Byte's Cypherpunk 2081

Shelly's Arcade

Trausti’s unforgettable laugh still rings in your ears as you wipe away the last dried tear and extend a handshake to the legendary proprietor. He grips your hand tightly, pulling you close to whisper, “Channel your struggles, kid. You’re a diamond.” Still buzzing from his words and the warmth of his ale, you stagger slightly as you leave Trausti’s, the echo of the taproom fading behind you.

As you make your way down the rugged streets of the Dragon’s Den, the transition from the lively taproom atmosphere to the quaint and comforting ambiance of Tom’s Pantry is refreshing. Entering Tom’s Pantry, the scent of herbs and fresh bread fills the air, a stark contrast to the rustic brews of the taproom. Tom greets you with a knowing smile, taking the goods you’ve brought him. With a grateful grin, he hands you a flyer for Shelly’s Arcade, tops up your crypto wallet with some ∑ (Erg), and claps your back, saying, “Send my regards to our Viking friend Trausti, and be sure to meet Shelly—she’ll want to know you.”

You wander onto a secluded street, alive with the intense sounds of gameplay, each note resonating with deep nostalgia. Enthralled by the symphony of vintage arcade games and the hypnotic dance of neon lights, you find yourself drawn by the curious gazes of fellow gamers. As you take in the vibrant scene, one mysterious figure catches your attention; her magnetic and inviting gaze pulls you in. With a hopeful smile, you exchange your crypto for gaming tokens and stride confidently towards the woman whose presence has captivated you, each step bringing you closer to what promises to be an unforgettable night at Shelly’s Arcade.

<3 -TC


Shelly’s Arcade” is a virtual location from my “Byte’s Cypherpunk 2081” VR series, the most technical, intricate, and novel Equirectangular image series I’ve ever created.

Image Specifications

  • Equirectangular Dimensions: 18,432 x 9,216 pixels
  • Resolution: 240 Px/In
  • PSB file size: 7.4 GB
  • Color Space: SRGB

Software Used

  • Pano2VR
  • Photoshop
  • Lightroom
  • Topaz Gigapixel AI
  • Magnific AI
  • Stable Diffusion XL
  • Mid Journey
  • Blockade Labs
  • DALL-E


Playing with Characters

In the rapidly moving world of AI development, my character compositing techniques have undergone remarkable evolution throughout this series, pushing the boundaries of intricacy within each scene. Shelly’s Arcade represents a culmination of all my refined techniques and the newest toolsets. My computing power and artistic skills were ideally suited for crafting a scene of this complexity. I continue to experiment with ways to enhance a unified and fluid composition, aiming to create the most hyper-realistic portrayal possible, delivering an immersive virtual reality experience that stretches the limits of my capabilities.

My technique has evolved into a nuanced, multi-layered process. It begins with crafting a basic background, into which I meticulously integrate objects, characters, signage, and intricate details. This preliminary composite then undergoes a sophisticated upscaling process. During this phase, smart objects are enhanced and seamlessly reintegrated into the equirectangular scene, significantly elevating the overall visual fidelity. I utilize the latest version of Photoshop’s text-to-image model to prototype and refine scene elements, ensuring each character and object contributes to a flawlessly immersive experience.


Acts of Kindness

Shelly left a lasting impression on me when my family relocated to Treasure Valley from Aamon, Idaho. I still vividly remember the anxiety of my first day at Sunny Ridge, a new school in an unfamiliar city. Shelly was one of the first to approach me during recess, inviting me to a game of four square. That simple gesture of kindness profoundly shaped the rest of my school year, easing my transition into this new environment.

One of my most cherished memories is sitting next to her on the school bus during a field trip to McCall, Idaho. In the midst of an era filled with pogs, bloody knuckles, and slap bracelets, Shelly introduced me to the fortune teller paper game. During that enchanting two-hour bus ride, I learned about who I might marry, the number of kids I might have, and other whimsical future predictions. While not all those playful forecasts came to fruition, the memory of that journey remains dear to me. It inspires me to continue spreading the same fondness for games that I received, perpetuating Shelly’s love of game play.

Cyberpunk Aesthetic & Ethos

Upholding the essence of Cypherpunk intrigue and the raw, unfiltered spirit of Cyberpunk remains my foremost commitment. The true soul of Cyberpunk is unveiled in its stark portrayal of human dichotomies. It transcends mere aesthetic, embodying a lifestyle where defiance is the norm, and the PUNK ethos boldly confronts conventional moralities with a defiant stance, underscoring the philosophy of personal code and rule.

This genre is a testament to rebellion against the mundane, a staunch refusal to align with the decaying moral fabric of society. In the Cyberpunk realm, survival hinges on adaptability and resilience, where the only moral compass is one’s own conscience. Whether as a decker or a hacker, the necessity to tread murky waters for survival is a well-known truth.

My passion for this genre stems from its celebration of rebellion, anti-authoritarianism, and the indomitable human spirit. Growing up during the rise of home computing, I’ve witnessed the digital evolution firsthand. The line between the real and the virtual has not just blurred; it has intertwined, especially as my interactions with AI have deepened. From the early days of 1989, my life has been illuminated by the glow of a computer screen.

Observing the myriad reactions to each technological breakthrough – from apprehension to eager acceptance – has been a fascinating journey. It’s a cycle of evolution and obsolescence, where new systems rise and fade. Cyberpunk not only mirrors our contemporary dilemmas but also casts them into a future landscape. This potent amalgamation of prophecy, introspection, conflict, escapism, and unapologetic punk ethos is what renders Cypherpunk and Cyberpunk not just genres, but realms of endless exploration and resonance for me.

Prompt Engineering

My skill in prompt engineering has been honing with each passing day, particularly as I near my two-year mark of interaction with Mid Journey this July, 2024. This LLM stands out as one of the most extraordinary tools I’ve had the privilege to work with. Its ability to match the color space and lighting of portraits to my scenes with precision is noteworthy. This not only streamlines the compositing process but also ensures that all renders integrate flawlessly into the scene, enhancing the overall visual coherence.

I’m equally impressed with the capabilities of SDXL and automatic1111. These robust tools have revolutionized my workflow, offering an unparalleled degree of creative control over my digital creations.

The newest tool in my arsenal is DALL-E, the prompt coherence available in the latest version of this software is exceptional.  I particularly enjoy the ability to converse with a GPT to refine and direct, the prompt.

The art of prompt engineering is crucial in AI-generated projects. Steering the AI towards specific constraints such as lighting, color, depth of field, exposure, style, subject position, camera angles, seed numbers, and negative prompting is a delicate balance. It requires not just technical expertise but also an intuitive understanding of the medium. Countless hours spent practicing with AI and refining the economy of my language have been key in maintaining consistency across all renderings.

Despite meticulous prompting, patience remains a vital component, often accompanied by the necessity to iterate or refine prompts to achieve the desired outcome.

Cypherpunk Ethos

In the realm of digital currency, the Cypherpunk movement laid the groundwork for a pivotal shift in our global financial system, aiming to save humanity from the pitfalls of traditional monetary structures. Bitcoin, a brainchild of this movement, brought forth a transformative concept of money, emphasizing transparency, security, and decentralization. Its blockchain technology records every transaction on-chain, ensuring an immutable and transparent ledger, a stark contrast to the often opaque operations of conventional banking.

Bitcoin’s innovation lies in addressing crucial aspects of sound money – durability, portability, divisibility, uniformity, stability, scarcity, and acceptability – all encapsulated in a digital format. This paradigm shift is not just about a new form of currency; it’s a profound statement on reclaiming financial autonomy and fostering a more equitable global economy.

Turning to Ergo, a platform that stands on the shoulders of Bitcoin’s revolutionary ideals, we see the next evolution in the quest to fix the money system. Ergo extends the Cypherpunk ethos, offering enhanced privacy, advanced smart contract capabilities, and economic freedom through accessible, decentralized financial tools. It harmonizes the best of blockchain development and academic research, providing a robust platform for versatile dApps and financial agreements that run with predictable costs and successful execution. Ergo’s Sigma Protocols enable sophisticated, efficient zero-knowledge transactions, marking a significant step towards a more secure, transparent, and equitable financial future.

Byte's Cypherpunk 2081


Byte's Cypherpunk 2081


Byte's Cypherpunk 2081


Byte's Cypherpunk 2081

Imperium's End

Byte's Cypherpunk 2081

Dragon's Den

Byte's Cypherpunk 2081

Deep Blue

Byte's Cypherpunk 2081

Ruby's Cafe

Byte's Cypherpunk 2081

Tom's Pantry

Byte's Cypherpunk 2081

Trausti's Taproom


Tribute to my friend Shelly

We all remember a classmate who left us too soon. For me, it was Shelly. Her passing in 1998 was overwhelming; I was only 17 at the time. I’ll never forget receiving the devastating news from my good friend Sean while I was working a late-night shift as a dishwasher at a local cafe. After hanging up the phone, I broke down completely, struggling to finish my work through tears. I never had the chance to tell Shelly how much she meant to me. In her memory, I’ve created this tribute to celebrate her wonderful spirit. May her joy and kindness continue to resonate in a world that so desperately needs it.

With love,


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