This is pretty crazy and I think this identity layer of NFTs and avatars we create for ourselves on the Iinternet is very powerful, because you actually own your identity, even if it’s ironically represented as a JPEG that’s not even you. I was hesitant with NFTs at first, but I caved and bought a Funk, a Fake Punk, from a local artist in Brazil that is a picture of a dog. They make the Crypto Punks into Doges. I couldn’t find any other like this. It goes with my Iinternet identity of Sadogee Nakamoto. I ended up paying more in gas than the actual NFT cost. But that is now my identity on the internet, this dog. Pretty soon, everyone will be whoever they want on the Iinternet, whether it’s a dog or a monkey, because it’s just an extension of the real world. I think people have a hard time seeing that, even though many of us spend most of our time glued to our phones. Our imaginations are the limit when we go online. It just gets a little scary when we blur the lines of reality, but it’s also cool at the same time.
ChapterX, Denex: I would say, look at everybody on Twitter, everyone on this livestream, we all represent the one image we bought and have grown attached to. Sometimes so much so that despite it being worth more than its floor price, people still aren’t willing to sell it because they’ve grown so attached. I think that that’s one thing that will be solidified in the metaverse, us attaching ourselves to that image. Attaching yourself to these JPEGs and being in the metaverse, representing yourself and being noticed, it’s kind of the same as top influencers, where that image is tied to that person, and they’re most likely never going to sell it. I think the identity behind the metaverse NFTs is going to be the future of how we represent ourselves.
Alejo: Yeah definitely. There's something very powerful, and Bitcoin initially unlocked this idea of digital scarcity. There’s a community of 10,000 people who can take part, where there’s potential growth in possibly more subsets or future mints of different characters. But there’s something very powerful in communities.They can overlap even and some people might see the value in being part of the other community and purchase an access token or ticket into that community. Once we start seeing these digital worlds, metaverses, generate more SAAS (software as a service) utility, we’ll start to see a lot of the monetary value get unlocked. But how do you make it more immersive? How do you generate more engagement and interactions online? There’s value in hosting closed online events with celebrities, where there’s a limited number of avatars that get access. People would pay thousands or tens of thousands to be able to hang out with Snoop Dogg in the metaverse. This is just one source that is possible. It’s cool that you guys are pioneering this.
Check out the YouTube Livestream for Alejo’s demo of the ChapterX metaverse.
ChapterX: This is what it’s about, making a specified world for the community to come in and interact with and then giving them experiences. You had a question earlier about how to make the metaverse more attractive to people. One thing I think that’s essential is gameplay experiences. If you look at some of our competitor products, Sandbox has been built around gaming whereas Decentraland is similar to ChapterX in that it’s more of a social platform. So I think it’s a combination of experiences and in-game economy. People have custody of these assets, whether it’s a house or clothing NFT. How can you create an economy where people can actually have a business and earn money, have a job in the metaverse?. That’s a crazy concept.
Alejo: You mentioned the digital economies, they already exist. Look at Runescape. Some people in Venezuela even live off of it.
ChapterX: To your point, these economies do exist and have existed, but the difference in the metaverse or Web3 is that in Runescape, if your Runescape account gets banned, all of your gold is gone, you don't have custody of it. You unlock a new capacity in the metaverse and Web3 because you actually have custody of those assets. It’ll take a bit longer to become sustainable, but we believe it will happen for us in the future.
Alejo: A good example of this keeping with Runescape is that they created essentially “NFTs” or in-game items that had a finite supply, but someone hacked the centralized servers and figured out a way to mint more of them. It completely crashed the entire economy of the game. Some could argue it’s just a game, but for those who spent hours and hours trying to get one of these items, it’s not worthless. There should be safeguards around minting in-game items that have real world value. I once was a little merchant on Runescape and while I don’t think I have access to that account any longer, I wish that all the work I had done on there and the items I bought were NFTs because then I’d still have access to them and their value.
ChapterX: To piggyback on that idea: I play League of Legends a lot and I’ve spent a lot of money on buying these skins. There’s really no other value other than when I play, but what happens if I lose my email or get locked out of my account? All that money that I spent on there is basically gone because it’s tied to that account. If this was all on the blockchain, I’d have ownership of my items. No matter what, I wouldn’t lose the items. Like in the US, we have Social Security cards. I’ve lost mine, which wouldn’t happen if I had it on the blockchain. I think that’s something that will be adapted in the future, real ownership of all of your items tied to the blockchain.
So a little bit on the world’s we create, from the project we get graphics, like a 2D graphic that they say means a lot to them. That's how we then bring that into 3D reality. Each has their own story, elements, and environment. Things are not randomly put here just because they look cool, they mean a lot to the community.
For example, the demo Alejo is looking at is a blockchain game on Solana. We turned their meaningful 2D graphics into the 3D world he’s looking at. You can see that the different things you can mine are different from any other world. These items have a special meaning to the community and it’s like this in every game. Right now the elements are not NFTs yet, but when they do bring in NFT holders, they can see how their avatar is involved. When they start getting points in their own game, it will also show up in this world.
Alejo: And you don’t even need to ask permission to do this, you can just connect the API. Let’s get to some of the questions the audience has asked.
1. Could you tell us a little more about your name, ChapterX, and the inspiration behind it?
So like we said, X stands for unknown variable as well as the number 10. In the ChapterX metaverse there are 10 different theme worlds that if you’re an NFT project or Web3 community can belong to.
2. What’s your favorite metaverse project that exists today, outside of your own?
There’s a lot to choose from. One of our team members comes from a background in Decentraland, so he is partial to them. But Sandbox is also a good one. We took a look at Portals the other day. There are a number of really interesting projects coming out, each with their own niche.
Follow up question: How do you think all of these metaverses will be combined?
ChapterX, speaker 1: If you think about the way that the Internet used to be, like when we were growing up, we were going to all different kinds of websites.There was a website for every little thing. And then slowly over time, all of this content got consolidated into just a few websites that we go on, whether it's Facebook, Discord, Amazon for products, etc. We used to have this whole huge ecosystem. So I think that's probably what's going to happen with the metaverse. In the short term, there's going to be possibly dozens of competitors that come up and then over time it’s going to whittle down to just a few more. Now, if those metaverses somehow become interoperable with themselves, more like a multiverse, it’s hard to imagine what that would look like. But I think it’ll whittle down to probably just two or three choice metaverses, with more niche metaverses for use outside of general purposes.
ChapterX, speaker 2: The metaverse how I imagined it is kind of like MMOs or MMORPGs where each metaverse would be a different world game. You could kind of look at it like continents, where you go to this metaverse for these specific things and to do these activities. Each will serve their own purpose for the reach of people that they're going to. Each metaverse is going to have its niche, and depending on what your niche is is where you'll attract yourself. You may find yourself going off to another one, but it doesn't fit your vibe or the community that you're looking for. There are some NFTs you buy with the hype, but don’t vibe with the community, so you may sell those to make money. Then there are some NFTs that don’t make any money, but you love the community and what they’re doing in there.
Alejo: I think that the watering hole you’re building is the perfect place to join communities that are working in this space and grow from there. I can see ChapterX being a cool hang out spot to play games together or host events. Personally, I think it would be better if there were more “verse” in this multiverse, and I hope we see more. I just hope it’s a little more democratized.
ChapterX, speaker 3: I think the metaverse, to me, is really about the immersive interaction. AR/VR plays into that, but I think it’s still some ways away. In the near term, it’s about bringing people together. There’s actually a lot of Web3 interactions that can be done in ChapterX already that go along with that vision. For example, in our Metaplex world, you can hold the Metaplex token and vote for DAO proposals inside the world in an immersive and interactive manner. At the same time, Metplex can educate users of what voting for these proposals means. There’s a lot of token and NFT related integrations that can be done within the world, which is really exciting to me.
Alejo: I think this could definitely help improve the participation rate in governance and DeFi. It’s hard to get people to care enough to participate in governance. But what if you could make it fun and have an event like a party or concert and then, at the end of the day, you voted on the parameters for fees. Maybe that’s a way to get more engagement than just text forums. Voting in governance should be taken more seriously, and I think this is something that could help get more people engaged.
ChapterX: I think in the future everything will be much more interactive. This is just the beginning. We’ll see more use cases of NFTs and tokens and the interactions between them. Right now, people are exploring that a little bit. A lot of interesting things to come, for sure.
3. Could you explain the developer’s role a little more?
ChapterX: The devs aren’t on the call today, but I’m sure they’d be able to answer your question more specifically. But generally, we have an entire development team from people who work on 3D modeling, graphics, character design, artwork, etc. Then all the way in the back are the people who do the coding. They hook up all of these 3D assets to the worlds and to the blockchain so they can work. Definitely check out our website chapterx.world for more information and then head to our Discord where you can ask questions to the mod, who is our tech genius.
4. ChapterX plans to redefine the concept of interaction within their platform, what innovative tools will they create and what will that bring to users? How does that guarantee a genuine interaction to help ChapterX grow?
ChapterX, Denex: A lot of what ChapterX is doing is just adding more utility and just more interactions inside the metaverse. If you go in when you're in the main world, you'll actually be able to see that we have a coin flip, which is very popular in the Solana ecosystem. Then we have a little random loopbox where you can pay whatever percent you want and there’s a chance you can triple or quadruple your investment, or get nothing. Adding in the utility of the games and the interactions between other communities like possible competitions. Or say we host a town hall function in one of the worlds for newcomers. I think adding to all the other projects will help us grow.
ChapterX, speaker 2: I think that’s really going to bring people together, having different communities interacting at the same time, representing themselves. I think Denex did a really good job of describing the specific development and functionality. To answer your question about bringing people together in the metaverse, I think it really comes with building a community. That word gets thrown around so much in Web3. Community has become a buzzword for, say, customer base. But when I say community, I generally mean it starts with people not only vibing with your product, but also the people behind it. This is something me and Denex do all the time, talk about this metaverse and Web3 more broadly. Through that, people get to know you and you build relationships with people. They come to events and participate in things. How do you actually build a genuine community that’s not a buzzword? It’s giving people value, and the relationships you build. People hang out with us on voice calls, joke around with us and play poker or trivia with us, all kinds of stuff. On our Discord, we play games in the metaverse. It comes down to the relationships you build, the energy and vibe you give off. You gotta be positive and have fun with people. Fun experiences bring people back.
5. What is the process for creating these 3D avatars?
ChapterX: There are thousands of unique character models, which obviously involve 3D artists. 3D modelers use a software where they can create batches of similar models with different attributes. Exactly the same way that people generate thousands of NFTs. Then when you have that distinct model, it’s populated into the metaverse. In the future, as we develop, those NFT's are going to be relegated specifically to the owners of the actual NFT so they have their 3D model represented in ChapterX.
6. What’s the role and the positive/negative impacts of AR/VR?
ChapterX: This would probably be better for our founders to answer, but generally I think it’s just a matter of when it happens. VR and that whole immersive experience really goes hand-in-hand with the metaverse. In many ways, a lot of people would like to immerse themselves in this metaverse reality in order to take a break from life as it is. Remember when we were kids and we’d come home from school and immediately go online because we’d rather be running around with our friends on Runescape as this avatar you identify with? I think that’s something that will be heavily integrated with VR. When you get into AR, augmented reality, it gets a little crazy being tied into the real world because we’re not immersing ourselves in a different world, we’re bringing that world into the real world. It’s scary because once there’s that initial growth, we don’t know where it’s heading or where it’s going to stop.
ChapterX, speaker 2: It’s the most amazing and scary thing at the same time. It’s just this world overlaid on top of the world. I’ve heard such crazy things from people in the industry about what it’s going to be capable of. You could have this immersive metaverse like ChapterX where it’s almost like a world 2.0. You have your AR glasses on and you see digital advertisements that you wouldn’t see without them.
Alejo: I think it’s going to come from both angles. The form factor of the screen on your face but also through your phone and simple glasses. And it’s only going to get better.
ChapterX: Fun fact, the human eye can almost always detect when an image is CGI. I think that’s one thing that will be hard for a lot of this augmented reality stuff. It’s going to be something that we know is fake, but it feels real. But it’s not too long before CGI starts to look too real. Like, I’ve almost been fooled by a deep fake or two. If you have your VR glasses on, you're going to be seeing things that look completely and utterly real. What are the implications of that? From an entertainment standpoint, that sounds pretty sick. But then you start to think about somebody having a virtual girlfriend and it starts to be a little different.
Alejo: I think the trajectory we’re going, it’s just a matter of higher fidelity. I think the eye starts to not be able to tell the difference around 8K, It gets so close our brains start to meld it. But I really appreciate you coming on and speaking with us.
Next week, ChapterX has a project lab show on Twitter, where they’re possibly setting up a giveaway, so join them there next Friday. Follow them on Twitter and Discord to keep up with them!