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Electric Sheep Community AMA Recap

To celebrate the announcement of the first NFT collection from Ultiverse in Electric Sheep, we sat down our Senior Art Director Liz Laing to chat about her prior experiences working on projects such as Elden Ring and the inspiration for the art and style of Electric Sheep. So if you missed the AMA you’re in luck as you can get caught up with the recap below!

Jay: Hey everyone! Welcome and thanks for joining our second AMA! I’m Jay and and I’m the Business Development Lead here at Ultiverse and will be the host for today’s event.

We’ll start with some questions for our guest today in the first part of the session and we’ll be answering some questions sent by the community on Twitter.

So in our last AMA, we were joined by Frank, the CEO of Ultiverse who introduced the overall framework and vision of the project.

For today’s session, we are very excited to introduce to everyone Liz Laing, who is the Senior Art Director for Ultiverse. Her experience in the industry is very extensive, having participated in the art production of several Triple A quality masterpieces, recently including Elden Ring, which has been a huge success in the industry and I know many of you in the community have played.

The focus today will be to get to know Liz better, learn about her experience working on Elden Ring and get some additional insight on the upcoming NFT collection Electric Sheep from Ultiverse. So without further ado, let’s welcome Liz!

Liz: Hi everyone! I’m Liz and it’s great to be able to participate in the AMA today and get a chance to chat about the project and answer some questions from our awesome community!

Jay: Thanks for joining us Liz. To start can you share with us your experience working in the game industry?

Liz: Sure. My previous experiences have primarily been in the game industry,and I would say my personal strengths are in original art design.

Previously, as the Art Director at various game companies, I’ve been lucky enough to have participated in the art production of some large-scale games and big releases. A few years ago, I had the honor of working on Elden Ring, producing for that project some of the original concept models and art for a number of monsters and weapons in the game.

Jay: Very cool! Can you tell us some examples?

Liz: For example for those who have played Elden Ring, they probably remember that there’s a boss called Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast.

And some of the smaller monsters in the game like the fish people Liurnia and the Teardrop Scarab among others.

Jay: I wonder what it was like to participate in the production of Elden Ring? I believe our community would love to hear some interesting takeaways from you.

Liz: Well it was definitely a very exciting and rewarding experience to participate in the production. Seeing the monsters I created in the game being a challenge for millions of players around the world.

Especially the boss Full-Grown Fallingstar beast, as I bet countless players are stuck on defeating that boss. I actually have had headaches trying to defeat that boss.

Jay: Yeah, the bosses in the From Software games are notoriously difficult but incredibly rewarding once you beat them. What can you share with us about the Elden Ring team and how they achieved such a high quality release?

Liz: The team behind Elden Ring is very persistent in putting the quality of the product first and making sure the overall style of the art and designs included are consistent. They spend a lot of time making sure no bugs will be in the game as well as on polishing the art and the animations, until they reach the point of perfection in all aspects. This I feel was a key factor in the success of Elden Ring and for any game actually.

During my participation in the production of Elden Ring, this pursuit of perfection took root in my daily work and led to me having strict requirements and high expectations for the quality of art produced by the team which caused some complaints from my team members.

For the art specifically, the Elden Ring team has always adhered to its own high aesthetic standards, attaching great importance to the overall atmosphere of the art. Drawing inspiration from the art style of Japan in the 1960’s, with a strong historical atmosphere which is dark, brooding and frankly bloody, which as a whole is very authentic.

This authentic style that is found in Elden Ring helped me to understand that good artwork requires not only having excellent art skills and a unique style, but also that showing the logic and spirit behind the work is key. In short, the work needs to be infused with a soul.

Jay: While Elden Ring is very dark and atmospheric as you said, i wonder if the vibe was reflected in the work environment as well?

Liz: In contrast to the product, the team atmosphere at Elden ring is very relaxed and lively, and all the members on the team were happy to share their ideas with each other.

The Producer Hidetaka Takasaki often participated in the discussion of the art production. He would examine the feeling of each artwork from the team of artists, and then put forward specific requirements, or tell you which creative direction was correct and therefore should expanded upon. His ideas would often inspire me a lot. Working with Hideko Takasaki was definitely an interesting and enjoyable experience for me.

Jay: It sounds pretty fulfilling to work with the Elden Ring team. Now that you are a core team member of Ultiverse, can you please tell us about your current work ? What led you to join the team at Ultiverse?

Liz: My role at Ultiverse primarily is being responsible for checking the output of the overall art, and reviewing the UI, the quality of the art on the models, and so on. I joined Ultiverse mainly because of the passion that the entire company possesses in making a truly innovative product that is unique in the blockchain space.

Our team here at Ultiverse has many years of experience in making games and has a deep understanding of how to make a quality product. When I was chatting with the main producer of Ultiverse, he analyzed the situation of the GameFi market with me, and believes that there should not only be simple game mechanics and basic graphics, so driven by this desire to offer more to GameFi players, he hopes to change people’s perception of GameFi by offering something the space hasn’t seen before.

His core belief is that in this market, in addition to the unique Play To Earn economic system, the quality of the art and graphics along with the player experience and authenticity of the game are also very important factors in expanding and evolving GameFi as a whole.

Therefore, at the beginning of the game design process, he decided to develop based on Unreal Engine 5. As this improves the quality of the overall game and presents to users higher graphical fidelity which in turns makes the player experience more engaging and immersive.

His pursuit and dedication to art is contagious, and it is one of the core reasons as to why I joined the Ultiverse team. At the same time, the working atmosphere here is also very open, with a focus on sharing and working together to realize the end goal, which is actually very similar to the Elden Ring team.

The ideas of the game production team have inspired me to build art prototypes, and my ideas for the product can also be realized through everyone’s efforts. This is a great feeling, as it drives myself and the entire art team to continuously introduce great designs that fit the product. I believe that in the near future, we’ll be able to share more and more of our designs and creations with the community.

Jay: We know that Ultiverse is preparing for the release of its first NFT collection called Electric Sheep, can you also briefly introduce it for us?

Liz: Sure! Yes as you said Ultiverse will be launching it’s first NFTs, and Electric Sheep is based on the cyberpunk style and will be a collection of PFP avatars.

The cyberpunk style has distinct characteristics, such as psychedelic artificial light, strong color alternations of red, blue, yellow and green, a sense of advanced technologies and futuristic stylish clothing. Core elements are the prevalence of hackers, cyberspace, artificial intelligence, bionics, augmented humans, prosthetics and an authoritarian government to name a few.

These distinctive features are integrated into the art of our PFP avatars. And we will be showcasing our work on our Twitter in the days to come so please follow our posts and I hope the community really likes our work!

Jay: Could you share with everyone the creative concept behind Electric Sheep?

Liz: For me, in addition to being an art style, cyberpunk is more about having a certain type of spirit. In the world of cyberpunk, conflict is everywhere and unavoidable. The continuous acceleration of technological advances has brought earth-shaking changes to human life, and also changed our understanding of human cognition.

The average person’s attitude towards rapid technological progress has gradually changed from initial expectation and optimism to worry and fear. In the well-known themes of cyberpunk, with the development of science and technology, the augmented and bionic people who have undergone mechanical transformations have long been integrated into people’s daily life. But because the achievements of science and technology are only in the hands of top technology companies, and further their own interests through their influence over the government, they continue to control and oppress the people at the bottom. They also take part in the excessive consumption of natural and environmental resources, leading to the accelerated destruction of the environment.

Despite the development of science and technology, the average person’s quality of life has not improved but rather is worse than in our own world. In this story, social differentiation has gone to the extreme, and the rebellious spirit of the people being oppressed and the strong desire to control everything that the top technology companies have,forms a sharp contrast within the society.

And the incompetent government not only fails to alleviate social inequalities, but even further intensifies these inequalities. The contradiction between high-end technology and low-level life, the conflict between the desire for control and the spirit of rebellion, the alienation of the human form and even the entire social structure from the adoption of technology, this strong sense of conflict and inherent contradictions is lies at the core of the Electric Sheep NFTs.

We hope that people through our work on Electric Sheep can think about whether the progress of science and technology brings hope for our collective future or are we destined to be imprisoned by the technology we create?

The centralization of technology, information, and rights represented by the company and the rebellious spiritual conflict spawned by the aspirations of the people at the bottom of the social hierarchy as they demand a better life, should it become the epitome of our future society?

We hope the community can find the answers in your heart through our work on Electric Sheep. This is why we want to express a unique take and our own interpretation of the spirit of the cyberpunk style, so that the art and story behind it can resonate more with the community.

Jay: Haha, it seems that you are a cyberpunk fan like many others. Do you have any cyberpunk movies or games that you can recommend to everyone?

Liz: For movies, I would highly recommend Blade Runner and The Matrix. In gaming, everyone can play Cyberpunk 2077. Although this game has been criticized very much, it still reflects the social environment of Cyberpunk. If it is a book, of course it is the originator of cyberpunk, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” The name of our NFT collection, Electric Sheep, is of course a tribute to the legendary author Philip Dick.

Jay: How do you evaluate the current NFT market?

Liz: The current NFT market is changing very quickly, and collections and artwork from various cultures are a huge factor in the growth of the market overall. Of course I hope and predict that this market will develop even more in the future, as more people come to better understand the charm of NFTs, leading to their own participation.

Liz: Now moving onto the second part of our AMA, let’s take some time to answer some of the questions asked by our community on Twitter!

From: NFTnoob233 Discord: Fabulous#9380

Q: NFT space is evolving so fast and new projects and metaverses are coming out everyday. What makes Ultiverse stand out from the crowd and gain traction in such a competitive environment? Discord: Fabulous#9380

Liz: It’s true that the NFTs industry is growing fast and the market is becoming more and more competitive, but I think that’s a good thing because it continues to motivate us to produce better products. As I mentioned before, I think an NFT collection that brings value to the community should not only have excellent art and a unique style, but also show the logic and spirit behind the work. It is necessary to inject your passion into the work.

So our Electric Sheep NFTs are actually based on a story backed by the themes in cyberpunk. Every NFT is a character within the story and each character has their own personality, background, and motivations. I’m sure each and every one of you can relate to our artwork, and perhaps the specific NFT you own will be a reflection of yourself in the world of cyberpunk.

In addition, the utility and gameplay value of our NFTs will increase once the Ultiverse platform and Terminus City is launched. But I can’t say too much now or Heath will kill me. So all I can say is pay attention to our Twitter, as there will be more information out in the future, and we will certainly give you a surprise.

From: WolferSH

Q: Will there be some distinctive features between the NFTs of the three organizations: gangs, the company and World government?

Liz: Yes, our NFTs will be divided between the gangs, company and the government. Each faction will have its own style and users can choose your NFT according to their favorite faction. On our Twitter are specific introductions for each faction, so if you are interested, more background information on the factions are available there.

From: jasmininagarc

Q: What do you hope to convey to the world through your NFT collection?

Liz: We hope that through our Electric Sheep NFTs, we can motivate more people to think about questions like, is the progress of science and technology the hope of people in the future, or will that so-called progress actually become a prison for people?

Should the conflict between the centralization of technology, information and power that the company represents and the desire for a better life for the people being oppressed become a microcosm of our future society? Cyberpunk culture is actually describing a dystopian future world.

We also hope that through thinking about what the future world will be like, we can better face some of the problems in society today and hope that we can work together to make our world better for all.

From: tiger11190737

Q: Why is it based on a sheep? What’s the story here?

Liz: Haha, the name of our NFT collection, Electric Sheep, is a tribute to Philip Dick, the legendary author of “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.” In 1968, Philip Dick wrote the landmark forward-looking science fiction novel and for the first time in science fiction literature the subject of humanism, the meaning of life and the inherent humanity of augmented humans was discussed as a subject. I feel this was an important milestone in the development of cyberpunk culture. So we’re paying tribute to the author Philip Dick and his masterpiece through our Electric Sheep NFTs.

Jay: As our AMA is coming to an end, is there anything else you’d like to say to the community?

Liz: Well I’d like to share that our Assistant Producer Heath told me that our Electric Sheep NFTs will not only be a PFP avatar but will have specific utility and benefits for holders in the future. I hope you can continue to pay attention to our project, and we will continue to update you on the progress of everything we’re building at Ultiverse and bring you more surprises.

Jay: For all you Electric Sheep fans, We also created a specific Twitter account for Electric Sheep which is @0xElectricsheep so we hope everyone can follow that account as well for all the news on the NFT collection including upcoming announcements regarding events and the whitelist.

Liz: We hope that fans can introduce more people to participate in the construction of the project, and our team hopes to have more in-depth exchanges with fans in the future.

Jay: Thank you again to Liz and everybody who has stayed through with us, and hope to see you soon in our next AMA. Bye friends.

About Ultiverse

Ultiverse is building the social gaming metaverse that connects Web3 with an immersive VR compatible virtual world. By empowering players of various economic abilities to build mutually beneficial relationships, Ultiverse is aimed at creating a first-of-its-kind MetaFi.

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