coming soon


Genesis City Art Week

Starting in June, there was a week long art festival with an event everyday showcasing a new cryptoart exhibition. The exhibitors included SuperRare, MakersPlace, KnownOrigin, Pixelchain, Mintbase, Josie Bellini, OpenSea, AsyncArt and Chain Guardians.

Majority of the events took place in SoHo plaza, a district that is located North East of the map just left of the massive cyberpunk district Aetheria.

All the galleries are located walking distance from each other, filled with NFTs from their website collections on the walls. It's a interesting experience to walk around the gallery instead of scrolling the website.

The artworks on the wall were interactive as well. Clicking on the cryptoart opened up a menu warning that you were about to open an external website. This is a safety precaution to verify you're going to the correct website and not a phishing scam. If you verify that the URL is correct, a nifty feature that Decentraland implemented is the ability to check a box to 'trust this domain'. Once checked, you can click any artwork on the wall and it will open up a link in a new browser tab for purchasing. After opening up a few links it started to feel like filling up a shopping cart.

Users got a free Proof-of-Attendance-Protocol (POAP) NFT for every event they attend. This basically means they showed up on time for the event. Collecting 10 of the POAPs gives all the collectors an exclusive NFT designed by Shibu, the art director of Decentraland, and a chance to win LAND in a prize draw.

The machines to claim a POAP were located around locations of the events. Since users are already logged in via their Ethereum wallet, all one needed to do was click the button and pay some gas for the transaction.

Now that the dust has settled, there were some good and bad things about Art Week worth mentioning.

Starting with the bad, it mostly came down to performance. During the launch of one of the galleries, we recorded <5 FPS at times. Wasn't the whole switch to Unity because of performance? Granted it's much better than how things were 1 year ago, but it's probably going to be a long time until DCL is ready for VR where any amount of lag can make a person quickly feel sick. 

Based on the roadmap and past interviews it seems like the native client is what is deemed to solve many of the speed issues, but will be at the expense of introducing more hurdles for people to jump into the world. This strategy might prove to be costly in terms of user acquisition, so hopefully the web client will continue to be maintained.

For the good, the galleries themselves looked fantastic. One of the nice traits about Decentraland is that it encourages people to design the facade of their virtual world. In many virtual worlds like VRChat, creators mostly concern themselves with only what's visible to the users like interior spaces since their world is isolated. In the case of Decentraland, worlds are connected to each other on the grid, so designing the outside of your building to be attractive for people to check out the inside is very important.

Looking forward to the next one!