As NFT projects prepare to enter the Metaverse, it seems they are turning from their static images to integrating mechanics that provide usability. Notably, Bored Ape Yacht Club has amassed over $1 billion in total volume and announced a mobile play-and-earn game as other primate projects, CyberKongz and SmolBrains continue to announce and integrate new gamification features into their collections. Not only do investors seem to be looking for projects with strong communities and utility, but it seems that technical capabilities are also high on the list. This idea became apparent after Cool Cats’ Cool Pets collection had back-to-back launch issues, and has been on a downward trend ever since as keepers await their unveiling. Cool Pets 7 Day Avg. price/volume. Source: OpenSea Cool PetsMaybe NFT collections are maturing and focusing on delivering what is promised on their long-term roadmaps. They may also be looking for ways to maintain value and relevance to their respective communities in 2022. Projects are meant to capture utility. an expression coined by CyberKongz. CyberKongz is one of the first collections to integrate a token generation mechanism in its NFTs and a breeding mechanism. The governance token, BANANA, was introduced as a way for users to personalize their NFT and breed BebeKongz. In a similar fashion, Franky Nines’ SupDucks PFP Collection generates VOLT, the utility token that collectors use to buy ingredients to spawn a MegaToad. By integrating a token mechanism and model, projects also enhance the stacking and holding experience. Where’s my @RealSupDucks family at… who’s still stacking $Volts to hit another MEGATOAD? #sup pic.twitter.com/ahDJIzL0Y3— patrickjamesNFT.pcc.eth (@patrickjamesNFT) December 30, 2021 In order to incentivize BebeKongz holders and give their usefulness, CyberKongz announced that any genesis or BebeKong can be exchanged for a CyberKongz VX. CyberKongz VX are powerful, 3D pixelated versions of the collection. Since its release on August 15, 2021, CyberKongz VX’s daily average price is up nearly 193%, on a thin 2.4 Ether ($6,430.22) floor with a 7-day average of 3.5 Ether ($9,377, 41.) CyberKongz VX has recently gained utility as they venture into CyberKongz in-game Jungle Adventure.CyberKongz VX 7-Day Avg. price/volume. Source: OpenSea CyberKongz VX The Jungle Adventure allows holders to put their CyberKongz VX to good use to collect Kongnium Ores (ERC-1155 token) that can be redeemed for exclusive NFTS and BANANA prize pools. The overarching theme of play-and-collect in the CyberKongz ecosystem is that every piece in the collection is designed to play a key role in delivering usability. Pieces are no longer just aesthetically pleasing, they are also useful. CyberKongz isn’t the only collection capitalizing on gamification to give its NFTs usability; Cool Cats’ burgeoning collection of Cool Pets can earn an in-game token GOLD. To claim the GOLD, users must have MILK, which Cool Cats will soon be generating daily. In addition to gamification, other projects have discovered that a community collective is as valuable as utility. Built for the Community, by the Community Built on the Treasure.lol universe and created by Treasure DAO, SmolBrains is the epitome of a grassroots project. The project is an NFT game developed on the Arbitrum network, whose primary PFP changes dynamically. The SmolBrain starts out as a merry monkey that, when deployed, begins to increase its intelligence and brain size. Each IQ milestone unlocks a new feature on a user’s land in Smolville, encouraging users to wager their NFT. Unreal, my @SmolBrainsNFT just keeps gaining IQ. I came on October 15, the first day of the disagreement. Free Smolbrains and land smashed and the rest is history. I need to know when Smol Party on Tropix Smol Brain Land! pic.twitter.com/4FYRPktnYN— TropixMusic (@TropixOfficial) December 30, 2021 The Smolbrains community figuratively and literally went to the moon, with a current bottom price of 2525 MAGIC ($10,065) and there are currently less than 180 of the 13,742 . suggesting that there are many collectors, gamers and DeFi experts who believe in the Smolville ecosystem and its potential benefits. HAS COMPOSED THE HEADS WITH SOME NFT LOANS AND FRACTIONALIZATION DEVELOPMENT NEWS INCOMING: YOU WILL KEEP YOUR SMOL TIGHT IF THE PRODUCTIVE ASSETS WE ALL KNOW IT IS#IFKYK—Smol Brains (@SmolBrainsAppears to be on Season 2022 Pets) 7 January 2022 Pets SmolPets have also appeared on the scene for every SmolBrain and SmolBody holder. While DeadFellaz, just launched its DeadFrenz collection, planned to be useful within the horde ecosystem in the future. Strong communities are often cited as the reason why certain collections are popular and considered a success. However, strong communities are also looking for ways to ensure they get some sort of return on their initial capital investment, and with good reason. For some NFT investors, buying the artwork is more than just a capital investment. Community members invest their time and talent in project initiatives, and in turn, development teams devise strategies to capture and retain members’ attention to maintain and increase project value. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risks, you should do your own research when making a decision.