5) MAKING OF: Who made the SP-Studio and how

Who created this website?

My name is Janina Himmen, I’m from Germany and started working on the SP-Studio back in the year 2001 as a student. As you might have guessed I am a huge fan of the TV show South Park and it was the main inspiration for this website. I run the German South Park fanpage Planearium.de and usually use my nickname Zwerg-im-Bikini around the web. Since a couple of years I work as a freelance designer, so if you need a website, Flash animation or illustration feel free to contact me. In my freetime I enjoy a good movie or videogame.

How is the SP-Studio made?

I use a computer and a mouse :). The SP-Studio is created with the software Adobe Flash (you can find a free trial version here), which is very powerful. I use this software to draw the single parts as vector images and for some coding to make the whole thing work.

When do you update the site and how do we know about it?

It is difficult to predict when I have enough free time for updates. But there are several ways to know if there are new updates:

This is the place where you can read about all the news and write comments. You can also subscribe to the RSS-Feed.
Follow SP_STUDIO on Twitter if you prefer to read about updates there.
If you use FB feel free to like the SP-Studio page! I write about every update there and read your comments.
This group is mainly a place for fans to share their SP-Studio pictures. But I post important news there as well.
You can follow this page if Google+ is the social network of your choice.


Is this game suitable for children?

Sometimes parents or teacher ask me if the SP-Studio is made for kids. I know many children play with it and it helps them to be creative, but when I created it I had no children in mind. The art style is based on the TV show “South Park”, a satirical cartoon for adults. The characters look cute and I do not think this game will harm children, but there are some weapons and drugs as items. A dildo hat might be the most inappropriate thing you can find here. I will not remove this items, but apart from this I cannot think of anything that might be a problem.
But please watch your kids if they want to use the “community” features (forum and gallery) where you can talk to other fans and share your pictures with them. Though this place is under moderation I do not think little kids should use any online community on their own.

Why no other languages?

Unfortunately I do not have the time to update more than one version of the SP-Studio. In the beginning there was a German version as well, but I deleted it because more visitors understand English. That’s why there are no versions for different languages, it would be too much work for me. And I do not speak any other language apart from German and English. But I designed the SP-Studio in a way so you can use it without reading. And if you click on the “?” symbol there is a help text in different languages.

What will NEVER be included in the SP-Studio? Why?

You can send me requests for new items, I always try to improve this website and I am happy about feedback. Don’t be shy :). But you can stop asking for the following things, because I will never include them:

  • NO different body shapes
    Please stop asking about adults and fat kids. It should be obvious why there are no different shapes, but I will explain it again to make sure everybody can read it:
    If there is a second body shape you cannot combine the old items with it. First problem: From now on you cannot combine everything = less possibilities = less fun. Another big problem is the time. I would have to draw EVERY single item again for the new shape. This is a very stupid and time consuming work. Even if I would like to do this it would mean: no updates for at least a year. It makes more sense to use my free time for interesting NEW items for the existing SP-Studio. There are character creators out there which offer different body shapes, but of course this always means less items for each shape. Simple maths ;). This is not the way I want to go, because I prefer to offer you as many items as possible which can be combined freely.
  • NO more band shirts / sport trikots
    There are SO many bands and clubs out there, it is impossible to satisfy every fan. Sorry, but this is too special. And the logos are protected by copyright, so I will not do it anymore to avoid legal trouble.
  • NO famous brands or logotypes
    Same problem. I do not want to get in trouble because of the copyrights, so I try to avoid them.
  • NO offline version / app
    The SP-Studio is meant to be an online game which stays on my website only. I think this is fair, because I do not charge money from you. Your visit on my website is my only reward for years of work, because I enjoy your feedback. If this was gone I would stop working here, because I had nor reason to continue. Additionally an offline version could not be updated as easily as this website, so this is the best for everybody.
  • NO sound / animation
    The SP-Studio is meant to be a picture maker and will stay this way. Adding sounds and animations would steal a lot of time I prefer to use for drawing useful new items. Sorry, but if you search for a movie maker you will have to look elsewhere. And another problem is: I am no coder and work alone. It would not be possible for me to code this.