Back at the start of 2019, it looked like the blockchain was dead and buried. The price of Bitcoin had blown up then it had burst in one giant, messy splat. The price crashed from almost $20,000 to little more than $3,500. The blockchain technology that underpinned the coin looked like it had taken a heavy blow to the head. There was blood on the walls.
Today, with the price of Bitcoin hovering around $35,000, it’s clear that what looks dead can often rise from the grave, grow in strength… and scare the daylights out of people.
But Bitcoin isn’t the only undead roaming the blockchain. Vancity Outbreak is a photorealistic graphic novel from Whiplash Comics about a viral outbreak in Vancouver that turns people into cannibal zombies. The first episode was released in October using the blockchain. Instead of buying a complete comic from their local store, readers could buy a transferable box and receive drops supported by the WAX blockchain. Together, those drops enabled them to build the complete story. Collect all 41 pages, and readers could earn the complete comic in PDF form.
Whiplash Comics has just released episode two of the comic, and they’ve shown that what isn’t killed can come back stronger.
This time building a complete collection to create the comic will be harder. Readers will need to purchase six survival drops. The story itself will be 35 percent longer and there will be a lot more art to collect, including 14 ultra-rares. But it’s what’s happening beyond the comic itself that shows how NFTs can add a whole new level to a product. In addition to using drops to slowly release the comic and create transferable collectibles, the drops will also include characters and weapons. At the end of the month, Whiplash will organize a giant NFT battle. Humans, strengthened with nail guns and hammers and other weapons, will face off against zombies with enhanced hit points.
It’s high-stakes stuff. Each use of a weapon burns that NFT. Lose a fight and the character NFT is burned too. Winning character NFTs return to the player with a plus-one kill score NFT backed by WAX. Together, Whiplash Comics will be giving away $1,000 worth of WAX through those rewards. At the end of the battle, everyone who managed at least one kill will also receive a collector’s edition.
So there’s a lot more happening here than the reading of a photorealistic comic. Whiplash Comics has used NFTs to gamify their story and actively engage readers. They’ve also been buying land in metaverses to build galleries that show off their art. Cryptovoxels, for example, already has a Vancity showroom where fans can browse the images and check out the art. And here too, Whiplash Art has added gamification. Find a panic button in the gallery, and you have 48 hours to complete a scavenger hunt. Prizes include bonus weapons for the big NFT fight.
With so much on the blockchain coming back from the dead, you might just need that extra firepower.