DOTM: The Past. The Present. The Future…

Sparkles NFT
8 min readJan 3, 2023

Introduction

The upcoming mint of the Defenders of the MetaSpark (DOTM) NFT series on Flare Network is highly anticipated for many reasons.

The DOTM collection not only brings many firsts to the Flare ecosystem, but also offers a whole host of fun and possibilities for DOTM holders.

Immersive experiences will be enabled. A new take on asset ownership and potential opportunities will be provided. Holders will embark on a journey into the metaverse. The dawn of a new era for NFTs will begin.

This article looks at the history and past introduction of the DOTM, where the project is presently, and what can be expected in the future.

Beginnings of the DOTM — The Collectors’ Edition: Concept Art

A project long in the planning and making, eagle eye NFT enthusiasts paying close attention will have noticed the first public introduction of the DOTM back in January 2022.

Upon the initial launch of the Sparkles marketplace v1.0 on Songbird, an Easter egg of the ‘Defenders of the MetaSpark — Collectors’ Edition: Concept Art’ appeared on the homepage, giving the first visual clue of what was to come.

DOTM ‘Collectors’ Edition: Concept Art’ on Sparkles v1.0 homepage

For those who spotted this Easter egg, it may have seemed insignificant at the time. But this appearance of the DOTM concept art was a subtle clue as to the work that had occurred, and the planning and future developments which the community could look forward to.

The next appearance of the DOTM followed in March 2022, when ‘Collectors’ Edition: Concept Art’ NFTs were airdropped to those delegating to Sparkles FTSO across epochs 20 to 43.

An outline of the plan for the DOTM, the utility of the ‘Concept Art’, in addition to the white list for the DOTM mint was provided in May 2022.

From this, the community may have begun to get an idea of the thought, planning and process occurring in the background. However, these details only scratched the surface.

Below is a deeper dive into what is, and what will be, happening with the DOTM, and just what makes the collection so highly anticipated.

Into the Metaverse

Whilst an in-depth analysis of the metaverse is beyond the scope of this article, a cursory overview is at least warranted.

The term ‘metaverse’ was first coined in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in his novel, Snow Crash, where it was imagined the Metaverse was a vast, sprawling, immersive virtual world.

Despite often being used as a buzzword, the metaverse is real, is coming, and is being built as you read this.

Rather than one huge, singular virtual world as envisioned in Snow Crash, the current iteration of the metaverse is shaping up to be constructed by an interconnected network of multiple smaller metaverses.

As Web 3 and blockchain development continues, the metaverse space also grows, with current reports estimating the global metaverse market to reach $1.6 trillion by 2030.

The DOTM provides an opportunity for a front-row seat at the beginning of this journey on Flare.

It’s Looking Unreal

As the space continues to grow, many metaverse builders are currently utilizing Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) as a tool of choice to enable a hyper-realistic immersive experience in high fidelity.

The DOTM avatars are compatible with any metaverse built utilizing UE5, and owners are provided with avatars built to the highest standards, at AAA-rated gaming quality, along with being interoperable across any such metaverse.

DOTM holders will be able to travel the metaverse whilst ensuring they are looking sharp and on point as they do.

Netvrk Integration

In September 2021, Sparkles announced a partnership with Netvrk, ‘initiating the metaverse’ for Flare Network, laying the foundations for the DOTM and encouraging other projects within the ecosystem to follow course.

DOTM in Netvrk’s Metaverse

Since this announcement, Sparkles and Netvrk have been closely collaborating on the integration of the DOTM and Flare blockchain into Netvrk, making the DOTM the first NFT collection and avatar from the Flare ecosystem to be integrated in the metaverse.

Mine Runner

Through integration into Netvrk’s Metaverse, the DOTM will be playable in Netvrk’s first play & earn (P&E) game, Mine Runner.

DOTM in Mine Runner — Netvrk’s first P&E game

Having been integrated into Mine Runner, the DOTM is in the unique position of having in-game utility even before the mint event.

Additionally, as the Netvrk Metaverse continues to be built out, the DOTM, along with Netvrk’s other metaverse partners, will be integrated into various other aspects.

The DOTM will be able to explore Netvrk’s social spaces, roam the open world and explore DOTM HQ where the defenders assemble.

As Netvrk release additional P&E games, the DOTM will again be playable. These include the Netvrk Battle Royale game, a player-vs-player (PVP) battlezone, where players can compete for rewards and special items using their DOTM avatar, and Netvrk’s Racing game, where DOTM characters can utilize their hover bikes to compete in several racing formats.

NovaCore x DOTM hover bike

First Person Shooter — Introducing NovaCore

Sparkles are working in collaboration with NovaCore, who have experience in 3D design and motion graphics for enterprise products, such as Microsoft, and are at the forefront of UE5 game development for Flare.

NovaCore x DOTM

NovaCore have been in development of a first-person shooter (FPS) game for over a year and will be integrating the DOTM as playable characters.

DOTM in action in NovaCore’s FPS game (Images taken from pre-alpha build)

NovaCore’s FPS will have multiple game modes, including options such as Single Player Objectives, Classic Team Death Match and Capture the Orb.

DOTM x NovaCore FPS game (images taken from pre-alpha build)

Additionally, NovaCore’s FPS will bring a new experience in play-and-own (P&O). This will provide players with real ownership of in-game assets as they progress and level-up, which can be used to display the status of progress, or be traded on the secondary market on Sparkles.

NovaCore FPS with DOTM in-game (images taken from pre-alpha build)

On-Chain NFT License

When purchasing an NFT, it is not always clear or apparent what the rights of ownership are in respect of the intellectual property (IP) of the NFT.

The DOTM collection changes that.

Owners of the DOTM NFTs will be granted an on-chain NFT license providing commercial rights over the IP to holders.

DOTM owners will be able to create their own revenue streams and build their own brand by utilizing the IP of their NFTs (more details of what IP comes with the NFT below).

Additionally, should owners wish, they are able to sublicense the use of the IP associated to their NFT, providing further opportunity for brand growth through collaborative working, or by utilizing more experienced parties to assist in developing revenue streams in conjunction with their IP.

IP rights and on-chain licensing is a broad and complex subject, again beyond the scope of this article. But this serves as a starting point for the community to begin familiarizing themselves with the possibilities these bring, and this subject will be unpacked in more detail in future articles.

High Resolution PFPs

Whilst being more than a PFP (Picture for Proof / Profile Picture) project, PFPs are still widely loved and used across the Web3 space.

The DOTM collection provides owners with access to a high resolution PFP, accessible only to NFT holders through wallet sign-in.

DOTM high-resolution PFPs

DOTM PFPs can be used as identifiers for gaming and social media profiles, in addition to making holders instantly recognizable should they wish to utilize the NFT license to build out their brand.

FBX (3d) Files and UE5 Textures

As with the PFPs, DOTM holders will have access, through wallet sign-in, to FBX files and UE5 texture packs.

These materials enable owners to become incredibly creative with their assets. This could be purely for fun and creative purposes, or for any other possibilities that can be imagined in utilizing the asset IP and NFT license, creating revenue streams and building a brand.

$SNFT Allocation

As with the Sparkles Genesis Collection NFT holders, early adopters of the various elements of the Sparkles ecosystem are recognized as being supporters of Sparkles and our vision of an interoperable, metaverse-enabled future.

The participation of early support of Sparkles in future DAO governance of the Sparkles protocol is therefore encouraged.

As such, those holding DOTM NFTs will be included in the future $SNFT allocation, with 2% reserved to be distributed evenly across the collection of the 10,000 DOTM NFTs.

This will provide DOTM holders with the ability to participate in the Sparkles DAO governance processes, as well as benefitting from the additional utility provided by $SNFT across the Sparkles ecosystem.

Comprehensive details of the Sparkles DAO governance process and the utility of $SNFT is featured within the Sparkles whitepaper, which will be released shortly after the Flare token distribution events (TDE).

One Tree Planted

In keeping with the core values of Sparkles, and to maintain Sparkles position of being climate positive, for every DOTM NFT minted, one tree will be planted to offset any carbon emissions.

DOTM Mint Date

The DOTM Collection mint will take place on January 22, 2023.

Please keep an eye out on Sparkles official social media for more details.

Final Thoughts

Sparkles thrives on pioneering the NFT space and the DOTM collection is a true reflection of this. The value, concept, and vision of the DOTM spans far and wide, includes real utility from the onset, offers P&E and P&O capabilities, along with additional revenue-generating opportunities due to the novel on-chain licensing and IP rights.

About Sparkles

Sparkles is the largest open NFT marketplace on the Flare and Songbird Network.
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