Bringing Everyone Together: An Interview with Nick, Co-Founder of Gnome Series and GNO City
We sit down with this determined, gnome-loving marketeer to discuss blockchain gaming, the WAX community, and the strides he’s making in bringing innovation to NFT utility!
Symbols of good luck and protectors of the land, no proper garden is complete without one.
For over 500 years, humanity has been obsessed with the fantasy of these miniature, underground-dwelling friends that provide fun and havoc in equal measure, and through books, movies and video games, their legend is as strong today as it has ever been.
Thanks to one particular project on WAX, these creatures have risen from their earthly homes and onto our screens, and that project is Gnome Series.
From humble beginnings as a collection of illustrations, Gnome Series has gathered a strong community based around their two trading card collections and their play to earn blockchain game – all revolving around this friendly creature.
As 2021 nears its end, and with plans for 2022 well underway, now seemed a great time to catch up with co-founder Nick!
Head to the end of the interview for our Gnome Series Interview Card, dropping tomorrow at 18 UTC!
Pssst… there’s three hidden claim links within this article. Happy hunting!
Hydro: Hey! Could you tell me a bit about yourself, your background and how you got into NFTs?
Nick: Hi! My name is Nick, and outside of NFTs, I’m the owner of a digital marketing agency located in Philadelphia.
I’ve been involved with tech and cryptocurrency for some time. When the pandemic struck us in the US, I was trying to find something to pass the time. I got back into a favourite old hobby of mine, sports cards, and got to re-experience the fun of ripping open packs and hoping for the best.
Around February 2021, after hearing about them in passing, I started to do some research on NFTs. I’d published a first-person shooter on Steam called War Identity, and kept thinking to myself how cool it would be to convert in-game cosmetics and upgrades to NFTs.
As my brain started spinning a million miles an hour, I started to think about a good friend of mine (Nick B.) who had been creating these Gnomes for quite some time. I reached out to him, and turns out he was as clueless as anyone else is when they first hear about NFTs!
We wanted to convert his Gnomes into a trading card collection, using NFTs to incentivize collecting them.
Early on, Gnome Series began to evolve through community involvement and support, and after a month or so, I knew that the future of gaming and trading cards lay in the blockchain. That’s when the idea for the GNO City TCG began to formulate.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on Gnome Series, Complex Series and the GNO City NFT TCG.
I’ve been doing this for about 6 months now, and I feel like we’re ahead of a lot of blockchain games on WAX what with our diverse range of game modes. We’re trying to change the current “click, set and forget” model to something more interactive and exciting.
Were you involved with cryptocurrency at all before discovering the NFT space?
I’ve been involved in cryptocurrency ever since BTC was around $200 in 2013. Unfortunately, those that I told at the time convinced me I was an absolute lunatic for thinking of buying “digital currency”.
I re-entered the space around 2015/2016, but was sim-swapped a year or so later and a hacker stole all of my crypto – which is why I’m a huge advocate of cold wallets or the use of strong 2FA.
I didn’t let this take me down. I re-entered the space once again, and my investments have been sitting there for the past few years.
Much has been said about the future of gaming, and how NFTs and the blockchain will play a major part of it. How close, or far away, do you feel we are from NFT integration in gaming being commonplace?
I’d say give it another 1-2 years, and it will become the new norm for gaming companies to also enter the NFT space.
Imagine all of your favourite video game titles utilising blockchain technology; it would create a better user experience and prevent games from becoming an endless money pit – you hold your value within their ecosystem.
Blockchain and NFT technology is in its infancy stage and will continue to grow, with new ideas and innovations for utility.
What is the lore behind Gnome Series?
In GNO City, Gnomes can be as unique as anything in the world. With a shared dislike of trolls, the city is theirs to do whatever they would like. Gnomes are like little ankle biters that nobody wants at times, but so cute that they’re irresistible!
Your Gnomes have a very distinct, comic-esque art style. What influenced your art in this direction?
We just looked at the NFT market and tried to come up with an art style that nobody else had done before. We try to be as unique as possible in everything that we do.
How long does each Gnome take to create?
It typically takes myself and Nick B., who actually draws the Gnomes, 2-4 hours to go from brainstorming to a finished Gnome.
What’s your favourite Gnome in the collection?
That is extremely difficult, but my egotistical self would have to say Gnick Q Gnome!
In all seriousness, Gnick Q Gnome was cool because Nick B. matched my actual tattoos onto this little Gnome. I couldn’t believe how detailed he was able to make them!
Utility is often touted as one of the most important aspects of any NFT project. What are your thoughts on this, and what future plans do you have concerning your own NFTs?
Utility or usability has been extremely important with cryptocurrencies in the past, and NFTs are no different.
We believe GNO City has created more utility for our NFTs than many other games on the WAX blockchain, with a wide variety of different game modes for collectors to use their assets within.
The future utility we have planned for GNO City and Gnome Series would take this to the next level. Our roadmap outlines much of this, such as the ability to claim land, catch wild Gnomes and much more.
We want collectors to really feel a connection to their Gnomes, so are focused on building an immersive experience they will enjoy.
Speaking of the future of your collections, where do you see them by the end of this year, and what hopes do you have for the future?
GNO City and Gnome Series are just getting started, so I hope to see them continue to grow and continue to create a great community.
I also hope to see the WAX blockchain get the attention it deserves and to see all projects on WAX benefit from that. Selecting WAX was a no brainer for us in March – negligible fees and its eco-friendly nature were the two big benefits that drew us in.
Are there any NFT artists or projects you admire, WAX or otherwise?
One project that I admire is Immersys. Dan and his team work just as hard as any other game on WAX. He’s building something so unique, and I can tell that with his ideas, Immersys has got a bright future.
I think any collection, blockchain game or artist that works non-stop now will look back and see it was all worth it. WAX and NFTs are still in their infancy, and I’m super excited for the future of it all.
Anything you’d like to add? Anything you’d like to say directly to the reader?
To the reader; if you’re a creator or collector, keep up with the positivity around the WAX community. This community is something so special compared to other platforms. The future of WAX and NFTs looks bright, but it’s the community that will drive it there.
It’s quick-fire time!
What fuels you?
Community-driven experiences. Watching people trade or even just talk about the NFTs they own or the games they play really helps to inspire me to build the next best thing on WAX. Talking with my community and receiving feedback on game mechanics is such a great motivator.
One unusual fact about you?
I’d moved about 30 times by the age of 18 – and no, my parents were not military.
If you could give one piece of life advice, what would it be?
I was always told by my teachers that I was going nowhere in life – so motivational, right? I took that information and made sure I knew what my next steps in life were, so I could become the best person I can be.
After working several jobs, I’ve realized that being an entrepreneur is who I am, and I’ve always taken those words of “encouragement” from my teachers with me.
My advice to anyone in life; do not let someone else take you down. Go after your dreams, and do what you want to do.
You can invite three people, real or fictional, to dinner. Who do you choose and why?
Gary Vee would be my number one pick. I’d love to pick his brain. I see his brain travelling faster than he speaks at times. It reminds me a lot of myself, and I feel I could learn a lot from him.
Mark Cuban would be my number 2. Watching him enter the blockchain space, protecting cryptocurrency and having faith in the innovation of it all – I’d really love to hear his vision and just pick his brain.
Last but not least… Satoshi – whoever you are or wherever you are, having dinner with the founder of Bitcoin would just be pretty awesome!
What is your purpose in life?
My purpose in life is to educate people along the way.
Running my digital marketing agency, I meet your everyday small business owners all the time. I watch some of them struggle, and I work to help them grow. I’ve sat in meetings and educated them on how they can stand out through their online marketing, and I’ve take these same principals to the blockchain community.
I’ve helped a local, talented comic & animation artist (CyKOKO) join the WAX NFT community, and he kept asking me what he owed me for that. My response was simple – nothing. I love nothing more than bringing people together, and bringing more awesome creators to WAX.
How can we follow you and your work?
Nick’s passion to bring creators and collectors alike to the WAX community is as strong as it gets, and his efforts to provide them with an engaging, unique play-to-earn experience make him both a leading light within the community and an approachable, down to earth character – a rare mix indeed.
To think all that Gnome Series is today started with a few illustrations shows just how far they’ve come in such as short space of time, and as 2021 comes to a close, I’m looking forward to discovering the ways the team will use their Gnomes to bring us all closer together in 2022!
To mark this interview, we have our Gnome Series Interview Card, dropping tomorrow at 18 UTC!