Hello DCL community!
This is Kay the artist and creative director behind the project Sugar Club Metaverse in Decentraland. I am planning to request a grant tier 4 for our operations and activities at Sugar Club for 2023. This is my first big grant proposal and i want to do it right , hence i am submitting it for review for the community before putting it for vote . Feedbacks are welcomed , thank you !
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DCL location -1,-35 ( 8 land estate )
Sugar Club is asking for your vote and support to help fund its current and future operation for 2023 on our estate of 8 lands ( located south of Genesis Plaza since 2019)
Grant size Tier 4, 60k usd budget for 12 months.
The grant is under the category Community program because our project is very much connected to the growth of the clubbing scene in Decentraland since its inception. However it also applies to the Content Creator category because I am the main architect of the project and most of the designs , branding and events are created by me.
Here is a brief summary of who we are as a project and what we stand for in Decentraland:
Sugar Club is one of the very first clubs deployed in Decentraland (since beta in 2019) that started exploring the possibilities of live entertainment, art and fashion. The club is an iconic location on the map and arguably one of the oldest active scenes deployed in game.
We strive to be a fun and exclusive brand in the metaverse while creating great content. Our area of particular interest is electronic music live shows, digital fashion, and visual art experiences while we keep our doors open for future collaborations within the web3 industry.
For more than 3 years we have believed in the vision of Decentraland being a hub for clubbing and a hub for live events and electronic music, inspiring along the way newer clubs that have popped up on the map such as Dollhouse, Parcel Party, Tru Band Room , Casa Roustan…
Our more recent collaboration include a joint party with the Metakey community, a collaboration with Conspicuis agency to design a unique DCL cyberpunk Jacket wearable for Consensys Hackathon 2022 event.
We also had a very rewarding collaboration onboarding Bufalo beginning of this year in conjunction with French Radio NRJ, and featuring Bufalo’s live set at NFT Paris and Sugar Club simultaneously.
I believe that some of our early initiatives paved the way for the vibrant club scene we see today 3 years later.
Some of our earlier achievement included
. Onboarding non crypto DJs early on, curating NFT shows in our gallery for established NFT artists though events and collaborations,
. Creating successful wearable drops for big names in the space such as Coldie and GraffitiKings, Consensys ( 100k+ engagements on Twitter).
· Launching the first exclusive female wearable collection Yumi before L2 solutions existed.
· Being the first to explore the concept of VIP gated areas in a DCL scene.
With that being said, operating a club is costly, especially accounting for the very demanding platform and sdk which require constant updating and debugging and testing. The need for more professional tools to create metaverse content is essential at this stage to be more sustainable long term. Adding to the fact that we have been operating from our own pocket since the journey began.
Last year we got a grant of 3000 usd to help with server costs however those funds are simply not enough to cover for all other aspects of running the club ecosystem.
With this grant Sugar Club will be able to operate more efficiently while making sure that the quality of our events and designs remain high and engaging as well as having some room for expansion.
(On a personal note : this grant would help me as a content creator scale and keep on delivering quality content while having a proper budget instead of burning personal resources to keep Sugar Club alive)
We are proposing funding our operating costs for Sugar club for 12 months, thereby making sure that we can continue creating quality content on a regular basis, delegate some of the content creation out such as video editing and community management for example, bring regular traffic to our events, and seek new avenues of collaborations both within the clubbing network of DCL as well as trying to onboard new electronic music producers, DJs and artists that are not currently using Decentraland.
Here is a brief summary of the operation costs followed by more info on each related costs::
(Bear in mind that most of those costs are already active and being paid from my own pocket for the last 2 years)
· Audio broadcasting (Icecast) and video streaming hosting + servers
· Software subscriptions and paid digital creation tools (Blender add-ons, Photoshop, Substance Painter, DJ software, VJ software, Zbrush for 3d creation, Marvelous designer for digital garments creation ,Sound and Video production suite : logic pro, final cut pro)
· Hardware (DJ controller / mixer for live events, Mic, secondary laptop during events separate from main desktop station, mocap suit for emote creation)
· Event creation and management (including designing posters, POAP delivery, promotion on social, hosting event, live music mixing)
· Wearable and emote production (that also includes video marketing drops, giveaways on socials.)
· Upgrading and maintaining Sugar Club models and SDK code
· Budget for paid gigs with DJs
· Online broadcasting license for small radio (covers annual fee for music licensing during live broadcasts)
· High speed Internet subscription
· Online courses for 3d content creation to further my skills and stay up to date on software development. (Those skills translate directly into creating content in DCL)
Audio and video streaming:
Sugar Club uses 2 main streaming services, one for audio broadcasting via Icecast and the other for video streaming via a dedicated server. That approach gives us more flexibility during live events, where the video stream is synced to the live mix but doesn’t broadcast the sound, in this way we can use a 3rd party VJ software to plug in our video stream while the audio stays on its own separate channel. This setup also allows me to also broadcast music playlists during nonevents.
Software subscription costs:
Making 3d content via blender is free, however professional paid tools are essential to help with workflow and quality of delivery.
One example is wearable production. The professional workflow of designing a wearable with very detailed realistic textures is as follow:
Create High Poly model > retopology to low poly model > bake high level details onto low poly > finish texturing on low poly > dcl builder testing
This workflow requires multiple paid software such as:
· Zbrush and Marvelous Designer for high resolution garments creation,
· Retopology add-ons for creating the low poly model,
· Substance Painter for texturing the garments and baking the details
These Tools are industry standards in 3d creation and are essential for digital fashion creation of high-quality garments. Not only are the results higher quality, but it is also needed to acquire contracts for bigger brands (such as Conspicuis & Consensys recently) looking for onboarding. Because high resolution models are used as concept designs for the creation process as well as for possible marketing and videos or renders.
Other essential paid add-ons for blender include Motion capture retargeting tools for emote creation, Hard surface modeling tools, UV mapping tools etc…
All those subscriptions combined become a workflow that helps content creation tremendously and are essential to operate on a professional level as a digital artist.
Consensys design showcase
We use a main desktop station for our broadcasting, DJ software, and VJ during events and a smaller laptop to tune into Decentraland during events. We also acquired a Mocap suit last year from our own pocket to create digital movements which now becomes very handy with emote creation.
We have been so far doing basic mixes on a free DJ software up until now, but we want to expand to a proper DJ station with a mixer / controller to improve the overall quality of our live mixes and DJ sets as well as invest in a decent mic and headset.
Event creation and management:
Creating quality events is time consuming, from creating the theme, designing the posters, updating the club to the relevant theme with animations and art, hosting the event, promoting on social, organizing the airdrops and giveaways on twitter.
I have tried to scale event creation weekly beginning this year, but I ended up feeling burned out and opted for a bi-monthly schedule instead. That gives me more time to plan and spend time on the designing and researching side since I am the main creator and I don’t have the luxury of working with a big team.
With a bigger budget I can start looking for a community manager that could take a load off my shoulders while I focus on what I do best.
Metaverse Electronic Music Event aka MEME
I have a plan to create and organize an inclusive Metaverse Electronic Music Event (MEME) with some popular venues in Decentraland, fostering exchange and collaboration for the clubbing scene in Decentraland.
Part of the Event creation budget would go towards leading the initiative and organizing the first event in 2023 in collaboration with other DCL popular music venues.
Artist / DJs onboarding
One of the great things about events is live music performed by DJs and performance artists. Because of lack of funding, I have been very limited in terms of offering compensation for performers at Sugar Club.
I would like to have a budget going forward that allows me to pay artists a fair price in exchange for great DJ sets. We can also extend our service to promote our artists on socials. Sugar Club is welcoming existing DJs from the DCL ecosystem to play and we have a nice network already existing, some with which we’ve had great collaborations in the past ( Bufalo , Greencross, Gucci Toe, Alien DJ , Panther Modern, Mighty33, Superflat , AmbieNFT , Mumbai Science , GraffitKings, EzzyLand , Eclectic Method , DJ Laroc, DJ LethalSkillz, Bootsy Collins etc.) .
I also want to explore and expand our network of DJs and electronic producers by leveraging some of my existing contacts internationally. I have contacts in Europe, notably France, Belgium, Austria, the UK , Mexico/ South America, as well as South Korea where I personally know an event organizer for Live indie music Korean Bands…
Additionally, this is a great opportunity to scout for talent and explore various genres from the electronic scene and try to onboard them into the metaverse.
Upgrading and maintaining Sugar Club models and SDK code
This is another part of the ecosystem that demands high maintenance. SDK iterations often creates bugs that need debugging. Also, Sugar Club models are in constant evolution as I become better at texturing and upgrading.
Last year updates have included a new video screen projection code from the SDK repository, upgrading the main stage, optimizing textures, colliders, creating a new UI system to interact with, cleaning up all the modules of the code so they are better organized for debugging, and finally overhauling the VIP gate code to include Polygon as well as Ethereum contracts (an essential part of using NFT ticket access on Polygon)
Most of those updates are done by me, even though I am not a coder, because paying game devs are very costly. This has in turn created a situation where I spend a big chunk of my time working on the SDK with occasional help from HPrivakos. It is a stressful process and time consuming.
I would love to have a proper budget for game development, not only to maintain and debug code when necessary but also to be able to hire on demand for specific features such as a gamified experience at the club (retro 2d game playable in VIP or interactive NPCs and objects as example)
Online courses for 3d content creation
Last summer I took courses related to hard surface modeling from Blender Bros online and Flipped Normals, as well as a few courses for Marvelous designer program, and Zbrush scuplting.
I plan on continuing my education online with affordable courses specifically for 3d creation , avatar and fashion , as well as basic game development.
Learning new skills gives me more confidence in my abilities and fosters further creativity which can be redirected onto Decentraland.
Annual Budget Specification
Sugar Club founder (Kay)
In charge of content creation , curation, marketing and party host & DJ.
Hprivakos : developer
In charge of server upgrade, code base, technical advisor. Well known coder of Decentraland projects. Active since the early DCL beta. Hprivakos has been helping SugarClub since the early days.
JessieJess : assistant- advisor
discord: @Jess | NonFungible.com#0165
Jess Ford is has been participating in blockchain projects since 2013 and NFTs since 2017. During the past five years she has been deep in some of the most notable NFT projects namely Decentraland, the first blockchain metaverse owned by its users and NonFungible.com the worlds biggest and oldest NFT data resource. Meebits DAO Founder and Palm DAO Committee Member - PUNK#6079
- Community manager to hire
ROADMAP AND MILESTONES
Bi-monthly event schedule for the duration of 2023 ( or an output of 24 branded events annually )
Organizing 1 annual community led Electronic music festival in conjunction with other popular venues of DCL ( separate from the MVMF event called MEME )
Onboarding new DJs not familiar with Web3 or Decentraland , alongside continuing support for the existing DCL DJs community
Increase the traffic to Sugar Club and create a buzz around the electronic music and clubbing scene in Decentraland in general.
Monthly / quarterly report on the grant status and delivery of activities, milestones