About a month ago we wrote a blog post about how we were finishing up our technology for the release of Grafighters.
It was a great feeling, months of super technical work were coming to an end and we finally began to draw characters to test out the new system.
There was a minor problem. It wasn’t that cool.
The technology was working, yet every decision we had made along the way to “streamline” the character creation process, resulted in a rule for your drawing to adhere to. By the time everything was done we had this list of rules.
- Must have thick dark continuous outline (no holes)
- Must be centered on white paper with no borders showing
- Must be a front-facing human skeleton, in a “T” pose, with significant space between limbs (no overlapping body parts)
Forcing users to follow rules kills the most fun part about drawing...the freedom to do whatever you want.
With the new system, all Grafighters pretty much had to look exactly like this guy. He turned out pretty cool, but slight variations in the character threw everything off, and the entire premise of grafighters revolves around variations in the character.
No matter what, the experience of having someone draw an entire character on paper (where they can dream up anything and let their imagination run wild) is pretty much guaranteed to end in disappointment when you try to bring it to life. We don’t want to force your awesome creations through our system and have it be a letdown. They are too good for that.
We realized that in our current capacity, with a team of 2, we will never be able completely deliver on our monumental promise of “Bringing your drawings to life”. Even our best solutions have felt fragmented and somewhat disappointing.
So much of the feedback we have received is that you guys want to be able to make fire breathing whales with laser eyes, chainsaw fins, and 5 heads. We want that too. And while the system we built was easier to use and technically much improved, it didn’t get us any closer to that reality.
Which brings me to my next point….
We want to build the best 2D character creator ever.
One that combines the freedom of drawing with the awesomeness of animation, in one package, seemless and fluid. We have the experience, we have the ideas, we have the technology….
We just don’t know exactly what that product will be yet. So, instead of starting another massive attempt and failing to release it until 2019, we want to take a more simple, iterative approach. This means getting new apps and games in your hands as quickly as we can churn them out, so that we can learn through feedback and eventually arrive at the ultimate 2D character creator together.
Grafighters won’t be trying to raise a new round of funding. Instead of shutting down, we will be self funding the company from now on. That may sound rough, but we are actually super pumped about this.
Like many other indie game development companies out there we will be focused on building a financially independent company by making quality products. For you guys, it means will be building quicker games centered around creativity, creation and characters. We can’t wait. Let indie mode commence!
To all our current investors/advisors, you guys rock. A few years ago we were unexpectedly thrown into the world of startups and it has been an amazing ride. You have given us time to grow as people and master our skills. We worked really hard and made a billion and a half mistakes. We’re ready to leave the startup days behind us and try to become a real self sufficient company.
Thanks so much to everyone who has supported us along the way,
Eric + Dave
P.S. We currently make a living through enormo.us, which does animation and design work. If you want to help support us, feel free to pass any projects our way via rawr(at)enormo(dot)us.
P.P.S. We just made the app Blur, it makes sweet iOS7 wallpapers :)