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  Customizable Animated Game Characters: InDee Toons on Kickstarter  (Read 2053 times)
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Offline Dee

Junior Devvie

Medals: 8

« Posted 2014-03-30 12:15:21 »

Dear java-gaming community,

My name is Dennis and I am running a Kickstarter for a stock of customizable animated 2D game characters, named InDee Toons.

The characters can be dressed like a paper doll.
Creating your own unique animated game characters with InDee Toons doesn't require any artistic skills and is a lot of fun.

One toon contains:
- pre-rendered sprites
- the skeleton and animation data in Spine format
- the body parts as images that can be exchanged between the toons
- a custom head generator (another Spine file), allowing you to create an individual head from a selection of parts

Here's a small preview clip to show you how one InDee Toon brings you countless different characters:
<a href=";hl=en_US&amp;start=" target="_blank">;hl=en_US&amp;start=</a>

More information, videos and pictures can be found on the Kickstarter page:

Offline Gibbo3771
« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-03-30 14:39:37 »

I don't get how this is a kick starter, it just send you are selling a pack of 50 sprites...

"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Offline Dee

Junior Devvie

Medals: 8

« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-03-30 15:19:57 »

The kickstarter is about establishing a resource for developers who need assets for their games.
The basic stock this project aims to provide is 50 characters.
Every character has 10 animations with a total of more than 250 sprites per character.

More details can be found on the page of the project and in the video.

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Offline Dee

Junior Devvie

Medals: 8

« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-04-09 14:38:26 »

After I received a lot of feedback from people who liked the art, but didn't want to share it with others, I have updated the project and this thread with the amazing new features of InDee Toons:
For everybody who does not want to use stock characters that can be used by other people, you can now freely customize InDee Toons.
With the custom head generator and the source files for Spine, you can now create billions of unique characters out of one toon.
Even the clothes can be exchanged between different toons.

See how this sexy female sheriff toon gets dressed up:
Click to Play

Offline Rayvolution

« JGO Spiffy Duke »

Medals: 347
Projects: 2
Exp: 2 years

Resident Crazyman

« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-04-10 02:43:09 »

Not to throw a monkey wench in all this, because your work is solid. But isn't selling what are basically stock characters for other devs to use in their games going to just devaluate their work? Pretty much anyone trying to be taken seriously will be instantly dismissed as a "lazy developer" if your stock work starts to get popular enough to be recognized by players.

For example, there's a reason most people do not take RPG Maker Games seriously, even the ones that are actually really good.

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Offline Dee

Junior Devvie

Medals: 8

« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-04-10 11:34:48 »

Of course, at a closer look, you could still recognize the origin, if a lot of games use my characters.
However, by providing many different assets to compose unique characters, and by giving devs the opportunity to create really unique heads, I think this issue could be minimized.
Have you seen the different variations of the heads in my previews? This is just for one of 50 toons, as every toon gets a different head generator.

I cannot do art completely without an individual style, so a bit of me will be in every character, but I don't think that is something bad, as there have always been different games made by different developers using art created by the same artist.

Btw. I cannot see how a developer who hires an artist is less lazy than one who uses "stock characters". Wink

Offline Gibbo3771
« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-04-10 12:39:09 »

Could you elaborate more on how you plan to distribute these?

Do we get access to an Editor?

Do we have to buy each character individually? Do we get the full 50 for a certain price?

Could you also elaborate on this "tier" thing you got going?

Standard toon? Epic toon?

You ask to be backed to help you develop a pack of 50 customizable characters, yet you back $22 you get ONE character. If you back $25 you get ONE epic toon?

If I back with $450, I get all 50 plus the seemingly "exclusive" ones at a DISCOUNTED price?

Sorry but I do not think this is worth a f**k, your work is good but your approach/idea is not. At an asking price for 9$ per toon (according to the backing scheme), I would rather just save up the $450 and actually get some unique 2D characters for my game via an artist, because face it...each your characters can only be so unique before you start to notice heavy similarities between yours and other peoples.

"This code works flawlessly first time and exactly how I wanted it"
Said no programmer ever
Offline Dee

Junior Devvie

Medals: 8

« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-04-10 13:47:13 »

Thank you for the feedback.
First I have to apologize for all the confusion.
All this standard and epic stuff is outdated. The kickstarter was originally launched as just a stock of premade game characters as sprite sequences with a lot of fancy features, mounts and normal maps as stretch goals, and a lot more crazy things.
My fault was that I didn't ask developers for feedback before I launched.
So, during the first days of the campaign I received a lot of requests for customization options and changed the whole kickstarter to customizable characters with the option to mix the parts of different toons, unique heads and source files for Spine.

The rewards have also been reworked, only the perks that already had backers, could not be changed or removed, that's why these unprofessional looking reward tiers are still there.

Quote from: Gibbo3771
Could you elaborate more on how you plan to distribute these?
The distribution of the rewards will be via download links to zipped files containing the folders of precompiled sprite sequences, images of the body parts and skeleton and animation source data for Spine and the custom head generator (also a Spine file using provided images of facial features).

Quote from: Gibbo3771
Do we get access to an Editor?
Editing the characters simply works by dropping the parts you want to use in the folder of the toon you want them to wear.
The proportions can also be modified with Spine.

Quote from: Gibbo3771
Do we have to buy each character individually? Do we get the full 50 for a certain price?
As I assumed that practically nobody really needs all 50 toons (with one of them already bringing a lot of different characters), I saw the bundle of 50 more as a collector's edition for people who really want to support the project. (the more feedback I get, the less this seems to be the case)
My guess was that people who need art for their game pick the toons that suit their concept best (like up to ten toons), customize them to be individual and create like 20 to 30 different characters out of the stuff they get.
Apparently there's a lot of people who really want all.
What would you consider a fair price for a pack of 50 customizable toons? Is 9$ really so much for all that you get with one toon?

If the project does not get funded, I have to rework the concept again, and of course the pledges, so I really appreciate any thoughts on this.

Offline Riven
« League of Dukes »

« JGO Overlord »

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Hand over your head.

« Reply #8 - Posted 2014-04-10 17:01:51 »

One of the issues is that people in general want to have it all for a reasonable price.

They don't really need 50 toons, but they equally don't know which subset of the 50 toons is interesting for them. If you had 68 toons, people would want them all, too, for the same price as the current 50. Consider this: you currently ask $450 for 50 toons. What if you added another pledge level of $441 for 49 out of 50 toons. Nobody in their right mind would pick that pledge, because we don't like to make a choice we can't oversee the consequences of: which toon would we discard for a mere $9 savings? Unfortunately you create a sense that people will miss out, regardless, unless they pick one of the highest pledge levels. $450 is a lot to pay up, for your indie dev target audience.

Sadly, the odds are that your Kickstarter is going to fail, given the amount of pledges and the number of days remaining. I think you'd be better off selling your toons in existing online outlets. (Sorry to be such a naysayer!)

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Offline Dee

Junior Devvie

Medals: 8

« Reply #9 - Posted 2014-04-10 18:47:20 »

Wow, that was one kind of a fresh feedback, Riven, you made me smile Cheesy
I think you're absolutely right. Many people said, they wanted the whole package, which I'd never expected.
You made me understand why.

Most likely, you are also right that the kickstarter will fail, and if the funding goal is not reached on the last day, I will cancel it.
But until then, I will not stop giving the best to create more material and show it to people and discuss the feedback I get, because:
  • From all the feedback I got so far, nobody said something negative about the art.
  • I don't want to milk maximum money out of people, I want to offer something useful at a fair price with people feeling like they found a treasure when they see what they got
  • all feedback helps me to get on the right track and make the concept and pricing more attractive
  • the next kickstarter (if I need to relaunch) will be a success. And YOU! will back it on day 1 and tell everybody how awesome it is! Cheesy

The only question that still remains in my head: what to offer as a higher pledge reward (that doesn't make people feel like they missed out when backing on the main pledge level)?

Oh and btw... I haven't tested GraphicRiver yet, but the existing online outlets I have tried... they suck!

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