To get the XQST creative juices flowing, we hosted a sketch session in Discord. The goal was to explore the creative direction of canvas 2 coins. Starting with the low-fi tldraw open canvas drawing tool, we quickly moved into Figma so we could bring in visual artifacts from prior XQST work.
- Thursday 1/27/22, 12-1:30pm CST
- XQST Discord Server, #workshoppe voice channel + #workshoppe-chat text channel
- <10 community members present
✍️ Rough Sketchin in tldraw
We started our session in a cool open canvas app: tldraw.com. There’s always something fun about getting a bunch of people into a collaborative tool and play around. We chose to use tldraw to get some quick sketches out and find a direction for the design of the canvas 2 coin.
Of course, we stumbled on some really exciting and ridiculous doodles to get the creative juices flowing. This is the benefit of starting low-fi - there’s room to explore and get warmed up.
There’s a few specs that we decided on during the last session, and we chatted about a couple of these as we got warmed up:
- What are the constraints of the QR code? Or as @aaz branded it: the pixel cypher
- How can we move around the tile number [x,y] coordinates? Where on the coin can we place them?
We found out, fairly quickly, there were major limitations with tldraw for the kind of exploration we wanted to do. For one, we weren’t able to drag images onto the canvas for moodboarding. And we transitioned rapidly from sketch prototype into a bit of a higher fidelity design. So… we moved to another collaborative canvas, the one we all know and love: Figma.
🎨 Figma Design Play
Once in Figma, we began to play around with different images on the coin, using Terra Masu art as inspiration. We found ourselves drawn to the Gorblin King’s crown [11,15] and Spacehole [2,3].
There was some discussion on adding a prompt to the canvas 2 coin. The UI dynamics here would be the same as canvas 1: after minting of a tile, an XQST player may generate coins for available neighbor tiles.
The updated UI would allow a player to inscribe a twelve character prompt onto the coin they generate. This way, coin invitations include a suggested prompt for what to draw on the neighboring tile. There’s not much real estate space available on the coin, so we’ll be playing around with how the prompt looks and feels on the coin as we continue our design exploration.
There was consensus to move forward with converting Spacehole into an svg format so it could be used as a pixel cypher on the canvas 2 coins. @aaz volunteered to work on this post-session, and has since shared an svg file that @cjpais will connect with the pixel cypher engine.
When the Spacehole image is in an svg format, then we can program different pixel patterns into the image. It’s through this encryption method we can guarantee the uniqueness of each coin. In other words, irrationally difficult to counterfeit.
We used this same approach for pixel cypher encryption on the Terra Masu coins: the pixel pencil image.
👾 An aside on side quests
There was a bit of a side conversation on constraining collaborative tile drawing play for smaller works of art—not a full canvas. @Suntryp spurred the text chat, @jonbo and I chimed in. We envisioned a more constrained game play, potentially something that can be played between canvases—a side quest of sorts. Offering games to play as a community between canvases would be a nice offering for players and a fun way to stay engaged with XQST.
⏭ Up Next
We’ve got another design jam session to keep working the coin graphics and other graphics work—Thursday 2/3/22, 12p CST in Discord. We’ll start to explore adjacent possibilities in the graphic design space: Do we want to update the coin machine for this canvas? Are we feeling a theme or name for canvas 2 emerge in our conversations? What other graphical touches should we explore together