August 25, 2021 – a significant date marking my first purchase on OpenSea, acquiring a Pixelglyph NFT, which has served as my avatar ever since. This acquisition wasn't just a transaction; it signified the beginning of a deeply personal crypto journey, intertwining my identity with the unfolding story of onchain activity.

The allure of Pixelglyphs harks back to the charm of old-school games like Space Invaders and pacman, each glyph being a distinct iteration of onchain generative pixel art – a medium I find remarkably underappreciated. This particular form of art resonated with me, sparking a journey that transcended the boundaries of NFTs.

Fast-forward to the present, almost three years later. I find myself often revisiting the Pixelglyphs page on OpenSea, not to purchase, but to immerse myself in the digital artistry of these glyphs. This ritual has become a cherished pastime, akin to cloud-watching on long drives, where my kids and I guess the shapes and forms of the glyphs. Pareidolia is the tendency to perceive meaningful patterns within random data. This phenomenon is common in human perception and often leads to people identifying familiar shapes or figures in clouds, ink blots, rock formations, and even Pixelglyphs. It's a testament to the human brain's ability to find order in chaos and to interpret ambiguous visual cues in a way that makes sense to the individual observer.

Today I am excited to announce that me and Wiche have acquired the Pixelglyphs project from its original creator. I have always thought that Crypto made the internet fun again, and wish to spread that ethos to everyone.

So what does the future hold? Let's delve into that.

Cellular Automata and Generative Art

At the heart of Pixelglyphs lies the concept of cellular automata – discrete computational models reminiscent of a grid of cells, each oscillating between various states. Think of it like the pixels on a screen, with an initial pattern evolving according to specific rules based on neighboring cells. This process creates a dynamically generated, distinctive pattern – the essence of each glyph.

Take John Conway's "Game of Life," for instance. It’s a cellular automaton that generates evolving, intricate designs, a prime example of generative art. Pixelglyphs employs a variation of these rules in its contract:

  • A live cell with two or three neighbors survives; otherwise, it perishes due to isolation or overcrowding.

  • A dead cell revives with one or fewer neighbors, differing from the Game of Life's requirement of exactly three.

  • The neighborhood of a cell includes adjacent cells in a Von Neumann arrangement.

Applying these rules across the grid yields the next state of the automaton, which, in turn, can generate a unique grid pattern for each NFT.

The cellular automaton algorithm was run within the smart contract during each mint. The generatively created pixel matrix which makes up your Pixelglyph, along with the randomly generated colors that are used to render the image, are stored as event data on Ethereum. While the Pixelglyphs store image files on IPFS for convenience, the onchain data generated at mint can always be used to regenerate each unique image using a JavaScript function that runs in your browser.

Onchain Games

One objective in acquiring the project is to utilize the brand's potential to develop onchain games. Onchain games in my book does not mean play-to-earn, or merely putting particular gaming assets onchain.

Onchain games are native to the blockchain, the 'world computer', where the notions of ownership and persistence are paramount. In these games, the state and progression are inherently tied to the blockchain, ensuring that every aspect of gameplay is permanently recorded and owned by the players. By leveraging crypto transactions, SoFi, and DeFi principles, we can create more dynamic, interactive, and financially inclusive gaming experiences, where players are not just participants but also stakeholders in the game's economy.

Some great examples and variations of this are draw.tech, frenpet, and basepaint.

L2s like Base potentially give us cheap blockspace, and progressive web apps (PWAs) push UX forward, both of which help us in exploring new intuitive and fun games.

During the last cycle, there was a prevalent belief that “Web3 games” would seamlessly integrate with existing video game platforms. Interoperable gaming assets made so much sense in theory. Despite millions invested in this direction, it remains unclear if this approach has an audience.

I prefer the development of native gaming ecosystems that leverage the unique strengths of crypto, rather than attempting to force NFTs into the framework of traditional gaming models. While these games will not have fantastic graphics or long lifespans, they will be fun, engaging, social, transparent, and include all aspects of what makes crypto fun.

The Past and Future of Pixelglyphs

We see potential in forging a brand around the glyphs. They have popular appeal and unique recognizability, and culturally relevant within a subculture of onchain identity.

  • Key Historical Info

    • Mint was on July 18, 2021.

    • No traits. Pure generative pixel art.

    • The great naming ceremony was on August 7, 2021. Every owner had a chance to name his glyph and store that onchain. Example, meet Loki. Not all glpyhs were named.

    • 170 glyphs seem to have been tragically burned by users over the years.

  • Provenance: Ownership history is invaluable. The glyphs will stay on ethereum mainnet.

  • Sustainable Model: We aim to create a sustainable business model that not only supports the project but also provides tangible reasons for engagement, secondary purchases, and fun for the holders. This is what success looks like.

  • Community Focus: To consolidate our community, I will be cleaning up the Discord server, shifting conversations to X for broader reach and engagement. Feel free to reach out to us on @4484, @wiche232323, or on @pixelglyphs.

  • Party: For holders and and glyph enthusiasts, we will be creating a Party open for donations, members of the party will then have the opportunity to coordinate and use the funds to build products and grow the ecosystem together. Secondary royalties (5%) will be pointed to the Party wallet address.

  • What was the IP that was included in the acquisition?

Subscribe to my mirror page below, and follow @4484, @wiche232323, and @pixelglyphs X accounts for updates and information on timeframes.

Shoutout to 0xdeployer and Rosco Kalis for the amazing work put into the project.

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