The Humble Beginnings of Magic Spangle Studios
“Everyone has to start somewhere. You have your whole future ahead of you. Perfection doesn’t happen right away.”- Haruki Murakami
Interesting quote. Read on to understand why we chose this to commence our blog.
Henry The Horse is a rockstar and enters the screen in a grand fashion. He loves to play guitar. He laughs heartily when you poke him and sneezes if you tickle his nose. Henry has many other friends which include Diddy Dog, Pepe Penguin, Lolo Elephant, Paul Panda, Mark Horse, Popo Parrot, Christopher Cat and several others. They all live under one roof (or may be two). You can find them all on iOS AppStore and Android Google Play. Like a family they all like to remain in touch with each other. How? Have a look at it yourself: Videos
But where did they all come from? Who created them? Well, the answer to the second question is, We, Magic Spangle Studios created them. We made them so that you and your family could have fun. You could ‘download’ your friends and have unlimited fun with them, just like your real friends.
How and when were they created ? The answer to this question dates back to October,2011. As a leading Animation Studio in India, we had been working with clients all over the globe. Among the many appreciations we had received, one particular quality our client’s liked about us was our ability to develop unique and appealing characters in a very short time. This gave birth to an idea which would result in creation of over 100 apps which together accounted for more than 10 million downloads. Yes, 10 million plus downloads.
The idea was to create apps with unique and distinct characters, often referred to as ‘Character Development’. Each character has a personality and an aura associated with it. Creating one character is a herculean task in itself. Nevertheless, we had decided to create over 100 such characters. What followed was 3 months of hard work and creativity.
Every day brainstorming sessions would be held where we would decide about a character, his looks and personality. The idea had to be original as we were least interested in making clones. Every minute detail, whether it be his eyes, his tail(if he had one) or any clothes or accessory he might be wearing, was discussed in detail. Characters would then be hand drawn or digitally made. Each one of us at Magic Spangle Studios offered his/her insights on the character.
After approval, Character Modelling was done using 3ds Max and Maya. Unique skin textures were created using photoshop, zbrush and Mudbox. Character rigging and skinning was done using Maya. Most of the animation studios in India render most of their work in Maya but we made an informed decision not do so. Our experience had taught us that the rendering system of Maya is quite slow when compared to 3ds Max. This was because our render farm was more suited to 3ds Max. The background for each character was prepared in 3ds Max using Vray. Everything was rendered in layers which made the rendering process extremely fast, without any compromise in quality.
After each character was developed, the programming team took over. The sound department was handled collectively by the design team and the programming team. At the end of all this, a polished ready to publish unique app was created. It took approximately 3-4 days to develop a complete app. As each app was made, it was launched on Google Play and App Store. This completed our task. It was now our turn to wait and watch how the apps performed in various stores. The initial response was not up to our expectation. Since these were our first apps, we barely had any idea of marketing the apps. After having invested about a month in the app development process, we were at a point of no return. The old adage from early Egyptian free divers
“When swimming into a dark tunnel. There arrives a point of no return when you no longer have enough breath to double back. Your only choice is to swim forward into the unknown . . . and pray for an exit.”
applied aptly on us. We had invested most of our savings on this project. We were cash strapped and were at a point of no return. We had to pursue the course we had set for. Backing out was not an option. We continued with our work and pumped up our production work. Now an app was released every other day.
About a month passed and the apps were doing fairly well, nothing phenomenal but decent enough. We carried a small research and found that the apps were cross promoting each other. Many users had given positive reviews and feedback’s. The quote mentioned at the beginning of the blog makes perfect sense now.
“Everyone has to start somewhere. You have your whole future ahead of you. Perfection doesn’t happen right away.”
Armed with those feedback, we worked harder and pepped up the production work and started releasing an app each day. When we measured our performance at the end of next month, the no. of downloads had tripled. We continued our hard work and the by the end of third month, we were an established brand in Talking Apps Category, the category for which we made most of our apps. Users eagerly waited for our apps. By the end of the fourth month, we had over 10 million downloads. The figure was staggering.We were overwhelmed, to say the least. We were eventually rewarded for all our hard work and numerous hours we had put into the production of these apps. Such is the popularity of these apps that they continue to be downloaded even today.
Although, we rarely produce talking Apps now as we are investing more production time in the Animation and Games category, this enriching experience made us what we are today, one of the leading Animation Studios in New Delhi. We invest most of our time catering to various client requirements in the field of 3d and 2d Animation, Architectural visualization, Cartoon Animation, Product Animation, Medical Animation, Corporate Videos, Motion Graphics, Films and T.V. Videos, Games for iOS, Android etc.
In our next blog, we will be talking about technicalities involved in making the apps. We will be talking in detail about the production pipeline. Meanwhile, you might want to have a look at the apps we were talking about. You’ll find them here :
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