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How to build NFTs on WAX

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Total sales volume on the top WAX NFT marketplaces has surpassed $1.8M Since May 2020.

Do you want to learn how to build NFTs and launch a sale on WAX? 

You’ll be joining the many brands that have launched avidly successful NFT sales on WAX in 2020 — from the legendary actor William Shatner, to The Topps Company with their cult-favorite Garbage Pail Kids series, to the hosts of the Bad Crypto Podcast with their entirely original Blockchain Heroes art.

These NFT’s have all sold out immediately, with some selling out in as quickly as nine minutes, earning their creator’s hundreds of thousands of dollars from the primary sale and perpetual royalties every time their NFT is traded in secondary marketplaces.

Simply put, WAX is quickly maturing into the home of NFTs.

What makes an NFT series popular?

An NFT’s popularity and as a result its trading volume — can consist of a number of characteristics. Following the WAX way of creating NFTs releasing a licensed IP that already exists such as Topps’ Garbage Pale Kids and the recent William Shatner series has been very successful.

While using established collectibles and figureheads can attract attention and tap into already existing communities there is another way. Having a story to tell with your NFTs can be an excellent way to gain interest such as the Blockchain Heroes story and the nostalgia-driven KOG’s series

Another important factor sometimes missed by some developers is the creation of compelling artwork which can include special features such as animations and videos, Easter Eggs, serial numbers, music and, more. The artwork is important and offers the user the first point of contact with your NFT so it is vital to dedicate time and resources to this goal. 

Another vital factor in making NFTs so popular is the use of rarity systems. It is crucial to note that the total supply of NFTs, their rarities, and the odds of the different rarities dropping are all important factors to the success of any NFT sale. 

For example, if you release too many NFTs or too many of the “rare”, they won’t be scarce enough to be in high demand among buyers which will lead to deflated prices on secondary markets.

Here is an example of the supply, rarities, and odds from a recent successful NFT launch on WAX:

Total supply:

  • 12,000 trading card packs containing a total supply of 110,000 cards

Rarity names and descriptions:

  • Base — Standard static cards, included in every pack (41 styles each with an “A” and “B” name)
  • Prism — Uncommon cards, these cards feature a prismatic sheen effect (41 styles each with an “A” and “B” name)
  • Sketch — Rare cards that feature an animated transition from original sketches to final art (41 styles each with an “A” and “B” name)
  • Collector’s Edition — Super rare cards with special animations (4 styles each with an “A” and “B” name)

Pack odds:

Standard Pack — 5 cards:

  • 1 “B” Name Prism Card
  • 50% chance at an “A” Name Prism Card
  • 10% chance at a “B” Name Sketch Card
  • 5% chance at an “A” Name Sketch Card
  • 0.2% chance at a Collector’s Edition Card

Mega Pack — 30 cards:

  • 5 “B” Name Prism Cards
  • 3 “A” Name Prism Cards
  • 1 “B” Name Sketch Card
  • 50% chance at an “A” Name Sketch Card
  • 1% chance at a Collector’s Edition Card

Another way to drive demand is through the use of clever and engaging trading mechanics. Trading cards should be a fun experience. Think back to your playground days (perhaps your still in them!). Most importantly, trading cards should be entertaining, especially when a good trade might net you a prized card to add to your collection. 

There are an infinite variety of entertaining trading mechanics, limited only by your imagination as a trading card master in the making. Here are a few examples of successful trading card mechanics that have already been introduced on the WAX blockchain.

Mystery card pack opening

This is the most popular trading mechanic for NFT sales. NFTs are sold in packs of 5. The packs are randomly assorted with both regular and rare cards. After opening the pack, collectors trade the cards they don’t want with other fans on various WAX secondary markets or via the WAX Cloud Wallet.

Card shards

The William Shatner NFT sale introduced a unique mechanism whereby certain trading cards are divided into three separate pieces or shards. Collectors trade with each other in order to acquire all three shards that match to form a complete card. 

To add some excitement to the trading action, the individual shards provide no information about the rarity of the complete card. That valuable information is only revealed once the three matching shards are combined. As you can imagine, the card shard mechanic is very popular and drives a lot of trading activity.

Embedding a game

KOGs created a mini-game that is reminiscent of the 1990’s-era POGS game to go along with their NFTs. For people of a certain age, this proved incredibly popular as they were given the chance to re-live their past. After all, nostalgia is a very powerful motivator.

Marketing 

There are many creative ways to drive interest in your NFT sale. Below are some ideas and a few examples, but we would strongly encourage you to research and identify the best marketing methods and channels for your product. 

  • Announce your sale on social media, via email newsletter, through influencers or partners, etc. Give enough time for potential participants (buyers, secondary markets, influencers) to develop an interest in the NFTs and prepare for the primary sale date.
  • Reach out to secondary markets (found here) directly so that they are prepared to support your NFT sale.
  • Create content such as YouTube videos, blog posts, etc
  • Host live “Town Hall” style events on Zoom to share information with the community
  • Showcase some (but not all) of the artwork on social media before the sale
  • Giveaways and contests
  • PR outreach to relevant publications
  • Early access for certain customers based on a set of criteria

As mentioned, marketing is a core aspect to the success of the sale so ensure to research properly and look at the best options for your sale and brand. When it comes to marketing there really isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ method but the above points should set you in the right direction. 

Driving Demand – In Summary 

Learning how to build NFTs can be a little confusing so below is a summary of everything covered above.

  • Popular licensed IP that already has an existing following such as Topps’ Garbage Pail Kids and William Shatner.
  • Having a story to tell with your NFTs can be an incredible way to gain interest such as the Blockchain Heroes story and the nostalgia-driven KOGs series.
  • Compelling artwork which can include special features like animations and videos, “Easter Eggs”, serial numbers, music, and sound effects, etc
  • A rarity system
  • Fun trading mechanics 
  • Effective marketing 

So we have covered how to drive demand it is time to move on to the more technical part. How to build and launch an NFT sale on WAX!

How to build NFTs on WAX

Now you know why you should be looking at launching an NFT sale and what can make them successful, it’s time to explore the how. Here are five vital steps on the way to launching a successful NFT sale. 

Note: Launching an NFT sale will require a skilled developer that understands smart contracts and EOSIO. But, reading about it requires only your attention!

Step 1: Discovery

  • Develop an exciting NFT concept using the guidance given in this article 
  • Identify your audience

Step 2: Planning

  • Design compelling artwork, or hire a designer to do so
  • Provide potential customers with a place to learn more about your project during the time between the announcement and the actual sale (create a website that captures email address, creates dedicated social media accounts, etc)
  • Plan marketing campaigns
  • Plan developer tasks

Step 3: Build

  • Build the website where your NFTs will be initially offered for sale (i.e. the primary sale location)
  • Integrate WAX Cloud Wallet into the website, instructions for which can be found on the WAX Developer Hive here
  • Find a place to host your art assets. We recommend using IPFS. To pin the files you can use a service like pinata.cloud or temporal.cloud
  • Create the unpacking and NFT smart contract (Note: Atomic Assets is working on an unpacking contract on github)
  • Establish and create the NFT pack opening odds
  • Establish payment methods for your customers to purchase your NFTs during the primary sale (WAX token, Stripe, etc)
  • Ensure you have the proper computing resources to manage the spike in demand: test to see how much RAM/CPU is needed for the smart contract. Check how much one pack opening uses and depending on how many packs you are releasing, buy enough to avoid interruptions
  • Q/A all features

For technical questions, you may get assistance from developers in these communities:

Step 4: Go Live!

  • Have “all hands on deck” during the launch to moderate the community, answer questions, provide customer service, squash bugs as necessary, etc

Step 5: After Going Live

  • Once the primary sale ends, continue marketing the project to drive secondary market sales!
  • Do an internal retrospective to ensure you capture what is critical to address for your next sale

In-summary

Learning how to build NFTs on the WAX Blockchain is an exciting way to monetize your artwork andWAX has shown itself as one of the top blockchains for monetizing NFTs. Individual creators are earning tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling their digital collectibles on the WAX blockchain.

In order to generate the most revenue from your NFT project, you should carefully consider how best to reach and appeal to your target audience (i.e. best social media marketing channels, compelling digital art, card rarities, rewarding and fun trading mechanics)

Learning how to build NFTs is not difficult, but we recommend you work with a competent developer who understands smart contracts and EOSIO.

If you would like to learn more about how to build NFTs on WAX or if you have any questions, join the WAX Developers Telegram channel.

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