“The community really impacts the story in two different ways,” VJ said. “There’s an explicit way they do, and then there’s a more implicit way.”
The main way the community was able to interact with Neil was through questions in the Writer’s Room.
One of the first questions Neil asked was, “What are the sacred rules of the Bored Ape Yacht club?”
The community agreed on one commandment: Telling club secrets to non-members was a bannable offense.
From that nugget of truth, Neil’s mind ran amok. He went back to the community for more answers.
Neil asked, “Then why would Jenkins tell an outsider his story?”
So the community had the choice to vote:
- He’s in trouble with the law
- He owes a bad debt
- He’s in trouble with the mafia
This constant exchange between author and community brought the story to life. But it didn’t stop there.
“There was another way the community influenced the story, and to be honest with you, it caught us by surprise,” VJ said.
4,075 Bored Apes and mutants licensed their characters to appear in the book. Most of those people filled out character backstories, and Neil read them all.
“Based off of how people built their own characters, it gave Neil a sense of tone. It gave him ideas for a whole bunch of other things that happened at the club,” VJ said.
He described, “So in a way, we basically crowdsourced the vibe of the club–the vibe of characters. We were able to think more critically about how we might write them in this story and bring them to life.”