The Rogue Sharks Interview
We caught up with Rogue Sharks to talk about the experience working with Backpack, their xNFT enabled artwork upgrades and the madness of launching an NFT collection in 2021.
Rogue Sharks was the first Solana collection to upgrade their NFTs to xNFTs.
We caught up with the team to talk about the experience working with Backpack, their xNFT enabled artwork upgrades and the madness of launching an NFT collection back in 2021.
Table Of Contents:
The Rogue Sharks Origin Story
The Rogue Sharks collection launched on October 8th 2021. 5,000 NFTs were minted for 3-4 SOL using one of the first Fair Launch lotteries on Solana.
SOL was trading for around 1SOL/$158 USD at the time.
Rogue Sharks have a long history on Solana - how did the Rogue Sharks project originally come together?
RS: Rogue Sharks have been around since pretty much the inception of digital collectibles on Solana. It really was a bit like the Wild West back then and, because of that, we were a part of some pretty fun and innovative things.
I’ve worked in the creative space my entire life, along with our co-founders. Mainly in the commercial space, directing branded content for automotive brands.
After years of creating visual experiences and fostering communities around others’ brands, we found ourselves burnt out and uninspired.
It was during this time we fell in love with the world of digital collectibles and we realized the role NFTs would play in shaping the brands of the future. This was the inception of Rogue Sharks.
The Solana NFT ecosystem was barely a few weeks old and there was such a contagious energy of excitement. We all felt it. And even though Ethereum was leading the charts in every metric, we bet on Solana.
The early days of Solana NFTs were crazy, to say the least. A lot was riding on the early mints, like Rogue Sharks, to go smoothly for the longevity of the entire NFT ecosystem.
I remember getting a DM from Raj Gokal a week after the Rogue Sharks were announced on Solana - he wanted to hop on a call to discuss the mint and extend a helping hand.
Jordan and Bartosz, the Godfathers of Solana NFTs, created the Fair Launch Protocol and the Rogue Sharks were the first collection to debut this on Solana. I think it was a huge sigh of relief for everyone after our mint went smoothly.
We’ve really grown a lot since then. We’re proud of our history on Solana and we’re even more excited to continue to build in this vibrant ecosystem.
What things do you remember the most from mint day?
RS: The night before the launch, Jordan told me that the Fair Launch Protocol had never been through the wringer like it was about to on launch day. The demand was just insane.
The moment I remember the most is staying up till 4AM on a Zoom call with Jordan after the mint went smoothly. Making sure unsuccessful minters got their SOL back, issuing an absurd amount of proof-of-attendance tokens, and just soaking in the moment.
I remember everything like it was yesterday. Every single minute. I was definitely anxious.
It was surreal. Jordan will always hold a special place in my heart because of the moments we shared during the Rogue Sharks mint. Jordan kept saying, “The job is not done yet”, and that’s always sat with me.
The mint day was just the beginning. The job is not done yet.
What is something you wish more people knew about Rogue Sharks?
RS: I think our provenance on Solana often gets overlooked.
What I really want people to know is that with Rogue Sharks, our mission is to build the ultimate digital identity for sports and fitness fanatics.
Today, we’re fortunate to have some of the most skilled content and design talent in our corner. Through content and media distribution, we can really foster a brand and community around two of the biggest and most passionate industries in the world: sports and fitness.
Our provenance on Solana, combined with our strengths in producing content and embracing new tech (like Backpack and xNFTs), positions Rogue Sharks to really grow into something special.
xNFTs: The Rebirth Upgrade Experience
What has your experience been like developing in the Backpack ecosystem?
RS: The experience has been fantastic! The transformation has reshaped the way we think about delivering experiences for our collectors. With xNFTs, there are many new ways for people to interact with their collectibles, and we intend to fully explore all of the possibilities.
Tristan and Armani have also been incredibly supportive. I have tremendous respect for them as founders. They share my mentality: a rising tide lifts all boats.
The Mad Lads community embodies this - you are some of the kindest and coolest folks in the space. It’s all love.
Was The Rebirth being planned before building on Backpack became an option?
RS: The Rebirth Experience has evolved over time. It started as a mission to reinvent the Rogue Sharks, beginning with the art. We have created what I believe are some of the most striking and badass 3D digital collectibles on Solana. Initially, we were going to roll out the art upgrade similarly to many other projects, but that wouldn't have been as fun.
The lightbulb moment came during the Mad Lads mint. It completely changed the way we thought about rolling out the art upgrade. Thus, The Rebirth Experience was born.
The artwork upgrade leaks have really caught my eye - are you working with the same artist who designed the original Rogue Sharks collection? How long has the team been working on the new designs?
RS: Thank you for the compliment. The art is the result of many months of experimenting, overcoming doubt, collaborating with others, and forging the identity of these sharks.
I designed the base for the new Rogue Sharks, but the color palettes, traits, and theme were a collaborative effort. We were fortunate to bring new talent on board in the art department. We are all very excited to unveil the new art in its entirety.
Baj, a Mad Lads holder and talented developer, has also been spearheading our developments with xNFTs and Backpack.
We’re all really excited to showcase our collective efforts with the Rebirth Experience on Backpack.
Will every Rogue Shark receive an art upgrade? How can someone looking to experience The Rebirth participate?
RS: Every Rogue Sharks digital collectible has the potential to be upgraded. It’s entirely up to the collector whether to upgrade or not.
However, I strongly encourage all collectors to consider upgrading (wink wink, nudge nudge).
Can you drop any alpha about The Rebirth experience?
RS: Absolutely! I’ll start with the visuals. With the theme being "Rebirth", we’ve designed a gameplay experience where collectors are tasked with "escaping from hell". Survive and successfully enter the Portal to be Reborn. Sounds cool, right? Fun guaranteed.
As for other nuggets of alpha, Rogue Sharks xNFTs will launch a gameplay experience when collectors choose to upgrade. Once they complete the game and their shark is upgraded, the Rebirth gameplay experience ceases to exist on their xNFT. So, some collectors may choose to keep some of their Rogue Sharks OG, still in the wrapping paper and everything.
The next bit of alpha… All I’m going to say for now is that we haven’t done a snapshot or airdrop in a while and the next time we do one, it will be for something pretty exciting. It truly will be a Solana Summer to remember.