Gojira Labs turns static NFTs into playable game characters with ‘animatronic NFTs’

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game studio Gojira Laboratories announced non-fungible animatronic tokens (NFTs) so game companies can take static NFTs and turn them into 2D animated playable game characters. The tech will debut in Gojira’s Sprinft racing game using characters from well-known NFT collections.

The New York-based company hopes its aNFTs will disrupt the Web3 gaming market by bringing games to NFTs rather than bringing NFTs to games, Mark Soares, president of Gojira Labs, said in an interview with GamesBeat.

“We’ve seen a lot of people trying to bring NFTs to games. It just doesn’t work. I’m sure you saw how the players objected to it,” Soares said. And their arguments make perfect sense, right? They opposed it because they are tired of being monetized. And NFTs seemed like just another way to monetize them. So if I was them, I’d be bored too. We are not bringing NFT to games. We bring games to NFTs. And that’s an important distinction because we try to bring utility and entertainment to current or existing NFT collections, which have very broad community bases.

If you disassemble an aNFT character, you get a lot of moving parts.

In my opinion, the game doesn’t look amazing right now. But it’s a work in progress, and it looks like the idea is innovative and simple to execute. As you can see from the GIF below, it doesn’t take much to breathe life into NFT collectibles.


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Developed by Gojira Labs, aNFTs add the ability to animate NFT collections like PFPs (profile pictures or “picture for evidence”). aNFTs are a new digital collectible format designed for gaming.

For lack of a better word, it’s like creating a moving Frankenstein monster. Arms and legs animate and the character comes to life, with moving eyeballs and more. It’s kind of a new concept for NFTs, although others like mystical moose create 3D avatars from NFT. For now, Soares is focusing on 2D animated characters, but he said the team will consider 3D. Others try to create dynamic NFTs, which can change over time.

So far, few others are making the connection, Soares said.

“If you have all the components of a spreadsheet, but it’s a character spreadsheet, of all the body components, the game engine can animate them,” he said. “And as long as you follow the same format, you can still animate them. It’s the simplicity that draws me so much to the concept.

Sprint racing game

Gojira Labs makes a racing game called Sprinft.

And Gojira Labs will launch the first aNFT-enabled game, Sprinft, a multi-channel, multi-player racing game for owners of supported NFT collections to compete against each other.

To seize the opportunity, Gojira Labs formed a joint effort between Blokhaus, a Web3-branded incubator and product lab, and 100XP, a game studio that created games such as Pigs at War and Tezotopia. Together they number around 60 people.

Soares sees aNFTs as a new format for digital collectibles that allows static NFTs to become playable, interactive characters. This format, which provides all of the artwork components needed to animate a complete game character, was created to unlock instant playability for PFP NFT collections.

Many Web3 enthusiasts have paid big bucks for NFTs for games, featuring characters like Bored Apes, DeGods, CryptoPunks and more. Players own the rights to the characters they’ve purchased, and so the big appeal of owning them is that they can be used in any game. In this case, by animating static 2D characters so that they can become full-bodied 2D characters, Gojira adds new utility to NFTs by allowing them to be used in more games.

The aNFT format, a new approach to NFTs designed for games, provides an exploded view of complete characters that can then be easily animated. Artwork components are designed to be mapped to game animation rigs so they can be deployed seamlessly as a playable character.

Initially, aNFTs will be compatible with Gojira Labs’ proprietary flexible animation platform, codenamed “Gooji”. This combination creates a powerful new animation workflow that promises to inspire a new wave of Web3 games.

Gojira Labs started about seven months ago and was legally incorporated more recently. It started with a heated discussion about why you couldn’t have a Bored Ape battling a CryptoPunk in a new kind of game where it was okay to mix different franchises.

“And from there, we actually spawned this idea of ​​an animatronic NFT that can be applied to many different games,” Soares said. “As long as the game developer follows the framework, they should animate these Animatronic NFTs in their games.”

To demonstrate the potential of aNFTs, Gojira Labs is also launching a beta version of Sprinft, a multi-channel, multi-player racing game that will be the first to use this new format. The initial release of the game will provide a simulation of the aNFT experience, allowing holders of specific PFP collections to unlock a character to play.

Bigger projects

Gojira Labs wants to turn animatronic NFTs into a larger industrial effort.

In the near future, Gojira Labs aims to collaborate with PFP Collections to adopt the aNFT format and allow PFP holders to generate and collect a playable version of their NFT, Soares said. Collections currently under consideration for support include Bored Ape Yacht Club, Sappy Seals, DeGods, CryptoPunks, Tezzardz, and Reddit Avatars.

“We believe animatronic NFTs (aNFTs) can unlock new levels of entertainment and utility for avid NFT collectors and gamers,” Soares said. “With aNFTs, we’re bringing games to NFTs, not the other way around. Our mission is to leverage Web3 technology to help bridge the gap between the NFT world and gaming, and we’re excited to see what new experiences our technology will allow.

Not only do aNFTs represent a new way for PFP communities to engage with each other, but they also allow game developers to reinvent Web3 games. The aNFT approach contrasts with traditional NFT gaming efforts, such as play-to-win and NFTs as in-game assets, which have drawn criticism from the gaming community.

Gojira Labs makes the skeletons of NFT characters to give them movement.

Most of the work involves converting an NFT image into a full character body, then figuring out the skeleton to animate it and bring it to life.

Over time, Soares thinks it would be great to create a standard way for game companies to do this and make their characters more interoperable.

“I can see an NFT format with different qualities and variables that are then honored by different games,” he said. “Standards are going to be essential.

The company hopes to launch a full game in the second quarter. And Gojira Labs hopes to collaborate with other companies on aNFTs.

So far, the company has a simple demo of the racing game, where whoever finishes first wins. There are many other games that could be created, such as retro arcade games.

Gojira Labs strives to fully automate the Gooji animation framework, including exploring the use of AI, so that PFP collections with aNFT compatibility can be instantly deployed as playable characters.

aNFTs are currently supported on the Ethereum and Tezos blockchains, with other L1s and L2s being considered for support.

Gojira comes from the Japanese name for creatures that combined whales and gorillas, as in the original Godzilla character.

“We like to think of things and combine them, like what we do with aNFTs, where we merge the skeleton and all the body components together to animate these PFP collections,” Soares said.

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