So, what was The Plan™️?
or, how we created & dropped 80+ Alt Nouns with no gas wars, ~0 failed transactions, and no pre-sale allow list. Read on 👇
Before you do however, Part 1 of this story was a twitter thread, ICYMI : Link to thread
And in case you don’t know what Alt Nouns are:
Shortly after we launched occ♻️remix, a little tool to allow flower holders to add their flowers to their favourite NFT pfps in a crypto-authenticated way – we found out about Nouns. And what a wormhole we went into. For those few days, and even as I’m typing this – It had fully captured our imagination, and we knew we had to build on it. Enter, Alt Nouns.
OCC’s mission is to make on chain art collectibles, that attempt to push the boundaries for what can be done on-chain. After a little research into Nouns, and the worlds within worlds that it was creating through its grants and CC0 art-work – we knew that there was a clear space for us to do something to blend our worlds together. All Nouns are created and stored on chain, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try and leverage this fact to build on top of the Nouns contracts.
And so – for Alt Nouns, the prompt in our heads was simple – how can contracts talk to each other on the blockchain, and produce derivative art – forever, and without human intervention?
I’ll dig into how we arrived at the core concepts and designs behind Alt Nouns in a future post – but I’ll say this – our work on occ#1🌺flowers had taught us that a lot more can be done on-chain than we’d previously imagined.
The possibilities with purely SVG based art work are infinite, and we’re only scratching the surface.
On Oct 18th, on the OCC discord – we announced that we had been secretly working on an experimental project. In line with our ethos, we announced no other details until we know this experiment was going to be 'technically' feasible or not. Lots of things could still go wrong, especially when every mistake you make also lives forever.
After extensive Rinkeby tests, we knew we were on to something. Alt Nouns were being generated reliably, and consistently – using nothing but existing Nouns, straight from the contract. Big ups to Fast Food Dao’s @jakeywan & @Noun22_ for their feedback during this phase, and Solimander for their consistent tech support on the Nouns discord!
On Oct 26th – we deployed Alt Nouns to the Mainnet, and test minted 5 Alt Nouns. At this point, we knew for sure that Alt Nouns work as expected on the mainnet and announced the fact that our experiments were a success. Again, no details yet – but 2 people did find out about this deployment and very kindly took down their Alpha Leak posts about it. Thank you for being good sports @MrCartographer_ & @ethsean! Alpha leaks are usually expected, but in this case, it could get spell disaster – since we really wanted to reward our early supporters without relying on an allow list.
If you’re wondering why even bother, and why we didn’t just have an allowlist – you’re not alone. One of the more frequently asked questions on these private channels at the time was:
Based on the initial response to Alt Nouns on our discord, we expected at least a percentage of floweriños (the term/token-gated role of endearment for people who have flowers) to be interested in minting Alt Nouns – and even if half the interested people were to mint their max allocated amount of Alt Nouns, there would be failed transactions, lost gas, etc.
So, we came up with a plan. Since Alt Nouns are minted one at a time, for a specific Noun ID – in order to mint an Alt Noun directly from the contract, people would need to enter an ID, the amount they’ll be paying and ‘Write’ that transaction. The Plan, was deceptively simple. ‘Claim‘ the IDs for the Alts you intend to mint, on a channel dedicated for this. Ignore the ones that have already been posted by someone else, and if you come to a disagreement, talk it out and be reasonable. All this so that when minting goes live, one has a certain amount of time to specifically mint the IDs they want.
We also explicitly mentioned that there isn’t necessarily an actual ‘claim’ – just a ‘claim‘ that’s meant to be honoured by everyone in this channel. And here is where it gets interesting – in order for your claim to be honoured by everyone else, it’d be in your best interests to honour their claims yourself. As an extension of this fact, it’d also be in peoples’ best interests to not leak this information, or anything else about Alt Nouns – since it’d reduce not just their chances to mint an ID that they want, but also that of everyone else. We maintained complete transparency about all these aspects, and the risks involved so people knew this and abided by this ‘code of honour‘.
If you’re interested in the full text, please read check out this announcement on discord.
And so, #🔢the-plan was born:
Why were 0,10,20 etc. not available? Every 10th Alt Noun is reserved for Noun holders, in perpetuity, as a way to give back to the community that made this possible. Hence the callout for 0,10,20 etc. At the time of this post being published – reserved Alt Nouns are still available to mint.
To our surprise, people understood what we were going for here – and they started ‘claiming’ IDs! Our community stepped up to explain to others who were confused about what was happening, and even maintained a running list of all the ‘claimed‘ IDs.
People went so far as to send a note if they weren’t planning to mint an ID that they had claimed. In a space where mint days can be ruthless, with each person for themselves – this was a wholesome and unexpected level of cooperation.
Alt Nouns were to go live on Saturday, 30th October around EST morning. The exact times and the contract links were kept secret, to prevent leaks and such – but we did have a 2hr range during which Alt Nouns would go live. The weekend prior to this one, gas was a pretty decent <100GWEI, but with the onslaught of dog coins over this week – gas was troubling. If failed transactions were a problem before, they were an even bigger one this time. People stood to lose upwards of 0.1ETH in gas.
We created a guide for those who had never minted from the contract before and revealed the opensea & etherscan links 30 minutes before minting went live. And then we held our collective breaths to see if things go to plan.
Minting went live at ~6PM UTC. And the following hour or so was when we got to see The Plan in action. People were casually minting the IDs that they’d ‘claimed’, and only 1 or two folks had had their IDs minted by someone else. Thankfully, there were a few ‘unclaimed’ IDs that were still up for use – so practically everyone who wanted to mint one, got to mint one.
And not just that, mint the specific Alt Noun they wanted. At this point, we did notice a couple of transactions from people who were not on these channels, so there was a leak – albeit a tiny one, and one that didn’t effect anyone in a meaningful way.
After two hours, and making sure that no floweriño was left behind – we publicly announced Alt Nouns. A bunch of people joined the discord, and we had to open up these private channels to make sure that everyone knew what this project was about, and how they could get one of the few remaining Alt Nouns. At this time, there were roughly 10 unclaimed Alt Nouns publicly available, and they were gone in a few minutes. There were a couple of failed transactions, and lost gas during this period – as was expected for such a limited drop.
But all said and done, the initial drop of the 80+ Alt Nouns that were available went without a hitch. Everyone who wanted one got one, and those who really wanted one – bought one in the secondary market on opensea.
While after the fact, it is easy to say that things went smoothly – to be honest, we expected the worst to happen. Bot minting, flipping etc. It was thrill to watch unfold in the way that it did, and we can proudly call this experiment within an experiment – a success.
We froze #🔢the-plan channel in order to preserve the way this played out, so that we can look back at how this community came together to participate in this experimental project – and set the stage for what is now quite possibly, the first never-ending derivative art project. One that runs as long as there are new Nouns.
One Alt Noun, every day, forever.
If you’d like to see what happened on The Plan, have a look here.
Since the launch of Alt Nouns, each subsequently available Alt Noun has been minted within 3 minutes of its Noun coming into existence. The fastest claim so far has been 9 seconds. If you want to know how you can get an Alt Noun, straight from the contract, have a look here:
Or, alternatively, check us out on OpenSea, here.
Twitter : twitter.com/onChainCo
Discord : occ.xyz/discord