Dev Commentary: The Founding of Nootopia

Welcome to the Developer Commentary for the Founding of Nootopia. Please note that this is not the lore; use the menu on the left if you're looking for the story 🙂

When authoring the founding of Nootopia, there were three main things we wanted to establish:

  1. We wanted to set a tone of positivity and inclusivity.
  2. We wanted to encourage participation in subDAOs.
  3. We wanted to leave the door open to a second collection.

Positivity and Inclusivity

Positivity and inclusivity were important to us because we wanted very much to distinguish ourselves from the other (more "degenerate") mints happening at the time.

Our hypothesis was that, by fostering a friendly and welcoming vibe to a large demographic of people, we stood the best chance of onboarding new people to Solana.

"A rising tide lifts all boats," as the saying goes, and we believed (and still believe!) that a collection's best chance of success is to establish itself as a pillar of the community and contribute to the benefit of the whole ecosystem. The more the entire ecosystem prospers, the more successful the project will be.

Lots of people recall Pesky Penguins fondly, even in this midst of this terrible (Nov/Dec 2022) bear market. Pesky Penguins still has a loyal core community of positive, friendly people, and we are grateful every day for your own contributions to our culture of positivity and inclusivity ❤️

With the values of positivity and inclusivity in mind, you'll see language in the lore like:

"Its citizens built friendly robot pengus... welcomed into their ranks lonely alien pengus seeking refuge from the wide ways of the lonely dark universe..."

"Blunt pengus and cops working hand in hand..."

"...every pengu working with their neighbors..."

We set the tone to create a sense of belonging early on.

SubDAO Participation

When Pesky Penguins launched, we saw lots of self-organized participation in MonkeDAO around different attributes.

We wanted to encourage the same behavior in Pesky Penguins, and this is why we call out potential groupings; not just types like Robots and Zombies, but other characteristics that people could conceivably self-organize around (Kings, Queens, Lucky Legion, McPengu Corporation, etc.).

A Second Collection

Our thought was that we'd use the lore to introduce characters who would become the Heroes of Nootopia, another (more exclusive) collection we could mint at a later date after people had an emotional attachment and vested interest in the Pesky Penguins story.

In retrospect, Icarus seems like a non-sequitur with regard to the direction that the lore ended up going, but in giving him his own portrait, Icarus served the double purpose of creating hype and speculation along with enabling us to move in the direction of a Heroes of Nootopia collection.

There's a common expression about the best-laid plans of Noots and Men, and we ended up heading in a different direction. Gargolon proved to be more than simply another "member" of a heroes collection; he grew into a full-blown protagonist.

And though you'll see us continue down the path of introducing other heroes throughout the end of 2021 (the Steward, Nootlysses, etc), the Heroes of Nootopia collection was eventually shelved in favor of building Nootopia instead. The hypothesis there being that an exclusive collection would divide the community between the "haves" and "have-nots," while a home is a place for people to gather.