If it's a game, how do you win?

Chainlife games are like life; there is no definition of a win-state. Everyone is free to define their own win-state any way they like.

Not satisfied with that answer? Well, Chainlife NFTs represent a simulation of a population living under very simple rules, in a very simple world. An owner has significant control over the population - godlike power. So, pretend you're supervising the population. Without your intervention, how many cycles does the population last? With your intervention, can you make it last longer? Can you get more cells to stabilize alive? Or if you just want to watch it burn, how quickly can you wipe out the population?

...Still not satisfied? Fine; you win if your Chainlife population stabilizes into a pattern or if it survives...at least 1,000 cycles.

How can I play a World Level?

You can open any level directly from the Chainlife World viewer. See the Chainlife World viewer page for more info.

How on-chain is the project?

The generative script to produce Chainlife simulations and calculate traits is on-chain, the smart contract generates all script inputs, and even p5.js has been stored on-chain. Everything except a web-browser is secured on-chain, and it's a matter of time before somebody stores a browser's code on-chain too.

The World View app is very simple, and once it's finalized with a playable level simulator, I'll put it on-chain for good measure. Esoterra code is not on-chain. Esoterra is not a token; it's an idea, and I want it accessible to anyone with passion to participate. Perhaps the community will want me to put a version of Esoterra on chain, but we'll just have to see.

Chainlife utilizes an API, which is off-chain, but it's reproduceable, and it should be reproduced in different ways as technology progresses.

Will technology advance so far in 100 years that Chainlife tokens won't be able to be played? I have no idea, but I bet there will be a solution to make them still work. I really wouldn't worry about it.

Can a token die?

Besides burning (sending a token to a null address), there are ways a token can be 'dead'. A token whose population dies during play isn't a dead token, the population just didn't survive. On refresh, the starting seed will reappear and the game can be replayed. A dead token can happen if an owner sends the token to themselves at specific transfer counts (which mean that specific logic gates are used). If this happens, the token will start with no live population.

Sending the token to another account, or back to the same account again, will bring a population back to life.

The only permanent death in token would happen if that token was sent to the null address at specific times in its logic-gate cycle. The token still exists in the World Grid, and the contract owner (Matto) still has control over its level. So, although the cellular automata in the token may permanently be gone, the Chainlife token lives on in the collection as - basically - uninhabited space.

Is it cash-grabby to allow people to pay to upgrade their token?

Without it, there would be a strong likelihood that users would 'grind' their token, transferring it back to themselves 16 times just so they can see the token's full potential. With rare or highly prized tokens, this might otherwise be the only way for someone to maintain control of a particular token and still see it matured.

I see the level shift as a value add overall, because it gives owners more flexibility (this is a game after all). Also, the shifts are fully reversible (but not refundable!), so an owner could try out a level and if they decide they don't like the new look or the shift trait, they can shift the token back.

This requires some custom on-chain tooling, which is kind of cool, but more importantly it allows owners to coordinate. Will level 69 be more popular than 420? What about level 9000? Someday we might find out.

Finally, to address the cost: from mint, a shift of 16 would instantly 'mature' the token, and it would cost 0.016 Eth. This is much cheaper than 16 separate transaction fees, and instead of paying miners and creating a larger carbon footprint, owners would be supporting the Chainlife project.

How big is your team? What are your future plans?

*waves* Hi, I'm Matto. I've been a one-man show for a long, long time. I hired an experienced dev team (Drake & West Dev https://www.drakewest.dev/) to help build the API and a slick front end app (the website). That's it, so this is a very 'Indie' operation.

In the years before NFTs, I was making art, writing stories, and making games. Now that I'm FINALLY bringing Chainlife to the world and launching my own platform, I plan on continuing doing those same things - but on a whole new level with all new terms: my own. Expect new and innovative artworks, new blockchain-powered games, and maybe even some crypto-fiction projects (although it's a tough match for today's market and users).

Single or multimint? (Single.) Why no multimint?

I'm not a fan of multimint as I think it encourages overspending. Yeah it would help the project sell out faster, but there are (imo) more important considerations. First, entropy is determined by mint details, and although even consecutive mints in the same block would have very different entropy, I like maximizing the variability of inputs into the system.

Also, I believe it would be beneficial to have tokens in various places throughout the grid, as opposed to a few in a line. While consecutive mints may be nice for other metaverse 'land', Chainlife tokens and the Chainlife World operate very differently.

Finally, I believe that there is a potential for greater enjoyment and community engagement if an owner's mints are spread out across the World grid.

If this is a genesis project, will their be airdrops or owner benefits?

Official answer: don't count on it.

I really enjoy giving back and doing things for my collectors, but I can't promise anything, and I hope you don't buy these fun and nerdy artworks with that kind of expectation.

What if mint doesn't generate the funds to plant the forest?

Planting trees isn't very expensive, but the land and land prep has significant cost. If so little is generated that the project can't fund the purchase of a small field, then Matto will allocate a suitable location with his own resources.

I'd love for Chainlife to be able to reforest 10+ acres, but it's all dependent on mint size, price, mint-out, and land availability.

Follow up question: if you're buying land, who will pay the taxes? And will you ever sell it? Taxes and expenses should be minimal and will come from the shift fees and platform royalties (2% secondary). There is no plan to ever sell the land. Most likely it will be placed into a trust after the artist finishes his cycles in this simulation.

Do Chainlife NFT owners own the forest?

No. A Chainlife token is not a fractional ownership token. It's just a piece of code that makes a very unique, artsy game. That's it. It's art and not anything financial or legal.

If I own a Chainlife token, can I visit the forest?

Probably not, no. Realize that the reforestation project has a job; grow trees to secure carbon from the atmosphere in quantities greater than the Chainlife NFTs are indirectly adding to the atmosphere every time they are part of an on-chain transaction. Beyond that, if even a fraction of the token owners wanted to visit, that would be a huge impact on the growing ecosystem, as well as a significant carbon footprint generated for travel.

All this said, updates on the reforestation project along with photos of progress and status will be shared online and on social media to reach the project's stated goal of raising awareness about environmental issues. While legally a Chainlife token ownership is completely detached from the reforestation project, I expect that Chainlife NFT owners will feel a sense of satisfaction in the positive environmental impacts the Chainlife project made possible.


Collection Size: 4096 - which creates a 64 x 64 grid of tokens. 64 is nice because it's the smallest perfect square, perfect cube, and is the length of Ethereum keys.

Chainlife will have an early mint stage for Enso and FOCUS token holders, called the 'Zen. Mint'. After which, the mint will be public. The cost is the same for both periods: 0.08 Eth per mint.

Secondary royalties: 7% (5% artist, 2% platform). Chainlife cannot exist on any existing platform's infrastructure. Because on-chain data must be read, new images rendered, and new traits calculated with every transfer and level shift Chainlife's API is more demanding than most per-token, and it requires management. Without a large project supporting it, it wouldn't be self-sufficient. Chainlife must be the project that supports the platform - which can and will be used for other experimental games and artwork by Matto (& frens!).

A portion of mint proceeds will be used to create a positive environmental impact. This may be unique for a platform's genesis project, but it's aligned with Chainlife and very important, so I'm doing it anyway. Donating the funds to a non-profit is a straightforward and easy solution, but Chainlife is unique, and its impact will be as well.

What are the different mint stages?

Stage 1: Zen. Mint

  • Zen. Mint price will be 0.08 Eth, and the minting period will last 10 days. When this period is over, the price will remain the same and the mint will shift to the public stage.

  • Minters will need to mint from a wallet holding a Zenerative token (an Enso or FOCUS).

  • Minters will select any Enso or FOCUS token during mint, and the smart contract will check its ownership and eligibility.

  • Each Zenerative token can only be used once, and their usage or claim-status can be checked on Etherscan.

  • The only opportunity to mint a Zen. Mint Chainlife is during the premint stage.

Public mint info (incomplete)

  • Public mint will be a fixed price of 0.08 Eth. One mint per transaction. Minting and Minting to another address are both supported.

How variable is the project?

tl;dr: VERY.

Chainlife NFTs have an infinitely evolvable starting seed, and they all have a built-in, straightforward preview method. Every minter's Chainlife NFTs will start with the same seed at mint, but they'll be different from every other minter's NFTs' starting seed.

There are 20 palettes, (not weighted the same in probability), and each flips during the NFT's maturity. This results in a collection that can appear to have 40 looks, as tokens will be matured at different rates.

There are 11 standard cell-styles, 10 of which have a 'showoff' version. There is also a style that cycles through some of the other styles, resulting in 22 visual style variations.

6 logic gates are used to determine the new starting seed of Chainlife NFTs at every transfer. Savvy owners could create a completely dead token, one where all their possible cells are live, and anywhere in between.

5 gameplay speeds and a single-cycle step-through mode allows different experiences of the Chainlife during play.

4 switchable rulesets unlock with transfers (or lucky mints). Rulesets are the core to cellular automata; they control which cells are born or survive in the next cycle. All matured Chainlife tokens will be able to access all 4 standard rulesets, but traits will differentiate the tokens that started with more than one ruleset.

3* overruling traits change how cells are displayed. Some are only visible in live-mode, and one of the three overruling traits has 3 variations of it, but let's just say there are 3 main overruling traits.

(Up to) 2 bonus palettes are available to the tokens minted by prior collectors during Zen. Mint. Mints created during the public mint period will not have this functionality.

There are three scales of the 'Fixed' world state, and also an 'Expanding' world state that 'zooms out' on each transfer for a certain number of transfers. There's an unlockable zoom function that allows players to adjust the world the Chainlife lives in, but it resets every refresh.

All tokens have an unlockable ability to preview custom rulesets with a built-in method. Previewing addresses for the next starting seed is always available to all tokens.

Custom rulesets are storable on-chain for automatic use after reaching maturity. These can be stored and updated at any time by the owner, but only if matured will a token try to use the rule.

There are unlockable user-interactivity modes and functions, like auto-repopulation that automatically temporarily switches the active ruleset in order to repopulate the playable area.

The NFTs have built-in methods for displaying stats and educational details. The current cycle count can be displayed during play, and an overlay of a cell's neighbor count can be displayed in the paused state.

There are functions to download the game log, a data file describing the current NFT, as well as a seed file for importing into cellular automata applications.

All NFTs can switch palette-specific & black and white matte-colors - for classy display on any screen. The color-matte is displayed if the token is displayed within a non-square frame.

...And there's some other cool stuff hidden within the code that will have to be discovered!

Ignoring starting seed variability (2^160) and some less impactful traits, Chainlife NFTs have over 14 million trait combinations and over 120k visual combinations at mint. After maturity, with inclusion of custom rulesets (but still ignoring starting seeds and some traits), Chainlife visual variability/performance grows into the hundreds of billions alternatives.

Why do some demo/simulation tokens immediately die?

The simulated Chainlife tokens are random, and this includes a special piece of information that owners can set on-chain for their tokens: the Custom Rule. These rules control when cells are born and when they survive to the next cycle, so a random rule can be very chaotic!

If you see the icon for Custom Rule in the token's corner when paused, you can switch the ruleset being used to any of the standard ones, by pressing 6, 7, 8, or 9.

How do you calculate rarity if traits change?

It's advised that rarity calculations only consider the following traits:

  • Palette

  • Organism Style

  • Showoff

  • Aurora

  • Joy

  • OG

  • Expanding World

  • Zen. Mint

  • Community Reach Bonus (discounted 50%)

  • Community Influence Bonus (discounted 50%)

Have another question?

Ask Matto on Discord or Twitter so he can answer it here!

Last updated