Storytelling NFTs To Look Out For in 2022

Storytelling NFT

Recently, the NFT atmosphere seems to have picked up. Yes, trade is down, there are fewer market participants than earlier this year and, in general, reduced liquidity. But at the same time there’s some renewed enthusiasm in the air, and class-of-21 NFT vets who had been sitting on the sidelines might be in the mood to dip their toes again.

One phrase that has been echoing around and getting people excited lately is storytelling NFTs, but what exactly is a storytelling NFT, and which projects are the best examples of this kind of NFT?

What are storytelling NFTs?

As with so many aspects of NFTs and web3, there’s no agreed-upon definition of what exactly storytelling NFT means. It’s open to interpretation but usually seems to incorporate the following.

First is the general vibe. Storytelling NFTs build a fictional world with engaging characters, and may have some kind of background conflict as a plot starter, all of which often gets referred to as lore.

More specifically, there might be plans around how to write the still open-ended story, and these are usually pitched as community projects that holders can be part of through owning an NFT. In reality, these ideas are not always fully formed, and it may not be immediately clear what collaborative mechanisms will be used.

However, a lack of clear procedures never stopped the top NFT projects up to now, and at the moment, that storytelling tag is pulling in attention and generating sales.

Some Unique Storytelling NFT Projects

Renga

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Image credits: Renga

I’ve mentioned Renga before, along with its genesis collection The Art of Seasons, but it has to be top here because it’s the project that has most revitalized NFT sentiment, and got people talking about storytelling.

An aspect of Renga that ramped up excitement is what’s now known as box smashing. To get a Renga PFP, you first had to get hold of a Renga Black Box, which you can then open at your leisure to reveal your PFP.

These mechanics set in motion a party spirit on Twitter and Discord, with holders giddily smashing boxes and showing off the contents.

Curiously, floor prices on remaining Black Boxes are higher than on the main collection (both of which have been extremely bullish), which shows how NFT degens will pay extra to gamble on a ticket that might reveal a rare piece.

As well as popularizing storytelling, it would be no surprise if Renga sets an alternative launch template, replacing the standard delayed reveals with box openings.

Chimpers

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Image credits: Chimpers

Another project that is all about art (in this case, the retro-gaming, pixel variety), world-building (or lore), and creating ongoing stories, is the very cool and NFT-ish Chimpers.

It was co-created by the well-respected pixel artist Timpers (real name Oliver TImperley), who previously created The Boring Ape Chronicles (TBAC), which was a BAYC-derived storytelling project before there was a phrase for storytelling projects, back in summer 2021.

From TBAC came Chimpers Genesis, a collection of 100 characters that minted in April 2022, and then 5,555 generative Chimpers NFTs.

Chimpers is building out a rich, game-like environment, that has its origins in Bored Ape Yacht Club, but has evolved in its own right around the kind of expertly-executed pixel art that–when it’s done this well–finds a receptive audience in web3, and can become highly collectible.

Specks of Dust

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Image credits: Specks of Dust

For a storytelling NFT where the story aspect is upfront and unambiguous, take a look at Specks of Dust. It’s the work of artist Scott Carr, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker and Vice, and a writer known as Sprite Mountain. 

Specks of Dust is produced in association with WestCoast NFT, a web3 production studio that has worked with Doodles and MFers, among others.

The project aims to bring together web3 and comics, and is keeping things simple. It releases a regular comic strip–which has a lo-fi, surreal comedy/sci-fi feeling–and holders of the project’s Odyssey NFTs get to vote on where the story goes next.

There are 1,300 Odyssey NFTs, which are PFPs, and also 350 Origins NFTs, which allow holders to participate in deciding the direction the project should take overall.

Others to Explore

Another recent collection that looks fascinating, has taken off, and certainly slots into the storytelling niche is Critters Cult, which is explained here, as part of a look at the Solana-based creative ecosystem it’s a part of.

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Image credits: Gangster All Star

A few others to take a look at are Gangster All Star, which is stylishly badass and has great potential, and new project Everai, which is creating a Japanese mecha-style narrative world, and emphasizes involving NFT holders in creative decisions, and in deciding what overall direction the project will take.

Then there’s Kitaro World, which promises royalties to holders whose NFT characters are featured in the books it plans to publish, sold out its collection, and has been trading busily on secondary.

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Image credits: Ether

There’s also an upcoming project called Ether. Few details are known as yet, but it features manga-style art, has a big following, and mentions holders building on the IP rights to the characters they will own.

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