The design: Stakester VIP Cheat Codes
Find out how we took the design for Stakester VIP Cheat Codes from concept to creation.
Ask any designer what the hardest part of their job is, and they’ll probably answer with some version of “Everyone thinks they’re a designer.” Designed by Head of Product Andy Charlton, our NFT project was no different – he had to juggle plenty of opinions on the way to designing our Cheat Code NFTs.
Utility was always our main concern, but the artwork is always a hugely important part of any NFT creation. They’re digital assets, but they’re also a piece of art, so if you ignore that side of the equation you could end up selling yourself short.
Design also feeds into value: you need to make the different tiers of your collection very obvious to buyers. Communicating rarity with design features allows people to innately understand the value of different NFTs.
Unique looks and utility
Our Legendary NFTs offer some truly unique utility, so the design really had to match that. These sleek, metallic passes definitely communicate a higher tier of benefits. We’ve only released a sneak peek at these NFTs for now, but it’s worth highlighting the importance of design in creating a look and feel that matches a premium experience.
Where to start?
How do you present a cheat code? When it comes down to it, they’re just a series of buttons and arrows. How do you capture the feeling of nostalgia that those codes carry with them? We wanted it to spark memories of sharing cheat codes with your friends and breaking your favourite games in unimaginable ways, so it had to be good.
After a lot of back and forth, we took inspiration from our own memory: we simply asked ourselves, how did you find out about your first cheat code? For most of us, it was on the playground, or in the classroom. A friend filled you in on the details and you were so excited that you had to write it down then and there: that’s where we got the scrawled notes from.
It opens the door for loads of possibilities: different variations of handwriting could signify levels of NFT, or allow iconic gaming figures to literally put their signature on a Cheat Code. Those Cheat Code NFTs with special handwriting could even unlock special features and utilities for holders in future.
Holders of this NFT will be able to access exclusive benefits in the app: that’s the whole point of the project. We needed to capture that visually, in a way that would clearly communicate the special experience that these NFTs would unlock.
There was really only one way to go: backstage passes. They really are the ultimate expression of the VIP experience from the heyday of cheat codes and they represented the perfect background for the cheat codes.
The concept also gives you space to provide more unique markers, context for the cheat code and an image that clearly communicates your status to other Stakester users. Plus, it gives us scope to provide holders with real-life passes they can use to access IRL events in the future.
Next, our thoughts turned to colour. Varying the type of paper was a simple enough task, but what about the background colour? The challenge: to create something unique that can stand out in a crowded NFT marketplace and still look great.
As a brand, we’re into bold, bright colours – the Stakester orange could stand out anywhere. So we took our cues from that, creating a bright colour palette that catches the eye but allows every NFT to stand out and draw your attention.
By varying the scrap of paper on each, we were able to add to the uniqueness of every cheat code. Coffee and ink stains really add to the authentic feel, bringing back memories of exercise books and borrowed pens.
Pick a side
The console wars are kind of played out and it’s not too controversial to say that Playstation won. But, cheat codes come from an era where the console wars were in full swing and people were taking sides.
That’s what gave us the idea to create Playstation, XBOX, Nintendo and PC teams. Stakester is all about competition – and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to insert some friendly competition into the project, so here’s how it works:
The colour of your pass denotes your team. Green for XBOX, Blue for Playstation, Red for Nintendo. Holders will be able to compete in a series of challenges – both on and off the Stakester app – for their teams, and the winning teams will get their hands on some really amazing prizes, but more on that later!