Dev Grant Spotlight: Arlequin — the Artist’s Metaverse

Apr 21, 2023

This is the latest post in our series highlighting the builders and innovators creating new tools and services on the Filecoin network. Learn more about the Filecoin Foundation’s Dev Grants program, and read more about recent grant recipients.

Arlequin — the Artists Metaverse — is a community-driven, ‘Paint-to-Earn’ system where users can collect NFT 3D animals, known as ‘Arlee’, in a creative ecosystem powered by the Flow blockchain and using Interplanetary File System (IPFS) via

Also referred to by its developers as “the Minecraft for colors,” it has been designed as an experience where the only limitation is the creativity of its players. What makes Arlequin different is that artists can customize their Arlees by painting on them directly into the browser. Soon, Arlequin will let users participate in contests where they paint on an Arlee, with the community then voting for their preferred entries. Rewards, such as Arlees NFTs and $FLOW coins, are then distributed among an event leaderboard.

It’s not just about the digital art: Arlequin is engaged in animal welfare, too. Each time an Arlee is minted, 1 $FLOW is sent to an animal charity depending on the Arlee species.

In November 2021, Arlequin won the Mercury Hackathon, supported by the Filecoin and Flow ecosystems, and its developers have now been awarded a $73,000 grant to help fund the project during the remainder of 2022. Speaking about their success, Kevin Tale, Founder of Arlequin explained: “With the grant, we are planning to make this project alive! It will be used to pay the engineers and 3D artists to enhance the painting tool, create more Arlees and develop all the smart contracts using Cadence (Flow Blockchain) and website.”

Arlequin is free to play, and anyone can join the fun in a decentralized stage anytime. As Kevin explains, “we strongly believe that Arlequin will gather a lot of traction because of how it differs from competitors. Each month, a brand new Arlee species is added to the Arlequin realm, and users will be able to share their brilliant artistic skills with the world, with the best of them making money out of it.”

The platform uses, backed by Filecoin and IPFS, to store painted Arlees skins, which are PNG textures applied onto the 3D models. One of the project objectives is to demonstrate that IPFS is a great way to store the visual textures of any video game assets in a decentralized way.

Looking ahead, Kevin and his team plan to build a 3D Metaverse in 2023. In the meantime, players can mint their Arlees directly with the Painter. This Painter proposes one Arlee at a time and it changes every 3 weeks. The current Arlee is the Cockatoo and each time a player mints it 1 $FLOW is sent to an animal charity for birds (LPO).

Read more about the Arlequin backstory and their plans for the future here.

The Filecoin Dev Grants program helps advance projects and aims to award additional grants to boost development in the Filecoin ecosystem. Check out our other grant recipients and learn how you can apply for open grants and Microgrants.