OpenSeed/OpenLink Work and Thoughts on Radical Transparency
I'd been wanting to talk more about this project but I felt weird talking about how excited I was about it without first disclosing that I'm affiliated with it in a more official capacity. Anyway now that that's out of the way I want to share some of what I've been working on and just talk a bit about what's going on with it.
Since I started talking to @andrarchy about this project he's been emphasizing that he wanted this project to have an extremely high level of transparency. He's urged myself and the other team members to share as much as possible publicly so this is me starting to do that.
First off I know I've explained it before but for anyone not glued to their monitors and chomping at the bit to read every one of my posts let me give a quick refresher what OpenSeed even is. To quote myself since I know you didn't click on that link
...let's relate this to something we're all familiar with. Steem. The relationship between OpenSeed and OpenLink is very much like the relationship between Steem and Steemit.
OpenSeed is an open source, cross platform database that can store whatever info you need including user info, all manner of different types of account info, digital asset info, whatever. All this information is safeguarded by strong encryption.
So similar to Steem, with OpenSeed, you'll have ready to go users, user settings, and a ton of other development assets that you can just tap into, without having to build all these things from the ground up.
Even simpler, it's a bunch of open source, ready made tools anyone can use to get their application off the ground a lot faster.
In relation to Steem, specifically because it's NOT on a blockchain, it's poised to handle all the stuff social applications are supposed to have(like chat) while still being open source and protected by strong encryption.
Anyway, that took me a long time to understand but I needed to to be able to do some of the work that was on my plate for the project which unsurprisingly has to do with visuals. When I first got involved it wasn't totally clear what I would do, so to grab some low hanging fruit I thought I'd polish up some of their visuals and start the work on developing some branding ideas.
I think this was the first image I made. The little connected dots in the background are usually referred to as a Plexus effect. It's the sort of go to effect for anything that has to do with people connecting with each other over networks or blockchain or anything close to that. That was a first pass so that if the team wanted to make a post about OpenLink they'd have a graphic to use.
Beyond that I started work on the actual look exclusively for this project. After having the team fill out a branding questionnaire full of weird abstract questions that totally make sense to me like if your brand were a person, where would it hang out? How would it dress? Would it be a man or a woman? Etc.
After that what I gathered was that this dark techie, enter the matrix look didn't really fit. This project was about being open, connecting people, being human focused, highly accessible(cross platform) and safe. One of the wordings that were being tossed around in discussions was that OpenSeed would fill the gaps in developing blockchain applications. @bflanagin had tossed out the idea of mycelium, don't feel bad, I didn't know what it meant either. It's basically mushroom roots
So taking my interpretations of the brand and combining that with this whole roots and growth idea I started making images.
After a bit of testing I built a procedural particle system in Cinema 4D using X-Particles where I can input any geometry and grow these colorful "roots" all over them.
This last image with the system growing across these cubes represented a bit of an ah ha moment because I liked the idea of the splines growing over some sort of recognizable structure, it connected with this idea of OpenSeed "filling the gaps".
From there I sort of came back full circle to the plexus effect.
I used this as the base geometry to then grow the splines on.
So this is the current place where this idea is. The goal of all this is to set the foundation for all of the visuals that would be created for the project. By establishing some foundational look and visual directions everything can have a cohesive and iconic visual association. Where you'd be able to look at an image and know it has to do with OpenSeed without any other information. Also for it to look cool. :)
I'm working on more than just making pretty pictures for the project. I'm also tasked with reaching out to you fine people and connecting to peeps that might want to get involved with this project. Also thinking up ways to make this project as transparent as possible. Some ideas thrown around...
- Recording and posting stand-ups
- As I just did, sharing with the community what we're working on
- Communicating with each other via public posts such as this one instead of private messengers.
- Sharing internal docs
I think it's definitely an interesting way to work and I'm excited to see how it turns out. Feel free to ask any questions about the project in the comments, and I'm sure I or one of the other team members will be able to answer them.