Okay, in the last installment, we covered what generative NFTs are. I think most readers already knew that, but it’s good to start with the basics. Next up is the most common question I get from those just starting out: How many traits does it take to make 10,000 generative NFTs?
Really, this is the wrong question to ask-and I’ll show you the correct question in a bit. For now, let’s have a look at the math. It’s pretty simple, actually.
See more: How many traits nft
In a generative NFT set, the basic math is that you take the number of traits (variants) within each property (e.g., background, skin color, hat, clothes, eyes, etc.) and simply multiply them all in a row.
Let’s use the Bored Ape Yacht Club as a model. While it’s the most famous generative NFT set in existence, it’s also actually super simple. It’s got 8 backgrounds, 19 fur colors, 43 clothing options, 23 eye possibilities, 33 mouths, 6 possible earrings, and 36 hats.
So, to find the number of combinations, we simply multiply 8 times 19 times 43 times 23 times 33 times 6 times 36. Answer shown below:
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So, as you can see, the apes have just 168 traits in all, and that calculates out to more than a billion possible ways to put them together. Pretty impressive, eh?
Realistically, that number is likely a bit lower, though. That’s because typically within generative NFT sets, we also apply various logic rules. For example, the apes might have a rule like: If the ape has X trait for eyes, then these 4 mouths cannot work. And so that would prevent various combinations from being possible. The more rules you have in place, the more combinations are prevented from ever existing.
That said, when you have a billion combinations, you don’t need to worry too much about whether you have “enough” to get to 10,000.
The real question, though, is: How many traits should I assemble in order to (a) have plenty (likely in the millions, billions, or even further quantum leaps) and (b) to achieve an aesthetic level of diversity within the set?
You’d be surprised at how many people contact me and claim they’ve got a plan that puts them “well over 10,000,” and it turns out looking like this:
Ummm, yes, technically you’ve got 16,384 possible combinations there. But aesthetically, you’re going to have a very boring set.
I like the Bored Apes model, actually. Looking back, there’s a reason it became the standard for so much of what NFT teams do in the generative world. If we generalize, adding some of my own opinion, I’d say that a nice, solid, standard, basic NFT set would probably have more like 9-10 different properties, with an average of 15-20 traits within each one – some more, some less. Think around 200 or so overall traits for a decent set.
I’d also add that, lately, what I’m seeing both in the market and from clients for whom I do generative art coding (along with smart contracts and dApp mint pages) is pushing this limit upwards a good bit. It’s usually more like 15 or so properties with 20+ traits within each one – or much more. I’ve now done them with 400, 650, and even 1,000+ total traits!
So, that answers this question. Feel free to follow up if interested. Next up, we’ll get into rarity tables and art preparation for generative NFT coding. If you want to read ahead, hit up my generative NFT programming archive on Medium.
✍🏻 Jim Dee founded nftgamef.com to offer generative NFT programming and smart contract development / mint-on-demand services to NFT teams worldwide. A full-stack web3 dev, he has coded more than 150,000 NFTs to date, which have gone on to generate upwards of $50 million in worldwide revenue. Always DYOR; I share opinions, not investment advice!
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