Non-Fungible Skyscrapers [Interview with Preston Attebery of BlockCities]

Every Skyline is Unique

Non Fungible Tokens have helped us explore and better understand the blockchain universe. They give us a strong visual sense of community and connectivity across new environments. Now, one project is taking that collect + connectability a step further. Meet BlockCities!

BlockCities is all about generating collectible mash-ups of landmark places from all over the world. The Ethereum powered application takes recognizable building faces and lets you customize them with architectural styles borrowed from other buildings. In essence, this new app is like an architectural rubix cube.

Today we spoke with BC Founder and urbanist-extraordinaire Preston Attebery to learn more about his entry into the blockchain world and the future of this Non-Fungible Cityscape.

Creative Crypto: Thanks for joining us Preston! Tell us a little about yourself and the BlockCities project? How did it all begin and what brought you into the blockchain world in the first place?

Hey! As you said, my name is Preston Attebery and I am the founder of BlockCities, a set of architecture collectibles and city-building game. To kick off the game, we’re launching the BlockCities “Mystery Machine.” Think of it like a vending machine that kicks out one-of-a-kind, on-chain generated buildings.

We built this machine by packing it with building parts from buildings you’d see in Atlanta, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. By “building” with the machine, you can create these unique CryptoCollectibles, along with scoring the Classics and some super-limited releases.

Honestly, what brought me into crypto was all the hype. The prices were going crazy in late 2017, which peaked my interest, but once I jumped in I was so intrigued by the projects launching on Ethereum—I had to join in.
Coming from a design background, I began to realize that the blockchain industry could solve some of the problems that I experienced as a designer and artist. I was looking at ways to combine the two when I came across CryptoKitties and the NFT. 

Once I saw what could be done with Non-Fungible Tokens, I was hooked. At that point, I had the idea of combining what CryptoKitties was doing with my own love of cities and architecture. There, in a simple sketch doc started what would become BlockCities.

CC: CryptoKitties really unleashed a new world of pawsabilities 😉 But really, it’s exciting to see more design-oriented people taking a dive into the blockchain and building amazing projects. With respect to BlockCities, how does your application engage the blockchain?

All of the BlockCities buildings will be recorded on the Ethereum blockchain and stored as NFTs. On day one, users will be able to buy, sell, and trade their buildings on any platform that integrates with Ethereum and OpenSea!

CC: What about Non-Fungible tokens do you find exciting with respect to crypto-collectibles?

In terms of Non-Fungible Tokens, I think CryptoCollectibles are the most clear and exciting use-case for the technology. Even just the fact that they are visual develops a more firm relationship between the “token” and the consumer—they give life and instant utility to the Ethereum blockchain.

CC: NFTs really do add a new layer of blockchain empathy. They visually connect us to the technology which makes them so attractive to experiment with. Speaking of experimentation, what are your thoughts on the way this emerging industry is progressing into 2019?

I’m really excited where CryptoCollectibles are heading in the future, especially to be used as in-game items. Giving gamers skin in the game through their financial investment will drastically alter the way game economies function today.

It will legitimize gaming as a career and further blur the line between paying for games, buying a lifestyle, and earning an income in a virtual environment.

Gaming is just the immediate future for CryptoCollectibles, in the coming years they will spawn entire virtual universes that affect our daily lives.

CC: The metaverse is nigh! Back to the world you are building – what’s your favorite architectural style? Was there any kind of movement (postmodern to brutalist etc.) that was extra enjoyable or a pain to design?

Most of the Founder Collection buildings are modern-designed, but during our collaboration with FOAM, I designed a number of classical buildings that were extremely detailed and difficult to illustrate.

The trick is including enough detail to trigger that immediate understanding of which building it is, while maintaining the visual consistency of the BlockCities collection.

In the future, I’m really looking forward to launching the Art Deco collection! Crafting icons like the Empire State building and Rockefeller Center will be a thrill.

Explore the FOAM hunt Collection on OpenSea

CC: How can people participate? What’s the first step towards becoming an Architect within BlockCities?

The best way to participate is to start creating buildings on the BlockCities Mystery Machine! There are only 500 “Founder” buildings, 4 Golden Special editions, and a number of “Classics” hidden throughout the collecting game. See what you can build!

You can build here:

Thank You BlockCities!

Many thanks to Preston for sharing his work with us. We’re very excited to see what kinds of fictional architecture you (the crypto-creatives out there) come up with tomorrow!

Also, stay tuned designers – we’ll be announcing a skyscraper art contest tomorrow and will be rewarding the “best architects” with exclusive BlockCities NFTs! Stay tuned for the announcement on Tuesday, April 2nd.

Name: BlockCities
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