More than JPGs: Interview with Danketsu

Collections 15.03.2023

Interview with Tommy Bui from Danketsu

We had an interview with Tommy Bui from Danketsu. We asked him 10 questions to bring you more insights straight from the creators. Let's jump right into it. Also, you can watch the video HERE.

1. Can you give us a quick 30 second overview of the Danketsu?

Danketsu, formerly known as ADA NinjaZ, is a multimedia project on a Cardano blockchain. We focus on a number of verticals. So the first is, you know, incredible art and that's storytelling and comics. The second is community driven music. The community gets to be involved in the production process of the tracks that we released. And the third being gaming and a gamified experience for the community as well. We do have four collections as the main collection for Danketsu. Each collection represents different clans or fractions. We have the first one being Aramar. The second one being Atsuko. Third being Daisuke. And the fourth collection as the Fourth, which represents to two smaller clans within there as well.

2. What utility or benefits come with owning those NFTs?

Each NFT is an entry into our ecosystem within the four main collections. You can use them to our missions platform, which is a gamified or interactive NFT staking experience. You send your Nfts on missions and you earn rewards and those rewards will be in the Ninjas Token. So our Ninjas Token is due to be released on sometime mid-March. So hopefully by the time people see this video it should be live and they can participate in the missions as well. You know, there will be also Token airdrops to NFT holders and other side utilities include voting on storytelling. We do comics and community gets to vote on the story and then we implement that into the comics. Same with the music side of things as well. Our community get to vote on the genre of the song, beats, they get to help us write lyrics. And then of course, if they can help us with the the stems, the vocals as well, they can be put into the final credits.

3. How did you come up with the idea?

When we first got started back in mid 2021, myself and my co-founder, Zushan, we really wanted to showcase incredible art, but something that we would enjoy and the community would enjoy being part of it. We grew up watching incredible anime. Anime kept us motivated, kept us empowered. We wanted to bring that into the Cardano space as well. The community that are into anime and manga tend to be introverts. So we wanted to create a safe space for the community to come together and interact. And we think we've succeeded really well in creating a very strong community in who come in and interact with us daily and just create those friendships.

4. What is the team behind the Danketsu?

At the core of it, it's myself and co-founder, Zushan. We both worked in government for quite some time. I got quite bored of the government life and got into crypto. Next thing we're building a multimedia web3 business. We both quit our jobs quite early. We're working on Danketsu full time. We are here for the long run. We have a lot of exciting plans share with the community in the coming years as well. In terms of other strategic team members, we have Ignacio, a story teller who helps us with all the story for Danketsu. We also have Victor Warr, who is the lead illustrator for the art. We have the community managers, marketing managers in our front and back end developers as well. It wasn't easy, but we're thriving. We're thriving in this space. We work a lot harder as compared to government, but it's a more exciting space for us. And we love it. We love it so much that, we had to make that jump quite easy. In total, we have about 13 employees, some part time, some full time. But there're four of us in a strategic team.

5. What was the greatest obstacle?

One of the hardest obstacles was developing a story and utilities around the story that was fit for purpose for web3 in our community. We allowed the community to vote on story. That itself is very difficult to implement in the traditional business. Putting it into web3 was a lot more difficult. We had Weekly Clan events with weekly votes. From those votes we turned it into a visuals into the manga in the comics. That was a really big challenge for us to do. We've developed about 350 pages of manga to date. We have an episode screenplay for animation and we have the WIKI as well, which kind of ties all the lore together. There's about 95 pages of that there, too. As a storytelling project, we have so much content and we get a lot of feedback from the community. We have to put in the efforts to get the wiki out there just to know the names of the cities, the world or the characters all in one place.

6. What outcomes are you proud of the most?

I think there's a lot of things that we could be proud of. We are most proud of the creation the nurturing of our community. Like I said before, we wanted to have a safe space for our community to come in and have a chat. You don't have to talk about NFTs. You don't have to talk about Danketsu. All you need to do is come in and just ask people how their day is going. We have a mental wellness channel as well just make sure that everyone's okay. Myself and Zushan we’re consistently in the channel talking about all things and making sure that the community is happy. We launched in September 2021, so we're about a year and a half old now. And the chat dojo got about 2 million messages sent since then. That's an absolutely incredible figure for us because it just means that people are coming back regularly to say hello and updating people in their lives as well.

7. What can we look forward to in the next 12 months?

We have a lot planned in the next 12 months. We're continually doing music drops. We've released four music singles today. We're doing a fractionalized streaming royalties sale through. There we have the token sale coming out as well. We have the upgrade. I'm going to share a sneak peek of the upgrade of the fourth. Victor Warr is working on it at this point. We have the four main collections. We evolved the artwork over time using different themes, using different art styles. It's just about revamping those collections now to ensure that we stay in front of the curve in terms of art. Then also providing an extra utility for the holders as well. That's in progress. We have the mission's platform as well, which is your interactive quests staking mechanism and missions platform. We want to expand it into a much more complex platform for users participating. The BETA is coming out on the 1st of February. The full launch is coming out mid-March. Through out the next couple of years, we're just going to continue to upgrade that in terms of mission mechanics, partner projects, leaderboards, achievements, more visuals and all that stuff. There are five missions that you can play in BETA at the moment. It's gonna be fun story. You can farm as well. If you don't want to participate in missions on an active basis, just stake all your NFTs to the farm and then earn regular Ninjaz rewards that way.

8. Are you looking for help in terms of are you hiring or looking for collab or anything?

We're always open to the idea of hiring new staff. We're in a space that is continually innovating. The team that we have today, may need to expands or scale as new innovations come about. It just comes down to our vision. What's our vision? What innovations are coming out on Cardano? Then how do we manage, the resources to do that. If you have a particular skill set on the Cardano blockchain, feel free to reach out to us. Whether it's marketing or back end development, front end development, we're always open to either onboarding new staff to upskill them or take on experts to take us to the next level.

9. Could you tell us something personal?

Zushan, my co-founder, just had a newborn. The newborn is about a month old and I have a baby on the way as well. He's due in the middle of March. It's going to be interesting, how we traverse the web3 space, especially with newborns. It's a different drive, a different motivation for us and it will hopefully push us to do better and great things.

10. Can you give us some final suggestion for the audience?

We have a lot of verticals and products that we've released. Don't feel disheartened if you come into our ecosystem and you're confused about what it is that we do. Go straight to our website. We have everything that you need to know quickly there. We do art with your music. We have the mission platform, we have a launch pad and all that stuff. Everything can be found on the website and then just head to our discord and just have a conversation with our community. They will be able to help you with what collections should you pick. We have four clans. You have to pledge allegiance to one of them when you join. There's a lot of clan banter. It's just about having fun with everyone.