Board index SP-Studio.de Feedback Possible changes to the character design

Possible changes to the character design

What do you like about SP-Studio.de? What should change?

Forum rules

Have a look at the wish voting gallery as well. There you can suggest and discuss new SP-Studio items.
Post Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:34 pm
Janina User avatar
Admin

Posts: 1630
Images: 4
Country: Germany (de)

Image

Please have a look at my new blog post. I think about changing the character design to be different enough from South Park to make it my own creation. It's a tricky subject, so I felt like I should explain my thoughts as detailed as possible. This sketch is just an example of what I have in mind, but none of this is final. This would not change the way the items, clothes and hair work or limit the possibilities to customize the pictures. It's mainly about the legs and eyes.

To learn more about what the SP-Studio visitors want I created a small survey. It would be great if you could take the time to answer these 3 questions:

To the survey...

And of course I am curious to know about how important the original South Park style still is to you at this point.
Image

Image

Till User avatar
Mod

Posts: 808
Images: 94
Country: Germany (de)
Okay, to be very honest here: I don't really use the studio anymore. I don't know. It used to be a lot of fun for me, but it just isn't anymore. So, reading through your list of pros, I can't say any different but: go for it!
And still, it feels like we would lose something.
In my opinion, the best option would be to still offer the current version (no updates of course) for those who would miss it. I mean something like a button on the main page like "miss old SP-Studio?".
The website I get my guitar tabs from did it like this and I think its the best way to do something like that.
Image

Eggyslav User avatar
Mod

Posts: 625
Images: 284
Country: Poland (pl)
I like the changes, except for the eyes, those huge pupils kinda creep me out, I prefer the old South Park style ones...
Image

Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium!
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische dein Heiligtum!
Deine zauber binden wieder
Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
Wo dein saftner Flügel weilt!

Janina User avatar
Admin

Posts: 1630
Images: 4
Country: Germany (de)

Till wrote:
In my opinion, the best option would be to still offer the current version (no updates of course) for those who would miss it. I mean something like a button on the main page like "miss old SP-Studio?".


This will definitely happen, I won't delete the "classic version" and keep it online without updates. Most likely this will stay in Flash, but who knows.

Eggyslav wrote:
I like the changes, except for the eyes, those huge pupils kinda creep me out, I prefer the old South Park style ones...


I am still experimenting with different shapes of eyes because this was my first draft. So I will see how I can make them look less creepy. :) I'd like to change the eyes because the South Park eyes are too iconic... If I keep them there still would be the copyright issues. But there are so many ways how to draw eyes that I hope I find something nice.
Image

Image

Eggyslav User avatar
Mod

Posts: 625
Images: 284
Country: Poland (pl)
Also, Janina, you'll have to change the name of the site, since the South Park style of Characters won't be a thing anymore, the game can't be called that way anymore...
Image

Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium!
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische dein Heiligtum!
Deine zauber binden wieder
Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
Wo dein saftner Flügel weilt!

Janina User avatar
Admin

Posts: 1630
Images: 4
Country: Germany (de)

I will do the WWE move for well establisched brands and keep the name SP-Studio even if the "SP" does not stand for South Park anymore. ;) I thought about using a new name, but it would be stupid to abandon something which has grown for 15 years if most of the illustrations stay the same. Many people know the name / domain SP-Studio.de from the past and if I launch a new thing and just link to it from SP-Studio.de they won't even give it a chance. When the new version launches I will explain how it started as a fan project for South Park, because this is an importart part of its history. And I might call it "SP-Studio 2" or "New SP-Studio" in the title if I come up with a good name. "SP-Studio - the next generation"! :lol:
Image

Image


Posts: 333
Images: 195
Country: Spain (es)
I like the new legs. The classic legs not always fitted well with you wanted to draw. I'm not worried with the changes, but I prefer to have together the new kind of body shapes with the old one. I presume they could coexist together.

Janina User avatar
Admin

Posts: 1630
Images: 4
Country: Germany (de)

They cannot coexist in one version, and I won't update two versions because this would be less effective and very time consuming. It's the same reason why I never included more body shapes in the past. And if I'd keep the old South Park style in the same version as the new one the whole point about leaving the copyright problems behind would not work out. So... sorry, but I cannot keep both styles in one SP-Studio. :(

One thing I might be able to do is to add the old South Park eyes as a special feature, because they don't mess with the whole body shape like the legs do. The new style would be prominent with more options, but one pair of classic South Park eyes might be possible as a nod to the past. Then you can remove the ears and the characters look like South Park characters with long legs (perhaps like fifthgraders). But remember that the glasses and masks won't fit them anymore. And this depends on the copyrights as well... it's a difficult topic and I don't want to get in trouble later.
Image

Image


Posts: 8
Country: Singapore (sg)
To be honest, I would not worry about the copyright issues for keeping the South Park style because if Comedy Central were to go ahead with enforcing copyright just because of the usage of the South Park style, a ton of fan-works would have been taken down by now

Janina User avatar
Admin

Posts: 1630
Images: 4
Country: Germany (de)

Comedy Central and the South Park Studios are fine with what I am doing right now, which means using the South Park style for a non commercial project. I ask for voluntary donations, but don't charge anybody for anything connected to the SP-Studio. That's what most fans do and it's like free advertising for South Park. So they allow it.

But if I want to do more it's a completely different thing. I mentioned some of these things in the blog post. For example if I just want to publish a free app in the App Store or Google Play Store I am not allowed to use artworks which I don't have the full rights to use. Of course there is a chance Comedy Central will not notice or not care - but if they do I'm totally fu**ed. I don't have the money (and no legal costs insurance) for an international lawsuit with a big company and this could ruin my whole life. So I will never risk to do anything illegal with the SP-Studio, even if others do the same things. It's the same with merchandising. I recently talked to a programmer about the possibility to create 3D assets from the 2D SP-Studio images to print the figurines with a 3D printer. What an amazing idea! But I cannot even think about looking into this right now because I am not allowed to do it with South Park characters. Then there are other people who use my pictures without permission... They earn money with fake South Park merchandising or Nazis print stickers with racist propaganda. Right now I can do nothing about it because they say: It's just South Park fan art and not your own art! This has become very annoying for me. They tell me my opinion doesn't mean anything because it's just fan art. This hurts. And I get a lot of requests from fans who want to use the pictures for their own projects... I have to say no to most of them because of the copyrights for South Park. Though I draw everything I don't have the right to make decisions. Last but not least the next time I need money for updates I want to have more possibilities than asking for donations.

Those are just a couple of the copyright reasons why I'd prefer the drawings to be my own. Apart from the fact that it feels way better to work on something that's not just a copy of something others were drawing first. ;) I am not as attached to South Park anymore as I was 15 years ago.
Image

Image

Janina User avatar
Admin

Posts: 1630
Images: 4
Country: Germany (de)

I just received a message from one of our community members and think the questions are important to answer for all of you. So I hope it's okay if I share this here:

I think you should keep a lot of the same parts what makes SP-studio so unique. So I would say, don't remove the stuff you made for this but just like you added anime eyes and alien eyes just add new shapes to create a mix between south park and non south park style.


I should have made this clearer: At least 95% of the SP-Studio items would stay in the new HTML5 version, and the ones I'd remove will be replaced by new ones which are similar. The items which will disappear are the following:

  • Items which show the original South Park characters or are very iconic for South Park (the classroom background, the bus stop background and the South Park shirt motifs). I will keep the South Park hairstyles and clothes because I think there will be no copyright problems because of these if the main shape of the characters does not resemble South Park anymore and if they are not combined by me to look like Stan, Wendy or Kenny. I mean... it's up to you if you combine the Stan hat with the Stan shirt, right? ;)
  • All the pants and skirts will be changed to fit the new legs. This might result in more details, but the types of pants will stay the same.
  • The South Park eyes and some of the South Park mouths will be replaced by ones in a new look. The hands and feet will change slightly as well.
  • There will be new shoes to fit the new feet, but I don't think there's much about the old ones to miss. The new would be more realistic. But there still will be pair of simple single-colored shoes.
  • I think about removing some items which show famous brands: The band shirts would be replaced by neutral music shirts (like the METAL shirt) and the DC / Marvel logos might be changed a little. That's for copyright reasons. But the famous costumes will stay.

That's it. It took me 15 years to include the items so I won't remove them without reason. :)

What I want to do are improvements on old illustrations I would draw better today. This mostly applies to details for the backgrounds.

Also I think since you add more and more shadows to hair and clothing a option to have shadow on the body itself would be usefull.

That's very high on my list of things I hope to add in the new version. I want more color options for items and optional shadows for all of them. It still depends on my budget what will be possible, but if I get the chance to do this the HTML5 version will offer way more possibilities than the Flash version.

Are we going to keep the community with the contests or will the end of sp-studio as we know it mean the end of the contests/community.


Yes, absolutely! I don't even see it as "the end of sp-studio as we know it". The biggest change for you will be the new eyes and longer legs. And a modernized user interface. But I will try my best to keep the features and items you know in the new HTML5 version. It should still feel like good old SP-Studio. And the website might stay the same apart from some images because I want to use all of my time for the SP-Studio itself. The contests work very well compared to last year so they will stay.
Image

Image


Posts: 8
Country: Singapore (sg)
To be honest, i would recommend keeping the original South Park body shape and eyes (the one that we have currently) because I think some of the users may not like it as they want to have an authentic South Park style and modifying them may turn people away as they wanted their designs to look like the real South Park experience.

Janina User avatar
Admin

Posts: 1630
Images: 4
Country: Germany (de)

As mentioned in the blog post that's the one big disadvantage of a design change, yes. I will loose a part of my userbase for sure. The question is if the many advantages outweight this one (but important) disadvantage and will lead to more new visitors and more fun for me and the SP-Studio users in the future. New people might come who don't care about South Park. It's no easy decision... but it's one I have to make now before I start working on the new version. I have thought about this for years and always delayed it.

The survey is quite intersting so far. At the moment it looks like most people don't really care about small design changes. And while there are those who would leave the SP-Studio if it was no original South Park style anymore there are quite a few who would even prefer a non South Park version.
Image

Image

Janina User avatar
Admin

Posts: 1630
Images: 4
Country: Germany (de)

One important point I want to add...

If any supporters are unhappy with the final HTML5 version - no matter if it's about the design or missing technical features or just because they don't like how it feels compared to Flash - they can contact me to get back their money. I understand this and won't think bad about them.

I did not mention this before because right now I am still at the beginning of the process to find out how this new version might look like. Nothing is final yet, even if it sounds like it when I talk about how I'd love to change the character design or include certain features. I just think its important to share this process with you so I can react to your feedback.

I am writing this because I received some negative feedback regarding the fact that I collected money without telling about my plans for the design change in the beginning. It was bad timing, but I promise I did not think about this when I started the funding campaign. Though it was in the back of my head for years at this moment I just though about the technical problems I'd have to face. On the day I realized this HTML5 rework would be a perfect opportunity for a small design change as well I stopped working on everything else to publish the blog post and survey as soon as possible. Because I knew this was an idea my visitors needed to know about. I did not want to trick the South Park fans but wanted to be as transparent as possible. It's very important for me that you know that.
Image

Image


Posts: 8
Country: Singapore (sg)
One idea, maybe you can periodically release the HTML5 version for us to beta-test so that we can give you feedback as well as to report bugs on it.

Janina User avatar
Admin

Posts: 1630
Images: 4
Country: Germany (de)

This will happen very likely. The first people to test it will be my Patreon supporters and the forum moderators. This way I have a small audience for the first look and it is a little thank you for their help. But I can add some active forum members as well, because the forum is not that big. ;)

It will take some time though until a beta version is ready.
Image

Image


Return to Feedback

cron