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What's a "Fungisaur"?
Where did the Fungisaurs come from?
Watch the Fungisaurs animated origin story below!
Hope you enjoyed that as much as we enjoyed making it. This is our first step towards pitching a Fungisaurs 3D animated TV show and we're glad to be able to share it with all of you first :)
Meet the Fungisaurs
8 species identified so far:
Just like mushrooms, Fungisaurs spores travel on the winds...
Since 2015, they've been spotted everywhere, from bustling cities to remote national parks across North America, Europe, and Asia. Follow their travels on Instagram, you never know where they’ll turn up next....
What we're creating:
First and foremost, this Kickstarter is about funding the Fungisaurs Mystery Box Collectible Toys. A great addition to your toy collection and also perfect for a scavenger hunt in your yard or a nearby park, just like foraging for actual mushrooms :)
Along with the fulfillment of Kickstarter rewards in Summer 2018, we plan to release an interactive Fungisaurs Augmented Reality (AR) Mobile Game. The app creates even more ways to enjoy and interact with the toys. Find out more about our app in the Development Diary below.
There’s also lot’s of exclusive merchandise for collectors and fans alike.
How we did it: Development Diary
#1. Prototyping a Toy Line
Hey everyone, it's Aiman here, the creator of Fungisaurs! I'm a professional 3D Character Artist in Los Angeles and for the past 3 years have specialized in 3D printing. I've worked on all sorts of projects, as big as the Overwatch statues with Alliance Studio and small as the stop-motion puppets with Stoopid Buddy, and recently signed on as a sculptor for Hasbro, DC and Sideshow Collectibles, but I've always had an entrepreneurial streak.
The idea of Fungisaurs was born in 2015, when my wife Hwa and I were driving back to LA from a camping trip near Yosemite National Park. We stopped at an In-N-Out Burger and were given some prehistoric adventure themed dinosaur stickers. Having these dinosaur stickers adjacent to a mushroom identification catalog I had picked up earlier at the park, led to some furious drawing in my sketchbook of what I imagined various dinosaur-mushroom hybrid species could look like.
Back at home I digitally sculpted the characters in Pixologic’s ZBrush and proceeded to prototype them on a Form 2 stereolithography 3D printer. I had to create several prototypes of each character to make sure the toys were the same relative-scale, didn’t have sharp pokey-edges, were well balanced, free-standing, and wouldn’t break easily if dropped.
We decided to test the appeal of the Fungisaurs brand last year at DesignerCon, a major toy convention in Pasadena, CA. Hwa designed the Fungisaurs brand and and I 3D-printed several toys. We brought on a professional painter, Elvin Torres, to work his airbrush magic and bring the toys to life.
We set up a booth and pitched the toys like Easter eggs, paint your own and hide it around the yard for a fun scavenger hunt. We sold enough Fungisaurs to cover all of our convention investment and were happily surprised and encouraged by how many people wanted the painted versions of our toys. Kids gravitated to them because of their cute strangeness and parents loved the nostalgia of dinosaurs and scavenger hunts to take the kids outside. This cinched the deal, we'd have to find a way to mass produce Fungisaurs for everyone to enjoy.
Through 2017 we developed better versions of the toys more suited to mass production, reached out to several toy factories and after a long time searching, we finally found a factory partner with excellent communication, a great price quote and most importantly, uncompromising quality. That’s where we are today. We’ve designed 8 Fungisaurs series-one characters and are ready to make them available to everyone as mystery-box collectible toys through our Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. As an independent toy line, the success of Fungisaurs all comes down to you, the fans, and your support!
#2. AR Mobile Game/Toy Tracker
We’ve begun pitch development for a Fungisaurs mobile game app for launch in late 2018 along with Kickstarter fulfillment.
In 2017, development has been focused on creating an augmented reality (AR) Fungisaur interaction demo.
We started with the C-Rex which was re-modeled with proper mesh topology and UV maps for good deformation and texturing. That's a lot of jargon for saying we made it animate-able.
Then we animated it! A spawn, idle and roar cycle which you can interact with in the Sketchfab scene below:
Working with programmer and game developer, Zach Rock, we took it to the next level, setting up a Fungisaurs AR Mobile Experience for the iOS using Apple's AR Developer Kit and Unity SDK.
The completed Fungisaurs mobile app would have three key components:
- An AR Fungisaur identifier and pet training simulator
- A radar tracker for scavenger hunt game-play with the physical toys
- An interactive world map of Fungisaur sightings to inspire travel and exploration.
The release date for the mobile game app is as of yet undetermined. We fully intend to honor our word and launch at least stage 1 of the app along with Kickstarter reward fulfillment by August 2018.
We have a clear vision but we know we cannot create the app we want alone. As such we've started preliminary discussions with a few game development companies, but creating a really cool Fungisaurs mobile game will require sponsors and partners whose enthusiasm will be determined by how well the Kickstarter campaign goes, so once again your support plays a key role!
#3. Animated Story
Being primarily a character artist, it was natural for me to start developing back-stories for the Fungisaurs and creating a pitch for my very own animated series. In 2017, we’ve made a lot of progress on the animation front.
Working with character designer Ryan Winch, we flushed out the human characters in the Fungisaurs universe. Beyond the main protagonists Kei and her grandpa, Dr. Nori Také, we also developed characters from around the world that would lend their unique skills to the task of tracking and studying the Fungisaurs.
Next, we wrote the Fungisaurs origin story and visualized it with the help of talented storyboard artist Feras Khagani. Feras was able to turn our scripts into thumbnails and then into fleshed out illustrations.
The story continued to evolve even after we began animation as we had a lot of info to convey, however we knew we had to keep it short and focused on the relationship between Kei and her grandpa. Megan Ring performed flawlessly as the voice for our heroine, Kei, with additional voice acting recorded by David Lopez. All Audio effects and the score were created by Cat Arthur, despite the final animation/effects and illustrations going right down to the wire. What you see on screen is a true team effort.
Watch the Fungisaurs Animated Origin Story below:
Why are the toys being released as mystery box?
Because that's half the fun! The thrill of the chase, collecting them all, never knowing what you're going to get until you open the box.
Not to worry though, if mystery boxes aren't your thing, we do have pledge tiers which allow you to select your favorite toy upon completion of the Kickstarter, at a slight markup to incentivize you to gamble a little.
When will I get my rewards?
All times are subject to change, but as of Nov 2017, here are our best guesses: Merch packs including stickers, trading cards, postcards and pins are estimated to ship by December 2017.
All other pledge tiers including toys are estimated to ship in August 2018.
When can I download the mobile app?
The mobile app is currently in pitch stages and the sales of the toys will help push us ahead through development, finding sponsors, game development partners to create the app. We intend to release the app by August 2018. Kickstarter backers will be emailed regularly on our progress and goals.
How do I purchase add-ons or extra rewards?
Good question. One way is for you can to upgrade to a higher pledge packet to receive more rewards. or simply get the rewards you want "a la carte" by contributing the exact pledge amount for your additional rewards. We'll be in touch after the campaign ends for you to make your selections.
How will you know which toy or pin I want?
If you select a tier where you get to choose your toy, then you will get a chance to tell us your preferred toy after the campaign ends. Same goes for the pins, we'll be in touch after the campaign ends for you to make your selections.
What is included in my pledge tier?
Here's a handy dandy chart we built to help you out with just that question.
A personal note from the creators: Why Fungisaurs?
This isn't just about mushrooms or dinosaurs, at it's core, Fungisaurs is a storytelling medium, and the main theme we want to tackle is what if a new and untested genetically engineered species got out into our world. We feel this is an important story to tell because we just don't see it much in children's entertainment today. We believe that Fungisaurs can really help promote science, travel and inspire kids to spend more time outdoors. If this sounds like your cup of tea, then you've got your reason for why to invest in us. Thanks again for your support.
Special thanks to Team Fungisaurs!
We couldn't have made this launch without the help of our awesome team, learn more about each of them on our website.
Where will we spend the funds?
We believe in being 100% transparent, however at this stage there's no point in making graphs since 100% the funds we raise up to $20,000 will go towards manufacturing the mystery box collectible toys, as is the quote from our toy factory partners.
If we exceed our goal we will use all excess funds towards development budget for the Fungisaurs mobile app and add information about stretch goals and how we plan to spend those funds.
Rest assured, we value the relationship with our backers, since we would want to nurture that relationship to have you come back and support us for future Fungisaurs development. if you give us your money, we will use it only towards this project.
Risks and challenges
The Fungisaurs team is ambitious and there are a myriad of risks and challenges involved in a project of this magnitude:
Toy development is the furthest along, as we have secured a factory partner with excellent communication, a great price quote and most importantly, uncompromising quality. However there can often be complications with factory productions and backers should understand these risks: Approval delays, scheduling conflicts, quality control, permits, international shipping, customs and distribution.
Game development is squarely in the pitch stage, however we are well ahead of the curve having already created a working demo of our AR game. This process challenged us to confront the hurdles of programming and interacting with an offsite partner, yet we were able to nail our timeline with the launch of this Kickstarter and we expect to repeat this process at a larger scale to launch at least one of the key components of the app along with Kickstarter reward fulfillment by August 2018.
Animation development, like games is in the pitch stage. Watch for the world premiere of our Fungisaurs origin story airing live at CTN animation expo and simultaneously online on November 17, 2017. Once the origin story has aired we will begin discussions for a TV show pilot episode.
Kickstarter backers will be regularly updated on all of our efforts and development.
This project is our baby, and we will not let it go down without fighting tooth and nail for its success and ensure all our backers receive their dues. We are confident we can work through the challenges to deliver all of our rewards in a timely manner.
Thanks again for your support.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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