Justin Cook (a regular CartoonSmart instructor) has a great new project on Kickstarter, but before I introduce it, let’s address this…
What the heck is Kickstarter??
Kickstarter is NOT a donation website. It’s about pre-selling a product so the creator knows there’s enough interest out there to actually make the project worth doing. Believe me, it sucks spending months on something that no one buys.
What’s the project??
So Justin’s Kickstarter is a How to Draw Caricatures book which could potentially FEATURE YOU in it. For 7 pounds (or about $11) you’ll get the book in beautiful iBook format or PDF. But if you feel like pledging just a tad bit more, you’ll get to be in the book itself! The pledge levels for being in the actual book start at just 10 pounds, and increase based on how featured you are, up to being on the front cover. Here’s an example…
Alright, kit-sters! I’m looking for ideas for the StoryTellers iOS Starter Kit. I’m adding an optional Listeners section to the Property List. So for example, if you want to “listen out” for a puzzle being completed, you can do that (after the next update of the kit). You can see how this will be setup in the image from the property list below. Pretty easy right. If 12 pieces are put in place, we add fireworks to the scene.
So far I’ve added two other listeners, one which listeners for tapping of an object (or group of objects) by tag. Anyone familiar with the kit knows that you don’t have to add a tag (numerical ID) to your images, but it was possible to. Now if you add a tag, for example “999″, you can listen out for touches to any image with that tag. And multiple images can have the same tag. So essentially its a group. And if you touch them enough times, like 20 times, you could trigger something to happen. Like adding fireworks to the scene.
Also there’s a removal listener which works the same way. If x number of images are removed, something occurs.
More ideas?? Email me. I’d love to hear what you’re doing with the kit, and where’s there’s room for some custom coding that everyone can benefit from.
Also, the most recent documentation (1.4) is in the iBookstore. If your country is among those that can access the iBookstore, this is the best copy to download because when there’s an update to the kit itself, I’ll also update the documentation and you’ll be notified via your iBooks app.
Well one person asking for something is duly noted, but when I get three emails asking for a feature, that’s hard to ignore. I’ve updated The Story Tellers iOS Starter Kit kit to include an interaction option, where you can save the current screen to the photo library. So if for example, you created a sticker app, a kid could save a picture of where they placed all those stickers.
Anyone who bought the kit last week should still have active downloads. If not, just hit the Request form on your expired page. No reason needed.
And if you’ve already begun using the kit, simply copy and paste the contents of ImageOverlay.h , ImageOverlay.m, Page.h, and Page.m. Afterwards, any image in the property list that has ActionForPress set to SaveScreen, can do exactly that.
The documentation has been updated as well with a section dedicated to making sticker / puzzle apps. Overwriting those same files listed above also enables stickers to pair with bases of the same name. It’s a minor tweak, but useful because now identical looking stickers could stick to any base. For example, the same tire could stick to any tire base location.
Well it’s been a fun past month following the release of CartoonSmart’s first book (specifically MY first book). Sales were great the first couple weeks, thanks of course, to all of you loyal readers. And they are still good from what appears to be some natural iBookstore traffic (people not coming from CartoonSmart). Good enough at least, that I’ll definitely be writing some follow-up tutorials in the same format.
I’ve realized for many years the importance of being able to search for specific terms with CartoonSmart’s programming tutorials. The art tutorials don’t need much of a Glossary because the training is more about technique. The iBook / PDF format obviously solves the problem of not being search-friendly.
My dilemma for future books really comes down to finding the perfect length and size of the content. I can’t spend half a year writing 400-plus page books.Well I could, but it’s quite resource-draining (me, being the resource). Obviously shorter books are possible, and if the price is right, I don’t think anyone minds a 100 page training book because that’s still pretty substantial. So the real question is the size, because I know for those of you purchasing on your iPads, the capacity is limited. Granted, the iBooks are cloud-based, so you can delete and re-download as often as you want if you need to free up capacity, but let’s ignore that for a second.
Indulge me with a poll regarding the ideal size of an iBook. Granted, its really just the videos within the book that take up the most space. So figure 30-40 minutes of video is about 100 MB. And if you don’t care about the size, just check off 500MB, because that’s realistically the most I would do anyway.
This is an amazing piece. For lack of a better description, its just Star Wars anime style. Kudos to the animator who is calling this a “work in progress”. Really makes me wonder what’s “progressing”. Check it out…
I love the comment “Someone warn George Lucas! This guy is making Star Wars cool again”
Its rare I watch ALL of a 15 minute video on YouTube. Then even rarer I watch the next part, then the next part, and so on. If you’re a game developer (looking to make money), this is essential watching in my book. And I don’t just mean that metaphorically, I think his blog deserves a mention in my Game development iBook.
He has some amazing stats on what some game publishers have done to make money.
The speaker is Nicholas Lovell who runs this equally interesting blog, GamesBrief.com
I did. So I found a new friend. The guys over at iPhoneGameKit.com have some great ones. And they do things a bit like our iOS kits, because they also have a lot of instruction included with their packages. Take a look at their two kits for sale…
This one looks particularly sweet because well, I loved playing Phantasy Star as a kid, so the top down RPG games have a soft spot with me. And this kit comes with hundreds of textures, characters and objects as well.
Also written in Obj-C and Cocos2D, holla!
Next, they’ve got a Monster Checkers Starter Kit, which also doubles as a vehicle to learn Objective C and Cocos2D. You even get a 100 page e-book. ( Wait, that sounds like what I’ve been writing! )
This too comes with a bonus zip package full of thousands of royalty-free characters, sprites, buildings, other images and sound effects.
And I’ll end this article with a pitch from their own site, “Do you want to make your game in a few months? Or by the end of the weekend?”
First off, thanks to all the buyers of our latest video course, Pin Up Girl Illustrations. I can’t take much credit for this masterpiece other than helping the instructor Paris get it out there to you guys. I think sales have been good enough that it won’t take much arm-twisting to get Paris working on a companion version for drawing male figures, or whatever else he feels like teaching. I think he’s got a lot more to teach all of us. I actually took out my sketchpad the other day for the first time ( and crumpled up a lot of paper for the recycling bin )
Anyway, Paris is look for a developer to team up with. He’s got the art obviously, so if there’s any rising-stars in the App-coding world out there, definitely get in touch with him. You can contact him directly at ToonBoxStudio.com
Mac folks using Dreamweaver CS5.5 may need to pay attention to this because I had this exact error when playing with PhoneGap. Shane Hogan has posted up a detailed article (with screen shots ) about the allusive Camera.h error. And again, you may or may not have this problem. Not everyone on the Mac is seeing this. So its a mystery…
And for those chomping at the bit to get their hands on my Angry Birds-style template, you’re mere hours away. IT IS FINISHED! I just need to document the code a bit more. Afterwards I’ll upload a zip, then begin working on the video guides, then finally the video tutorial. So I’ll do things a bit backwards this time, but that will get this in the hands of everyone as fast as possible.
Occassionally I get an email that I can’t resist writing a long reply to. If any of you have emailed me, you know I try to help ya out, buuuut with all the email I get I like to put people in the right direction as quick as possible. Hey, I got work to do. Well once in a while I just have to stop someone heading down the wrong path. Especially if I think they could spend months or even years pursuing an unlikely outcome. In this case, the dream of selling a paid membership to an online-only comic. And since this emailer hasn’t even gotten a hosting plan yet (and it sounds like page 1 hasn’t been drawn), I couldn’t help steering him clear of the cliff. Here’s part of my reply. Maybe it will help another…
I’m not sure what to tell you though about getting people to pay for viewing your comic online. Honestly I don’t think thats a good revenue stream compared to some other ways you can make money with your content being free. I think putting banner ads above every page of the comic would get you as much money as trying to sell a monthly subscription. A yearly subscription to a paper comic is what? Like $30. So for an online-only, indie comic artist, you’ll probably be hard pressed to even get $24 a year (or $2 a month). And remember this is an online comic, so comic-collectors won’t even be getting a collectible paper copy. Even a $1 a month subscriptions could be tough. So lets fast forward 2 or 3 years of investing your time in this. Best case scenario, I think you are looking at 100-200 subscribers IF your comic is incredible and has picked up some kind of internet buzz. Which is tough. So 200 subscribers is still only $200-400 a month….
But if you sign up for a Google AdSense account, you can get maybe 50 cents to $1 per click on ads you serve . So if you draw a page a day, post it free, you’ve got a much better opportunity to make even more money. If you get a loyal fan, they might come to the site every day. Or at least once a week, and click 5-7 pages to work back on the strips they missed. Each page loaded will serve up an ad, hopefully a different one each time, and you’ve got a chance to make some money on your work being FREE. So you get the advantage of more money AND more exposure for your work. And nothing against your work, because I haven’t even seen it, but no matter how great it is, you’ll have a hard time getting it seen if its not free. But if you just build a strong following, you can make money.
Did I Marty McFly this kid or what. Set right the wrongs of a future where he’s working his butt off to make a monthly paid comic for a handful of his friends that subscribed? I hope so.
If anyone else has some great ideas for revenue streams for someone with free daily content, post ‘em up!