Comic-O-Matic Developer's Blog

What's Margo up to??

Category Archives: Thinking Ahead

New ideas for Comic-O-Matic

I haven’t been doing much with Comic-O-Matic since last summer – well, I added three Hallowe’en characters in October: a pumpkins, a Frankenstein’s monster, and a ghost (never got to doing the witch, tho!):

This past week, though, I finally figured out how to get my Face-O-Matic iPhone app uploaded to the iTunes Store. It’s now out of the “waiting for review” queue and is officially “in review”… Cross your fingers that it will make it through to the store soon, where you can get it for free! I’ve been giving more thought to where to go with Face-O-Matic and Comic-O-Matic in general. I need to figure out how to make sharing faces from the app easier than taking a screenshot and mailing it!  I don’t know how to add a share to Facebook, Twitter, Email, etc. so that’s on my list of things to figure out.

I think Comic-O-Matic on the iPad is something I’ve just got to do, but I need to learn more Objective C with XCode to be able to do it, though.

I had a new suggestion today about the characters: make their colors configurable, which is especially important for when you have, for instance, two cats in the strip.  This, of course, led to to think about having patterns available as well as just colors… SO, not that I have a ton of time right now, but if anyone is following this blog, or even reading it occasionally, I want you to know that I am still thinking and have improvements up my sleeve!  I’m also still thinking about how to have alternating characters in a strip – so, for instance, a cat could be talking with a dog in the first panel, a bunny in the second, and the alien in the third, etc.  And I want to add a color-picker for the background colors because they are still set to just generate randomly. While I’m learning how to develop within XCode (the current Face-O-Matic was done using Game Salad), I will still try to work out the logic of all these features on the web version of Comic-O-Matic first.

Donations

Last week I was thrilled to find that a Comic-O-Matic user actually sent me $5 through the PayPal donation link at the bottom of the page. I can’t express how amazing that feels: that someone out there likes this web-thingy I made and shared enough to voluntarily send me some real money in appreciation! Wow! I want folks to know that even though Comic-O-Matic is still under development, I plan to keep Comic-O-Matic FREE – even when I get to the point of adding a feature to let users set up accounts to save their strips – and I NEVER want advertisements cluttering the site. If you like what you see, please consider scrolling to the bottom of the Comic-O-Matic page and sending a little something to Nina and/or me in appreciation of her artwork and/or my programming. Thank you for just using Comic-O-Matic!

Panel Colors & Thoughts about “Skins”

25-color paletteI selected the panel background colors for Comic-O-Matic from the colors used by Nina in her Mimi & Eunice strips. Originally, I grabbed just 10, but today I have expanded the number of colors available to 25. By having more colors in the palette, the chances of having two panels the same color is reduced.  I will eventually set up a color-picker, to give users creative control over the colors of their panels, but for now, they are still just randomly selected per panel from this set.

I am also thinking ahead to the possibility that other artists might create sets of their own artwork to work with Comic-O-Matic, as “skins”, so that users could select from a number of artists for their strips. Each of these skins would include its own color palette as well as artwork and a font. (And maybe other things – I don’t know yet!) I’m not ready to do this now, but you never know what each new day may bring! Ultimately, I do want to get the scripts to a point where I’m not tweaking them daily, and then I’ll release a stable version on GitHub for anyone to copy and do whatever they want to with. I plan to have the release include templates for the pieces of artwork that Comic-O-Matic requires.  If you are an artist who is interested in this prospect and willing to release your art as freely for copying and reuse as Nina does, let’s talk!

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